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September 30, 2018

Pastor viewpoint: Where God's spirit will lead reforms in the Catholic Church, I don't know

RIVER FALLS (WI)

Hudson Star Observer

September 30, 2018

By Father John Gerritts

I am a Roman Catholic Priest and pastor at Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson. The Catholic Church has been in the national news lately because priests and bishops in our church have been accused of rampant sexual abuse of children — which supposed leaders within the church have covered up for decades. The cover-ups continued even after church leaders made strong public commitments 16 years ago to protect children.

In the late 1970's and early 80's, as I was finishing junior high and moving on to high school, a priest was assigned as a chaplain at the local hospital in our community. While his primary assignment was serving at the hospital, he frequently assisted at our parish. People enjoyed it when he offered Mass since he was a good homilist, had a fun sense of humor, and was quite charismatic. He frequently attended various events with kids, such as high school athletic contests and concerts. He was close to several families in the community, including my own.

Families were thrilled that he gave attention to the kids in the church. My parents were excited because they knew I was thinking about becoming a priest, so surely his would be a good influence.

Kavanaugh Saga Uncomfortable for Catholics Amid Crisis Over Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
New York Magazine

September 29, 2018

By Ed Kilgore

It gained some attention, even in the middle of a very crowded news cycle, when the prominent Jesuit magazine America rescinded its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation after Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony. Kavanaugh, after all, has constantly and proudly talked about his character and career being shaped by the Jesuit education he obtained at the super-elite Georgetown Preparatory School in the Washington suburbs. And he was at Georgetown Prep when the alleged sexual assault against Ford — along with the gang rapes that Julie Swetnick, herself an alleged victim, has reported in a sworn affadavit — were said to have occurred.

America endorsed Kavanaugh back in July because of the high likelihood (which ironically, he tried so very hard to deny or obscure in his first Judiciary Committee testimony) that he would help overturn Roe v. Wade, and eliminate any constitutional right to an abortion. Its second thoughts involved an issue that is all too familiar to contemporary Catholics:

[T]his nomination battle is no longer purely about predicting the likely outcome of Judge Kavanaugh’s vote on the court. It now involves the symbolic meaning of his nomination and confirmation in the #MeToo era. The hearings and the committee’s deliberations are now also a bellwether of the way the country treats women when their reports of harassment, assault and abuse threaten to derail the careers of powerful men.

Church youth group leader charged with child sex abuse

RISING SUN (MD)
Associated Press via Fox 29

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with child sexual abuse dating back to his time as a youth group leader at a Maryland church decades ago.

A Maryland State Police statement says 58-year-old Allen Price of Quarryville, Pennsylvania, was arrested Friday at his home.

Indictments handed down Thursday charge Prince with more than 100 counts, including second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, and second-, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses.

Police say Price is accused of assaulting and abusing five girls, then aged 11 to 16, who attended youth group meetings at Grace Bible Chapel in Rising Sun from 1987 until 2001. They say Price also has ties to Lewes, Delaware, where he's been involved in youth activities.

Montana Jehovah's Witness sex abuse case underscores church's worldwide reckoning

THOMPSON FALLS (MT)
The Missoulian

September 30, 2018

By Seaborn Larson

Perhaps the largest jury award ever to a single person claiming the Jehovah's Witnesses church failed to protect her from a sexual predator came Wednesday in Thompson Falls, a 1,300-person town peeking out from the pines along Highway 200 in northwest Montana.

The jury's award, $35 million in punitive and compensatory damages to one woman, is more than financial relief, the woman's attorneys say. It's a message to the church: If leadership won't amend their policies in handling child sex abuse, they're going to pay for it.

In 2012, a California jury awarded one woman $28 million for her own claims against the Witnesses. Her attorney said it was the largest jury verdict for a single victim in a religious abuse case in the entire country at that time. The payout is a direct reflection of the church’s enormous and — most importantly — centralized wealth at the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, located in Pennsylvania and New York.

Chaput: Youth synod depends on faith, not sentimentality

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

September 29, 2018

In an op-ed column published Saturday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has restated his concerns about the upcoming synod of bishops on young adults, faith and vocational discernment, set to begin Oct. 3.

The column was published in the Italian newspaper Il Foglio.

According to Chaput, after the Pennsylvania statewide grand jury report, and abuse problems in Chile, Germany and elsewhere, “the Church is in turmoil.”

“In this turbulent environment, the Holy See will host a world synod of bishops, October 3-28, in Rome. Keyed to the theme of ‘young people, faith, and vocational discernment,’ a more ironic, and more difficult, confluence of bad facts at a bad time for the meeting can hardly be imagined.

State needs tools to investigate wide-scale abuse

NEW LONDON (CT)
The Day

September 30, 2018

By Editorial Board

Sexual assault and abuse are crimes so revolting that their innocent victims have borne the stigma: blame the victim, shame the victim, silence the victim, shield the victim's name from the public. The events of the past weeks have upended those old conventions, awkwardly, painfully, but irrevocably.

The Day recently published articles by staff writer Joe Wojtas, whose reporting over the years has covered sexual abuse charges against Roman Catholic priests in the Norwich Diocese and allegations of sexual misbehavior by a former Stonington first selectman. The Sept. 23 stories were prompted by coverage of local reaction to a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing charges against some 300 priests in that state over many years. One is the story of a New London man who says he was assaulted in Noank by a pastor now deceased. He described the emotional burdens ever since.

Christine Blasey Ford testified openly before the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school 36 years ago. She had told only her husband and therapists in most of that time, but she decided that keeping her secret any longer did not serve the public interest: The person she was accusing could be appointed to the nation's high court.

As younger Catholics drift away, the church considers what works

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

September 29, 2018

By Mark Arsenault

A member of the so-called Silent Generation and grandmother of 13, Mary Ann Keyes is the matriarch of a big Catholic family whose ties to the Roman Catholic Church — like those of many families — have grown more complicated with each generation.

While angered and saddened by the clergy sexual abuse scandals, Keyes, whose family is based in part on the South Shore, would never walk away. “The church means everything to me,” she said.

Her daughter, Kelly Carey, is 53, born between the baby boomers and Generation X. She considered stepping away after the abuse revelations of the early 2000s, she says, but weathered the scandals as a “roaming” Catholic, bouncing among different parishes in the area to hear individual priests she likes and respects.

Pope wants rosary prayed to protect Church from devil’s ‘turbulence’

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

September 29, 2018

By Inés San Martín

In a move suggesting Pope Francis believes the Church is in a moment of “spiritual turbulence,” the pontiff is asking Catholics around the world to pray the rosary every day during the month of October for protection of the Church from the devil.

The daily praying of the rosary during the “Marian month of October,” a Vatican statement Saturday said, will unite the faithful “in communion and penance, as a people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and St. Michael the Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always aims to divide us from God and among us.”

The statement also says that, as the pope noted during his daily homily on Sept. 11, prayer is the weapon against “the Great accuser who ‘travels around the world looking for accusations’.”

How obscure Italian hospital became the eye of a global storm

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

September 20, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

In February 2013, in his last official act as pope, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI appointed a commissioner for a small, seemingly insignificant hospital in Rome, the Immaculate Dermatological Institute (IDI).

Two years later, that same hospital was at the center of a tug-of-war between Australian Cardinal George Pell and the Vatican’s Secretary of State. Today, IDI is deepening the rift that threatens to tear apart the Church in the U.S., and to poison its relationship with Rome.

To understand what makes this hospital such a lightning rod, one needs to look at the path that led what was once a symbol of excellence in Catholic healthcare to the brink of ruin and almost $1 billion in debt.

After decades of left v. right, is it now bishops v. everybody else?

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

September 30, 2018

By John Allen

Moments of great crisis generally affect institutions in multiple ways, some of which are immediately evident and others that take longer to discern. Amid the clerical abuse scandals currently rocking Catholicism, it’s worth asking if one such long-term result is playing out before our eyes.

To wit, are we seeing a redefinition of the traditional left/right divides in the Church because the focus of popular complaint is no longer really teaching, one of the three traditional duties of a bishop, but rather governing?

Recently I sat down with a senior Church leader who was musing on criticism of the bishops of late, which he said at times seems reminiscent of Congregationalism - the idea that it’s the lay congregation, not the clerical caste, that exercises real power over Church affairs.

San Jose bishop: ‘Deeds, not words’ needed in sex abuse claims

SAN JOSE (CA)
San Jose Mercury News

September 30, 2018

By Harvey Barkin

San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath met with the outrage and clamor for immediate accountability of the clergy accused of sexual abuses at the first of three scheduled listening sessions at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Palo Alto Sept. 29.

McGrath said the involved clergy “say ‘sorry’ but it’s not enough. Deeds, not words are what we need. This is the beginning of the process.”

Locally, the process of holding abusive priests accountable arguably began in 2002, when the Diocese of San Jose implemented the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People after U.S. bishops approved it. The charter was updated in 2005, 2011 and this year. Also, in 2002 the diocese set up its own Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. In the ensuing years, training, background checks and fingerprinting became necessary for seminarians, employees and even volunteers who work for the diocese. All diocesan personnel are mandated to immediately notify civil authorities of any suspected sexual abuse.

Ed Palattella: Erie manifesto calls for church to change [Opinion]

ERIE (PA)
GoErie.com

September 30, 2018

An anonymous author posted 21 Theses on the doors of St. Peter Cathedral. The message, made in response to the abuse crisis, has gained support.

More than 500 years after Martin Luther, a like-minded activist is at work in the Catholic Diocese of Erie, trying to ignite reform in response to the child sexual-abuse crisis.

Luther in 1517 sparked the Reformation by posting his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther put his name to the earth-shaking document.

The local activist is operating on a more localized scale. And the person is doing so anonymously.

The person taped a document called the 21 Theses to the doors of St. Peter Cathedral in downtown Erie on Sept. 13, according to the Twitter account @21Theses.

Pope urges Catholics to pray daily throughout October to protect the church from the devil's 'turbulence'

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail

September 30, 2018

By George Martin

- The Pope said in a statement Saturday that Catholics should protect the church
- He called prayer a 'weapon' to be used against 'the great accuser' in statement
- The Church has been embroiled in a series of sexual abuse scandals recently
- A German report showed 3,700 children were abused between 1946 and 2014

The Pope has urged Catholics to pray daily to protect the church from 'turbulence', as more and more sexual abuse revelations emerge.

In a Vatican statement released on Saturday, Pope Francis urged Catholics the world over to pray every day in October in order 'to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other'.

The Pope called prayer a 'weapon' to be used against 'the great accuser' who he claimed 'can only be defeated by prayer'.

Priests leaves duties as sex abuse allegations investigated

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Associated Press via Fox News Channel

September 29, 2018

A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse and unwanted physical contact dating to the 1980s is stepping away from his official duties while diocese officials investigate the allegations.

Newsday reported the Diocese of Rockville Center, which covers Long Island, will be looking into the allegations against Msgr. William Breslawski, who has been serving as the pastor of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Rocky Point, New York.

The diocese said a letter had come Sept. 25 accusing Breslawski of sexually abusing a relative of the writer's, a middle-school-age child, and referenced a previous complaint about it that had been made in 2002.

Pastor viewpoint: Where God's spirit will lead reforms in the Catholic Church, I don't know

HUDSON (WI)
Hudson Star Observer

September 30, 2018

By Father John Gerritts

I am a Roman Catholic Priest and pastor at Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson. The Catholic Church has been in the national news lately because priests and bishops in our church have been accused of rampant sexual abuse of children — which supposed leaders within the church have covered up for decades. The cover-ups continued even after church leaders made strong public commitments 16 years ago to protect children.

In the late 1970's and early 80's, as I was finishing junior high and moving on to high school, a
priest was assigned as a chaplain at the local hospital in our community. While his primary
assignment was serving at the hospital, he frequently assisted at our parish. People enjoyed it
when he offered Mass since he was a good homilist, had a fun sense of humor, and was quite
charismatic. He frequently attended various events with kids, such as high school athletic
contests and concerts. He was close to several families in the community, including my own.

Families were thrilled that he gave attention to the kids in the church. My parents were excited
because they knew I was thinking about becoming a priest, so surely his would be a good
influence.

Víctima de Karadima califica como "rara" e "irregular" la petición de sobreseimiento de Ezzati

[Karadima victim describes Ezzati's request for dismissal as "rare" and "irregular"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 30, 2018

By Nicolás Parra and Nicole Martínez

“Como rara” e “irregular” calificó José Andrés Murillo, una de las víctimas del expulsado sacerdote Fernando Karadima, la petición de sobreseimiento de Ezzati, realizada por su defensa, para que no sea investigado en el caso de los delitos sexuales que se le imputan al excanciller del arzobispado de Santiago, Óscar Muñoz Toledo.

Tras expulsión de Karadima del sacerdocio: Laicos de Osorno piden replicar acción con Juan Barros

[After Karadima's expulsion from the priesthood, laity of Osorno ask for the same with Juan Barros]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 30, 2018

By María José Villarroel

Desde la organización de Laicos y Laicas de Osorno valoraron la decisión tomada por el papa Francisco de expulsar al exsacerdote Fernando Karadima, culpado por la Iglesia Católica como autor de abusos sexuales. Mario Vargas, vocero de la agrupación en Osorno, se mostró conforme con la decisión del Papa, calificando la determinación como un gran avance respecto a la condena que recibe el ahora exsacerdote.

Sacerdotes víctimas de Karadima: "Que Dios lo perdone y que él sea capaz de pedir perdón por todo lo que hizo"

[Priests abused by Karadima say: "May God forgive him and may he be able to ask forgiveness for everything he did"]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 30, 2018

By Leonardo Vallejos

Sergio Cobo y Eugenio de la Fuente valoran que la expulsión del ex clérigo "marca un precedente a nivel mundial".

Los sacerdotes Sergio Cobo y Eugenio de la Fuente, son dos de las declaradas víctimas del ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima. Por eso, valoraron que el Papa Francisco haya tomado la decisión de expulsarlo del sacerdocio. "Marca un precedente a nivel mundial. No creo que pase desapercibido que luego de haber hecho un proceso hace años, el Papa, de modo excepcional, vea que lo correcto sea dimitir del estado clerical a un sacerdote que cometió abusos", afirmó Cobo, sacerdote de la Iglesia Inmaculada Concepción de Vitacura, a El Mercurio.

Sex abuse scandal: Pope seeks prayers to fight ‘devil’

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

September 29, 2018

Pope Francis asked Saturday for daily prayers to protect the Catholic Church from what he says are “attacks by the devil,” in his latest response to the clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandal roiling his papacy.

A Vatican statement appeared to be an indirect response to accusations that Francis himself, and a string of Vatican officials before him, were complicit in covering up the sexual misconduct of a now-disgraced American ex-cardinal.

The Vatican said Francis had asked for Catholics worldwide to unite and pray the Rosary each day during October “to protect the church from the devil, who is always looking to divide us from God and from one another.”

At the same time, Francis asked for prayers so the church becomes ever more aware of its “guilt, errors and abuses committed in the present and the past and is committed to combat it without fail to prevent evil from prevailing.”

Francis identified the devil as the “Great Accuser, who roams the earth looking for ways to accuse.”

Qué demora al Papa para nombrar al nuevo arzobispo de Santiago

[What delays the Pope from appointing a new archbishop of Santiago]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 27, 2018

By Paula Yévenes

Algunos sacerdotes dicen que está dentro de los plazos habituales. Otros, que la elección es excepcionalmente compleja. La reciente frase de Francisco, de que “no he encontrado a la persona”, abre suspicacias. Y dudas.

Varios nombres han surgido como eventuales reemplazos del renunciado arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati. Desde otros prelados, como Fernando Chomali -de Concepción y quien la semana pasada se reunió en Roma con el Pontífice-, hasta pastores extranjeros y sacerdotes locales. Todos suenan entre las opciones para encabezar la arquidiócesis. Francisco, sin embargo, mantiene la incógnita. Luego de tres oleadas de aceptación de renuncias de obispos, en las cuales se han ido siete de ellos, aún no define al nuevo pastor de la capital. Y la expectación crece.

Las 48 horas de la guía de la Iglesia de Santiago para prevenir abusos

[The 48-hour controversy over Church of Santiago's guide to prevent abuses]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 29, 2018

By J. Matus

En el documento, publicado y luego eliminado del sitio web del arzobispado, se detallaban reglas a cumplir.

El Arzobispado de Santiago publicó este jueves, en su sitio web oficial, el documento titulado “Orientaciones que fomentan el buen trato y la sana convivencia pastoral”. El objetivo: dar señales de un cambio respecto de cómo están enfrentando los escándalos por abusos sexuales en la Iglesia Católica chilena. En particular, buscan establecer directrices sobre cómo deber ser la relación del clero con niños, adolescentes y personas con algún tipo de discapacidad.

Eglise : des personnalités demandent une enquête parlementaire sur la pédophilie en France

[Church: personalities demand a parliamentary inquiry on pedophilia in France]

PARIS (FRANCE)
Le Monde

September 30, 2018

Les signataires ont transmis une pétition aux parlementaires. Prenant l’exemple de l’Australie et des Etats-Unis, ils veulent que le pays rattrape son « retard » en la matière.

[The signatories sent a petition to parliamentarians. Taking the example of Australia and the United States, they want the country to catch up with the "backlog" in this area.]

Religieux, anciens ministres, avocats, victimes… Un groupe de personnalités lance un appel pour une enquête parlementaire indépendante sur les abus sexuels dans l’Eglise en France.

News: Allegation Received, Investigated

DES MOINES (IA)
Diocese of Des Moines

September 28, 2018

The Diocese of Des Moines recently received an allegation against Father Leonard Kenkel of decades-old sexual abuse of a minor. Upon receiving the complaint September 6, 2018, Bishop Richard Pates immediately referred the allegation to local law enforcement where the alleged abuse occurred and has been notified that the allegation is beyond the statute of limitations.

Bishop Pates has apologized to the victim, who asked for anonymity. The diocese will honor this request.

"It has always been a top priority for me that we address all allegations of sexual abuse with utmost transparency, consistency and accountability outlined by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The diocese continues to work diligently to ensure a safe environment for children and all vulnerable individuals in our churches and schools," said Bishop Pates.

Kansas school didn’t know Cardinal ousted over sex abuse would be living next door

VICTORIA (KS)
Kansas City Star

September 28, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

Officials at a grade school in a rural Kansas town were stunned Friday to learn that a former Catholic cardinal — who stepped down in July over allegations that he sexually abused seminarians and minors — was now living next door.

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington is residing at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kan., within a block of Victoria Elementary School.

“I was never made aware of it until I found out through social media today,” said Kent Michel, superintendent of USD 432 and also principal of Victoria Elementary.

Former presidential candidate on Viganò testimony: ‘This is a homosexual scandal’

UNITED STATES
LifeSiteNews

August 31, 2018

In a forcefully-written column titled “A Cancer on the Papacy,” former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan pulls no punches as he contends that the Catholic Church is going through perhaps its “gravest crisis” since the Protestant Reformation, and that homosexuality is to blame.

A former aid to Richard Nixon who in a 2002 column argued that Vatican II was an “unrelieved disaster,” Buchanan calls for not only a thorough investigation of the “stunning” claims made by Archbishop Carlo Viganò, but an extensive “purge” and severing from the priesthood of those who covered up the scandals.

“The issue here is whether Pope Francis knew what was going on in the Vatican and in his Church, and why he was not more resolute in rooting out the moral squalor,” Buchanan writes.

Suspended priest a Dunkirk native

DUNKIRK (NY)
Observer Today

September 29, 2018

A priest who has been suspended by the Buffalo Diocese is a Dunkirk native.

According to the Buffalo Diocese, on Wednesday, the diocese received a complaint against Father Joseph C. Gatto involving an alleged sexual advance made on an adult. Bishop Richard J. Malone placed Father Gatto on administrative leave as an investigation continues.

“Please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth and falsity of the complaint,” the diocese stated on its website. “We continue to pray for all victims of abuse. If you have any information specific to clerical sexual abuse you would like to share, please contact Jackie Joy, our Victim Assistance Coordinator, who can be reached at 716-895-3010.”

Gatto is an alumnus of Holy Trinity Elementary School and Cardinal Mindszety High School. In 1979 he graduated from Wadham’s Hall Seminary College, Ogdensburg and in 1982 he received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest at his home parish, Holy Trinity Church on July 9, 1983. Gatto had been the president and rector of Christ the King Seminary in Amherst, which prepares men for the priesthood in the Buffalo Diocese. He is accused of making a sexual advance on an adult male in 2000. In an interview with WKBW, he denied the accusation and said he was already planning on stepping down from his position, saying he was suffering from burnout and needed to take a break.

Allegation of decades-old abuse made against retired Des Moines priest

DES MOINES (IA)
WeAreIowa.com

September 29, 2018

By Sarah Beckman

A priest serving in the Des Moines area for years has been accused of abuse by a minor.

Father Leonard Kenkel has been accused of decades-old sexual abuse of a minor. The complaint was received by the Diocese of Des Moines on September 6. The allegation was immediately referred to local law enforcement.

Bishop Pates has apologized to the victim, who asked for anonymity. The Diocese has obtained the services of an investigator and will consult with them what to do next.

Father Kenkel is retired from his services at the church and is in a nursing facility. Bishop Pates has suspended Kenkel's priestly faculties so he can't engage in public ministry.

Former U.S. cardinal accused of sex abuse living a block from Kansas school

VICTORIA (KS)
Associated Press via the Toronto Star

September 29, 2018

The friary in remote western Kansas that is now home to a disgraced former U.S. cardinal removed from ministry by Pope Francis over allegations of sexual abuse is just one block from an elementary school.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., confirmed in a statement Friday that ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick is living at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, a rural town of about 1,200 that lies more than 400 kilometres west of Kansas City. The Friary is within a block of Victoria Elementary School.

News of McCarrick’s living arrangement took school officials by surprise, the Kansas City Star reported .

“I was never made aware of it until I found out through social media” on Friday, Victoria Elementary Principal Kent Michel said.

LI priest steps aside as allegations of sex abuse investigated, diocese says

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Newsday

September 29, 2018

By Bart Jones

Msgr. William G. Breslawski agreed to step away while the Diocese of Rockville Centre investigates allegations he sexually abused a middle schooler nearly 40 years ago, a church spokesman said Saturday.

A Roman Catholic priest has stepped aside from his ministry while church officials investigate allegations that he sexually abused a middle schooler nearly 40 years ago and had "an inappropriate interaction” with two adults in the 1980s, the Diocese of Rockville Centre said.

Msgr. William G. Breslawski agreed to step away while the diocese investigates those allegations, Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said Saturday.

Breslawski, who was ordained a priest in 1979, most recently served as the pastor of the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua in Rocky Point. He could not be reached for comment.

Pope Defrocks Fernando Karadima, Priest at Center of Abuse Outrage in Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The New York Times

September 29, 2018

By Pascale Bonnefoy

Pope Francis has defrocked a once-prominent priest whose case has been at the center of public outrage about clerical sexual abuse and its concealment in Chile — a rare move that Vatican officials said showed his determination to tackle a scandal that has roiled the Catholic Church here and around the world.

The priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, was found guilty of sexual offenses by the Vatican as long ago as 2011. But his case has proved particularly toxic for Francis, who long defended a bishop accused of covering it up, Juan Barros, including during a visit to Chile in January.

A month later, following a storm of protest, Francis sent sex crimes investigators to the country, beginning an about-face that was to result in all 34 of the Roman Catholic bishops in Chile offering their resignations.

September 29, 2018

Retired Boise priest reaches deal in child porn case, says he had alcohol-induced depression

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

September 28, 2018

By Katy Moeller, Christina Lords, and Michael Katz

A retired Boise priest accused of possessing thousands of images and videos of children being sexually abused — and sharing some of them online with others — won’t go to trial in October.

After reaching a deal with prosecutors, the Rev. W. Thomas “Tom” Faucher pleaded guilty Friday to five of the 24 charges against him, including two counts of distribution of sexually exploitative material, two counts of possession of sexually exploitative materials and drug possession. The other charges were dismissed.

He will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Dec. 20.

Prosecutors will ask the judge to sentence Faucher to 30 years in prison, including 20 before he’s eligible for parole. The defense is free to argue for less, under the plea deal

Ex-Boise Priest Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

BOISE (ID)
Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

September 28, 2018

A former Boise Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges as part of a plea deal.

News outlets report William Thomas Faucher pleaded guilty to five of the 24 charges against him, including distribution of sexually exploitative material, possession of sexually exploitative materials and drug possession.

The other charges were dismissed.

The Idaho Statesman reports Faucher, who will be 73 next month, told the court he sent an email that contained child pornography while in alcohol-induced depression and while being affected by dementia.

Prosecutors say it wasn't one drunken mistake and that more than 2,000 photos and videos depicting child sexual abuse were found on Faucher's computer and phone.

Church in Poland begins publishing sex abuse data

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 28, 2018

By Paulina Guzik

In the last week, three dioceses in Poland have published their data on clerical sex abuse, saying they are trying to better understand the issue and find effective measures to stop it.

On Sep. 27, the Diocese of Warsaw-Prague - located in the eastern part of greater Warsaw - said in the last 26 years twelve priests were accused of abusing minors, and that all of the cases were reported to the Vatican. It added that two of the accused were cleared of charges.

“I want to do everything in my power to help those who feel hurt, so they could have a safe return to the Church and regain confidence in her,” said Bishop Romuald Kaminski.

The diocese also published its policies on child protection and gave information about its special team of priests and lay experts working on issues related to abuse.

Galveston-Houston Archdiocese housing former Conroe priest accused of sex abuse at retirement community

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

September 28, 2018

By Nicole Hensley

A former Conroe priest facing decades-old child molestation accusations has been staying at a gated retirement community in southwest Houston while out on bail, according to officials.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has been housing Manuel Larosa-Lopez at the St. Dominic Village along Holcombe Boulevard after he was released on a $375,000 bond two weeks ago, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office confirmed. The property is fenced off save for a guarded driveway.

The diocese touts the village, which includes a senior home and about a dozen apartments for retired priests south of the Brays Bayou, as providing “all the comforts of home” on its website.

Pope defrocks priest at center of Chilean sexual abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

September 27, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis has defrocked a 88-year-old Chilean priest who sexually abused teenage boys over a period of many years and is at the center of a wider abuse scandal that is still under investigation, the Vatican said on Friday.

Father Fernando Karadima was defrocked, or “reduced to the lay state” by the pope on Thursday, a move the Vatican called “exceptional” and done “for the good of the Church”.

Karadima, who lives in a home for the elderly in the Chilean capital Santiago, was notified on Friday.

He was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 and ordered to live a life of “prayer and penitence”, but was not defrocked at the time, the final years of the reign of former Pope Benedict. That meant he was still a priest, although he could not minister in public.

Pope defrocks Chilean priest at center of abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via Boston Globe

September 28, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis has defrocked a Chilean priest who was a central character in the global sex abuse scandal rocking his papacy, invoking his ‘‘supreme’’ authority to stiffen an earlier sentence because of the ‘‘exceptional amount of damage’’ the priest’s crimes had caused.

In a statement Friday, the Vatican said Francis had laicized 88-year-old Fernando Karadima, who was originally sanctioned in 2011 to live a lifetime of ‘‘penance and prayer’’ for having sexually abused minors in the upscale Santiago parish he ran.

The Vatican said Francis was doing so for ‘‘the good of the church.’’

‘‘It is without doubt an exceptional measure, but Karadima’s grave crimes have caused exceptional damage in Chile,’’ Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said.

The ‘‘penance and prayer’’ sanction has been the Vatican’s punishment of choice for elderly priests convicted of raping and molesting children. It has long been criticized by victims as too soft and essentially an all-expenses-paid retirement, and Karadima’s whistle-blowers had pressed for it to be toughened.

Former Des Moines priest, accused of sex abuse in past, faces another allegation

DES MOINES (IA)
KCCI 8 CBS

September 28, 2018

The Diocese of Des Moines is investigating an allegation of decades-old sexual abuse of a minor against one of its priests who retired in 2008.

According to a news release, Bishop Richard Pates immediately referred the complaint made Sept. 6 against Father Leonard Kenkel to local law enforcement authorities where the alleged abuse happened. The allegation is beyond the statute of limitations.

Pates apologized to the victim, who asked for anonymity.

“It has always been a top priority for me that we address all allegations of sexual abuse with utmost transparency, consistency and accountability outlined by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Pates said in a statement.

Cupich apologizes for ‘my poor choice of words’ on priest sex abuse crisis

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

September 27, 2018

By Robert Herguth

Weeks after making remarks to news reporters that seemed to minimize the Catholic Church’s priest sex abuse crisis — and insisting his words were taken out of context — Cardinal Blase Cupich is now saying he used a “poor choice of words” and apologized “for the offense caused by my comments.”

“It was a mistake for me to even mention that the church has a bigger agenda than responding to the charges in the letter by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano,” Cupich said in an op-ed published by the Chicago Tribune.

Vigano released an explosive letter late last month contending, among other things, that Pope Francis knew of alleged sexual misconduct by disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — who has been accused of sexually preying on adult seminarians as well as children — but allowed McCarrick to continue in ministry and serve as an influential adviser.

Kavanaugh Saga Uncomfortable for Catholics amid Crisis over Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Magazine

September 29, 2018

By Ed Kilgore

It gained some attention, even in the middle of a very crowded news cycle, when the prominent Jesuit magazine America rescinded its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony. Kavanaugh, after all, has constantly and proudly talked about his character and career being shaped by the Jesuit education he obtained at the super-elite Georgetown Preparatory School in the Washington suburbs. And he was at Georgetown Prep when the alleged sexual assault against Ford — along with the gang-rapes that Julie Swetnick, herself an alleged victim, has reported in a sworn affadavit — were said to have occurred.

America endorsed Kavanaugh back in July because of the high likelihood (which ironically, he tried so very hard to deny or obscure in his first Judiciary Committee testimony) that he would help overturn Roe v. Wade, and eliminate any constitutional right to an abortion. Its second thoughts involved an issue that is all too familiar to contemporary Catholics:

[T]his nomination battle is no longer purely about predicting the likely outcome of Judge Kavanaugh’s vote on the court. It now involves the symbolic meaning of his nomination and confirmation in the #MeToo era. The hearings and the committee’s deliberations are now also a bellwether of the way the country treats women when their reports of harassment, assault and abuse threaten to derail the careers of powerful men.

Substitute “children” for “women” in that last sentence and you have an issue that has been of paramount concern to Catholics everywhere recently. And while America did not mention the parallels explicitly, the church’s child sex abuse crisis had to be in the background in discussing the situation. In an article about Kavanaugh’s staunchest supporters, Emma Green noted that prominent Catholic conservative Mary Rice Hasson is battling the obvious connections between abuse allegations.

Cupich, Chaput joust over working document for Synod of Bishops

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 29, 2018

By Christopher White

Ahead of next week’s start to the much-anticipated month-long gathering of bishops in Rome, two American delegates have already preempted the debate by publishing an exchange on the guiding document for the meetings.

Correspondence between Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and Archbishop Charles Chaput was published in First Things, a conservative journal on religion, in response to a September 21 column by Chaput that included a 1,300 word critique of the Instrumentem Laboris, the synod’s working document, sent to Chaput by a “respected North American theologian” and published anonymously in his article.

In the original commentary, the theologian faulted the document for its “pervasive focus on socio-cultural elements, to the exclusion of deeper religious and moral issues,” and four areas in which the author enumerated criticisms: “An inadequate grasp of the Church’s spiritual authority;” “A partial theological anthropology;” “A relativistic conception of vocation;” and “An impoverished understanding of Christian joy.”

In addition, the theologian claimed “there are other serious theological concerns, including: a false understanding of the conscience and its role in the moral life; a false dichotomy proposed between truth and freedom; false equivalence between dialogue with LGBT youth and ecumenical dialogue; and an insufficient treatment of the abuse scandal.”

Thoughts on the Instrumentum Laboris

NEW YORK (NY)
First Things

September 21, 2018

By Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Over the past several months, I’ve received scores of emails and letters from laypeople, clergy, theologians, and other scholars, young and old, with their thoughts regarding the October synod of bishops in Rome focused on young people. Nearly all note the importance of the subject matter. Nearly all praise the synod’s intent. And nearly all raise concerns of one sort or another about the synod’s timing and possible content. The critique below, received from a respected North American theologian, is one person’s analysis; others may disagree. But it is substantive enough to warrant much wider consideration and discussion as bishop-delegates prepare to engage the synod’s theme. Thus, I offer it here:

* * *

Besides the above considerations, there are other serious theological concerns in the IL, including: a false understanding of the conscience and its role in the moral life; a false dichotomy proposed between truth and freedom; false equivalence between dialogue with LGBT youth and ecumenical dialogue; and an insufficient treatment of the abuse scandal.

The Synod on Youth: An Exchange

NEW YORK (NY)
First Things

September 28, 2018

By Blase J. Cupich and Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

On September 21, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles J. Chaput presented a critique of the Instrumentum Laboris for the 2018 Synod on Young People, sent to him by a respected North American theologian. Below we publish a response to this critique from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, followed by a note from Chaput.

[By Cardinal Cupich]

The increasing use of anonymous criticism in American society does not necessarily contribute to healthy public discourse, but in fact can erode it. For this reason, the anonymous critique of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL) for the 2018 Synod, published by First Things on September 21, 2018, raises essential questions about the nature of theological dialogue in our Church and the problematic nature of some forms of anonymity. It also raises fundamental questions about why First Things would publish such an anonymous critique.

The mature vision of Donum Veritatis (On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian), speaks of dialogue that is public and forthright in the search for truth, generous in spirit, fair in critique and balanced in tone. The anonymous critique published by First Things rejects these elements, substituting selectivity, condescension, and the deployment of partial truths to obfuscate the fullness of truth. Worse, this piece distorts the truth at many points and shows condescension toward the issues raised by the bishops’ conferences of the world on which the IL is based.

Do You Pray for Priests?

NEW YORK (NY)
National Review

By Kathleen Beckman, interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez

September 29, 2018

An urgent need for all of us.

Pray for Priests. It’s the constant refrain of Kathleen Beckman, a friend and adviser to many of them. She is a founder of the Foundation for Prayer for Priests and the author of the upcoming Praying for Priests: An Urgent Call for the Salvation of Souls. At this time, when so much scandal is coming to light, it’s a call for more who believe in Christ and love their faith to take it more seriously. She talks about the priesthood and the Church and the call to prayer and sacrifice in an interview.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Some of the news stories — certainly the August Pennsylvania grand-jury report — that have come out about abuse are unbearable to read. It all gives some window into the suffering of men and women who have experienced abuse at the hands of priests. What is your prayer for those who have suffered such abuse?

Kathleen Beckman: As unbearable as it is read the horrific accounts of clergy sexual abuse, we must face this reality if justice is to be done for the victims and the perpetrators. The victim’s pain is a heavy weight upon my heart. At daily Mass and holy hour, I pray that victims will experience Christ’s personal, transformative love. Intercessory prayer is powerful; it stirs God’s heart to intervene in miraculous ways. Fasting and offering up suffering is part of my intercession. As a layperson, I have a duty to pray and work toward building up the Body of Christ. The Church is my family — hearts are broken, minds are baffled, we are ashamed of sins and crimes, and ridiculed for staying. The Church is God’s family. He will purify and revive us. I pray that we will earn the back trust through necessary reform and renewal.

Lopez: Do you pray for the perpetrators? Do you pray for those who have died?

Beckman: Indeed, I pray for the living and dead perpetrators because love of God demands prayer for the conversion of sinners and salvation of souls. As president of the Foundation for Prayer for Priests apostolate, I sometimes receive correspondence from lay, deacon, or clergy prison chaplains. A deacon once wrote asking for prayer for an anonymous elderly priest who had been incarcerated for years — despondent over his horrible deeds, living in fear that he would be forever damned to hell. The chaplain described the daily agony of this priest’s tormented soul as self-hatred consumed him. For love of the Eternal High Priest, I pray for the priest “most in need of His mercy.” If we aim to be Christ-like, justice and mercy must intertwine as they did when Jesus hung on the Cross praying to His Father for the forgiveness of his murderers.

Former bishops’ aide calls on Pope Francis to break silence on abuse

DENVER (CO)
Crux

By Christopher White

September 26, 2018

One of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s former closest collaborators and one of the U.S. Church’s leading crusaders for sex abuse reform, is calling on Pope Francis to break his silence about what the Vatican knew about the previous archbishop of Washington’s history of abuse and to act more decisively on the issue.

In the hope of ending the “silence and secrecy” surrounding the Church’s handling of abuse, John Carr - who served for two decades as the Capitol Hill point man for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) - also revealed that he was abused by priests while in high school seminary.

“Pope Francis has been too slow to understand and act on the moral and spiritual consequences of abuse. I believe his recent efforts to listen to victims/survivors, challenge destructive clericalism and call leaders of the entire church to Rome offer steps forward,” Carr told a crowd of over 500 attendees at Georgetown University’s Initiative for Catholic Social Thought and Public Life panel discussion on “Confronting a Moral Catastrophe: Lay Leadership, Catholic Social Teaching, and the Sexual Abuse Crisis.”

Communiqué

VATICAN CITY
Holy See Press Office

September 28, 2018

Pope Francis has removed Fernando Karadima Fariña, of the archdiocese of Santiago de Chile, from the clerical state. The Holy Father has taken this exceptional decision in conscience and for the good of the Church.

The Holy Father has exercised his ordinary power, which is supreme, full, immediate and universal in the Church (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 331), conscious of his service to the people of God as successor of Saint Peter.

The decree, signed by the Pope on Thursday, 27 September 2018, came into force automatically from that moment, and also implies the dispensation of all clerical obligations. Karadima Fariña was notified on Friday 28 September 2018.

221 priests, 8 bishops face probes for abuse and cover-up in Chile

DENVER (CO)
Crux

By Inés San Martín

September 29, 2018

According to the latest count by the Chilean national prosecutor’s office, some 221 priests and 8 bishops are being investigated up and down the country on charges of sexual abuse and cover-up, all due to allegations made from the year 2000 to date.

In the total is Fernando Karadima, the country’s most infamous predator priest, who was removed from the clerical state by Pope Francis on Thursday in an “exceptional” decision communicated by the Vatican on Friday, the same day the man who once led an impressive lay movement in Santiago was informed.

Karadima had been found guilty by the Vatican in 2011, but instead of being removed from the priesthood at that time was sentenced to a life of penance and prayer.

To put the ongoing crisis of the Chilean Church in perspective, information gathered in three raids on two dioceses- Rancagua and Santiago- led prosecutor Emiliano Arias to open 70 investigations in the last three months. All of them, according to La Tercera, are against members of the Chilean bishops’ conference who allegedly had knowledge of abuses committed by clerics.

Editorial: Publishing list a good start in regaining trust

MARIETTA (OH)
Marietta Times

September 29, 2018

The Steubenville Diocese, which includes some parishes in Washington County, has made an important and welcomed announcement. It will publish the names of priests in the diocese against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse have been made, and who have been removed from active ministry.

Good. It is encouraging to see such a move. Too much damage has been done already, because that information was kept in the dark.

Bishop Jeffery Monforton appears to have decided to do the right thing.

“He wants to get the trust back in the church,” said diocese communications director Dino Orsatti. “So much has been lost in different investigations over the years, and we want to make sure we are as open as possible.”

There is some question as to whether the diocese will publish the names of priests who are no longer living. If it truly wants to be as open as possible, it should.

“Even if the priest is dead, it helps the victims know they are not alone,” said Judy Block Jones, Midwest regional leader for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

According to Orsatti, the diocese already knows there may be legal consequences in publishing this list. Likely seeing names on the list will prompt more to come forward with allegations of abuse.

Pope Francis invites the faithful to pray the Rosary in October

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

September 29, 2018

A communiqué released by the Holy See’s Press Office on Saturday states that Pope Francis invites “all the faithful of all the world, to pray the Holy Rosary every day” during the Marian month of October.

The following is the full text of a comuniqué released on Saturday by the Holy See's Press Office regarding an invitation extended by Pope Francis to all the faithful to join in praying the Rosary during the month of October:

Pope Francis' invitation

The Holy Father has decided to invite all the faithful, of all the world, to pray the Holy Rosary every day, during the entire Marian month of October, and thus to join in communion and in penitence, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other.

In recent days, before his departure for the Baltic States, the Holy Father met with Fr. Fréderic Fornos, S.J., international director of the World Network of Prayer for the Pope, and asked him to spread this appeal to all the faithful throughout the world, inviting them to conclude the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation “Sub Tuum Praesidium”, and with the prayer to Saint Michael Archangel that he protect us and help us in the struggle against evil (cf. Revelation 12, 7-12).

Abuse settlement from 2005 with Cardinal Wuerl’s name raises questions

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein and Julie Zauzmer

September 29, 2018

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who has said repeatedly that he didn’t know about years of sexual misconduct complaints involving his predecessor in the District, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, was named in a 2005 settlement agreement that included allegations against McCarrick, according to the accuser in the case and documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Robert Ciolek, who left the priesthood and later became an attorney, spoke for the first time publicly this summer about the $80,000 settlement he reached in June 2005 with three New Jersey dioceses over his allegations against McCarrick and a teacher at his Catholic high school. McCarrick led the church in Newark and Metuchen before coming to the District in 2001; Ciolek’s high school was in New Jersey as well.

In an interview with The Post this month, Ciolek said for the first time publicly that the settlement included allegations against a third person, a Pittsburgh priest Ciolek says made unwanted sexual contact with him in seminary, where the priest was a professor. The first page of the settlement agreement lists the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Wuerl, who supervised the priest as bishop of Pittsburgh at the time, among the numerous parties to the settlement. The agreement was signed by Ciolek and the three New Jersey dioceses.

Ciolek shared a copy of the settlement with The Post.

[American Catholics’ demands for reform intensify after letter implicates Pope Francis in sex abuse coverup]

The presence of Wuerl’s name on Ciolek’s settlement agreement raises questions about the cardinal’s assertion that he did not know about any allegations against McCarrick before they became a topic of public discussion this summer.

Wuerl’s D.C. spokesman, Ed McFadden, said this week that Wuerl had been unaware of the legal agreement.

Editorial: Lawmakers have to deliver justice to abuse victims before Election Day

MECHANICSVILLE (PA)
PennLive

September 26, 2018

Bill Cosby. Harvey Weinstein. The Roman Catholic clergy named in the Pennsylvania grand jury report. Brett Kavanaugh.

They all have two things in common: They've been accused, to varying degrees, of sexual misconduct. And all face accusations involving incidents said to have happened years ago.

Victims deserve to be heard. They deserve justice. But the accused also must be afforded the opportunity to defend themselves, in a court of law if necessary, and not branded as criminals based on accusation alone.

Cosby had his day in court; a jury convicted him and a judge sent him to prison. Weinstein has been indicted and faces criminal prosecution. Kavanaugh and his accuser will appear at a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday.

The problem in nearly every one of these cases is that time degrades memory. While the central incident may be alive in a victim's memory, circumstantial details fade.

Seguirá recibiendo una pensión: El futuro de Fernando Karadima tras su expulsión del ministerio sacerdotal

[Fernando Karadima will continue to receive a pension after his expulsion from the priestly ministry]

CHILE
Emol

September 29, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

Por orden papal, desde ayer el ex párroco ya no forma parte del clero, por lo que no podrá residir en el hogar donde cumplía su condena eclesial. Eso sí, seguirá recibiendo una pensión "mínima".

¿Cuál será el futuro de Fernando Karadima? Esa es una las principales dudas que han surgido tras la determinación del Papa Francisco de, finalmente, expulsarlo ayer del sacerdocio producto de los abusos sexuales a menores perpetrados por el ex párroco de El Bosque. Por lo anterior ya se encontraba cumpliendo una pena vitalicia de penitencia y oración en el hogar de ancianos San José de las religiosas de la congregación de Santa Teresa Jornet, residencia ubicada en la comuna de Lo Barnechea.

Erie university strikes former bishop's name from building

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

September 29, 2018

Gannon University Friday joined the list of Catholic institutions citing the Aug. 14 Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse in a decision to revoke honors accorded a former bishop.

GoErie first reported news of the Catholic university’s decision Friday afternoon.

Fallout from the grand jury report that said 301 priests abused about 1,000 children across Pennsylvania over seven decades has rippled across Pennsylvania and the nation over the last six weeks.

GoErie reported that Gannon University trustees voted to strike retired Bishop Donald W. Trautman’s name from a campus building on its downtown Erie campus, revoked an honorary degree it had bestowed on the bishop who headed the diocese from 1990-2012 and canceled a lecture series that bore his name.

Trautman, 82, who came under fire in the report for not moving aggressively on allegations of clergy sexual abuse defended his record saying he had disciplined and defrocked pedophile priests.

GoErie quoted Trautman as calling Gannon’s decision “unjust and unchristian.”

Gannon said it was following Catholic tradition of “giving voice to victims.”

El camino a la expulsión de Karadima: Cronología de la crisis que vive la Iglesia Católica en Chile

[The road to Karadima's expulsion: Chronology of the crisis in Chile's Catholic Church]

CHILE
Emol

September 28, 2018

El Papa Francisco puso fin a la carrera sacerdotal del ex párroco de El Bosque, uno de los casos más simbólicos de abusos sexuales cometidos por integrantes del clero en nuestro país. La Fiscalía Nacional contabiliza casi 180 víctimas.

Expulsión de Karadima: La conducta "difícil de controlar" del ex párroco mientras cumplía su anterior condena canónica

[Karadima Expulsion: Former priest showed "difficult to control" behavior during his previous canonical sentence]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 29, 2018

Fue el vicario judicial del Arzobispado de Santiago, Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, quien comunicó la decisión papal al ahora ex presbítero. "Impactado, molesto y dolido", habría sido su reacción.

"Impactado, molesto y dolido". Esa habría sido la reacción del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, luego de que durante la mañana de ayer el vicario judicial del Arzobispado de Santiago, Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, llegara hasta el hogar San José de Lo Barnechea para comunicarle la decisión tomada por el Papa Francisco: despojarlo de su estado clerical.

Denunciantes protestan frente a casa marista y acusan que allí viven 7 religiosos implicados en abusos sexuales

[Whistleblowers protest in front of Marist house, claiming 7 clergy members involved in sexual abuse live there]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 27, 2018

La protesta llegó a un punto de máxima tensión cuando Paola Givovich, hermana de uno de los denunciantes, ingresó a la residencia y pidió que el marista Adolfo Fuentes "diera la cara".

Un grupo de denunciantes y sobrevivientes de abusos sexuales del denominado caso Maristas protestaron este jueves frente a la casa de la congregación ubicada frente a la Nunciatura Apostólica en Providencia. Con carteles, lienzos y gritos, los manifestantes denunciaron que en la residencia viven 7 religiosos acusados de abusos, informó Cooperativa.

La Iglesia católica no para: manual del Arzobispado califica abusos sexuales como muestras de afecto “inapropiadas”

[The Catholic Church does not stop: the Archdiocese's manual describes sexual abuses as "inappropriate" displays of affection]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 29, 2019

Este viernes se filtró un documento llamado “Orientaciones que fomentan el Buen Trato y la Sana Convivencia Pastoral”, que está firmado por Ricardo Ezzati, donde se señalan algunas medidas y recomendaciones para que los sacerdotes no estén envueltos en polémicas, justo cuando la iglesia católica está cuestionada por los abusos sexuales a menores. Precisamente, uno de los puntos del manual habla sobre eso, dando algunos consejos

Durante la jornada del viernes, se hizo público un manual que el Arzobispado de Santiago le está enviando a los sacerdotes, donde les indica cómo deben actuar con los menores, para no ser acusados de abuso sexual. El documento, firmado por el mismo Ricardo Ezzati, se titula “Orientaciones que fomentan el Buen Trato y la Sana Convivencia Pastoral”. En él, se detallan siete puntos para la sana convivencia pastoral.

Pope Francis defrocks Chilean priest at center of sexual abuse scandal

CHILE
Associated Press

September 28, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis has defrocked a Chilean priest who was a central character in the global sex abuse scandal rocking his papacy, invoking his “supreme” authority to stiffen an earlier sentence because of the “exceptional amount of damage” the priest’s crimes had caused.

In a statement Friday, the Vatican said Francis had laicized 88-year-old Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was originally sanctioned in 2011 to live a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for having sexually abused minors in the upscale Santiago parish he ran.

The Vatican said Francis was doing so for “the good of the church.”

September 28, 2018

Más vale tarde que nunca: Papa Francisco expulsa a Karadima del sacerdocio

[Better late than never: Pope Francis exiles Karadima from the priesthood]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 28, 2018

A través de un comunicado del Vaticano, se informó que el Papa “ha tomado esta decisión excepcional en conciencia y por el bien de la Iglesia”. Una de las víctimas de Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, agradeció el gesto del Papa contra “este hombre que le ha hecho daño a tanta gente”. La expulsión del ex párroco de El Bosque se produce a días de la decisión que afectó al ex vicario de la Solidaridad, Cristián Precht, otra figura emblemática de los casos de abusos dentro de la Iglesia católica chilena.

A días de sacar del sacerdocio a Cristián Precht, el Papa Francisco volvió a golpear la mesa y decidió dimitir del estado clerical al otrora poderoso ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima Fariña.

Sobreseen a tres de los sacerdotes investigados por caso "La Cofradía" de Rancagua

[Three priests cleared in investigation of "La Cofradía" of Rancagua]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 28, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

El Ministerio Público no logró acreditar ningún delito cometido por Gino Bonomo, Aquiles Correa y Fernando Armijo. Este último era sindicado como el eventual líder de la organización, lo que finalmente fue descartado.

Tres de los al menos 14 sacerdotes que la fiscalía de O'Higgins investiga en el marco del denominado caso "La Cofradía" de Rancagua, fueron sobreseídos ayer por el Juzgado de Garantía de Pichilemu. En esta causa en la en que se indagan presuntos abusos sexuales cometidos por los religiosos, algunos contra menores de edad.

Monseñor Ramos se declara sorprendido por expulsión de Karadima: "Una decisión largamente anhelada"

[Monsignor Ramos is surprised by Karadima's expulsion: "A long-awaited decision"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 28, 2018

By Guido Focacci

El secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal, monseñor Fernando Ramos, se refirió esta tarde a la decisión del papa Francisco de de dimitir del estado clerical a Fernando Karadima. “La tomo, en primer lugar, como una decisión largamente anhelada por mucha gente y que hace justicia, creo yo. Porque están más que demostrados los delitos que él cometió y eso es absolutamente incompatible con el ejercicio del ministerio sacerdotal”, dijo Ramos en entrevista con Podría ser Peor, de Radio Bío Bío.

La emoción de Juan Carlos Cruz tras expulsión de su abusador: "Nunca pensé que llegaría este día"

[Emotional Juan Carlos Cruz after Karadima's expulsion: "I never thought this day would come"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 28, 2018

By Valentina González

Uno de los principales denunciantes de Fernando Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, valoró la decisión de expulsar del sacerdocio al exreligioso, hallado culpable por la Iglesia de abusos sexuales contra menores. “El pedófilo Karadima expulsado del sacerdocio. Nunca pensé que vería este día. Un hombre que le arruinó la vida a tantas personas“, escribió Juan Carlos, una de sus víctimas.

Papa Francisco expulsó a Fernando Karadima del sacerdocio a 8 años de conocerse sus abusos

[Pope Francis expels Fernando Karadima from the priesthood 8 years after his abuses were known]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 28, 2018

By Felipe Delgado and Nicole Martínez

El Vaticano dio a conocer este viernes la decisión del papa Francisco de dimitir de su estado clerical a Fernando Karadima, ahora exsacerdote que fue hallado culpable por la Iglesia Católica como autor de abusos sexuales, esto tras una investigación canónica.

Vaticano por Karadima: "Estábamos ante caso muy serio de podredumbre y había que arrancarlo de raíz"

[Vatican spokesman on Karadima: "We were facing a very serious case of rot and it had to be rooted out"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 28, 2018

By Guido Focacci and Nicole Martínez

Greg Burke, director de la Oficina de Prensa de la Santa Sede, se refirió también a la expulsión del sacerdocio de Fernando Karadima por parte del propio papa Francisco. “Hay dos claves para entender este decreto, la primera, que el Papa lo hace en conciencia. La segunda, la motivación: por el bien de la Iglesia. El papa Francisco está actuando como pastor, como padre, por el bien de todo el pueblo de dios”, dijo el vocero del Vaticano.

“Es un excelente signo para la Iglesia universal”: El análisis de experto en historia católica sobre la expulsión de Karadima del sacerdocio

["It is an excellent sign for the universal Church": The analysis of an expert in Catholic history on Karadima's expulsion from the priesthood]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 28, 2018

By Carla Pía Ruiz

Marcial Sánchez, doctor en Historia y autor de libros sobre la iglesia chilena, afirmó a La Tercera que "lo que hoy el Papa ha tomado por decisión es, por justicia, lo que debería haber hecho hace tiempo".

“Era uno de los hombres más depredadores que hemos tenido en la historia de Chile”. Con estas palabras, Marcial Sánchez, doctor en Historia y especialista en la Iglesia Católica chilena, valoró este viernes la decisión del Papa Francisco de expulsar del sacerdocio a Fernando Karadima.

Ezzati sobre expulsión de Karadima: El “nunca más” también debe ser “una realidad en nuestra Iglesia de Santiago”

[Ezzati on the expulsion of Karadima: The "never again" must also be "a reality in our Church of Santiago"]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 28, 2018

By Angelica Baeza

El arzobispo de Santiago, mediante un comunicado de prensa, indicó que "los católicos de Santiago y la gente de buena voluntad estamos llamados a acoger esta determinación del Santo Padre".

Luego de que la Santa Sede informara la expulsión de Fernando Karadima, el arzobispo de Santiago Ricardo Ezzati, emitió un comunicado de prensa en el que dice que el Papa Francisco tomó una decisión dentro de sus facultades y que espera que estos casos de abusos sexuales no ocurran nunca más.

Las particularidades en la expulsión de Fernando Karadima

[The details of Fernando Karadima's expulsion]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 28, 2018

By Angelica Baeza

El abogado canónico Camilo Cortés, asegura que "lo que hizo es Papa lo hizo como pastor de la Iglesia, corrigiendo una decisión que se tuvo que tomar mucho antes".

En 2010 se dieron a conocer las denuncias de abuso sexual en contra de Fernando Karadima, quien fuera párroco de El Bosque. Seis años más tarde la Doctrina de la Fe lo declara culpable y lo confina a una vida de oración, alejado de la vida clerical. Y hoy 28 de septiembre de 2018 ocurrió lo que muchos ya pensaban no pasaría. El Papa Francisco lo notifica de su expulsión del sacerdocio. ¿Pero en realidad que significa esto?

1st U.S. cardinal ousted over sex abuse to live ‘life of prayer and penance’ in Kansas

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

September 28, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who stepped down in July over credible allegations that he sexually abused seminarians and minors for decades, is now living in a friary in Kansas.

The Archdiocese of Washington confirmed McCarrick’s residency in a statement issued Friday.

“In late July 2018, our Holy Father Pope Francis requested that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick withdraw from all public ministry and events,” the statement said. “To that end, Archbishop McCarrick now resides at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas, in the Diocese of Salina, with the permission of the Provincial Superior of the Franciscan Capuchin Community responsible for the Friary, Fr. Christopher Popravak, O.F.M. Cap., and the Bishop of Salina, Most Reverend Gerald Vincke.”

The statement added that “out of consideration for the peace of the community at St. Fidelis Friary, respect for the privacy of this arrangement is requested.”

Duluth priest sues ex-Duluth cop, his 'credible' abuse victim, and wins. Wait, what?

DULUTH (MN)
City Pages

September 27, 2018

By Mike Mullen

A priest and a former cop walk into a courtroom.

Do not stop us; you have not heard this one before.

And even if you read the strange little tale told in Minnesota Lawyer, it's hard to make heads or tails of this one. Even the "long story, short" takes some explaining.

William Graham, a Roman Catholic priest with St. Michael's Catholic Church in Duluth, was sued in 2016 by T.J. Davis Jr., a former parishioner who attended Cathedral Senior High School (later rechristened Marshall School) in that port city some 40 years ago.

Davis, who as an adult joined the Duluth Police force, claimed in his lawsuit Graham had abused him during his high school years. That claim meant Graham was automatically put on "administrative leave" from his job with the church, and therefore went without a $500 stipend as the civil case played out in court.

This displeased the priest, who was later found -- as part of a massive clergy sex abuse action that has bankrupted the Diocese of Duluth -- to be a "credibly accused" perpetrator. So Graham, the reverend, took the rarely-if-ever seen step of suing his accuser, alleging Davis had purposely tried robbing him of his livelihood ... by suing him, for sexual abuse.

And a jury agreed.

Jehovah's Witnesses ordered by jury to pay $35M to abuse survivor

HELENA (MT)
The Associated Press

September 27,.2018

The defendant said the church covered up her sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a congregation member.

The Jehovah's Witnesses must pay $35 million to a woman who says the church's national organization ordered Montana clergy members not to report her sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a congregation member, a jury ruled in a verdict.

A judge must review the penalty, and the Jehovah's Witnesses' national organization — Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York — plans to appeal.

Still, the 21-year-old woman's attorneys said Wednesday's verdict sends a message to the church to report child abuse to outside authorities.

"Hopefully that message is loud enough that this will cause the organization to change its priorities in a way that they will begin prioritizing the safety of children so that other children aren't abused in the future," said attorney Neil Smith Thursday.

The Office of Public Information at the World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses responded to the verdict with an unsigned statement.

64 Syracuse area clergy abuse victims among 981 NYers to get paid by Catholic church

SYRACUSE (NY)
syracuse.com

September 28, 2018

By Julie McMahon

Sixty-four Central New Yorkers are among the nearly 1,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse in New York state who plan to take settlements from the Catholic church.

The victim compensation program offered through the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse is nearing its conclusion after about seven months. Victims have started to receive and accept financial offers in Syracuse and across the state.

Program administrator Camille Biros said in five New York dioceses, there were 1,262 claims. From that, 1,133 offers were made. As of Thursday afternoon, 981 signed releases to settle the claims.

In Syracuse, 85 victims were invited to participate in the program. That's more than the 76 "credible" victims the church has previously acknowledged publicly.

Chilean hero expelled from priesthood over sex abuse charges

ROME
Crux

September 16, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A priest who was once a national hero in Chile, and who now finds himself another casualty of that country’s massive clerical sexual abuse crisis, has been expelled from the priesthood by Pope Francis after being found guilty of abusing minors and vulnerable adults.

The Archdiocese of Santiago in Chile released a statement on Saturday saying that Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had notified the Chilean Church that on Sept. 12 Francis had decreed, “with no possibility of appeal,” the “removal from clerical state ‘ex officio et pro bono Ecclesiae’” of Father Cristián Precht Bañados.

Precht, who rose to fame in Chile for his defense of human rights during the government of dictator Augusto Pinochet, had already been suspended from ministry from 2012-2017 after the CDF found him guilty of abusing both minors and adults.

The former priest had played a key role during the visit of St. John Paul II to Chile in 1987, serving as the vice-president of the local organizing committee and also as head of liturgies.

Vaticano sanciona con expulsión del estado clerical a Cristián Precht

Vatican sanctions Cristián Precht with expulsion from the clerical state

SANTIAGO
24Horas.cl Tvn

September 15, 2018

La determinación fue confirmada por el Papa Francisco y comunicada por la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe.

Este sábado el Arzobispado de Santiago informó que el Papa Francisco sancionó con dimisión inapelable del sacerdocio al exvicario Cristián Precht.

A través de un comunicado, el Arzobispado de Santiago confirmó que "el Santo Padre Francisco ha decretado, de forma inapelable: La dimisión del estado clerical 'ex officio et pro bono Ecclesiae' y la dispensa de todas las obligaciones unidas a la sagrada ordenación, del Rev. Cristián Precht Bañados. El mismo decreto establece que el obispo comunique a la brevedad la nueva situación canónica del afectado al pueblo de Dios".

De esta manera, Precht, quien recurrió a la justicia con recursos de amparo y protección, dejará de ser sacerdote.

Papa Francisco decreta expulsión del sacerdote Cristián Precht

Pope Francis decrees expulsion of priest Cristián Precht

SANTIAGO
Emol / Agencias

September 15, 2018

By Camila Gálvez

El Arzobispado de Santiago informó que el prefecto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, cardenal Luis F. Ladaria, S.J. les notificó este sábado su decisión.

A través de un comunicado el Arzobispado de Santiago dio a conocer que el prefecto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, cardenal Luis F. Ladaria, S.J., los notificó este sábado de la decisión del Papa Francisco de decretar la expulsión del sacerdote Cristián Precht.

"La dimisión del estado clerical 'ex officio et pro bono Ecclesiae' y la dispensa de todas las obligaciones unidas a la sagrada ordenación, del Rev. Cristián Precht Bañados. El mismo decreto establece que el obispo comunique a la brevedad la nueva situación canónica del afectado al pueblo de Dios", informaron.

El religioso es indagado por denuncias de abusos sexuales a menores en el marco del caso Maristas.

Über die Täter

About the perpetrators

GERMANY
Frankfurter Allgemeine

September 24, 2018

By Lydia Rosenfelder

Am Dienstag stellen die deutschen Bischöfe eine Studie über Kindesmissbrauch vor. Nur ein Viertel der Fälle wird beleuchtet – doch schon das hat es in sich.

Am Dienstag wird die Studie über sexuellen Kindesmissbrauch in der katholischen Kirche vorgestellt. Sie liefert wichtige Erkenntnisse. Zum Beispiel erklärt sie, welches Verhältnis zwischen Tätern und Opfern besonders riskant ist. Etwa dieses: Ein Junge, gerade in der Pubertät, wird von seinen Eltern auf ein katholisches Internat geschickt. Er wird nicht gefragt, er muss sich fügen. Im Internat hat er Heimweh. Ein Erzieher nimmt sich seiner an. Der Erzieher ist selbst einsam und zudem noch unreif. Er wird zudringlicher, der Schüler zieht sich zurück, spürt etwas „Fremdes“ im Verhalten des Mannes. Doch ihm fehlt der Mut, das auszusprechen. Der Erzieher fühlt sich nur noch stärker zu ihm hingezogen, immer wieder bedrängt und nötigt er den Jungen sexuell. Rückblickend schildert der Mann das als Ausdruck eines unkontrollierbaren Impulses. Das Verhältnis schlägt in Gewalt um. Die Autoren der Studie schreiben: Der Erzieher sei in dieser Beziehung, auch für ihn selbst überraschend, mit der ganzen Intensität seiner Gefühlswelt, Erotik und Sexualität konfrontiert worden. Damit er weitermachen kann, setzt er den Jungen unter Druck. Macht ihm Versprechungen, droht Strafen an. Der Junge wird schließlich so stark von ihm misshandelt, dass die Internatsleitung darauf aufmerksam wird. Der Erzieher wird versetzt.

Ein tiefer Blick in die dunkle Vergangenheit

A deep look into the dark past

GERMANY
Frankfurter Allgemeine

September 25, 2018

By Daniel Deckers

Die Ergebnisse eines Forschungsprojekts über den Missbrauch innerhalb der katholischen Kirche erschüttern selbst die erfahrensten Wissenschaftler. Die Reaktion der Kirche: Sie will sich bessern – wieder einmal.

Sie waren alle drei Messdiener. In der „MHG-Studie“, wie der Projektbericht „Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“ kurzgefasst heißt, kommen sie vor. Nicht namentlich, denn in der Studie gibt es weder Namen noch Orte. Auch keine Täter, nicht einmal Opfer. Die Rede ist von Betroffenen, wie den drei Kindern, und Beschuldigten, wie ihrem Peiniger.

Ihm, einem katholischen Priester, hat man seine Untaten nachweisen können. Sie wurden sogar dokumentiert. Das war nicht immer so. Manch andere Täter tauchen in den Akten oder in Berichten von Betroffenen nur als Beschuldigte auf. Was wirklich vorgefallen ist, wird man nie erfahren. Viele sind längst verstorben, andere lassen sich nicht mehr identifizieren. Personalakten oder andere Dokumente seien in unbekannter Zahl „vernichtet oder manipuliert worden“, stellen die Wissenschaftler der Universitäten Mannheim, Heidelberg und Gießen (daher das Akronym MHG) um den Forschungskoordinator Harald Dreßing fest. Und wenn man ihrer doch habhaft werden konnte, dann erwiesen sie sich als „ausgesprochen heterogen und ohne einheitliche Standards“. Nicht-Wissen-Wollen als System? Dreßing, der als forensischer Psychiater in mehr als dreißig Jahren vieles gesehen und erlebt hat, zeigte sich am Dienstag in einer persönlichen Bemerkung ob des Ausmaßes von sexueller Gewalt in der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland und dem Umgang damit „erschüttert“.

Sexueller Missbrauch

Sexual abuse

GERMANY
Deutschen Bischofskonferenz

September 25, 2018

Seit Ende Januar 2010 wird durch die bekannt gewordenen Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin eine öffentliche Debatte zu diesem Thema geführt. Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann (Trier) ist Beauftragter der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz für Fragen des sexuellen Missbrauchs im kirchlichen Bereich und für Fragen des Kinder- und Jugendschutzes. Lesen Sie auf dieser Themenseite mehr zu den relevanten Aspekten.

Forscher setzen Kirche im Missbrauchsskandal unter Druck

Researchers press church in the abuse scandal

GERMANY
Radio Bamberg

September 25, 2018

Fulda (dpa) – Eine erschütternde Studie über jahrzehntelangen sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen bringt die katholische Kirche in Deutschland unter Reformdruck.

Die in Fulda vorgestellte Untersuchung zeigt nicht nur die erheblichen Verfehlungen katholischer Kleriker in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten auf, sondern benennt auch problematische Strukturen, die Missbrauchsfälle auch heute begünstigen könnten. Der Leiter der Studie, Harald Dreßing, betonte, die Missbrauchsthematik sei daher keineswegs überwunden. «Das Risiko besteht fort», sagte er.

Die Studie ergab unter anderem, dass zwischen 1946 und 2014 mindestens 1670 katholische Kleriker 3677 meist männliche Minderjährige missbraucht haben sollen.

MHG-Studie: Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch Kleriker

MHG study: Sexual abuse of minors by clerics

GERMANY
ZI

September 24, 2018

By Harald Dreßing

Ziel des Forschungsprojektes war es, die Häufigkeit des sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch Kleriker im Verantwortungsbereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zu ermitteln. Darüber hinaus wurden die Formen des Missbrauchs beschrieben und kirchliche Strukturen und Dynamiken identifiziert, die Missbrauchsgeschehen begünstigen können.

Mit einem interdisziplinären wissenschaftlichen Ansatz, der kriminologische, psychologische, soziologische, psychiatrische und forensisch-psychiatrische Kompetenz einbezieht, haben die Forscher von 2014 bis 2018 im Auftrag der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz den Missbrauch in einem Umfang untersucht, der in keiner der bisher publizierten nationalen und internationalen Studien zu dieser Thematik in dieser Breite zu finden ist. Alle 27 Diözesen Deutschlands hatten sich vertraglich verpflichtet, am Forschungsprojekt teilzunehmen.

Neben Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern des Zentralinstituts für Seelische Gesundheit waren auch Forscher des Instituts für Kriminologie sowie des Instituts für Gerontologie der Universität Heidelberg und des Bereichs Kriminologie, Jugendstrafrecht und Strafvollzug der Universität Gießen beteiligt (MHG-Studie steht für Mannheim, Heidelberg, Gießen). Prof. Dr. Harald Dreßing, Leiter Forensische Psychiatrie am ZI, koordinierte das Forschungskonsortium. Das gesamte Projekt gliederte sich in sieben Teilprojekte (TP1 bis TP7):

Leitender Forscher beklagt mangelnden Aufklärungswillen in Kirche

Leading researcher laments lack of education in church

GERMANY
Epoch Times

September 25, 2018

Der Wissenschaftler Harald Dreßing beklagt einen mangelnden Aufklärungswillen in weiten Teilen der Kirche. Die Missbrauchsthematik sei keineswegs überwunden und das Risiko bestehe weiter fort.

Der Wissenschaftler Harald Dreßing, der das Studienprojekt über Missbrauch in der deutschen katholischen Kirche geleitet hat, beklagt einen mangelnden Aufklärungswillen in weiten Teilen der Institution. Das Ausmaß des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern und Jugendlichen als auch „der Umgang der Verantwortlichen damit“ hätten die Forscher „erschüttert“, sagte Dreßing am Dienstag in Fulda bei der Vorstellung der Untersuchung.

Er betonte, die Missbrauchsthematik sei keineswegs überwunden. „Das Risiko besteht fort“, sagte der forensische Psychiater, der am Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit in Mannheim arbeitet. „Unsere Studienergebnisse legen nahe, dass es in der katholischen Kirche Strukturen gab und gibt, die den sexuellen Missbrauch begünstigen können“, sagte er. Gründe dafür seien beispielsweise der Missbrauch klerikaler Macht, die Verpflichtung der Priester zur Ehelosigkeit (Zölibat) sowie ein innerkirchlich „problematischer Umgang“ mit dem Thema Sexualität, vor allem mit der Homosexualität.

Pope removes notorious Chilean abuser from the priesthood

ROME
Crux

September 28, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Seven years after Fernando Karadima was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a life of penitence and prayer, Pope Francis has made the “exceptional” decision to remove him from the priesthood.

A Vatican statement released on Friday said the decision was made “in conscience and for the good of the Church.”

The now former priest had been found guilty of abuse by the Vatican in 2011, and had been sentenced to a life of penitence and prayer.

Karadima was never sentenced by Chilean courts due to the country’s statute of limitations.

To this day, it’s unknown how many people were sexually abused by Karadima. Presumably, the number of people who were psychologically abused, victims of his abuse of power, or who had their consciences manipulated by the priest, is even larger.

In the 1980s and 1990s Karadima led a one-time impressive lay movement from his parish in El Bosque, Chile, with some 40 young men finding their vocation to the priesthood there. Four of these men, who formed his “iron circle,” were later made bishops.

Accuser blasts pope silence, 'slander' over cover-up claims

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

September 28, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The former Vatican ambassador who accused three popes and their advisers of covering up for a disgraced American ex-cardinal has challenged the Vatican to say what it knows about the scandal and accused Pope Francis of mounting a campaign of "subtle slander" against him.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano penned a new missive a month after his initial 11-page document sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church. It was uploaded to a document-sharing site late Thursday.

Vigano denounced the official Vatican silence about his claims and urged the current head of the Vatican bishops' office to speak out, saying he has all the documentation needed to prove years of cover-up by the Vatican about alleged sexual misconduct by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

"How can one avoid concluding that the reason they do not provide the documentation is that they know it confirms my testimony?" Vigano wrote. "The pope's unwillingness to respond to my charges and his deafness to the appeals by the faithful for accountability are hardly consistent with his calls for transparency and bridge building."

Bishops’ Victim Compensation Plan Ignores Greater Good

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics 4 Change

September 27, 2018

By Susan Matthews

Last week, Pennsylvania bishops issued a joint statement outlining a myopic and self-serving plan for compensating past victims of clergy child sex abuse.

Read the statement here.

In a PhillyCatholic.com editorial on the statement, Archbishop Chaput seemingly boasts about how the archdiocesan victim’s assistance program “has quietly served hundreds of abuse victims and their families for more than 15 years and underwritten their therapy and care in an amount totaling more than $18 million.”

Protecting children, vulnerable adults: Diocese outlines policies and procedures dealing with abuse by clergy

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Catholic Messenger

September 2018

By Barb Arland-Fye

Catholics in the Diocese of Davenport and around the country want to know what they can do to prevent clergy sexual abuse and its cover up from ever happening again. Their outrage and call for action comes after news broke this summer about some bishops’ culpability in covering up clergy sexual abuse committed decades ago.

What they may not know is that the Davenport Diocese’s rigorous policies and procedures to protect children and vulnerable adults from clergy sexual abuse appear to be having a positive effect. Bishops, priests and deacons are members of the clergy.

In 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People which was implemented in dioceses across the country, including the Davenport Diocese. Allegations of abuse of minors or vulnerable adults have been reported in the Davenport Diocese since then, but none allege abuse that occurred post-2002, said diocesan Chief of Staff Deacon David Montgomery.

“The Dallas Charter is working,” writes Stephen J. Rossetti in America magazine (Sept. 20). “Abuse rates in the Catholic Church have fallen dramatically,” added Rossetti, who assisted the U.S. bishops’ committee on the drafting of the charter.

Deacon Montgomery provided statistics of allegations the diocese has received over the past five years. All of the allegations relate to abuse reported to have occurred more than 20 years ago:

Statement on Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s Residence

WASHINGTON (DC)
Archdiocese of Washington

September 28, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In late July 2018, our Holy Father Pope Francis requested that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick withdraw from all public ministry and events. To that end, Archbishop McCarrick now resides at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas in the Diocese of Salina, with the permission of the Provincial Superior of the Franciscan Capuchin Community responsible for the Friary, Fr. Christopher Popravak, O.F.M.Cap., and the Bishop of Salina, Most Reverend Gerald Vincke.

Out of consideration for the peace of the community at St. Fidelis Friary, respect for the privacy of this arrangement is requested.

Why a victim of sexual abuse by a Broome priest gave his compensation back to the church

BINGHAMTON (NY)
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

September 28, 2018

By Maggie Gilroy

When he was a child, a Broome County priest sexually abused him.

About 30 years later, the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse offered him money in compensation for the trauma he endured.

How the victim chose to spend it is a testament to the process of healing.

Now an adult no longer living in the area, the man is using the money to aid two Broome County food pantries and to purchase masses to be said for the victims of clerical sex abuse — as well as for their abusers.

He hopes the donation will demonstrate forgiveness and bring healing at a time when major bombshells — such as the Pennsylvania grand jury report of abuse by over 300 priests and allegations against former archbishop of Washington, D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — have triggered hurt and rage against the Catholic church.

"I didn’t feel that I needed to heal. But a lot of other people do," the victim said. "And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. There is a tremendous amount of hurt and anger and sorrow and suffering out there, which is all entirely valid and lamentable, and I hope bit by bit can be mitigated and maybe even brought to a sense of peace and comfort somehow.”

‘Wave’ of local victims may come forward

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
The Marietta Times

September 28, 2018

By Michael Kelly

Diocese of Steubenville will publish names of abusers in October

The Diocese of Steubenville, which includes several parishes in Washington County, announced Wednesday it will publish the names of priests in the diocese against whom credible allegations of sex abuse have been made and who have been removed from active ministry.

Diocese Communications director Dino Orsatti said Wednesday the list, which is expected to include between 12 and 20 names, will appear on the diocese website around the end of October.

Both Orsatti and an advocate for victims expect that publication of the names is likely to bring a wave of victims forward, as has happened in other locations where the names of accused priests have been made public.

Judy Block Jones, Midwest regional leader for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), said Wednesday the Diocese of Steubenville announcement is “a welcome step” but further measures are needed.

Jones, who now lives in the St. Louis area but grew up in southeast Ohio, said she has heard from several people who have stories of abuse in Washington, Belmont and Noble counties but have not come forward publicly with accusations.

“It’s very quiet in that area, but I know about these things personally because the victims have contacted me directly,” she said. “These are small parishes, they’re afraid to come forward, and a lot of times they blame themselves even though they were just kids.”

Galveston-Houston Archdiocese housing former Conroe priest accused of sex abuse at retirement community

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

September 28, 2018

By Nicole Hensley

A former Conroe priest facing decades-old child molestation accusations has been staying at a gated retirement community in southwest Houston while out on bail, according to officials.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has been housing Manuel Larosa-Lopez at the St. Dominic Village along Holcombe Boulevard after he was released on a $375,000 bond two weeks ago, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office confirmed. The property is fenced off save for a guarded driveway.

The diocese touts the village, which includes a senior home and about a dozen apartments for retired priests south of the Brays Bayou, as providing “all the comforts of home” on its website.

Pennsylvania AG Shapiro: New information has surfaced since Catholic sex abuse report

HARRISBURG (PA)
Trib Live

September 27, 2018

By Deb Erdley

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro had no idea the flood gate he was opening last month, when he went public with a grand jury report on Catholic clergy sexual abuse.

The clergy sexual abuse hotline in the attorney general’s office has been ringing day and night for six weeks, tallying 1,181 new calls as of Thursday, he said.

“As a result of the heroism of the survivors (who testified before the grand jury), more and more survivors are finding voices,” Shapiro said.

He declined to discuss specifics about the deluge of new complaints.

“There has been a lot of useful information, helpful information and information we are working through right now,” he said. “And there has been information about matters we were not aware of.”

Shapiro said he also has fielded calls from attorneys general in 40 other states seeking to launch their own investigations. Within 10 days of the release of the Pennsylvania report, attorneys general in Missouri and Illinois launched investigations. Last week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette did the same.

Likewise, the U.S. Justice Department has reached out to Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor.

Toward a fair and reasonable way forward

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic Philly

September 25, 2018

By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

To the people of the Archdiocese:

Dear friends,

On Friday, September 21, the bishops of Pennsylvania issued a joint statement pledging substantial new financial aid for victims of clergy sexual abuse in decades past. I want to underline our commitment to helping abuse survivors, whether their claims are time-barred or not.

Perennial critics of the Church may dismiss the bishops’ statement; this is a regrettable part of today’s ugly political environment. But our local Church has proven the sincerity and scope of her commitment since I arrived here as Archbishop seven years ago. In fact, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Victims’ Assistance Program has quietly served hundreds of abuse victims and their families for more than 15 years and underwritten their therapy and care in an amount totaling more than $18 million.

Pope defrocks priest at center of Chilean sexual abuse scandal: Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

September 28, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis has defrocked Father Fernando Karadima, the 88-year-old priest at the center of the vast sexual abuse scandal in Chile, the Vatican said on Friday.

Chilean priest Fernando Karadima is seen inside the Supreme Court building in Santiago, Chile, November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Vera
Karadima was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing teenage boys over many years. He was ordered to live a life of prayer and penitence, but he was not defrocked.

Seven Chilean bishops have resigned since June following an investigation into an alleged cover-up of Karadima’s actions.

Karadima, who has always denied wrongdoing, escaped civilian justice because of the statute of limitations in the country.

Pope defrocks Chilean priest at center of abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

September 28, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis has defrocked the Chilean priest at the center of the global sex abuse scandal rocking his papacy, invoking his "supreme" authority to stiffen a sentence originally handed down by a Vatican court in 2011.

In a statement Friday, the Vatican said Francis had laicized the 88-year-old Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was originally sanctioned to live a lifetime of "penance and prayer" for having sexually abused minors in the upscale Santiago parish he ran.

The "penance and prayer" sanction has been the Vatican's punishment of choice for elderly priests convicted of raping and molesting children. It has long been criticized by victims as too soft and essentially an all-expenses-paid retirement.

The Vatican didn't say what new evidence, if any, prompted Francis to re-evaluate Karadima's sanction and impose what clergy consider to be the equivalent of a death sentence. It said Francis made the "exceptional decision" for the good of the church, and cited the church canon that lays out the pope's "supreme, full, immediate and universal power" to serve the church.

The statement said the decree, signed Thursday, takes effect immediately and that Karadima was informed of it Friday.

Pope Francis Defrocks Priest Fernando Karadima, A Notorious Abuser In Chile

CHILE
NPR

September 28, 2018

By Bill Chappell

Pope Francis has defrocked Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, making what the Vatican calls an "exceptional" decision based on his own conscience and concern for the good of the Catholic Church. Karadima has been the face of the Church's abuse scandal in Chile.

The move is effective immediately. It was announced in a brief communique from the Vatican's press office, stating that Francis had signed the decree removing Karadima from the priesthood on Thursday, and that Karadima was informed of the pope's decision on Friday.

Karadima, 88, had already been forced to retire from ministerial duties, after a Vatican tribunal found him guilty in 2011 of sexually abusing dozens of minors, in a scandal that erupted in 2010.

In June, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of three bishops over the church's handling of the sexual abuse cases — including Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, who has been accused of covering up Karadima's actions.

Barros was a protégé of Karadima, who was accused of abuse in cases that date back to the 1980s. Both of them have denied the claims against them.

OPINION: With Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, the dam of female rage has burst

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

September 27, 2018

By Elizabeth Renzetti

Women made time Thursday to gather around television sets and laptops to watch Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the U.S. Senate judiciary committee. Judging by the outpouring on social media, some of them were in tears. Some were enraged. Far too many of them understood, in the heart and the brain and the gut, what Prof. Blasey Ford meant when she said, “Brett’s assault on me drastically altered my life.”

Brett is of course Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice for Supreme Court justice, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by two other women in addition to Prof. Blasey Ford. (Justice Kavanaugh denies the allegations.) The consequences of that day, at a drunken impromptu party in suburban Washington more than three decades ago, were evident in Prof. Blasey Ford’s shaking voice. She remembered that Mr. Kavanaugh pushed her into a room and locked the door and got on top of her and tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth with his hand to stifle her screams. She remembered that he and his friend, also in the room, laughed uproariously. It was her most indelible memory, she told the committee: They were “having fun at my expense.”

Prof. Blasey Ford was too ashamed and afraid to tell anyone initially what had happened. Her schoolwork suffered, she testified. She had trouble making friends. The legacy of that day followed her into adulthood: When she renovated her house a few years ago, she insisted that two front doors be installed, a suggestion that at first mystified her husband, but is abundantly clear from the point of view of someone who is always looking for a way of escape.

National Sexual Assault Hotline Spiked 147% During Christine Blasey Ford Hearing

UNITED STATES
TIME

September 27, 2018

By Abigail Abrams

When Christine Blasey Ford testified on Thursday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about her accusation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago, millions of Americans listened to her describe the intimate details of her alleged assault and the trauma she says she has lived with for decades since.

For many of those people, her words and the questions she was asked brought up personal memories. Some shared their experiences on social media, others talked to friends or co-workers and others called into news networks to publicly recall their incidents of assault. It turns out many people also called the National Sexual Assault Hotline looking for help.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a 147 percent increase in calls on Thursday compared with a normal weekday on which sexual assault did not dominate the news, according to RAINN, a large anti-sexual violence organization that administers the hotline.

The organization told TIME it often sees an uptick in survivors asking for help when sexual assault is in the news.

Catholic Diocese of Green Bay: Firm to review clergy files in wake of sexual abuse crisis

GREEN BAY (WI)
Green Bay Press-Gazette

September 27, 2018

By Shelby Le Duc

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, with the help of a third party investigator, is launching an investigation next month into of all of its priests and Deacons.

A Texas-based independent investigative firm will be conducting an "outside review of the files of all priests and deacons who have served in the diocese," according to a Catholic Diocese of Green Bay news release.

"As we work to assure all clergy abuse cases have been identified and objectively reviewed, the diocese has arranged for Defenbaugh & Associates Inc., who specializes in this kind of work, to review files beginning in early October," the release states.

The announcement of the investigation comes a week after news broke that retired Bishop Robert Morneau withdrew from public ministry. He said his exit was prompted by his failure to report a priest's sexual abuse of a minor almost 40 years ago that allowed the priest to assault other youths.

In a letter to the diocese, Morneau admitted to failing to report to police a 1979 incident in which former priest David Boyea sexually abused a child. Boyea then went on to abuse more children, and in 1985 pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was also permanently removed from the priesthood.

Archbishop Vigano issues new letter on Pope Francis and McCarrick

VATICAN CITY
CNA/EWTN News

September 27, 2018

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has issued a new letter addressing his allegation that senior prelates have been complicit in covering up alleged sex abuse by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.

Headed with Archbishop Viganò's episcopal motto, Scio Cui credidi (I know whom I have believed), the letter, dated Sept. 29, was released Sept. 27.

The former apostolic nuncio to the US prefaced his letter giving “thanks and glory to God the Father for every situation and trial that He has prepared and will prepare for me during my life. As a priest and bishop of the holy Church, spouse of Christ, I am called like every baptized person to bear witness to the truth … I intend to do so until the end of my days. Our only Lord has addressed also to me the invitation, “Follow me!”, and I intend to follow him with the help of his grace until the end of my days.”

He noted it has been a month since he released his testimony, “solely for the good of the Church,” alleging that Pope Francis and other high-ranking prelates knew of grave sexual sins committed by Archbishop McCarrick.

He said he chose to disclose the cover-up “after long reflection and prayer, during months of profound suffering and anguish, during a crescendo of continual news of terrible events … The silence of the pastors who could have provided a remedy and prevented new victims became increasingly indefensible, a devastating crime for the Church.”

Jury: Jehovah's Witnesses Must Pay $35M to Abuse Survivor

HELENA (MT)
The Associated Press

September 27, 2018

By Matt Volz

A Montana jury has ruled that the Jehovah's Witnesses organization must pay $35 million to a woman who says the church covered up her sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a congregation member.

The Jehovah's Witnesses must pay $35 million to a woman who says the church's national organization ordered Montana clergy members not to report her sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a congregation member, a jury ruled in a verdict.

A judge must review the penalty, and the Jehovah's Witnesses' national organization — Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York — plans to appeal.

Still, the 21-year-old woman's attorneys say Wednesday's verdict sends a message to the church to report child abuse to outside authorities.

"Hopefully that message is loud enough that this will cause the organization to change its priorities in a way that they will begin prioritizing the safety of children so that other children aren't abused in the future," attorney Neil Smith said Thursday.

The Office of Public Information at the World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses responded to the verdict with an unsigned statement.

"Jehovah's Witnesses abhor child abuse and strive to protect children from such acts. Watchtower is pursuing appellate review," it said.

Opus Dei Sex Abuse Case: An exclusive interview

SPAIN
AKA Catholic

September 24, 2018

By Randy Engel

AN INTERVIEW WITH MR. JUAN CUATRECASAS ON THE GAZTELUETA SEX ABUSE CASE
[Note: The following interview with Mr. Juan Cuatrecasas Asua is a follow-up to the detailed investigative report of the Gaztelueta sex abuse case by this writer that originally appeared as a two-part series, “The Gaztelueta Sex Abuse Case – Opus Dei On Trial,” on AKA Catholic HERE and HERE. The reader may want to refer to that report before reading this interview with Mr. Cuatrecasas, the victim’s father. The Gaztelueta case is expected to go to trial on October 4 to October 11, 2018, at the Audiencia provincial de Vizcaya (Bizcaia) in Basque, Spain. – R.E.]

Randy Engel: Thank you, Mr. Cuatrecasas, for agreeing to this interview. I am grateful that you write and speak English so well. Is this your first American interview on the Gaztelueta case?

Bar Association asks judiciary committee to delay Kavanaugh vote: media

UNITED STATES
Reuters

September 28, 2018

The American Bar Association has called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to delay the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh so that the FBI can investigate the sexual assault accusations against him, the Washington Post reported.

Association President Robert Carlson requested the delay in a letter sent to the committee on Thursday evening, the Post reported, after a day of testimony by university professor Christine Blasey Ford who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago, and by Kavanaugh who denied it.

“The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI,” Carlson wrote to Chairman Charles Grassley and ranking committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein that, the Post reported.

Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge chosen by President Donald Trump, said he was the victim of “grotesque and obvious character assassination” orchestrated by Senate Democrats.

BREAKING: Viganò releases new ‘testimony’ responding to Pope’s silence on McCarrick cover-up

ROME
LifeSiteNews

September 27, 2018

By Diane Montagna

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has today issued a new extraordinary testimony, responding to Pope Francis’ refusal to answer the charge that he knew of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse, yet made McCarrick “one of his principal agents in governing the Church.”

In the four-page document (see below), the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States also responds to the Pope’s recent homilies which seem to cast himself in the role of Christ and Viganò as the diabolical “Great Accuser.”

“Has Christ perhaps become invisible to his vicar? Perhaps is he being tempted to try to act as a substitute of our only Master and Lord?” Archbishop Viganò asks in the new statement, sent to LifeSiteNews today.

Given the symbolic date of September 29, the liturgical feast of St. Michael the Archangel, and bearing the Archbishop’s episcopal coat of arms and motto, Viganò:

Cardinal DiNardo, at center of clergy abuse crisis, accused of mishandling cases in Iowa and Texas

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

September 27, 2018

By Lee Rood

A U.S. cardinal at the center of the Vatican’s response to the sex abuse crisis besetting the Catholic church is being accused this month by clergy abuse survivors of mishandling cases in Iowa and Texas.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, led a delegation of Catholic leaders this month to meet with Pope Francis about the crisis.

In public remarks, DiNardo blamed the "moral catastrophe" on "the failure of episcopal leadership."

"The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone," DiNardo wrote.

But one Iowa abuse survivor told Reader's Watchdog that DiNardo is guilty of the same leadership failures.

September 27, 2018

For Native American Clergy Sex Abuse Survivors, Justice is Elusive

WASHINGTON (DC)
VOA News

September 27, 2018

By Cecily Hilleary

Elsie Boudreau was 10 years old that afternoon in 1978 when Father James Poole called her and two playmates into the office of a small radio station he had founded in Nome, Alaska.

"He had us line up against the wall and began asking us questions," said Boudreau, who grew up in St. Mary’s, a tiny Yup’ik village in northwest Alaska where Poole had earlier served as pastor. "Then, he told the two other girls that they could leave, but that I should stay. He said it was because I was so much more mature than the other girls."

The abuse began with hours of French kissing and later escalated, lasting nine years.

"I have a memory of him being on top of me in a super high bed," Boudreau said. "I must have had an out-of-body experience, because when I look back, I’m actually hiding behind a door, peeking out, seeing myself in bed with him, a little girl with long hair in braids."

Lawsuit Accuses Diocese of Lafayette of Covering Up Clergy Sex Abuse

CARMEL (IN)
WIBC

September 27, 2018

By Kurt Darling

An anonymous man accuses a Mt. Carmel parish priest of molesting when he was a child in 1982.

More sexual abuse claims against Catholic priests in Indiana, this time within the Diocese of Lafayette.

An anonymous man, who was a child of the St. Ann's parish in Montery, Indiana says he was abused by a Father James Grear during a Catholic youth rally at Mt. Carmel parish in Hamilton County in 1982.

A lawsuit says when the man, identified as John Doe, returned St. Ann's the following week he went to confession. The suit said then Bishop of Lafayette Raymond Gallagher was the one hearing confessions that day.

María Paz Lagos, presidenta de Voces Católicas: “El Papa me pidió que rezara para que él encuentre al nuevo Arzobispo de Santiago”

[María Paz Lagos, President of Catholic Voices: "The Pope asked me to pray so that he can find the new Archbishop of Santiago"]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 26, 2018

"El Santo Padre que viene llegando de su viaje de Estonia, se veía cansado. Hay que rezar por él", añadió.

Durante esta jornada, María Paz Lagos, presidenta de Voces Católicas, contó detalles de su encuentro con el Papa Francisco, en Roma. En la oportunidad, la representante del grupo laico le pidió al Pontífice que acelere el nombramiento del nuevo Arzobispo de Santiago. Según su testimonio, Francisco le contestó: “Mijita no he encontrado a la Persona. Por favor rece para que la encuentre”.

EDITORIALS: Josh Hawley needs full authority to investigate the Catholic Church in Missouri

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

September 27, 2018

The Kansas City Editorial Board

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has promised a thorough investigation of sexual abuse allegations lodged against priests and clergy in the Catholic Church.

Missourians should expect such an investigation, comparable to the recent investigation in Pennsylvania that exposed decades of abuse and maltreatment by priests.

If Hawley needs the power to subpoena church records, he should seek it — and get it.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held a news conference Wednesday imploring Gov. Mike Parson to provide Hawley with such authority. The group thinks a full investigation should not rely on the voluntary cooperation of the institutions being investigated.

Postergan revisión de apelación de víctimas de Karadima por rechazada demanda contra la iglesia

[Review of Karadima victims' appeal is postponed]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 27, 2018

By Felipe Delgado and Nicole Martínez

Durante la próxima semana se podría resolver la apelación presentada por tres víctimas de Fernando Karadima al rechazo de una demanda civil contra el Arzobispado de Santiago, luego que se suspendiera su revisión programada para hoy. El médico James Hamilton, el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz y el presidente de la Fundación para la Confianza, José Andrés Murillo, interpusieron el recurso civil para buscar una reparación de $450 millones por el encubrimiento que el ente religioso habría realizado de los abusos cometidos por el otrora párroco de El Bosque.

Renunciado obispo de Chillán: "Me reservo el derecho a denunciar a los que me han denunciado"

[Ex-bishop of Chillán: "I reserve the right to denounce those who have denounced me"]

CHILE
TV13

September 21, 2018

Luego de reunirse con el clero de la diócesis de Chillán, el renunciado obispo Carlos Pellegrín, pidió "perdón por las veces en que no estuve a la altura de lo que requiere mi responsabilidad como pastor".

El renunciado obispo de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín, aseguró este viernes que se reserva "el derecho a denunciar a los que me han denunciado", refiriéndose así directamente a la denuncia que pesa en su contra y cuya investigación encabeza el fiscal regional de O'Higgins, Emiliano Arias.

James Hamilton tras suspensión de alegatos: "El Poder Judicial nos tiene que demostrar su independencia de la Iglesia

[James Hamilton after suspension of allegations: "The Judiciary has to show us its independence from the Church"]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 27, 2018

By Tamara Cerna

"Hoy debía verse la apelación a la rechazada demanda civil de las víctimas de Karadima contra el arzobispado. Además, se refirió al porqué el ex párroco no fue expulsado del sacerdocio.

Para esta mañana estaban programados los alegatos de la apelación de la demanda civil que llevan adelante contra el Arzobispado de Santiago las víctimas del ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima, y que fue rechazada en primera instancia hace más de un año y medio. Sin embargo, fueron suspendidos. Ante esto, el abogado de los denunciantes, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, aseguró: "Fue una decepción toda esta demora, esta causa debió haberse visto hace muchos meses, aún no entendemos por qué se demora tanto (...) Estamos preparados para enfrentar este tema desde hace mucho tiempo y esperamos que el Estado chileno pueda resolverlo y zanjarlo de una vez por todas".

Iglesia de Santiago: laica encabeza la nueva entidad para abordar abusos

[Church of Santiago: Lay person heads the new entity to address abuses]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 26, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez G.

La abogada Andrea Idalsoaga estará a cargo de “Delegación Episcopal para la Verdad y la Paz”. Instancia coordinará el trabajo de la Oficina de Denuncias y la promoción de ambientes sanos.

“Enfrentar el daño producido por los abusos causados por miembros de la Iglesia en la arquidiócesis, responder a las necesidades actuales y construir caminos para restablecer la confianza”. Esos son, en lo básico, los objetivos de la nueva estructura que creó el Arzobispado de Santiago para enfrentar el tema de los abusos sexuales por parte del clero, y que hoy informó a la comunidad a través de un comunicado.

Delegación Episcopal para la Verdad y la Paz, la nueva unidad del arzobispado para denuncias de abusos

[Episcopal Delegation for Truth and Peace, the new unit for abuse accusations]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 26, 2018

By Juan Peña

La instancia será coordinada por la abogada Andrea Idalsoaga, la primera laica que encabeza las tareas vinculadas a este tema y a la formación en prevención.

Delegación Episcopal para la Verdad y la Paz. Así se llama la nueva estructura que creó el Arzobispado de Santiago para coordinar las denuncias de abusos cometidas por miembros de la Iglesia en la arquidiócesis. La instancia tendrá a su cargo las labores que llevan a cabo la Oficina Pastoral de Denuncias (Opade) y el Departamento de Prevención de Abusos que ahora se denominará Departamento de Promoción de Ambientes Sanos.

The disunited states

UNITED STATES
The Tablet

September 26, 2018

By Massimo Faggioli

The American Church divided

The story of the Catholic Church in the United States of America is a success story. A small community of poor migrants and missionaries, barely tolerated and often unable to worship freely in a new nation founded by religious dissenters fleeing from European Christendom, grew to become its single largest religious denomination.

Letter to Missouri Governor Parson

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
SNAP Network

September 27, 2018

Governor Parson
State of Missouri

Dear Governor Parson,

As you know, our Attorney General Josh Hawley is looking into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Missouri Catholic Church. He maintains he can only ask for the voluntary cooperation of the same Church officials who have hidden those crimes for decades.

However, according to Mr. Hawley, you can change this. You can order him to obtain full criminal jurisdiction and use this power to conduct a genuine, thorough inquiry that will expose wrongdoers and protect kids. We beg you to do this immediately.

Why should you do this?

Christian school teacher accused of having relationship with 15-year-old student

LISBON (ME)
NEWS CENTER Maine

September 26, 2018

By Beth McEvoy and Chris Costa

Derek Michael Boyce was a teacher at Pine Tree Academy in Freeport. Police said they are investigating his relationship with a 15-year-old female student from the school.

A 37-year-old teacher is behind bars for allegedly having a relationship with a 15-year-old student.

Police arrested Derek Michael Boyce on September 21, and charged him with one count of gross sexual assault. Boyce was a teacher at Pine Tree Academy in Freeport which is a Seventh-day Adventist school for grades K–12.

Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan said they believe that Boyce and the student had an ongoing relationship.

”It was more than one incident. It appears to be an ongoing situation," said Chief Hagan.

According to court documents obtained by the Sun Journal, Boyce told police his relationship with the girl began after she sustained a sports injury and had been depressed. He said they messaged each other over social media. He told police the relationship started in May, and turned sexual in July. He said they met in a park and performed oral sex on each other. Boyce told police they had sexual intercourse twice.

Boyce told police the sexual contact was always consensual and that no drugs nor alcohol were involved.

Fr. Joe Gatto, president of Buffalo Diocese seminary, faces sexual misconduct allegation

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

September 27, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Confirmed he is taking "leave of absence"

The Rev. Joseph C. Gatto, who runs the seminary for the Diocese of Buffalo, has stepped away from his position as he faces an allegation of sexual misconduct.

Gatto confirmed Thursday morning to I-Team Chief Investigator Charlie Specht that he is taking a “leave of absence” from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, which prepares men for the priesthood in the Buffalo Diocese.

“The pressures of the job, all the things that I’ve been doing -- it’s just a temporary thing,” he said in a brief phone interview with 7 Eyewitness News. “I’ve had so many responsibilities. I’m just burned out. I’m just taking some time.”

But 7 Eyewitness News has obtained a copy of a complaint filed Wednesday with the Diocese of Buffalo, in which a local man alleges that in 2000, he went to Gatto for spiritual advice and counseling and the high-profile priest “quickly befriended me, and shortly thereafter made unwanted sexual advances toward me.”

The man said he was in his 20s when the encounter happened, and in the complaint, he added, “On one occasion he [Gatto] grabbed my knee in a suggestive manner, and invited me to a ‘cabin’ for a weekend with him alone. I declined, and ended any further communication.”

Gatto said the diocese had not contacted him about the complaint and denied his leave of absence had anything to do with allegations of sexual misconduct.

SNAP Wants Governor to order Hawley to Question Catholic Church Officials Under Oath

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Missourinet

September 27, 2018

An organization that provides support for victims of clergy abuse called on Missouri’s governor on Wednesday to order Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) to use subpoenas during his clergy sex abuse investigation.


St. Louis volunteer SNAP director David Clohessy prepares for a news conference on September 26, 2018 in Jefferson City (Brian Hauswirth photo)

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which is known as SNAP, held a Wednesday news conference outside the Statehouse in Jefferson City.

St. Louis volunteer SNAP director David Clohessy says Governor Mike Parson understands the difference between a real investigation and an inadequate investigation.

“And we’re asking him to essentially order the attorney general to do this probe of Catholic dioceses in Missouri on child sex crimes and cover-up and to do it right,” Clohessy says.

SNAP wants Hawley to question Missouri Catholic church officials under oath.

Governor Parson’s spokeswoman, Kelli Jones, issued a statement to Missourinet, after the press conference.

Unprecedented Kavanaugh hearing a show of bad faith

NEW ZEALAND
Newsroom

September 27, 2018

By Phil Quin

If you're one of millions tuning into tomorrow's high stakes hearing on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, don't be fooled into thinking what you witness is remotely typical of such deliberations. The process by which the 22 members of the Senate Judiciary committee plan to hear evidence from Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is anything but normal.

The Republican majority, terrified of how the sight of 11 elderly white men grilling the victim of an alleged sexual assault will play among crucial women voters in November, has rewritten the rulebook in unprecedented ways. To avoid such a damming spectacle, committee chairman Chuck Grassley, an octogenarian from Iowa, conscripted a female prosecutor to probe the witnesses on behalf of the frail, stale, pale males on the GOP side. What's more, he unilaterally slashed questioning time to just one round of five minutes each for Democrats on the committee, no doubt fearful of the damage experienced prosecutors like Kamala Harris of California and Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar are likely to inflict on the besieged nominee.

Acceding to Ford’s request, Grassley also limited media presence at the hearing room and authorised only a single camera to broadcast proceedings. Overall, when you consider the Committee's refusal to call witnesses who may corroborate or otherwise the events Ford describes, along with the White House's refusal to instruct the FBI to conduct a separate investigation into the claims (as is normal practice), it’s clear Republicans much prefer damage control to due process.

Joliet Priest Facing Sex Abuse Allegations Moves Into Hotel Near Catholic Charities Office

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS

September 27, 2018

By Brad Edwards

Father James Nowak has faced a multitude of accusations of child sex abuse. In fact, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet paid out millions of dollars to eight men who claimed Nowak abused them.

When CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards started looking into why Nowak was being housed next to a school, he moved, and moved again.

You won’t believe where Edwards found him now; at an Extended Stay America motel next to the Joliet Catholic Charities offices.

Second Ohio Diocese Plans to Release List of Abusive Priests, Cleveland Remains Quiet

CLEVELAND (OH)
Cleveland Scene

September 26, 2018

By BJ Colangelo

According to reports from The Associated Press, a second Ohio Roman Catholic Diocese is planning to release a list of priests who have been removed from parishes due to allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct over the years. The list is due out sometime before the end of October.

The Ohio diocese in question is located in Steubenville, the smallest diocese in the state, with only 34,000 members. Its list will contain names and crimes of priests, possibly dating as far back as 1944. A spokesperson told the AP they expect 12 to 20 names to appear on the list.

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton wants the list to be as transparent and accountable as possible. As Orsatti said to the Associated Press, "[Monforton] would welcome any investigation like the one in Pennsylvania." This list release follows suit with the diocese in Youngstown, that announced earlier this month it'd also be releasing a comprehensive report. The Youngstown diocese broke off from the Cleveland diocese in 1943.

The 2002 approval of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops implemented a zero-tolerance policy for crimes against children in response to The Boston Globe's devastating reveal of decades of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of priests.

Religious women push lawmakers to investigate Kavanaugh, suspend confirmation

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

September 26, 2018

By Jack Jenkins

Groups of religious women are speaking out about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing their faith as they call on lawmakers to investigate allegations of sexual assault raised by Christine Blasey Ford and others.

“I understand that when he testifies, Judge Kavanaugh is going to cite his Catholic faith as a shield to claim these attacks never happened. Being a Catholic does not change the accounts provided by Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick,” Sister Simone Campbell, head of the Catholic social justice lobby group Network, said in a statement referencing Kavanaugh’s accusers. “I know all too painfully that being a person of faith does not stop men from being sexual predators.”

Network has been critical of Kavanaugh’s nomination for weeks, and the group’s latest statement calls on senators to launch a full investigation into the allegations against him. Network representatives are also slated to speak at a protest tentatively scheduled for Friday, the day the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination. The protest is organized in part by the National Council of Jewish Women.

The Catholic school-educated U.S. Circuit judge is expected to deny the allegations and highlight his Catholic background during his testimony before the committee on Thursday (Sept. 27).

“I am here this morning to answer these allegations and to tell the truth. And the truth is that I have never sexually assaulted anyone — not in high school, not in college, not ever,” Kavanaugh wrote in his prepared remarks. “Sexual assault is horrific. It is morally wrong. It is illegal. It is contrary to my religious faith.”

Bill would extend statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse victims to file suit

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

September 26, 2018

By Laura Newberry

A bill sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk could give survivors of childhood sexual assault much more time — in some cases, decades — to sue those who might have stopped their abuse.

The proposed law, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), would allow victims to file abuse claims until they are 40 years old. It would also permit those who have repressed memories of abuse to sue within five years of unearthing the cause of their trauma.

If enacted, the bill would be a symbol of progress for abuse survivors such as Tim Lennon, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Lennon was raped by a Roman Catholic priest when he 12 years old but buried the memory until he was 43.

“If a survivor does make the brave choice to come forward, they only have a restricted amount of time to seek justice,” Lennon said of the current statute of limitations.

Victims in California can sue a third party that may have ignored or covered up abuse — such as a private school or a church — until they are 26 years old or three years after coming to terms with repressed memories, whichever occurs later.

Will we learn a lesson from Cosby’s conviction?

GREENFIELD (MA)
The Greenfield Recorder

September 27, 2018

Many years ago, a Franklin County priest, much respected and beloved by the adults in his flock, was accused by a young teenage boy of sexual assault. The parishioners were horrified at the accusation — that the youth could even think such a thing. The victim became a pariah. Until he wasn’t. Until evidence mounted and the priest was charged in court and eventually pleaded guilty.

Over the years, what seemed like a local aberration turned into a worldwide scandal, with continuing revelations of abuse by many Catholic clergy and inaction by many of their superiors. More recently, we have seen the pattern repeated and spawn the #MeToo movement as powerful lay people — entertainment and media celebrities, politicians, judges and yes, presidents Democratic and Republican — have been accused of sexual harassment, abuse and assault against people less powerful than them and more vulnerable.

On Tuesday, 81-year-old Bill Cosby saw his Hollywood career and good-guy image transformed as he was officially branded a “violent sexual predator” and sentenced to 3 to 10 years in Pennsylvania state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, becoming the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison.

What Do the Cases Involving Bill Cosby, Clergy Sex Abuse, and Brett Kavanaugh Have in Common? Powerful Men Who Think Themselves Powerful Enough to Make Credible Accusations Disappear, But They Are Wrong

UNITED STATES
Verdict Justia

September 27, 2018

By Marci A. Hamilton

In the same week, Bill Cosby was sentenced and labeled a sex offender for drugging Andrea Constand and sexually assaulting her; Pennsylvania House members passed by overwhelming margins a strong bill for statutes of limitations reform for child sex abuse victims in response to Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s monumental grand jury report on six Catholic dioceses detailing craven abuse and callous cover-up going back 70 years; and the third woman emerged with accusations against Brett Kavanaugh for drunken sexual misconduct, including gang rape. In sum, there was a conviction of a sexual perpetrator, legal reform for sex assault victims, and more allegations from sexual assault victims.

Each of these instances is at a different stage in the justice system, but they are all cut from the same cloth. Wonderful, upstanding men are being charged with sex abuse and assault, and other powerful men race to defend their honor. Then the truth brings them all down.

Abuse crisis is like fire purifying church, says head of Canadian bishops

CORNWALL, ONTARIO (CANADA)
Catholic News Service

September 26, 2018

By Deborah Gyapong

The sexual abuse crisis is like a fire that should be left to burn to purify the church, said the president of the Canadian bishops' conference.

"When there is a fire, our first instinct is often to try to put it out to prevent damage," said Bishop Lionel Gendron of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Quebec. He spoke Sept. 24 to more than 80 bishops and eparchs at the annual plenary meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"In this case, however, we may need to allow this fire to keep burning," he said.

Gendron reminded the bishops of St. Paul's words, "It is better to expose works of darkness and bring them to light."

"The fire burning in the church today may appear to be out of our control and, in some cases, consuming that which we hold dear," Gendron said. "But as it blazes with brightness, it is cleansing and purifying, and thereby casting light on things until now hidden in darkness."

Ex-priest Eric Dejaeger loses conviction appeal in Igloolik sex offences case

CANADA
CBC News

September 26, 2018

By Sara Frizzell

Dejaeger’s appeal related to the amount of jail time awaits written decision

The Nunavut Court of Appeal will not grant ex-priest Eric Dejaeger a new trial for a 2014 conviction for sex offences in Igloolik.

Yesterday, Dejaeger's lawyers argued in front of a panel of three judges that Justice Robert Kilpatrick made errors in his 2014 decision. The lawyers were seeking a new trial to review the evidence.

Dejaeger's lawyer Scott Cowan had three reasons for challenging the conviction. To begin, he argued the judge did not adequately explain why he accepted some complainants' testimonies and not others.

Dejaeger was convicted on 32 counts of various sexual offences for abusing 23 people in Igloolik. The offences ranged from anal and vaginal rape to fondling, and they took place over a four-year period in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Kilpatrick found Dejaeger not guilty on 40 counts.

Should priests be made to report child abuse revealed in confession?

BOSTON (MA)
The Conversation

September 26, 2018

By Hadeel Al-Alosi

Last December, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made public its final report, containing 409 recommendations. The inquiry revealed that there were numerous instances where senior officials in churches failed to report allegations of child sexual abuse while in their care.

Since then, there have been steps forward. For example, on July 1, the National Redress Scheme was established to support people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

What has been particularly controversial is recommendation 7.4, which states:

Laws concerning mandatory reporting to child protection authorities should not exempt persons in religious ministry from being required to report knowledge or suspicions formed, in whole or in part, on the basis of information disclosed in or in connection with a religious confession.

The conflict between the rules of the Catholic Church on the confidentiality of confessions and mandatory reporting laws is not a new issue. These laws require people from selected professions (known as “mandatory reporters”) to report suspected child abuse to government authorities. However, recommendation 7.4 has recently reignited the debate.

Catholic Church abuse probe to include Weston Priory

VERMONT
VT Digger

September 26, 2018

By Anne Galloway

The Vermont Attorney General’s investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic church will include the Weston Priory, following a complaint lodged against the monastery by an alleged victim.

Michael Veitch said he was sexually abused by a visiting priest from Cuba who was staying at the Benedictine monastery in southern Vermont. Veitch said he was assaulted shortly after his father, a devout Catholic, died in 1970 when Veitch was 15 years old.

A few months after his death, Veitch and his brother visited Weston Priory, where their father was buried. The two brothers had helped the monks with farming chores for a few weeks each summer, and Veitch struck up a friendship with a visiting priest from Cuba. Veitch said the priest later assaulted him.

Veitch said the experience profoundly affected his academic performance his junior year at Bellows Falls Union High School and his life went off the rails. He was unable to go to college as a young man and despite years of therapy had three failed marriages. Veitch worked for many years as a recycling advocate at Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

Panel confronts church abuse crisis, urges laity to lead way forward

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

September 26, 2018

By Carol Zimmermann

A panel discussion Sept. 25 at Georgetown University on the current church crisis was akin to a very large parish town hall meeting.

Panelists and audience members alike shared their pain, shock and complete frustration with recent allegations of abuse and cover-up by church leaders and they also showed a strong desire to somehow forge a path out of this.

This wasn't a talk where audience members were scrolling through their phones to pass time or looking at their watches to see when it would be over. During the hour and a half, there were moments in the churchlike campus hall when you could hear a pin drop, particularly when panelists shared about their own experiences of being abused.

The audience also audibly gasped over references to church leaders' seemingly callous responses to the abuse crisis over the years and they also broke into applause at several points, particularly over calls for laypeople, especially women, to have more say in the church.

When it came time for question and answer session, a line formed immediately and snaked to the back of the hall. Many of the questions, from college students, recent graduates and many long since out of college, echoed frustrations and a desire to make things right but no idea how to begin.

One questioner, who said he was a seminarian, asked in almost a hushed tone: "What can we do? How can we be a solution?"

Lawsuit settled, former SNAP director returns to the fight against abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
RNS

September 26, 2018

David Clohessy, a longtime leader with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, stood on a sidewalk near the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and told a group of reporters about nine Catholic priests who were named in a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report on child sex abuse.

The church removed these men from their parishes and sent them to the St. Louis area to live at Roman Catholic facilities that treat sexually abusive priests, according to SNAP, which aims to expose abusive clergy and provide support for victims.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has said the nine priests did not serve in any capacity locally.

But local Catholics were not told that abusive priests were living in the community, said Clohessy.

“They are among literally hundreds of predator priests from across the country who have been sent and spent time in St. Louis with virtually no warning to parents and parishioners,” Clohessy told reporters on Sept. 20.

Speaking to reporters about abuse is a familiar role for Clohessy.

But it’s also a new one.

Survivors group calls for statewide investigation into church sex abuse

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

September 26, 2018

By Kimberly Curth

There is more pressure on the Louisiana Attorney General to investigate child sex abuse within the Catholic church. This as archbishops across the state consider releasing names of abusers within the church.

Gov. John Bel Edward’s office says Louisiana State Police are now reviewing an official complaint sent to the governor, the Attorney General and State Police by a man who says a Jesuit High School janitor raped him in the late 1970s while a priest watched.

In his email to authorities, Richard Windmann references that Archbishop Gregory Aymond has a “list of known pedophiles that are employed or have been employed by the Catholic Church” in Louisiana.

Windmann goes on to say he thinks authorities should make the list public and prosecute those listed.

In an interview Wednesday, The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says Attorney General Jeff Landry should be more aggressive in protecting the community. The President of SNAP’s board of directors, Tim Lennon, is calling for a statewide investigation into church sex abuse in Louisiana.

Pope Francis: On sexual abuse, Church and society have a ‘new conscience’

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM ESTONIA
Catholic News Agency

September 26, 2018

The Pope told the inflight press conference that the Church is learning from its mistakes on abuse

Pope Francis said Tuesday that renewed procedures and priorities in handling sex abuse cases have yielded results in the Church, and have developed alongside a greater moral awareness of the dangers of child abuse. Francis spoke during a press conference Sept. 25 on the return flight from a four-day papal visit to the Baltic region.

Citing the Pennsylvania grand jury report released July 14, Francis said the difference between the number of historical and recent abuse cases is clear, and indicates true progress in the way the Church addresses the problem of clerical sexual abuse.

“We see that in the first 70 years there were so many priests that fell into this corruption, then in more recent times it has diminished, because the Church noticed that it needed to fight it in another way,” the pope said. “Watch the [number of cases] and watch when the Church became conscious of this.”

Francis stressed that while meaningful progress should be recognized, there is no such thing as a tolerable level of abuse: “Even if it was just one priest who abused a boy or a girl, this is atrocious, because that man was chosen by God.”

The Catholic Church Is Rich Enough to Settle Sex Abuse Cases Forever

BROOKLYN (NY)
VICE

September 26 2018

By Alex Norcia

Guess how much the Church claims St. Peter's Basilica is worth.

Last week, the Diocese of Brooklyn and an after-school program settled with four people who were frequently abused as children at a Catholic Church, agreeing to pay a total of $27.5 million. The historic sum was reported at the tail end of a summer that has become a public relations fiasco for the Vatican worldwide, sparking something of an identity crisis within its own walls. In the past few months alone, Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, DC, resigned from the College of Cardinals when he became the highest-ranking clergyman to be directly accused of sexual violence. Weeks later, a grand jury report out of Pennsylvania concluded that, since the 1940s, roughly 300 priests had abused at least 1,000 children in just some of the state's dioceses. Traveling in Ireland not long after, Pope Francis was called on to resign by a prominent former Church official who claimed the pontiff knew about the McCarrick allegations before they went public. Meanwhile, state attorneys general in New York, New Jersey, and other states launched their own probes into local dioceses.

It sometimes seems as if you could rattle off a list of Catholic sex abuse scandals in perpetuity. The pope, for his part, has barely responded outside of summoning the world's bishops to the Vatican for a meeting this winter to discuss the ongoing crisis.

Considering the unlikelihood of criminal consequences for those at the clergy's top levels, and the fact that many of these sex abuse cases have far surpassed the statutes of limitations, the endgame seems increasingly a financial—that is, a civil liability—question. But can the Church settle with survivors forever? Will it ever, somehow, completely run out of money with which to do so? In settling sex abuse claims, the Church has already reportedly spent or agreed to spend at least $3 billion in the US alone, and about 20 American dioceses have filed for some kind of bankruptcy. There's little evidence that will slow down, or that the price tag won't keep climbing. (In Pennsylvania, for example, bishops said they supported a fund to compensate survivors if they could prove they were abused but, because of the statute of limitations in the state, could no longer file a lawsuit.)

But specifics on the Church's finances, like virtually everything else that goes on behind those holy gates, are hard to come by.

Can the Catholic Church tackle sex abuse on its own?

ROME
CBS NEWS

September 26, 2018

Pope Francis called sex abuse "monstrous" on his return flight from a four-day trip to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Tuesday. During his tour, he acknowledged for the first time that the recent sex abuse scandals have "put-off" many young people, turning them away from the church.

CBS News producer Anna Matranga was on the Papal flight back to Rome, and noted that despite being asked by journalists about the church sex abuse and cover-ups repeatedly, Pope Francis initially would only discuss his trip. Then, about 40 minutes into the press conference, he did return to address the topic.

"There are accusations against the church. We all know that. We know the statistics, I will not repeat them," he said. Then he specifically addressed the Pennsylvania grand jury report which found that more than 300 predator priests and more than 1,000 victims of clerical sex abuse.

"Look at the report and you will see that when the church began to become aware of this, then we gave it our all to stop it," he said. But Francis spoke just hours after yet another scathing study was released, this one by the Catholic Church in Germany.

Redacted names in church sex abuse grand jury report could soon be made public

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WPXI

September 26, 2018

Redacted names contained in the grand jury report into clergy sex abuse across Pennsylvania could be one step closer to being made public.

In Philadelphia on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments from the petitioners and the attorney general's office over releasing the names.

“We tried to get across to the court the importance of the grand jury process and the reporting process and the need for this whole report to come out," said Deputy Attorney General Ronald Eisenberg.

In a show of contrition, Catholic dioceses begin long road of healing

RALEIGH (NC)
Religion News Service

September 26, 2018

By Yonat Shimron and Jack Jenkins

In the end, it didn’t matter much what the bishop said during the Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing for victims of the sex abuse scandal.

His gesture said it all.

Standing in front of the altar Tuesday (Sept. 25) in Raleigh’s Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama took his violet zucchetto from his head and fell to his knees.

“I’d like all you who have been abused, who have been victims of this horrible crime, in the name of the church, I ask for forgiveness,” he said.

For the next 20 minutes, as he delivered his homily without notes in his heavily accented English — he is Colombian — Zarama was on his knees.

The Mass was one of many such healing services specifically tailored to address the clergy sex abuse crisis, which got new life last month after the Pennsylvania attorney general released the report on a two-year grand jury investigation into widespread sexual abuse and cover-up within six Catholic dioceses across that state.

English bishops to speak to Pope Francis about abuse crisis during Rome trip

LEICESTER (UK)
Crux

September 24, 2018

By Charles Collins

Before beginning their ‘ad limina’ visit to Rome, the bishops of England and Wales said they spent time together to reflect on the “stark revelations of child sexual abuse” in the Church and will discuss the issue with Pope Francis on Friday.

The bishops also announced an independent review of the Church’s safeguarding structures in England and Wales.

Every bishop in the world is supposed to make an ‘ad limina’ visit every five years, where they visit the Vatican to meet the pope and officials of the Roman Curia.

In a statement issued at the beginning of their visit, the bishops said the recent reports about abuse “make it clear” that bishops and other religious leaders “failed to protect the children in their care from those who have done them great harm.”

Pennsylvania Bishops’ Plan For Helping Abuse Victims

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CNS

September 26, 2018

By Matthew Gambino

The bishops of Pennsylvania’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses are supporting creation of an independent fund to compensate survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Ever since the Aug. 14 release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that graphically detailed the alleged sexual abuse of more than 1,000 boys and girls by some 300 priests and church workers in the state over 70 years, the bishops had “reflected deeply on the ugly record” of abuse and how “church leadership failed to protect our people over a period of decades.”

The bishops made the comments in a joint statement released by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Sept. 21.

The bishops recognize that although survivors of abuse that happened decades ago are time-barred from suing the dioceses under the statutes of limitation in Pennsylvania law, the General Assembly is considering proposals to lift those limits.

Survivor group asks for deeper investigation of priests

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
News Tribune

September 27, 2018

By Joe Gamm

Survivors of sexual abuse by priests and their supporters delivered a letter to Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday, asking him to command Attorney General Josh Hawley to conduct a criminal investigation — and authorize him to use subpoena power in investigations — of alleged sexual abuse by Catholic Church officials in Missouri.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said they wanted the governor to add teeth to an investigation Hawley began late last month.

Hawley announced Aug. 23 he was starting an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis. He asked that other dioceses in the state voluntarily allow his office to examine them. Hours later, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of the Jefferson City Diocese invited the AG's office to review the local diocese.

The late August activities followed a Pennsylvania grand jury release of a report on clergy abuse there.

David Clohessy, former director of SNAP, which was established to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, said as a former law enforcement official, Parson should understand the difference between a "real investigation and an inadequate investigation."

Knights of Columbus urged membership to support Kavanaugh's confirmation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 26, 2018

By Brian Roewe

Supreme Council urged members to contact senators to back judge's nomination for Supreme Court

Days before allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh went public, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council urged its membership to contact their senators to support the federal appellate judge's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Knights are one of several Catholic institutions in recent weeks that have urged their membership to support Kavanaugh's nomination for the nation's highest court, including the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, and the anti-abortion group Priests for Life.

Once seen as a surefire candidate, Kavanaugh's confirmation now faces uncertainty after Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, in California, alleged he sexually assaulted her at a house party in approximately 1982, while the two were in high school in the Washington, D.C. area, with Kavanaugh attending Jesuit-run Georgetown Preparatory School. Since Blasey Ford's accusation became public, two additional women have come forward accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Kavanaugh has steadfastly denied the allegations and is scheduled to address them Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as is Blasey Ford.

The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council declined to answer questions about the "action alert" to its membership, estimated at 2 million worldwide, including whether it stood by its support for Kavanaugh's confirmation in light of the accusations brought against him, or if it supported an investigation beyond the Senate hearing.

Why I Didn’t Report My Sexual Assault; What Happened Once I Did

NASHVILLE (TN)
Ethics Daily

September 26, 2018

By Christa Brown

With the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh thrown into question by sexual assault allegations, President Trump tweeted that “if it was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed.”

Distressed by the president’s apparent ignorance of the dynamics of sexual assault, thousands of women and men have responded under the hashtag of #WhyIDidntReport, telling their stories in an attempt to answer the question that is so often thrown at sexual assault survivors: “Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

I join with them.

Why didn’t I report?

Because the Southern Baptist minister/rapist had told me that everything he did was God’s will and that I was to be a “helpmeet” to him in his holy work.

Because the Southern Baptist minister/rapist had later told me that I harbored Satan.

Because I was an impossibly confused 16-year-old girl.

Because when I told the church’s music minister, he instructed me not to talk about it to anyone else.

Conservatives must face John Paul II's legacy in sex abuse crisis

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 26, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

After the Vietnam War ended, U.S. military leaders recognized that they could not grasp what went wrong and begin to fix it unless everyone could speak with absolute candor. Every crisis demands the same, including the sex abuse crisis. So, while it is always a mistake to try and figure out what the crazies at Church Militant will do or say, it is important that we monitor what is being said by seemingly responsible people to make sure we are all keeping each other honest.

In a recent essay at The Weekly Standard, Mary Eberstadt wrote "The Elephant in the Sacristy, Revisted," a kind of reprise of an article she first wrote in 2002. "Back then, like today, the plain facts of the scandals were submerged in what we now call whataboutism," she writes. "According to these evasive maneuvers, the wrongdoing was supposedly explained by reference to clericalism, celibacy, sexual immaturity, and other attributes invoked to avoid the obvious." And, for her, then as now, the key to understanding the scandal was:

A cluster of facts too enormous to ignore, though many labor mightily to avert their eyes. Call it the elephant in the sacristy. One fact is that the offender was himself molested as a child or adolescent. Another is that some seminaries seem to have had more future molesters among their students than others. A third fact is that this crisis involving minors—this ongoing institutionalized horror—is almost entirely about man-boy sex.

I think this misses the point that what really scandalized the faithful was not that some priests were perverts, but that almost every bishop in the country never thought to call the cops when confronted with the perversion. That was the real scandal.

Missouri Clergy Sex Abuse Investigation

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
MyMoInfo

September 26, 2018

An organization that provides support for victims of clergy sexual abuse wants Missouri’s governor to call on Attorney General Josh Hawley to question Catholic Church officials in Jefferson City and across the state under oath.

Brian Hauswirth has our report.

Rachel Mitchell: who is the prosecutor grilling Christine Blasey Ford?

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Guardian

September 27, 2018

By Adam Gabbatt

In a highly unusual move, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor will be interviewing Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers on behalf of the Republican party

When Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused the supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, testifies before the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday, she won’t be interviewed by Republican senators.

Instead, Rachel Mitchell, a female prosecutor from Arizona whose “life mission” has been to investigate sex crimes, is interviewing Ford on behalf of the Republican party.

The bringing in of Mitchell is unusual. Democratic senators on the committee plan to quiz Ford and Kavanaugh – who will also testify on Thursday – themselves.

But each of the 11 Republicans on the committee is male, and there was said to be an awareness that having 11 men grill a woman who says she was a victim of sexual assault might not be a good idea.

Columbus Diocese Plans To Reveal Names Of Priests Accused Of Abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
WOSU 89.7 NPR News

September 26, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus says it will release a list naming priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

“The Diocese of Columbus understands that this is an important step to restore the confidence of our faithful in their Church and its clergy,” the diocese said in a statement provided to WOSU.

Columbus is the third diocese in Ohio to announce such a move, after the diocese of Youngstown and Steubenville. It says the list of names should be available "within the next few months."

“The Diocese of Columbus has procedures in place specifically designed to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests, with zero tolerance for any form of child abuse,” the diocese said. “All credible claims of child sexual abuse are immediately reported to law enforcement and/or children service agencies, and those active clergy against whom such claims have been made are immediately removed from ministry and church property pending a completion of the investigation."

The Columbus diocese oversees 106 parishes, 219 priests and a Catholic population of almost 300,000.

Wyoming Reopens Dormant Clergy Sex Abuse Case

CHEYENNE (WY)
National Public Radio

September 27, 2018

By Tennessee Watson

Following the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing decades of sexual abuse by clergy, there has been a nationwide call for action and accountability. But in many states prosecutors have run out of time to press charges.

There are just a handful of states with no statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes. One of them is Wyoming, and that's given the Diocese of Cheyenne and the police there a chance to reopen an old case.

Back in 2002, a victim called the Cheyenne Police Department to report that a former bishop, Joseph Hart, had sexually abused him in the late 1970s. Hart had served as Bishop of Cheyenne from 1978 to 2001. But the victim was reluctant to do a full interview with police. After a three month investigation, the district attorney cleared Hart, saying there was no evidence.

Steven Biegler, the current Bishop of Cheyenne, says for too long those in power have controlled the conversation. When he became bishop in Wyoming a little over a year ago, he immediately launched an investigation into the unresolved allegations against retired bishop Hart.

Pennsylvania investigated Catholic church sex abuse. Why can't Kentucky?

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Louisville Courier Journal

September 25, 2018

By Caitlin McGlade

Two Kentucky lawmakers say they will introduce legislation that would enable a sweeping statewide investigation of the Catholic Church.

The Legislature will decide next session whether to authorize special statewide grand juries like the one in Pennsylvania that recently exposed rampant sex crimes across six dioceses.

The Pennsylvania report, which found that church leaders protected more than 300 "predator priests," highlighted the need for action here, the Attorney General's office said.

Pennsylvania law allows its attorney general to convene statewide grand jury investigations while Kentucky's does not.

Jefferson County Democrats Jim Wayne and Jeffery Donohue said Tuesday they will pre-file a bill to fix that. Wayne is retiring so Donohue will carry it through the session that convenes in January.

Judge sentences leader of New Mexico religious sect

GRANTS (NM)
The Associated Press

September 26, 2018

A New Mexico judge sentenced a paramilitary religious sect leader Wednesday to more than seven decades in prison after her conviction in a child sex abuse case that authorities say involved a victim who was taken from Uganda as a baby and mistreated throughout her life.

KRQE-TV reports that the 72-year sentence for Deborah Green in Grants followed emotional testimony from a victim, who told the judge she had 11 surgeries for broken bones suffered during years of abuse. She also said she has yet to recover emotionally and physically from what she described as torture by Green.

On Tuesday, a jury found Green, 71, guilty of kidnapping, criminal sexual penetration of a minor and child abuse.

"A weaker person would not have survived," Judge James Sanchez told the victim. "That means you can continue on being strong."

Proposed legislation would enable statewide investigation into sexual abuse in the church

FRANKFORT (KY)
WLKY

September 25, 2018

By Mark Vanderhoff

State lawmakers from Louisville joined Attorney General Andy Beshear to support legislation that could enable a statewide investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

House Democrat Jeff Donohue will sponsor the legislation.

It will allow statewide grand juries, which in turn would enable the attorney general's office to conduct investigations across multiple jurisdictions.

Christine Blasey-Ford, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Pitfalls of Speaking Out

CHICAGO (IL)
SNAP Network

September 26, 2018

For immediate release, September 26, 2018

Zach Hiner, Executive Director, zhiner@SNAPnetwork.org, (517) 974-9009

Since she first came forward with allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of the current nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States, Christine Blasey-Ford has been the subject of news reports, internet comment threads, and dinner table conversations around the country. The subject of many of those conversations or think-pieces has been less about what Brett Kavanaugh allegedly did to Dr. Blasey-Ford (and potentially several other women) and more about why Dr. Blasey-Ford is coming forward now, what she has to gain from making her allegations public and whether or not she is a liar.

Dr. Blasey-Ford’s allegations are amplified largely because of the profile of the person being accused, and it is easy to dismiss the furor – on both sides – as political bickering. But as an organization that has worked with survivors of institutional abuse for more than thirty years, we know it isn’t quite so simple.

On the largest of scales, what is happening to Dr. Blasey-Ford is what happens to far too many survivors of sexual abuse when they come forward. Too many people focus on the wrong “why” – instead of asking “why did this abuse occur in the first place,” the questions are “why are you coming forward now?” or “why do you think this is helpful?” Sometimes, as seen with Dr. Blasey-Ford, the question is “why are you lying?”

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

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

September 26, 2017

By Esha Ray and Graham Rayman

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

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

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

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

Francis defends response to clergy abuse, says church has 'spared no effort'

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM ESTONIA
National Catholic Reporter

September 25, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

This article appears in the Francis in the Baltics feature series. View the full series.

Pope Francis has defended the measures undertaken by the Catholic Church in recent years to respond to clergy sexual abuse, saying the global institution has grown in its understanding of the "monstrous" problem and has "spared no effort" to protect children.

In a press conference aboard the Sept. 25 papal flight back to Rome after a four-day visit to the three Baltic States, the pontiff said that the number of children abused over past decades "has diminished because the church has realized that it must fight in a different way."

"In older times, these things were covered up," he said. "They covered it up because there was a very great shame. It was a way of thinking in the ... past century."

"The church has ... become aware of this and has spared no effort," he said.

Francis spoke about abuse in a 55-minute press conference in which he also addressed concerns about the Vatican's recent announcement of a "provisional agreement" with China to resolve a seven-decade dispute over how Catholic bishops are appointed in that country.

Janet, Janet and Suggs, LLC Adds Preeminent Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Attorney Richard M. Serbin to its Sexual Abuse Division

BALTIMORE (MD)
Janet, Janet & Suggs/Globe Newswire

September 26, 2018

Janet, Janet and Suggs, LLC (JJS), a national plaintiffs’ law firm that devotes much of its practice to seeking a full measure of justice for sexual abuse survivors, announced today that it has added preeminent Catholic Church sexual abuse attorney, Richard Serbin, to the firm.

“Richard is a pioneer in the fight to help survivors of abuse by priests and clergy get the justice they deserve,” said Howard A. Janet, managing partner of JJS. “He filed his first case against the Church nearly fifteen years before Spotlight exposed the depraved, despicable conduct of the Church. Richard uncovered the existence of the ‘secret archives’ maintained by bishops where accounts of abuse were held and he’s the only attorney to secure a verdict against a diocese, a bishop and a ‘predator priest’ in Pennsylvania to date. More recently, he provided extensive expert and factual testimony to the PA Grand Jury and assisted the Office of the Attorney General in identifying 109 child predators.”

Mr. Serbin’s career and accomplishments have been profiled extensively, including features in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily Beast and Washington Post, among others. He is the author of When Clergy Fail Their Flocks and has taught numerous continuing education seminars on the topic.

“JJS was founded on the belief that the law should be used to help those who have been wronged, who have been harmed, who have been abused - whether that’s in the context of obstetrical or other medical malpractice, environmental contamination, dangerous drugs or medical devices, or institutional sexual abuse,” said Mr. Janet. “We’re in the midst of an epidemic of sexual abuse. For years, survivors have endured massive trauma with little or no hope of securing the justice they deserve. We aim to change that.”

Eight lessons to help us move forward from the sex abuse crisis.

WASHINGTON (DC)
America The Jesuit Review

September 25, 2018

By John Carr

For me, clerical sexual abuse is personal, professional and institutional. It has haunted my service of the church for more than five decades, involving the abuse of people, power and trust and a clerical culture that enabled it and covered it up. My experiences have taught me several lessons that I believe will be helpful as the church moves forward.

1. There are not enough parents in the room when decisions are made.

In the 1980s, I served Cardinal James Hickey in Washington, D.C. I was summoned to his home where he explained that a senior cleric was accused of abusing young people, and a civil attorney and canon lawyer reported that this abuse likely took place. The bishops and monsignors in the room knew this priest and insisted this was not possible, a terrible misunderstanding or an unfair attack. I did not know the priest and urged his immediate removal. Archbishop Hickey removed him.

These members of the clergy looked at these events through the eyes of a brother priest. Through the eyes of a father, this was the worst thing that could happen short of the death of a child. It undermines trust and faith, priesthood and Eucharist, sexuality and family. There need to be more parents in the room.

German bishops apologize formally, release sex abuse data

GERMANY
Catholic News Service/OSV Newsweekly

September 27, 2018

The head of the German bishops conference formally apologized for sexual abuse in the Church, saying it "has been denied, turned away from and covered up for far too long."

"Sexual abuse is a crime," Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising told a news conference Sept. 25 in Fulda, Germany. "And whoever is guilty of it must be punished by law."

The bishops met in a plenary session in Fulda and released a study, conducted on behalf of the bishops' conference from 2010 to 2014, on abuse. The study, leaked earlier in September, researched an estimated 3,700 sex abuse cases in the German church.

Cardinal Marx said that, although prevention measures had been put in place by the bishops' conference, it was not enough.

Secret files suggest Catholic bishop shielded alleged 'predator priests' from the public

BUFFALO (NY)
CNN

September 25, 2018

By Rosa Flores and Kevin Conlon

In this hardscrabble Rust Belt city with deep Catholic roots, the Catholic Church's top official is facing calls for his resignation over his handling of sexual abuse allegations against priests.

Documents obtained by CNN suggest Bishop Richard J. Malone did not sanction priests accused of sexual abuse and concealed the identities of alleged "predator priests" from the public.

In a preemptive move in March, Malone released a list of 42 priests in the Buffalo diocese who had left the priesthood after facing accusations of sexually abusing minors. "The diocese of Buffalo is committed to correcting the mistakes and sins of the past," he said at the time.

But a trove of secret diocesan records, first reported by CNN affiliate WKBW and obtained by CNN, show the number of accused priests could be up to 200.

The records are stashed by diocese officials in what they call the "Secret Archives" -- confidential files of living priests who are still being monitored -- or "the Well," which contains case files that are to be shredded.

Abuse survivors push Missouri governor for ‘real investigation’ of Catholic priests

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

September 26, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas and Jason Hancock

Survivors of priest sex abuse on Wednesday called on Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to give Attorney General Josh Hawley subpoena power in his investigation into possible clergy sex abuse and cover-ups in the Roman Catholic Church.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests gathered outside the Capitol with a letter imploring the governor to authorize Hawley to conduct a grand jury-style investigation into the issue. Two Kansas City-area SNAP supporters delivered the document to Parson’s office prior to the group’s news conference.

“As a former law enforcement official, (Gov. Parson) surely understands the difference between a real investigation and an inadequate investigation,” said former SNAP director David Clohessy. “We’re asking him to essentially order the attorney general to do this probe and to do it right.”

Without subpoena power, Clohessy said, Hawley has no idea whether the dioceses will provide all pertinent church records.

German investigators left ‘shaken’ by scale of child abuse in Catholic Church

BERLIN (GERMANY)
The Irish Times

September 25, 2018

By Derek Scally

New report details cases of 3,677 children abused by clerics over nearly 70 years

German investigators say they were left “shaken” by the scale of clerical sex abuse and institutional cover-up in Germany’s Catholic Church.

Speaking on Tuesday at the presentation of a report into decades of sex abuse of children in the Church, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German Bishops’ Conference, said the 366-page document marked a “shameful episode we cannot deny”.

The report details the cases of 3,677 children who were abused by about 1,670 clerics over nearly 70 years up to 2014.

“For too long in the Church we have looked away, denied, covered up and didn’t want it to be true,” Cardinal Marx told a press conference.

Two weeks after a summary of the report leaked, the lead investigator, Prof Harald Dressing, said that in his 30-year career as a forensic psychiatrist he had never encountered anything like what he had found in Church files.

“The scale of sexual abuse in the German Catholic Church, and the actions of those responsible, left me shaken,” he said.

Outrage over Church’s handling of sexual abuse scandals justified: Pope Francis

CANADA
Global News

September 26, 2018

Pope Francis said on Tuesday young people around the world were right to feel outrage at the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of its sexual abuse scandals.

Child sexual abuse and the church: Impact on adults

TEXAS
Baptist Standard

September 26, 2018

By Scott Floyd

Part 1 of this series considered the extent of child sexual abuse—how often does sexual abuse of children take place? The vast majority of experts on the matter agree sexual abuse of children is more extensive than most people realize, and, for a variety of reasons, a great deal of child abuse goes unreported.

Part 2a described a set of common indications that a child or teen may have been sexually abused.

How does sexual abuse impact adults?

Kavanaugh's church and homework defence falling apart

NEW YORK (NY)
The Sydney Morning Herald

September 27, 2018

By Paul Waldman

New York: Speaking to reporters at the United Nations, President Donald Trump said about Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court: "They could have pushed it through two and a half weeks ago and you would not be talking about it now, which is frankly what I would have preferred, but they didn't do that." No kidding.

Now we have the most shocking allegation yet, courtesy of Michael Avenatti, known to the world as Stormy Daniels' lawyer. Avenatti has released an affidavit from his client, a woman named Julie Swetnick, who says she attended parties with Brett Kavanaugh as a high school student. The behaviour Swetnick describes Kavanaugh, his friend Mark Judge, and other boys engaging in ranges from the distasteful to the horrific.

Before we get to the specifics of Swetnick's allegations, we should make something clear. Republicans will inevitably say that they should be ignored or discounted because they arrive "at the 11th hour." But the date on which an accuser comes forward tells us nothing about whether her claims are true. There are perfectly good reasons she might have been reluctant up until now to come forward - for instance, since women who make sexual assault allegations are routinely disbelieved and attacked, she may have decided to go public only when she saw that Christine Blasey Ford's allegation about Kavanaugh was taken seriously enough to warrant a Judiciary Committee hearing.

Pope: Sex abuse crisis eroded Church's credibility

ESTONIA
CNN

September 25, 2018

Pope Francis told a crowd of young people in Estonia that he understood that many of them were "upset" by the sexual abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church.

September 26, 2018

La barra "top" que defiende a ultranza a Precht

[The "top" crowd that defends Precht at all costs]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 26, 2018

By Alejandra Carmona López

Los defensores del ex sacerdote crecen con los días. Desde Manuel Riesco, Mariana Aylwin, pasando por periodistas reconocidos, han salido a poner en la balanza el papel que jugó el ex vicario durante la dictadura en la defensa de los Derechos Humanos. Un despliegue –lobby incluido en sectores políticos y judiciales– que las víctimas de los abusos cometidos por él no logran comprender. "Parece que para ellos las vidas mías o de Patricio Vela valieran menos que las que Precht defendió", dice uno de sus denunciantes, Jaime Concha.

"Traidor". "Vendido". "Solo fuiste un cuerpo usado". "Mentiroso compulsivo". Todo esto es lo que ha tenido que leer en redes y escuchar en los últimos días Jaime Concha, uno de los sobrevivientes del llamado "caso Maristas" y que ha
hablado sobre la fractura que significó en su vida el abuso que sufrió de parte de uno de los sacerdotes más emblemáticos de la Iglesia católica en las últimas décadas, Cristián Precht.

Pedro Ossandón niega encubrimiento en caso de abuso

[Pedro Ossandón denies concealment in abuse case]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 25, 2018

By P. Yévenes and B. Velásquez

El administrador apostólico de Valparaíso habría tenido conocimiento de la denuncia.

El administrador apostólico de Valparaíso, Pedro Ossandón, se pronunció hoy sobre el hecho de que su nombre haya aparecido mencionado en el marco de nuevo caso de abusos que indaga la fiscalía y que involucra a miembros de la Iglesia. Se trata de una denuncia hecha por una persona de iniciales C.B., quien aseguró que habría sido abusado por Pedro Quiroz, excapellán de la Fuerza Aérea de Chile (Fach), entre 2003 y 2004, cuando él era menor de edad y “el imputado se desempeñaba como sacerdote en la Parroquia San Gregorio, actual San Mateo”.

Obispado de Arica crea comisión con laicos para recepcionar denuncias sobre abuso

[Bishop of Arica creates commission of laypeople to receive abuse complaints]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 26, 2018

By Ximena Astudillo

El prelado explicó que la creación de esta instancia “forma parte del proceso de maduración que estamos haciendo como Iglesia, después de nuestro encuentro con el Santo Padre en el mes de mayo".

La primera Comisión de Verdad y Transparencia en Chile, creó el Obispado de San Marcos de Arica, para la recepción de denuncias de posibles abusos de poder, conciencia o de tipo sexual ocurridos a partir de 1986, que podrían haber cometido obispos, sacerdotes o diáconos permanentes en esta jurisdicción.

Iglesia: el caso que menciona a uno de los nuevos designados por el Papa

[Church: The abuse case that mentions the Apostolic Administrator just appointed by Pope]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 25, 2018

By Leyla Zapata and Héctor Basoalto

Administrador apostólico de Valparaíso, Pedro Ossandón, declaró en denuncia sobre el excapellán castrense. Víctima dice que él, junto a obispos Santiago Silva y Juan Ignacio González, supieron del presunto delito.

En medio del complejo escenario que vive la Iglesia Católica, una denuncia amenaza con seguir agitando las aguas. Se trata del caso de C. B., actualmente mayor de edad, quien asegura que, junto con otras dos personas, habría sido abusado por el excapellán castrense Pedro Quiroz, entre 2003 y 2004. Y en su relación de hechos, ya presentada a la fiscalía, sostiene que hubo tres prelados que supieron del caso: Santiago Silva, obispo castrense; Juan Ignacio González, obispo de San Bernardo, y Pedro Ossandón, obispo auxiliar de Santiago y designado por el Papa Francisco como administrador apostólico de Valparaíso, en reemplazo de Gonzalo Duarte.

Estudio de psicólogo:"Nadie está a salvo que la sexualidad reprimida no lo descarrile en la iglesia"

VIDEO

[Psychologist studies the effects of celibacy and abstinence in the Church]

CHILE
Emol TV

September 25, 2018

El psicólogo Claudio Ibáñez analizó los efectos del celibato y la abstinencia. Dijo que en la población hay un 2% de personas pedófilas, en la iglesia fluctúa entre un 6 y 10% y se explicaría por la abstinencia sexual. Revisa sus conclusiones.

Corte de Apelaciones revisa recurso interpuesto por Precht contra el arzobispado de Santiago

[Court of Appeals reviews Precht's appeal against the Archdiocese of Santiago]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 25, 2018

By Valentina González and Nicole Martínez

La Séptima Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago escuchó los alegatos del recurso de protección interpuesto por el exsacerdote Cristián Precht en contra del arzobispado de Santiago, al que acusa de vulnerar sus derechos constitucionales.

3rd Ohio diocese to release abusive priest list

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Associated Press

September 26, 2018

By Mark Gillispie and John Seewer

The Latest on the release of names of abusive priests (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Another Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio plans to make public the names of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus said Wednesday it intends to release a list within the next few months that will include priests who've been credibly accused of abuse, both living or dead.

The diocese says in a statement that the diocese understands it's an important step to restore confidence in the church and its clergy.

The announcement comes as the Steubenville diocese said this week that it will make public the names of abusive priests by the end of October.

Three of Ohio's six dioceses now say they will release new lists in the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that listed more than 300 clergy.

Survivor Group pushes governor on predator priests

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
SNAP

September 24, 2018

They want him to order AG to use subpoenas

SNAP also wants Hawley to delay & expand abuse inquiry

"Make no announcement until after election day," they urge

Otherwise, probe will be "politicized" and "hurtful," victims argue

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand deliver a letter to Missouri's governor urging him to insist that the state attorney general

--use subpoena powers to expand a statewide clergy sex abuse inquiry,

--question Catholic officials, in Jeff City & elsewhere, under oath, and

--use state resources to prod victims, witnesses & whistleblowers to come forward soon.

WHEN

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26th at 1:00 p.m.

Presentan nueva querella en contra de sacerdote Porfirio Díaz por abuso contra menor en Chile Chico

[New complaint filed against priest Porfirio Díaz for abuse against minor in Chile Chico]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 25, 2018

By Sebastián Asencio

El cura Porfirio Díaz sumó una segunda querella en su contra por el delito de abuso sexual a un menor de 14 años, ocurrido en 2005 en Chile Chico, región de Aysén. La acción fue presentada en el Juzgado de Garantía de Chile Chico por la víctima de iniciales P.H.S., luego que esta viera una publicación en redes sociales por parte de María Fernanda Barrera: la otra denunciante por el mismo delito a hace unas semanas, consigna Diario Aysén.

¿Por qué expulsar a Precht y no a Karadima?: Un asunto de contexto

[Why expel Precht and not Karadima? It is a matter of context]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 20, 2018

By Vanessa Azócar

El canonista Marcelo Gidi dice que la brecha entre las sanciones de Cristián Precht -expulsado del ejercicio sacerdotal- y la Fernando Karadima, quien no ha perdido su condición de sacerdote, se explica por la presión pública sobre la Iglesia.

“Nunca hay que comparar un proceso con otro. Tu puedes robar, yo puedo robar y el juez determinará las circunstancias de uno y otro caso para aplicar una pena encontrándonos a ti y a mi culpables de robo. En ese contexto, los dos casos son distintos”.

Arzobispado de Santiago crea Delegación Episcopal para la Verdad y Paz

[Archbishop of Santiago creates Episcopal Delegation for Truth and Peace]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 26, 2018

By Angélica Baeza

Esta será una nueva estructura para denuncias de abusos, acompañamiento de víctimas y promoción de ambientes sanos.

El Arzobispado de Santiago creó una nueva estructura para coordinar las denuncias de abusos sexuales, acompañar a las víctimas, realizar las investigaciones pertinentes y colaborar con las instituciones civiles en materias competentes: la Delegación Episcopal para la Verdad y Paz.

German Catholic Church 'looked the other way'

GERMANY
Reuters Videos

September 25, 2018

The Roman Catholic Church in Germany has released a previously leaked report detailing the sexual abuse of 3,677 children by clergy there over seven decades. It's the latest in a global crisis for the Vatican and came with an apology from Germany's highest ranking cardinal. Matthew Larotonda reports.

Kentucky legislature shouldn't bow to Catholic church on priest abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Courier Journal

September 26, 2018

By William F. McMurry

As reported in the Courier Journal on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2018, Kentucky Attorney General Andrew Beshear, announced that he “will seek the legislature’s permission to form a statewide grand jury to investigate Kentucky’s Catholic dioceses in line with last month’s damning report on Pennsylvania Catholic churches.”

In 2004, I witnessed our legislature’s refusal to change the laws governing the time limitations for lawsuits against those who would hide and protect child sexual abusers. The Catholic leadership in Kentucky actively sought to prevent the passage of legislation that would have eliminated the civil statute of limitations as a road block to lawsuits against the church for its conduct in hiding and shielding its pedophiles, and they succeeded.

It is painful to imagine why any legislator would vote to protect a pedophile. Many states across the U.S. have passed legislation extending the statute of limitations, allowing victims time to come forward to file their claims. Connecticut, for example, allows a victim of child sexual abuse 30 years from the date the child becomes a legal adult to file his or her legal claim against those responsible.

We are starting to listen to victims — finally

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

September 25, 2018

Arthur Perrault is behind bars, finally. The 80-year-old priest is back from Morocco and in federal custody as he awaits trial on charges that he molested an 11-year-old boy at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.

A U.S. magistrate judge earlier this week agreed that Perrault should remain in federal custody until his trial. Authorities, correctly, do not trust the man who fled the country in 1992. They fear the priest could use the force of his charming personality to find help and escape again. After all, it took nearly 30 years to recapture the accused molester, who worked in the Albuquerque area for nearly three decades before fleeing the country rather than face charges. For his many accusers this reckoning has been a long time coming.

Such is the case for many victims of sexual abuse. The very nature of the crime — often, there are no witnesses and little physical evidence — has made it difficult to persuade others that a violation has occurred. Some victims repress their memories and can’t come forward at the time of the incident. For those who do remember, when the accused is popular, whether a priest, an entertainer or star athlete, victims often choose to remain silent rather than be ridiculed or worse, shamed.

Slowly, however, victims are being heard.

Steubenville Diocese To Release List Of Priests Accused Of Sex Abuse

CLEVELAND (OH)
KDKA/AP

September 26, 2018

A second Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio says it will release a list of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that named more than 300 clergy and detailed their abuse.

A spokesman for the Steubenville diocese in southeast Ohio has told The Associated Press that it will release a list by the end of October.

Steubenville diocese spokesman Dino Orsatti says Bishop Jeffrey Monforton wants the names of abusive priests made public in the interests of transparency and accountability. He estimated the list will include between 12 and 20 names after the diocesan review.

Clergy sex abuse in film and literature

GERMANY
DW

September 26, 2018

By Heike Mund

The German Catholic Church's study on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy members recognizes thousands of victims. Movies have often portrayed their plight. German author Bodo Kirchhoff revealed his own personal story.

"It is always the dark sides of our lives that accompany us to the place where someone else is waiting for us naked," wrote Bodo Kirchhoff in his 2004 novel, Wo das Meer beginnt (Where the sea begins).

The sentence could also serve as an overarching theme for the writer's entire work. In his novels and writings, semi-autobiographical images repeatedly appear: the half-naked choirmaster in boarding school, sometimes a mother or classmate waiting half-naked in bed. These haunted him.

Kirchhoff traces back his experiences of sexual abuse to when he was a four-year-old child and his mother took him to bed with him. He is not satisfied with the term "abuse," which he describes as "leaving a tremendous hole in the language."

Diocese of Steubenville to release list of abusive priests

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
The Associated Press

September 26, 2018

By Mark Gillispie and John Seewer

The Diocese of Steubenville plans to release its list of priests who have been removed from parishes because of sexual abuse and misconduct allegations by the end of October, The Associated Press has learned.

The decision by the Steubenville diocese, the smallest in Ohio with 34,000 members, comes in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that listed the names of more than 300 priests and outlined the details of sexual abuse allegations.

Steubenville diocesan officials and attorneys will review files dating back to the formation of the diocese in 1944, spokesman Dino Orsatti said. He estimated that a list would include between 12 and 20 names.

Orsatti said Tuesday that Bishop Jeffrey Monforton wants the list released in the interest of transparency and accountability.

“He would welcome any investigation like the one in Pennsylvania,” Orsatti said.

The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops approved a zero-tolerance policy called the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002 in the midst of a national scandal over the church’s failure to address and, in some cases cover up, sexual abuse and misconduct by priests. The policy required dioceses to alert authorities when they learned of abuse allegations, conduct their own investigations and remove accused priests from their duties during such reviews.

What Would Happen if Roman Catholic Priests Were Allowed to Have Sex

BROOKLYN (NY)
VICE

September 25 2018

By Alex Norcia; illustrated by Nico Teitel

Probably more priests. But with the Church under scrutiny over sex scandals across the planet, it might happen sooner than you think.

In 1521, four years after a German priest named Martin Luther is said to have nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, the outlaw retired to Wartburg Castle to hide from his inquisitors. There, he translated the New Testament from Greek into his native German, and began a period he referred to as his "Patmos"—an allusion to the small Greek island where the Book of Revelation was apparently written. He delved into his studies, refining polemics against the sale of indulgences (paying the Church money in exchange for salvation), and for the idea of sola fide, that God forgives on faith alone (regardless of one's "works").

These would become some of the most commonly known divisions between Catholicism and Protestantism. But what's sometimes forgotten, amid the general shattering of European politics that soon followed, is where the theologian came down on sexuality and marriage. At Wartburg, he wrote to Nicolas Gerbel, a jurist and scholar of canon law, laying out his views clearly.

"Kiss and rekiss your wife," he insisted. "Let her love and be loved. You are fortunate in having overcome, by an honorable marriage, that celibacy in which one is a prey to devouring fires and to unclean ideas. That unhappy state of a single person, male or female, reveals to me each hour of the day so many horrors, that nothing sounds in my ear as bad as the name of monk or nun or priest. A married life is a paradise, even where all else is wanting."

So a key player in Pennsylvania clergy sexual abuse report keeps quoting scripture. Why?

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Get Religion

September 26, 2018

By Julia Duin

After the Pennsylvania attorney general dropped a bomb last month with its release of a massive report on clergy sexual abuse, we all started combing through the state’s media, seeing who was reporting on what.

Seven weeks later, they’re still out there working away. Although it’s not the state’s largest newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is leading the charge with numerous pieces packaged at this site.

The other day, the Post Gazette came up with a profile of the Pennsylvania deputy attorney general who was the leading force behind the nearly 900-page report and investigation.

It talks of a man with a strong moral sense; an ingrained conviction of right and wrong, of someone with the endurance to spearhead the five years of work that produced the massive report (which has elicited copycat investigations in at least eight other states).

Clergy Sex Abuse Probes Grow: Maryland Launches Investigation

BALTIMORE (MD)
Tribune News Service

September 26, 2018

By Jonathan M. Pitts

Archbishop William E. Lori has told clergy members of the Archdiocese of Baltimore that state authorities are investigating the archdiocese's records related to the sexual abuse of children.

Lori told priests and deacons in a letter Monday that the office of the Attorney General Brian Frosh has informed the archdiocese that it plans to "conduct an investigation and thorough review" of the records.

"I write today to inform you that the archdiocese has been in discussions with the Maryland attorney general," the archbishop wrote.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office said Monday that, consistent with policy, it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of such an inquiry.

But the letter from Lori appeared to affirm that Maryland has become the latest of several states to open similar investigations in the wake of an explosive Aug. 14 Pennsylvania grand jury report that revealed that more than 300 "predator priests" in that state were credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children over seven decades.

The Pennsylvania report further concluded that for decades, church officials, including the leaders of archdioceses, covered up crimes such as the rapes of children.

Allentown diocese responds to AG accusing bishop of covering up sex crimes

ALLENTOWN (PA)
69 WMFZ-TV News

September 26, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Allentown is fighting back against charges by the attorney general that the bishop of Allentown covered up sex crimes by priests.

In a recent interview, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said it's "unconscionable" that Bishop Alfred Schlert is still the bishop.

He said Schlert moved predator priests around and enabled a cover-up.

A statement released by the diocese Tuesday night says that's "false," and Schlert did no such things.

The recent grand jury report released by Shapiro did not suggest the bishop abused anyone, but had a role in handling the cases of abusive priests.

Audio: SNAP wants Missouri Governor Parson to get involved in clergy investigation

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KTTN News

September 26, 2018

An organization that provides support for victims of sexual abuse is calling on Missouri’s governor to insist that Attorney General Josh Hawley use subpoena powers to expand a statewide clergy sex abuse inquiry.

The Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will hold a press conference at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City Wednesday, September 27 during the afternoon. SNAP also wants Governor Mike Parson to call on the Attorney General to question Catholic officials in Jefferson City and elsewhere, under oath.

Pope says youth are 'scandalized' by Catholic Church's 'monstrous' abuse crisis

ESTONIA
CNN

September 25, 2018

By Daniel Burke

Pope Francis says young Catholics are "scandalized" by the Catholic Church's "monstrous" clergy sexual abuse crisis but adds that church officials who tried to handle abusive priests many years ago should not be judged by today's standards.

The Pope's comments came Tuesday aboard the papal flight home from the Baltics, when he answered reporters' questions for about 50 minutes.

On Tuesday, Francis met with young people in Tallinn, Estonia, where he also acknowledged the church's abuse scandal and said Catholic leaders need to be "converted" to address young people's concerns.

"Young people are scandalized by the hypocrisy of older people," Francis told journalists on Tuesday. "They are scandalized by war. They are scandalized by incongruity, they are scandalized by corruption, and as part of this corruption ... sexual abuse."

On plane, pope discusses sex abuse, corruption of cover-up, China pact

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO ROME
Catholic News Service

September 25, 2018

By Cindy Wooden

The Catholic Church has grown in its understanding of the horror of clerical sexual abuse and of the “corruption” of covering it up, Pope Francis said.

Returning to Rome from a trip Sept. 22-25 to the Baltic nations, Pope Francis was asked about his remarks to young people in Tallinn, Estonia, when he said young people are scandalized when they see the church fail to condemn abuse clearly.

“The young people are scandalized by the hypocrisy of adults, they are scandalized by wars, they are scandalized by the lack of coherence, they are scandalized by corruption, and corruption is where what you underlined — sexual abuse — comes in,” the pope responded.

Whatever the statistics say about rates of clerical abuse, the pope said, “if there is even just one priest who abuses a boy or a girl, it is monstrous, because that man was chosen by God to lead that child to heaven.”

CALLS GROW FOR RESIGNATION OF NEW YORK BISHOP

BUFFALO (NY)
WTVA/CNN Wire

September 26, 2018

Bishop Richard Malone, who has overseen the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, since 2012, faces growing pressure to resign over his handling of sexual abuse allegations against members of the clergy.

St. Paul, Minneapolis Archdiocese To Compensate Victims Of Clergy Sex Abuse

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
The Associated Press

September 26, 2018

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has approved a reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that will compensate victims of clergy sex abuse.

Judge Robert Kressel approved the $210 million settlement Tuesday. Hundreds of victims voted overwhelmingly in favor of the plan.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represented many of the victims, praised the survivors, saying their courage means children are safer.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda apologized in court. Hebda says he hopes the resolution “brings some measure of justice” to victims.

Editorial: Senate must act swiftly to pass child sex abuse measure

READING (PA)
Reading Eagle

September 25, 2018

There is no excuse for allowing another legislative session to end without addressing this issue.

The Issue:
The state House advances a measure giving past victims an opportunity to file lawsuits.

Our Opinion:
There is no excuse for allowing another legislative session to end without addressing this issue.

It's good news that the state House has advanced Rep. Mark Rozzi's legislation on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse. The measure passed resoundingly, 171-23. Victims and other supporters of the measure responded to the vote with sustained cheers.

We congratulate Rozzi, a Muhlenberg Township Democrat and himself a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, for his dogged efforts to push this legislation forward despite setbacks in the past.

Archbishop addresses nearly 200 clergy sex abuse lawsuits

GUAM
KUAM News

September 25, 2018

By Krystal Paco

"We bear responsibility. We are culpable" - these words from Guam's Archbishop Michael Byrnes in his Message to the People of Christ. Last week, parties in the nearly 200 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits participated in mediation talks, but did not reach a global settlement.

Archbishop Byrnes welcomes the process noting, "As a faith people striving to correct the grave wrongs of the past, we do not have the power to change history. As much as we want, we cannot undo the sins and crimes that were perpetrated by much too many clergymen and laypersons upon innocent children who relied on the Church for faith and guidance."

Parties, meanwhile, will check in with the courts on November 8.

2-year window for clergy abuse lawsuits sent to state Senate

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

September 25, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

The state House overwhelmingly passed a proposal Tuesday to give victims of child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania an opportunity to file lawsuits over claims that would otherwise be too outdated to pursue, but a key Senate leader said the current draft had "glaring problems" that required more work.

The House voted 173-21 without debate to send the Senate a bill creating a two-year window for litigation, a way for older victims to pursue lawsuits that fall outside the state's statute of limitations.

Establishing such a window was among the recommendations in a state grand jury report last month that found hundreds of Roman Catholic priests abused children in the state going back to the 1940s, and that church officials covered it up.

After a closed-door meeting among Senate Republicans to discuss the bill, majority leaders emerged to say they planned to make additional changes, mentioning grand jury recommendations to stop nondisclosure agreements in civil settlements from prohibiting contact with police and changes to rules for reporting suspected child abuse.

14 years and two trials later, Bill Cosby is led away in handcuffs

UNITED STATES
CNN

September 26, 2018

By Faith Karimi and Jay Croft

Minutes before a handcuffed Bill Cosby walked out of the courtroom as an 81-year-old convicted sex offender, he removed his dark pinstripe blazer and purple tie, and rolled up the sleeves on his crisp white shirt.

Judge Steven O'Neill had just sentenced Cosby to three to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago. It took more than a decade, two trials and dozens of accusers to seal his fate.

After the sentencing, the judge took a break to consider the defense attorney's request to free Cosby on bail during the appeal. As people waited for the judge's bail decision in the hallway, where court officials had ushered them, the man once known as "America's favorite father figure" sat with his attorneys and took off some of his clothes.

Judge OKs $210M deal to pay Twin Cities clergy sex abuse victims

ST. PAUL (MN)
MPR News

September 25, 2018

By Martin Moylan

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kressel said Tuesday he will confirm a bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, bringing to a close a years-long process triggered by hundreds of allegations of clergy sexual abuse.

In a courtroom at the federal court in Minneapolis, Kressel told about 100 attorneys and abuse victims and their friends and families that he hopes everyone can learn from the process, especially in regard to protecting children.

After the hearing, victims' attorney Jeff Anderson said the plan is an affirmation of the power, will and diligence of abuse victims who wanted justice for themselves and safeguards to prevent the future abuse of children.

"It was the survivors that began to say, 'No more.' And it was the survivors that insisted that they come clean with all the files, all the offenders, all their identities, all their secrets," he said.

5 men who say they were sexually assaulted by Father Kenneth Morvant come forward

ST. MARTINVILLLE (LA)
KLFY

September 25, 2018

By Caroline Marcello

Five men previously listed as John Doe on a suit filed against the Diocese of Lafayette and St. Martin De tours Catholic Church have released their names.

In August, alleged victim Doug Bienvenu said to News 10 that Father Kenneth Morvant gave him alcohol when he was 9 years old and then waited until Bienvenu was drunk to sexually molest him.

Bienvenu and 10 other alter boys, previously listed as John Doe, filed a lawsuit saying the late Father Morvant abused them.

On Tuesday, 5 of the men previously listed as John Doe on the lawsuit have come forward and released their names, and now they are demanding that the Diocese release the list of names of other priest accused of sexual abuse in the diocese.

“If we released our list why can’t they release theirs?”

Bienvenu was the first and only alleged victim named on the lawsuit until Jene Tally, Travis Tally, Douglas Dorrice, Kevin MacVoid, and Stiton Rigney came forward.

There are five other John Doe’s listed on the lawsuit and Bienvenu says by tomorrow he thinks those alleged victims will also release their names.

Dallas Morning News offers newsworthy but superficial coverage of church sex abuse settlement

DALLAS (TX)
Get Religion

September 25, 2018

By Bobby Ross Jr.

I want to call attention to a story on today’s Dallas Morning News Metro & State section cover about a sex abuse lawsuit settlement involving Dallas Theological Seminary.

I have a rather simple point to make about the superficiality of the coverage.

But first, this important context might be helpful: In news reports everywhere, it’s difficult to miss the ongoing Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal. Just today, Pope Francis acknowledged that the mess is “outraging the Catholic faithful and driving them away.”’

However, if the Catholic scandal is a case of a massive church hierarchy mishandling and covering up countless rotten deeds, how can journalists wrap their minds — and their notebooks — around similar abuse in free-church settings?

Free-church settings are those where congregations — such as independent megachurches, Churches of Christ/Christian Churches or autonomous congregations that are part of a voluntary association such as the Southern Baptist Convention — operate outside the realm of a church hierarchy.

In other words, the buck stops — or fails to stop — with a local pastor or elder/deacon group, as opposed to a formal structure with real denominational control.

I-TEAM: Pastor's widow suing church board over $25M in property

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
News4Jax I-TEAM

September 25, 2018

By Vic Micolucci and Colette DuChanois

Suit accuses Titus Harvest board of trying to take church assets worth millions

A popular Jacksonville pastor's widow is suing the board of her late husband's church over a considerable amount of property that is in the megachurch's name, according to records on the lawsuit.

The News4Jax I-TEAM on Tuesday tallied up the value of all the property in question and learned it's worth more than $25 million.

After Pastor Rodney "R.J." Washington, founder of Titus Harvest Dome Spectrum Church, died of cancer last year, April Washington, his widow, said the board of directors for the megachurch kicked her off.

"I just want the opportunity for myself and church family mainly to get back to what God has called us to and to continue this vision that was given over 30 years ago," Washington told News4Jax last week at her attorney's office.

Washington filed a lawsuit against the two-person board of her late husband's parish, claiming the board cut her out of millions of dollars.

"Unfortunately, this is a story of greed and deceit and breaches of trust," said attorney Bacardi Jackson, who represents Washington.

Chicago Archdiocese Settles Lawsuit in Priest Abuse Case

CHICAGO (IL)
The Associated Press

September 25, 2018

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was abused when he was a boy by a priest.

The man's attorney said Tuesday the archdiocese agreed to pay $2.9 million to the alleged victim of disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack. The man, who is in his 20s, claims McCormack abused him twice when he attended St. Agatha's Catholic Church.

McCormack was committed indefinitely in July to an Illinois facility in Rushville for sex offenders, where he has been living since 2009. He completed a five-year sentence that year for molesting five boys in the West Side Chicago parish where he worked as a priest, teacher and basketball coach.

Lawsuit accuses 2 former Toppenish priests of sexually abusing child

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic

September 25, 2018

By Emily Goodell

Editor’s note: This story contains details that might be upsetting to some readers.

A lawsuit accuses two former Toppenish priests of sexually abusing a child over nearly a decade in the 1950s and 1960s.

The lawsuit, filed against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima and St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Toppenish, alleges that two priests sexually, physically and emotionally abused a woman identified as L.L. for much of her childhood.

L.L. was 5 years old when a priest at the church — who was not identified by the woman’s attorneys — began to sexually abuse her, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Yakima County Superior Court.

“The priest gave (her) chewing gum and candy in order to gain her trust before sexually abusing (her),” the lawsuit says. “The perpetrator, the unidentified parish priest, would take (her) to his private office where he would then proceed to touch (her) bare legs, caress her body and rub his fingers on (her) vagina.”

The lawsuit alleges that on multiple occasions, the priest performed oral sex on L.L. while masturbating beneath his robes. The frequency of the sexual abuse intensified when she entered the third grade and ended in 1959 or 1960, when the priest left the parish, according to the lawsuit.

Pa. Supreme Court to hear arguments over redactions in clergy sex abuse report

HARRISBURG (PA)
WITF

September 25, 2018

By Lindsay Lazarski

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will weigh arguments over redactions in the explosive grand jury report that exposed alleged widespread child sexual abuse and cover up in six of the state's eight Roman Catholic Dioceses.

About a dozen clergy members -- whose names have been redacted from the report -- are fighting to protect their identities and reputations, claiming their due process rights have been violated. They argue the court should adopt the redacted version as the final draft.

Pennsylvania's Attorney General Josh Shapiro disagrees with that conclusion. He claims the court can reconcile both the privacy rights of clergy members and the public's interest in the investigation.

One option, Shapiro suggests, is for the court to recall the grand jury or to bring the investigation before a new grand jury to resolve objections. In addition, he says the anonymous clergy members should have the opportunity to testify before the grand jury, and that investigators should be able to bring in new evidence.

The nearly 900-page report documents the stories of more than 1,000 children who have been allegedly abused at the hands of more than 300 "predator priests."

Since the report was released last month, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office has received more than 1,100 calls to it's clergy sex abuse hotline and several other state's attorneys general have initiated their own investigations.

With An Eye On Clergy Sex Abuse Scandals, Beshear Seeks Expanded Grand Jury Law

FRANKFORT (KY)
LEX 18

September 25, 2018

By Bridgett Howard

Attorney General Andy Beshear is asking lawmakers to strengthen Kentucky’s hand in cases involving crimes and victims in multiple counties throughout the state by allowing his office to petition the state Supreme Court for special grand juries.

Beshear says the need for such a law in Kentucky has been recently highlighted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s use of a statewide grand jury to investigate abuse in a religious institution.

A provision in Pennsylvania law allows its AG to take such action. Kentucky law doesn’t currently provide for such a grand jury or allow the state attorney general to seek one.

Beshear said the procedure is necessary to investigate child abuse, human trafficking, public corruption or drug trafficking that may occur across jurisdictions.

“The major advantage of having a special grand jury is that it consolidates the investigation and prosecution of crimes that may have occurred in numerous counties to numerous victims,” Beshear said. “When needed, this process would work faster, be more efficient and happen on a larger scale for the many victims impacted.”

Beshear said that while his office seeks approval from lawmakers from this provision, his Office of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Prevention and Prosecution is available for any organizations that may want child abuse prevention training for its members.

Town hall about clergy abuse scandals held at Rogers church

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
ABC 4029

September 25, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Little Rock released a list of 12 clergy earlier this month who served in Arkansas and have had “credible” allegations against them of sexually abusing minors.

'We need to change': Priest sex abuse scandals driving Catholics away, pope admits

ESTONIA
USA TODAY

September 25, 2018

By Susan Miller

The flames of fury over priest sex abuse scandals are eroding the faith of Catholics and chasing many from pews, Pope Francis admitted Tuesday – and the church needs "to change."

The pope's frank comments, delivered before young people in Estonia on the final day of his pilgrimage to the Baltics, coincided with a stinging report of abuse of children by Catholic clergy in Germany.

Francis told the youths the church must take action to restore the faith of future generations and be transparent and honest.

“They are outraged by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation, by our unpreparedness to really appreciate the lives and sensibilities of the young, and simply by the passive role we assign them,” he said at the Kaarli Lutheran Church in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

“We ourselves need to be converted,” he said. “We have to realize that, in order to stand by your side, we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off.”

Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal Prompts Gallup Prayer Gatherings

GALLUP (NM)
The Associated Press

September 26, 2018

The Sisters' Council of the Diocese of Gallup is planning weekly prayer gatherings in response to the ongoing sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church.

The sisters in a statement said they will commit themselves to praying the rosary either privately or with community members every Wednesday.

The Gallup Independent reports two local prayer gatherings are scheduled this Wednesday.

Sister Pat Bietsch, chair of the Sisters' Council, suggested the community prayer gatherings. She is among more than 60 Catholic sisters currently working in the Gallup Diocese.

She called the abuse "a grave sin," saying it has affected the diocese and the church immensely. She also said investigations in New Mexico and elsewhere must be transparent and that the council wants survivors to know the sisters will be praying for them.

Pope Francis Admits Child Sex Abuse is Driving People Away From Church

VATICAN CITY
Friendly Atheist

September 25, 2018

By David G. Mcafee

Pope Francis has finally admitted the obvious: The ongoing scandal involving priests sexually abusing children (or covering up for others) is causing people to flee the Catholic Church.

The P.R. Pope has been able to get a lot of good press for the Vatican over the last couple of years, but he hasn’t been able to contain the most damaging scandal of all. He now says the Church must change its ways if it wants to continue to have a seat at the table, according to the Associated Press.

Attorney general: Allentown Bishop Schlert helped cover up child sex abuse

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

September 25, 2018

By Tim Darragh

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in Allentown Tuesday for the first time since the release of the grand jury report on child sex abuse in six Catholic dioceses, said it is “unconscionable” that Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert is leading the diocese after handling the cases of predator priests.

The Allentown Diocese, he said, is “exhibit A” to support the allegation that the church covered up for sexually abusive priests and promoted those who enabled it.

“Catholic church leaders were rewarded for their role in the cover-up and Father Schlert is one example of that,” he said during a 45-minute interview at The Morning Call.

Judge puts Bill Cosby away for 3 to 10 years

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

September 26, 2018

By Sean Philip Cotter

Bill Cosby will spend up to a decade behind bars as the man who once was one of the great icons of American pop culture was legally designated as a “sexually violent predator.”

Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced the 81-year-old disgraced comedian to 3 to 10 years in prison for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004 at his Philadelphia estate.

“It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,” O’Neill said during the hearing.

Over the past few years, upwards of 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, turning the nation against one of its most widely beloved celebrities — a man who had been regarded as wholesome and was admired for one of the first portrayals of a well-to-do black family on TV.

“He was America’s dad on ‘The Cosby Show,’ ” Boston University communications professor Tobe Berkovitz told the Herald yesterday. “Now he represents betrayal — betrayal of what we thought was good in America.”

The sentence comes after a Pennsylvania jury in April convicted Cosby on three counts of aggra­vated indecent assault.

Pope acknowledges China bishop deal will cause suffering

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE
The Associated Press

September 25, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis acknowledged Tuesday that his landmark deal with China over bishop nominations will cause suffering among the underground faithful. But he said that he takes full responsibility and that he — and not Beijing — will have the ultimate say over naming new bishops.

Francis provided the first details of the weekend agreement signed during an in-flight news conference coming home from the Baltics. The deal aims to end decades of tensions over bishop nominations that had contributed to dividing the Chinese church and hampered efforts at improving bilateral relations.

China's estimated 12 million Catholics are split between those belonging to the government-backed Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which is outside the pope's authority, and an underground church loyal to the pope. Underground priests and parishioners are frequently detained and harassed.

Francis — and before him Pope Benedict XVI — had tried to unite the two communities, and years of negotiations kicked into high gear over a year ago.

Francis acknowledged that both sides lost something in the talks, and said members of the underground Chinese church "will suffer" as a result of the deal, the text of which has not been released.

No jail time in assault case spurs push to oust Alaska judge

ANCHORAGE (AK)
The Associated Press

September 25, 2018

By Dan Joling

A man drove an Alaska Native woman to a dark street, said he would kill her and choked her until she blacked out.

He then masturbated on her face. Originally charged with kidnapping, 34-year-old Justin Schneider pleaded guilty to a single count of felony assault in a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced last week to two years in prison with one year suspended.

Having already spent a year in home confinement, he stepped out of the courtroom with no more time to serve.

The case has stirred outrage, with victims' advocates pointing to it as another example of a lenient sentence for a crime against women amid the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct. The judge said he thought the sentence was too light but deferred to prosecutors on what could be proven at trial.

Advocates are pushing to oust Superior Court Judge Michael Corey in November when he faces a vote to keep him on the bench, months after a successful recall of a California judge who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in prison for sexual assault.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent facing re-election, vows to change state law that does not classify Schneider's actions as a sex crime.

"The punishment in this case in no way matched the severity of the crime," Walker said in a statement. "We must fix this problem immediately, and we will."

The Latest: US judge orders priest held on abuse charges

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Republic

September 25, 2018

The Latest on a former New Mexico priest who fled the U.S. decades ago (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

A federal judge has ordered a priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse to be held pending trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen ruled Tuesday that Arthur Perrault was a flight risk despite arguments from his defense attorney that he had no passport, no family and no means to leave the country.

Prosecutor Sean Sullivan argued that the 80-year-old priest was a danger to the community.

September 25, 2018

Pope Francis admits sexual abuse scandals' dire impact as report details abuse in Germany

TALLINN (ESTONIA)
CBS/AP

September 25, 2018

Pope Francis acknowledged Tuesday that the sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church have outraged the faithful and are driving them away, as a new report on abuse by German clergy members put more damning statistics about such crimes into public view. Francis said the church must change its ways if it wants to keep future generations.

Francis referred directly to the crisis convulsing his papacy on the fourth and final day of his Baltic pilgrimage, which coincided with the release of a devastating new report into decades of sex abuse and cover-up in Germany.

Francis told a gathering of young people in Estonia, considered one of the least religious countries in the world, that he knew many young people felt the church had nothing to offer them and simply doesn't understand their problems today.

"They are outraged by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation, by our unpreparedness to really appreciate the lives and sensibilities of the young, and simply by the passive role we assign them," he told a gathering of Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox young people in the Kaarli Lutheran Church in the capital Tallinn.

He said the Catholic Church wants to respond to those complaints transparently and honestly.

"We ourselves need to be converted," he said. "We have to realize that in order to stand by your side we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off."

It was a very public admission of the church's failures in confronting sex abuse scandals, which have roared back to the headlines recently with revelations of abuse and cover-up in the U.S., Chilean and now German church.

German Catholic Church apologizes for 'pain' of abuse victims

BERLIN (GERMANY)
Reuters

September 25, 2018

By Riham Alkousaa and Maria Sheahan

The head of the Catholic Church in Germany apologized on Tuesday “for all the failure and pain”, after a report found thousands of children had been sexually abused by its clergy, and said the “guilty must be punished”.

Researchers from three German universities examined 38,156 personnel files spanning a 70-year period ending in 2014, and found indications of sexual abuse by 1,670 clerics, with more than 3,700 possible victims.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported the findings earlier this month after the report was leaked. The scandal comes as the church is grappling with new abuse cases in countries including Chile, the United States and Argentina.

“Those who are guilty must be punished,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, said at a news conference to launch the report in the city of Fulda.

“For too long in the church we have looked away, denied, covered up and didn’t want it to be true,” he added.

LDS Church settles sex abuse lawsuits

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
FOX13

September 24, 2018

By Ben Winslow

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has settled a series of lawsuits filed by a group of people alleging they were sexually abused within a church-run program for Native American children.

Craig Vernon, a lawyer representing some of the alleged victims, said in an email to FOX 13 that his clients asked for their cases to be dismissed in Navajo Tribal Court after reaching agreements with the LDS Church.

The settlements involving up to a dozen people came as a result of mediation. Terms of those settlements remain confidential, he added.

"Our clients felt that this settlement was a recognition that what happened to them, never should have happened; that resolving this case was an important step in continuing to heal from the scars of the past," Vernon wrote.

Man claiming rape at Jesuit High asks AG, state police for help

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

September 24, 2018

By Julia O'Donoghue

A man who says he was raped by a janitor at Jesuit High School in New Orleans while a priest watched has asked state officials to look into sexual abuse within Catholic institutions in Louisiana.

Richard Windmann received a nearly half-million-dollar settlement from the Catholic Church in New Orleans because of sexual abuse he alleges took place at Jesuit in the late 1970s. This week, he asked Attorney General Jeff Landry and Louisiana State Police to investigate the church further and to put pressure on the Catholic hierarchy in Louisiana to release a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

"In my opinion, you should get on the right side of this, do your job, the job we pay you to do," Windmann wrote in an email to Landry and, a day later, to the state police. He said if no one acted on his complaint within five days, he would take it to federal authorities.

Windmann's request for help from the attorney general was first reported by WVUE Fox 8 Monday (Sept. 24).

Bishops' report finds hundreds of abuse victims [Video]

GERMANY
CNN

September 25, 2018

By Atika Shubert

The German Bishops' Conference is releasing the results of its own report into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church over the past seven decades. CNN's Atika Shubert reports.

7 films portraying Catholic Church sex abuse

GERMANY
DW

September 25, 2018

By Heike Mund, Elizabeth Grenier

Decades of concealment were revealed through the German Catholic Church's new study on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy members. Such cases have long been explored by feature films. Here are a few memorable works.

Maryland attorney general to investigate Baltimore archdiocese's records on sexual abuse of children

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

September 24, 2018

By Jonathan M. Pitts

Archbishop William E. Lori has told clergy members of the Archdiocese of Baltimore that state authorities are investigating the archdiocese’s records related to the sexual abuse of children.

Lori told priests and deacons in a letter Monday that the office of the Attorney General Brian Frosh has informed the archdiocese that it plans to “conduct an investigation and thorough review” of the records.

“I write today to inform you that the archdiocese has been in discussions with the Maryland attorney general,” the archbishop wrote.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said Monday that, consistent with policy, it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of such an inquiry.

But the letter from Lori appeared to affirm that Maryland has become the latest of several states to open similar investigations in the wake of an explosive Aug. 14 Pennsylvania grand jury report that revealed that more than 300 “predator priests” in that state were credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children over seven decades.

Fired Mandeville church staffer surrenders to cops after being accused of sexually abusing underage boy

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

September 25, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

The man who was fired over the weekend from his staff position at a prominent Mandeville church has surrendered to police in Mississippi on accusations of molesting an underage boy, authorities said Tuesday.

Travis Bush, 36, turned himself in after investigators in Bay St. Louis obtained a warrant to arrest him.

Detective Sgt. Rachel Jewell of the Bay St. Louis Police Department said the particular crime that Bush is accused of committing implies that the boy in the case is 16 years old or younger, but she declined to release any more details.

Milton Ramirez of the U.S. Marshals Office in New Orleans said his agency was aiding the manhunt for Bush before he surrendered by early Tuesday afternoon.

Bush often sang at services held by St. Timothy on the Northshore United Methodist Church and held the title of assistant director of worship arts before leaders of that congregation announced his dismissal on Sunday.

Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison for sexual assault, deemed a 'sexually violent predator'

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Celebrity

September 25, 2018

Bill Cosby was sentenced on Tuesday to three to 10 years in state prison for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand.

Judge Steven T. O’Neill rendered the decision Tuesday, the second day of the sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., saying, “I’m not permitted to treat him any differently based on who he is or who he was.” O’Neill also ruled that Cosby is a “sexually violent predator” and fined him $25,000.

The sentence means that Cosby, once known as “America’s Dad,” will spend at least three years behind bars and then will become eligible for supervised release, although that’s not guaranteed. According to journalist Bobby Allyn, who was in the courtroom, the judge will not grant bail, and the comedian is expected to be taken away to a cell shortly.

Pennsylvania state lawmaker, a Catholic clergy abuse victim himself, fights for reform

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS NEWS

September 25, 2018

Pennsylvania lawmakers are expected to vote Tuesday on sweeping legislation to give child sex abuse victims more time to seek justice for crimes committed against them. On Monday night, the state house was lit in blue to honor survivors. Dozens of them have traveled to the capitol to urge legislators to pass the measure.

The survivors' fight to change the laws in Pennsylvania gained momentum after last month's landmark grand jury report into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Almost all of those cases are now too old for civil or criminal charges. A bipartisan group of legislators wants to change that.

"Judgment day is upon us, and this legislation will set the path straight," Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi said at the rally. Rozzi understands Catholic clergy sex abuse victims in a way very few politicians can. He said his priest raped him when he was 13 years old.

"Being a victim of child sexual abuse has changed my entire life," Rozzi told CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste.

Rozzi is leading the fight for what victims call the "window to justice," giving them a two-year period to file civil lawsuits if their claims are already barred by the statute of limitations.

"They can go in there, identify their perpetrator, and also get compensation for the egregious crimes committed against them," Rozzi said.

SNAP names Zach Hiner as next executive director

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 24, 2018

By Brian Roewe

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has named Zach Hiner, a former staff employee, as its next executive director.

Hiner, who spent the past six years in communications roles with Prevent Child Abuse America, previously worked with SNAP from 2011 to 2013 as an executive assistant briefly to founder Barbara Blaine and then-national director David Clohessy.

"I’m excited to come home to the organization that lit the spark and turned me towards a life of advocacy and prevention," Hiner, 31, said in a statement Sept. 14.

In his prior stint with SNAP, Hiner filled a variety of administrative roles, from updating the website to serving as a point person for press outreach. But it was listening to abuse survivors share their stories over the phone, he told NCR, that "made me want to get involved with prevention deeper," an area he hopes to emphasize in his new position.

Hiner returns to SNAP, created in 1988 and now counting 25,000 members worldwide, at what its board of directors called "a momentous moment in time," as the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal has erupted back into the public eye.

In the U.S., accusations around former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and revelations from the Pennsylvania grand jury report have dominated attention, while similar reports have documented the pervasiveness of clergy sexual abuse in Germany and the Netherlands, the fallout continues in Chile from alleged cover-ups, and cardinals await to stand trial in Australia and France.

Hiner, who begins his new position Sept. 24, recognizes it as an important time for SNAP, particularly through the "valuable role" of its support groups as more abuse survivors come forward and look for places to turn.

In homily, Calif. priest says he was abused, hears from dozens of victims

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

September 21, 2018

By Mark Pattison

To be a voice for victims of clerical sexual abuse, Fr. Brendan McGuire realized he had to come to terms with the abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest when he was 18. It was a secret he had held for 35 years.

He told the story of his abuse in a homily delivered at five weekend Masses Sept. 8-9 at Holy Spirit Church in San Jose, California, where he is pastor.

In a Sept. 18 interview with Catholic News Service, McGuire said that although he always writes his homilies for distribution via email and social media, it was the first time he read it word for word from the pulpit so he wouldn't overlook anything he wanted to say.

Parishioners responded with "thunderous applause" at two Masses and "three standing ovations" at the others -- atypical post-homiletic behavior, he said.

State appeals court overturns dismissal of lawsuit against Diocese of Winona; case will head for jury trial

WINONA (MN)
Winona Daily News

September 25, 2018

By John Casper Jr.

A lawsuit brought against the Diocese of Winona by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a St. Mary’s Catholic Church priest is heading to a jury trial.

That was the ruling of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which reversed in part a summary judgment dismissing claims of negligence by the Winona County District Court. The unpublished opinion, released Monday, affirmed dismissal of the suit against St. Mary’s, but the three-member appellate court disagreed with Judge Nancy Buytendorp’s ruling to dismiss two claims of negligence against the diocese, basing its decision on a letter from Bishop Edward Fitzgerald to the accused priest, the Rev. Richard Hatch, before he was placed at St. Mary’s.

Service of atonement

PATTON (PA)
Altoona Mirror

September 25, 2018

By Sean Sauro

Queen of Peace holds Mass in penance for sins of clergy abuse

A few dozen people kneeled in the dimly lit pews shortly after 6 p.m. Monday inside Queen of Peace Church, their hands clasped in prayer.

In the hour that followed, others would enter, and by 7 p.m., the church was filled with more than a hundred visitors and parishioners.

They were gathered for a Solemn High Mass held as penance for the sexual abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests.

The Mass was held on the same day that victims of sexual abuse and their supporters marched on the Pennsylvania Capitol.

The rally, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, preceded a speech by Gov. Tom Wolf, urging lawmakers to support legislation to better protect victims of sexual abuse, violence and harassment.

But before Wolf took to a podium, attendees in Harrisburg heard from Cambria County native Shaun Dougherty, who was abused by a priest as a child. His words were streamed by video to a state-owned website.

Former Pa. legislator breaks years of silence on his own sexual abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

September 24, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Former Pa. state rep. talks about being a victim of child sex abuse

For years, the effort to reform the Pennsylvania statute of limitations has been chiefly led by Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat who at the age of 13 was sexually abused by his Diocese of Allentown priest.

Rozzi has become the poster face for adult victims who were abused as children.

On Monday, his fraternity grew by at least one.

Bill Wachob, a Democrat who between 1978 and 1984 served in the House, on Monday made public his own abuse.

Wachob, who now lives in La Jolla, Calif., calls himself "collateral damage" to the clergy sex abuse crisis. He said his abuser - an older and bigger neighbor - was himself being abused by a priest.

Cardinal Dolan names judge to review response to clergy sex abuse claims

NEW YORK (NY)
AMNew York

September 20, 2018

By Bart Jones

Barbara Jones will evaluate and recommend improvements to the archdiocese’s response to the sex abuse crisis.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan is asking a retired federal judge to independently examine how the Archdiocese of New York handles sexual abuse allegations against priests and church employees.

Dolan, who leads New York City's nearly 3 million Catholics, unveiled the review Thursday when he announced the appointment of Barbara Jones, who sat on the bench nearly 20 years in New York's Southern District.

Jones, 71, has been promised complete access to records, personnel and to Dolan himself, the cardinal said.

As part of her analysis, Jones will recommend how the archdiocese can improve its response to the sex abuse crisis and whether its victim compensation program has indeed helped survivors, Dolan said.

Archbishop: Maryland AG investigating records in abuse probe

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Associated Press

September 24, 2018

Maryland’s attorney general is delving into records of the Baltimore archdiocese as part of an investigation into child sex abuse, the latest U.S. state seeking confidential church files since a Pennsylvania grand jury released an explosive report alleging widespread abuse and a cover-up scandal.

Archbishop William Lori said in a statement Monday that he has written priests and deacons in the archdiocese advising them he’s been informed by Attorney General Brian Frosh of “an investigation of records related to the sexual abuse of children.”

Unlike other U.S. states including New York that have recently announced probes into clergy sex abuse, Frosh’s office only said it doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of any investigations. But in a tweet Friday, Frosh called for victims of abusers “associated with a school or place of worship” to come forward.

Lori, who earlier this month was appointed by the Vatican to take over West Virginia’s diocese following the resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield amid allegations he sexually harassed adults, wrote that the archdiocese is “supportive of the review.” He also pledged full cooperation throughout the process.

Global survivors respond to official release of German church abuse study

SEATTLE (WA)
ECA Global

September 25, 2018

The official release today by the German bishops of their self-authorized study of the sexual abuse of children in the German church, already widely reported on last week from leaked sources, is significant not only for what it says but for what it doesn’t say. As the authors of the report concede, as shocking and alarming as their conclusions are, the true extent of the abuse is likely much greater and the actual number of victims much higher.

In fact, although claiming to be a National report on the problem of clerical abuse, it clearly is not. No examination of religious order abusers is included in the findings. Male religious orders account for approximately a quarter or all German Catholic clerics. They comprise some of the most high-profile cases of abuse which have been publicly exposed in Germany, especially in educational schools and institutions. As shown in other national studies, religious orders have some of the greatest concentration of abusers, and are particularly prone to transfer clerical sex offenders across wide geographical regions, including to other countries where their orders operate.

Researchers were also given limited and constrained access to church files, no doubt because the German bishops do not want an investigation and examination into their own conduct of systematically transferring and concealing child sex offenders in parishes and schools across Germany.

Ellicottville priest accused of abuse, put on leave

ELLICOTTVILLE (NY)
Olean Times Herald

September 25, 2018

By Tom Dinki

An Ellicottville priest has been suspended by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo for an allegation of abuse.

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone placed the Rev. Ronald Mierzwa on administrative leave after receiving an abuse complaint against Mierzwa, the diocese announced Monday.

Mierzwa has been pastor of Holy Name of Mary Church in Ellicottville since 1994. A call to Mierzwa at the church office was not immediately returned.

The diocese did not provide details on the complaint, including what is alleged to have happened and when it allegedly happened.

FOX 11 Investigates: Could a Wyoming priest abuse case impact NE Wisconsin Catholics?

GREEN BAY (WI)
FOX 11/WLUK

September 24, 2018

By Mark Leland

With a dark cloud hanging over the Catholic church, the Diocese of Green Bay is opening its files to an independent investigator. The diocese wants to make sure any documented allegations of abuse committed by priests have been dealt with properly over the years.

"Hopefully it will restore confidence in what we’re doing," explained Bishop David Ricken with the Diocese of Green Bay.

The diocese, including its leader Bishop David Ricken, is also paying close attention to accusations of sexual abuse resurfacing in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Before coming to Green Bay, Ricken was Bishop of Cheyenne in 2002. He was a brand-new bishop. Among his first duties was to address an allegation of sexual abuse against his predecessor, Bishop Emeritus Joseph Hart, involving a 14-year-old boy in 1977.

'Shocking' sexual abuse of children by German clergy detailed in report

BERLIN (GERMANY)
The Guardian

September 25, 2018

By Kate Connolly

Minister warns abuse of 3,677 children by about 1,670 clerics may be ‘tip of the iceberg’ for Catholic church

A “shocking” report into the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy in Germany is “probably only the tip of the iceberg”, the country’s justice minister has said.

The German Catholic church presented the results of an investigation into decades of sexual abuse of children on Tuesday afternoon. The report details the cases of 3,677 children, the majority of whom are male, who were sexually abused between 1946 and 2014. About 1,670 clerics, mainly priests, are implicated.

The justice minister, Katarina Barley, encouraged the church to work with the judicial system to bring as many cases as possible to court.

Diocese Fights Federal Fraud Lawsuit On St. Joseph Pension Fund - Denies Any Responsibility

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Go Local Providence

September 20, 2018

The Diocese of Providence has filed a motion in federal court seeking dismissal of the fraud lawsuit that was entered in June by the receiver for the failed St. Joseph Health Services pension fund.

In the Diocese's stack of documents, lawyers for the Church deny any responsibility for the failure pension fund — the largest fund collapse in Rhode Island history.

The Diocese filing is in response to the 136-page complaint that was previously filed on June 20 by the receiver — a 21 count complaint filed against 14 Defendants. Similarly, the receiver filed a state court complaint in June which is 101-pages and includes 16 count complaint against many of the same defendants.

“The Diocesan Defendants express sincere sympathy for the retirees of St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island (“SJHSRI”). That sympathy, however, cannot cloud the conclusion that this lawsuit is a baseless attempt to undo difficult decisions made in 2014 to save the CharterCARE system from collapse for the sake of an entire state and the communities it sustained and served."

Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux offers statement in Robison case

HOUMA (LA)
Houma Today

September 21, 2018

By Kelly McElroy

After a former Vandebilt Catholic High School football player filed a lawsuit against the school and the head football coach earlier this week, the Diocese of Houma–Thibodaux offered a statement on today saying it will not comment on the matter at this time.

Former Vandebilt quarterback Andrew Robison played three years at the Houma school and transferred to Hahnville after his father’s teaching and coaching contact was not renewed by Vandebilt in the spring but was later deemed ineligible at Hahnville by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

Robison filed the suit alleging negligence by the LHSAA, fraud against Vandebilt and bullying, slander, defamation of character and theft by Vandebilt and by Terriers head football coach Jeremy Atwell.

The statement from the Diocese reads:

Judge weighs Cosby’s sentence after declaring him ‘predator’

NORRISTOWN (PA)
The Associated Press

September 25, 2018

By MaryClaire Dale and Michael R. Sisak

A judge declared Bill Cosby a “sexually violent predator” on Tuesday as he prepared to sentence the 81-year-old comedian for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago.

The classification means that Cosby must undergo monthly counseling for the rest of his life and report quarterly to authorities. His name will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill made the decision as he weighed the punishment for Cosby for violating Temple University women’s basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia estate in 2004.

Cosby declined the opportunity to address the court before the judge retreated to his chambers around noon to weigh the sentence. O’Neill said he would announce his decision early in the afternoon.

The comic once known as America’s Dad for his role as wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison after being convicted in April in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

Cosby’s lawyers asked for house arrest, saying Cosby — who is legally blind — is too old and helpless to do time in prison. Prosecutors asked for five to 10 years behind bars, saying the comic could still be a threat to women.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele rejected the notion that “age, infirmity, should somehow equate to mercy.”

Edwards: Louisiana will do 'whatever it always does' with clergy misconduct

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

September 20, 2018

By Julia O'Donoghue

Gov. John Bel Edwards isn't making moves to launch a larger statewide investigation into sexual misconduct within the Catholic Church, despite allegations recently surfacing in the New Orleans and Lafayette area of sexual abuse in church institutions and a lack of transparency about those accusations.

At least eight other states have said they will conduct widespread investigations into clergy sexual misconduct after an alarming report in Pennsylvania identified 1,000 victims who were abused at the hands of 300 priests over 70 years. Louisiana's governor said the state will continue to approach allegations of sexual abuse as it traditionally has -- on a case-by-case basis.

"The state will do whatever it always does when it receives credible information that a crime has taken place. Actual information -- it will be fully investigated," Edwards said at a press conference Thursday (Sept. 20).

Veröffentlichung des Forschungsprojekts „Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“ (MHG-Studie)

[Publication of the research project "Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests, Deacons and Male Religious in the Area of ​​the German Bishops' Conference" (MHG study)]

GERMANY
Deutschen Bischofskonferenz

September 25, 2018

[Note: See also Research Project (MHG Study) “Sexual abuse of minors by catholic priests, deacons and male members of orders in the domain of the German Bishops’ Conference” AND Statement of the Special Commissioner of the German Bishops’ Conference on all questions relating to sexual abuse of minors and on issues of child and youth protection in the Church’s sphere of influence, Bishop Dr Stephan Ackermann (Trier)

In einer Pressekonferenz während der Herbst-Vollversammlung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz in Fulda ist heute (25. September 2018) die MHG-Studie vorgestellt worden. In der Kurzform „MHG-Studie“ ist sie benannt nach den Orten der Universitäten des Forschungskonsortiums – M(annheim)-H(eidelberg)-G(ießen) – und trägt den Titel „Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“.

Die Statements von

New Lawsuit Alleges Sexual Abuse by Former Danbury Priest

DANBURY (CT)
Danbury Patch

September 24, 2018

By Rich Kirby

The cleric served eight years at St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church​ in Danbury.

New lawsuits filed on Friday allege sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in four local municipalities, including Danbury, the CTPost is reporting.

The lawsuits were filed by five men and claim the abuse occurred from the late 1980s through the early 2000s and were filed in state Superior Court in Bridgeport.

The Rev. Larry Jensen, former spiritual director of the Diocese of Bridgeport's Emmaus youth ministry program, has been accused by one plaintiff of abuse at St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church in Danbury. The priest served eight years at St. Anthony's before being transferred to St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church in Waterville, Maine. Jensen was removed from the priesthood in 2017.

Two other priests, the Rev. Walter Coleman and the Rev. Robert Morrissey, were alleged to have abused plaintiffs in Bridgeport, Brookfield and Ridgefield.

Lawsuit against Diocese of Winona sent back to court

ROCHESTER (MN)
Post Bulletin

September 24, 2018

By Emily Cutts

The Minnesota Appeals Court ruled Monday that a lawsuit against the Diocese of Winona involving allegations of sexual abuse should be sent back to the Winona County District Court.

The lawsuit, filed by a man identified in court documents as John Doe 121, alleges that while he was a student at St. Mary’s Catholic Church during the early 1960s he was sexually abused by Father Richard Hatch. He filed suit in 2015, arguing that both the Diocese of Winona St. Mary’s Catholic Church acted negligently because they should have foreseen, or known about, Hatch’s sexually abusive tendencies toward children.

Hatch died in 2005. He was ordained in 1954 and served in three churches in Minnesota – St. Vianney’s in Fairmont, St. Leo’s in Pipestone, and St. James’ in St. James – from that time through 1962, according to court documents.

South Jersey Catholics to pray for victims of clergy sex abuse

CAMDEN (NJ)
Cherry Hill Courier-Post

September 25, 2018

By Jim Walsh

The Diocese of Camden will hold prayer services for victims of the “awful” scandal of clergy sex abuse, Bishop Dennis Sullivan has announced.

The services will be held on two nights at seven South Jersey churches, said Sullivan, the spiritual leader for some 475,000 Catholics.

Sullivan will celebrate the first service at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at St. Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, 701 Little Gloucester Road in Blackwood.

Additional 7 p.m. services will be held at six churches on Oct. 5.

Former Priest Extradited to Face Child Sex Abuse Charges Blamed Cancer, Prosecutors Say

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press

September 24, 2018

By Russell Contreras

A former New Mexico priest, who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse and once blamed his behavior on a cancer diagnosis which prosecutors say he didn’t have, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Arthur Perrault is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque for a detention hearing as prosecutors seek to hold the 80-year-old priest until his trial for aggravated sexual abuse.

Court documents filed in federal court said victims described Perrault showering them with gifts and meals before abusing them. Victims also collaboratively described Perrault as someone who smoked pipes and wore silk underwear.

As Cosby Sentencing Unfolds, Pennsylvanians Demand Accountability For Sexual Abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Huffington Post

September 24, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

Whether the predator is a TV star or a local priest, sexual abuse survivors in Pennsylvania want lawmakers to pursue justice for victims.

Sexual abusers faced a reckoning on Monday in Pennsylvania ― whether they were celebrities shielded by their fame or priests protected by religious institutions.

The same day disgraced actor Bill Cosby began his sentencing hearing in Norristown for sexual assault, people marched to the state capitol about 100 miles away in Harrisburg to support survivors of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

The rally drew the support of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), a bipartisan group of legislators, and victims of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. They all urged quick passage of reforms recommended in a grand jury investigation report in August that identified 301 “predator priests” and over 1,000 victims in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses over 70 years.

Meanwhile, Cosby’s sentencing hearing started in Montgomery County with emotional victim impact statements from Cosby’s accuser, Andrea Constand, and her family.

Bishops Scramble to Respond to Exposure of Widespread Complicity in Hiding Sexual Predators

UNITED STATES
SNAP

September 21, 2018

BISHOPS SCRAMBLE TO RESPOND TO EXPOSURE OF WIDESPREAD COMPLICITY IN HIDING SEXUAL PREDATORS

For immediate release, September 21, 2018

Statement by Tim Lennon, President of SNAP, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org, 415-312-5820

Last month the explosive Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report exposed that, despite the promises of 2002, the Catholic hierarchy was still covering up for sexual "predators."

https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/report/

This damning Report has had Bishops across the country scrambling to respond to angry parishioners and public outrage. The empty gestures that have been produced so far fall into three categories.

Vatican cardinal slams Pope Francis as 'ice-cold, cunning Machiavellian' and a 'LIAR' in explosive interview about Catholic church child sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail

September 25, 2018

By Charlie Moore

- Anonymous cardinal made the comments to German magazine Der Spiegel
- He said: 'The pope preaches mercy, but in reality he is ice-cold and cunning'
- Was referring to claims Francis knew about abuse allegations but did nothing

Pope Francis has been branded an 'ice-cold, cunning Machiavellian' and a 'liar' by one of his cardinals, a German magazine reports.

The anonymous cardinal made the comments in a bombshell interview with Der Spiegel for its 19-page report on the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.

He said: 'The pope preaches mercy, but in reality he is an ice-cold, cunning Machiavellian, and, what is worse – he lies.'

The cardinal was referring to claims that Francis knew about sexual abuse allegations against US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick long before he admitted he was aware of them or took any action.

We Need to Listen to the Survivors of Clerical Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle

September 25, 2018

By Betty Clermont

Since the news about the now–Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of minors and seminarians, and a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing the sexual abuse of over 1,000 minors by over 300 clergymen, dozens of “experts” have opined about what must change in the Catholic Church to prevent further suffering. Although well-meaning, they are wrong and perhaps using this human catastrophe to advance their own agendas.

I have chosen a sampling below that are representative of so many similar articles. To spot the errors, it is necessary to know some facts about the crime of child sex abuse.

The following statistics are from the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website.

NOTICIAS TELEMUNDO INVESTIGA EXPOSES SEXUAL ABUSE BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS IN LATINO COMMUNITIES, WEDNESDAY, SEPT 26 AND THURSDAY, SEPT 27 AT 6:30PM/5:30C

MIAMI (FL)
NBC

September 25, 2018

“Noticias Telemundo Investiga,” the Hispanic network’s investigative unit, will present a series of two exclusive reports denouncing cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests to Latino survivors, Wednesday, September 26 and Thursday, September 27 during the “Noticias Telemundo” nightly news at 6:30 p.m./5:30 C.

The “Noticias Telemundo Investiga” series about sexual abuse by the Catholic Church is the product of rigorous research and includes victim testimony, photos and unpublished documents, as well as commentary by well-known experts on the topic, such as Father Thomas P. Doyle. The reports come just days after a meeting at the Vatican between Pope Francis and a group of archbishops from the United States to discuss the sex abuse crisis currently affecting the Catholic Church.

“Noticias Telemundo” is a leading provider of national news for U.S. Hispanics. Its award-winning television news broadcasts, airing from the Telemundo Center, include the daily newscast “Noticias Telemundo” with José Díaz Balart, “Noticias Telemundo Fin de Semana” with Julio Vaqueiro, “Noticias Telemundo Mediodía” with Felicidad Aveleyra, the “Un Nuevo Día” news segment with Paulina Sodi, and the Sunday current affairs show “Enfoque con José Díaz-Balart.” The “Noticias Telemundo Digital Team” provides uninterrupted content to U.S. Hispanics via its growing online and mobile platforms. “Noticias Telemundo” also produces news specials, documentaries and news events such as political debates, forums and town halls.

‘I felt that it was my fault’: A rape survivor shares her story of speaking out

UNITED STATES
PBS

September 21, 2018

The allegations against Brett Kavanaugh have compelled people to share their own experiences with sexual assault and why they didn't come forward. When Chessy Prout was a freshman in high school, she was raped by a classmate. She spoke to authorities, brought charges and suffered a backlash. The author of “I Have the Right To,” Prout joins Amna Nawaz to discuss the shame she experienced.

Read the Full Transcript

German report documents more than 3,600 abuse cases within the Catholic Church

BERLIN (GERMANY)
Washington Post

September 25, 2018

By Luisa Beck and Chico Harlan

A report to be released Tuesday documents the sexual abuse of more than 3,600 people by 1,670 clergy members within Germany’s Catholic Church over a period of 68 years — and even those numbers probably underestimate the scale of the problem, the authors say.

Abuse of that magnitude constitutes one of the largest Catholic Church scandals in Europe. But at the same time, it is not altogether surprising to many church watchers. Evidence of widespread abuse and its coverup has been found in every jurisdiction that has launched an investigation. Australia, Chile and several U.S. states are part of the growing list.

The German report, commissioned by the German Bishops’ Conference and conducted by researchers from three German universities, provides a snapshot not only of abuse but of the trauma and isolation faced by victims long afterward.

It also contradicts a narrative held among some in the church that the abuse cases coming to light now are all old and that the problem has since been addressed. The German researchers said abuse occurred throughout the period they examined, from 1946 until 2014.

“We are experiencing a very dark hour in our church’s history, which will hopefully result in a cleansing and renewal,” Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, from Essen, wrote in a letter to his diocese. “The dangers are far from being exorcised. We must fear that there is and could still be sexual abuse among us.”

Pope Francis acknowledged Tuesday that sex abuse scandals are driving people away from the church. Speaking in Estonia at the end of a tour of Baltic states, he told a gathering of young people, “We have to realize that in order to stand by your side, we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off,” the Associated Press reported.

An advance copy of the 356-page report was shared with The Washington Post by Die Zeit, a German weekly. The report does not detail the experience of individual victims, nor does it provide the names of alleged abusers or those who helped protect them.

Critics say the study lacks the rigor of state-backed reports, such as the one released last month by Pennsylvania’s attorney general. The German researchers did not have direct access to church files and instead depended on questionnaires and other correspondence with dioceses, as well as interviews, criminal records and an anonymous online survey of victims willing to participate.

Survivor of abuse by Mishawaka priest: 'I finally feel vindicated'

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

September 25, 2018

By Caleb Bauer

When Bishop Kevin Rhoades decided to release the names of 18 clergy members accused of sexual abuse, he said he had come to understand “that victims deserve to see the names of their abusers made public for all to see.”

“It is my hope that by releasing these names, the innocent victims of these horrific and heartbreaking crimes can finally begin the process of healing,” Rhoades, bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese, said when he first announced his plans.

For Diane Bottorff King, the release of the names last week has brought her some semblance of justice, and a measure of the healing that Rhoades mentioned. She said having her abuser — the Rev. Elden Miller — publicly revealed has left her feeling “better than I have in years.”

Still, she thinks the release came at a time when the diocese had no other choice.

Amid scandals, Pope says youth ask: ‘Can’t see nobody is listening to you?’

TALLINN (ESTONIA)
CRUX

September 25, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

As the Catholic Church prepares for a summit of bishops in October focusing on youth and vocations within the wider context of clerical sex abuse scandals around the world, Pope Francis called for the Church to be converted and to answer young people’s call for change.

“When we adults refuse to acknowledge some evident reality, you tell us frankly: ‘Can’t you see this?’ Some of you who are a bit more forthright might even say to us: ‘Don’t you see that nobody is listening to you any more, or believes what you have to say?’” the pope acknowledged during an ecumenical meeting with youth in Tallin, Estonia.

“We ourselves need to be converted,” Francis added, “we have to realize that in order to stand by your side we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off.”

Pope Francis is currently on the last stop of is four-day pastoral visit to the Baltic States, Sep. 22-25. Until now, the pope’s speeches had focused on calling the local faithful to openness and mercy, but on Tuesday he mentioned the sex abuse crisis for the first time on the trip.

Young people “are upset by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation, by our unpreparedness to really appreciate the lives and sensibilities of the young, and simply by the passive role we assign them. These are just a few of your complaints,” the pope said.

Ex-priest, Cheverus teacher goes to prison for sexually assaulting Freeport boy

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

September 25, 2018

By Megan Doyle

The 30-year-old man who was abused decades ago by James Talbot faced the former priest in court and recalled the 'pure terror' of going to church.

James Talbot, a former Roman Catholic priest and longtime teacher at Cheverus High School in Portland, pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he sexually assaulted a boy in Freeport in the 1990s.

Talbot, 80, was ordered to serve three years in prison. The full sentence on a charge of gross sexual assault was for 10 years, with all but three years suspended. He also received a concurrent sentence of three years for unlawful sexual contact.

OPINION: Catholic Church must face reality

UNITED STATES
Newsday

September 25, 2018

By Roy Bourgeois

Scandal rocks the church, and wrongly it still opposes ordaining women as priests.

As a Catholic priest, I did the unspeakable. I called for the ordination of women. The Vatican’s response was swift. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith informed me that I was “causing grave scandal” in the church, and that I had 30 days to recant my support for the ordination of women or be expelled from the priesthood.

I told the Vatican that was not possible. Believing that women and men are created of equal worth and dignity, and that both are called by an all-loving God to serve as priests, my conscience would not allow me to recant. In my response, I also made clear that when Catholics hear the word “scandal,” many think about the thousands of children who have been raped and abused by Catholic priests — not about the ordination of women.

House tees up statute of limitations fix

HARRISBURG (PA)
CNHI News Service

September 25, 2018

By John Finnerty

The state House voted 171-23 in favor of a proposal that would change the state’s statute of limitations law to open a two-year window to allow victims of old child sex crimes to sue in civil court.

The House is scheduled to hold a final vote on the amended bill today.

The Senate is likely to take the matter up next week.

Statute of limitation reform has emerged as the most prominent controversy of the fall legislative session, which began Monday.

Opening a window for lawsuits was one of the recommendations made by a statewide investigative grand jury that found that more than 300 predator priests had sexually abused at least 1,000 child victims in six dioceses over seven decades. Almost all of the cases cited by the grand jury took place too long ago for victims to now sue for damages.

Feds: Priest blamed sex abuse on cancer he didn’t have

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press

September 25, 2018

By Russell Contreras

A former New Mexico priest, who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse and once blamed his behavior on a cancer diagnosis which prosecutors say he didn’t have, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Arthur Perrault is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque for a detention hearing as prosecutors seek to hold the 80-year-old priest until his trial for aggravated sexual abuse.

Court documents filed in federal court said victims described Perrault showering them with gifts and meals before abusing them. Victims also collaboratively described Perrault as someone who smoked pipes and wore silk underwear.

The Faithful Are Crying Out for Action. Will Church Leaders Listen?

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

September 23, 2018

The Editors

EDITORIAL: ‘We want a Church that proclaims truth profoundly. We want a Church that proclaims the teachings of our Church honestly.’

Since the news of sex-abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and accusations of cover-up broke early this summer, laity across the United States — victims, angry parishioners who felt they were kept in the dark about predators in their midst, and parents worried for their children — have spoken out loudly. They have begged the bishops for action, for transparency and for clarity.

The most concrete and official response demonstrating that the bishops have heard the pleas of the laity came Sept. 19, when the administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement outlining a plan of action that included four key points: a third-party reporting system for complaints of sexual abuse by bishops; policies for restricting bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations; a “Code of Conduct” for bishops regarding sexual abuse; and support for a full investigation into disgraced Archbishop McCarrick.

Pope Francis, who met with U.S. Church leaders in Rome a week before their statement, has stressed his desire for the Church to engage in deeper listening. On Sept. 12, he announced that he has convened a meeting at the Vatican for all the presidents of the Catholic bishops’ conferences worldwide to discuss the issue of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. Days later, he issued a new apostolic constitution on the Synod of Bishops, Episcopalis Communio (Episcopal Communion), dated Sept. 15, revising the way synods function.

Catholic Bishops and the Problem of Scandal

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

September 19, 2018

By E. Christian Brugger

DIFFICULT MORAL QUESTIONS: In Catholic theology, scandal is leading another to do evil by word or example.

Q. I’ve heard the term scandal used frequently during the present crisis: e.g., Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s actions are “scandalous;” people are “scandalized” by the bishops’ inaction. But the term’s meaning is not always obvious to me. Could you please clarify the Catholic Church’s teaching on the sin of scandal?

A. In popular parlance, scandal often is used to refer to moral outrage. For example, a good priest might say, “The Catholic faithful are being scandalized by the conduct of their leaders.” Here, he is referring to the shock, anger and feelings of betrayal suffered by those who are surprised and disgusted to learn of their leaders’ complicity in wrongdoing.

But Catholic theology uses the term more precisely. Scandal is leading another to do evil by word or example.

Scandal is the great sin of churchmen in all ages, but especially in our day. So it is worth some concentrated attention.

Should the Catholic Church Pay Reparations to Sex-Abuse Victims?

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Atlantic

September 25, 2018

By Sigal Samuel

The Church is offering to pay people who can credibly say they were abused as children, but who can no longer file a lawsuit because the statute of limitations has passed.

The Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal has reached such a fever pitch that its top officials are now compelled to act. Last week, Pope Francis expelled a priest and accepted the resignation of two bishops, all of whom were accused of abuse in Chile. U.S. bishops promised to set up a hotline to field complaints about abusive religious leaders. In Pennsylvania, where a grand-jury report recently alleged 1,000 children were abused by clergy over a 70-year period, bishops announced they would support a fund to compensate victims.

This last move—variously referred to as reparation, compensation, or retribution—may seem like a refreshingly concrete bit of help for the victims. The Church is offering to pay people who can credibly say they were abused as youth but who can no longer file a lawsuit because the statute of limitations has passed. (The statute varies by state; in Pennsylvania, for example, a victim has until age 30 to file a civil suit pertaining to abuse he or she experienced as a minor.) The Pennsylvania bishops are offering to pay victims directly, through a simple arbitration process that they say will go more quickly than a court trial might. “We recognize our responsibility to provide an opportunity for sexual abuse survivors whose cases are time-barred from pursuing civil claims to share their experiences, identify their abusers, and receive compensation to assist their healing and recovery,” the bishops said in a statement.

Letter: Church can't afford to protect its children?

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star.

September 24, 2018

By Vickie Jahaske

How dare Bishop Weisenburger leverage the safety and security of children in his church to forestall decreased contributions. How disgusting to literally threaten those who withhold money of crippling a Safe Environment program. What nerve, after no longer being able to deny the magnitude of abuse, to shirk that responsibility off himself!

The Roman Catholic Church was forced to make safety a priority by legal and insurance issues from without, not goodness from within. The Star could be part of healing for victims of the church by giving the victims’ stories as much ink and priority as given to the bishop’s verbose statement. Part of healing is being given a voice. A safe place to share can be found at the next support meeting of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Nanini Library, 7300 N. Shannon Rd.

Vickie Jahaske

Catalina

September 24, 2018

Acusan a Arzobispado de Puerto Montt de haber ocultado abusos de ex sacerdote Víctor Guerrero

[Archbishop of Puerto Montt accused of having hidden abuses of ex-priest Víctor Guerrero]

CHILE
Soy Chile

September 24, 2018

El relato de una mujer que sufrió los vejámenes cuando tenía 16 años, en 2002, y que denunció a la Iglesia junto a sus padres en 2004, aparece publicado este domingo en diario El Llanquihue.

Cuando tenía 16 años, “Magdalena” sufrió los abusos sexuales y violaciones del ex sacerdote Víctor Guerrero, muy cercano a su familia, el cual si bien tiempo después reconoció tales delitos, fue encubierto por el Arzobispado de Puerto Montt.
Es lo que denuncia esta mujer de actuales 33 años, hechos ocurridos en 2002, en un reportaje publicado hoy en diario El Llanquihue. “Abusaba de mí en la parroquia y en nuestra casa. Como mis papás trabajaban en Calbuco, él tenía claridad de cuáles eran nuestros horarios, sabía cuándo estábamos solas con mis hermanas (…) fueron abusos físicos –tocaciones y violaciones-, y psicológicos. Una vez tuve la valentía de amenazarlo y preguntarle qué pasaría si contaba las cosas, y él siempre me decía ‘nadie te va a creer’. Manipulaba mucho, me hacía ver que estaba en una situación de poder, que era jefe de mis papás…”.

Director Fundación Vicaría de la Solidaridad y el caso Precht: “El Evangelio no ocultó a Judas”

[Vicaría de la Solidaridad Foundation director on Precht: "The Gospel did not hide Judas"]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 24, 2018

By Héctor Basoalto

Un emblema de los DD.HH. y ahora en el ojo del huracán por denuncias de supuestos abusos. En la Vicaría descartaron que su imagen y recuerdo sea “removido” de la emblemática institución. “Las cosas históricas hay que mantenerlas en la historia”, se dice. Aunque, de todos modos, el tema parece complicar.

“Si en el Evangelio no se oculta a Judas, que entregó a Jesús, en la historia tampoco tenemos que esconder a los personajes que han cometido cosas graves”. Con esa comparación, el sacerdote Francisco Javier Manterola, uno de los directores de la Fundación Vicaría de la Solidaridad, se refiere a uno de los mayores emblemas de esa entidad que defendió los DD.HH.: el sacerdote Cristián Precht.

La hebra que arrastra Precht: Las incómodas preguntas sobre cuánto supo el cardenal Silva Henríquez

[The thread of the Precht case: Uncomfortable questions about how much Cardinal Silva Henríquez knew]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 24, 2018

By Ivonne Toro

"¿Cómo es posible que el círculo más íntimo del cardenal aparezca transversalmente vinculados a casos de abuso sexual? ¿Hubo encubrimiento o se le negó la información? ¿O aún sabiendo, no le importó por criterios de la época? ¿Supo y le dio lo mismo?", se pregunta el sacerdote jesuita Pedro Labrín al poner el foco en el fallecido cardenal Raúl Silva Henríquez.

Fue a través de Facebook que el sacerdote jesuita Pedro Labrín hizo pública la inquietud respecto del nivel de conocimiento que pudo tener el cardenal Raúl Silva Henríquez -arzobispo de Santiago entre 1961 y 1983 y rostro de la Iglesia que se la jugó por la defensa de los derechos humanos durante la dictadura de Pinochet- respecto de los abusos sexuales por los que fue expulsado Cristian Precht, exvicario de la Solidaridad y uno de los religiosos más cercanos a Silva Henríquez, fallecido en 1999. No sólo eso: la situación de Precht puso en relieve que el círculo de discípulos del Cardenal está vinculado a indagatorias de este tipo. Se trata de figuras como el exvicario de la Juventud, Miguel Ortega, quien también aparece mencionado como victimario y Alfredo Soiza Piñeyro, quien dejó de ejercer el oficio sacerdotal tras ser también acusado de vulneraciones de índole sexual.

Piñera prepara gira a Europa que incluiría visita al Vaticano en medio de crisis en Iglesia Católica

[Piñera prepares to visit Europe, including the Vatican, in the midst of Catholic Church crisis]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 24, 2018

By Felipe Díaz

En medio de la crisis que atraviesa la Iglesia Católica chilena por los escándalos de abuso sexual, en La Moneda preparan una gira del Presidente por Europa que incluiría una visita de Estado a la Santa Sede. Con el turbulento escenario que vive la iglesia, una visita de Estado de Sebastián Piñera al Vaticano toma mayor relevancia, especialmente luego de que en las últimas semanas se hayan conocido las diligencias que se están realizando en el marco de las investigaciones de delitos sexuales contra menores de edad.

Abusos en la Iglesia: Ezzati vuelve a pedir perdón en la antesala de una agitada agenda judicial

[Abuses in the Church: Ezzati returns to apologize in the wake of a hectic judicial agenda]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 24, 2018

By Jonathan Flores and Nicole Martínez

En medio de las acusaciones de encubrimiento en su contra, por las que debería declarar como imputado en octubre, el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, imploró perdón a las víctimas de abusos cometidos por miembros del clero. Ya había ofrecido perdón en mayo, y esta vez lo hizo en la conmemoración de los 400 años de la iglesia San Francisco, donde habló de delitos.

Larry Nassar victims to speak at sexual abuse survivor rally in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG (PA)
FOX43

September 24, 2018

By Bryanna Gallagher

Sexual abuse survivors, advocates, and a handful of state leaders will join forces Monday night at the capitol in Harrisburg, for a survivor rally.

The sexual abuse survivor rally will begin at 5:45 p.m., at the main capitol steps. Speakers will be sharing their stories of sexual abuse while officials call on the Pennsylvania Legislature to act in defense of the survivors of child sex abuse.

Highlighting two women who will be speaking at the rally-- Rachael Denhollander and Jamie Dantzscher.

Denhollander, an attorney, was the first woman who came forward to expose ex USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, Larry Nassar. Dantzscher, a 2000 Olympic Bronze medalist, and the first of over 350 women who filed a suit against Nassar for sexual abuse.

Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, Governor, Tom Wolf, First Lady Frances Wolf, State senators, and clergy abuse survivors, and CHILD USA founder, Marci Hamilton will also be at the rally Monday night.

Priest's sexual abuse at Upper Hutt school admitted: It's 'criminal'

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

September 24, 2018

By Phil Pennington

The Marist Fathers has admitted a priest who led one of its top secondary schools sexually abused children.

But decades on they will not release the file on Francis Durning, rector of St Patrick's College in Silverstream, Upper Hutt, in the 1950s.

He was publicly remembered in Catholic obituaries as a man of "profound integrity" but a victim said other clergy nicknamed him "Fred the Fiddler" for his habit of abusing boys.

The victim, who RNZ will not name, is now in his 70s. He was a 13-year-old boy when the head of the school asked him into his office.

"He grabbed me and proceeded to hug me against his body," the man told RNZ.

"I tried to push him off with my elbows and arms, and he persisted, saying into my ear 'I don't know what to make of you, I don't know what to make of you'. Eventually he stopped and said, 'Whip it [your penis] out and let me have a look at it'."

He fled. The retaliation later from the rector and other staff, who knew abuse was going on, ruined his schooling, the man said.

US bishops won't restore trust with announced plans to stop abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 24, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

Are the U.S. bishops up to the task of restoring trust? Early indications are mixed.

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement last week pledging to use "every bit of the strength God provides us" to protect the church — from themselves. As is not infrequent in such cases of self-management, and if the steps they announced are any indication, the bishops have a long way to go before they can rest easy that their efforts to heal the church will not, in fact, make an already terrible situation even more dreadful.

No one can object to the first item on the bishops' to-do list: They are establishing "a third-party reporting system that will receive confidentially, by phone and online, complaints of sexual abuse of minors by a bishop and sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with adults by a bishop and will direct those complaints to the appropriate ecclesiastical authority and, as required by applicable law, to civil authorities." I am not sure why they did not explain what the "appropriate ecclesiastical authority" is. Apparently, alerting a nuncio is not enough. The need for a Vatican dicastery to deal with all aspects of the clergy sex abuse mess remains obvious and urgent.

Similarly, the Administrative Committee announced it had "Instructed the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance to develop proposals for policies addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations of sexual abuse of minors or sexual harassment of or misconduct with adults, including seminarians and priests." Well, no one has told the rest of us which bishops resigned for what reason, so it will be interesting to know how this will play out. I do not detect much in the way of transparency here, although I will bet Archbishop John Nienstedt's gig as the personal chaplain at the Napa Institute is now a thing of the past.

Canadian clergy abuse survivor says Vatican 'owes God an apology'

ST. JOHN'S (NEWFOUNDLAND)
The Canadian Press /CTV News

September 23, 2018

By Holly McKenzie-Sutter,

The prominent founder of a Newfoundland organization for clergy abuse survivors has written a letter to Pope Francis, saying the Vatican "owes God an apology" for mismanagement of abuse allegations.

"I realize you inherited this problem, but the way the Vatican mismanaged this crisis is disgraceful," wrote Gemma Hickey, founder of Pathways Foundation in St. John's.

Newfoundland and Labrador was the site of two highly publicized abuse scandals in the late 1980s, when allegations of widespread abuse at Mount Cashel and Belvedere Catholic orphanages met with public shock and outrage.

Bill Cosby Sentencing Delayed By Missing Defense Witness; Faces 30 Yrs In Prison

UNITED STATES
Deadline

September 24, 2018

By Dominic Patten

Having filed motion after motion during the past three years to halt or stop the rape case against the now-convicted Bill Cosby, his lawyers today made a last-ditch sleight-of-hand that could knock the two-day sentencing hearing off the rails right after it started and keep him from potentially going behind bars this week.

Throwing another spanner into the multi-trial matter, the defense suddenly stated this morning that it wished to hear from the doctor who compiled the original report that Pennsylvania’s sex offender board relied on in part for its estimation that Cosby should be designated a sexually violent predator. That Dr. Timothy Foley apparently is unavailable until Tuesday morning at the earliest, which stalled a ruling by Judge Steven O’Neill on the SVP and, under Keystone State law, consequently hits the pause button on the actual sentencing.

Noting that this tactic was “clearly delaying this,” the somewhat-annoyed judge recommended that defense attorney Joseph Green see if there is “any chance” that they can get their witness in front of him ASAP. O’Neill said that while he can’t make a ruling on sentencing before the SVP determination — the acronym both sides employed Monday — testimony in sentencing and other arguments will take up the afternoon.

N.O. area DAs say no new clergy sex abuse reported, but most evade questions on widespread probe

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

September 21, 2018

By Robert Rhoden

Several New Orleans area district attorneys say they have received no new cases of clergy sex abuse in the weeks since a Pennsylvania report named more than 300 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children, reigniting the Catholic Church's crisis over clergy abuse.

But most district attorneys in the area did not respond to questions on whether they are considering launching a widespread probe of clergy abuse and possible cover up by church officials in their respective jurisdictions, like investigations started in other parts of the country.

The top prosecutors in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes said they've received no new complaints of abuse but would thoroughly investigate any allegations brought before their offices. The Plaquemines Parish DA's Office said only that it has not received any allegations or complaints of clergy abuse in 2018.

How a local reporter got a priest to confess to sexual abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Columbia Journalism Review

September 17, 2018

By Matthew Kassel

IN FEBRUARY, A RETIRED PRIEST confessed to Buffalo News reporter Jay Tokasz that he had sexually abused dozens of teenage boys decades ago. The admission shook Buffalo, a deeply Catholic city, and several victims have come forward with stories of abuse by priests in the local diocese. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s statewide clergy abuse probe will reportedly focus on Buffalo’s diocese.

Tokasz, 48, previously worked at the Ithaca Journal and then at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle*, where he covered an unraveling clergy abuse scandal in the local diocese. Since 2002, he’s held a number of reporting roles at The Buffalo News, where he recently joined the watchdog team covering the Catholic church.

Tokasz traced the path of his reporting from the surprise February admission to the ongoing statewide investigation. The interview is condensed and edited for clarity.

NCR Podcast: Young Catholics on healing from the clergy sex abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
NCR

September 21, 2018

Inspired by their Vatican II forebearers, many young Catholics are planning to stay in the church and fight for reform of the power structures that allowed clergy sexual abuse to happen and that protected church leaders who tried to cover it up.

On the show today:

Priest defrocked for child sexual abuse still holds medical licenses in KS and MO

KANSAS CITY (KS)
The Kansas City Star

September 24, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

A former priest in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas remains licensed to practice medicine in Kansas and Missouri despite being defrocked this year after church leaders determined that he abused three minors decades ago.

John H. Wisner, who had been a priest for more than 45 years, also is a psychiatrist who holds a medical license in both states.

The Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, which oversees licensing of doctors in that state, is investigating the allegations against Wisner, The Star has learned. If the board determines that he has violated the rules of professional conduct, Wisner could lose his license.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts would not say whether it also was looking into Wisner’s case. In an email, executive director Kathleen Selzler Lippert said that “evidence of sexual abuse is one type of conduct that has been grounds for Board action.”

Former Priest Sent to Prison Again for Child Sexual Abuse

PORTLAND (ME)
The Associated Press

September 24, 2018

A former Roman Catholic priest who sexually abused a 9-year-old boy at a Maine church in the 1990s is going back to prison.

A former Roman Catholic priest who sexually abused a 9-year-old boy at a Maine church in the 1990s is going back to prison after pleading guilty on Monday.

James Talbot, 80, pleaded guilty to gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact under a plea agreement. He will serve three years in prison.

The charges involve a victim whose family were parishioners at St. Jude Church when Talbot was a substitute priest. The victim said in an affidavit in a civil case that Talbot befriended his family and offered religious instruction to him.

Another of Talbot's accusers, Michael Doherty, of St. Petersburg, Florida, attended Monday's court appearance to show solidarity with the victim. Doherty settled a lawsuit against Talbot years ago. The Associated Press typically doesn't identify victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Doherty has done.

"A civil suit doesn't give you that moment where they take him away in handcuffs," Doherty said.

Duluth priest successfully sues his accuser

DULUTH (MN)
Minnesota Lawyer

September 24, 2018

By Mike Mosedale

In a man-bites-dog case with few if any precise corollaries, a Roman Catholic priest designated as “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct by the Diocese of Duluth just last April has successfully sued the man who made the allegations against him.

After a three-day trial before 6th Judicial District Court Judge Theresa Neo, an eight-member jury awarded the Rev. William Graham $13,500 to compensate him for the $500 monthly stipend he did not receive during the period from May 2016, when he was placed on administrative leave from his job as parish priest at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Duluth, to August 2018, when the trial was held.

In answers to questions listed on a special verdict form, the jury said that Graham’s accuser, former Duluth police officer T. J. Davis, Jr., “intentionally interfered” with Graham’s employment and, further, that his actions were not justified.

But the jury also found that Davis’ conduct was not “so extreme and outrageous that it passed the boundaries of decency and was utterly intolerable to a civilized community” and it expressly declined to award additional damages that would “fairly compensate” Graham.

What is one to make of such an odd, seemingly contradictory verdict?

Faith and Justice? Timothy Healy and Leo O’Donovan’s Struggles to Balance Piety and Dialogue

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hoya

September 23, 2018

By Maddy Forbess and Meghan DeCourcey

“Faith and Justice” hangs from the banners of Healy Hall, urging students and faculty on to serve their community while staying true to their religious convictions.

Although Jesuits hold the two values as complementary, recent Georgetown presidents Timothy Healy and Leo O’Donovan have confronted several instances where the Catholic Church and progressive segments of the student body have pulled the University in competing directions.

The responses of Healy and O’Donovan to these contentious situations reflect distinct leadership styles that continue to define Georgetown today.

Clergy sexual abuse debate sets stage for Capitol showdown

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS)

September 23, 2018

By Angela Couloumbis

On Wednesday, the top Republican in the state Senate and a rank-and-file House member spoke for the first time, face-to-face, behind closed doors in the state Capitol.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) and Rep. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks) are the faces of opposing sides in the emotional debate over taking a dramatic step on behalf of sexual-assault victims — temporarily setting aside the state’s civil statute of limitations that bars accusers older than 30 from suing over abuse that occurred when they were children.

The meeting, called by Scarnati, appeared to be an attempt to temper a nasty public fight on the issue, one that once led Rozzi, who was abused by a Catholic priest as a teen, to call Scarnati a “hit man” for the church.

The two parted on good terms, but without any agreement, Rozzi said.

Their meeting foreshadows a showdown when legislators return to the Capitol on Monday for a truncated voting session. It also raises the question of whether Scarnati, who has successfully led past efforts to block opening the so-called legal window on the statute of limitations, can hold together what was once an ironclad coalition of like-minded senators.

The pressure of a key election looming in November, combined with relentless headlines surrounding the damning grand jury report on Catholic clergy abuse and its systemic cover-up in Pennsylvania, has magnified the already high stakes.

What appears certain is that the House will pass a bill that will be amended to create a two-year window allowing for the filing of civil suits outside the statute of limitations on child sex abuse. It has deep support among both majority Republicans and Democrats in that chamber, which passed a more expansive measure in 2016. All eyes will then be on Scarnati and his GOP-controlled Senate.

CHICAGO ARCHDIOCESE DIDN’T TELL SCHOOLS ABOUT ACCUSED PRIEST NEXT DOOR

CHICAGO (IL)
ChurchMilitant

September 21, 2018

By David Nussman

Fr. Richard McGrath is under investigation for sex abuse

The archdiocese of Chicago failed to inform a preschool and a grade school that a priest accused of child porn and child sex abuse was living nearby.

In 2017, Fr. Richard McGrath was accused of viewing child porn on his cell phone during an event at Providence Catholic High School in the diocese of Joliet outside Chicago. Father McGrath did not cooperate with police, so the investigation made little progress. But a separate allegation surfaced accusing Fr. McGrath of sexually abusing a male student in the 1990s, leading to a lawsuit and an investigation.

Father McGrath was removed from Providence. He then went to live at St. John Stone Friary on Chicago's South Side, a four-story building run by the Augustinian Order. McGrath is himself an Augustinian priest.

Neither the archdiocese nor the Augustinians informed the Chicago Child Care Society's preschool next door or St. Thomas the Apostle Grade School around the corner that there was an accused predator in the neighborhood.

Journeying From Grief to Grace: How a Retreat Program Helps Sex-Abuse Victims Heal

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

September 22, 2018

By Judy Roberts

Support is vital to recovery.

Two experiences of sexual abuse, one by a priest, left Marty Meyer like many victims of trauma: outwardly normal, but inwardly distant from people, especially men.

After trying therapy and prayer for inner healing, he finally found help through “Grief to Grace: Healing the Wounds of Abuse,” a retreat program started in 2005 by Theresa Burke, a psychotherapist who created Rachel’s Vineyard retreats for those suffering from post-abortion trauma. It was Burke’s discovery that many post-abortive women had also experienced sexual abuse that led her to develop the second program.

Meyer said Grief to Grace, which takes place over five to seven days, can succeed where therapy alone does not because, in conventional therapy, about the time the client is ready to open up, the session is ending. “You never really have a chance to unpack this significant event of your life,” he said.

Fugitive New Mexico priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press

September 22, 2018

By Mary Hudetz and Russell Contreras

A fugitive priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse has been returned to New Mexico to face charges after being arrested in Morocco last year, federal officials said Friday.

Arthur J. Perrault, 80, a former Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and a former Air Force chaplain, has been charged in a federal indictment with seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Perrault, a one-time pastor at St. Bernadette parish in Albuquerque, is one of many priests who were sent to New Mexico in the 1960s from around the country for treatment involving pedophilia.

Victims, lawyers and church documents show the priests were later assigned to parishes and schools across New Mexico — especially in small Native American and Hispanic communities.

Priest in sex-abuse probe to move away from Catholic grade school amid furor

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun Times

September 21, 2018

By Robert Herguth

When a student reported last year that she had seen an image of a naked boy on the Rev. Richard McGrath’s cellphone, the priest, who was president of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, was asked by the school and the police to hand over the phone.

McGrath refused, which officials say effectively killed an investigation by the police. Their focus later turned to accusations that the priest sexually abused another student at the far southwest suburban school in the 1990s — allegations that Will County prosecutors are reviewing and which also are the subject of a lawsuit by that former student.

McGrath, 71, was removed from Providence after the initial allegations surfaced in December. Since then, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, he moved to the St. John Stone Friary, a four-story monastery in Hyde Park run by the Augustinian order of priests that’s across an alley from a preschool and around the corner from a Catholic grade school.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, the Catholic church’s arm in Cook and Lake counties, says it was informed McGrath had moved to the South Side building. But it didn’t notify the preschool operator or its own St. Thomas the Apostle grade school.

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Catholic News Service

September 20, 2018

A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that they submitted the names of all suspected predators.

Seniors and recent college graduates may apply to be the next Bertelsen Editorial Intern. Learn more about this opportunity.

The lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas for Allegheny County by two people representing two classes of plaintiffs: survivors of clergy sexual abuse and children currently enrolled in Catholic schools who could be at risk of abuse, according to the lawsuit.

A Pennsylvania man and a Catholic school kindergartner are the representative plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Ryan O'Connor, the adult plaintiff, represents those who were abused. O'Connor, who is Catholic and has children at Catholic school, said he was abused by a priest when he was young.

The child plaintiff, representing Catholic school students, is represented by his mother, Kristen Hancock, a volunteer at her son's Catholic school.

The defendants include the six dioceses at the center of the grand jury report issued in August: Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Scranton.

Legacy of Pope Francis will be inaction, not reform, if he fails to tackle abuse

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

September 24, 2018

TP O’Mahony warns that a papacy that promised Church reform will remain mired in controversy unless Francis ensures accountability for the mishandling of abuse cases.

THE crisis over clerical sex abuse now engulfing the Catholic Church reaches all the way to the threshold of Casa Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Pope Francis has taken up residence.

His own credibility is now very much on the line, and threatens his legacy as a reforming Pope.

His inaction has caught up with him, and constantly preaching about “zero tolerance” while failing to put effective structures in place for dealing with bishops and cardinals who have covered up abuse no longer impresses, as he found out in a particularly painful way during his recent Irish visit.

During his two days here — a trip described by one Vatican correspondent as the “toughest and most difficult of his pontificate” — he was left in no doubt about the extent of the alienation and feelings of betrayal experienced by many in the Irish Church.

O’Malley: Pope Francis is ‘anxious’ to help Church in the U.S.

FORT WORTH (TX)
Crux

September 24, 2018

By Inés San Martín

When it comes to addressing the abuse crisis currently engulfing the Church in various parts of the world, no prelate knows Pope Francis as well as Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.

This summer has been especially difficult in the United States, with the revelations of abuse committed by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington, and a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing the alleged abuse of over 1,000 minors by over 300 clergymen of the past 75 years.

“I think the Holy Father is anxious to help the Church in the United States,” O’Malley told Crux on Saturday afternoon. “Right now, the Holy See has to respond to the questions about McCarrick’s advancement, and that will help the United States, and I think the Holy Father wants that to happen.”

The prelate, who heads the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, spoke to Crux as the V Encuentro, a gathering of some 3,500 Hispanic Catholics attended by some 120 American bishops, was coming to an end in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bishop Zubik says he's sorry for times 'I could've done more, ... said more'

ALLEGHENY (PA)
Trib Live

September 23, 2018

By Natasha Lindstrom

Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik told those gathered Sunday at a prayer service for children who were sexually abused by priests that he’s sorry for “the times that I could’ve done more, for the times that I could’ve said more.”

“I only wish that hindsight had caught up with me sooner than it did,” Zubik said during the homily portion of the special service at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. “All of us are called to join in this time of repentance as we feel each other’s pain deeply, within and outside the church.”

Roughly 100 people gathered for the special “Holy Hour for Repentance” service, including a few dozen parishioners, a group of about 20 seminarians — or priests-in-training — and clergy and lay leaders from across the diocese’s six-county region.

Zubik called for the service to “express sorrow” for child sexual abuse victims as Pittsburgh and five other Pennsylvania dioceses respond to a scathing grand jury report alleging that more than 300 priests sexually abused at least 1,000 children over the past 70 years.

Survivor of Catholic priest Charles Sylvestre's abuse aims to re-open civil lawsuit

LONDON (CANADA)
The London Free Press

September 24, 2018

By Jane Sims

Irene Deschenes watched her former parish priest, her abuser, be led from the Chatham courtroom in disgrace for decades of sexually abusing girls.

With her was a room full of other survivors of Charles Sylvestre’s depravity, brought together largely because of Deschene’s persistence and determination to bring him to justice.

That might have been the end, the final moment for her in the summer of 2006.

It was a startling discovery two months later of long-lost 1962 Sarnia police reports investigating Sylvestre’s abuse of girls, that meant the long and painful journey wasn’t over.

“That’s when the light bulb went on,” she said. “That’s the evidence. That’s the proof they knew.”

Twelve years later, the 57-year-old survivor of sexual abuse will be back in a London courtroom on Friday for what could be a ground-breaking and historic move to bring the Roman Catholic Diocese of London to account for keeping Sylvestre working as a priest while knowing he was molesting girls.

One local church brings awareness to child sexual abuse

COLUMBIA (MO)
KOMU 8

September 22, 2018

By Olivia Gerling

About one in 10 children are subject to sexual abuse, according to a local expert on the subject.

The Compass Evangelical Free Church will host a Stewards of Children Sexual Abuse Prevention training from 5:30 to 8:30 Sunday night. The event is free to the public.

“Things I find parents enjoy most about this training is I start from pre-school all the way forward on how to have conversations with their children,” said Kelly Schultz, a Child Advocate for the state of Missouri.

Schultz is also certified in the Stewards of Children program, which is a chapter of the Darkness to Light organization. The organization is a non-profit with the goal to prevent chid sexual abuse.

According to Schultz, the training is important.

“Parents that are my age probably learned not to talk to strangers, not to take candy from a stranger or pet a puppy at a park, and so we used to train children to be responsible for their safety,” she said. “We’ve really shifted our approach and we’re educating adults that they are the ones that are responsible for children.”

Schultz said a few members of the Compass church attended one of her other trainings. That's what led them to bringing the Stewards of Children training to their church.

Pastor Mark Anderson was one of those members. In an email to KOMU 8 News, he said he attended the training and wanted other members of the church to have the same opportunity as he did.

He was the one to set up the training.

Jesuit High sex abuse settlements kept quiet; 1 victim speaks out for first time

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

September 20, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Ricky Windmann wasn’t nervous when he accompanied janitor Peter Modica to his ground-floor maintenance office at Jesuit High School on an otherwise unremarkable day in the late 1970s.

After all, Modica – a former semipro baseball player – had let the skinny, light-haired boy play basketball on the school’s grounds several times, even though he wasn’t a student. He also bought Windmann a bike and stopped by the boy’s house, which was a couple blocks from the school’s Mid-City campus, to meet Windmann’s mother.

But any feeling of safety was replaced by paralyzing fear when Modica suddenly pulled Windmann’s pants down and forcibly performed oral sex on him. Windmann doesn’t recall his exact age at the time, but he said he believes he was in his early teens.

The janitor would go on to sexually abuse the adolescent several more times in the ensuing years – once in concert with a Jesuit priest and teacher, Neil Carr – only stopping when Windmann grew big enough to protect himself.

Former Maine priest pleads guilty to sex assault of boy, confronted by victim in court

PORTLAND (ME)
Bangor Daily News

September 24, 2018

By Jake Bleiberg

A former Catholic priest, who already served prison time for molesting boys in Massachusetts, pleaded guilty Monday to sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy in Freeport in the late 1990s.

A judge sentenced James F. Talbot, 80, to 10 years in prison with all but three of those suspended for sexually assaulting a minor under the age of 14, and three years, to be served at the same time, for unlawful sexual contact with a minor under the age of 14.

The boy Talbot molested, now a 30-year-old man, told a Portland court that the former priest stole his childhood and his faith. “What was supposed to be a man from God … turned out to be a disgusting animal,” he said.

The boy’s parents, who said they were married by Talbot, also spoke before his sentencing, with his mother calling him “the definition of evil.”

“I hope you rot in hell and I hope you die in jail,” the boy’s father said, turning to the former priest. “How can the Catholic Church allow this stuff to go on?”

St. Martin Parish priest used 'alcohol ... God' to abuse 11 boys in '70s, lawsuit claims

LAFAYETTE (LA)
The Acadiana Advocate

September 20, 2018

By Ben Myers

Eleven men are pursuing sex abuse allegations in state court against a late St. Martin Parish priest, saying he used "alcohol and the power of God" to prey on them.

The plaintiffs initially filed their lawsuit last year in a Washington, D.C. district court, but the case was dismissed for lack of proper jurisdiction.

The claims against Kenneth Morvant span eight years, beginning in 1971. Plaintiffs claim Morvant preyed on them methodically, traumatizing them to the point they developed dissociative amnesia. They said they filed their initial lawsuit once they recovered their memories. They refiled it last week in the 16th Judicial District Court.

11 alleged sex abuse victims file lawsuit against Diocese of Lafayette

ACADIANA (LA)
KLFY

September 19, 2018

By Lester Duhé

An alleged sexual abuse victim and 10 others have filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Lafayette and Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church.

The Petition of Damages states that more than 40 years ago, the late Father Kenneth Morvant abused Doug Bienvenu and other altar boys, by allegedly giving them alcohol and using the 'Power of God' to prey upon them.

This new lawsuit was just filed last Friday.

Bienvenu tells News 10 that 2 years ago he already filed 3 motions in Washington D.C., but 2 were thrown out because they said it was the wrong venue.

Now Bienvenu is hoping that the Diocese will release the list of names of other priests accused of sexual abuse in the Diocese, so what happened to him will never happen to anyone else.

"Every night he'd (Fr. Morvant) pick somebody different, but most nights it was my night. And he'd crawl in bed with us once we were sleeping when we were drunk, and he'd fondle us all night," said Doug Bienvenu, an alleged victim.

He says that over 40 years ago beginning at the age of 8, he along with other altar boys were sexually abused by the late Father Kenneth Morvant of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church, who's grave is on holy grounds.

Picketers say protests will continue unless Malone steps down

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO

September 19, 2018

By Nick Lippa

Every year many judges, attorneys and public officials gather for the Red Mass of the St. Thomas More Guild—a celebration to bless the legal community. This year was a little different. Protesters lined up outside of St. Joseph Cathedral late Tuesday morning asking those who entered to call for Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone’s resignation.
Ronald Cinelli is a Senior Attorney for the Children’s Legal Center in Buffalo. He said he is protesting the continuing cover-up of abuse.

“I think more lawyers should be out here protesting. I think by their presence in mass, they’re implicitly giving an ok to Bishop Malone’s handling of this scandal and that’s just wrong. He’s continuing to lie,” Cinelli said.

Malone and the Diocese of Buffalo were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed last month. The plaintiff alleges the bishop and diocese continue to withhold information on dozens of past child sexual abuse claims.

Cinelli and his wife have done more than just hold picket signs.

Murphy defends hiring disgraced official

NEW JERSEY
Politico

September 19, 2018

By Matt Friedman

Good Wednesday morning!

Gov. Phil Murphy is sticking by his administration’s hiring of Marcellus Jackson — who pleaded guilty to bribery — for a $70,000 special assistant position in the Department of Education.

“I hope we see a lot more of this, that somebody made a mistake, they admitted it, they repented it, they paid their price,” Murphy said at an unrelated press conference. “We have to get these folks back on their feet in society in this state. We have one of the harshest states in the nation in terms of allowing what I just said to happen. Marcellus has done all of the above, and I think we should all accept that that should be the new norm going forward.”

But as Sal Rizzo points out on Twitter, giving people second chances isn’t what’s controversial. It’s giving a person who violated the public trust a second chance working in the government that’s controversial.

Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years

NEW YORK (NY)
The New Yorker

September 23, 2018

By Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer

As Senate Republicans press for a swift vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale University. The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation. “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Senator Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said. An aide in one of the other Senate offices added, “These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”

The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.

Pope’s role in study of Argentine sex abuse case draws fire

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
The Associated Press

September 18, 2018

Pope Francis’ role in Argentina’s most famous case of priestly sex abuse is coming under renewed scrutiny as he faces the greatest crisis of his papacy over the Catholic Church’s troubled legacy of cover-up and allegations that he himself sided with the accused.

Francis, who at the time was still Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in 2010 commissioned a four-volume, 2,000-plus page forensic study of the legal case against a convicted priest that concluded he was innocent, that his victims were lying and that the case never should have gone to trial.

The Argentine church says that the study obtained by The Associated Press - bound volumes complete with reproductions of Johannes Vermeer paintings on the covers - was for internal church use only. But the volumes purportedly ended up on the desks of some Argentine court justices who were ruling on the appeals of Father Julio Grassi.

Despite the study, Argentina’s Supreme Court in March 2017 upheld the conviction and 15-year prison sentence against Grassi, a celebrity priest who ran homes for street children across Argentina.

Catholic crisis thinkers: What details change, when looking from the left and then the right?

UNITED STATES
Get Religion

September 23, 2018

By Terry Mattingly

This weekend’s think piece is two think pieces in one.

As a bonus, I think I have found a foolproof way to determine how editors of a given publication have answered the crucial question: What is the decades-old Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal all about?

Well, let me qualify that a bit: This journalistic test that I am proposing works really well with the drama surrounding ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, since he has been accused of several different kinds of sexual abuse with males of different ages.

The editorial test: Search an article for the word “seminary” or variations on that term.

Robert Jasina Interviews Monsignor G Michael Bugarin

DETROIT (MI)
WWJ Newsradio

September 24, 2018

WWJ's Roberta Jasina interviews Monsignor G Michael Bugarin of St. Clair Shores about pedophile priests, their prosecution, their punishment.

Length: 28:51

Hispanic summit on abuse crisis: Faith is bigger than clergy who fail to live it

FORT WORTH (TX)
CRUX

September 24, 2018

By Christopher White and Inés San Martín

While fallout from this summer’s clerical sexual revelations threatened to overshadow last week’s long-anticipated national summit on Hispanic Catholics, sentiment among the more than 3,000 attendees at the V Encuentro might be summarized as this: Our faith is bigger than the clergy who fail to live it out.

After four full days of keynote addresses, masses, breakout sessions, and coffee breaks, the sexual abuse crisis was repeatedly acknowledged by both the laity and Church leaders alike - but with the realization that the way forward will not be a singular silver bullet solution nor an “us versus them” mentality, but rather, as one bishop described to Crux, as a family acknowledging its faults but committed to repairing them together.

‘No admission of wrongdoing’; Tribal members settle sex abuse cases against LDS church

FLAGSTAFF (AZ)
The Associated Press

September 23, 2018

Four Native Americans who claimed they were sexually abused while enrolled in a now-defunct foster program run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decades ago filed paperwork to dismiss their cases after reaching financial settlements, a lawyer said.

Allegations have been made against the church by more than a dozen tribal members from the Navajo Nation and Crow Tribe of Montana.

Four cases recently were settled, three were settled last year and others reached agreements out of court. One case remains in Washington state.

The terms of the latest agreements are confidential and include no admission of wrongdoing, said Craig Vernon, an attorney who represented the tribal members.

The cases were filed in Window Rock District Court on the Navajo Nation.

Vernon said he believed his clients would have prevailed in tribal courts, but federal courts were risky. He said his clients had mixed feelings about settling.

The lawsuits sought monetary damages, written apologies and a guarantee that Mormon leaders would report suspected abuse. Vernon said his clients did not receive an apology and church policies remain unchanged.

Archdiocese of Hartford Addresses Ongoing Sex Abuse Scandal

HARTFORD (CT)
NECN

September 23, 2018

The Archdiocese of Hartford is again addressing the ongoing sexual abuse scandal shaking the Catholic church.

In a letter to parishioners released Sunday, Archbishop Leonard Blair acknowledged past sexual abuse cases within the diocese, stating that two priests have been credibly accused of sexually assaulting a minor over the last 20 years, and both faced criminal charges and prosecution.

He went on to say that the abuse has not been “occurring widely” in the Archdiocese of Hartford for at least 20 years, and there has been a zero-tolerance policy in place since 2002.

Blair said there are no credible claims against any current priests.

The latest Catholic abuse scandal shows that nothing was ever resolved

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
The Orange County Register

September 22, 2018

By Steven Greenhut

I’m having a hard time understanding why the recent Pennsylvania grand-jury report dealing with the Roman Catholic Church’s child-rape scandal sparked so much shock and outrage. Indeed, the allegations contained in the report are shocking and outrageous. But, as someone who reported extensively on the issue in Southern California 10 to 15 years ago, I’m not surprised by the revelations. Obvious questions jump to mind.

Why hasn’t the church, and the secular authorities responsible for filing criminal charges against abusers and rapists, done anything more substantive about the problem in the ensuing years? Why aren’t legions of priests – and the hierarchs who put protecting the church’s image above protecting its most vulnerable members – serving hard time in prison? We’ve known about this scandal for ages in all its gory detail, but for some reason little was done about it.

The Pennsylvania report, released last month, referred to internal church documents suggesting that 300 predator priests had potentially thousands of victims. “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,” according to the grand jury. “For decades. monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted.”

If there were thousands of victims in Pennsylvania, how many were there nationwide?

Cosby back in court Monday for start of sentencing

NORRISTOWN (PA)
AFP

September 24, 2018

By Thomas Urbain

Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby will return to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as "America's Dad" -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

He will be the first celebrity sentenced for a sex crime since the 2017 downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein signaled the beginning of America's public reckoning with sexual harassment.

The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Sex abuse scandal in German Catholic Church sparks celibacy debate

GERMANY
DW

September 24, 2018

German bishops have begun meeting in Fulda to discuss a study on widespread sex abuse by Catholic priests. Some are calling for celibacy to be overhauled, while others want the church to focus on victim compensation.

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx opened a widely-anticipated meeting of the Bishops' Conference on Monday by saying that the issue of sexual abuse had reached an "important turning point for the Catholic Church" both in Germany and beyond.

"I feel we have reached a turning point about the issues such as prevention and the treatment of victims, but also about how the Church will deal with its own future," Marx said in the German town of Fulda.

The bishops are due to discuss a large-scale study on sex abuse on Tuesday. The "Study on the Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy," commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference in 2014, were published on September 11 in the German newspaper Die Zeit and the magazine Der Spiegel. The study has already prompted severe reactions in Germany.

On Monday, Cardinal Marx told the bishops: "We must do more: listen, understand and take appropriate measures."

Please, not more humanity

SOUTH BEND (IN)
The Observer

September 24, 2018

By James Nolan

I am a Catholic, but in light of the sexual abuse perpetrated by other Catholics, I am ashamed to be a Catholic.

The Greeks considered music an essential component of a person’s education. The ability to recognize and orchestrate harmony from separate melodies was a human skill in a universe that, for all its imperfections, was still ruled by reason. But Greek culture was disintegrating when Christianity’s reconciling habit outbid Greek philosophy to win Rome’s heart. Philosophical clarity, though never quite achieved, aged into a sterile cynicism that eclipsed the mythology that birthed it.

Any Catholic volunteer today is too familiar with the particular melody of “Safe Environment Training” that responds to the ever-unfolding sex abuse crisis in the Church. To volunteer at a diocesan middle school, I must watch a series of videos, defining sexual abuse and training recognition, introduced by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who was recently accused of “improper” behavior with a former parishioner before a private investigation found the claim immaterial. Our bishop chants an odd strain, asking us, earnestly, to help “protect our children.” The cold reality we are waking up to, of criminal priests and complicit bishops, makes trustworthy bishops a piece of mythology. Cynicism seems the only responsible posture when so many other bishops have promoted the same formula.

#WhyIDidntReport: The hashtag supporting Christine Blasey Ford

UNITED STATES
BBC News

September 23, 2018

President Trump inadvertently spawned a new and trending hashtag after questioning why Professor Christine Blasey Ford did not report her alleged sexual assault by his Supreme Court nominee when it happened 36 years ago.

In one of a series of tweets on Friday, he said: "I have no doubt. that, if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed..."

There was a swift response.

Under the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, thousands of women began recounting why it took them many years to talk about their attacks. By Sunday, there had been 675,000 tweets.

Many spoke of feeling ashamed or powerless, of reporting their attacker but not being believed, of years of trauma trying to process what had happened to them or trying to forget about it.

Celebrities also recounted their experiences.

3D gun advocate accused of sex with minor is jailed in US

AUSTIN (TX)
The Associated Press

September 23, 2018

By Paul J. Weber

The owner of a Texas company that sells plans to make untraceable 3-D printed guns was back in the U.S. Sunday after being arrested in Taiwan, where police say he flew after learning he was being investigated for allegedly having sex with an underage girl.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Cody Wilson, 30, was booked into Harris County Jail in Houston early Sunday and was being held on $150,000 bond.

He was arrested Friday at a hotel in Taiwan by local police. He is facing sexual assault charges in Austin, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals service.

Authorities said Wilson met the girl through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com. According to an affidavit, the girl said they met in the parking lot of an Austin coffee shop in August and then drove to a hotel. The girl told investigators that Wilson paid her $500 after they had sex and then dropped her off at a Whataburger restaurant.

"We are glad that Cody is back in Texas again where we can work with him on his case. That's our focus right now," Wilson's attorney, Samy Khalil, said in a statement Sunday night.

Amid mounting public pressure, legislators prepare to take up retroactive reform to child sex crimes

HARRISBURG (PA)
PennLive

September 24, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

When members of the state House of Representatives reconvene on Monday after a summer hiatus, they will take up for debate an issue that strikes at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church.

For more than seven decades, church officials across the state's eight dioceses have concealed from parishioners, the public and law enforcement the sexual abuse of thousands of children at the hands of priests.

That systemic concealment of crimes has permitted the passage of time, and with it, the expiration of the time extended to victims by law to prosecute predators.

In the wake of yet another blistering grand jury report detailing horrific and gut-wrenching crimes against children - sometimes committed on some as young as 18 months - lawmakers will take up one of the most contested issues in recent times: the reform of the statute of limitations.

None of the 1,000 cases of child sexual abuse uncovered by the recent grand jury investigation can be prosecuted.

For all, the statute of limitations has expired. Attorney General Josh Shapiro has bemoaned the fact that he can't prosecute every single living priest or bishop implicated in crimes. Shapiro, to date, has indicted only two priests, convicting one of them. To date, no bishop has been indicted.

The long saga of the Vatican protecting priests with history of sexual abuse

INDIA
Opindia

September 24, 2018

By Sanghamitra

The allegations of rape against Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal has added another infamous incident in the long list of sexual abuse allegations against the church. The incidents that followed the filing of the FIR highlighted another sinister truth beyond the widespread malice of sexual exploitations, rape, child abuse and harassment spread throughout the churches of India and associated institutions. That the culture of protection, defending and even rehabilitation of the priests being prevalent along with a strong mechanism of victim shaming and blatant defiance of rule of law.

When a case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal was filed in June, there was a sudden jump in attempts by the church and its associated ecosystem of shielding and defending him. Magazines published articles singing his praise, Christian organisations held press conferences revealing that they had conducted their own inquiry and found the nun guilty, not the Bishop. Powerful men gave statements vilifying the nun and questioned her character. As of yesterday, it was reported that one of the nuns who dared to stand against the Bishop and question inaction of the church authorities, had been dismissed by the Syro-Malabar church. Finally, just a day before his arrest, after 87 days of the complaint being filed, the Vatican suspended him from his duties as the Archbishop of the diocese of Jalandhar.

The culture of shielding the accused and blaming the victim, however, seems to stem from the very top. The church machinery, especially the Vatican itself, has a long history of not only protecting and shielding priests accused of sexual abuse but going out on a limb to blatantly ignore complaints of sexual abuse, even when it involves children. The sheer level of the church’s apathy for victims of abuse when its own priests are the perpetrators is matched only by its sinister dedication in shielding and even rehabilitating the accused priests.

The investigative exposé of the Catholic Church’s well-oiled machinery protecting priests who have a history of sexual abuse by the Boston Globe in 2002, which was made into an Oscar-winning movie named ‘Spotlight’ is rather well known. For years, the Catholic Church had not only protected the priests, but it had also let them continue as priests, despite knowing that children are being abused. The Globe’s investigation had revealed that the Catholic Church even had a legal machinery in place to intimidate the victims and protect the priests.

'People are telling very vulnerable, raw stories': Documentary series looks at dark moments in Ireland's past

IRELAND
The Journal

September 16, 2018

The series, which is on TG4, will look at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in its next episode.

A NEW DOCUMENTARY series will look this coming week at the story of a man seeking the truth about what happened to his sister at the Tuam mother and baby home.

The third episode of Finné, which goes out on TG4, will feature Peter Mulryan talking about his experiences in the home. The title ‘Finné’ means ‘witness’, and the series gathers personal testimonies from people about major incidents which happened in Ireland’s past.

The first episode looked at the murder of 19-year-old Una Lynskey in 1971, and the quashing of a conviction over her death. The second episode looked at the trial of Gail O Rorke, who was acquitted of helping her friend Bernadette Forde take her own life.

Producer Paddy Hayes said that the show is all about personal testimony, and that he was inspired by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin saying his u-turn on his stance on the Eighth Amendment was down to hearing the personal testimonies of four women.

It showed Hayes “the power of personal testimony to change minds and alter people’s preconceptions”.

“In Finné, which means witness, that was very much the inspiration – to give people the chance to tell their story,” he said. This means that in each episode (every one of which tackles a different topic), the person at the centre of the story directs their comments to camera, making it an intimate experience for the viewer.

#WhyIDidntReport: Hundreds of thousands share stories of rape, assault online

NEW YORK (NY)
CBS This Morning

September 24, 2018

A growing number of alleged sexual assault surviors are publicly sharing their stories. The outpouring is in response to President Trump's criticism of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's accuser. The hashtag #WhyIDidntReport started trending on social media after the president questioned the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford, who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegation. Norah O'Donnell reports.

Protesters rally against sex abuse scandal outside Atlanta's home Catholic church

ATLANTA (GA)
WXIA TV

September 23, 2018

Parishioners from Catholic churches all over the metro gathered in front of the Cathedral of Christ the King on Peachtree Road to protest the way the church is handling the sexual abuse crisis.
Category

The Catholic Church is looking for (more than) a few good men

SAN GABRIEL (CA)
NBC News

September 23, 2018

By Alex Johnson

The numbers of U.S. priests and seminarians have been plummeting for decades, and it's not just because of the church's sexual abuse scandals.

The Rev. Matthew Wheeler believes it's a good time to be a Roman Catholic priest.

Wheeler, associate pastor at St. Anthony Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is one of the newest priests in the U.S. Catholic Church — he is 30 years old and was ordained in June.

He knows how people see the priestly sexual abuse scandals. He knows that "if people look at a young man's decision to become a priest from simply a material perspective — to use biblical language, from a worldly perspective — in light of all these things, it doesn't make a lot of sense."

September 23, 2018

Radiografía a dos décadas de denuncias por abusos sexuales en la Iglesia Católica

[An in-depth look at two decades of clergy sex abuse accusations in Chile's Catholic Church]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 22, 2018

By Leslie Ayala, Carla Pía Ruiz, and Francisco Artaza

Un inédito listado realizado por la Fiscalía Nacional revela el detalle de los casos penales que afectan a la Iglesia Católica chilena. Desde el 2000 a la fecha, 221 sacerdotes y ocho obispos están en la mira de una histórica causa penal que, además, imputa supuestos encubrimientos de estos delitos en las más altas autoridades del clero chileno.

Acababa de terminar el consejo extraordinario de fiscales regionales del país, el jueves 20, cuando se divisó al jefe metropolitano sur, Raúl Guzmán, ingresando a la oficina emplazada en el piso 10, ala este, del edificio institucional del Ministerio Público. ¿El destino? El despacho del fiscal nacional, Jorge Abbott.

Denunciante de Precht responde a Fouillioux: "Está repitiendo lo que otros criminales han dicho para el encubrimiento"

[Precht whistleblower responds to Fouillioux: "He is repeating what other criminals have said for a cover-up"]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 23, 2018

By Consuelo Ferrer

Jaime Concha se refirió a los dichos del abogado del ex sacerdote, quien aseguró esta mañana que la sociedad pretende "aplicarle todas las cargas históricas que tiene la Iglesia en estas materias".

¿Por qué Precht va a tener que responder por todo lo que ha hecho o no la Iglesia, por Karadima, Barros, Cox y otros?". Fueron las palabras emitidas por el abogado defensor del ex sacerdote Cristián Precht, Luciano Fouillioux, quien aseguró a El Mercurio que el caso Maristas busca "aplicarle todas las cargas históricas que tiene la Iglesia en estas materias".

Abogado de Precht acusa que el Vaticano lo expulsó como "chivo expiatorio" y apunta a Karadima, Barros y Cox

[Precht's lawyer says the Vatican expelled him as a "scapegoat" and points to Karadima, Barros, and Cox]

CHILE
Emol

September 23, 2018

Luciano Fouillioux será el encargado de defender al ex sacerdote de las acusaciones de abusos sexuales a menores de edad en el "caso Maristas", las que indica que son "total y completamente falsas”. Debido a lo anterior, acusa que el Vaticano oculta algo tras la expulsión de su cliente, asegurando que Precht no tiene por qué responder "por todo lo que ha hecho o no la iglesia".

Luciano Fouillioux será el encargado de defender al ex sacerdote de las acusaciones de abusos sexuales a menores de edad en el "caso Maristas", las que indica que son "total y completamente falsas”. Debido a lo anterior, acusa que el Vaticano oculta algo tras la expulsión de su cliente, asegurando que Precht no tiene por qué responder "por todo lo que ha hecho o no la iglesia".

'Painful' healing from clergy sex abuse of children will take time for Catholic Church, its members, experts say

CHICAGO (IL)
Post-Tribune

September 23, 2018

By Becky Jacobs

Daniel Lowery sees the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal as a grieving process.

There’s denial, anger, bargaining and depression, he said, but the final stage of acceptance is going to be tough for people. Many are not ready for acceptance yet, he said.

“It’s a matter of choice, individually,” Lowery, theology professor at Calumet College of St. Joseph, said.

In light of lists released in recent weeks in northern Indiana of priests “credibly” accused of sexually abusing children, Lowery, Bishop Donald Hying of the Diocese of Gary, and other theology experts spoke of their views about how the church and its members can grapple with this information and work to move forward.

The Rev. Dale Melczek, who preceded Hying as bishop, did not respond to multiple requests from the Post-Tribune for an interview.

Last month, the Diocese of Gary published a list of 10 former priests found guilty of “credible actions of sexual molestation of minors.”

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend issued a similar list earlier this month of 17 former priests and one former deacon who were also credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. One of the priests, the Rev. William Gieranowski, served at parishes in East Chicago and Munster in the 1940s and 1950s, according to the diocese.

Bridgeport diocese hit with abuse lawsuits against 3 priests

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The Connecticut Post

September 22, 2018

By Daniel Tepfer

Five men claim in lawsuits filed Friday that they were sexually abused as children by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport.

The lawsuits, filed in state Superior Court in Bridgeport, claim the abuse occurred from the late 1980s to the early 2000s and was perpetrated by three priests — the Rev. Walter Coleman, the Rev. Robert Morrissey and the Rev. Larry Jensen, in Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury and Ridgefield.

The suits are filed at a time when the Roman Catholic Church is reeling in the wake of reports of years of abuse of children being covered up in Pennsylvania and around the world. Last week, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano ordered parishes in the diocese to hold special masses of reparation for the abuse.

“Once again, we see the lives of people forever damaged by the sexual abuse by their parish priest,” said Cindy Robinson, whose Bridgeport law firm, Tremont Sheldon Robinson and Mahoney, represents the five men. “It is heartbreaking to hear about these stories, which are so similar to what we all read about in the Pennsylvania grand jury report several weeks ago.”

Connecticut has a five-year statute of limitations on criminal charges, but in 2002 the state extended the limit on filing lawsuits until the alleged victims reach the age of 48. The legislatures of New York and Pennsylvania are debating similar laws, but are facing stiff opposition from the church.

Fugitive New Mexico Priest Facing Federal Sex Abuse Charges Pleads Not Guilty

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press

September 22, 2018

A fugitive priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse has been returned to New Mexico to face charges after being arrested in Morocco last year, federal officials said Friday.

Arthur J. Perrault, 80, a former Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and a former Air Force chaplain, has been charged in a federal indictment with seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Perrault, a one-time pastor at St. Bernadette parish in Albuquerque, is one of many priests who were sent to New Mexico in the 1960s from around the country for treatment involving pedophilia.

Victims, lawyers and church documents show the priests were later assigned to parishes and schools across New Mexico — especially in small Native American and Hispanic communities.

Alyssa Milano: I was sexually assaulted as a teen. Here’s why I didn’t report.

UNITED STATES
VOX

September 23, 2018

By Alyssa Milano

It took me 30 years to tell anyone. And I’m far from alone.

The courage of survivors will always be stronger than Donald Trump’s hate. The lives of survivors will always be more important than Brett Kavanaugh’s career.

When I was sexually assaulted, I wasn’t that much older than Christine Blasey Ford — now a PhD in psychology — was when she was allegedly assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred). I’ve watched, horrified as politicians and pundits refused to believe or take seriously these allegations.

Then, on Friday morning, President Trump tweeted that if Ford’s words were true, she would have filed a report with local law enforcement years ago. This statement chilled me to my core.

Far too many of us know that what President Trump said is simply not true. Victims of sexual assault often don’t report what happened because they know all too well that our stories are rarely taken seriously or believed — and that when it comes to sexual misconduct, our justice system is broken. Now, we are seeing our worst nightmares realized when we see the disbelief, pushback, hate, and death threats Ford is receiving just because she had the courage to speak up.

It took me years after my assault to voice the experience to my closest friends. It took me three decades to tell my parents that the assault had even happened. I never filed a police report. I never told officials. I never tried to find justice for my pain because justice was never an option.

Clergy sex abuse victims approve reorganization plan

MINNESOTA
MPR News

September 21, 2018

By Martin Moylan

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse have almost unanimously approved a bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The vote was 398 to 2. Now, there'll now be a court hearing Tuesday at which a federal judge will consider confirming the plan. Approval is expected.

The plan provides $210 million for victims. But that is before legal fees for the church and victims' attorneys are deducted. Victims' attorneys typically get a third of such settlements.

Bishops consider identifying clergy accused of sex abuse

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

September 22, 2018

By John Simerman

When Louisiana’s five Catholic bishops met earlier this month in Lafayette for their regular quarterly meeting, there was no need to consult an agenda.

Since their last meeting, news had spread of the New Orleans archdiocese settling several claims of abuse involving a defrocked Metairie deacon, George Brignac, without the church following its own guidelines for publicly reporting it.

Then came the late July bombshell from a Pennsylvania grand jury, identifying what it said were credible allegations of abuse against more than 300 “predator priests” and involving more than 1,000 child victims across six of that state’s eight dioceses.

Bishops across the country have been scrambling to respond, with some deciding to release lists of clergy and other church officials who had been implicated in similar abuses over the years.

“It was the first thing on our minds: How can we respond to the questions coming at us from all directions? And rightfully so,” Bishop Michael Duca of the Diocese of Baton Rouge said Friday.

Duca echoed what New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said Friday in an interview with The Advocate: that Louisiana’s bishops are now weighing if, when and how to release a similar list of names of clergy and others who have been the subjects of credible allegations of abuse.

Abuse victim angry over priest list

FORT WAYNE (IN)
The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2018

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez

Wonders where the guilty ones go after dismissal

When Brian Cook was 11, he says, his divorced mother, having recently moved back to Fort Wayne, encouraged him to develop a friendship with their parish priest, thinking it would be good for him to have a male role model.

Cook says it was good – in the beginning. The priest asked him to sit on his lap while they talked and gave him a hug and a kiss. He didn't think anything of it because his family had friendships with priests before.

But during a subsequent meeting, the priest told him he looked tense and said he'd give him a massage if he'd lie down on the bed in the next room of the man's rectory living quarters. At a later meeting, the priest told him he should take off his clothes for a better massage.

By that time, Cook said, he was uncomfortable. He felt what was happening was wrong, and “I was getting the heck out of there,” he said.

But it was not until he reported what happened to a diocesan official in 2017 that he learned of any sexual abuse allegations against the priest.

Last week, Cook found the priest's name among 18 priests and deacons “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of minors on a list released by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The list placed the number of allegations against the priest at six.

And Cook, who said he was told there were other victims of the same priest when he reported, is angry.

“I know if I had heard something, I would have come forward (sooner),” said the man, who no longer lives in Fort Wayne. “If (church officials) don't disclose, no one knows.”

The list has revealed the scope of alleged clerical abuse within the diocese – and mixed messages over the years.

Hardly a parish in Fort Wayne was not staffed at one time by a priest on the list of accused abusers. Sixteen separate parishes, some of which have closed, were named as having been an assignment of an accused priest – although the list does not specify when or where any of the alleged abuse took place.

Angry parishioners blast San Jose Diocese, Catholic Church over sexual abuse allegations

PALO ALTO (CA)
Bay Area News Group

September 22, 2018

By Tatiana Sanchez

Angry and hurt over national reports of clergy abuse that have again rocked the Catholic Church to its core, dozens of residents confronted Bishop Patrick McGrath Saturday to demand transparency as the Diocese of San Jose prepares to launch its own investigation.

About 70 people — including alleged victims of abuse — gathered at Our Lady of the Rosary for a listening session hosted by the diocese to allow people to ask questions, express concerns and, in some cases, outrage over recent revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Calling on the bishop to launch a criminal investigation into any local allegations of abuse, many criticized the Catholic Church for waiting so long to take action and said it’s caused them to lose hope in church leaders. Some said they’re abandoning Catholicism altogether.

John Hesler, a parishioner at Holy Family Parish in San Jose who was the first to speak Saturday, said he was molested by a priest as a boy in the 1970s in Albany, New York, where he grew up.

Church Abuse Victims Approve Plan For Compensation

ST. PAUL (MN)
The Associated Press

September 22, 2018

Hundreds of victims of clergy sexual abuse have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that will compensate them for the abuse.

Court documents show that 398 out of 400 voters supported the plan.

The tentative settlement reached in May provides about $210 million to compensate abuse victims. All victims would receive at least $50,000, with greater compensation depending on the nature, duration and effects of the abuse suffered.

Leading German Jesuit says abuse crisis calls for major Church reform

VIENNA (AUSTRIA)
La Croix International

September 19, 2018

By Christa Pongratz-Lippit

Current structures actually prevent critical investigation and verification of clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up

A Jesuit priest who was one of the key people to reveal what Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn once described as the "tsunami" of clerical sex abuse cases in the German-speaking world has now called for in-depth structural changes to the Catholic Church.

Father Klaus Mertes SJ, a well-known writer and educator, said the latest wave of revelations concerning abuse and its cover-up in various parts of the world indicates that the phenomenon is not just a local matter, but a global problem that can be solved only through major Church reform.

In an opinion piece for the German Catholic Church’s official website katholisch.de and in a long interview with the website Kathpress on Sept. 13, the 64-year-old Jesuit said the latest reports from the United States, Ireland, Australia, the United States and other places show that not nearly enough attention has been paid to the problem of abuse cover-up.

He said it is now absolutely essential for the Church to tackle the question of its checks-and-balances (separation of powers), as well as the issues related to male-dominated structures (old boys’ networks). And he insisted that both were closely connected to the problem of institutional cover-up.

Slovak Priest Defies Celibacy Rules As Sex Abuse Scandals Roil The Catholic Church

KLAK (SLOVAKIA)
The Associated Press

September 21, 2018

By Karel Janicek

A priest in the conservative Roman Catholic stronghold of Slovakia has challenged the church’s celibacy rules, voicing his dissent at a time when clerical celibacy is once again a topic of debate amid ongoing sex abuse scandals.

The Rev. Michal Lajcha has written a book in two versions — one for theologians, the other for the laity — that asserts the church would benefit greatly if married men were allowed to be ordained and celibacy were made voluntary.

In “The Tragedy of Celibacy — The Death of the Wife,” Lajcha called celibacy a “festering wound” in the church and said that making it voluntary could also help prevent sex scandals.

Child sexual abuse and the church: Impact on children & youth

PLANO (TX)
Baptist Standard

September 19, 2018

By Scott Floyd

Part 1 of this series considered the extent of child sexual abuse—how often does sexual abuse of children take place? The vast majority of experts on the matter agree sexual abuse of children is more extensive than most people realize, and, for a variety of reasons, a great deal of child abuse goes unreported.

Sexual abuse is damaging not only to the individual and his or her family but to society at large. While there is no way to calculate the exact cost of sexual abuse, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates a newly substantiated case of nonfatal child maltreatment costs society about $210,000 across the child’s lifetime.

But what are the other costs? How does sexual abuse effect those who are victimized? How is the impact experienced when one is a child, a teenager and then an adult?

Governor: No reports of church abuse to Louisiana police, but reports would prompt probe

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

September 20, 2018

By Elizabeth Crisp

Gov. John Bel Edwards said he does not know of any recent reports to state law enforcement regarding sex abuse in the Catholic church in Louisiana.

If such a complaint were to be lodged, "the state will do whatever it always does when it receives credible information that a crime has taken place -- it will be investigated," Edwards told reporters during a news conference Thursday.

A bombshell grand jury report that detailed the widespread abuse of more than 1,000 children over several decades in Pennsylvania has prompted other states to launch investigations into misconduct.

About one in four Louisiana residents is Catholic. The Advocate reported this week on abuse at Jesuit High School, where settlements were paid to abuse victims but were not publicly reported to the community. Earlier this month, The Advocate detailed abuse claims at another New Orleans school.

Edwards, a Democrat who is Catholic, holds authority over the Louisiana State Police, the statewide law enforcement arm.

When it comes to abuse, church isn't above the law, Chilean archbishop says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

September 19, 2018

By Junno Arocho Esteves

As revelations of the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy continue in Chile, an archbishop said that the church can no longer ignore the suffering of victims.

In a pastoral letter published Sept. 10, Archbishop Fernando Chomali of Concepcion said the Catholic Church in Chile must cooperate with authorities to uncover the truth, and it can no longer succumb to the temptation "of looking the other way and saying, 'its other people (who are the problem), not me.'"

"We must obey the law because we are not above the norms that govern the country," Chomali said.

The 20-page pastoral letter, titled "Living the Gospel in Times of Crisis," was published several days before Chilean prosecutors conducted a raid of offices in four dioceses, including Concepcion.

Chomali said the aftermath of decades of abuse committed by members of the clergy in the country have turned a once vibrant church that "was a voice for the voiceless" into a social pariah.

"Today we are -- for a growing percentage of the population -- a cause of scandal, of profound questioning, of much distrust and little credibility," he said.

China comes out ahead in Vatican deal: analysts

CHINA
AFP

September 22, 2018

By Dan Martin

The landmark deal between China and the Vatican is a win for Beijing, giving official recognition to bishops appointed by the government despite a crackdown on religion, and potentially softening the ground for full diplomatic relations after 67 years of estrangement, analysts said.

The two sides signed a provisional agreement on Saturday on who gets to name senior churchmen, an issue that has bedevilled ties for decades, and China quickly said it hoped for an improvement in relations.

That is bound to mean consequences for self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, and which has watched helplessly in recent years as its giant neighbour has picked off its few remaining diplomatic partners.

With its outsized international influence, the Vatican is the most important of Taiwan's 17 remaining friends, and its only European partner.

The agreement on bishops makes no mention of diplomatic relations, but some see the writing on the wall.

Chilean archbishop seeks dismissal of sex abuse cover-up charges

CHILE
Reuters

September 21, 2018

Reporting by Antonio de la Jara in Santiago; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Matthew Lewis

Attorneys for Chile's most senior cleric said on Friday they will ask a judge to drop charges he covered up sexual abuse amid a scandal that has rocked the Chilean Roman Catholic Church and prompted a major civil investigation.

The ongoing church sex abuse scandal in the Andean nation has prompted Pope Francis to open an investigation that has led to the resignations of several bishops and priests.

Lawyers for Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago, have requested more time to prepare their case after Ezzati was originally due to be questioned by a civil prosecutor last month.

Ezzati's defense team, which includes lawyer Hugo Rivera, has determined that the archbishop's case does not qualify as a "cover-up," Rivera told reporters on Friday.

The silent Popes: Why Francis and Benedict won't answer the accusations dividing their church

VATICAN CITY
CNN

September 23, 2018

By Daniel Burke

One rarely leaves his monastery high on a hill in Vatican City. The other speaks freely -- too freely, critics say -- but has vowed silence on this matter, for now.

Two men, both clad in white, both called Holy Father, and now, both facing questions about a crucial facet of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis: What did they know, and when?

Amid the onslaught of news about the scandal, it can be easy to overlook the historical novelty and high drama of this moment in the life of the church: For the first time in 600 years, there are two living popes, one retired and one active, whose fates may be intertwined, even as many of their followers are at odds.

It has been nearly a month since a former papal diplomat published a dramatic letter asserting a "homosexual networks" and widespread cover-ups within the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

Duterte assails Catholic Church’s refusal to investigate child abuse cases

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Bulletin

September 23, 2018

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has assailed the local Catholic Church for its refusal to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse committed by some priests.

The President said church leaders knew of cases of abusive priests but still pretended to be righteous because they were also “a bunch of sh*t.”

One of the cases ignored by the church, Duterte claimed, was the abuse he and other Ateneo students endured from a Jesuit priest years ago.

“The Catholic Church of the Philippines, never bothered to investigate them,” Duterte said during a health forum in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu last Friday.

“And all the things that they did, asking cars from government, getting it free when they know very well that there is a separation of church and state, that no money of the government shall be spent for the benefit of the religious or religion,” he said.

Duterte recalled that he and other high school students were molested by Jesuit priest Mark Falvey while studying at the Ateneo de Davao University. He claimed that the school and church turned a blind eye to such abuse scandal.

“Fight from the inside”: Young Catholics in Colorado try to keep faith amid latest sexual abuse allegations

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

September 20, 2018

By Elizabeth Hernandez

Denver Archdiocese stresses that Catholic Church has come a long way since abuses of past decades

Katie Lacz ruminates over her Catholic faith, wondering if she’s finally hit a breaking point strong enough to tear her from the religion she’s wrapped herself in her entire life.

“I know how much is wrong with the church, and yet I love it because of its tradition and history,” said the 34-year-old Lacz, who lives in Louisville. “I am in this institution that I know is really, really sick and sinful, but, at the same time, I feel like it’s so important to stay and fight for what I think is good about it.”

As another round of sexual abuse and coverup allegations cloud the church, young Catholics in Colorado like Lacz are grappling with whether they can stay devout within an institution that continually defies their faith and its own foundations.

A grand jury report released in mid-August found that hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children, possibly more, since the 1950s, with senior church officials covering up the abuse. Less than two weeks later, a former top Vatican diplomat claimed in a letter that Pope Francis helped cover up the clerical sexual abuse scandals. The letter called for the pope’s resignation.

And this week, four men who suffered repeated sexual abuse as children by a religion teacher at a Roman Catholic church reached a $27.5 million settlement from the Diocese of Brooklyn and an after-school program, according to The New York Times. The settlement is one of the largest ever awarded to victims of abuse within the church.

September 22, 2018

Former priest, Cheverus teacher due to go on trial on sex assault charges

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

September 22, 2018

By Megan Doyle

James Talbot is accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old boy while he was a visiting priest at a Freeport church in the late 1990s.

Michael Doherty remembers the moment he finally saw James Talbot in handcuffs.

Talbot has a history of alleged sexual abuse of children dating to the 1970s at Boston College High School in Massachusetts, then at Cheverus High School in Portland. The former Jesuit priest and teacher has settled lawsuits with more than a dozen victims, including Doherty, who is from Freeport.

But Talbot has been convicted only once. He was never prosecuted in Doherty’s case and many others because the statute of limitations at the time had lapsed. Then, in October 2005, Talbot pleaded guilty to raping and sexually assaulting two students decades before in Boston. When Talbot was taken into custody 13 years ago, Doherty made sure he was in the courtroom.

“It was an important moment,” Doherty said. “There’s a different level of satisfaction than there is in the civil litigation. When I had the ability to see him taken into custody in Boston, it was powerful.”

Priest accused of child sex abuse in Gary decades ago may have continued working for years outside U.S.

CHICAGO (IL)
Post-Tribune

September 21, 2018

By Meredith Colias-Pete

A priest accused of sexually abusing children while working in the Gary Diocese during the 1970s and ‘80s may have continued to work for years in ministries and schools outside the United States, a Post-Tribune review has found.

Last month, the Gary Diocese said the Rev. George Kavungal had six “credible” accusations of child molestation after an internal review. He was a visiting priest from India from 1978 to 1985, church records show.

Of 10 accused priests, only Ambrose McGinnity had as many allegations. McGinnity died in 2000.

Kavungal and two others are still alive, church leaders said. Officials only said he was believed to be in India. No laicization date was given for him.

Diocese releases names of 18 priests and deacons ‘credibly’ accused of sexually abusing minors

FORT WAYNE (IN)
News-Sentinel

September 18, 2018

By Kevin Leininger

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has released the names of 18 priests and deacons it believes have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The announcement fulfills a promise made last month by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who told reporters he hoped that “by releasing these names, the innocent victims of these horrific and heartbreaking crimes can finally begin the process of healing.”

According to the diocese, the list was developed with the assistance of the Diocesan Review Board, which was established to assist the bishop in complying with the requirements of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and The Essential Norms. The Diocesan Review Board is comprised of mostly lay people and its members assess all allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons presented in this diocese.

The priests and deacons who have served in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and have been credibly accused of at least one act of sexual abuse of a minor include:

James Blume, who was ordained in 1980, removed from public ministry in 1989 and dismissed from the clerical state in 2007 and was the target of five credible allegations. While in Fort Wayne he served at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Andrew/St. Hyacinth parishes;

Admitted abuser removed from university post in Canada

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 21, 2018

By Heidi Schlumpf

St. Paul University confirms John Huels no longer teaching there

A liturgical canonist and teacher who had admitted abusing a minor while serving as an associate pastor in the United States is no longer teaching at the Canadian pontifical university where he had been a full professor.

St. Paul University confirmed that John Huels is no longer teaching at the university, after Huels' victim contacted Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and NCR ran a story about the abuse.

In the article that NCR published Sept. 12, survivor Michael Bland wondered if he would find justice amid the renewed attention to clergy sexual abuse, telling NCR that he had hope but little trust. "I think I have found healing, but I have not found accountability," he said.

Now, it seems he has found accountability, too.

Prendergast responded within four days to a Sept. 18 email from Bland, a psychotherapist in private practice in Chicago who served on the U.S. bishops' National Review Board. The archbishop informed him that Huels is no longer teaching at St. Paul University.

"I can assure you that we are striving to do justice for those who have been harmed by abuse and to bring about healing," Prendergast wrote to Bland. "Be assured of my prayers for you and all who have been victimized by clergy."

Indian Bishop Franco Mulakkal arrested for alleged rape of nun

INDIA
Global Sisters Report

September 21, 2018

By Jose Kavi

Editor's note: This story was updated Sept. 21 at 3:30 p.m. CDT with new information throughout, including details about the investigation, interrogation and medical examination of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, and comments from Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar was arrested by Kerala police Friday, accused of raping a nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016. He is the first Catholic bishop to be arrested in a sexual abuse case against a nun in India.

The case emerged on June 28 when a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under the Jalandhar Diocese, accused the prelate of subjecting her to rape and unnatural sex on 13 occasions over a two-year period at her convent in Kuravilangad, south of Kochi.

During the police interrogation, Mulakkal denied the charges, calling them "concocted." He said the nun was upset with him for advising the congregation's leaders to act on a married woman's complaint that the nun had had an affair with her husband.

Saliente obispo de San Felipe: "Me voy con la tranquilidad de que yo no he abusado"

[Outgoing Bishop of San Felipe: "I'm leaving with the peace of mind that I have not abused"]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 22, 2018

Carlos Contreras se suma a la expulsión de Cristián Precht y Carlos Pellegrin.

Tras la bullada expulsión de Cristián Precht, el Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia de dos párrocos más: el ahora exobispo de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras Molina, y el de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrin.

Trial Date Set for Suspended Priest Accused of Groping Seminary Student

SAN DIEGO (CA)
NBC 7

September 21, 2018

Juan Garcia Castillo, 35, had served as an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Carlsbad

A trial date has been set for a San Diego-area priest accused of forcibly groping and making sexual advances towards an adult seminary student.

Juan Garcia Castillo, 35, is accused of unlawfully touching an intimate part of another person on February 4, according to a complaint filed against him.

Castillo, who is a naturalized United States citizen originally from Honduras, had served as an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Carlsbad since 2011.

He was removed from the parish in March and criminally charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery in May.

Carlsbad priest accused of groping seminarian

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Union-Tribune

September 21, 2018

By Teri Figueroa

A Catholic priest has been suspended from his duties at a Carlsbad church as he awaits trial over an accusation that he groped an adult seminary student earlier this year.

The Rev. Juan Garcia Castillo, 35, has pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count alleging sexual battery of the victim. The accuser, a man around Castillo’s age, quickly reported the alleged incident, which happened in early February.

Castillo’s attorney said Friday that his client “absolutely denies the allegations” made against him.”

News of the criminal case against Castillo surfaced this week as the Roman Catholic church grapples with a new wave of reported sexual abuse by clergy members, and accusations that church officials covered it up.

The local case also creeps into headlines a week after Bishop Robert McElroy, who leads the Diocese of San Diego, announced a town hall tour at local parishes to address the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church for years.

Raúl Hasbún, defensor canónico de Precht, distingue entre la "apelación y la nulidad" del debido proceso

[Raúl Hasbún, canonical defender of Precht, distinguishes between "appeal and nullity" of due process]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 22, 2018

By José Manuel Vilches

Para el presbítero, la nulificación juratorial "permite revertir toda sentencia manifiestamente nula por denegación del derecho de la defensa".

A cuatro días de anunciar las acciones que tomará en la defensa del ex vicario de la solidaridad Cristián Precht, el presbítero Raúl Hasbún fue enfático en distinguir entre las acciones de "apelación y nulidad" en el ámbito legal. "La Iglesia Católica declara, miles de veces al año, la nulidad de matrimonios celebrados bajo su competencia y liturgia", inició Hasbún en una carta enviada a la edición sabatina del diario "El Mercurio". Y agregó: "El contrato y sacramento de matrimonio, válidamente celebrado, es para la Iglesia Católica indisoluble por explícito mandato de Cristo, su Fundador".

Priest abuse lawsuits in Massachusetts name Catholic order in Bellevue

LINCOLN (NE)
Omaha World-Herald

September 20, 2018

By Paul Hammel

A Catholic order based in Bellevue is now a defendant in two lawsuits in Massachusetts that allege sexual abuse of two children by a priest in the 1970s.

The lawsuits say officials with the Columban Fathers of Bellevue, as well as those with the Archdiocese of Boston, knew that a now-deceased priest, the Rev. Brian Gallagher, was an abuser, yet assigned him to serve a parish and nursing home in Dorchester, Massachusetts, granting him “unchecked power to sexually abuse Catholic boys.”

The attorney who represents the two now-grown men named in the lawsuits said Gallagher, a native of Ireland, was transferred from missionary work in Japan, first briefly to Ireland, then to the U.S., where he spent only four years.

Tribal members settle abuse cases against Mormon church

FLAGSTAFF (AZ)
The Associated Press

September 22, 2018

By Felicia Fonseca

Four Native Americans who claimed they were sexually abused while enrolled in a now-defunct Mormon church foster program decades ago filed paperwork to dismiss their cases after reaching financial settlements, a lawyer said.

Allegations have been made against the church by more than a dozen tribal members from the Navajo Nation and Crow Tribe of Montana.

Four cases recently were settled, three were settled last year and others reached agreements out of court. One case remains in Washington state.

The terms of the latest agreements are confidential and include no admission of wrongdoing, said Craig Vernon, an attorney who represented the tribal members.

The cases were filed in Window Rock District Court on the Navajo Nation.

Vernon said he believed his clients would have prevailed in tribal courts, but federal courts were risky. He said his clients had mixed feelings about settling.

Viaje de Chomalí a Roma: La lectura detrás de la reunión del Papa con el arzobispo de Concepción

[Chomalí's tip to Rome: Reading between the lines after the Archbishop's meeting with the Pope]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 22, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

Los entendidos ven al sacerdote como una fuente confiable de Francisco en Chile. Pese a ello, consideran poco probable que sea un candidato para reemplazar, eventualmente, a Ezzati en Santiago.

Hace "más de tres meses", el arzobispo de Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, solicitó una reunión con el Papa Francisco en Roma con el fin, según dijo, de abordar la crisis al interior de la Iglesia chilena producto de los abusos sexuales y de poder ejecutados por clérigos. La cita finalmente se concretó ayer, el mismo día en que el Sumo Pontífice aceptó las renuncias de los obispos de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín, y de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras. Chomalí, a través de un comunicado, señaló que no solo mantuvo un encuentro con la máxima autoridad de la Iglesia católica, sino que también con el oficial de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, Jordi Bertomeu -con quien almorzó- y con el embajador de Chile en el Vaticano, Octavio Errázuriz.

Baton Rouge Bishop: Catholic Church working on making local abuse records public

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WBRZ

September 22, 2018

Bishop Michael Duca vowed transparency in an unprecedented, five-minute phone conversation with WBRZ Friday related to allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge and a plan to make records public.

“I don’t have a timetable right now. We are moving fairly quickly,” he said, “to come up with an idea of what [information will be released and how].” Duca said the diocese is working with the archbishop of New Orleans to make a list of priests accused of sexual misconduct. That list will eventually be revealed to the faithful and the rest of the public.

“Once we do… The rest will move fairly quickly,” Duca said.

Duca called WBRZ from Texas when he was told the WBRZ Investigative Unit and Chris Nakamoto were looking into long-secret church records related to lawsuit settlements over sexual abuse by priests.

“We don't want to hurt anyone in this process,” Duca said. “We are also making sure we aren't going to release information that will be abused or cause concern for any victims.”

Papa ya ha dado de baja a cuatro obispos indagados por casos de abusos

[Pope has already dismissed four bishops investigated for abuse]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 21, 2018

By L. Zapata, B. Veláquez, and N. Ojeda

Los prelados Carlos Pellegrin y Cristián Contreras Molina, a quienes el Pontífice aceptó su renuncia, formaban parte del grupo investigado por la fiscalía.

Siete son los obispos que actualmente están siendo investigados por el Ministerio Público, dentro de los 167 casos de abusos sexuales que involucran a miembros de la Iglesia Católica.

Víctima de Karadima y salida de obispos: Es una alegría ver que se le gana a la injusticia

[Victim of Karadima reacts to the departure of two bishops]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 21, 2018

By María José Villarroel

El papa Francisco dio a conocer que aceptó la renuncia de otros dos obispos chilenos. En esta instancia, aceptó la dimisión de Carlos Pellegrín Barrera, quien estaba encargado de la diócesis de Chillán y Cristián Contreras Molina, obispo de la diócesis de San Felipe. Tras este anuncio, también se dio a conocer quiénes serán los encargados de reemplazarlos. Para Chillán se determinó que Sergio Pérez de Arce Arriagada, asumirá como administrador apostólico y para San Felipe será Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano Piquer.

Exobispos de San Felipe y Chillán se defienden ante remoción por delitos de connotación sexual

[Ex-bishops of San Felipe and Chillán defend themselves against sex abuse allegations]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 21, 2018

By Ariela Muñoz and Nicole Martínez

El Papa sumó a dos obispos más a la lista de siete removidos de sus diócesis. Se trata del ahora exobispo de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras Molina, y el de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrin, quienes se defendieron de las acusaciones que están en manos de la Fiscalía por delitos de connotación sexual.

Fiscalía solicitará el decreto de expulsión de Cristián Precht

[Prosecutor will request church records on Cristián Precht's expulsion]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 21, 2018

By L. Zapata

Ministerio Público quiere analizar los antecedentes que Iglesia consideró para desvincular al presbítero del clero.

La Fiscalía Metropolitana Sur, que indaga al exsacerdote Cristián Precht por dos denuncias de eventuales abusos sexuales, interpuestas por Eneas Espinoza y Jaime Concha, por hechos que habrían ocurrido en el Instituto Alonso de Ercilla (de la Congregación Marista), solicitará a la Iglesia de Santiago copia del decreto Vaticano que determinó la dimisión del estado clerical del religioso.

A protest in Chicago unlike any other

CHICAGO (IL)
American Thinker

September 21, 2018

By Monica Showalter

What is it about Chicago and out-there priests?

First, we heard all about crazy radical leftist Fr. Michael Pfleger during the Obama years, probably the biggest social justice warrior the Church has in its ranks, a guy who consorts with Louis Farrakhan. Now we learn of a priest who must be about as far away from that end of the spectrum as possible: Fr. Paul Kalchik.

Kalchik made headlines by burning a rainbow gay banner in a ceremonial church fire pit, in defiance of his own archdiocese, which forbade him from doing it. His aim was to protest the Church pedophilia and pederasty scandals, whose victims were overwhelmingly male, bringing up the taboo of homosexuality in the clerical ranks, which he argues is at the heart of it, and the archdiocese is not addressing. According to the Sun-Times:

Another Priest arrested for sexual abuse, was on ‘house arrest’ after ‘internal inquiry’ by Polish ‘religious authority’

INDIA
OpIndia

September 21, 2018

A Priest, who is also a principal in a reputed English medium convent school in Pune, has been arrested from Mumbai for allegedly sexually abusing a student, according to Times of India. According to the reports, the police has booked the priest under the stringent Pocso Act for allegedly showing an adult video clip to a 14-year-old student twice and touching him inappropriately.

Interestingly, the police have said that priest had claimed that he had already been awarded punishment by a ‘religious authority’ in Poland. The police said that the religious authorities had asked the priest to be under ‘house arrest’ for three years.

According to the Indian Express, the police demanded the priest’s custody and submitted his statements before the court, where he claimed that an ‘internal inquiry’ had been conducted by a bishop from a school in Solapur, following which the punishment was awarded to him. The police said that there are still verifying about the religious authority and the punishment that the priest was claiming to. The police also said that the investigation has revealed that two more boys had been similarly abused by the priest.

Fugitive Catholic Priest Accused Of Abuse Arrested After Decades On The Run

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

September 21, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

Arthur J. Perrault, who spent 26 years as a fugitive, now faces child sex abuse charges in New Mexico.

A Roman Catholic priest who vanished in 1992 amid allegations of child abuse was extradited to the U.S. from Morocco this week to face federal charges.

Arthur J. Perrault, 80, was arrested Thursday in New York on seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact with a minor, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico.

The alleged abuse of an unnamed victim happened between 1991 and 1992 at the Santa Fe National Cemetery and Kirtland Air Force Base ― where Perrault was a chaplain, The Associated Press reports.

If convicted of the aggravated sexual abuse charges, Perrault could face lifetime imprisonment.

The former priest served in New Mexico under the Archdiocese of Santa Fe from 1973 to 1992. He disappeared just days before a lawyer filed two lawsuits claiming that Perrault had sexually assaulted seven children at a local parish.

Before he worked in the Santa Fe archdiocese, Perrault spent time at a treatment center for pedophile priests in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. He was sent to the center in 1965, after allegedly abusing young men while working in the Archdiocese of Hartford in Connecticut.

Maryland attorney general seeking reports of child sex abuse at churches, schools

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

September 21, 2018

By Michael Dresser

A notice on the webpage of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh suggests that state authorities are conducting an investigation similar to one in Pennsylvania that found decades of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy and cover-ups by church leaders.

Following standard practice, the attorney general’s office declined to confirm or deny that an investigation is under way. But a spokeswoman said the notice inviting victims to report offenses “associated with a school or place of worship” has been on the website for about a month.

That means Frosh’s office posted it shortly after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released an explosive grand jury report on Aug. 14 that said more than 300 "predator priests" in that state had been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children.

The report concluded that for decades church officials, including the leaders of archdioceses, covered up crimes such as the rapes of children.

Pa. priest exploited teen's confession of 'sin' to groom her for sexual abuse

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

September 19, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

Mary McHale was in her senior year of high school at Reading Central Catholic when the rumors started to spread.

Her classmates were saying she was gay.

McHale, a standout athlete who was one of four children, knew the rumors were true but she didn't know how to reconcile that with what she had been taught. It was 1989 and almost impossible for teenagers to come out as gay. Being gay was "taboo, a mortal sin," she said.

Raised Catholic, McHale believed each of the paths before her would lead to the same place: She could be gay and go to hell; live a lie and go to hell; or take her own life and go to hell.

Overwhelmed by her secret, she did what she had been taught her whole life and went to confession to confide in her priest.

‘I Don’t Want to Die Without Telling This Story: Reports of Alleged Abuse by Catholic Priests Rise Sharply

NEW YORK (NY)
The Wall Street Journal

September 21, 2018

By Ian Lovett

More than 900 people have called a hotline set up by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office following its report on sexual abuse

Growing up in Scranton, Pa., John Patchcoski would often play kickball at the church down the street from his house. One of the priests took an interest in him and would sometimes join the kickball games and give John gifts, like an eight-track tape player.

Eventually, Father Michael J. Pulicare invited John to go on a fishing trip. On that trip, he says, the priest sexually assaulted him. It was the mid-1970s, and John was around 12 years old.

Priest abuse allegations should be taken seriously, but let's not jump to conclusions

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

September 20, 2018

By Paul Muschick

Sexual abuse of children by priests finally is being taken seriously in Pennsylvania, and hopefully elsewhere, since last month’s grand jury report exposed the enormity of the problem and the extent of the cover-up.

The change in attitude is long overdue. But let’s be careful not to overdo it.

As new investigations are launched based on the flood of complaints made after the grand jury report, let’s not forget that accused clergy are entitled to due process. They shouldn’t be presumed guilty by association.

Last week, two priests who had been accused were cleared.

The Berks County district attorney cleared the Rev. David C. Gillis, an Allentown diocesan priest serving in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He had been suspended after a complaint to the state’s child abuse hotline by the father of a woman who said she had been sexually abused as a child. The woman told investigators she wasn’t abused by Gillis. The church lifted his suspension last week and allowed him to return to church duties.

Bono Questions Pope Francis About Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Crisis

VATICAN CITY
The Huffington Post

September 20, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

“You can see the pain in his face, and I felt he was sincere,” Bono said of the pope during a meeting at the Vatican.

U2 musician Bono said he had a hard conversation with Pope Francis about the sexual abuse scandal that has been roiling the Irish singer’s homeland.

Francis was “aghast” about sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Bono told reporters after a private meeting with the pontiff at the Vatican on Wednesday.

“I explained to him how it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims,” Bono said, according to Reuters.

The singer said Francis appeared deeply troubled by this.

A letter to church that I love

PERKASIE (PA)
The Presbyterian Outlook

September 14, 2018

Guest commentary by Kris Schondelmeyer

Dear church that I love:

On August 14, a grand jury report detailing the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church and underlying cover-up was released here in the state of Pennsylvania where I serve as a pastor. The “40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury Report”starts out:

“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this. We know some of you have heard 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.”

This report has triggered emotions that for me are all too personal. I’ve read numerous Facebook posts from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) colleagues who’ve decried that the Catholic Church must change, and that Catholic leaders must tell the truth now. Some of these colleagues have even expressed a sense of gratitude that the PC(USA) does not engage in this sort of malicious behavior. But I know an experience in the PC(USA) that is all too similar to that of our brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church.

Embattled D.C. cardinal to ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation

WASHINGTON (DC)
CNN

September 12, 2018

By Janet DiGiacomo and Daniel Burke

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, will travel to the Vatican "in the very near future" to ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation, a spokesman said.

In a letter to priests in the diocese, Wuerl said he will meet with Francis about the resignation he presented nearly three years ago at age 75, the mandatory age for Catholic bishops to submit their retirement to the Pope. He said a decision about his future "is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan church we all love can move forward."

"Our discernment here, I believe, has indicated the way forward to bring healing and a new beginning at the service of this church," Wuerl said.

Ed McFadden, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said on Wednesday that Wuerl will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation. McFadden said he did not know when the meeting would occur. A contingent of American bishops is meeting on Thursday with the Pope in Rome, but Wuerl is not among them, according to the Vatican.

Catholic teacher Mathew Reale jailed over child porn ring involving A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

September 21, 2018

By Joanna Menagh

A former teacher at a Catholic primary school in Perth has been jailed for his involvement in a paedophile chat ring that included former A Current Affair journalist Ben McCormack.

But with time already served he could walk free within six months.

Mathew Paul Reale, 30, was working at a school in suburban Perth when he repeatedly made contact via the internet with several other men, including McCormack, and discussed abusing boys, some as young as babies and toddlers.

The WA District Court was told Reale also sent some of the men videos and images of children being abused.

Priests who served locally and the abuses

LEHIGHTON (PA)
Times News

August 17, 2018

By Kathy Kunkel

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the findings of an 18-month-long grand jury investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church on Tuesday. The report contains the names of 301 people the grand jury deemed to be predators. Of those, 26 served locally within the Times News coverage area, 22 assigned to the Allentown diocese and four with the Diocese of Scranton. In addition to naming names, the report provides details of the accusations against each of the accused predators. The Allentown Diocese also listed additional names of accused priests.

Only a handful of offenders were ever criminally prosecuted, with most just reassigned or allowed to retire. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro subpoenaed internal documents from each of Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses for the grand jury investigation, uncovering a conspiracy of silence.

Priests with ties to the area are listed:

Donald Wuerl, the Church’s Most Oblivious Cleric

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Review

August 31, 2018

By Alexandra Desanctis

The cardinal’s repeated denials of knowledge and responsibility for sexual-abuse cover-ups defy all credibility.
The Catholic Church’s nightmare of a summer began with Theodore McCarrick. After news broke in June about his past sexual misconduct, including the abuse of minors, he resigned from the College of Cardinals and was exiled to a life of prayer and penance, out of the public eye. But the Archdiocese of Washington, which McCarrick once oversaw, remains very much in the eye of the storm.

There, McCarrick’s direct successor, the embattled cardinal Donald Wuerl, clings to his leadership role, even after weeks of criticism and calls for his resignation. He has done little to silence them and much to bring further censure upon himself.

In Something More Pastoral, a 2015 book about Wuerl’s life and work, the authors hail him as a public figure “known for his professional transparency.” This summer has indicated precisely the opposite.

Incredibly, Wuerl has insisted for two months that he had never heard anything of McCarrick’s predatory behavior — despite two legal settlements that were made to victims from McCarrick’s time in New Jersey, and despite testaments that the former cardinal’s coercive sexual overtures toward seminarians were common knowledge among the clergy.

Church abuse attorney questions new measures

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

September 21, 2018

By Rob Masson

An attorney currently representing more than a dozen people who claim sex abuse at the hands of a deacon says many Catholic schools aren’t going far enough to prevent abuse.

The reaction comes just hours after Jesuit’s headmaster outlined measures designed to prevent abuse in response to recent reports of alleged crimes dating back to the 1970s.

Jesuit President Fr. Chris Fronk met with students Friday and with parents last night, putting out a statement saying, “It is important that you know the steps we take to ensure the safety of your sons.”

Every employee goes through two independent criminal background checks - state and federal.

But an attorney who has handled dozens of abuse victims in Louisiana says anti-abuse measures often don’t go far enough.

“I would want the auditors to have an intense interview with every single member of the faculty and staff,” said Roger Stetter.

That’s because Stetter says victims rarely come forward, or often do so when it’s too late to take action.

Clergy sex abuse survivors put statute of limitations reform in the spotlight in new video

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

September 21, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

In a new video, Catholic clergy sex abuse survivors demand lawmakers act to reform the state's statute of limitations with a retroactive window.

"We don't need your apologies," survivor Todd Frey says to the camera.

"We don't need your prayers," survivor Shaun Dougherty says.

"We need justice," survivor Mary McHale says, emphasizing each word.

The three joined other abuse survivors in the video released on YouTube this week. Judy Deaven, mother of Joey Behe, who died in 2015 from an accidental drug overdose from pain medication he was prescribed for injuries he suffered when he was raped by a priest, also appears in the video, urging justice for "all victims."

The video was produced by CHILD USA, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to protecting kids and preventing abuse, according to its website.

Pa. clergy abuse case underscores need for change in statutes of limitations

BOSTON (MA)
The Boston Globe

August 27, 2018

In the wake of the tsunami from the Pennsylvania grand jury report, there have been numerous suggestions on proper remedies and responses, including allowing priests to marry and women to be ordained, help from the laity (a request made by Cardinal Sean O’Malley), and more statewide grand jury investigations.

Change must come from the state. The single most effective method of addressing sexual abuse of children is statutes of limitations reform and so-called window legislation. Almost all of the victims identified in the Pennsylvania grand jury report are barred from suing their abusers and the institutions that knowingly covered up the abuse. Arbitrary time limits lock the doors of the courthouse, denying victims justice and, therefore, healing.

It’s true that notions of due process support the necessity of most statutes of limitations; however, there are reasonable exceptions adopted by legislators that promote justice and fairness. It takes victims well into their adulthood to speak of their trauma; justice demands that victims are given more time, or a window, to revive barred claims.

Evansville Diocese to list names of priests accused of abuse

EVANSVILLE (IN)
Courier & Press

September 21, 2018

By Abbey Doyle

Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel announced Thursday the Evansville Diocese will collect and release the names of priests in the diocese who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors over the years.

Siegel declined to give any kind of timeline for the release of names.

“We are doing this in the hope that the listing of these priests and their current statuses will help in the process of healing for those who have been affected by clergy sexual abuse," Siegel told The Message, the diocese newspaper. "We also hope it may encourage others who have experienced sexual abuse by clergy or other church ministers to come forward.”

This announcement comes about two weeks after an Evansville Diocese priest was put on administrative leave after the diocese received a report of sexual misconduct.

Father David Fleck denies the claim of sexual misconduct that reportedly happened decades ago, according to the statement from the diocese.

Bishop Morneau requests withdrawal from public ministry

GREEN BAY (WI)
The Compass (Newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay)

September 21, 2018

By Sam Lucero

Allouez - Bishop Robert Morneau, retired auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, has requested and has been granted a withdrawal from all public ministry. In a letter dated Sept. 14 and addressed to Bishop David Ricken, Bishop Morneau stated that he failed to report to authorities an incident of priest sexual abuse of a minor in 1979.

“As a result,” wrote Bishop Morneau, “this priest was able to abuse again several years later. … I intend to spend my time in prayer for all victims and survivors of sexual abuse and I will do corporal works of mercy in reparation for what I failed to do.”

In a separate letter, Bishop Ricken acknowledged the request.

Letter by Bishop Robert Morneau

Letter by Bishop David Ricken

Retired Bishop Morneau admits to not reporting priest's sex abuse, withdraws from ministry

GREEN BAY (WI)
Green Bay Press Gazette

September 21, 2018

By Shelby Le Duc

https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2018/09/21/priest-sex-abuse-retired-bishop-green-bay-withdraws-ministry-failed-report-robert-morneau-ricken/1379459002/

A retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has withdrawn from public ministry, acknowledging his failure to report a priest's sexual abuse of a minor 40 years ago that allowed the priest to assault other youths.

Bishop Robert Morneau asked to withdraw from public ministry in a Sept. 14 letter to the diocese. Bishop David Ricken approved that request three days later.

In the letter, Morneau admits to failing to report to the police a 1979 incident of a priest sexually abusing a child.

"As a result, this priest was able to abuse again several years later," he wrote.

The priest, David Boyea, pleaded guilty in 1985 to first-degree sexual assault of another child and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He also was permanently removed from the priesthood.

Pa. priest abuse hotline receives more than 1,130 calls as reports spike

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

September 21, 2018

By Candy Woodall

The number of people who say they were sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania has more than doubled since a grand jury report released early last month identified 301 predator priests.

That report estimated about 1,000 victims throughout six dioceses in Pennsylvania who were silenced by a cover-up that dated back to the 1930s.

A little more than a month later, the number of people to come forward continues to grow.

As of Thursday, the clergy abuse hotline set up by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro had received calls from 1,130 people.

Agents in the Office of the Attorney General "return every call, log every fact, and contribute to further investigations where appropriate," Shapiro said in a Twitter statement.

"If you've been victimized, it's time to come out of the shadows. #SpeakUp, & we'll be there to help," he said on Twitter.

September 21, 2018

En la hora del adiós: obispo de Chillán se va pidiendo perdón y advirtiendo con “acciones legales”

[In the hour of goodbye, Bishop of Chillán asks for forgiveness and warns of "legal action"]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 21, 2018

El renunciado Carlos Pellegrín pidió “perdón por todas las veces que no estuve a la altura”, pero al mismo tiempo no descartó tomar acciones legales contra aquellos que lo han "injuriado”. Además, anunció que “me reservo el derecho a apelar a la justicia también porque soy un ciudadano más de Chile”.

"Perdón por todas las veces que no estuve a la altura de lo que requiere mi responsabilidad”. Con estas palabras Carlos Pellegrín se refirió a su salida como obispo de Chillán luego que el Papa Francisco decidiera aceptar su renuncia junto a la del obispo de San Felipe Cristián Contreras.

Murillo por reemplazantes de obispos de San Felipe y Chillán: la Iglesia católica va "en la dirección correcta"

[Murillo on replacements of bishops of San Felipe and Chillán: the Church is going "in the right direction"]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 21, 2018

El denunciante de Fernando Karadima acusó que existe un "lobby importante de los obispos tratando de mantenerse en sus puestos", esto debido a que las expulsiones se han dado en momentos muy diversos, a pesar que todos los religiosos presentaron su renuncia al mismo tiempo.

Uno de los denunciantes de Karadima, José Andrés Murillo, se refirió a la aceptación de la renuncia por parte del Papa Francisco de los obispos de Chillán y San Felipe, Carlos Pellegrín y Cristián Contreras, respectivamente. "No puede ser que obispos que tienen un rol religioso, ético, moral (...) estén siendo investigado por abuso sexual infantil, que es el delito más inaceptable que se comete en la sociedad contemporánea", sostuvo Murillo.

Víctima de abusos respira profundo: “Pensé que el poder del obispo de San Felipe era interminable”

[Clergy abuse victim: "I thought the power of the Bishop of San Felipe was endless"]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 21, 2018

En conversación con El Mostrador, el ex seminarista Mauricio Pulgar, víctima de abuso sexual por parte del presbítero Humberto Enríquez, explicó sus expectativas tras la salida del obispo de San Felipe aceptada este vienes por el Papa Francisco junto a la renuncia del obispo de Chillán. “Escucharon nuestras súplicas”, dijo por su parte la vocera de los laicos de Chillán, Mirena Romero.

Tras la determinación del Papa Francisco de aceptar las renuncias de otros dos obispos chilenos (los jefes de la iglesia de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín, y de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras), el ex seminarista Mauricio Pulgar, una de las víctimas de abuso sexual por parte de miembros del clero, expresó que es hora de que la Iglesia “cambie la actitud hacia las víctimas y que se inicie un diálogo”.

Jaime Concha, denunciante marista: “Precht era un depredador sexual”

[Jaime Concha, Marist whistleblower: "Precht was a sexual predator"]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 21, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez G.

“Yo sabía que si contaba que el Vicario de la Solidaridad me atacaba sexualmente, Pinochet lo habría usado a él y a mí, Precht habría terminado fusilado, preso, se habría acabado la Vicaría. Nosotros sentíamos el peso de todo eso", dice Jaime Concha.

“Yo no me siento feliz por lo que le ha pasado a Cristián Precht, creo que es una enorme tragedia, pero se tiene que conocer la verdad, la gente tiene que saber quién era él realmente”, dice Jaime Concha, con tono enérgico. El denunciante del caso Marista alude al reciente decreto de dimisión del estado clerical que emanó desde el Vaticano, a través del cual la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, a instancias de una decisión papal, expulsó de por vida a Precht del sacerdocio.

Papa Francisco acepta renuncia de cuestionados obispos de Chillán y San Felipe

[Pope Francisco accepts resignation of accused bishops of Chillán and San Felipe]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 21, 2018

By Gabriela Varas and Tomás Molina

La salida de Carlos Pellegrín Barrera y Cristián Contreras Molina se da dentro del marco de las investigaciones en su contra por sus supuestas vinculaciones en casos de abusos dentro de la Iglesia Católica.

El Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia de los cuestionados obispos de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín Barrera, y San Felipe, Cristián Contreras Molina. El sacerdote Pellegrín estaría siendo investigado penal y canónicamente por presunto abuso sexual y encubrimiento, mientras que Contreras es apuntado por el eventual delito de encubrimiento. Además, en ambas diócesis existen procesos penales y canónicos en curso contra clérigos.

Defensa de Ezzati pide su sobreseimiento como supuesto encubridor en investigación contra sacerdote Óscar Muñoz

[Ezzati's defense asks for his dismissal in Óscar Muñoz's cover-up investigation]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 21, 2018

El ex canciller del Arzobispado de Santiago es indagado por delitos sexuales. Tribunal decidirá el próximo 5 de octubre.

La defensa del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati solicitó el pasado 14 de septiembre el sobreseimiento definitivo de éste en el marco de la investigación que lleva adelante la fiscalía de O'Higgins en contra del ex canciller de esa arquidiócesis, Óscar Muñoz (56). Según explicó la defensa del también arzobispo de Santiago, la solicitud -realizada ante el Tribunal de Garantía de Rancagua- está fundada en el artículo 150 del Código Procesal Penal y apunta a la falta de participación de Ezzati en los delitos imputados a Muñoz Toledo.

Ex canciller del arzobispado investigado por abusos sexuales abandona la cárcel de Rancagua

[Former chancellor of the archdiocese investigated for sexual abuse leaves Rancagua prison]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

September 21, 2018

La Corte de Apelaciones de Rancagua revocó ayer la prisión preventiva contra Óscar Muñoz y ordenó arresto domiciliario nocturno.

El ex canciller del Arzobispado de Santiago, Óscar Muñoz Toledo, abandonó hoy la cárcel de Rancagua donde cumplía prisión preventiva desde el pasado 13 de julio tras ser formalizado por delitos sexuales contra varios menores. Ayer, la Corte de Apelaciones de Rancagua revocó la medida cautelar de prisión preventiva y decretó su arresto domiciliario nocturno, junto con el pago de una fianza de $5.000.000.

El mapa de los obispos en Chile tras las renuncias aceptadas por el Papa Francisco

[The map of the bishops in Chile after the resignations accepted by Pope Francis]

CHILE
Emol

September 21, 2018

Por el momento, el Sumo Pontífice ha concretado la salida de siete de los líderes eclesiásticos chilenos que viajaron al Vaticano para reunirse con él.

La Iglesia en Chile está conformada por distintas jurisdicciones eclesiásticas. Existen cinco arquidiócesis correspondientes a las provincias eclesiásticas en las que se divide el país, que también está cubierto por 19 diócesis, una prelatura y un vicariato apostólico. El Papa Francisco recibió la renuncia de todos los obispos durante la cita que sostuvieron en el Vaticano y hasta el momento ha aceptado siete.

Laicos jóvenes esperan que Chomalí exponga casos de abusos sexuales a papa Francisco

[Young lay leaders expect Chomalí to discuss clergy sex abuse cases with Pope Francis]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 20, 2018

By Manuel Cabrera and Óscar Valenzuela

El representante de los laicos jóvenes de Concepción espera que el eje central de la cita que tendrá Fernando Chomalí con el papa Francisco, gire en torno a los casos de abusos sexuales que se han conocido en la zona y en el país. Además, creen que ninguno de los obispos -que se encuentran en calidad de renunciados puede asumir la Arquidiócesis de Santiago, a cargo actualmente de Ricardo Ezzati.

Arzobispo Chomalí tras ver al Papa: "Presenté nuevamente mi renuncia, la que no fue aceptada"

[Archbishop Chomalí after seeing the Pope: "I submitted my resignation again, which was not accepted"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 21, 2018

By Matías Vega

Tras sus reuniones en el Vaticano con el papa Francisco y el oficial de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, Jordi Bertomeu -quien estuvo de visita en Chile como enviado papal a mediados de junio-, el arzobispo de Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, aseguró haber presentado nuevamente su renuncia al sumo pontífice, pero que no fue aceptada.

After Catholic boys school writes off sex abuse as “history”, new and more shocking details emerge

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Queerty

September 21, 2018

By Graham Gremore

An elite boys school in New Orleans is currently fielding a PR nightmare and it doesn’t look like it’ll be ending any time soon.

On Wednesday, news broke that Jesuit High School in New Orleans quietly paid a former student $450,000 after he was repeatedly raped by priests and staff members.

Ricky Windmann was sexually assaulted over the course of several years while he was a student at the Catholic boys school in the 1970s. He detailed the horrific abuse in an article published by the New Orleans Advocate.

After that story broke, the school went into crisis mode.

Rev. Christopher Fronk, the president of Jesuit High School, immediately sent out a letter to the Jesuit community saying he was “horrified” by the sexual abuse that took place at the school and calling it a “disgusting time in our history”.

“What happened then is very different from what happens now,” Fronk said. “Jesuit High School of the ’70s and ’80s is not the Jesuit High School of today.”

Pope accepts resignation of two Chilean bishops accused of abuse or cover up

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

September 21, 2018

By Inés San Martín

FORT WORTH, Texas - Four months after the Chilean bishops presented their resignations en mass due to a massive clerical sexual abuse crisis, Pope Francis has accepted two more on Friday, bringing the total to seven.

Though the Vatican gave no reason for the pontiff’s decision, both prelates replaced on Friday are accused of sexually abusing minors.

Both prelates are currently being investigated by civil prosecutors, as is Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the Archbishop of Santiago, who continues in his role despite allegations that he covered up clerical sexual abuse.

Bishop Cristian Contreras of San Felipe is one of the two whose resignation Pope Francis accepted on Friday. He’s being investigated for cover-up, but also for allegedly abusing a minor in the bishop’s house decades ago. He’s already been investigated in 2013 by the Vatican, which sent two priests to look into alleged sexual abuses, but no sanctions were imposed.

Contreras will be temporarily replaced by the head of the ecclesial tribunal of Santiago, Jaime Ortiz de Lezcano, who will serve as apostolic administrator. He was the man tasked with investigating former priest Cristian Precht, who was removed from the priesthood last week by Pope Francis without the possibility of appealing the sentence.

Christine Blasey Ford Isn’t “Mixed Up.” But the Way We Talk About Sexual Assault Still Is

UNITED STATES
Vogue

September 18, 2018

By Michelle Ruiz

It’s a story as old as Adam and Eve: When something bad happens, blame the woman. Nearly 30 years ago, an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee attempted to undermine Anita Hill—some openly questioning her credibility and motivations—before ultimately confirming her alleged sexual harasser, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. This week, the very same narrative is playing out again with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the clinical psychology professor who has come forward to accuse President Trump’s latest SCOTUS pick, Brett Kavanaugh, of pinning her down and groping her at a party when they were both high school students around 1982. Both Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify publicly about her allegation—which he denies—on Monday; the fate of Kavanaugh’s confirmation now hangs in the balance. And so the well-oiled white male protector machine has been launched into overdrive.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters that Ford must be “mixed up” about the alleged assault, though, according to Ford, the nominee was “stumbling drunk” at the party, so it may be more likely that he’d be the one with a cloudy memory. (A culture of heavy drinking seems to be confirmed by Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend at the time, who later wrote a memoir about his various youthful indiscretions featuring a thinly veiled “Bart O’Kavanaugh.”) Former independent counsel Ken Starr (why are we still hearing from Ken Starr again?) similarly mused on CNN that Ford’s account of her assault must be a simple case of “mistaken identification,” as “false identification . . . happens every day.” Except, um, it actually does not.

False sexual assault accusations make for splashy media sensations and prime Dateline episodes—see: the UVA/Rolling Stone article; the Duke lacrosse case—but statistically speaking, they are extremely rare; 2 to 10 percent of sexual assault reports are false, and as Quartz recently noted, it is equally (if not more) rare that false accounts lead to criminal convictions. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, “since records began in 1989, in the U.S. there are only 52 cases where men convicted of sexual assault were exonerated because it turned out they were falsely accused.” It’s a number that pales in comparison to the estimated 1 in 6 American women who will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, or the 1 in 4 college women alone who experience unwanted sexual contact.

Notorious fugitive NM priest in custody, facing child sex abuse charges

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

September 21, 2018

By Colleen Heild

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One of the most notorious of the Roman Catholic priests accused of child sexual abuse in New Mexico, the Rev. Arthur Perrault, is in federal custody today under indictment for repeatedly molesting a boy at Kirtland Air Force Base and at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in the early 1990s.

This afternoon, after 26 years on the lam, the disgraced priest is set to face a U.S. magistrate in Albuquerque on a newly unsealed federal indictment charging him with criminal aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact between 1991 and 1992. Perrault had served as a military chaplain at the time.

His initial appearance set for 3 p.m. today.

At a news conference this morning, U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson and FBI Special Agent in Charge James C. Langenberg said Perrault’s arrest is the culmination of a yearlong, FBI-led investigation that involved authorities in Morocco, who took Perrault into custody last year after he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Albuquerque on seven federal charges.

“This man was widely perceived as mentor to young people and a respected figure in the community,” Anderson said. “Although the indictment alleges that Perrault committed these acts many years ago, this indictment should make clear that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will pursue justice for victims despite the passage of time or the many years that this defendant sought to put between him and these alleged offenses.”

Michigan AG Schuette opens Catholic priest sex abuse investigation

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

September 21, 2018

By Niraj Warikoo

The Michigan Attorney General's Office announced today it has launched a statewide investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

The office posted on its website today that it now has an open investigation into whether clergy in the Catholic Church in Michigan committed acts of abuse against children.

"The Michigan Department of Attorney General has determined that a full and complete investigation of what happened within the Catholic Church is required," it reads on the Attorney General's website. "This investigation is and will continue to be independent, thorough, transparent, and prompt. My department and this investigation will find out who knew what, and when."

The investigation was first reported by Wood TV, which had filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requesting documents related to several cases of abuse.

A spokesperson for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette confirmed to the Free Press the investigation was launched in August and announced today.

The office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Sept. 21, 2018, it has launched an investigation into the Catholic Church in Michigan for possible abuse of children.

Presentation principal accused of mishandling reported sex abuse to resign

SAN JOSE (CA)
Bay Area News Group/Mercury News

September 5, 2018

By John Woolfolk

Presentation High School President and former Principal Mary Miller announced Wednesday she will resign after coming under a cloud of allegations that she mishandled student sex-abuse allegations against staff over 25 years leading San Jose’s prestigious Catholic girls’ school.

“I have come to the realization my resignation is what is best for Pres,” Miller said in a resignation letter to the school’s board of directors. “The allegations of past sexual abuse continue to be a distraction for the school and bring negative attention towards Presentation. It is my sincere hope that my absence will bring some peace and allow the staff and new administration to focus on the success and well being of our students — which is our common goal.”

Presentation’s board said it will immediately begin a search to replace her.

Robert Allard, the lawyer who represented the former students, called it a key step toward housecleaning at the school administration, where he said Miller “enabled numerous predators to sexually abuse countless young girls.”

No more delays, Louisiana bishops must release names of pedophile priests

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Times-Picayune

September 21, 2018

By The Times-Picayune Editorial Board

After decades of secrecy, Louisiana's Catholic bishops are considering releasing the names of priests with credible accusations of abuse against them.

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, in an interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Thursday (Sept. 20), said a decision should come soon.

The right decision should be obvious: The priests ought to be identified. There should be no exceptions for priests who are deceased or who have left the church. And the disclosure should include the names of any lay abusers who preyed on victims under the cover of the church.

Devout Catholics regard the sacrament of reconciliation as a pillar of their faith. They are taught from early childhood that fully confessing one's misdeeds is the first step toward forgiveness and spiritual healing.

The bishops should now practice what they preach. For the good of the community, the church, and most importantly the victims, they must release the names of the accused and cooperate fully in the civil and criminal proceedings that are sure to follow.

These priests harmed children and inflicted unimaginable pain on them and their families, pain that continues decades later. The Catholic Church for years has shielded most of these priests and other abusers who worked in and for the church. The secrecy allowed some of them to move on to other ministries, where they could abuse more children.

Archbishop Aymond said in the interview that he believes transparency is essential. But he also said the possibility of releasing the names is "riddled with problems," particularly in cases where the abusive priest has died.

Those problems are of the church's making. If the church's hierarchy had decided sooner to be transparent and to confront abuse, the scandal might not have festered.

Whether a priest is living or dead should make no difference now, if there are credible accusations against him. What is important is publicly recognizing the harm done to victims by these predators. There can be no healing without openness by the church.

An August grand jury report in Pennsylvania shows the depth of the scandal. The grand jury, using internal documents from six Catholic dioceses, identified more than 300 priests believed to have sexually abused more than 1,000 children. Since the grand jury report, about 40 of almost 200 dioceses across the United States have released the names of priests accused of abusing children in the past.

In Louisiana, the church hierarchy has been silent up to now.

India: Bishop accused of raping nun summoned by police

INDIA
Al Jazeera

September 12, 2018

By Zeenat Saberin

The decision to question Franco Mulakkal came following days of protests in Kerala by women's groups.

Police in the southern Indian state of Kerala have summoned a bishop accused of raping a Catholic nun for questioning, following days of protests by a collective of nuns, women's groups and activists.

The Indian media on Wednesday reported that Franco Mulakkal, head of the Jalandhar diocese in northern Punjab state, has finally been summoned and is likely to be questioned on September 19.

The decision to question Mulakkal came on the fifth day of a sit-in protest in Kerala, demanding action against the bishop accused of sexually assaulting the 46-year-old Catholic nun from the Catholic congregation Missionaries of Jesus.

The nun has alleged that Mulakkal raped her repeatedly between 2014-2016 at a convent in Kerala.

Pope Francis Has a Blind Spot on Sexual Misconduct—and It Begins With His Own Advisory Council

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Mother Jones Magazine

September 21, 2018

By Dan Spinelli

When Pope Francis said last week that he would summon leading Catholic bishops to Rome for an unprecedented summit on the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Vatican included a superficially innocuous detail in the announcement. His decision came “after hearing the Council of Cardinals” and heeding their advice. This group of nine individually selected cardinals, known informally as the “C9,” has only met with Francis 26 times since his election in 2013. But their infrequent gatherings belie the weight Francis has given their counsel on important Church-related issues.

“At the end of the day, the buck stops with Pope Francis,” John Gehring, the author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church, said in a direct Twitter message to Mother Jones. “The cardinals he surrounds himself with to help navigate through this crisis are clearly important, but it’s the pope’s responsibility to move from tough rhetoric to real structural reform.”

It is the C9’s influence in guiding the Vatican response to the sex abuse scandal that has raised concerns among abuse survivors and other Church observers, not because of any specific advice they have given but, rather, because two members of the Council have their own connections to the crisis. Last year, 77-year-old Australian Cardinal George Pell was charged with sexual misconduct after allegations emerged that he abused minors decades ago. (Few details are known about the charges because Australian law limits what can be reported about criminal defendants before a verdict is reached.) Another C9 member, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa of Chile reportedly hid evidence of abuse committed by Fernando Karadima—a priest so notorious that the Vatican made the rare decision of publicly proclaiming his guilt after an internal investigation.

Three months in, more newsrooms need to get serious about Catholic sex abuse coverage

UNITED STATES
GetReligion.com

September 21, 2018

By Julia Duin

As of today, we’re moving into the fourth month of Cardinal-gate or whatever one wants to call the flood of revelations, regrets, resignations and just plain revulsion over the re-awakened sex abuse crisis.

Reporting on the first phase of this crescendo of bad news started kind of slowly in June as news of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s penchant for finding sex partners among his seminarians started leaking out. During that first month, only the New York Times and the Washington Post did much of anything on it and then mostly by their religion and-or Vatican reporters.

Fast forward to this recent Post piece, by an investigative team designated to look into the actions of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Yes, there should have been a team put on the case way before this, but better late than never. You can tell that news executives are taking a story seriously when they start throwing staff at it.

A dozen years before he became a top leader in the Catholic Church, Donald Wuerl was weighing a fateful decision. It was 1994, and Wuerl, then a bishop, had removed a priest accused of child sex abuse from a Pittsburgh-area parish. But the priest refused to get psychiatric treatment, and instead asked Wuerl for time off…

The case, one of hundreds mentioned in a groundbreaking Pennsylvania grand jury report released last month, sheds light on how Wuerl handled sex abuse claims in the Pittsburgh Diocese from 1988 to 2006 — a period that now threatens to rewrite his legacy and hasten the end of his career. Wuerl, 77, announced recently that he would go to the Vatican to discuss his possible resignation with Pope Francis, and although it is not clear when that meeting will take place, Wuerl is scheduled to be in Rome this weekend.

Red billboard calling on the Bishop to release the names of priests accused of abuse

LAFAYETTE (LA)
KLFY-TV

September 19, 2018

By Caroline Marcello

Bishop Deshotel 'considering' release of accused priests' names

On the corner of Ambassador Caffery and Johnston Street in Lafayette there’s a digital billboard calling out the bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette to release the names of priests accused of abuse.

The two advertisements are bright red and the messages are short. They read “How many more?” and “Release the names” with the web address bishop-accountability.org.

I reached out to that organization, and they say they don’t know who’s paying for the billboard.

“Whoever did this, is really onto something,” says Terry McKiernan with the nonprofit out of Massachusetts. He says, “We are a library and an internet archive of the Catholic abuse crisis. We maintain a database of accused priests."

Letters: Doubts about the Vatican Meeting on Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

September 19, 2018

Readers question how much can actually be accomplished.

To the Editor:

Re “In a First, the Pope Calls Bishops to a Global Meeting on Sexual Abuse” (news article, Sept. 13):

After nearly 30 years of observing how Catholic authorities deal with abuse cases, I was disappointed to read that in response to the latest revelations and outcries, yet another meeting of prelates has been scheduled. But I was heartbroken when you reported that bishops “will be taught to listen to victims” at the gathering in February.

What kind of men are these princes of the church if their Vatican supervisors admit that they must learn how to hear the most wounded in their flock?

David G. Clohessy
St. Louis

The writer is the former director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Cardinal hires judge to review church sex abuse policies

NEW YORK (NY)
Associated Press

September 20, 2018

By Karen Matthews

Hoping to restore the faith of those disillusioned by how the church has handled sexual abuse allegations, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York appointed a former federal judge Thursday to review its procedures and protocols.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced the appointment of Barbara Jones, saying many Catholics had told him they were feeling let down by the church’s hierarchy after a “summer of hell.” The string of bad news has included a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse and systematic cover-up by church officials in that state, and revelations about sexual abuse allegations against a former archbishop, Theodore McCarrick.

The move also comes two weeks after New York’s attorney general announced a comprehensive investigation of how the church and its leaders handled abuse allegations across the state. Attorney General Barbara Underwood issued subpoenas to all eight of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses for documents containing information on abuse allegations and how they were investigated and handled.

San Diego Diocese holds back on abusive priests, public list tops 103

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Worthy Adversary

September 13, 2018

By Joelle Casteix

Today the Diocese of San Diego released a list of eight credibly accused priests who have worked in the diocese.

The names are:

Fr. Jose Chavarin
Fr. Raymond Etienne SVD
Fr. James P. Foley
Fr. Michael French
Fr. Richard Houck
Fr. George Lally O.A.R.
Fr. Mark Medaer
Fr. Paolino Montagna

This list is dangerously incomplete. Even a cursory search of publicly available data found 105 names of priests who have worked in San Diego—including Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom—who have been accused of sexually assaulting minors or vulnerable adults.

TEXAS VIEW: The Catholic Church needs to make protecting children its top priority

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Morning News

September 5, 2018

The Catholic Church’s most recent — and perhaps most depraved — sexual-abuse scandal is stunning and has hit our community and our state hard. According to the most recent U.S. Religion Census, at least 56 percent of Texans are adherents to a religion; of those, nearly 20 percent are Catholics.

But one need not be a Catholic nor an adherent to any faith to be sickened by the Pennsylvania grand jury report that identified 301 “predator priests” throughout the state who abused more than 1,000 children — some as young as 2 years old — over seven decades.

The details are well-known and too heinous to repeat. But what’s lesser-known is that the roughly 900-page report said the strategies deployed by the Catholic Church — deacons, priests and bishops — to respond to allegations amounted to “a playbook for concealing the truth.”

Those strategies included using fellow clergy to investigate allegations of abuse, refusal to explain why abusive priests were removed or transferred to a different diocese, use of euphemisms like “boundary issues” in cases that were clearly rape, and, lastly, not reporting accused priests to law enforcement.

This Week In Mormonland

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

September 20, 2018

By David Noyce

This week in Mormon Land: Nelson’s game plan for life, where women stand, a high-profile excommunication and Salt Lake’s School of the Prophets

Sam Young is out, but the fight is still on.

Latter-day Saint leaders in Houston have excommunicated the former bishop, but he is continuing his campaign against one-on-one interviews of youths by lay clergy and the sexually explicit questions that sometimes are asked.

“For our children’s sake,” an emotional Young said, “this whistleblower is not going to stop roaring.”

The 65-year-old Young read the verdict letter of his disciplinary council before hundreds of supporters outside the faith’s landmark temple in downtown Salt Lake City.

Officially, he got the boot for “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church” and his “persistent, aggressive effort to persuade others to [his] point of view by repeatedly and deliberately attacking and publicly opposing the church and its leaders.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commonly called SNAP, condemned the action.

“SNAP is appalled that a man who is only speaking up to protect children would be banned from his community,” the group’s Utah leader, Judy Larson, wrote in a news release. “The Mormon church should instead be thanking him for his care and concern for LDS children.”

Cardinal Dolan picks Barbara Jones, special master in Michael Cohen case, to review handling of clergy sex-abuse cases

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

September 20, 2018

By Stephen Rex Brown and Larry McShane

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, hoping to extinguish some of the lingering flames from the Catholic church’s “summer of hell,” hired a respected ex-judge to review its sex abuse protocols.

Barbara Jones was brought in to conduct a “comprehensive and exhaustive study” of how the Archdiocese of New York responds to a young person’s abuse allegations against any clergy member.

“From my people, my clergy and the wider community … I hear that they want accountability, transparency and action,” Dolan said Thursday in a move to restore the faith of his disillusioned flock.

“If I lose the trust of my people and this community, I don’t have a lot left.”

In New Orleans, more quietly settled, decades-old Catholic Church sex abuse cases surface

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

September 21, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Other cases have surfaced involving quietly settled, decades-old sexual abuse claims against the Catholic Church in New Orleans, naming a pair of diocesan priests as well as an educator.

In the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that’s rocked the Catholic Church around the world, including horrifying incidents in Louisiana, church …

Three separate, unnamed plaintiffs pursued claims against Malcolm Strassel, once a priest at Our Lady of Lourdes; Michael Fraser, once a priest at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church; and Nolan Delatte, once an educator at St. Pius X School, according to documents filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Records show the disputes were resolved in 2009, and the attorney representing the plaintiffs — Felecia Peavy — said Thursday that all of the claims resulted in undisclosed monetary settlements for her clients.

However, despite past pledges to be open and transparent following the 2002 sexual abuse scandal that devastated the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of New Orleans did not notify its flock of the claims against Strassel or Delatte, which date back decades but which Peavy said were deemed credible.

Archdiocese attorney Wendy Vitter on Thursday said the administration, led at the time by Archbishop Alfred Hughes, did not notify the public of the claims against Strassel and Delatte because both had died by then and the allegations dated back to the 60s and 70s.

SNAP claims some Pennsylvania priests tied to molestation cases came to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Fox 2 News

September 20, 2018

By Vic Faust

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says several priests came to St. Louis from Pennsylvania after being investigated for molesting kids and nobody was ever told.

SNAP says nine priests who were first publicly identified by name last month in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, spent time in St. Louis at some point after being investigated in other states.

However, the Archdiocese of St. Louis says they never worked here.

SNAP is urging Attorney General Josh Hawley to delay and expand his clergy sex abuse inquiry in St. Louis since the grand jury report named nine priests sent there over the last 25 years. All of these priests lived at church-run facilities for troubled priests.

“They are among hundreds of predators who were sent to St. Louis with no warning to parents and parishioners,” said David Clohessy, survivor and SNAP director in St. Louis.

Anti-abuse activists pan US Catholic bishops’ new proposals

NEW YORK (NY)
Associated Press

September 20, 2018

By David Crary

Lawyers and advocates for victims of clergy sex-abuse are assailing as inadequate some new steps announced by U.S. Catholic bishops to curtail the abuse scandals that have deeply shaken the church this year.

The initiatives, announced Wednesday, include developing a code of conduct for bishops regarding sexual abuse and harassment, and establishing a confidential hotline — to be run by a third party — to receive complaints of sexual misconduct by bishops, and relay such complaints to appropriate church and civil authorities.

Critics called on the bishops to go further by allowing outside investigators full access to church sex-abuse records and by supporting changes to statute-of-limitation laws so that more cases of long-ago sex abuse could be addressed in court.

"Until they allow professional investigators inside the secret archives, there will be no real transparency," said Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota lawyer who has handled many sex-abuse lawsuits. "They are incapable of handling this internally."

Marci Hamilton, a University of Pennsylvania professor who has studied sex abuse statute of limitations, depicted the bishop's statement as "little more than words ... while they lobby against justice for the victims."

Until the bishops support major statute of limitations reforms, she said Thursday, "they are enemies of the victims and the public seeking to know the actual risk posed by their policies."

Americans’ approval of Pope Francis drops to 53% amid more church sex abuse revelations

UNITED STATES
Vox Media

September 19, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton

Pope Francis’s favorability rating among Americans has plummeted sharply in the aftermath of this summer’s deluge of revelations in the Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis, according to a poll conducted by Gallup this week. Francis’s approval rating among Americans is down to 53 percent, according to the poll conducted from September 4 to 12.

In September 2015, according to Gallup, about 70 percent of Americans felt favorably about the pope. That number declined only slightly to 66 percent by early August.

But then a Pennsylvania grand jury report implicated hundreds of priests in the alleged sexual abuse of more than 1,000 minors, mostly during the 1970s and ’80s, prompting a new wave of abuse investigations across the United States. The fallout has rocked the Catholic Church — and Americans’ trust in the pope.

Even shortly before the massive report was released, retired DC archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick left the ministry after numerous allegations emerged of sexual abuse against both adult seminarians and minors. Weeks later, former Vatican official Carlo Maria Viganò wrote an open letter accusing Francis of overturning sanctions against McCarrick instituted by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, despite being aware of McCarrick’s abuse of seminarians. The letter does not allege that Francis knew about any abuse of minors.

Jesuit High sex abuse settlements kept quiet; 1 victim speaks out for first time

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

September 20, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Ricky Windmann wasn’t nervous when he accompanied janitor Peter Modica to his ground-floor maintenance office at Jesuit High School on an otherwise unremarkable day in the late 1970s.

After all, Modica – a former semipro baseball player – had let the skinny, light-haired boy play basketball on the school’s grounds several times, even though he wasn’t a student. He also bought Windmann a bike and stopped by the boy’s house, which was a couple blocks from the school’s Mid-City campus, to meet Windmann’s mother.

But any feeling of safety was replaced by paralyzing fear when Modica suddenly pulled Windmann’s pants down and forcibly performed oral sex on him. Windmann doesn’t recall his exact age at the time, but he said he believes he was in his early teens.

The janitor would go on to sexually abuse the adolescent several more times in the ensuing years – once in concert with a Jesuit priest and teacher, Neil Carr – only stopping when Windmann grew big enough to protect himself.

Our Views: Unified, churchwide standard to make credible abuse claims public a must for Catholic Church Advocate editorial

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

September 20, 2018

In the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that’s rocked the Catholic Church around the world, including horrifying incidents in Louisiana, church leaders have promised to champion reforms to help prevent such abuses in the future.

One obvious change for the better would be a unified, churchwide standard for making credible claims of abuse public. As an Advocate story on court settlements involving sexual abuse incidents at Jesuit High in New Orleans makes clear, confusing lines of authority within the church bureaucracy haven’t served the cause of transparency and justice.

The abuse cases from Jesuit’s campus dating back to at least the 1970s are a case study in evil. One victim, Randy Windmann, was granted a $450,000 settlement after he reported repeated sexual assaults by then-campus janitor Peter Modica starting in the 1970s. Windmann said he was also abused by the Rev. Neil Carr, then a Jesuit priest and teacher.

An especially troubling revelation from such abuse cases is that reporting standards among various church institutions can differ. Jesuit’s guidelines for reporting such cases seems to differ from that of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Jesuit’s rules don’t appear to require that parents and other members of the Catholic community be informed when such abuse allegations develop. It’s unclear which set of standards are supposed to prevail — those of the Jesuit order, or those of the diocese.

Aymond, other Louisiana bishops may release names of pedophile priests: exclusive interview

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Times-Picayune

September 20, 2018

By Kim Chatelain

Against the backdrop of a raging national clergy abuse scandal rooted in south Louisiana, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said Thursday (Sept. 20) he and other state bishops are in discussions over whether to release the names of clergy members against whom credible accusations of abuse have been made.

In an exclusive interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, Aymond said while he believes transparency is key to helping the church through the crises, releasing the names of clergy members who were accused of abuse decades ago is "riddled with problems" and "messy," particularly in cases where the abuser is deceased. But he said those issues are being discussed among the state's bishops and a decision is expected soon.

"This has been heart-wrenching, painful," Aymond said. He characterized the last several weeks as the most difficult in his nine years at the helm of the archdiocese, as he hears stories of victims and the damage abusive clergy members have done to them and their families.

"I go to bed thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it," he said.

For Francis, February bishops' meeting will be a defining moment

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 20, 2018

by Dennis Coday

Could this be the moment for which Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was called from "the ends of the earth" to be pope?

Let's not forget how when Bergoglio was introduced to us as Pope Francis — the name of not a previous pope or apostle, but of a reforming saint — he captured the world's imagination with his humble request for all those gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray for him, and he bowed before them.

Let's not forget that he was elected by a conclave of cardinals who knew they wanted a freshness brought to the papacy and reform to the church. That was his mandate.

He first led by example: renouncing the papal apartments, taking a room in Casa Santa Marta and eating meals in the cafeteria. He forsook titles and called himself the bishop of Rome. He rides in simple cars, not bulletproof limousines.

Let's not forget how from his earliest days as pope he spoke for a ministry of mercy and denounced in the most strident terms the disease of clericalism. In November 2013, speaking to a gathering of religious superiors, he called clericalism "one of the worst evils," and warned the religious leaders with seminarians, "We must form their hearts. Otherwise, we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goose bumps."

Annual Title IX Training, AKA, Where Bible College Failed

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Cassidy's Commentary (blog)

September 20, 2018

I work for a University. It’s not hard to figure out which one; I draw very little attention to where I work, because, DUH, public forum. I like where I work. It’s a very different world from where I grew up, and how I grew up; it’s a very different way of functioning from what I’m used to, and I’m very grateful that I have the opportunity to be here. It’s time for our Annual Title IX Training, and I have a few things to get out of my system…

I grew up in a small town (no stoplights!), and I graduated from a small, private school (in a class of 6 people, I was the valedictorian!). When I went to college, I went to my third- or fourth-string pick of a Bible college in Florissant, Missouri, not too far from where I’m currently employed.

I still don’t know why I wound up there. Honestly, it was down to the wire to make a college decision, and my choice of a school in Tennessee was firmly shot down, as was my choice of a school in Webster Groves, so here I was, in this tiny, little Bible college at 17, feeling out of place and completely on my own.

She accused a Mishawaka priest of sexual abuse. She got Bishop Rhoades' attention

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

August 22, 2018

By Caleb Bauer

When Bishop Kevin Rhoades announced his plan to release names of priests in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese accused of abuse, he said the revelations of rampant abuse in Pennsylvania weren’t the only factor in his decision.

He also credited a woman who had reported sexual abuse to the diocese — and had urged him to release the name of her abuser.

“I was so conflicted,” Rhoades said at a news conference Friday. “She was asking me to release the name. So to be honest, this whole issue of releasing names is something that even before the Pennsylvania grand jury report I’ve been considering.”

Carolyn Andrzejewski-Wilson watched the live broadcast of the news conference on her computer at her North Carolina home. She knew Rhoades was talking about her.

Almost two years ago, the former Mishawaka resident met with Rhoades to relay her story about abuse at the hands of the Rev. Elden Miller, a former priest at St. Joseph Church and Queen of Peace Church in Mishawaka.

Priest arrested in diocese of US cardinal leading pope visit

SPOKANE (WA)
The Associated Press

September 12, 2018

By Nomaan Merchant

HOUSTON (AP) – As U.S. Catholic leaders head to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis about a growing church abuse crisis, the cardinal leading the delegation has been accused by two people of not doing enough to stop a priest who was arrested this week on sexual abuse charges.

The two people told The Associated Press that they reported the priest and met with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. One of them says she was promised in a meeting with DiNardo that the priest would be removed from any contact with children, only to discover that the priest remained in active ministry at another parish 70 miles away.

The priest, Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, was arrested Tuesday by police in Conroe, Texas. Both people who spoke to the AP are cooperating with police.

Survivors network still skeptical as Hawley's office forges ahead with investigation of Catholic Church

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

By Jack Suntrup and Nassim Benchaabane

September 20, 2018

As part of an investigation into potential clergy abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, inspectors in the Missouri attorney general’s office have identified at least 100 boxes of records that officials said will be subject to review.

The office told the Post-Dispatch each box generally can hold at least 2,000 documents. The state’s four Catholic dioceses possess the records in question.

The attorney general’s office has been contacted approximately 50 times by survivors and potential witnesses of abuse through an online portal, and the office said it has assigned “several” attorneys to handle its investigation.

The update on Attorney General Josh Hawley’s investigation comes as skepticism continues to swirl around the probe, which the dioceses are complying with voluntarily. Victim advocates have panned the investigation for its lack of subpoena power, which they say would lend credibility to the examination of church records.

Parents outraged after learning priests accused of sex abuse were sent to Missouri

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK TV

September 20, 2018

By Christina Coleman

A Florissant couple is outraged after learning that pedophile priests from Pennsylvania were sent to Missouri.

The couple said their son lost his life to suicide after a priest abused him for several years. They reached a wrongful death settlement with the St. Louis Archdiocese, but new information has them demanding change.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) learned about nine Pennsylvania priests, who have been accused or have admitted to sexual abuse allegations, that were transferred to Missouri.

SNAP doesn't know how many of the nine priests are still in the area, or are even alive, but they say they were sent here after Bishops in Pennsylvania suspended them.

The Harkins said the news brings back painful memories. They want priests to be prosecuted if they engage in sex abuse.

Benedict XVI defends resignation in leaked letter

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet Catholic Weekly

September 20, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

Benedict XVI has reprimanded a German cardinal for criticising his decision to step down, arguing that “anger” about his resignation has devalued his papacy, and is being “melted into the sorrow” about the Church’s problems.

The Pope Emeritus made the remarks in recent letters to Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the “dubia” cardinals who has publicly challenged Pope Francis over his family life teaching.

At one level, the letters can be read as a rebuke to Pope Francis’ critics, many of whom felt betrayed and angered by Benedict XVI’s decision to resign and have seen the Pope Emeritus as a rallying point for Francis resistance.

On the other hand, critics of this Pope are likely to seize on Benedict XVI's use of the word “sorrow” about the Church’s situation as a sign that Francis’ pontificate is going in the wrong direction.

The overriding concern from Benedict appears to be that his papacy is being devalued by those using it as a political weapon to undermine Francis.

Group wants Missouri AG investigation into Catholic Church to go beyond priests

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV TV

September 20, 2018

By Russell Kinsaul

An advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by priests says it wants an investigation into the St. Louis Archdiocese by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to be expanded.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says it wants an investigation to go beyond priests and include religious orders, deacons and brothers, and said people need to be required to testify under oath.

When Hawley announced an investigation into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Missouri, Archbishop Robert Carlson promised unfettered access to church records.

“There needs to be subpoena power, there needs to be compelling testimony under oath. Anything else is less than an investigation and I would say it’s a sham and a whitewash,” said Tim Lennon with SNAP.

The group also claimed priests identified as predators by a Pennsylvania grand jury were sent to Missouri.

September 20, 2018

What Happened To Amber Wyatt

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

September 19, 2018

By Rod Dreher

This piece by Elizabeth Bruenig about a rape in her hometown high school is “devastating.” She’s right. It’s about Amber Wyatt, a cheerleader who says she was raped in 2006 by two athletes who drove her away from a party. She reported the rape to adults that night, and to the police the next day. But the boys got away with it, in part, Bruenig argues, because society turned against Amber Wyatt.

Here’s an important part of the story Bruenig tells. It happened a decade earlier in the same town — Arlington, Texas:

Woman sues Allentown Diocese over effort to 'smear' her over sexual abuse claims

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

September 12, 2018

By Peter Hall

A woman described as a victim in Pennsylvania’s grand jury report on sexual abuse by clergy has sued the Allentown Diocese over a “smear” campaign by church officials, including Bishop Alfred Schlert, that was described in the statewide report.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Lehigh County Court on behalf of Juliann Bortz of Lower Macungie Township, alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation. It says the effort by church officials to gather “irrelevant, unrelated [or] false ‘dirt’ ” on Bortz to discredit her reports of abuse by the Rev. Francis Fromholzer was unknown to her until it was revealed in the grand jury report last month.

“She was distraught when she read the grand jury report and found out what the church had done,” Harrisburg attorney Benjamin Andreozzi said. “In essence, she was revictimized.”

Instead of taking Bortz’s accusation seriously and investigating Fromholzer, the suit says, “the diocese immediately ‘attempted to undermine and discredit Juliann and her family.’ ”

Priest Sex Abuse Survivors Share Stories As Chicago Priests Meet With Cardinal Cupich

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS

September 12, 2018

By Charlie De Mar

Chicago priests were invited to talk about the sex abuse scandal ripping the church apart in a closed-door meeting Wednesday night. Survivors seized the moment to speak out about the abuse.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports the meeting, closed to the public and the media, took place in Mundelein.

A police officer was stationed at the gathering spot for much of the day as Cardinal Blasé Cupich held an open discussion about the sex abuse scandal with priests from the Chicago area.

Ken Kaczmarz, a survivor that was abused by a priest, shared his story.

“I was molested by an Augustinian priest in 1980-1981 time frame,” Kaczmarz said. “It’s very encouraging that we are finally getting large numbers of people to listen to us and say ‘Wow.’”

Pope Francis Authorizes Investigation of West Virginia Bishop Over Sexual Harassment Claims

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

September 13, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

A delegation of U.S. Catholic cardinals and bishops met Thursday with Pope Francis as a new bombshell dropped in the Catholic Church's long-running sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Lori set up a hotline for potential victims to call, and vowed to conduct a thorough investigation.
The revelation was the latest twist in an incredible turn of events in the U.S. that began with the June 20 announcement that one of the most prestigious U.S. cardinals, Theodore McCarrick, had been accused of groping a teen-age altar boy in the 1970s.

Bishop Michael Bransfield resigns over sexual allegations

BALTIMORE (MD)
WTRF

September 13, 2018

Following his acceptance of the letter of resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop William E. Lori as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, while remaining Archbishop of Baltimore.

Pope Francis further instructed Archbishop Lori to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is a suffragan diocese in the Metropolitan See of Baltimore.

“My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this difficult time,” Archbishop Lori said.

“I further pledge to conduct a thorough investigation in search of the truth into the troubling allegations against Bishop Bransfield and to work closely with the clergy, religious and lay leaders of the diocese until the appointment of a new bishop.”

West Virginia bishop resigns; Pope requests investigation be conducted

WHEELING (WV)
WCHS/WVAH

September 13, 2018

By Anna Taylor

The West Virginia bishop has resigned amid the Catholic Church’s sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

According to a news release posted on the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston’s website, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield. Archbishop William E. Lori has been appointed apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston by the pope while also remaining archbishop of Baltimore, the website said.

Mother speaks about pain of losing son to suicide after he was sexually abused by priest

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
KSAT ABC 12

September 14, 2018

By Bill Barajas

The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church is stirring up pain for one local mother, who said her son died by suicide more than 20 years ago after claiming he was sexually abused by a priest.

Barbara Garcia Boehland said her once happy, outgoing teenage son was depressed. She said the difference in his behavior was like night and day.

“It was a total turnaround. He had nightmares. He couldn't sleep. He was always sick. It was devastating,” Garcia Boehland said.

Garcia Boehland said her son’s abuse started in 1993. Her son, Eduardo, was 16 and attended St. Anthony’s High School. The priest, Carlos Lozano, pleaded no contest to the charges against him and was sentenced to 10 years’ probation.

Lozano was later sentenced to 20 years in prison after violating his probation by downloading pornographic images from the internet.

“In 1997, my son couldn't deal with it and committed suicide. Though he was in therapy, it wasn't something that I could save him from,” Garcia Boehland said.

Garcia Boehland, once a devout Catholic, left the church. She believes the church leaders have hidden hundreds of similar cases and are protecting the accused.

'WOW do I miss you!!!' Priest wrote 'questionable' letters of support to jailed former church volunteer who sexually abused young boys in case that cost the Diocese of Brooklyn $27.5 million

NEW YORK (NY)
DailyMail.com

September 20, 2018

By Charlotte Dean

- Frank Shannon told Angelo Serrano, 67, that he 'missed hanging out with him'
- Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz said there were a lot of questions surrounding the letters
- It was revealed in court that Shannon had also been to visit Serrano in prison
- He told the convicted pedophile that he was a 'wonderful support and friend'
- Serrano is serving a 15 year jail sentence for sexually abused young boys

A priest wrote friendly and supportive letters to a former church volunteer who sexually abused young boys in case that cost the Diocese of Brooklyn $27.5 million.

Reverend Father Frank Shannon told Angelo Serrano, 67, that he 'missed hanging out with him' in letters that lawyer Ben Rubinowitz, who represented the victims, referred to as questionable.

After it was revealed in court that Shannon had also been to visit Serrano in prison, Mr Rubinowitz said: 'He was visiting the pedophile. There are a lot of questions there', reports Ny Daily News.

Chile bishops use annual celebration to tackle abuse crisis

CHILE
CRUX

September 20, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Amid a massive global clerical sexual abuse crisis, some Chilean bishops used their traditional Te Deum celebration on Tuesday to address the problem, apologizing for the scandals that led to the country’s entire episcopacy resigning en masse, while others showed no interest in a mea culpa.

Leading the service held in the cathedral of Santiago on Sept. 18 to commemorate the country’s independence, Benedictine monk Benito Rodríguez replaced Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati in delivering the homily.

Ezzati has been subpoenaed by the prosecutors’ office to testify over accusations of having covered up cases of clerical sexual abuse. He announced over a month ago that he wouldn’t be presiding at, or attending, the prayer service that was followed by a Mass.

Among those in attendance was President Sebastián Piñera.

According to Rodríguez, the Church in Chile is living “moments of purification as perhaps never before in its life. We believe that, speaking from the poverty caused by it, without pretending to deny it or hide it, is also our way of contributing to the today of our history.”

As Catholic Sex Abuse Crisis Deepens, Conservative Circles Blame Gay Priests

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Public Radio - All Things Considered

September 19, 2018

By Tom Gjelten

The uproar over clergy sex abuse in the Catholic church is no longer just about sex abuse. It now touches on Catholic teaching about sexuality in general and even on Pope Francis himself, his agenda, and the future of his papacy.

When a Pennsylvania grand jury last month reported that more than 300 priests had molested more than a thousand children across six dioceses under investigation, it became clear that the cases were not isolated incidents. The problem of abusive priests and the bishops who cover up for them is systemic across the whole church.

Pope Francis says the crisis is rooted in a culture of clericalism, with priests and bishops so elevated in the church that their word and authority dominate over the experience of the people they serve.

Some of the pope's adversaries in the church, such as Cardinal Raymond Burke, have another explanation: Gay priests are to blame, they say. Most abuse incidents, Burke told an interviewer last month, consist of "homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men."

"It seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals," Burke said, "that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root."

That view has found wide resonance in conservative Catholic circles.

Former priest Daniel Curran handed community service order for the sexual abuse of a boy more than 20 years ago

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
The Irish News

September 20, 2018

A former priest, who was a serial sex abuser for almost 20 years walked free from court today after being handed a community service order for the abuse of a boy more than two decades ago.

Leaving from Downpatrick Crown Court with an order to complete 200 hours of community work, 68-year-old Daniel John Curran smiled at his freedom.

Judge Piers Grant had warned the sexual predator that if any further offences came to light, this order was no indication "that you will not receive a custodial sentence" for them.

But he said that given Curran has already served significant custodial sentences for similar offences, he considered had the case been dealt with at the same time, it would not have made a material difference to the sentence.

Curran was in court facing sex abuse charges for the sixth time.

Archbishop of New York appoints retired judge to review sex abuse cases

NEW YORK (NY)
WABC TV

September 20, 2018

The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, appointed retired Judge Barbara Jones as an independent reviewer of sexual abuse cases Thursday.

Most recently, Jones reviewed documents in the Michael Cohen case.

Cardinal Dolan, in an on-camera news conference, concedes the "summer of hell" that laid bare the scope of abuse and the inaction of bishops across the country left the flock "bewildered, frustrated and angry."

Dolan asked Jones to study the archdiocese and how it deals with accusations of abuse. She has been promised complete access to records, personnel and to Dolan himself.

The announcement follows Wednesday's announcement by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to establish a hotline, monitored by a third party, to field complaints of abuse of minors and harassment of adults.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has already set up a clergy abuse hotline and online complaint form for the state for victims and anyone with information.

AG: Clergy Abuse Hotline has received 1,071 calls since grand jury report unveiled

HARRISBURG (PA)
WJAC TV

September 20, 2018

by Matthew Stevens

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the Clergy Abuse Hotline received more than 1,000 calls in the month following the release of the grand jury report into child sex abuse allegations in six Catholic dioceses.

Shapiro said as of Sept. 14, a month to the day after the release of the grand jury report, the hotline had garnered 1,071 calls. He said his office will return every call, log every fact and contribute to further investigations where appropriate.

OAG agents return every call, log every fact, & contribute to further investigations where appropriate.

"If you have been victimized, it's time to come out of the shadows. Speak up and we'll be there to help," said Shapiro.

In August, Shaprio unveiled what he called the "most comprehensive" report into child sex abuse allegations into the Catholic Church.

The report named more than 300 "predator priests" and more than 1,000 victims at dioceses in Erie, Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Scanton, Allentown and Harrisburg.

Insurer Loses Appeal Over Pedophile-Priest Settlements

PASADENA (CA)
Courthouse News Service

September 19, 2018

By Josh Russell

The Second Circuit affirmed Wednesday that an insurer should have indemnified the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocese for its settlements with four victims of pedophile priests from the 1970s and 1980s.

Three priests and four victims are described in the 19-page decision. With regard to two of the priests, Father Robert Ladamus and Father Stephen Crowley, the court notes that it is uncontested that the archdiocese had no notice that the priests posed a risk to children before the assaults in question.

As for the third priest, Father Ivan Ferguson, however, two church pastors at St. Bernard’s heard reports in 1978 and 1979 from three different mothers who said that Ferguson had molested their sons.

Ferguson himself put the archdiocese on notice meanwhile when he called the secretary of the archbishop in 1979 to say that he had molested two boys and had an alcohol problem.

Though the archbishop tried to send Ferguson to a rehabilitation center for sexual dysfunction, the ruling notes that the House of Affirmation could not accommodate Ferguson, and that the priest was sent instead to a treatment center for alcoholism.

At this facility, the St. Luke Institute, a priest who served as medical director concluded that alcoholism had triggered Fergusonʹs pedophilia.

Why is the Catholic Diocese of Erie transferring property?

ERIE (PA)
GoErie.com

September 20, 2018

By Ed Palattella

The transactions are meant to protect assets of parishes and other entities against lawsuits, including those over child sex abuse. The diocese says the reorganization has been in the works for years.

The real estate transfers have been hard to miss. They involve the Catholic Diocese of Erie.

Over the past several months, before and after the release of the statewide grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse, the diocese has executed transfers for a number of churches in Erie County.

The transfers have been filed at the Erie County Recorder of Deeds and included with other real estate transactions in the House to Home section that the Erie Times-News publishes on Saturdays.

Clergy sex abuse victims to list names of 9 accused priests in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK TV

September 20, 2018

By Joel Hulsey

Two months ago, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General released a significant, 1,356-page report outing 301 priests accused of sexually abusing those in the church. Of those 301 priests, nine were later sent to St. Louis in the midst of a church-wide coverup, which prompted calls for the State of Missouri to open a grand jury-style investigation.

The scathing report, released on July 27, was issued by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, detailing the accusations made by several hundred victims in eight Pennsylvania communities over several decades. While the names of the nine priests who were sent to St. Louis for temporary work at parishes and church institutions were listed in the initial report, the names had not been previously identified in St. Louis.

US Catholic bishops announce new policies to police bishops

UNITED STATES
CNN

September 19, 2018

By Daniel Burke

The US Catholic bishops' conference issued a dramatic apology on Wednesday for the role of bishops in the church's clergy sexual abuse scandal and announced new initiatives to hold abusive or negligent bishops accountable.

"Some bishops, by their actions or their failures to act, have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole," said the administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in a statement.

"They have used their authority and power to manipulate and sexually abuse others. They have allowed the fear of scandal to replace genuine concern and care for those who have been victimized by abusers."

Catholic Bishops Plan a Complaint Hotline for Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

September 19, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

Responding to a deepening scandal over sexual misconduct in their own ranks, Catholic bishops in the United States say they plan to set up a hotline — run by a third party — to field complaints about bishops who have sexually abused or harassed minors or adults.

The hotline was one of several steps announced on Wednesday by the American bishops, in an attempt to rebuild their credibility after revelations of abuse, cover-ups and negligence by those in the church’s hierarchy.

The long-running scandal over sexual misconduct in the church has grown beyond abuse by priests to focus scrutiny on bishops who have themselves been accused of abuse or of turning a blind eye to abusive priests and a deaf ear to victims. The problem has persisted despite the charter the American bishops adopted 16 years ago spelling out abuse-prevention policies for the church.

Campaigns crank up to press lawmakers on abuse lawsuits bill

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press via Fox News

September 18, 2018

Pennsylvania's attorney general and several lawmakers began ramping up efforts to apply public pressure Tuesday ahead of a debate in the state Legislature over giving victims of decades-old child sexual abuse another chance to file civil lawsuits.

Tuesday's events at opposite ends of Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh and suburban Philadelphia, were designed to marshal lawmakers' support to enact recommendations in last month's landmark grand jury report on child sexual abuse in Roman Catholic dioceses.

"They can stand with the work done by the grand jury, or stand with the phony excuses created by institutions that Harrisburg has kowtowed to for so long," Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday in a news conference at his office in Norristown, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported .

Priest abuse: Bay Area politicians call for statewide probe of Catholic Church

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Bay Area News Group via Mercury News

September 18, 2018

By Matthias Gafni

Four Bay Area state legislators and an East Bay congressman are calling for the state’s top attorney to launch an investigation into Catholic Church priest abuse, similar to the groundbreaking Pennsylvania grand jury report released last month that has thrust the scandal back into international headlines.

With California Attorney General Xavier Becerra following his longstanding policy of not confirming or denying an ongoing investigation by his office, it’s entirely possible a probe has already begun, similar to those recently announced in at least eight other states. But U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, who was raised in the Catholic Church and attended Catholic schools through college, wanted to offer his support to priest abuse victims’ advocates who protested in Sacramento on Monday asking for their own grand jury report.

“I think the truth needs to be told and the sooner the better,” DeSaulnier said. “The Catholic Church needs to be forthright on what happened over the years.”

French priest commits suicide in church after assault claim

RENNES (FRANCE)
Agence France-Presse via France24

September 19, 2018

A 38-year-old French priest in a northern French town committed suicide in his church after being accused of molesting a young woman, local prosecutors and police sources told AFP on Wednesday.

Jean-Baptiste Sebe killed himself Tuesday in the church north of Rouen amid allegations from a local mother that her grown-up daughter had been a victim of "indecent behaviour and sexual assault," a police source said.

The initial complaint was made to the archbishop of Rouen, and "police were not notified prior to the suicide," the source added, stressing that investigators remained "very cautious at this stage."

September 19, 2018

Bishops’ Administrative Committee Statement on Sex Abuse Scandals

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

September 19, 2018

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today in response to the recent sex abuse scandals. In the statement, the bishops say they pledge to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us."
Turning to the Lord

"When each of us was ordained as a bishop, we were told:

'Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd the Church of God.'

We, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, assembled last week in Washington at this time of shame and sorrow. Some bishops, by their actions or their failures to act, have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole. They have used their authority and power to manipulate and sexually abuse others. They have allowed the fear of scandal to replace genuine concern and care for those who have been victimized by abusers. For this, we again ask forgiveness from both the Lord and those who have been harmed. Turning to the Lord for strength, we must and will do better.

The Administrative Committee took the following actions within its authority:

U2’s Bono says pope ‘aghast’ about church sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

September 19, 2018

U2 frontman Bono has described Pope Francis as being “aghast” about sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

The Irish singer met privately with Francis today at the Vatican hotel where the pope lives, to discuss themes that Bono told reporters included “the wild beast that is capitalism” and sustainable development.

Bono said that because Francis visited Ireland recently, they spoke about the pontiff’s “feelings about what has happened in the church.” The Irish church’s reputation is stained by cases of pedophile priests and systematic abuse cover-ups.

Bono said he told Francis how it looks to some that abusers are more protected than victims and “you can see the pain in his face, and I felt he was sincere.”

Americans’ approval of Pope Francis drops to 53% amid more church sex abuse revelations

UNITED STATES
Vox Media

September 19, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton

Pope Francis’s favorability rating among Americans has plummeted sharply in the aftermath of this summer’s deluge of revelations in the Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis, according to a poll conducted by Gallup this week. Francis’s approval rating among Americans is down to 53 percent, according to the poll conducted from September 4 to 12.

In September 2015, according to Gallup, about 70 percent of Americans felt favorably about the pope. That number declined only slightly to 66 percent by early August.

But then a Pennsylvania grand jury report implicated hundreds of priests in the alleged sexual abuse of more than 1,000 minors, mostly during the 1970s and ’80s, prompting a new wave of abuse investigations across the United States. The fallout has rocked the Catholic Church — and Americans’ trust in the pope.

Understanding the Controversy Over Washington’s Cardinal Wuerl

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

September 12, 2018

By Amanda Whiting

With Cardinal Wuerl visiting the Pope in Rome to discuss his possible resignation, I talked to religion reporter Jack Jenkins about what it’s like to cover the Catholic Church in a town where so many reporters are focused on a different font of power. Jenkins, who writes for the Religion News Service and used to cover politics and religion for Think Progress, has been reporting on the Archbishop of Washington’s role in the scandal currently consuming the Church, including last month’s bombshell grand jury report accusing Wuerl of mishandling sexual abuse cases when he served as bishop of Pittsburgh.

What makes DC the right place to cover Catholicism in the US?

We have Catholic University of America. We have Georgetown University. We have a lot of different kinds of Catholic expression here in the District of Columbia. You have Catholics on the Supreme Court. You have Catholics in the halls of power in Congress. It’s a step down from Rome for Catholicism, but if I’m covering American Catholicism, this really is where a lot of the voices get lifted up.

Australian bishop who was victim of sex abuse speaks on U.S. church’s crisis

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

September 19, 2018

By Jim McDermott

Bishop Vincent Long is the Bishop of Parramatta, a diocese northwest of Sydney. A former Assistant General of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, he is Australia’s first Asian-born bishop and the first Vietnamese-born bishop to head a diocese outside of Vietnam.

In 2017 Bishop Long testified before Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In his testimony, he revealed, “I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult, so that had a powerful impact on me and how I want to, you know, walk in the shoes of other victims and really endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them."

This is the third in a series of interviews Jim McDermott, S.J., is conducting on the sexual abuse crisis. This interview was conducted by e-mail.

As Catholic sex abuse investigations begin questions remain

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

September 19, 2018

By Jack Jenkins

“Our work in Pennsylvania has spurred a movement,” Josh Shapiro, the state’s attorney general, said earlier this month as New York and New Jersey announced they would, like Pennsylvania, investigate child sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses within their borders.

Since Shapiro unveiled a grand jury report in August detailing decades of allegations of child sex abuse by Catholic priests, at least nine states have initiated some form of investigation of their own. The issue also continues to rage in Pennsylvania courts: On Monday, parents of children in the Roman Catholic Church and survivors of sexual abuse sued eight dioceses and their bishops to compel them to release more information regarding allegations.

But as new investigations begin, questions remain as to what exactly will be revealed, and how much of it will result in legal action.

A Religion News Service survey of 178 Roman Catholic dioceses and archdioceses in the U.S. (excluding those in Pennsylvania) suggests many internal church documents of the kind that yielded the staggering history of abuse in Pennsylvania have already been examined by law enforcement in other states after The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigation in the early 2000s.

Experts also say that in many dioceses communications between law enforcement and the church have continued.

Sex Abuse, Cover Up, and Catholic Culture

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Southern Illinois Association of Priests

September 19, 2018

By Tom Smith

The Pennsylvania priest sex abuse/bishop cover-up scandal screams for justice. Following immediately on the revelations involving Archbishop (formerly Cardinal) Theodore McCarrick, the “what can be done about this terrible reality” leaps to the forefront of current Catholicism. While the focus is on the shocking statistics of what happened, the more substantive questions revolve around why and how this behavior could survive and flourish within the institutional Catholic church and what needs to change to prevent it from happening again.

It is clear that pedophile priests and cover-up bishops do not operate in a vacuum. They are part of the Catholic culture, breathing in a set of values, presumptions, thought patterns, behaviors, expectations, and privileges that form that culture. Everyone everywhere absorbs multiple cultures – ethnic, religious, social, political, and economic communities that shape the way people think, feel, and act. The Catholic culture is one of these communities.

The evil that comes from inside and defiles

STORRS (CT)
The Daily Campus

September 19, 2018

By Alex Klein

In August, a grand jury released a report alleging that at least one thousand children were sexually abused by deacons, seminarians, and priests in Pennsylvania in the past seventy years. The statute of limitations has expired in most of the cases, and many of the victims and perpetrators are already deceased. Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania report is an indispensable document. It is the portrait of an institution whose members posed as mankind’s moral arbiters while acting like they were above the law. The jury claims the Church officials involved in these crimes operated with a consistent set of rules. One of those rules was to “transfer a [predator known to the community] to a new location where no one will know he is a child abuser.” The ultimate rule for dealing with cases of “inappropriate conduct” was “don’t tell the police.”

It is worth flipping through the report, if only to understand the depth and breadth of the crimes. Here is one story from the document: In 1969, a student of the Immaculate Conception school in Irwin, Pennsylvania was tied up in the confessional and molested by Father Gregory Flohr. Flohr allegedly made use of a crucifix during this episode. The Greensburg Diocese reimbursed the victim with fifty thousand dollars for his medical treatment. In a letter to the victim, Father Lawrence Presico of the Greensburg Diocese wrote: “We extend such coverage to you only after the fact of your multiple emergency treatments, and as an act of Christian charity in your dire need.” Some victims were not treated with such generosity. When Juliann Bortz told the Allentown Diocese that she had been molested, they tried to discredit her. The Diocese’s lawyer attempted to obtain information which would suggest Bortz was a sexually active teen and her husband was a gang leader. Responding to charges of child molestation by discrediting victims was de rigueur.

When higher-ups in the Church were informed of an allegation against a priest, they would typically send the accused man to a clinic for counseling. These clinics were owned by the Church, so there was no chance that any information the priest gave regarding his “inappropriate” behavior would make its way to the police. After being accused of sexual misconduct in 1985, Father Edmond Parrakow was sent to a clinic in New Mexico where he told his counselor he had molested thirty-five children. The doctor wrote, “Parrakow certainly has pedophilia … if he had not got caught he would be continuing the behavior.” The Archdiocese of New York and the Bishop of Greensburg arranged for Parrakow to “be granted a ministry” in Greensburg in 1985. Both officials were aware of the allegations against Parrakow, who continued to molest preteen boys after he was accepted back into the Diocese.

Vile Russian orthodox priest, 36, is jailed for just five years for locking a boy in his church flat, plying him with alcohol and repeatedly molesting him

AUSTRALIA
AAP

September 14, 2018

- Stanislav Vakhabov invited a boy, 14, from overseas to stay in his church flat
- He was jailed for at least five years and seven months, dating back to May 2015
- 'Father Christoper' was found guilty by NSW District Court jury in February

A decade after becoming a Russian Orthodox priest, Stanislav Vakhabov invited a 14-year-old boy from overseas to stay in his Sydney church flat, where he would be locked away and repeatedly sexually molested.

The 36-year-old, also known as Father Christopher, was on Friday jailed for at least five years and seven months for the crimes he committed within his home attached to the back of the Croydon parish.

His teenage victim, whose heavily religious mother sent him to Australia in 2014 to be under Vakhabov's care, was told they would sleep in separate rooms and he would be provided with religious guidance.

The Catholic Church must rid its ranks of sexual predators

KENYA
Daily Nation

September 19, 2018

By Dauti Kahura

The Catholic Church, which boasts over a million followers – never mind many of them are nominal Catholics – has been undergoing a tragedy as a result of its decades-long scandals, as criminal activities by some of its prelates, are popping up into the open in some part of the world.

The year 2018 must surely be one of the nadir and sorest points of the church in its recent years, if not its annus horibilis.

And Chile, the South American longitudinal country, once as catholic as Ireland and France, is the microcosm of what has been ailing the church’s clergy and its efforts to conceal crimes perpetrated by some of its priests.

Clergy abuse: Donald Wuerl’s handling of allegations imperils his legacy as a reformer

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post (via Philly.com)

September 19, 2018

by Shawn Boburg and Aaron C. Davis

A dozen years before he became a top leader in the Catholic Church, Donald Wuerl was weighing a fateful decision. It was 1994, and Wuerl, then a bishop, had removed a priest accused of child sex abuse from a Pittsburgh-area parish. But the priest refused to get psychiatric treatment, and instead asked Wuerl for time off.

Wuerl – now a cardinal and the archbishop of Washington, District of Columbia – granted the leave of absence, allowing the Rev. Robert Castelucci to relocate to Ohio without alerting authorities or parishioners, law enforcement records show.

Only after police in Ohio began investigating a 16-year-old boy's allegation that "Father Bob" plied him with pornography and performed oral sex on him did Wuerl tell Castelucci he could no longer present himself as a priest in public, according to internal church documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The case, one of hundreds mentioned in a groundbreaking Pennsylvania grand jury report released last month, sheds light on how Wuerl handled sex abuse claims in the Pittsburgh Diocese from 1988 to 2006 – a period that now threatens to rewrite his legacy and hasten the end of his career. Wuerl, 77, announced recently that he would go to the Vatican to discuss his possible resignation with Pope Francis and, although it is not clear when that meeting will take place, Wuerl is scheduled to be in Rome this weekend.

DNA test tells man the bittersweet truth: His father was a Catholic priest

PAXTON (MA)
The Boston Globe

September 5, 2018

By Michael Rezendes

For decades, James C. Graham was tormented by a simple, but profound question: Why did his father seem to dislike him so much?

On Tuesday, the South Carolina man confirmed the bittersweet truth: The man who raised him wasn’t his father at all.

Graham’s extraordinary 25-year effort to find the truth about his father ended when a forensic anthropologist told him that his DNA matched samples taken from a deceased Catholic priest who grew up in Lowell and graduated from Boston College.

“You’ve driven all the way from South Carolina to find out whether Father Thomas Sullivan was your father, and I’m here to tell you that he was,” said Ann Marie Mires, director of forensic criminology at Anna Maria College.

In rare move, San Diego diocese names eight priests as alleged sexual predators

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Los Angeles Times

September 15, 2018

By Peter Rowe and Kristina Davis

The clerical sexual abuse scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church hit home Thursday, as the Diocese of San Diego added eight priests to the list of those believed to have molested children.

“This is a response to the terrible moment we are in,” said Bishop Robert McElroy, citing a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that found 1,000 children there had been molested by Pittsburgh-area priests, and the resignation of Theodore McCarrick, who is accused of sexually assaulting altar boys, seminarians and priests.

“The cascade of emotions that this causes the survivors of the abuse, as well as other people in the pews, has caused a tumult of anger, grief, upset, incomprehension, disillusionment,” McElroy said.

The new names — the Revs. Jose Chavarin, Raymond Etienne, J. Patrick Foley, Michael French, Richard Houck, George Lally and Paolino Montagna, plus Msgr. Mark Medaer — were released in piecemeal fashion, with critical details missing.

This list extends the roster of alleged predator priests established by a landmark legal case that was concluded 11 years ago. On Sept. 7, 2007, the diocese settled 144 claims of child sexual abuse by 48 priests and one lay employee. The payments totaled $198.1 million, the second-largest settlement by a Catholic diocese in the United States.

Thursday’s announcement was prompted by the Pennsylvania grand jury report, the McCarrick case and other recent revelations that have called into question the church’s moral authority and its willingness to honestly address this scandal.

“There is a broad call for transparency,” McElroy said. “When we looked at it, we wanted to meet that as best we could.”

Sex abuse disclosures from SLC Catholic Diocese 'first step,' but not enough

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KUTV

September 14, 2018

By Brian Mullahy

West Valley’s Judy Larson, who accused a priest in Michigan of raping her when she was just 10, commended new disclosures from the Salt Lake Catholic Diocese on the extent of credible abuse claims here, but said the admissions do not go far enough.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s a first step,” said Larson in a 2News interview, adding the diocese should name names. “If they’ve been credibly accused, yes. Other archdiocese and diocese have done that.”

Larson is now a board member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, a group that tracks claims of abuse, and calls for action by church leaders to combat it.

Bishop Deshotel 'considering' release of accused priests' names

LAFAYETTE (LA)

Lafayette Daily Advertiser

September 19, 2018

By Claire Taylor

Bishop Douglas Deshotel of the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette said Tuesday he is considering releasing the names of priests against whom credible accusations of abuse have been alleged.

Deshotel faced about 250 people Tuesday night at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral hall in Lafayette for a discussion about sex abuse in the church.

The bishop and panel responded to some of the more than 70 questions submitted in advance, including whether the diocese will release the names of priests accused of abuse.

"I'm considering it," Deshotel replied to much applause.

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Publishes Names of Credibly Accused

FORT WAYNE (IN)
Today's Catholic (Publication of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend)

September 18, 2018

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend published on Tuesday, Sept, 18, the names of the priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

During a news conference on Aug. 17, in which he made the announcement to release the names, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades stated the importance for victims to see the names of their abusers made public “for all to see. For everyone to know the pain caused by these priests.” Bishop Rhoades added, “It is my hope that by releasing these names, the innocent victims of these horrific and heartbreaking crimes can finally begin the process of healing.”

Bishop Rhoades reiterated the diocese’s commitment to protect children and young people, saying, “We must be vigilant in our efforts to protect our youth. With the Lord’s guidance and love, we will do so.”

The list of those credibly accused was developed with the assistance of the Diocesan Review Board, which was established to assist the bishop in complying with the requirements of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and The Essential Norms. The Diocesan Review Board is comprised of mostly lay people, and its members assess all allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons presented in this diocese.

List of accused priests out today

FORT WAYNE (IN)
The Journal Gazette

September 18, 2018

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez

Diocese expected to release about 20 names

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will release names today of “credibly accused” priests and deacons of sexually abusing minors, according to a statement released Monday.

The names will be posted on the diocese's website, www.diocesefwsb.org, at 1 p.m. and through diocesan media channels, the statement said, fulfilling a pledge the Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, the diocese's bishop, made at a news conference Aug. 17.

The list will likely include about 20 names, according to previous statements by the diocese and BishopAccountability.org, an independent, nonprofit website chronicling Catholic clerical sexual abuse for about two decades.

In late 2003, the late Bishop John M. D'Arcy issued a public accounting saying 17 priests in the diocese had been found to have sexually abused 33 individuals since 1950. Sixteen abused minors and one had abused an adult, he said then.

D'Arcy, who had actively pushed for removal of abusive priests in his previous assignment in the Archdiocese of Boston, did not provide names at that time. But he said he had “removed” 12 from ministry and others were dead.

He said a large part of the accusations took place in the 1980s and the last one involving physical contact took place in 1987. The diocese between 1985 and 2002 paid about $1.36 million to settle claims, pay lawyers and provide counseling for priests and victims, he reported.

Former F.B.I. agent who led 2002 child protection efforts says bishops “can’t police their own”

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

September 18, 2018

By Jim McDermott

Retired F.B.I. agent Kathleen McChesney was chosen by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops to establish and lead its Office of Child and Youth Protection in 2002. In that office, she developed and administered the mechanisms used to ensure that every diocese complies with civil law related to the sexual abuse of minors. Ms. McChesney continues to work as a consultant to dioceses, religious organizations and others around the world in the area of child protection, ministerial misconduct and abuse.

Conducted by phone, this interview has been condensed and edited. This is the second of three interviews Jim McDermott, S.J., is conducting on the sex abuse crisis.

What was your reaction to the revelations of the last month?

I wasn’t surprised by the Pennsylvania information because I’ve been working in this area a long time, have met with many survivors of clergy abuse and read thousands of misconduct files. Also, a large percentage of the offenders named by the grand jury had already been posted on the website, BishopAccountability.org or could be easily located in open-source materials.

Brooklyn Diocese Is Part of $27.5 Million Settlement in 4 Sex Abuse Cases

BROOKLYN (NY)
New York Times

September 18, 2018

By Sharon Otterman

Four men who were repeatedly sexually abused as children by a religion teacher at a Roman Catholic church reached a $27.5 million settlement with the Diocese of Brooklyn and a local after-school program on Tuesday, in one of the largest settlements ever awarded to individual victims of abuse within the church.

The victims were repeatedly abused by Angelo Serrano, 67, who taught catechism classes and helped organize the religious education programs at St. Lucy’s-St. Patrick’s Church, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The abuse occurred inside the church, in Mr. Serrano’s apartment located in an old schoolhouse behind the church and at the affiliated after-school program, lawyers for the victims said.

The settlement comes amid a flurry of investigations — including a New York State civil investigation — and disclosures of sex abuse within the Catholic Church that have led to mounting pressure on Pope Francis to take action against bishops and cardinals for their role in the abuse crisis.

The sexual assaults in Brooklyn took place between 2003 and 2009, the lawyers said, when the boys were between the ages of 8 and 12.

Pope Francis' Response to Clergy Abuse Allegations

NEWTON (MA)
NECN

September 18, 2018

[VIDEO]

Is the Roman Catholic Church facing its #MeToo moment? Why has the Pope refused to confirm or deny allegations that he knew about sex abuse allegations against a prominent American Cardinal years before they became public? Has Cardinal Sean O'Malley decided to use the old playbook of Catholic leaders of failing to confront accusations and using plausible deniability when they became public? Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of Bishopaccountability.org, joins Sue to discuss.

September 18, 2018

B’klyn Diocese to Pay $27.5M to Abuse Victims of Lay Volunteer

BROOKLYN (NY)
The Tablet (publication of the Brooklyn diocese)

September 18, 2018

In one of the largest known settlement payouts for sex abuse within the Catholic Church to date, the Diocese of Brooklyn announced on Sept.18 that it would pay $27.5 million to four victims of abuse at the hands of a volunteer at St. Lucy’s-St. Patrick’s Church in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn.

While some reports have claimed the individual in question, Angelo Serrano, was an employee of the school at the time, the Diocese of Brooklyn has contested those claims noting that he was a volunteer at the time of the abuse.

Serrano was found responsible for raping four victims between the ages of 8 and 12 from 2003 to 2009. The abuse did not take place on church property.

According to published reports, a priest saw the abuse, but didn’t report it. The two priests at the parish were named co-defendants in the case.

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Catholic News Agency/EWTN via Catholic Online

September 18, 2018

Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued a statement on three priests mentioned as credibly accused of sexual abuse in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Released last month, the report found more than 1,000 allegations of abuse at the hands of some 300 clergy members in six dioceses in the state. It also found a pattern of cover up by senior Church officials.

"The horror of these crimes of sexual abuse and harassment is amplified by the failure of some bishops and diocesan officials to take corrective action against the offenders, and to communicate honestly with the faithful about what has happened and how they are responding," said Father Philip Bochanski, executive director of Courage, in a Sept. 15 statement.

"I am writing to you to share some information regarding connections between the Grand Jury Report and Courage International, as well as to discuss some other issues related to the apostolate and how we handle allegations of sexual abuse."

Father Bochanski said no reports of sexual abuse of minors had been made to him or his staff during his time in the Courage Office.

However, he noted three priests named in the Grand Jury report who have connections to the apostolate.

Press Release: Vitale Statement on Clergy Abuse Inside the Catholic Church

TRENTON (NJ)
Insider NJ

September 18, 2018

Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) issued the following statement on the recent allegations against the Catholic Church for silencing victims of sexual abuse, as well as, the creation of Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s task force to investigate clergy abuse in the state of New Jersey:

“Since the announcement of the Attorney General’s creation of a task force and his plans to empanel a grand jury to investigate clergy abuse in the state of New Jersey, many victims have reached out to my office to ask what they can do to help.

Pope role in study of Argentine sex abuse case in spotlight

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Associated Press

September 18, 2018

By Luis Andres Henao and Nicole Winfield

[See also our Detailed Summary of Case of Rev. Julio César Grassi]

Pope Francis’ role in Argentina’s most famous case of priestly sex abuse is coming under renewed scrutiny as he faces the greatest crisis of his papacy over the Catholic Church’s troubled legacy of cover-up and allegations he himself sided with the accused.

Francis, who at the time was still Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in 2010 commissioned a four-volume, 2,000-plus page forensic study of the legal case against a convicted priest that concluded he was innocent, that his victims were lying and that the case never should have gone to trial.

The Argentine church says that the study obtained by The Associated Press — bound volumes complete with reproductions of Johannes Vermeer paintings on the covers — was for internal church use only. But the volumes purportedly ended up on the desks of some Argentine court justices who were ruling on the appeals of the Rev. Julio Grassi.

Despite the study, Argentina’s Supreme Court in March 2017 upheld the conviction and 15-year prison sentence against Grassi, a celebrity priest who ran homes for street children across Argentina.

The study, and Francis’ role in the Grassi case, have taken on new relevance following allegations by a former Vatican ambassador that Francis, and a long line of Vatican officials before him, covered up the sexual misconduct of a prominent U.S. cardinal.

Abuse in the Catholic church is more than a Pa. problem

PHILADELPHIA (PA)

September 18, 2018

By Patricia Dailey Lewis

Last month, news broke of thousands of children sexually abused by more than 300 Catholic priests across six dioceses in Pennsylvania. The report, rightfully so, has provoked disgust and outrage. But as the dust settles, an even more egregious reality becomes evident: prosecutors have only been able to file criminal charges against two of the perpetrators. Even more disturbing, most of the survivors have lost their right to sue not only the perpetrator, but the institution as well.

The reason for this miscarriage of justice? Antiquated statute of limitations laws that prevent claimants over the age of 50 from making criminal allegations against their abusers. Similar laws prevent survivors over the age of 30 from filing civil charges. These laws as they stand leave very few victims able to seek redress for their suffering. Suffering to which a statute of limitations does not apply. Without accountability, there can be no change.

To these survivors and their families, I say: There is hope.

Bethlehem Township priest accused of sex abuse says he can prove his innocence

ALLENTOWN (PA)

The Morning Call

By Daniel Patrick Sheehan

http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-nws-allentown-priest-accused-2018">http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-nws-allentown-priest-accused-2018

The pastor of a Catholic church in Bethlehem Township has been removed from ministry while authorities investigate a sexual abuse allegation against him.

In a statement in the church bulletin, the Rev. Edward Sacks of Our Lady of Perpetual Help said the allegation was made by the mother of a student from the former Holy Name High School in Reading, where Sacks was principal in the 1970s.

“I am absolutely convinced I can prove my innocence,” the statement said. “It is a case of mistaken identity.”

Under its zero tolerance policy, the diocese removed Sacks from ministry and informed law enforcement of the allegations, diocese spokesman Matt Kerr said in a statement.

Franciscan University responds to Church’s sex abuse scandal

STEUBENVILLE (OH)

September 18, 2018

By Elisha Valladares-Cormier

Franciscan University of Steubenville is doing what it can to best respond to the latest clergy sex abuse scandal, said the university’s president in an email.

The Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, said in a Sept. 14 email that he and the university are taking concrete steps to address the sex abuse scandal because his duty as a Franciscan friar and a priest is to fill the role of spiritual fatherhood entrusted to him as president of the university.

“As I listened to our students, faculty and staff trying to process the shocking news from Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., I felt moved to address the issue directly,” Sheridan said.

The news Sheridan referred to are incidents that have dominated headlines for Catholics all summer. In late June, the first news broke out when New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced that that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington, had been removed from active ministry at the direction of the Vatican after an investigation found a charge that the archbishop had sexually abused a teenager was credible.


Will Clergy Sex Abuse Allegations Spur Change in Statute-of-Limitation Laws?

FOLSOM (CA)
Governing.com / e.Republic

September 18, 2018

By Candice Norwood

This summer, a Pennsylvania grand jury released an explosive report, accusing more than 300 Catholic priests in the state of sexually abusing 1,000 children over seven decades. Despite the number of accused, only two priests reportedly can face criminal prosecution.

Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations only allows victims of child sex abuse to file criminal lawsuits until they reach the age of 50. Civil cases can be filed until the victim is 30 years old.

The Pennsylvania report has prompted attorneys general in at least six states -- Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York -- to review or investigate clergy sex abuse cases. But the concern is not just with the Catholic Church. Recent events have brought attention to sexual abuse, assault and harassment in Boy Scouts of America, USA Gymnastics, Hollywood and the halls of government.

Time for a federal commission on sex abuse of children

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

September 18, 2018

By Arthur McCaffrey

http://www2.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/catholic-sex-abuse-grand-jury-report-pennsylvania-federal-inquiry-20180918.html

Earlier this month, the New York attorney general initiated a criminal inquiry into clergy abuse of children in all the Catholic dioceses in New York state. This came fast on the heels of Pennsylvania's statewide grand jury investigation of Catholic clergy abuse, which was reported out by Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Aug. 14, exposing at least 1,000 cases of child abuse over a 70-year period.

New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Missouri have similar criminal investigations underway. This follows previous inquiries in other states.

If you want to go back to ground zero, in Boston in 2002, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly may have issued the very first statewide report on July 23, 2003, when his 16-month investigation revealed that probably more than 1,000 children had been sexually abused by priests and other church workers in the Archdiocese of Boston since 1940 — which averaged out to about 16 children per year up to 2003. By that time, Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law, who presided over decades-long cover-ups of abuse, had fled to Rome, leaving before he could be subpoenaed.

But no matter how many separate state inquiries are initiated, I predict that the findings will all repeat the vocabulary of "cover-up," "collusion," "enabling," "sacrificing children for the sake of the institution's reputation" — the same script gets replayed over and over. The time is long past for the criminality of the Roman Catholic Church to be treated as just a local or state problem — this is a national problem that is part of the global epidemic of child abuse.

Adult and Catholic school kindergartner behind class action complaint against 8 dioceses and bishops

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

September 17, 2018

By Rick Lee

Lawsuit represents both victims and children now at risk attending Catholic schools

Failure of dioceses to disclose identities of predatory priests "constitutes a clear and present danger"

A Verona man and a Catholic school kindergartner are the representative plaintiffs in a class action suit seeking the full disclosure of all Catholic dioceses' records concerning sexual abuse by priests.

The complaint was filed Monday in Pittsburgh while untold numbers of people who were allegedly sexually assaulted by predatory priests wait for the Pennsylvania legislature to determine if they have a "window of justice" to seek legal redress.

The adult plaintiff, Ryan O'Connor, says he was abused by a priest between the ages of 10 and 12. O'Connor says he remains a member of the Catholic Church, and his children attend Catholic school.