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November 30, 2018

Unmasking More Predator Priests

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

December 1, 2018

Thursday’s release of a list of predator priests who served in West Virginia is only a beginning for the Roman Catholic Church, in many ways.

One of them is that the shocking, disturbing revelations in the list may — and should — make the list longer. Church officials say that was one of their goals in making the information public.

There are reasons to believe they are right in expecting their action Thursday will result in more accusations against priests. One entry on the list itself reinforces that feeling.

Officials of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said earlier this fall that they were compiling a list of priests against whom credible accusations of abusing minors had been lodged. The diocese includes all of West Virginia.

One of the credible allegations of abuse was reported to the diocese on Oct. 26 — two days after the church made public its intention to compile and release a list. It is entirely possible — likely, in fact — that the accuser’s report was prompted by the church’s announcement.

Now that the list has been released, more victims may decide it is time to come forward.

Let us hope so, even though the initial list is appalling enough.

Archdiocese of Chicago adds 10 names to its list of clergy with substantiated allegations

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Catholic

November 30, 2018

By Michelle Martin

Cardinal Cupich added the names of 10 current and former priests and deacons to its public list of clergy with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse on Nov. 28.

Four were priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago, two were deacons of the Archdiocese of Chicago, two were extern priests from dioceses outside of the United States and two were religious order priests. All six of the archdiocesan priests or deacons have died; none of the men has been in public ministry since 2004.

William Kunkel, general counsel for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said the additions mean the list now includes every priest or deacon investigated by the archdiocesan Independent Review Board or similar archdiocesan processes and found to have credible allegations against them.

“The cardinal made the decision to expand the list to whoever had substantiated allegations against them that were investigated by the review board,” Kunkel said.

The list previously contained only priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago who were alive when the first allegation against them was received and whose allegations were substantiated by the review board or similar archdiocesan processes.

The four archdiocesan priests who were added – Edmund F. Burke, who died in 1989; Thomas Carroll Crosby, who died in 1987; Dominic Aloysius Diedrich, who died in 1977; and Thomas Francis Kelly, who died in 1990 – were all deceased when the archdiocese first received allegations against them.

Common threads between Brett Kavanaugh and me: predatory behavior and the Catholic church

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

November 30, 2018

By Tina Alexis Allen

I grew up in the tony suburbs of Washington, D.C. — the moneyed, preppy, elite, entitled bedroom communities of Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Potomac — wreaking havoc in the ‘80s just down the street from Columbia Country Club, where, allegedly, the young Christine Blasey Ford swam that fateful summer day, pre-gathering, pre-groping, pre-assault.

I attended the all-girls school there, Immaculata Prep. Though I never hung out with Brett Kavanaugh and his buddy Mark Judge, I partied with the boys from Gonzaga and Georgetown Prep. Like Brett, I was the captain and star of the basketball team, maybe surpassed him on the court — being a Washington Post First team All-Metropolitan selection, and receiving full basketball scholarships to Stanford, Notre Dame and Maryland. I, too, worked my ass off to get what I got and had a full summer calendar.

And, I was an instigator of trouble, a master of secrets. I probably engaged in as much sexual acting out as Brett and Mark, if you give credence to their misogynistic Georgetown Prep yearbook boasting.

Catholic officials knew of teacher's abuse, court files indicate
As the youngest of 13 children, I suffered sexual abuse by several of my older brothers, starting at age nine. My parents — a submissive mother and a domineering father with a “boys will be boys” attitude — were complicit in fostering a culture of abuse, denial and secrets.

When one is sexually traumatized as a child, one generally becomes either extremely passive or highly predatory. I hated being dominated, resented my brothers’ entitlement to use me and loathed my inability to stop them. By high school, I began modeling my brothers’ predatory behavior — preferring power to passivity. I seduced classmates who barely knew about sex. I used my power and status to “score,” dumped girlfriend after girlfriend when someone else caught my eye. I sexualized them, cheated on them.

Archdiocese documents on priest misconduct submitted to AG

OMAHA (NE)
WOWT TV

November 30, 2018

The Archdiocese of Omaha has submitted documents to the Nebraska Attorney General pertaining to 24 priests, among a total of 38 clergy , with substantiated allegations of abuse or misconduct with minors.

The cases date back to 1978.

According to a news release from the Archdiocese issued Friday morning...

The documents included information on 24 archdiocesan priests with substantiated allegations of the abuse of minors or misconduct with minors. In all, documentation on 38 clergy were given to the attorney general for alleged abuse or misconduct with minors as far back as 1956 but reported to the archdiocese between 1978-2018.

“We acknowledge this report with sorrow, and know that it will cause a great deal of pain,” said Archbishop George Lucas. “We’re deeply saddened so many innocent minors and young adults were harmed by the church’s ministers. To victims and their families, I am sorry for the pain, betrayal and suffering you have experienced in the church.”

Last summer, Attorney General Doug Peterson requested from Nebraska’s three Catholic dioceses the files of church personnel accused of criminal sexual misconduct. The attorney general’s request followed the Pennsylvania grand jury report on decades of clergy sexual abuse of minors in six of that state’s eight dioceses. The archdiocese immediately pledged its full cooperation and began a review of its files.

Denunciantes de los Maristas envían carta a Scicluna acusando encubrimiento de abusadores

[Whistleblowers send letter to Scicluna asking him to seek justice, keep promises]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 29, 2018

"La Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas se ríe de nuestro dolor, buscan desgastarnos y no avanzan en la búsqueda sincera de justicia y reparación", señalan en la misiva.

Durante esta jornada, los denunciantes del caso Maristas enviaron una carta pública al arzobispo Charles Scicluna, secretario adjunto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, para pedirle que “cumpla su palabra” empeñada en la cita que sostuvieron en febrero, e intervenga en el proceso, pues consideran que “las redes de impunidad siguen activas”.

Reports Continue That Lists of Abusive Priests Released by Bishops Are Incomplete

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
Bilgrimage

November 30, 2018

By William Lindsey

Two days ago, I wrote,
One bishop after another is claiming that there have not been cases of abuse in his diocese for years now, and the lists being released are almost entirely names of priests who have been dead for some time. Many survivors are pointing out that they can testify that the lists being released are not complete, since they personally known of priests whose names are not on the lists being released.

Then I told you I have had phone calls from people telling me that this is true of the list released by the bishop in the Catholic diocese in which I live, the Little Rock diocese: people are telling me they know of priests whose names are not on the list of abusive priests in Arkansas released recently by Bishop Anthony Taylor.

Now there's the following:
Mercedes Mackay, "Advocates for priest abuse survivors says three priest names are missing":

Thursday an advocate group for priest abuse survivors called out priests who were left off a recent Jefferson City Diocese "credibly accused list."

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, met outside of the Cathedral of St. Joseph to voice their concerns about the list.

Class Action Sex Abuse Lawsuits Part 4: Class Actions vs. IRCPs

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary

November 23, 2018

By Joelle Casteix

The enemy of sex abuse and cover-up is the light of truth: Statute of Limitation Reform.

Why? Because civil justice—properly executed—demands that such behavior be uncovered and made public. Predators AND the institutional cover-up that enables predators to flourish are EXPOSED. Law enforcement can put bad guys behind bars.

If we only expose the predators, but don’t expose the institutional cover-up that enables such predators in institutions such as the Catholic Church—the predatory system continues to flourish. The Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Michigan State, etc., continue unabated.

New predators will “fill the gap” left by predators put in jail or exposed individually if systems of cover-up are allowed to remain in place. (Just ‘plug in the new guy’ and it’s business as usual)

The enemies of Statute of Limitation Reform are Class Action Lawsuits and IRCPs. These are what I call “One-way information superhighways.”

Letter: Diocese unfairly groups bad behavior with abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

November 29, 2018

No one denies that there have been issues of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. However, the diocese does Catholics a disservice when they lump inappropriate behavior by priests together with criminal behavior, such as pedophilia.

A homosexual priest making a pass at a 22 years old male, while inappropriate, is not criminal. Neither is a priest having a heterosexual affair with an adult female. Yet, for the most part, we are left guessing what the allegations against many of the priests are. We cannot separate true pedophiles from those who simply failed to live up to their vow of celibacy. That is wrong.

The diocese terms the allegations against the various priests, “credible,” but does not define what that means or how the determination was made. Who made that determination? Was it a priest with a degree in theology, or a trained criminal investigator? And if it was deemed credible and also criminal, why wasn’t it referred to the police? Moreover, how do you make a determination that something is credible when the person against whom the accusation is made is long dead and never had an opportunity to answer the allegation in the first place?

Clergy Abuse Survivors Share Stories At Emotional First Listening Session

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA TV

November 29, 2018

Survivors and parishioners came out to St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland on Thursday night for the first of four listening sessions since the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse.

Similar sessions are already being held in in the Greensburg Catholic Diocese.

But organizers in the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese are hoping to create a safe space so everyone can work through the healing process together.

Bishop David Zubik sat at the altar listening as one-by-one the faithful stood before him to share their pain and anger over the scandal.

“I was overcome with emotion. I spoke all across the state and didn’t have this problem until tonight, but I felt a sense of community that I haven’t felt for a long time,” said Jim VanSickle, a survivor of clergy abuse.

Nancy Pieffer, another survivor who became a social worker and advocate for rape victims, spoke for the first time publicly at the session. There was not a dry eye as she recounted the horror of her abuse as a child at the hands of a priest.

Why I left the Catholic Church

LONDON (UK)
The Week

November 30, 2018

By Damon Linker

Three months ago, I announced I was leaving the Catholic Church. My reason was that the latest revelations in the church's interminable sex abuse scandal had revealed "a repulsive institution — or at least one permeated by repulsive human beings who reward one another for repulsive acts, all the while deigning to lecture the world about its sin."

Let's just say subsequent events haven't led me to regret the decision.

That would include Wednesday's news that the offices of the cardinal-archbishop of Galveston-Houston, who also happens to serve as president of the United States Catholic bishops' conference, were raided by "dozens of local and federal law enforcement officers … looking for evidence in a clergy sexual abuse case." A couple of weeks ago, the story was the Vatican's decision to nix plans by the American bishops to devise some kind of response to the scandal — on the grounds that it's mostly just a conspiracy drummed up by troublemaking right-wing clerics and laypeople. A week or a month from now, the story is bound to be something arising from the dozen or so investigations underway by the Justice Department and attorneys general around the country.

Police: Church camera caught man performing sex act on 3-year-old

NORTH CHARLESTON (SC)
WCSC TV

November 29, 2018

By Harve Jacobs

A volunteer at a church in North Charleston is facing charges after performing oral sex on a child, according to an affidavit.

That suspect also once attended and volunteered at a church in Mooresville, according to a spokesperson.

A judge denied bond Wednesday for Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett, 28, who is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Investigators say Hazlett escorted a 3-year-old boy into a bathroom at the Newspring Church, located in the 5100 block of Ashley Phosphate Road on Nov. 25. The affidavit states the boy used the restroom and when he was finished, Hazlett performed oral sex on him before pulling the boy’s pants back up.

Diocese says Iowa priest who threatened rape has recovered

IOWA CITY (IA)
Associated Press

November 28, 2018

By Ryan J. Foley

A Catholic diocese on Wednesday defended its decision to continue employing a priest who told police he was trying to rape a woman when he was arrested naked in an Iowa mall in 2013.

The Diocese of Sioux City issued a statement for the first time acknowledging the 5-year-old incident involving Father Jeremy Wind, calling it a “mental health episode” from which he recovered with the help of medication and treatment. The diocese gave no details about what occurred and told parishioners the scrutiny was unfortunate and unnecessary because “there is nothing newsworthy to report.”

The statement came in response to inquiries from The Associated Press, which used the state’s open records law to shed light on a criminal case that was recently erased from public court files. It marks the latest diocese personnel matter that has come under scrutiny since its acknowledgment in October to having kept quiet a priest’s 1986 admission to sexually abusing roughly 50 boys.

Police reports show Wind, 39, was meeting with a female parishioner at a bakery in December 2013 when he began behaving erratically. He had just celebrated Mass at Christ the King church in Sioux Center, a town of 7,000 people in northwest Iowa.

Wind told the woman he was going to masturbate and took off his pants, prompting her to run away, she later told police. Wind chased her to her car, where she locked the door as he yelled about raping her and pounded on the vehicle’s window.

“I was so horrified, I thought what am I going to do?” the woman told police, in a statement obtained by AP. “I sat for awhile because I didn’t want to hurt him. When he started banging so hard that I thought he was going to break the window, I drove away.”

A Sioux Center police officer found Wind at the nearby Centre Mall, where he said he had no pants on because he “wanted to rape her” and instructed the officer to write that statement down, a report shows. He later said that he also wanted to rape the officer.

Catholic priest's daily journals at center of archdiocese search

CONROE (TX)
ABC 13 News

November 29, 2018

Investigators who executed a search warrant at the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese offices Wednesday are hoping to find a daily journal written by Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez while he was residing at the Shalom Treatment Center.

A search warrant attained by ABC13 reveals Montgomery County officials are also looking for records stemming from a meeting between Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and one of Father La Rosa-Lopez's alleged victims, who said the priest repeatedly touched him while he was still a minor.

In all, six alleged victims have come forward with claims against La Rosa-Lopez, but the charging document only lists one male and one female victim. The search warrant names another.

Prosecutors said Thursday the church investigation into allegations against La Rosa-Lopez extend all the way up to the Holy See in Rome.

According to the search warrant, the victims were told that reports were filed with the Conroe Police Department and Child Protective Services, but CPS closed the investigations since La Rosa-Lopez did not have current contact with the victims, and the victims were no longer children.

Prosecutors first learned of Father La Rosa-Lopez's journal during an interview at the Shalom Center in September.

The warrant reveals the archdiocese was believed to have possession of the journal, and that it might shed light on multiple accusations of abuse against the priest.

Father La Rosa-Lopez was placed in a mental institution between April 16, 2001 and January 3, 2002, after an additional victim came forward, claiming he touched him while the priest was working at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

Only two documents were found on the investigation into improper contact between La Rosa-Lopez and the sixth grade boy.

Pittsburgh diocese's Bishop Zubik 'very sorry' for priests' sex crimes, says action plan to come

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

November 29, 2018

By Jamie Martines

Seated in front of the altar at Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, Bishop David A. Zubik of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh listened as members of the city’s Catholic community — some of them survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy — shared criticism, reflections and questions following the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse released in August.

Thursday’s session is the first of four to be held by the Diocese of Pittsburgh; the others are next week.

“All that I have heard tonight has been your sharing reflections with me,” Zubik said as he addressed attendees at the close of the session. “And so I need to thank you for your courage.”

He extended is apologies to victims and members of the Catholic community.

“I really am very sorry,” Zubik said. “Not empty words. I’m sorry that you suffered because of the church.”

W.Va. diocese releases names of priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors

MORGANTOWN (WV)
The Herald-Dispatch

November 30, 2018

By Megan Osborne

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has released the names of 31 clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors from the 1950s to the present, including five who at some point in their careers served at churches in Huntington.

None of the incidents appear to have occurred in Huntington parishes.

Among those included in the list from the diocese:

The Rev. Franklyn W. Becker acted as the Marshall University Catholic Community Chaplain and served at St. Joseph Catholic Church from January 1975 to August 1976. Multiple incidents referencing Becker were reported to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee between 1970 and 2002, but none were reported to the DWC. He departed the DWC in 1976 and was dismissed from the clerical state in November 2004.

Search warrant reveals scope of priest sex abuse probe

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

November 29, 2018

By Nicole Hensley and Jay R. Jordan

A sweeping search warrant used to enter the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston was aimed at learning everything about the accused pedophile priest, Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, from his time as a seminarian to his final parish assignment in Richmond.

The search warrant affidavit released Thursday was what allowed local law enforcement officials to walk out of the church headquarters Wednesday on San Jacinto Street with several boxes of evidence. As their 12-hour hunt for records ended that night, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon called the search “fruitful.”

“We found several things specifically on point,” said Ligon, as investigators packed up.

Among the records being sought were the names of therapists who may have treated La Rosa-Lopez and what their opinion was after he underwent counseling in the early 2000s. A diary that La Rosa-Lopez was required to keep while working as a priest was on their list, but it eluded investigators at three prior raids at the Shalom Center in Splendora, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe and St. John Fisher Church in Richmond.

Abuse commission member says Indian cardinal offers ‘deep insights’

MUMBAI (INDIA)
Crux

November 30, 2018

By Nirmala Carvalho

The only non-Western member of the committee organizing the Feb. 21-24 Vatican summit on clerical sexual abuse can contribute “deep insights” at the meeting, according to a member of the pope’s commission for child protection.

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai joins Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich, Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner to lead the efforts to organize the event, which will bring together the presidents of every bishops’ conference in the world.

Sister Arina Gonsalves, an Indian nun and member of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, said Gracias’s “wide experience” would be useful: The cardinal serves on the pope’s C9 council of cardinal advisors, leads India’s bishops’ conference, and just concluded a term as the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.

“He can contribute deep insights on various topics with Asian perspective and therefore his contribution will be rich and varied,” she told Crux.

“The proposal for such a meeting was developed by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, was reviewed by the Council of Cardinals, of which Cardinal Oswald Gracias is a member,” she said.

The commission was established by Pope Francis in 2014, and is headed by Boston Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley. Zollner also serves on the commission, which has been tasked by the pontiff in helping to organize the February summit.

6 priests with Decatur ties on clergy sex abuse list

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Herald & Review

November 30, 2018

By Jim Bowling

A list released Thursday by the Diocese of Springfield with the names of 19 priests accused of sexually abusing children includes at least six clergy who worked in Decatur at times.

The disclosure was in response to a review by the state Attorney General's office, which since August has been investigating the Roman Catholic Church after a Pennsylvania grand jury report identified at least seven priests with a connection to Illinois.

Springfield Diocese spokeswoman Marlene Mulford on Thursday declined a Herald & Review request to disclose where each of the 19 worked, but a review of public documents and newspaper clips show those with Decatur ties are:

Garrett Neal Dee, who worked at Holy Family Catholic Church in Decatur in 1971, according to a Springfield State Journal-Register article in 2002. He left his parish in Texas after acknowledging that he had sexually abused children while in the Catholic Diocese of Springfield years ago.

French Church seeks to deal with priests’ ‘frailties’

PARIS (FRANCE)
La Croix International

November 30, 2018

By Mélinée Le Priol with Pierre Sautreuil

In a decision illustrating the French Church’s genuine concern to address the sex abuse issue, the nation's bishops have announced a program for accompanying “priests displaying signs of frailty that may become risk factors.

”A grave-faced Bishop Jacques Blaquart met the press on Oct. 22, three days after the suicide of a young priest from his Diocese of Orleans.“How can we simultaneously continue to protect minors and vulnerable persons in the first instance while showing respect and concern for accompanying those who have engaged in inappropriate behavior?” he asked aloud.The whole French Church continues to face this tension as revelations of sexual abuse by clergy continue to mount.

Wester: Archdiocese facing dozens of sexual abuse lawsuits to file for bankruptcy

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

November 29, 2018

By Daniel J. Chacón and Andrew Oxford

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is filing for bankruptcy, Archbishop John Wester said Thursday in the face of dozens of ongoing lawsuits stemming from a sexual abuse scandal that stretches back decades and a new investigation by the state’s attorney general into the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of misconduct by its clergy.

Wester said parishes and schools will continue normal operations. But the move will give the archdiocese time to get its finances in order as it faces what Wester said is the real prospect of running out of money. It also could mark the beginning of an effort to finally put a number on how many survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of New Mexico priests are still out there — and how much the church might owe them.

At this point, a lawyer for the archdiocese said, church officials just don’t know.

But describing the archdiocese as facing a tipping point, Wester said bankruptcy is the most equitable way of addressing its responsibilities to survivors of sexual abuse.

“I believe it’s the best for the victims and the best for everybody involved, and I believe that it’s going to have the most promising outcome for everybody,” Wester said. “So, I have to confess, I feel a certain relief. I think it’s kind of turning the page and moving forward in a responsible way.”

Eight dioceses and three archdioceses across the country filed for bankruptcy between 2004 and September 2018, according to Penn State law professor Marie Reilly.

If the process plays out here as it has elsewhere, a judge will set up a procedure for survivors of abuse to bring forward their claims.

Ford Elsaesser, one of the archdiocese’s bankruptcy attorneys, said he expects survivors would have a deadline in April or May to come forward. The archdiocese would then go into mediation with everyone who has brought a claim and try to reach a settlement, he said.

It's not over: Your thoughts on our open letter to bishops

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 30, 2018

We received dozens upon dozens of responses from you, our dear readers, to our editorial published Nov. 9: "Open letter to the US Catholic bishops: It's over." Below is a sampling of those letters. They have been edited for length and clarity.

Thank you for speaking for me in so many ways in your letter telling the U.S. bishops' conference: "it's over." As a spiritual director and Catholic psychotherapist, I received my first referral of a clergy abuse victim/survivor in 1988 from a large midwestern diocese.

After treating dozens more survivors, serving on review and advisory boards, giving talks and trainings, arguing, begging and praying with bishops, collaborating with beautiful and faithful survivors, parents, caring priests and Catholic and non-Catholic professionals, I have seen weariness, disappointment and, finally, full belief in the reports of victim/survivors over decades.

November 29, 2018

Advocates for priest abuse survivors says three priest names are missing

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KOMU Channel 8

November 29, 2018 6

By: Mercedes Mackay

Thursday an advocate group for priest abuse survivors called out priests who were left off a recent Jefferson City Diocese "credibly accused list".

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, met outside of the Cathedral of St. Joseph to voice their concerns about the list.

"We are here today because we are concerned, in particular, about three credibly accused child molesting priests who spent time in Mid-Missouri," David Clohessy, SNAP St. Louis volunteer, said.

He said according to court records that include church documents Father Kenneth J. Roberts, Father John C. Baskett and Father A. Lenczycki were all clerics accused of child molestation.

What WILL it cost to compensate priest sex abuse victims?

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ TV

November 29, 2018

By Steve Brown and Dave Harrington

That is the question for Buffalo’s Catholic Diocese these days. How much will it cost to resolve dozens upon dozens of claims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests?

“People ask me that all the time and we’re not sure,” said Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone in his interview with Maryalice Demler earlier this month.

The Bishop has said repeatedly it is the compassionate thing to do to address claims even if they date back decades and the legal statute of limitations has expired. But 2 On Your Side is told money was also a factor.

A source tells us there was an interested within the Diocese hierarchy in clearing as many of these cases as quickly possible “at Buffalo prices”, meaning, cheaper than potential civil lawsuits against the Diocese.

There are few clues about the financial picture of the Diocese in its annual financial statement. We asked the chairman of the Canisius College Accounting Department, Ian Redpath, to have a look.

Redpath notes the Diocese is unique among non-profits. Because of its status as a religious organization, it is not required to file with the IRS, the New York State Department of Taxation or the state Attorney General’s office.

The Diocese discloses what it chooses to disclose.

Former U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh applauds federal Catholic clergy abuse probe, reveals what he witnessed as a child

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

November 29, 2018

By Deb Erdley

As the top federal prosecutor in Western Pennsylvania, David Hickton tried a Somerset County priest for molesting children at a Central American orphanage and later invoked federal organized crime statutes in an inquiry into the Altoona Johnstown diocese.

He said he had reason to be suspicious of the Catholic church.

In a lengthy interview with USAToday published Thursday, Hickton, 63, revealed that he personally witnessed teammates on his 6th-grade basketball team at St. Anne’s School in Castle Shannon singled out by a coach who was fondling children. Though the former altar boy said he was never abused, he said he saw the team’s coach select a child to shower with him after every game.

“It was like Russian roulette,” Hickton, the former U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh, told USAToday. “Everybody was looking at each other, worried that they might be next.”

Like many children, Hickton remained quiet, wondering why the priest who oversaw the coach’s ritual did nothing to protect the boys. Later, he learned priest — the Rev. Charles J. Chat — was among 99 priests in the Pittsburgh diocese identified by a statewide grand jury as a “predator priest” who repeatedly abused children himself.

Defrocked priest Ronald Paquin convicted of abusing another boy

PORTLAND (ME)
Associated Press

November 29, 2018

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest who was a central figure in the clergy abuse scandal that rocked the Archdiocese of Boston was convicted Thursday of sexually abusing another boy.

Ronald Paquin, who was released from prison in 2015, was convicted of assaulting a boy in the 1980s in Kennebunkport, Maine.

The victim, now an adult, told reporters after the verdict that Paquin was "pure evil," thanking jurors for doing "the right thing."

Two men testified Paquin befriended them as boys at a parish in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and invited them on trips that included visits to Kennebunkport, Maine. They said he gave them alcohol, and let them drive his car without a license. One of them testified he was drugged.

Both said Paquin repeatedly assaulted them, but the jury reached a guilty verdict on counts involving only one of the victims. In the end, Paquin was convicted of 11 of the 24 counts against him.

David Clohessy, former national director of the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, said the conviction was "long overdue."

"I feel sad that one of the victims was disbelieved, and that must hurt. But overall, kids will be safer, and hopefully, victims of other predators will feel inspired to come forward and report their abuse," he said.

Former priest is found guilty of sexually abusing boy in Maine

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

November 29, 2018

By Megan Gray

A former Boston priest was found guilty Thursday of sexually abusing a boy during trips to Maine in the 1980s.

Ronald Paquin, 76, was found guilty on 11 of 24 counts of sexual misconduct.

The counts that led to the guilty verdict were based on the testimony of one of two men who accused Paquin in sometimes graphic detail during the three-day trial. He was not found guilty of abusing the other man.

The York County jury deliberated for nearly five fours Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. The former clergyman did not react as the forewoman announced the split verdict in a quiet but firm voice.

Paquin was one of the priests exposed in the early 2000s by a sweeping Boston Globe investigation into clergy sex abuse. He served more than a decade in prison in Massachusetts for repeatedly raping an altar boy between 1989 and 1992, beginning when the victim was 12.
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His trial is believed to be the first in Maine for a priest embroiled in the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal, and he now faces prison time again as an elderly man for his conviction.

Roger Champagne, one of Paquin’s two attorneys, said he wants the former priest to undergo a medical evaluation before sentencing. Court documents have suggested Paquin is in poor health. The judge did not set a date for the next hearing.

The jury of five women and seven men had listened to the pained testimony of the two accusers on Monday and Tuesday.

Analysis: How sexual misconduct reforms might begin in U.S. dioceses

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency

November 29, 2018

By Ed Condon

Before it began, many U.S. bishops expected their November general assembly in Baltimore to produce something tangible - a new policy, structure, or system – that would help them reassure Catholics that they were responding to months of sexual abuse scandals breaking across the Church.

But after a last-minute Vatican’s decision to suspend a vote on draft measures until after a Rome meeting of the heads of the world’s bishops’ conferences in February, it seems likely that no universal response to the crisis will emerge until at least the second half of 2019.

Some U.S. bishops have told CNA they now realize that if they want to initiate new reforms, they’ll have to do so in their own dioceses, using the ordinary prerogatives of a diocesan bishop.

As they wait for Rome to form its response to the crisis, there are several options available to bishops who are looking to improve diocesan mechanisms for handling clerical misconduct.

And as bishops begin to implement new policies at the diocesan level, their local action might provide useful examples for study and consideration ahead of the February meeting Rome.

Catholic church facing declining dollars and participation as investigation widens

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

November 29, 2018

By Tim Darragh

Karen Votta is a “born and bred” Catholic who felt herself drifting from the church as the “Spotlight” sex abuse scandal exploded out of Boston in 2002.

Despite her disappointment, the Bethlehem woman says she continued to attend Mass occasionally and send contributions to the church.

But the lurid Pennsylvania grand jury report released in August, exposing 301 allegedly abusive priests and more than 1,000 victims in six dioceses across the state, made Votta question the church — but not her belief in Jesus — even more deeply.

“I am Catholic, although I don’t know why I keep sticking around,” Votta said. “The church just keeps making it harder and harder to be a good Catholic… My whole Catholic family has drifted away.”

Revelations of sexual misconduct by priests and cover-ups by their superiors have not only damaged the relationship of laity like Votta to the church, but also appear to be cutting into weekly collections as well — impacts that one study suggests may be permanent. And while it is too early to know how deep the harm will be, the scandal will remain front and center in Pennsylvania and across the country well into 2019, leaving a wound that may take a long time to heal.

New Mexico attorney general serves search warrant at Santa Fe Archdiocese

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Catholic News Service

November 29, 2018

Agents from the office of New Mexico's attorney general executed a search warrant to obtain records from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe regarding at least two former priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

The agents were at the archdiocese's administrative offices in Albuquerque Nov. 28.

Attorney General Hector Balderas was seeking information on Marvin Archuleta and Sabine Griego, according to the archdiocese.

Both men, the archdiocese said in a statement afterward, were among clergy included on a list of priests, deacons, religious and seminarians accused of child sex abuse that first was released in September 2017.

The archdiocese said its staff "worked cooperatively" with the agents.

Meanwhile, Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester called all archdiocesan priests to a mandatory meeting the afternoon of Nov. 29, after which he planned to address a news conference.

There was no mention of the meeting's purpose in a memo sent to the priests, the Albuquerque Journal daily newspaper reported.

Cardinal Slated to Plan a Summit on Abuse has been Accused of Ignoring Abuse Himself

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 28, 2018

A respected and credible Catholic news source reports that "one of the organizers appointed by Pope Francis to plan a February summit at the Vatican on sexual abuse has been accused of covering up abuse in his own archdiocese in India."

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai reportedly told a whistle blower that he “was too busy” to do an investigation into an alleged predator priest. The whistle blower also says the Cardinal delayed removing that cleric from ministry, and then refused to tell his flock why the priest was removed. The whistle blower was ostracized for her activism. This kind of response from any church official to an allegation of sexual abuse would be troubling, but is far, far worse when that church official is one of those handpicked to plan a summit on abuse prevention.

Unfortunately, many top Catholic officials have concealed or are concealing known or suspected child sex crimes. Some such prelates have been promoted by Pope Francis. And, like Cardinal Gracias, some such prelates are planning this summit, including Chicago Cardinal Blaise Cupich and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Diocese releases names of clergy 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse of minors

WHEELING (WV)
WCHS/WVAH TV

November 29, 2018

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has released the names of clergy it said have been "credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors."

A news release from the diocese said the list dates back to about 1950, which is the period for which there are reasonably reliable files. More than 2,000 files were reviewed, containing tens of thousands of documents.

Below are links to the two lists - credible clergy complaints 1950 to present, which details allegations against 18 clergy members, and credible clergy complaints in other diocese, which details allegations against 13 clergy members. The diocese said 11 of the 18 accused clergy are deceased. None of the others are in active ministry. If you are on a mobile device, click here and here.

The diocese said the release of the list is “part of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s ongoing commitment to transparency in addition to helping aid in the process of reconciliation and healing for the faithful of West Virginia.”

“We hope the release of this list,” said Archbishop William Lori, Apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, “will be one of many steps taken to restore trust with parishioners and the broader community in West Virginia. We hope people see the release of this list as a sign of good faith that the diocese is committed to transparency, accountability and to providing a safe environment for children and adults.

“As we continue to pray for all victims of sexual abuse, let us also recommit ourselves to do everything we can to ensure the protection of all who are entrusted to our care.”

A stunning police raid on Catholic offices in Houston: Is this a major TEXAS story?

Get Religion

November 29, 2018

by Terry Mattingly

In terms of global, national, regional and local importance, the massive police raid of Catholic headquarters in Houston is clearly the big religion-news story of the day.

The question for me: How important is this story in terms of TEXAS news?

Hold that thought. First, here is the headline in The New York Times: “Investigators Raid Offices of President of U.S. Catholic Bishops.”

This is a solid and disturbing report, with some factual language in places where journalists often offer vague details. Here is the Times overture by veteran religion-beat scribe Laurie Goldstein:

Dozens of local and federal law enforcement officers conducted a surprise search of the offices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Wednesday, looking for evidence in a clergy sexual abuse case that has ensnared the local archbishop, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, who also serves as president of the United States Catholic bishops’ conference.

The raid in Houston is the latest sign of crisis in the church, with prosecutors growing more aggressive in their search for cover-ups of abuse, and the bishops — led by Cardinal DiNardo — hamstrung by the Vatican in their efforts to carry out reforms.

The church is under a barrage of investigations around the country. Attorneys general in at least a dozen states have opened inquiries, and the Justice Department has told bishops not to destroy any documents that could relate to sex abuse cases. Last month, the attorney general in Michigan executed search warrants on all seven Catholic dioceses in that state.

The scene outside the archdiocesan offices in Houston on Wednesday morning was extraordinary, with police cars lined up on the street and about 50 uniformed officers headed inside, some carrying boxes to hold evidence.

So what is the issue here? Let’s talk about Texas.

To be blunt: When I started writing this post, I did a simple search of The Houston Chronicle website for this word “DiNardo.” The results were a bit surprising, since I couldn’t find anything about this raid at the top of the initial search list.

If bishops fail to reform church, someone else will. Houston may be proof

HOUSTON (TX)
Star Telegram

November 29, 2018

By Cynthia Allen

This week in Houston, state prosecutors investigating a case of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest searched the offices of the local archdiocese. They were seeking employment and disciplinary records for Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, who stands accused by two people of fondling them two decades ago when they were teenagers.

“This is not a search warrant against the Catholic Church,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon, who is leading the investigation. The archdiocese says it has been cooperating, and was quick to contend that this was not a raid.

But watching footage of gun-toting law enforcement officers walk in and out of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston headquarters, it sure felt like one. And even I — someone who has previously called on secular authorities in Texas to investigate the Catholic Church, as several states are already doing — felt uneasy and heartbroken watching it.

William Casey Hearing Continued

WILSON (TN)
Wilson Post

November 29, 2018

By Ken Little

William Casey will have to wait until 2019 to find out if his most recent bid for a new trial will be granted by a Sullivan County Criminal Court judge.

Another trial remains a possibility for the former Catholic priest and Greene County resident, based on an opinion filed in May by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals at Knoxville.

Casey had a post-conviction hearing scheduled Wednesday in Sullivan County Criminal Court. Judge James F. Goodwin granted a continuation until March 15, 2019, so 2nd Judicial District Attorney General Barry Staubus Jr. and Casey’s 2011 trial defense lawyers could review a brief filed Monday in support of a new trial submitted by his current defense lawyer, Francis “Frank” Santore Jr.

Casey, who turns 85 on Jan. 4, was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of aggravated rape in 2011 by a Sullivan County Criminal Court jury.

The sex abuse charges stemmed from conduct that occurred in 1979 and 1980, while victim Warren Tucker attended a school associated with St. Dominic Catholic Church in Kingsport. Casey was a priest at the church and Tucker was an altar boy.

The Latest: Warrants Detail Clergy Sex Abuse in New Mexico

SANTA FE (NM)
U.S. News & World Report

November 29, 2018

The Latest: Warrants Detail Clergy Sex Abuse in New Mexico

The Latest on the New Mexico attorney general's investigation in clergy sex abuse (all times local):.

Search warrants obtained by The Associated Press reveal graphic allegations of sexual abuse of children by members of the Catholic clergy in New Mexico.

The warrants were served Wednesday by agents with the state attorney general's office at the home of a former priest in northern New Mexico and at the offices of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, which is located in Albuquerque.

The warrants were based on the statements of two unidentified victims and a confidential informant who provided information about the church not following through on settlements and giving ultimatums to victims. That included threats of stopping paid treatment if victims went to authorities with their claims.

The archdiocese did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Owen Labrie to argue for new trial, claiming ineffective legal team led to felony conviction

CONCORD (NH)
NBC News

November 26, 2018

By Kalhan Rosenblatt

Earlier this month, in the first of Labrie's two appeals, the court ruled in a unanimous decision to uphold his felony conviction.

A former student at the prestigious St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, convicted of a felony charge stemming from rape allegations, will argue on Wednesday he had an ineffective legal team and deserves a new trial.

Owen Labrie, 23, was found guilty in 2015 of one count of “certain uses of computer services prohibited,” three counts of sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

The sexual assault charges and the endangering the welfare of a child charge are misdemeanors. The computer-use charge is a felony, and carries a mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender, according to the Concord Monitor.

N.H. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Owen Labrie’s appeal of felony conviction

CONCORD (NH)
Concord Monitor

November 28, 2018

By Alyssa Dandrea

On the heels of a failed appeal, St. Paul’s School graduate Owen Labrie returned to the state’s highest court Wednesday to argue his high-profile defense team provided poor legal representation at his 2015 sexual assault trial.

Labrie, now 23, was acquitted of felony rape charges, but convicted of using a computer to lure a 15-year-old girl for sex as part of the “Senior Salute,” a now-infamous tradition at St. Paul’s where upperclassmen competed for intimate encounters with younger pupils. Labrie maintains his trial attorneys misunderstood the statute governing the computer-use crime and did not defend him against the charge.

A state prosecutor challenged that argument Wednesday, telling New Hampshire Supreme Court justices that Labrie’s trial team did a good job. Assistant Attorney General Sean Locke said Labrie was found not guilty of the most serious crimes – three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault – that could have landed him in prison for 30 to 60 years.

“You have to look at the ineffective assistance claim in terms of what’s going on in the entire trial,” Assistant Attorney General Sean Locke said, advising the justices to view Labrie’s legal representation more broadly and not in reference to a single conviction.

Prep school grad in sex assault case asks for new trial

CONCORD (NH)
The Associated Press

November 28, 2018

By Michael Casey

New Hampshire's Supreme Court heard biting criticism of an elite prep school graduate's star-studded legal team Wednesday as his lawyer argued he deserved a new trial following his conviction for using a computer to lure an underage student for sex.

Owen Labrie, 23, of Tunbridge, Vermont, was acquitted in 2015 of raping a 15-year-old classmate as part of "Senior Salute," a game of sexual conquest, at St. Paul's School. But he was found guilty of a felony computer charge and several misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The computer law says no one shall knowingly use a computer online service "to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child" to commit sexual assault.

Christopher Johnson, a lawyer for Labrie, argued Wednesday that his trial lawyers were ineffective for a slew of reasons, including failing to mount a defense against the computer charge or effectively communicate that Labrie had no intention of having sex with Chessy Prout when he sent her the messages.

The lead trial lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., is a well-known defense attorney whose clients included the late Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

Investigators Raid Offices of President of U.S. Catholic Bishops

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

November 28, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

Dozens of local and federal law enforcement officers conducted a surprise search of the offices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Wednesday, looking for evidence in a clergy sexual abuse case that has ensnared the local archbishop, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, who also serves as president of the United States Catholic bishops’ conference.

The raid in Houston is the latest sign of crisis in the church, with prosecutors growing more aggressive in their search for cover-ups of abuse, and the bishops — led by Cardinal DiNardo — hamstrung by the Vatican in their efforts to carry out reforms.

The church is under a barrage of investigations around the country. Attorneys general in at least a dozen states have opened inquiries, and the Justice Department has told bishops not to destroy any documents that could relate to sex abuse cases. Last month, the attorney general in Michigan executed search warrants on all seven Catholic dioceses in that state.

The scene outside the archdiocesan offices in Houston on Wednesday morning was extraordinary, with police cars lined up on the street and about 50 uniformed officers headed inside, some carrying boxes to hold evidence.

Laity-Only Groups Seeking More Power In Scandal-Plagued Church

PITTSBURGH PA)
KDKA

November 28, 2018

By Andy Sheehan

In the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse of children, many Catholics have left the church, and those who remain say it must undergo a fundamental change.

“There’s no way it can survive as it was,” said parishioner Kevin Hayes. “This is just a seismic shift right now that’s happening.”

After years of remaining silent, parishioners like Hayes, at St. Thomas More in Bethel Park, have begun organizing laity-only groups to demand transparency and accountability.

Diakon soll 15-jährige Ministrantin vergewaltigt haben

[Deacon is said to have raped 15-year-old ministrant[

GERMANY
Katholisch.de

November 29, 2018

Wieder ein schwerer Missbrauchsvorwurf in der Kirche: Ein Diakon soll sich auf einer Ministrantenfahrt an einer 15-Jährigen vergangen haben. Das Erzbistum München und Freising reagierte sofort.

Ein 65-jähriger Diakon wird beschuldigt, eine 15-jährige Ministrantin sexuell belästigt und vergewaltigt zu haben. Die Tat soll sich Anfang Mai ereignet haben, seitdem sitzt der Mann in Untersuchungshaft, sagte eine Sprecherin der Staatsanwaltschaft München I. am Donnerstag auf Anfrage. Ereignet habe sich der Übergriff auf einer Ministrantenfahrt nach Nürnberg. Noch am Abend sei er festgenommen worden.

Die Anklage werde relativ bald vor dem Schöffengericht beim Amtsgericht verhandelt, da es sich um eine Haftsache handele, so die Sprecherin. Da es sich um einen besonders schweren Fall einer Sexualstraftat handele, liege das Strafmaß bei mindestens zwei bis zu 15 Jahren.

Diakon wegen Vergewaltigung einer 15-Jährigen angeklagt

[Deacon charged with rape of a 15-year-old]

GERMANY
WELT

November 28, 2018

Ein katholischer Diakon ist in Bayern wegen der Vergewaltigung einer 15 Jahre alten Jugendlichen angeklagt worden. Ihm wird vorgeworfen, sich an der jungen Frau auf einer Fahrt nach Nürnberg vergangen zu haben.

In Bayern soll ein 65 Jahre alter katholischer Diakon eine 15-jährige Ministrantin vergewaltigt haben. Eine entsprechende Klage sei Anfang November beim Amtsgericht München eingereicht worden, teilte die Staatsanwaltschaft München I am Donnerstag mit. Der Geistliche soll sich im Mai 2015 bei einer Fahrt nach Nürnberg an der damals 15-Jährigen vergangen haben, so der Vorwurf der Ermittler.

Die katholische Kirche in Deutschland beschäftigt sich seit Jahren mit der Aufarbeitung sexuellen Missbrauchs in den eigenen Reihen. Dazu hatte die Bischofskonferenz Ende September eine umfassende Studie veröffentlicht. Demnach sollen zwischen 1946 und 2014 mindestens 1670 Kleriker 3677 Minderjährige missbraucht haben.

Zudem hatten die mit der Studie beauftragten Wissenschaftler problematische Strukturen in der katholischen Kirche benannt, die Missbrauch nach wie vor befördern könnten – etwa die umstrittene Verpflichtung der Priester zur Ehelosigkeit (Zölibat) und eine ausgeprägte klerikale Macht einzelner Geistlicher.

Priest who threatened to rape a woman and a cop is now fully cured

SIOUX CITY (IA)
Patheos

November 29, 2018

By Barry Duke

Investigations into abusive Catholic priests in Iowa have have brought to light a bizarre episode in which one gentleman of the cloth attempted to rape a woman at a shopping mall, then declared his intention to rape a policeman who arrived on the scene.

Father Jeremy Wind, said to have been trouserless at the time of his arrest in 2013, was allowed to resume his clerical duties after the Diocese of Sioux City satisfied itself that his “mental health episode” had been successfully treated.

The Wind case, according to this report, follows a statement made in October by the diocese’s bishop R Walker Nickless, above, which acknowledged that that it had covered up the crimes Father Jerome Coyle, who admitted to then to then-Bishop Lawrence Soens that he had sexually abused 50 boys over a 20-year period. The diocese sent Coyle to a treatment center for accused priests in New Mexico, where he lived and worked as a civilian for decades.

Soens himself was accused of abusing boys when he was a priest and principal in the 1960s in Iowa City, and the Diocese of Davenport paid settlements to his accusers. Soens, 92, never faced criminal charges and now lives in a Catholic retirement home in Sioux city.

This week the Diocese of Sioux City, in a statement, defended its decision to continue employing Wind. The statement came in response to inquiries from The Associated Press, which used the state’s open records law to shed light on a criminal case that was recently erased from public court files.

Irish women launch #ThisIsNotConsent underwear campaign to protest victim-blaming

IRELAND
Yahoo Lifestyle

November 14, 2018

By Abby Haglage

One week after a lawyer urged a court to focus on the type of underwear a teen girl was wearing the night she alleges a man sexually assaulted her, Irish women are taking to the streets to protest.

“You have to look at the way she was dressed,” Elizabeth O’Connell, the attorney for the 27-year-old male defendant reportedly told the jury in the contentious trial. “She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

The jury ultimately found the man not guilty, prompting widespread criticism from women in Ireland — including, on Tuesday, an Irish member of Parliament named Ruth Coppinger.

Cardinal Slated to Plan a Summit on Abuse has been Accused of Ignoring Abuse Himself

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 28, 2018

A respected and credible Catholic news source reports that "one of the organizers appointed by Pope Francis to plan a February summit at the Vatican on sexual abuse has been accused of covering up abuse in his own archdiocese in India."

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai reportedly told a whistle blower that he “was too busy” to do an investigation into an alleged predator priest. The whistle blower also says the Cardinal delayed removing that cleric from ministry, and then refused to tell his flock why the priest was removed. The whistle blower was ostracized for her activism. This kind of response from any church official to an allegation of sexual abuse would be troubling, but is far, far worse when that church official is one of those handpicked to plan a summit on abuse prevention.

Unfortunately, many top Catholic officials have concealed or are concealing known or suspected child sex crimes. Some such prelates have been promoted by Pope Francis. And, like Cardinal Gracias, some such prelates are planning this summit, including Chicago Cardinal Blaise Cupich and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Three publicly accused priests left off new list

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 29, 2018

All were in Jeff City area & 2 attracted national attention

SNAP also worries about 18 new church abuse reports

It wants Catholic officials to "move quickly " with them

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose the names and histories of three publicly accused child molesting clerics who were in the Jeff City diocese but were left off a recently-posted list of such men.

They will also call on mid-Missouri's top Catholic official to
--move quickly to resolve the 18 new abuse reports made since August, and any made since that time,
--give more details about each one of the "credibly accused" abusers that have already been identified -- current whereabouts, assignment history, dates each known allegation was reported, and date of removal from ministry, and
--aggressively reach out to victims, witnesses and whistle blowers, urging them to contact the Attorney General's office to report wrongdoing immediately.

WHEN
TODAY, Thursday, Nov. 29 at 1:15 p.m.

A Failed System

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Post Gazette

November 29, 2018

Allow me to commend the Post-Gazette on the Nov. 25 story “Hiding Behind God.” As one who was an altar server for two of the identified alleged predator priests and subsequently interacted with several clerical and lay persons associated with this sad saga, I have a very personal interest in this story.

Of particular note are the unidentified attorneys involved in the August 1978 meeting with the two victims and their mother. Absent the improper harsh grilling and intimidation that they were subjected to that resulted in the withdrawal of charges, many later victimizations could have been avoided.

Despite the “memory lapses,” it is imperative that this event continue to be investigated. Had these charges been pursued, they could have prompted earlier intervention to contain these criminal actions and the associated psychological trauma and shaken faith that have resulted. The two victims and their mother should feel no remorse for their actions. It was the legal system that failed and those then associated with it should be remorseful.

WILLIAM JUBECK
North Fayette

'Time to put a stop to this': Why a Catholic prosecutor who witnessed abuse took on his own church

PITTSBURGH (PA)
CBS 8 TV

November 29, 2018

By Kevin Johnson

The suspicious looks were one thing, but the whispers are what David Hickton remembers from the Sunday mornings two years ago when he would rise from his pew at SS. Simon & Jude to receive Holy Communion.

"I could hear the 'tsk, tsk, tsk' while I was going up the aisle," he says. "Others were muttering, 'Of all the nerve!'"

Hickton - then the chief federal prosecutor in western Pennsylvania known for his landmark indictment in 2014 of Chinese military hackers for stealing trade secrets from state institutions such as U.S. Steel - had just revealed his new target: the Catholic Church.

The former altar boy from working-class Castle Shannon put the full weight of the federal government behind an incendiary theory that the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese should be viewed as an interstate criminal enterprise - akin to the Mafia - based on allegations that for years, up to 50 priests had abused hundreds of children.

Iglesia hondureña oculta y protege a sacerdotes acusados por abusos sexuales

[Honduran Church hides and protects priests accused of sexual abuse]

TEGUCIGALPA (HONDURAS)
ConfidencialHN

November 16, 2018

Es una investigación comenzada por la Santa Sede que busca aclarar la verdad sobre informaciones confusas e inacabadas, la reparación de las víctimas, algunas medidas que a corto y mediano plazo permitirá alcanzar la justicia. El proceso incoado en Chile y el derecho público en Pennsylvania e Irlanda, demuestran de manera clara que el papa está a favor de las víctimas y exige penalización tanto para los hechores como para los Superiores y Prelados consentidores en el tema de abusos y ofensas sexuales contra menores. El día 16 de agosto, refiriéndose al caso de los niños afectados por largas décadas sucesivas en Pensilvania usó dos palabras que puedan expresar cómo se siente el papa ante estos terribles crímenes: vergüenza y el dolor.

Movement to Restore Trust in Buffalo's Catholic diocese begins taking action

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO

November 29, 2018

By Mike Desmond

The present structure of the Catholic Church took some real hits Wednesday night, as the sex abuse crisis was scrutinized before a large crowd at Canisius College's Montante Center and in cyberspace.

A group of prominent local Catholics organized the meeting, under the general title of the Movement to Restore Trust. Moderated by Canisius President John Hurley, the panelists were two priests, a nun and a nationally prominent lay Catholic leader.

Backed by the audience, they all see a need for major changes in the way the church is run, leaders are selected and held accountable. That could include deciding which posts require a priest and which could be filled by others.

Swormville Pastor Fr. Robert Zilliox said priests need help.

"Encouraging our priests to become holy men, encouraging our priests to become all that God wants them to be," Zilliox said. "Because I think we've lost focus of our own ordination. I think that's fundamentally where all this came from. We got so high on ourselves that we forgot why were were ordained to begin with, why we wanted to become priests to begin with."

TIMELINE: Sex abuse allegations mount against Conroe priest

CONROE (TX)
KTRK TV

November 28, 2018

A possible sex abuse scandal involving a local priest is unfolding.

Four people have come forward, saying that Father Manuel La Rosa Lopez sexually abused children while working at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe in the late 1990s to early 2000s.

Oct. 1999
An underage male was allegedly sexually abused by Father Manuel La Rosa Lopez.

April 2000
An underage girl was allegedly sexually abused by Father Manuel.

2001
The female victim and her family reported the alleged abuse to the church.

Father Manuel was transferred.

The alleged female victim and her family moved to Israel.

2010
The female accuser moved back to the area.

KDKA Investigates: 6 Accused Priests Living In Pittsburgh Diocese Retirement Home

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA TV

November 28, 2018

By Andy Sheehan

In the wake of scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse, mass attendance is down in the Pittsburgh Diocese and those still left in the pews are contributing less.

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “They don’t want to give donations to pay for the sins of the fathers.”
Fr. Lou Vallone: “And it’s understandable.”

Parishioners are concerned that their donations will be going to lawyers and lawsuit settlements related to decades of clergy sex abuse. Many were surprised to learn that the diocese continues to financially support the accused.

Now, KDKA has confirmed that at least six priests named in the grand jury report are living on the grounds of St. Paul Seminary, at St. John Vianney Manor, a newly-renovated retirement home for priests. The diocese won’t comment except to say that it is obligated to provide for them in retirement.

Named in the grand jury and living at St. John Vianney are fathers John Fitzgerald, Edward Kryston, David Scharf, Paul Spisak and Richard Terdine. Richard Lelonis, whose name is redacted in the report, is also living at the manor house.

“They’re human beings. They’ve got to be somewhere. We don’t have capital punishment for abusers,” said Fr. Vallone.

Jurors deliberating case of former priest charged with assault

SEABROOK (NH)
WMUR Radio

November 29, 2018

Jury deliberations will resume Thursday morning for a former priest charged with molesting two altar boys in the 1980s.

Ronald Paquin is accused of bringing the two altar boys from his parish in Haverill, Massachusetts, to Maine, where they said he would sexually assault them.

The boys were 11 and 14 at the time.

One of the alleged victims now lives in New Hampshire.

Throughout the trial, both sides have argued about how the jury should handle decades-old allegations.

Paquin was previously convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy and was released from prison in 2015.

Norwich diocese sued by 24 men who say they were sexually assaulted

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

November 28. 2018

By Joe Wojtas

Twenty-four men, who say they were sexually assaulted as teenage boys by the late Brother K. Paul McGlade and others, have filed lawsuits against the Diocese of Norwich and former Bishop Daniel Reilly.

Some of the suits, in which the men allege they were fondled, sodomized and raped while attending the diocesan-run Academy at Mount Saint John in Deep River from 1986 to 1996, are slated for trial in 2019. Each of the boys, who ranged in age from 11 to 15, had been placed at the now defunct school by the state Department of Children and Families or the state court system. DCF is not a defendant in the lawsuits.

The men are not named in the suits but have been allowed to file their cases under pseudonyms. One, John Doe, is being represented by the Reardon Law Firm of New London, while the remaining men are being represented by the Fazzano and Tomasiewicz firm of Hartford. Most of the suits were filed this week.

Mount Saint John was a century-old residential school run by the diocese to serve at-risk children with behavioral, emotional, family and educational problems. McGlade was the school’s executive director beginning in 1990, as well as a teacher there. The school was closed in 2013 due to declining referrals from DCF and the state court system, coupled with increasing costs.

“Part of the tragedy of these cases is that these boys who were sent to the academy were troubled to begin with and had family problems,” attorney Kelly Reardon said.

Attorney Patrick Tomasiewicz, who represents most of the alleged victims, said Wednesday that it was not appropriate for him to comment at this time “other than to say that I am very proud to represent these people.”

He added there is a possibility that five more young men could file suits.

10 names added to list of clergy with ‘substantiated’ sex misconduct allegations

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun Times

November 29, 2018

By Robert Herguth

At a closed-door gathering in August with young men studying to be priests at the Catholic Church’s seminary in Mundelein, Cardinal Blase Cupich boasted that the Archdiocese of Chicago’s “record” on sex abuse is “clean.”

“We are not what happened” in Pennsylvania, he said, referring to a grand jury report that’d been recently released showing decades of priests raping children and bishops covering up in that state.

Cupich also told the seminarians that an ongoing inquiry by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office into the handling of sexual predator priests in Illinois was no big deal, since the archdiocese, the church’s arm in Cook and Lake counties, already previously turned over all relevant information.

But on Wednesday night, Cupich’s office brought his past comments into question as the archdiocese highlighted the names of 10 more ex-priests and deacons — some deceased — with “substantiated allegations” of sexual misconduct with minors. The names were added to a lengthy public list of ex-clerics with dark histories.

What Trump's Labor Secretary Had to Do With Billionaire Pedophile's Deal

MIAMI (FL)
Newser

November 28, 2018

By Evann Gastaldo

It's long been known that billionaire financial adviser Jeffrey Epstein got a sweet plea deal from Florida prosecutors, serving just 13 months in a private wing of the county jail followed by a year of house arrest rather than the massive sentence he could have faced had he been hit with sex trafficking charges over allegations that he molested dozens of underage girls between 2001 and 2005, some of whom he was suspected of trafficking from overseas. Instead, he pleaded guilty to a single count of soliciting prostitution from someone underage. In an extensive new piece for the Miami Herald based on thousands of emails, court documents, and FBI records, plus interviews with key players, Julie K. Brown looks at what President Trump's current labor secretary had to do with the deal. Then Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta forged the deal, which hid the full extent of the crimes Epstein was suspected of, with Epstein's attorney Jay Lefkowitz.

Miami police referred the Epstein investigation to the FBI a year after it was launched, due to suspicions that the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office was undermining their investigation. The non-prosecution agreement forged by Acosta ultimately scuttled that FBI probe before it could determine the scope of a possible international sex trafficking operation and whether any other powerful people were involved. It also concealed the deal from victims until a judge approved it, meaning none of the victims were able to attempt to derail it. "The conspiracy between the government and Epstein was really ‘let’s figure out a way to make the whole thing go away as quietly as possible,'" says an attorney representing several victims. One expert compares it to the Catholic Church's cover-up of pedophile priests.

Lay movements ‘next frontier’ in abuse crisis, ex-Vatican official says

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 29, 2018

By Elise Harris

Rocio Figueroa Alvear is a theologian, an abuse survivor and a consecrated woman-turned-whistle-blower on scandals in her former community. After trying unsuccessfully to raise the alarm both in her order and in the Vatican, she left, and is now a researcher and activist pushing for a change in Church structures that allow abuse and cover-up to happen.

A former member of the Marian Community of Reconciliation (MCR), a pontifically-recognized Society of Apostolic Life, Figueroa said that while much discussion in the Church has so far focused on the abuse and cover-up by priests and bishops, lay movements are next on the list.

Asked whether lay movements are the “next frontier,” Figueroa said “absolutely,” and pinned part of the problem on the Church granting “too much power to lay movements.”

“They have lots of rights and no responsibilities, no accountability, so it’s very complicated,” she said, explaining that in her view, there need to be changes in canon law that better address the specific needs of lay movements which would also protect their members.

Diocese's child sex abuse review board reports ‘progress’

ALTOONA (PA)
Tribune Democrat

November 29, 2018

By Dave Sutor

A review board that was established to monitor and evaluate steps taken by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to address child sexual abuse allegations if they arise determined the organization “has made significant and measurable progress towards developing a comprehensive program,” but noted that making sure “full implementation and enforcement of the policies and procedures” occurs is crucial going forward.

The Independent Oversight Board for Youth Protection of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown issued its first annual report on Wednesday, following examination of work done since the diocese entered a memorandum of understanding with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2017.

The memorandum was adopted after the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a grand jury report in 2016, providing information about how the diocese allegedly carried out a decades-long coverup to protect predator priests, under the oversight of former Bishops Joseph Adamec and James Hogan.

Third lawsuit this month accuses ex-priest in Las Cruces of abusing altar boy

LAS CRUCES (NM)
Las Cruces Sun-News

November 29, 2018

By Diana M Alba-Soular

The Catholic Church is facing another lawsuit, this time over a priest allegedly sexually abusing a boy in Las Cruces in the 1960s.

The lawsuit accuses a different, now-deceased priest — Father Arnold Finochietto, who served at Our Lady of Health Parish in central Las Cruces — of sexually abusing the victim, identified in court records as John Doe "89." It's the third lawsuit filed this month in connection to alleged abuse of children by priests historically in Las Cruces.

Finochietto served as manager of the parish, which then was organized under the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.

John Doe "89" alleges Fionchietto sexually abused him, from age 6 to 10, on a near daily basis while he served as an altar boy for Our Lady of Health, according to court records.

MORE: New lawsuits accuse ex-priest of sexually abusing children in Las Cruces

The civil complaint, filed Nov. 16 in 3rd Judicial District Court in Las Cruces, alleges Fionchietto asked for John Doe "89" to be removed from Catechism classes during the school day and taken to the priest's home at the rectory. Other people at the parish took the boy to the rectory "

November 28, 2018

A Story Of Alleged Sexual Assault In The Catholic Church

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
The Jambar

November 28, 2018

By Alyssa Weston and John Stran

A Trumbull County man in his 40s said he was driving from a relative’s funeral when his girlfriend received a news alert on her cell phone that said the Youngstown Catholic Diocese released the names of 34 religious figureheads who were removed from the clergy over credible sexual misconduct allegations.

When he realized priest John P. Cunningham’s name was on the list, he “immediately broke down and started crying.”

The man spoke to The Jambar on the condition of anonymity about his experience with sexual abuse at St. Stephen of Hungary Catholic Church with Father Cunningham, deceased, who was recently listed as a credibly accused perpetrator of sexual assault by the Diocese of Youngstown.

In October, the Diocese released the names of 31 Youngstown priests, two religious clergy members and one non-clergy member from a religious order. The release of this list was met with an uproar of mixed emotions throughout Youngstown. Confusion spread from Catholics and non-Catholics alike — the goal of peace and change within the church and painful memories for the alleged victims.

Victim advocates: Missouri attorney general not doing enough in Catholic church investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCTV 5

November 28, 2018

By Chris Oberholtz &Angie Ricono

The Catholic church is under the microscope according to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, but some key people say that is not true.

A new opinion column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch blasts Hawley’s office and their investigation of the Catholic church. Hawley has blasted back.

“I think a lot more needs to be done,” said Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles.

She has spent more than a decade investigating the Catholic church and trying to hold predators priests and the church itself accountable.

“We’ve spoken to over 400 witnesses concerning childhood sexual abuse in the Kansas City Diocese … not in any of the other diocese, just Kansas City,” Randles said.

KCTV5 News spoke with Randles months ago, and at that time she was concerned about how the investigation was unfolding.

“There needs to be an outreach to victims. None of our clients have received any outreach,” she said.

Parishioners Concerned Donations Being Used To Pay For Sins Of Priests

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA TV

November 28, 2018

Reporter Update: Parishioners Concerned Donations Being Used To Pay For Sins Of Priests
In the wake of a scathing grand jury report, Catholic parishioners are concerned that their donations will be used to pay for the sins of accused priests.

Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

November 28, 2018

By Julie K. Brown

A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break.

Palm Beach County Courthouse

June 30, 2008

Jeffrey Edward Epstein appeared at his sentencing dressed comfortably in a blue blazer, blue shirt, jeans and gray sneakers. His attorney, Jack Goldberger, was at his side.

At the end of the 68-minute hearing, the 55-year-old silver-haired financier — accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls — was fingerprinted and handcuffed, just like any other criminal sentenced in Florida.

But inmate No. W35755 would not be treated like other convicted sex offenders in the state of Florida, which has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation.

Ten years before the #MeToo movement raised awareness about the kid-glove handling of powerful men accused of sexual abuse, Epstein’s lenient sentence and his extraordinary treatment while in custody are still the source of consternation for the victims he was accused of molesting when they were minors.

Beginning as far back as 2001, Epstein lured a steady stream of underage girls to his Palm Beach mansion to engage in nude massages, masturbation, oral sex and intercourse, court and police records show. The girls — mostly from disadvantaged, troubled families — were recruited from middle and high schools around Palm Beach County. Epstein would pay the girls for massages and offer them further money to bring him new girls every time he was at his home in Palm Beach, according to police reports.

The girls, now in their late 20s and early 30s, allege in a series of federal civil lawsuits filed over the past decade that Epstein sexually abused hundreds of girls, not only in Palm Beach, but at his homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and in the Caribbean.

In 2007, the FBI had prepared a 53-page federal indictment charging Epstein with sex crimes that could have put him in federal prison for life. But then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta signed off on a non-prosecution agreement, which was negotiated, signed and sealed so that no one would know the full scope of Epstein’s crimes. The indictment was shelved, never to be seen again.

Christine Blasey Ford Is Donating Her GoFundMe Money To Sexual Assault Survivors

UNITED STATES
Elle

November 27, 2018

By Amanda Mitchell

Since the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in October, Christine Blasey Ford has kept a low profile. The last anyone had heard from her was in October, when she released a statement on her GoFundMe page. But that all changed last week, when Blasey Ford released a second statement, and the sentiment was a little different this time.

The GoFundMe, which has raised nearly $650,000 in two months, has allowed Blasey Ford and her family to "take reasonable steps to protect ourselves against frightening threats, including physical protection and security for me and my family, and to enhance the security for our home." Blasey Ford has had to move houses four times, the professor has received death threats, and has hired private security to help protect her family since coming forward with her accusations in mid-September. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

There was an inkling of positivity, however: “Your tremendous outpouring of support and kind letters have made it possible for us to cope with the immeasurable stress, particularly the disruption to our safety and privacy,” Blasey Ford wrote. “Because of your support, I feel hopeful that our lives will return to normal.”

Olympic Committee knew about sexual abuse in gymnastics since the 1990s, according to court filings

UNITED STATES
WITW

November 26, 2018

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) was made aware of sexual abuse in gymnastics as far back as the 1990s, according to recent court documents filed at the at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

As Reuters reports, former USA Gymnastics (USAG) President Kathy Scanlan said in a statement included in the filings that she had alerted the committee to the problem during her tenure at the head of the USAG, between 1994 to 1998. She claimed not only that “little was done” to deal with the sexual abuse, but also that the committee discouraged her from investigating and disciplining professional members who had been accused of sexual misconduct, according to The New York Times.

“USOC’s challenge to USAG disciplining professional members in this fashion (specifically impeding the ability to ban, suspend or investigate a member) would have inhibited me from adequately protecting minor members,” Scanlan said in the statement.

Her allegations have come to light as a result of a lawsuit filed by two-time Olympian Aly Raisman, who is suing USOC, USAG and Larry Nassar, the disgraced Olympic doctor who has been accused of sexual abuse by nearly 200 women and girls. Nassar is serving up to 125 years in prison on charges of criminal sexual misconduct and possession of child pornography.

Authorities search Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for records relating to accused Conroe priest

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

November 28, 2018

By Samantha Ketterer

Authorities on Wednesday searched the offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for additional evidence in the case of a Conroe priest accused of sexual misconduct, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

The search targets included evidence of “secret archives” that exist at the archdiocese, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said.

“The good thing is, I’ve taken the burden off everybody in the Catholic Church,” he said. “They don’t have to know anything. I’m going to find it all.”

The search is in connection with former Conroe priest Manuel Larosa-Lopez, who was arrested Sept. 11 on four counts of indecency with a child for alleged sexual misconduct going back to 1998.

The alleged abuse lasted for at least three years and targeted a boy and a girl who attended the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe, according to an arrest affidavit. Larosa-Lopez has denied the allegations.

Larosa-Lopez has denied the allegations.

The archdiocese issued a statement on the matter, saying it is cooperating with the investigation: "This morning, the District Attorney of Montgomery County executed a search warrant for records and information related to an ongoing investigation. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to cooperate, as we have since the outset, with this process. In fact, consistent with Cardinal DiNardo's pledge of full cooperation, the information being sought was already being compiled.”

Search warrant executed at Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

HOUSTON (TX)
KTRK

November 28, 2018

By Tom Abrahams

Law enforcement authorities from multiple agencies were moving in and out of the Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston this morning in their effort to find documents related to an ongoing sexual abuse investigation.

The Conroe Police Department, Texas Rangers, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, and other agencies executed a search warrant at 1700 San Jacinto.

Seksueel misbruik door geestelijken gebeurde vooral op school

[Sexual abuse by clergy happened mainly at school]

BELGIUM
De Morgen

November 27, 2018

By Ann Van den Broek

Meerderheid van gevallen ging over jongens in het onderwijs

Seksueel misbruik in de kerk vond in grote mate plaats op school. Voor het eerst raken daar nu cijfers van bekend. Liefst 43 procent van de meldingen die de kerk de afgelopen jaren binnenkreeg, ging over misbruik door geestelijken in het onderwijs.

Sinds het schandaal rond de gewezen Brugse bisschop Roger Vangheluwe in 2010 losbarstte, kregen de 10 opvangpunten die de kerk oprichtte 426 meldingen binnen over seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk. Het is een publiek geheim dat veel misbruik door geestelijken zich op school afspeelde. Hoeveel bleef evenwel onduidelijk. Tot nu. Liefst 43 procent van de meldingen gaat over misbruik in een schoolse context, zo leert De Morgen.

Authorities search Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston 'secret archives'

HOUSTON (TX)
KHOU 11

November 28, 2018

By Jeremy Rogalski

Armed with a search warrant, various law enforcement agencies are searching for records pertaining to clergy sex abuse.

Armed with a search warrant, a team of law enforcement agencies searched the offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Wednesday, looking for records related to the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

The unprecedented action in Texas was taken by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, along with the Texas Rangers and Conroe Police Department. Nearly 50 investigators arrived Wednesday morning carrying boxes inside the Chancery, located at 1700 San Jacinto Street in downtown Houston.

The DA’s office said investigators were looking for documents in connection to the criminal case of Father Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, the priest charged in September on four counts of indecency with a child. In the search warrant filed Wednesday, the DA’s office sought to examine confidential documents held in the Archdiocese’s Chancery and secret archives.

Voice of the Faithful releases second annual diocesan finance report

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Register

November 26, 2018

By Peter Feuerherd

Is the glass half empty, or half full? When it comes to financial transparency among U.S. dioceses, there's reason to think both.

Last year, Voice of the Faithful, a group devoted to bishops' accountability begun in response to the Boston Archdiocese sex abuse scandals of 2002, put out its first study on diocesan financial transparency.

Titled "Measuring and Ranking Diocesan Online Financial Transparency," the study charted 177 dioceses across the United States, and discovered that most were not open about their financial statements.

This year's 2.0 version, reports Margaret Roylance, chair of the committee that compiled an updated study, offers reason for optimism: 77 dioceses were found to have improved their transparency scores, meaning it became easier to find out information about how diocesan money was being collected and used.

The Dioceses of Orlando, Florida, and Burlington, Vermont, earned perfect transparency scores, rating a top number of 60 on the Voice of the Faithful scale. The Archdioceses of Atlanta and Baltimore were right behind, with a 59 rating, along with the Diocese of Sacramento, California.

Others did not rate so well. The Dioceses of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and Grand Isle, Nebraska, scored the lowest, with marks of 12 and 13, respectively. The study found that 39 percent of dioceses do not post audited financial statements on their websites. A quarter do not post a financial statement of any kind.

Former archbishop Philip Wilson's lawyers say forcing a child into a sex act wasn't indecent assault in the 1970s

ADELAIDE (AUSTRALIA)
ABC Australia

November 27, 2018

By Ben Millington

Lawyers appealing former archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson's conviction for covering up child abuse have argued that convincing a child to perform a sex act did not constitute indecent assault in the 1970s.

Wilson was convicted in May of concealing the indecent assault of a boy by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the Hunter region of NSW.

The court found that in 1976 the victim confided in Wilson that he had been sexually abused, yet Wilson failed to report it to police when Fletcher was charged with other child sex offences in 2004.

Wilson is currently serving a minimum sentence of six months' home detention, but is persisting with an appeal of his conviction.

On Tuesday in the District Court in Newcastle the defence argued that Wilson could not be convicted of concealing indecent assault, because the sex act described under 1970s law was an act of indecency and not an assault.

Wilson's defence barrister Stephen Odgers SC said "unattractive as it is, there is no indecent assault" when you invite a child to perform a sex act.

Peoria Priest Removed for the Second Time, SNAP Responds

PEORIA (IL)
SNAP

November 26, 2018

For the second time, a Peoria priest has been suspended from ministry. And despite repeated promises to be “transparent,” his bishop is being unclear about the reason for this action.

According to one news account, Fr. Jeffrey Windy’s March removal comes 15 years after his 2002 arrest for manufacturing and selling gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Also known as GHB, this drug is notorious for its use in cases of date rape, and Windy served time in federal prison for his role in its manufacture. Following his release from prison, Fr. Windy began working again in Catholic parishes in 2013 and has also spent time in Bloomington.

We call on Bishop Daniel Jenky to be more forthcoming about why Fr. Windy has been removed again and about why he let Fr. Windy go back to work after he served his prison sentence. And we urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered any possible wrongdoing by Fr. Windy – whether in Peoria or elsewhere – to call law enforcement or support groups for help and healing.

4 Perspectives on How to Respond to Catholic Scandals

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

November 19, 2018

By Patti Armstrong

Words of advice from Phil Lawler, Marcy Klatt, Edward Sri and George Weigel

It’s clear that the dust from the Church sexual abuse scandals will not clear any time soon. What is not entirely clear is how Catholics should respond.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains why it’s so damaging:

Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea’ (Matthew 18:6). Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing (CCC 2285).

Breaking News: Authorities Raid Offices of Galveston-Houston Catholic Archdiocese

HOUSTON (TX)
Bilgrimage

November 28, 2018

By William D. Lindsey

A significant footnote to what I posted earlier today about how Catholic pastoral leaders have moved beyond the point of no return with the abuse horror show: this morning, criminal authorities are raiding the offices of the Catholic diocese of Galveston-Houston. According to news reports, they are looking for the secret archives that canon law mandates dioceses keep regarding abuse allegations.

This is a highly significant story because this is the diocese of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, current president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference. As the news report at the head of the posting states, this is also unprecedented action in the U.S.

Point of no return, indeed.

Catholic priest sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexual misconduct

ATHENS COUNTY (OH)
WCHS/WVAH

November 27, 2018

By Gil McClanahan and Jeff Morris

A Catholic priest with the Diocese of Steubenville is headed to prison for 12 years for sexual battery charges involving a teenage member of his parish. The church is in Athens County, Ohio. Henry Christopher Foxhoven pleaded guilty to the charges in Athens County Court Tuesday morning. The sentence was part of a plea deal with prosecutors who believe justice was served in this case.

Prosecutors say Henry Christopher Foxhoven had a sexual relationship with a teenage member of his parish from August to October of this year, adding the incidents took place in the church rectory in Athens County, Ohio.

"I forgive him because that's what God wants me to do. It says in the Bible forgive men and I forgive him as well. I hate seeing him in that orange suit," said the victim's mother in court.

Missouri attorney general seeks court order for church files

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
The Associated Press

November 27, 2018

The Missouri Attorney General's Office is seeking court orders for Catholic dioceses to provide records as part of an investigation into potential clergy abuse.

Spokeswoman Mary Compton in a Tuesday statement said the office wants personnel records, records relating to allegations of abuse and other documents from Missouri Catholic organizations.

Outgoing Attorney General Josh Hawley on Tuesday tweeted that the office wants court orders to "acquire information needed from the dioceses to ensure a full, thorough, and independent investigation."

Glouster priest sentenced to 12 years in prison for unlawful sex with minor parishioner

ATHENS (OH)
The Athens News

November 27, 2018

By Conor Morris

A local Catholic priest was sentenced Tuesday in Athens County Common Pleas Court to a dozen years in prison, with no option for judicial release, on three counts of sexual battery related to his having a sexual relationship with a minor who attended his parish in Glouster.

Father Henry Christopher Foxhoven, 45, the priest of Holy Cross in Glouster, will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, and will be subject to five years of post-release control after he serves his sentence.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn in arguing for the 12-year sentence for Foxhoven said the priest had “groomed” the victim for three years. Blackburn reiterated that Foxhoven had admitted to the girl's family that she was impregnated by Foxhoven in October (the three counts of sexual battery note that Foxhoven engaged in "sexual conduct" with the minor on at least three occasions since August of this year).

Local priest convicted of rape dies in prison

HOUMA (LA)
Houma Today

November 22, 2018

By Dan Copp

A local former Catholic priest convicted of raping an altar boy in 1996 has died in prison, officials said.

Robert Lester “Bobby” Melancon died Nov. 5 of natural causes at the age of 82, state corrections spokesman Ken Pastorick said.

Melancon, who moved from St. Genevieve in Thibodaux to Annunziata Parish in Houma in 1985, died while serving a life sentence at the David Wade Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison near Shreveport.

A Terrebonne Parish jury of seven men and five women convicted Melancon in 1996 of aggravated rape after less than two hours of deliberation following a 4 ½-day trial.

Prosecutors at the time said Melancon was a sexual predator who raped an 8-year-old altar boy several times from 1985 to 1991 at the Annunziata rectory.

Sex abuse cases cost SF Catholic Church $87 million in settlements

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Examiner

November 27, 2018

By Michael Barba

The Catholic diocese in San Francisco has settled roughly $87 million worth of sex abuse cases against priests and others associated with the church, mostly in the last 15 years, according to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

The archbishop divulged the eye-popping figure during a series of town hall meetings held to address the sexual abuse of minors in the local Catholic Church on the heels of a grand jury report in Pennsylvania that found hundreds of priest had molested at least 1,000 children in that region.

The multimillion-dollar figure, while expensive, represents just a fraction of the problem in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, according to an advocate with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, otherwise known as SNAP.

“It’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said SNAP national Board of Directors Secretary Melanie Sakoda, who is based in the Bay Area. “Only maybe one in 10 victims ever come forward. Some of them will say they don’t want money. They just want their abuser out of ministry.”

In October, a law firm named 135 priests linked to the Catholic diocese in San Francisco who have been accused of sexual abuse. Cordileone has not released such a list, though the archbishop was expected to decide whether to name priests who have been credibly accused by the end of November.

Women survivors speak of church authority structure facilitating their abuse

ROME(ITALY)
National Catholic Reporter

November 28, 2018

by Joshua J. McElwee

Three women survivors of clergy sexual abuse shared deeply personal stories during a Nov. 27 storytelling event, each revealing layers of pain, sadness and hurt exacerbated by the realization that they were trapped within a male-dominated structure that ignored their stories and demanded silence.

Peruvian Rocio Figueroa Alvear, once the head of the women's branch of a burgeoning but now disgraced lay religious movement, recounted being forbidden to speak of her abuse by its male second-in-command, and threatened with publishing of false claims against her own conduct should she disobey.

American Barbara Dorris, long known as a leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, spoke publicly for the first time about her rape by a priest as a 6-year-old girl, and how it continued for years afterward.

Saying she did "everything in my power" to hide her pain from her devout parents and family, Dorris only came forward as a parent when she recognized warning signs in the behavior of another priest on a playground with children.e.

Müller calls out Viganò, US bishops in new interview

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 28, 2018

ROME - The Vatican’s former doctrinal chief in a new interview issued a strong critique of both a former papal ambassador who asked Pope Francis to resign, and the U.S. bishops’ decision to move on sex abuse without proper consultation from the Holy See.

In the interview, given to veteran Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli and published Nov. 27 on Italian site Vatican Insider, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, spoke out against the polemics that have developed between different Church factions, and said he believes Francis is doing everything he can to address clerical sexual abuse.

“No one has the right to indict the pope or ask him to resign!” Müller said, referring to an Aug. 26 statement made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served as papal envoy to the U.S. from 2011-2016, accusing Francis of ignoring warnings about the sexual misconduct of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and asking him to resign.

Texas Rangers Raid Diocesan Offices in Houston, SNAP Responds

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 28, 2018

We applaud Texas law enforcement officials for raiding the “secret archives” of the Houston Catholic archdiocese. All too often, police and prosecutors pursue child molesting clerics but ignore the church supervisors and co-workers who hide their crimes.

Today’s raid was in response to the handling of the Fr. Manual LaRosa-Lopez case by Houston church officials. Perhaps if Cardinal Daniel DiNardo had reported the allegations against Fr. LaRosa-Lopez to law enforcement when he first heard of them this raid would not have been necessary. We cannot help but wonder what will be revealed in these secret files, but are glad that the Montgomery County prosecutor’s office will now have new information to work from.

Post Baltimore: Where are we? And where are we going?

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Truth in Love blog

November, 28 2018

By Archbishop Paul Etienne

For various reasons, I have been slow to share my own thoughts with you about our USCCB meeting in Baltimore earlier this month. I needed time to sit and pray with all the events and input of the week. I am sure about two things, one; the People of God need to hear from their bishops in the wake of our meeting in Baltimore, and two, there is hope for our future.

No Vote:

Without a doubt, the ‘show-stopper’ moment came at the beginning of our meeting, when Cardinal DiNardo announced that he had only the night before received word from the Holy See (through the Congregation for Bishops) that we were not to vote on any of the proposed policies for handling sexual misconduct by bishops and dealing with poor governance of bishops with regards to handling abuse cases. Since that moment, the one question that quickly surfaced was: “Why doesn’t the Pope care about the abuse crisis in the United States?”

Let me be very clear, while this was a disturbing moment, and a troubling way to begin our meeting, Pope Francis cares very much about what we are experiencing in the United States. But, he also recognizes that this is a problem of the Universal Church, and requires measures that will apply globally. I’ll have more to say about this in a moment.

Allentown bishop makes pledge to clergy sex abuse survivors

ALLENTOWN (PA)
69 News

Nov 28, 2018

The bishop of the Diocese of Allentown made a personal pledge of accountability to victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Bishop Alfred Schlert said the pledge follows a meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore that ended without a vote on issues of bishops' accountability.

"In spite of the lack of a vote, I remain personally committed to preventing abuse, to keeping children safe and to dealing swiftly and effectively with allegations of misconduct," Schlert said in a statement Wednesday morning.

He released and signed the following pledge:

My Pledge to Victims and Survivors:

1. The Diocese of Allentown will not protect abusers. No institution, Church or secular, should ever prioritize its own reputation over the safety of the innocent and the vulnerable.

2. We immediately report all allegations to law enforcement. We also will continue to act with transparency, in cooperation with law enforcement.

German Catholic Bishops on Abuse: Church Is at "Point of No Return"

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
Bilgrimage blog

November 28, 2018

By William Lindsey

In a flurry of statements ahead of the first day to commemorate victims of sexual abuse ever held in Germany, on Sunday this week, the German bishops said the Church had reached "a point of no return" and needed to act with the utmost urgency.

Bishops said the crisis was "of the most extreme dimension" and new approaches towards sexuality, gender equality, celibacy and the role of women had to be discussed.

Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, who is responsible for sexual abuse problems in the German bishops' conference, said it had become clear that the Church could no longer consider abuse an internal church problem and that dioceses must therefore open their archives for independent experts. "This means the bishop must give up his control and hand over all further investigations to independent experts", he told the German weekly "Der Spiegel".

Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen told domradio.de that the crisis of confidence in the Church had now reached "the most extreme dimension" and a "point of no return" which meant that everything was completely different to what went before. "The Church must now discuss a new approach to those questions which stem from the abuse crisis, namely, the handling of sexuality, gender equality, celibacy and the role of women in the Church. We can and must face this challenge," he emphasised.

Confianza en la Iglesia Católica sufre su mayor caída, pero la fe de los fieles se mantiene alta

[Confidence in Chile's Catholic Church suffers its greatest fall, but faith of the faithful remains strong]

CHILE
Emol

November 26, 2018

El 80% de los católicos cree en Dios sin dudas, pero solo 15% confía "mucho o bastante" en la institución.

La Encuesta Bicentenario 2018 reveló que la confianza en la Iglesia Católica en Chile ha tenido un descenso significativo. Según el estudio del Centro de Políticas Públicas UC y GfK Adimark, la confianza de los encuestados en la Iglesia cayó de 18% a 9%, desde 2017 y entre los católicos bajó de 27% a 15%. "Es el peor registro de confianza que tiene la Iglesia en nuestra serie, que tiene más de 12 años", afirma Eduardo Valenzuela, decano de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales UC.

Schoenstatt estudia que exobispo Cox regrese a Chile a asilo de ancianos

[Schoenstatt ponders having ex-bishop Cox return to Chile]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 26, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez and Leyla Zapata

“La idea es ponerlo a disposición de la justicia”, dijo el sacerdote Patricio Moore, vocero del movimiento religioso que acoge al otrora prelado, quien a mediados de octubre pasado fue expulsado del estado clerical por el Papa.

“Va a tener que obedecer lo que nosotros decidamos, es la única oportunidad que tiene. Por supuesto que nos vamos a preocupar de él, pero queremos hacerlo acá en Chile”, subrayó hoy el sacerdote Patricio Moore, vocero en el país del movimiento Padres de Schoenstatt. Y agregó: “La idea es que vuelva y se ponga a disposición de la justicia”.

Authorities raid Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston 'secret archives'

HOUSTON (TX)
KHOU TV

November 28, 2018

By Jeremy Rogalski

Armed with a search warrant, a team of law enforcement agencies raided the offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Wednesday, searching for records related to the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Catholic church.

The unprecedented action in Texas was taken by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, along with the Texas Rangers and Conroe Police Department.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said investigators were looking for documents in connection to the criminal case of Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, the priest charged in September on four counts of indecency with a child. A man and a woman claimed they were abused as teenagers between 1998 and 2001 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe.

We Need a Plan to Deal With Narcissist Clergy

National Catholic Register

November 27, 2018

By Patti Armstrong

Could it be that the Church does not yet have a plan to deal with the sex abuse scandal and the crises of confidence because self-preserving, narcissist personalities stand in the way? Humble servant leaders dedicated to shepherding are not adept at handling that.

Priests and bishops creating personal fiefdoms put themselves above others; even God. Their goal is self-enhancement and they establish a network of like-minded friends in high places. Hard-working, and hard-praying clergy are not working to form powerful networks. Their own honesty also leads them to take others at their word which is a disadvantage when dealing with the duplicitous. For instance, most never imagined the hypocrisy of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s speech (at the 1:20 mark) at the Dallas Charter in 2002 when he expressed a desire to clean up the Church all while sullying it with behind-the-scenes decadence.

The narcissists have brought suffering to the entire Church. In the U.S., there is divisiveness, confusion and money getting withheld. There are plans for more state attorney general investigations and threats of RICO, and many Catholics who remained loyal through previous scandals are now leaving.

A potentially globally disastrous consequence also looms due to the last-minute intervention at the opening of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) fall meeting. The bishops intended to vote on two measures responding to the sex abuse crisis, but the Vatican instructed them to stand down and await a meeting of global episcopal conference leadership with Pope Francis in February.

That move may have undermined a previous defense used by the Vatican to avoid responsibility for damages when victims of clergy abuse sue. The 2010 suit O’Bryan vs. the Holy See attempted to depose Pope Benedict XVI in the U.S. district court in Kentucky. A Vatican lawyer argued successfully that the Vatican is not responsible for the U.S. bishops’ policy on protecting children, and nor is it responsible for day-to-day operational policy.

So now, what will be the Vatican’s defense on a new class action suit filed Nov. 13 against the Holy See and USCCB? Six men claim they were sexually abused by clergy as children and are asking financial damages as well as public contrition and reparation from the Church. The suit claims that the Vatican and the bishops covered up for the “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others.

Judge heckled before excusing former Adelaide archbishop Philip Wilson from fronting court

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
ABC Newcastle

November 27, 2018

By Giselle Wakatama

A Newcastle judge has been heckled and abuse survivors left outraged after the former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson was excused from attending an appeals court judgement in relation to him allegedly covering up child abuse.

Wilson, 68, has appealed his conviction for concealing child sex abuse that occurred in the Hunter region of New South Wales in the 1970s.

He is currently serving a minimum sentence of six months home detention.

The local court found that in 1976 the victim, Peter Creigh, confided in Wilson that he had been sexually abused, yet Wilson failed to report it to police when Jim Fletcher was charged with other child sex offences in 2004.

Priest from the Diocese of Steubenville to be Jailed for 12 Years, SNAP Responds

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 27, 2018

A priest from the Diocese of Steubenville pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery for grooming and impregnating a teenaged parishioner. Father Henry Christopher Foxhaven was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his crimes and will be required to register as a sex offender.

We are grateful for this sentence and for the fact that the prosecutor and the judge recognized the severity of the violation. We hope this encourages others who may have experienced, witnessed, or suspected abuse by Father Foxhaven, or others, to come forward and report to law enforcement.

However, we are troubled by the fact that the media coverage of this case constantly referred to Father Foxhaven's crimes as a "sexual relationship." The victim in this case was 14 years old when the grooming began and certainly cannot consent to a "sexual relationship" with an authority figure almost three decades her senior. Using the term "relationship" not only downplays the seriousness of the crime but also, as we saw from the reports on the sentencing hearing, will cause this young girl to blame herself for what happened. The onus should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Father Foxhaven and the Church officials who should have acted decisively to protect this child last year.

I Was Sexually Assaulted But I Don’t See Every Other Man As A Sexual Predator

INDIA
Ed Times Youth blog

November 28, 2018

By A Guest Writer

Disclaimer: The identity of the author has been kept anonymous, as per her request owing to her personal reasons and insecurities.

I had never thought, not even in any of my dreams, that I’ll be penning this down and would get it published. It is the dark side of my life that I never wanted the world to know, that side of me that was always a well-kept secret.

Yes, like every other person, I had my past too, a dark one that I never dared to discuss with anyone. But today, I would dare to.

My Story

I was like any other bubbly child, with a normal childhood. I used to be very energetic and people used to call me “the happy soul” until that day when everything changed.

I clearly remember that day, the year was 2008. I was as always playing in a temple near my house with my friends. It was near my home and we all used to go and have a nice time there. The priest knew us and used to welcome us with open arms.

That day, not many of us were there. It was early in the evening that all of us decided to go back when the priest called me. Rest of my friends went while I stayed. He said he wanted my help. I was too innocent to understand what may happen and I stayed back. He then asked me to sit on his laps and recite “twinkle twinkle little stars”. As I was reciting, he suddenly held my face and started kissing me.

Wisconsin Priest: Leaders Of Catholic Church Need More Honest Approach To Sexual Abuse Cases

EAU CLAIRE (WI)
Wisconsin Public Radio

November 26, 2018

By John Davis

For the last two decades the Roman Catholic Church has been the center of several high-profile scandals involving the sexual abuse of children by priests.

In the wake of countless accusations, priests and those involved in the church are questioning how to move forward.

For one Eau Claire pastor, Rev. Thomas Krieg of St. James the Greater Catholic Church, the key is for the Catholic church hierarchy to be honest about the history of sex abuse.

He also said the underlying problem in the Catholic church has been the need of its leaders to protect the reputation of the church.

"That’s really what we’re working on now is greater transparency. We’re here to serve. A crime is a crime. Forget about protecting reputations, let’s protect children. Let’s hold everyone who has a part to play in the destruction of lives accountable," Krieg said.

Charlene Burns, a professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, agrees.

Priest Accused of Abuse in New Orleans Housed at Fordham

NEW YORK (NY)
The Fordham Ram)

November 28, 2018

By Erica Scalise

The late Rev. Cornelius Carr, S.J., who spent the end of his life living in Murray-Weigel Hall, the Jesuit nursing home on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus, was accused this year of being involved in a sexual abuse incident at Jesuit High School in New Orleans in the late 1970’s.

According to Bob Howe, assistant vice president for communications, the university was not aware of the allegations against Carr until The Ram raised them.

“That was a lapse on our part, and one that will not be repeated,” said Howe. “It is the university’s duty to ensure the safety of its students, faculty and staff, and while we don’t believe any members of the Fordham community have been placed at risk by Father Carr’s presence, it is inappropriate to house him in proximity to a college campus and high school.”

According to the New Orleans Advocate, before spending the end of his life at Fordham, Carr served as Provincial of Jesuits’ New York Province in 1966, principal of McQuaid High School in Rochester, New York from 1960-64, a teacher at Jesuit High School (1976-1980), principal of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey and a member of the Archdiocese of Florida, 1981-2005.

Catholic cardinal blames sexual abuse scandal on gay ‘moral depravity’

PERTH (AUSTRALIA)
Out in Perth

November 28, 2018

By Leigh Andrew Hill

A cardinal of the Catholic Church has spoken out against the LGBTI+ community in a recent interview, blaming the church’s sexual abuse scandal on the “moral depravity” of gay people.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller spoke with right-wing publication LifeSite to address accusations of sexual abuse of boys within the organisation. Müller also addresses the resignation of cardinal Theodore McCarrick in July, after he was accused of abusing young men.

In the interview, Müller says that the “homosexual conduct of clergymen can in no case be tolerated.”

“That McCarrick, together with his clan and a homosexual network, was able to wreak havoc in a mafia-like manner in the Church is connected with the underestimation of the moral depravity of homosexual acts among adults,” Müller said.

Ohio Priest Who Impregnated Teen Gets 12 Years

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

November 28, 2018

A priest who served several areas of East Ohio now will serve 12 years in jail for sexual battery after he impregnated a 17-year-old girl.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said the Rev. Henry Christopher Foxhoven, 45, of Glouster, pleaded guilty to three sexual battery counts. As part of his sentence, Foxhoven must register as a sex offender.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville suspended Foxhoven in October. The diocese said Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton took that action as soon as he learned Foxhoven had admitted to the offense.

Blackburn said the teen was an altar girl in one of Foxhoven’s parishes in the diocese and Foxhoven engaged in sexual conduct with her between Aug. 17 and Oct. 25.

Blackburn previously said Foxhoven “groomed” the girl.

“He took her at a young age and used religion to the point where she fell in love with him,” he said.

Blackburn has said the Diocese of Steubenville appropriately turned the case over to authorities when Foxhoven came to Monforton to tell him about the pregnancy. However, the diocese did not report an incident that led to a weeklong suspension in November 2017. He reportedly had been inappropriately touching the same girl during a wedding reception.

Quest for facts in clergy abuse allegation leaves indelible question marks

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

November 27, 2018

By Kim Chatelain

Last week, I reached into the depths of a guest bedroom closet and retrieved a fancy white album containing photos of our wedding in 1984.

Naturally, I was somewhat amazed by how young both my wife and I looked in the photos. But what really struck me was the marriage license that was affixed to the back page of the album, which included the signature of the priest who married us - Father Louis LeBourgeois.

A few weeks earlier, I had interviewed a woman in California who reached out to me after reading stories I’d written about clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. She wanted to share her story in hopes it would help other survivors.

She claimed that it was LeBourgeois who had abused her in 1968, when she was just shy of five years old and living in River Ridge. After listening to LindaLee Stonebreaker’s story over the course of several telephone interviews, one thing became crystal clear in the mind of this lifelong Catholic - this was going to be one of the most difficult stories I would handle in my 40 years in journalism.

Although she had never gone public with her story, Stonebreaker said the recent spate of clergy abuse news accounts prompted her to speak out. I spent weeks trying to verify the story, with at least part of me hoping that my research would prove that the claim was at least partially false.

Congolese priest suspended for sex abuse in France

NANTES (FRANCE)
La Croix International

November 28, 2018

By Céline Hoyeau

An investigation into the “sexual abuse of minor of 15” has begun. The accused is a Congolese priest who has spent the past two years in parish run by the Emmanuel Community in the city of Nantes in Western France.

Rome event challenges key Indian prelate’s record on sex abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 28, 2018

By Claire Giangrave and Elise Harris

One of the organizers appointed by Pope Francis to plan a February 21-24 summit at the Vatican on sexual abuse of vulnerable people has been accused of covering up abuse in his own archdiocese in India by one of his former collaborators.

“My bishop is among the organizers, which left me perplexed,” said Indian-born Virginia Saldanha, a former director of the women’s commission of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, “What is he going to do? Come up with more cover-up ideas?”

Saldanha was referring to Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, who also serves on Francis’s “C-9” council of cardinal advisors. Gracias was appointed to organize the long-awaited gathering of the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world and experts from various fields for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

With 20 years of experience within the Indian Church, Saldanha had a front-row seat to the rapid changes that led to the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandha for sexually abusing a religious sister 13 times.

After criticism of priest sex abuse investigation, AG Hawley tweets ‘this is false’

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Knasas City Star

November 27, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

Angered by a column in a Missouri newspaper that said he wasn’t doing enough to investigate clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Attorney General Josh Hawley on Tuesday took to social media.

“We are seeking court orders to acquire information needed from the dioceses to ensure a full, thorough, and independent investigation,” Hawley said in a tweet just before noon.

And two hours later: “We are prepared to use every tool at our disposal to ensure a thorough and independent investigation to find the facts and the truth.”

The tweets were in response to an op-ed piece published Monday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It was written by Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles, who has represented hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims, and David Clohessy, former director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“One of us is an advocate who has, over the past 30 years, spoken with more clergy sex abuse victims than perhaps anyone anywhere,” they wrote. “The other is an attorney who has, over the past 25 years, represented more than 300 people assaulted by Catholic priests, nuns, brothers and seminarians and has talked to roughly 300 more.

“But we’ve essentially gotten silence from the attorney general’s office.”

They said St. Louis attorney Ken Chackes, who has represented more than 100 priest sex abuse victims, also had not heard from Hawley.

Second accuser testifies that defrocked priest abused him for years in Maine

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

November 27, 2018

By Megan Gray

Keith Townsend described his memory of the bottle in Ronald Paquin’s hand: Tanqueray gin.

He described how Paquin made him a drink and then got upset when the liquor made him throw up on the carpet in the trailer at a Kennebunkport campground.

And he described the way Paquin touched him that night and the pain he felt the next morning that later led him to believe he had been sexually assaulted.

Townsend shared those details and others with a jury Tuesday when he testified against the former Boston priest, who is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing him and another boy on trips to Maine in the 1980s. Townsend was 13 years old on that night he recounted from the witness stand.

“I can still taste that drink today,” said Townsend, now 44.

Paquin, 76, was one of the priests exposed in the early 2000s by a sweeping Boston Globe investigation into clergy sex abuse. He is now facing criminal charges in York County, and his trial this week likely is the first in Maine for a priest embroiled in the Catholic Church’s ongoing sexual abuse scandal.

Hawley defends investigation of alleged clergy abuse

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Post Tribune

November 28, 2018

By Joe Gamm

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley took to a social media platform Tuesday to defend his investigation of potential clergy abuse in the Catholic Church.

Hawley went on Twitter to refute a column that ran in the St. Louis Post, in which Rebecca Randles, a Kansas City attorney, and David Clohessy, the former director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized the investigation for a lack of thoroughness.

Within the column, the authors said despite both of them having extensively worked with actual victims of sexual abuse, neither has been contacted by the investigation.

The column states even some Republicans have accused Hawley, who on Nov. 6 defeated U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in her re-election campaign, of ladder-climbing.

"This is false," Hawley tweeted. "We have spoken with the current president and executive director of SNAP multiple times, as well as former leadership of SNAP."

He added his office had spoken with "dozens and dozens of victims and witnesses."

"I'm glad to hear it," Clohessy said when told about the tweet. "I hope more will come forward. But, I understand and share the skepticism of many. And hope that in addition to contacting Hawley, victims also call local law enforcement.

Stories we may not want to hear

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 26, 2018

By Jeannine Gramick

This is not a feel-good article, so you might want to stop reading right now. With the report from the Pennsylvania grand jury about the sexual abuse of children by priests and the scandal of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sexual advances toward seminarians and youth, you may feel saturated by horrific stories and want to shut out any further disgusting accounts that should never have occurred. I know I feel that way. If you want to read no further, I sympathize with you. I, too, am exhausted by all the talk about sexual abuse. I feel weary of seeing article after article in almost every newspaper I pick up. I want to scream, "Enough already!"

But maybe not enough yet, because sexual exploitation has been perpetrated not only on boys and men, but also on women and nuns. In 1994, the late Sr. Maura O'Donohue submitted the results of a 23-nation survey about African nuns who were impregnated by priests who, in their fear of contracting AIDS, preyed upon nuns for safe sexual encounters. Unfortunately, O'Donohue's reports, which were made public by the National Catholic Reporter in 2001, were never acted upon by the Vatican.

This year, a former superior general of the Missionaries of Jesus in India charged Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India, with sexually molesting her for several years. She took this action only after receiving no response from the Indian bishops and the apostolic nuncio in India.

Law firm files suit against abusive Scranton priest

SCRANTON (PA)
Citizens Voice

November 27, 2018

By Terrie Morgan-Besecker

A Philadelphia law firm announced today the filing of a lawsuit against the Diocese of Scranton and a predator priest the complaint accuses of sexually abusing an altar boy more than a decade ago.

Attorney Gerald J. Williams filed the suit in Lackawanna County Court, alleging church officials failed to protect his client from former priest William Jeffrey Paulish.

The suit identifies the victim by the fictitious name Richard Roe. He is 29 years old and a resident of Lackawanna County.

The complaint alleges Paulish repeatedly sexually abused Roe between October 2006 and May 2007 at St. Mary’s Parish in Old Forge, where the priest was assistant pastor at the time.

Paulish pleaded guilty in February 2014 to one count of corruption of a minor for engaging in oral sex with a 15-year-old boy inside a car parked at the Penn State Scranton campus in Dunmore. He was sentenced in June 2014 to eight to 23 months in prison.

Church sex scandal: Cardinal Cupich promises change

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS-AM Radio

November 27, 2018

Cardinal Cupich is vowing REAL change in the Catholic church’s pursuit of pedophile priests.

Pope Francis has given Cupich a leadership role for a Vatican meeting on reforms in February. At a City Club breakfast, the cardinal was promising change after so many years of scandals, but he did acknowledge the questions so many people have.

“Why should we trust them to do the right thing? Sorrow, disgust and outrage. These are all righteous feelings. They are the stirrings of the conscience of a people scandalized by the terrible reality that too many of the men who promised to protect their children and strengthen their faith have been responsible for wounding both.”

Cupich said the church needs to make it easier for victims to come forward and to end a culture of privilege and self protection.

November 27, 2018

'It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It just hasn’t been discovered': Reporters spend years chasing down Catholic sex scandals

ST. PETERSBURG (FL)
Poynter

November 27, 2018

By Tiffany Stevens

When the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, released the names of 71 clergy members accused of sexual abuse, York Daily Record investigative reporter Brandie Kessler immediately thought of Todd Frey.

Kessler has stayed in touch with Frey since 2016, when he told her that a priest named Guy Marsico had abused him as a young teenager at a church in York. Marsico’s name on the list gave Kessler the chance to ask Frey something she had asked several times before — whether he would be willing to put his story on the record. This time, he said yes.

At times, Kessler was unsure whether Frey would ever be ready to go on the record. Staying in touch, showing compassion and reassuring Frey that he had final say in whether a story was written at all, however, allowed Kessler to show readers the trauma local residents suffered because of sexual abuse committed by clergy members.

Three-year jail term for sexual predator, 70, confirmed

MALTA
Times of Malta

November 27, 2018

By Edwina Brincat

The man admitted his actions but said a prison term was excessive

An appeals court has confirmed an effective three-year prison term for a 70-year old man who had admitted sexually abusing a number of underage boys.

Valletta resident John Zammit will also have his name recorded in the Sexual Offenders’ Register following the decision by the Criminal Court of Appeal.

The accused was investigated by the police following an anonymous tip-off. He subsequently admitted to having had oral sex with four boys, aged between 13 and 17, in exchange for money or food.

The man, a part-time worker at a pastizzi shop, also admitted the charges in court and was handed a three-year effective jail term. He appealed, arguing that the punishment was excessive.

While acknowledging that what he had done was “very serious,” the accused said that by sending him to prison, the court would allow him no chance to fix the harm done.

The Court of Criminal Appeal, presided over by Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera, focusing upon the accused's own statement, observed that the man, a father of four and separated for the past 37 years, had allegedly been sexually abused by a priest when aged 16.

After years of inner turmoil, the man had finally come to terms with his bisexual tendencies, trying to lead as normal a life as possible.

Survivor’s story: daughter of a Saint says she was abused by priest

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

November 27, 2018

By Kim Chatelain

Linda Lee Stonebreaker says she was four-and-a-half years old when a Catholic priest picked her up at a preschool in River Ridge and sexually assaulted her in his car.

The year was 1968, long before clergy abuse in the world’s largest Christian church entered the public’s consciousness, and before Stonebreaker was old enough to fully understand the gravity of what she says happened.

Confused and intimidated by the priest, Stonebreaker says for years she told no one. She feared she wouldn’t be believed, would go to hell for revealing the abuse or would bring about an attack on the priest by her father, Steve Stonebreaker, then a 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker for the New Orleans Saints with a well-documented penchant for fisticuffs.

Mehr Missbrauchs-Opfer in Rhede

[More abuse victims in Rhede]

GERMANY
WDR

November 26, 2018

- Kaplan verging sich an Messdienern
- Weitere Missbrauchsfälle in Pfarrei
- Informationsveranstaltung des Bistums

In Rhede wurden Anfang der Siebziger Jahre mehr Kinder als bislang bekannt von einem katholischen Priester missbraucht. Nachdem vor gut einer Woche in der betroffenen Pfarrei "Zur Heiligen Familie" ein erster Fall von Kindesmissbrauch durch den damaligen Kaplan bekannt gemacht worden war, meldete sich beim WDR in Münster ein weiterer Betroffener.

Weigel sustains intellectual whiplash under Francis' pontificate

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 27, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

In his most recent column at First Things, titled "Vatican Autocracy and the U.S. Bishops," George Weigel, who once posed as the "authoritative biographer" of Pope Paul II, writes:

I recently spent almost five weeks in Rome, during which I found an anti-American atmosphere worse than anything I'd experienced in 30 years of work in and around the Vatican. A false picture of the Church's life in the United States, in which wealthy Catholics in league with extreme right-wing bishops have hijacked the Church and are leading an embittered resistance to the present pontificate, has been successfully sold. And in another offense against collegiality, this grossly distorted depiction of American Catholicism has not been effectively challenged or corrected by American bishops enjoying Roman favor these days.

This paragraph provokes several plausible responses, the most obvious of which is to say that this picture was not "sold" so much as it was "discovered," one might even say "discerned." Weigel once defined natural law as the result of "disciplined reflection on the dynamics of human action," and something similar could be used to describe how Vatican officials came to the conclusion that "wealthy Catholics in league with extreme right-wing bishops have hijacked the Church" in the United States.

An even simpler response is found in a recent news story: "Catholic Business Leaders Hold Back Donation to Vatican Amid Church Crisis," as The Wall Street Journal headline had it. Legatus, an organization for Catholic CEOs, has decided to withhold the organization's tithe to the Holy See. Talk about throwing your money around or, in this case, not throwing your money around. I want to ask these titans of industry how their action is not merely an updated version of simony?

But the best response would be for Weigel to simply consult past issues of the National Catholic Reporter.

Hiding behind God

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 27, 2018

Story by Sean D. Hamill, Visuals by Andrew Rush

The memories, anger and betrayal of being sexually abused by Catholic priest Anthony Cipolla in Pittsburgh have been inescapable for three men he targeted as boys

Tim Bendig was repeatedly abused by Catholic priest Anthony Cipolla from 1982 to 1986. That came after the Catholic Church declined to remove Cipolla from the priesthood for the abuse of two brothers in the 1970s. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently followed Mr. Bendig as he returned to the vacant rectory and church, St. Canice, where his life changed forever 36 years ago.

“That’s the room,” said a shaken Tim Bendig.

He was pointing at the bedroom on the second floor in the former St. Canice Church rectory where he was first sexually abused 36 years ago by a Catholic priest, Anthony Cipolla.

Mr. Bendig had not expected to be here on a sunny day in September, inside the rectory, and later the crumbling church in Knoxville next door. In both are the places where he was abused at least 15 times in the first of four years of abuse he endured, starting when he was 13 years old.

Sister Cathy Cesnik, Part 10 : If only they had listened

BALTIMORE (MD)
Spreaker

November 27, 2018

From: Out of the Shadows

Length: 54:31

Please be advised this episode contains content and language that is graphic in nature, listener discretion is strongly advised.

Where were you at in life at the age of 13? Personally, I remember being in 8th grade using my free time to binge read Harry Potter books. Charles Franz had a much different experience… For more than 5 years Charles fell victim to a predator - someone he knew as Father Joseph Maskell. You have heard from female survivors so far in this series, but Maskell’s reign of terror wasn’t limited to gender or age. Charles is an amazing person, we thank him for sharing his story with us.

Join Gemma Hoskins and Shane Waters as they continue the conversation that Netflix's Docu-Series "The Keepers" shared with the world in 2017. Although Gemma and many people you hear from were featured in the Docu-Series; This production is not affiliated with Netflix.

Ottawa blowing deadlines on First Nations historical claims, says report

CANADA
CBC News

November 26, 2018

By Jorge Barrera

Estimates place Ottawa's liabilities related to historical claims to be in the billions of dollars

Ottawa is consistently missing its legislated deadline for responding to historical claims filed by First Nations, according to a recently released report.

The report, compiled by the B.C. Specific Claims Working Group, says Ottawa had blown its three-year deadline on 65 per cent of all historical claims — known as specific claims — filed between Jan. 1, 2014 and Nov. 10, 2015.

Specific claims are monetary damage claims made by a First Nation against the Crown and generally deal with lost lands and mishandled funds.

Under the Specific Claims Tribunal Act, Ottawa is required to respond within three years after a First Nation files a specific claim as to whether it would negotiate a settlement.

"We are seeing a lot of rhetoric, a lot of promises, and they are very hollow," said Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson, whose community is in B.C.

"They don't seem to be filtering down to the grassroots level for the systemic changes we need."

Reconciliation requires more

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

November 24, 2018

The Editorial Board

Since the early 2000s, waves of revelations about clergy sex abuse and the systemic cover-ups that hid that abuse for generations have rocked the Catholic Church.

And despite paying billions of dollars in settlements, despite creating institutional reforms, despite apologies and promises that such abuses were no longer tolerated, victims continue to come forward.

And the church continues to demonstrate that its first priority is to protect itself and its predatory priests, rather than to protect its most vulnerable parishioners.

In the case of 51-year-old Riley Kinn, the church is doing nothing less than stonewalling a man who is taking church leaders at their word that abuse allegations would be taken seriously.

Analysis: On sexual abuse, what will U.S. bishops, and the pope, do next?

WASHINGTON (DC)
CNA

November 26, 2018

By JD Flynn

Bishop Frank Rodimer and Fr. Peter Osinski were friends.

Osinski was a priest in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey. Rodimer was Bishop of Paterson, a nearby diocese, from 1978 until 2004.

For years the men rented a beach house together each summer on New Jersey’s Long Beach Island, south of Seaside and north of Atlantic City. There, for seven years in the 1980s, Osinski molested a young boy. The first year it happened, the boy was seven.

The priest was arrested in 1997. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.

In 1999, the victim settled a lawsuit against the bishop, the priest, and the priest’s diocese. Rodimer was not alleged to have have committed sexual abuse, but the suit charged that the bishop had been negligent in failing to recognize what was going on.

Priests' body criticises funeral 'snub' to abuse accused clergy

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

November 26, 2018

By Nick Bramhill

Priests who die while facing accusations of sexual abuse are being denied traditional Catholic funerals, even if they weren't convicted.

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has voiced concern over the funeral arrangements of stepped-down members of clergy, with one member claiming that even deceased murderers and gangland criminals are laid to rest with more dignity.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) has published a list of broad guidelines to Church authorities on how to discreetly conduct the funerals of clerics who were facing abuse allegations when they died.

But some dioceses in Ireland have adopted even more stringent policies for funerals of priests facing accusations.

Catholic priest to appear in court on sexual battery charges

ATHENS COUNTY (WV)
WCHS/WVAH

November 26, 2018

A Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor female will appear Tuesday in Athens County Court of Common Pleas.

Henry Christopher Foxhoven, 45, of Glouster, Ohio, a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Steubenville, will appear in court on charges of three counts of sexual battery, according to a news release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said Foxhoven is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor female between Aug. 17 and Oct. 25. The minor is a member of Holy Cross in Glouster, Ohio, one of Foxhoven’s two parishes.

Trial begins in Maine for ex-priest facing sex abuse charges

ALFRED (ME)
The Associated Press

November 26, 2018

A 74-year-old former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to raping an altar boy in Massachusetts went on trial Monday for allegedly assaulting two boys in Maine in the 1980s.

Ronald Paquin, who was defrocked in 2004, is charged with assaulting the boys between 1985 and 1988 in Kennebunkport, Maine, when the victims were 14 or younger. Court documents indicate one of them was “substantially impaired” by drugs during the assault.

Paquin, who pleaded not guilty, used a cane when he entered the courtroom on Monday, and sat between his attorneys as one of the victims testified in York County Superior Court.

The man told jurors Paquin took him out for meals, let him drive his car without a license and took him on trips, the Portland Press Herald reported .

The abuse allegedly began when the man was as young as 12 or 13 years old and continued through his teenage years. The sexual assaults took place at several locations, including a motel and a campground in Kennebunkport, the man said.

Jurors who were selected last week were asked a series of questions including whether they watched the movie “Spotlight” about the Boston Globe’s reporting on the clergy abuse scandal.

Paquin, who was featured in the movie, was a central figure in the scandal that enveloped the Boston archdiocese. He spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for sexually assaulting an altar boy.

Former Catholic priest convicted of raping altar boy on trial in York County

ALFRED (ME)
WGME

November 26, 2018

A former Catholic priest, who has already served a lengthy prison sentence for raping an altar boy, is now on trial in York County.

He is accused of molesting two boys in the 1980s.

The trial started with prosecutors laying out their case against Ronald Paquin, and the two alleged victims who will testify against him.

"I remember, the first time he touched me I was sitting on his lap driving his brand-new Toyota Cressida, at eight years old," alleged victim Keith Townsend said.

Speaking to CBS 13 last year, Keith Townsend claims he is one of two alleged victims, now coming forward to testify against their former priest and alleged abuser, Ronald Paquin.

The alleged victims say they were abused more than 30 years ago inside Paquin’s RV at a Maine campground.

Peoria Priest Removed From Ministry For 2nd Time: Report

PEORIA (IL)
Patch

November 26, 2018

By Rebecca Bream

Rev. Jeffrey Windy previously served time for manufacturing and selling a date-rape drug.

For the second time since 2002, a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria has been removed from ministry, and the reason why isn't exactly clear. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Rev. Jeffrey Windy's superiors in Peoria learned last winter Windy had visited two people involved in a criminal court case, leading the police to question him and his boss in the Ottawa parishes, the Rev. David Kipfer.

Windy was removed from ministry in March by Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky because, according to diocese official Monsignor James Kruse, Windy didn't ask for his superiors' approval before getting involved in the criminal case, showing he hadn't overcome what Kruse called "a pattern of imprudence," the Chicago Tribune said.

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria and Windy wouldn't provide a comment to the news outlet, but the Tribune said Kruse confirmed Jenky filed a canon law case in Rome for more action on Windy's status.

Former Port Charlotte pastor accused of sexual abuse in 1970s

ST. PETERSBURG (FL)
NBC 2

November 26, 2018

By Joe Putrelo

A Catholic pastor who worked almost 20 years in Southwest Florida is now accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1970s.

A Catholic pastor who worked almost 20 years in Southwest Florida is now accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1970s.

The suspect at the center of the investigation is Rev. Nicholas McLoughlin.

He served as pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Port Charlotte from 1982-2003 after his assignment as pastor at Corpus Christi Parish in Temple Terrace.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg, the organization leading the investigation, released this statement:

“An allegation of inappropriate physical contact with a minor has been made against Rev. Nicholas McLoughlin, a priest of the Diocese of Venice, who served as pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, Temple Terrace from 1973 to 1982. He previously served as associate pastor of St. John Vianney, St. Pete Beach and pastor of Bishop Barry and Notre Dame High Schools in St. Petersburg from June 1972 to August 1973.

The alleged incident took place during the 1970s while Father McLoughlin was assigned to Corpus Christi. The Diocese has notified the State Attorney’s office of the allegation. Also, parishioners of Corpus Christi Parish and St. John Vianney Parish received announcements of the allegation the weekend of November 3- 4, 2018.

DiNardo: Clergy abuse will be handled with transparency

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

November 26, 2018

By Cardinal Daniel DiNardo

In Matthew 16:24, the Lord instructs his disciples, and all of us, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross …” As followers of Christ, and as a Church greatly challenged by the clergy abuse scandal, I recognize as a Church leader that we have no more important cross to take up and bear today than restoring the trust of the faithful. That means confronting the evil of abuse wherever it is found and working with law enforcement and other agencies to see that justice is served.

The vast majority of our priests serve with selflessness and fidelity, but the vile and horrid acts of a small minority has shaped the perception of the media and many in the public about all priests - and now, our bishops. While this is understandable, it is regrettable and it is only through actions based on faith and just principles that this evil that afflicts the Church will be eradicated.

Pedophile ex-priest a two-time loser at Nunavut appeal court

NUNAVUT (CANADA)
Nunatsiaq News

November 26, 2018

By Jim Bell

Eric Dejaeger loses appeal of sentence, appeal of sex crime convictions

The notorious serial pedophile, ex-Nunavut priest Erik Dejaeger, is now a two-time loser at the Nunavut Court of Appeal.

That’s because of two written judgments that the appeal court released on Monday, Nov. 26: one says no to 70-year-old Dejaeger’s appeal of a 19-year prison sentence, while the other says no to his appeal on 24 convictions for sex crimes against Inuit children, most of them in Igloolik.

After a hearing in Iqaluit this past Sept. 25, a panel of three appeal court judges orally dismissed Dejaeger’s appeal on 24 convictions that Justice Robert Kilpatrick entered against him on Aug. 12, 2014, following a long trial that began in November 2013.

Dejaeger had also appealed Kilpatrick’s findings of fact in eight additional charges to which Dejaeger had pleaded guilty.

The Nunavut appeal court released its written reasons for that decision on the verdict appeal today.

Pennsylvania AG: Senate Judiciary Committee should investigate clergy abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hill

November 24, 2018

By Tal Axelrod

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro lobbied Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), projected by many to be the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to investigate abuse by members of the Catholic Church.

“I hope Chairman @LindseyGrahamSC focuses @senjudiciary on clergy abuse. It is a national issue and deserves attention. I’ll assist in any way the Chairman deems appropriate,” he tweeted Saturday.

“The abuse we unearthed in PA was not confined to our state borders.”

Shapiro spearheaded an investigation into abuse at Catholic diocese in the Keystone State. A grand jury released a report in August found more than 1,000 instances of sexual abuse allegedly committed by hundreds of Catholic priests in the state.

The grand jury identified over 300 members of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania who allegedly committed acts of sexual abuse that were covered up by church officials. The church also persuaded local law enforcement agencies to drop several investigations.

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

Letter to the editor: Article spotlighted continued problem with church

FREMONT (OH)
Fremont News Messenger

November 21, 2018

Thanks to The News-Messenger for an outstanding story about how Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas and his top staff continue to shun victims and deceive parishioners. ("Area man says bishop won't hear his abuse allegations," November 17)

There's no clearer sign that Catholic bishops haven't changed than this: An alleged victim of a known predator priest fights unsuccessfully for two years just to sit in a room with a single Catholic official.

My heart aches for Riley Kinn and other Toledo area victims and Catholics who continue to be betrayed. And my blood boils at Thomas, Victim Assistance Coordinator Frank DiLallo and other church officials who refuse to act with compassion and honesty.

David G. Clohessy
St. Louis

‘Rot in hell’: Victims cheer as priest handcuffed in court

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

November 24, 2018

By Candace Sutton

Victims of ‘deviant’ paedophile priest Victor Higgs cheered and told the 81-year-old to ‘rot in hell’ as he was sentenced to jail.

Victims of a former Jesuit teacher with a “deviant interest” in 12-year-old boys cheered in court as the 81-year-old was handcuffed and led off to spend at least seven-and-a-half-years in prison.

“I hope he rots in hell — in actual fact hell is too good for him. He is evil,” one of Victor Thomas Higgs’ former schoolboy victims said in a statement.

Higgs — who has been convicted for molesting boys at Sydney’s exclusive St Ignatius College Riverview and its brother school in Adelaide — is regarded as one of the Australian Catholic Church’s worst sexual predators.

Bishop Malone confronted in Detroit airport

DETROIT (MI)
WKBW

November 19, 2018

By Hannah Buehler

On his way back from the Bishop's Conference in Baltimore, Buffalo Catholic Bishop Richard Malone was confronted by Michael Voris of the Church Militant.

Voris, seen in this video asked Malone multiple times about his decision to keep Father Dennis Riter in ministry, despite several claims of sexual abuse of a minor, as uncovered by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team.

In the video, Malone says "it's a lie" when asked about the Riter situation.

Malone appears to not want to answer any questions, and tells his spokeswoman to call the police.

The Church Militant is a controversial, ultra conservative Catholic group.

Cardinal DiNardo calls CBS News series on church sex abuse 'inaccurate'

HOUSTON (TX)
Catholic News Service

November 26, 2018

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston called a series of news stories by CBS News on the church sex abuse scandal "inaccurate," saying they "demand a response."

"In these stories, CBS alleges that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has allowed priests who have been 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse against a minor to continue their ministry as priests," said the cardinal, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"The archdiocese responded to over 30 questions submitted to it by CBS News this past weekend, only to see almost all of our responses completely ignored by the CBS team," he added in a statement released late Nov. 21.

In a story that aired Nov. 20, CBS News reported on allegations made against Fr. Terence Brinkman and Fr. John Keller, who are in active ministry in Houston.

In his statement, DiNardo confirmed the two priests each had had an accusation of abuse lodged against them, which they both denied, he said. The respective incidents occurred decades ago, the cardinal said, and a lay board reviewed them and concluded the priests should stay in ministry.

"It is true that two priests remain in ministry who have each been accused of sexually abusing a minor," DiNardo said. "One accusation was made approximately 20 years after the alleged abuse. The other was made over 30 years after the alleged abuse. Both priests denied they had committed sexual abuse.

"Each accusation was reviewed by the archdiocesan lay review board who recommended that both priests be allowed to minister," he continued. "These are the only accusations made against either priest, who have each served more than 40 years in the archdiocese."

November 26, 2018

Pope names organizing committee for abuse conference in February

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

November 26, 2018

By Carol Glatz

Pope Francis named U.S. Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago to be part of the organizing committee preparing for a meeting of the world's bishops' conferences and representatives of religious orders to address the abuse and protection of minors.

The Feb. 21-24 Vatican meeting is not only "about keeping children safe from harm worldwide," said Greg Burke, head of the Vatican press office, in a written statement Nov. 23.

"Pope Francis wants church leaders to have a full understanding of the devastating impact that clerical sexual abuse has on victims," he said, soon after the Vatican announced the members of the preparatory committee.

Together with Cupich, the committee will include Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta; and Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, president of the Centre for the Protection of Minors at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, headed by Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, and some survivors of abuse by members of the clergy also will be involved in the preparatory work for the meeting, the Vatican said.

"This a critical moment for the universal church in addressing the sexual abuse crisis," O'Malley said, and the February meeting "will be an important moment for developing a clear path forward for dioceses around the world."

Diocese of Oakland won’t release clergy sex abuse report until 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

November 26, 2018

By Gwendolyn Wu

The Catholic Diocese of Oakland postponed its reveal of clergy members credibly accused of sex abuse until next year, the church announced this week in a newsletter.

Bishop Michael Barber had previously said the Oakland Diocese has “nothing to hide” and called the publication of names “the right thing to do.” In an Oct. 8 announcement, Barber said the diocese would publish the list within 45 days, which would have made it due for publication on Thanksgiving.

But the diocese’s weekly newsletter announced that the names will not be released until after Jan. 1.

Tracy Kornet: I am a person of faith who has taken action against sexual abuse. You can too. | Opinion

NASHVILLE (TN)
The Tennessean

November 26, 2018

By Tracy Kornet

Congregants have left their churches over horrific accusations of molestation and abuse. We can change the culture and make things better.

Like many of you, I have a tender heart.

I was 11 when someone stole my little brother’s brand-new bike. He walked into our kitchen with tear-filled eyes, and I bolted like the Wicked Witch of the West on my 10-speed, flying through the neighborhood to retrieve Nate’s bike from the bad guys.

In my first TV news job, I would cry when I reported any story about child abuse.

I have always had a deep belief in God and in the value of organized religion. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt how each of us is deeply loved as a child of God.

I was raised a “Charismatic Christian” and spent a whole lot of time in church, summers at Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL Club, and almost every weekend with my best friend’s family, who is Jewish. I still call them my surrogate parents.

Catholic religious sisters express 'deep sorrow' over abuse

LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Tablet

November 26, 2018

By Ruth Gledhill

UISG will help anyone who wishes to move forward on a complaint to take it to the appropriate organisations.

The organisation that represents religious sisters around the world has expressed "deep sorrow and indignation" over abuse perpetrated against men and women.

In a statement that coincided with the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the organisation representing more than 500,000 religious sisters condemned "the pattern of abuse that is prevalent within the church and society today".

The Union of International Superiors General (UISG), whose memberships consists of 2000 superior generals of congregations of women religious, said: "Abuse in all forms: sexual, verbal, emotional, or any inappropriate use of power within a relationship, diminishes the dignity and healthy development of the person who is victimised.

"We stand by those courageous women and men who have reported abuse to the authorities. We condemn those who support the culture of silence and secrecy, often under the guise of 'protection' of an institution’s reputation or naming it 'part of one’s culture'.

"We advocate for transparent civil and criminal reporting of abuse whether within religious congregations, at the parish or diocesan levels, or in any public arena. We ask that any woman religious who has suffered abuse, report the abuse to the leader of her congregation, and to church and civic authorities as appropriate."

Archdiocese of San Francisco reports instances of alleged clerical abuse, but has yet to release names

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Examiner

November 24, 2018

By Laura Waxmann

The Archdiocese of San Francisco has revealed that six instances of alleged sex abuse of minors by clergy were reported in the 1990s and three in the year 2000, according to an initial review of personnel files dating back to the 1950s.

The review follows a lawsuit accusing the Vatican of actively covering up sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

The lawsuit was launched by two survivors of clerical abuse last month with the help of the Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates. Also in October, the firm released a report implicating more than 200 Bay Area priests in allegations of sexual misconduct in recent decades, including 135 priests connected to the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Parishioners React To Child Sex Abuse Allegations Against Butler Co. Priest

PROSPECT (PA)
KDKA

November 25, 2018

Father Joseph Feltz, 65, recently served as pastor of Saint Christopher Parish in Prospect, Butler County.

He remains on administrative leave after allegations in a lawsuit claim he sexually abused a minor in the mid-’80s.

“Faithful Catholics have been thrown to the lions for several thousand years now,” parishioner Bill Adams said.

Adams says he knows Father Feltz very well and doesn’t believe the allegations.

“There have been so many allegations that have been so profitable for so many people that it’s really hard to take them seriously,” he said.

Support group reveals more victims as Church stands silent

NEW ZEALAND
Radio NZ

November 26, 2018

By Phil Pennington

More survivors of clerical sex abuse are coming forward after Catholic school Old Boys formed an online support network as the Church continues stonewalling over the extent of sexual predation.

As the new victims emerged, a Catholic religious order used the upcoming Royal Commission as a reason for not providing information to RNZ about known child abusers, even though a report on faith-based abuse is not due until 2023.

St Bernard's Lower Hutt Old Boy Patrick Hill and another abuse victim, Steve Goodlass, set up a Facebook group to offer assistance and in doing so unearthed further victims, Mr Hill told RNZ.

In 2015 Mr Hill instigated the prosecution Marist Brother, Patrick Bignell, which led to his conviction for abusing Mr Hill and two other boys.

"We now have information that in fact there were seven of us abused by Brother Patrick Bignell during the 1980s and 90s," Mr Hill said.

"Victims have come out of the woodwork... He took nude photos of many of his victims. He also used those same photos to groom and lure other boys. So he created a trail of victims and a timeline for us to track."

St Bernard's School and the Church told RNZ Catholic authorities were not aware of any information that suggested other victims of Brother Bignell existed.

There was also no record of attempts being made in the intervening decades to find other victims or confront other predators.

Nuns condemn church-abuse secrecy

ROME
The Associated Press

November 25, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The Catholic Church's global organization of nuns has denounced the "culture of silence and secrecy" surrounding sexual abuse in the church and is urging sisters who have been abused to report the crimes to police and their superiors.

The International Union of Superiors General, which represents more than 500,000 sisters worldwide, vowed to help nuns who have been abused find the courage to report it, and pledged to help victims heal and seek justice.

The statement, issued on the eve of the U.N.-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was the first from the Rome-based International Union of Superiors General since the abuse scandal erupted anew this year and as the sexual abuse of adult nuns by clergymen has also come to light. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the Vatican has known for decades about the problem of priests and bishops preying on nuns, but has done next to nothing to stop it.

In the statement Friday, the International Union of Superiors General didn't specify clergy as the aggressors. While such abuse is well known in parts of Africa, and an Indian case of the alleged rape of a nun by a bishop is currently making headlines, there have also been cases of sexual abuse committed by women against other women within congregations.

Cupich calls February abuse summit start of a ‘worldwide reform’

NEW YORK (NY)
Crux

November 23, 2018

By Christopher White

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, named Friday by Pope Francis to the planning committee for February’s high-stakes Vatican meeting on sex abuse, says the pope is seeking the “full involvement of the global Church in assuring the protection of children around the world from clerical sexual abuse.”

In an interview with Crux on Friday, he said the committee is “committed to achieving specific outcomes from this meeting that reflect the mind of Pope Francis.”

In addition to Cupich, the pope appointed Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican’s leading prosecutor on child abuse; German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and head of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University; and Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, who also serves on Francis’s “C-9” council of cardinal advisors.

In October, Gracias voiced concern in an interview with Crux about the February summit.

Pittsburgh Diocese puts priest on administrative leave following sex abuse allegation

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 24, 2018

By Andrew Goldstein

A Butler County priest has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a boy in the 1980s, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced Saturday.

The Rev. Joseph Feltz, 65, most recently served as pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Prospect. He was named in a lawsuit filed earlier this month with other priests who were accused of being part of the “ring of predatory priests” described by the state grand jury report released in August on sexual abuse in the church.

Father Feltz was not named in the grand jury report and has denied the abuse allegation, according to the diocese.

The lawsuit, filed Nov. 15 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, said that Mark A. Pearce, 48, of Raleigh, N.C., was abused when he was a minor by Father Feltz and the Rev. George Zirwas, two who were part of what the grand jury report called a “ring of predatory priests” active in the 1970s and 1980s, along with the Revs. Robert Wolk, Francis Pucci and Richard Zula.

According to the court filing, Mr. Pearce was abused in the rectory by priests Zula, Pucci and Feltz.

Answer Man: How much are lawyers making on church sexual assault cases?

ROCHESTER (MN)
Post Bulletin

November 26, 2018

Dear Answer Man: The clergy sexual lawsuits have hit Rochester. I am curious to know how much money clergy sexual lawsuit attorneys Jeff Anderson & Associates have taken in on this Minnesota-wide bonanza? Ken.

Ken: You sound like a man who might be familiar with the line from Matthew 22:21 that reads: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” Of course, the general rule along with that is, “But let the lawyers take their third off the top from the righteous side.”

Attorney Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates in St. Paul has been a leading crusader against child sex abuse by clergy since 1983 when he filed his first such case in Minnesota. He has represented victims from across the country, and has been a key player in the dioceses in Minnesota that have settled with victims or, like the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, plans to settle with victims.

Of course, attorneys are not required to disclose their share of any particular settlement or judgment – except to the tax collector – so it’s impossible to know how much Anderson and his team of attorneys has made.

Abp Scicluna: Protection of minors is a global, synodal issue

VATICAN
Vatican News

November 2018

By Christopher Wells

Newly appointed to the organising Committee for a February meeting of Church leaders from around the world, Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna says he hopes the Church will begin to take a global approach to protecting minors and confronting clerical sexual abuse.

In an exclusive interview with Jesuit periodical America, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta described the upcoming meeting as “the beginning of a new approach that I hope will be global, because it concerns the whole Church.” But, he continued, “it will also have a very important local context, because safeguarding is not something up-there, it has to be lived in every parish, in every school, in every diocese.”

New Jersey Catholic Church Announces Compensation Plan for Sex Abuse Survivors

NEWARK (NJ)
The Legal Examiner

November 26, 2018

By Joseph H. Saunders

On Monday, November 19, 2018, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, announced that the Archdiocese along with every diocese in the state of New Jersey will offer a compensation program for survivors of sexual abuse.

New Jersey has four dioceses and one archdiocese. The dioceses include Paterson, Trenton, Metuchen, and Camden. In making the announcement, Tobin noted that all New Jersey dioceses will participate and will offer survivors a chance to come forward and tell their stories. The program will include all survivors who were abused in New Jersey regardless of the statute of limitations.

The details of the plan have not been announced. Last week, the dioceses in Pennsylvania made a similar announcement. Most of the plans are administered by the law firm of Kenneth Feinberg in Washington, DC.

The Catholic Church in New Jersey has already paid out more than $50 million in financial settlements to those who were sexually abused as children by members of the clergy or diocesan employees in the state.

The Salesian Province of San Francisco – A Loyal Nest of Accused Child Molesters

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
joeypiscitelli.com

November 25, 2018

By Joey Piscitelli

For the last 60 years, the Salesian Province of San Francisco, or Don Bosco West, has harbored, transferred, and enabled a nest of convicted, accused, and admitted child molesters on the West Coast.

The Salesian Province based in San Francisco, or “Don Bosco West”, is the headquarters of the Salesians for the Western half of the United States. It is the first Salesian Province to be established in the USA. In 1897 the head of the Salesian order in Italy sent a group of Salesian Priests to San Francisco, led by Fr. Ralph Piperni.

Pipernis group met at the Italian church, St. Peter and Pauls, in San Francisco. They later met with the Bishop of San Francisco, Patrick Riordan, at the SF Diocese headquarters Mansion at 1100 Franklin Street, to establish the Salesians in San Francisco. St. Peter and Pauls became the headquarters for the Salesians at that time. The Mansion on Franklin Street later became the headquarters for the Salesian Province of San Francisco, now referred to also as Don Bosco West. It remains the headquarters for the Salesian Province of the West today, and it is also a residence for Salesian priests. Numerous Salesian accused child molesters and rapists have lived there in the last 50 years, and the Salesian order does not not release the list of names of accused predators that live there to the public, or to several nearby schools to warn them of their presence.

Dubia Cardinal, bishops defend Cdl. Müller linking abuse crisis and homosexuality

CANADA
LifeSiteNews

November 26, 2018

On 21 November, LifeSiteNews published a wide-ranging interview with Cardinal Gerhard Müller – the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – in which the cardinal spoke about the abuse problem in general as related to the loss of Faith, and he pointed to the high percentage of male victims of clerical sex abuse and likewise to the problem of homosexually active priests.

These statements have prompted an outcry of indignation in Germany, as may be seen with the German bishops' news website Katholisch.de conducting an interview with a German Jesuit, Klaus Mertes. Now, however, does not only Cardinal Müller respond to the criticism, but also Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Bishop Marian Eleganti, and Father Joseph Fessio, S.J, have publicly supported Cardinal Müller and his recent statements.

Cardinal Cupich: Sex abuse summit to promote a culture change

VATICAN
Vatican News

November 2018

By Seán-Patrick Lovett

In an interview with Crux, the on-line Catholic news service, U.S. Cardinal Blase Cupich, describes the anti-abuse summit called by Pope Francis as the beginning of a worldwide reform intended to bring about a change in culture regarding how the Church protects children.

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago is part of the organizing Committee for the February 21 to 24 meeting of Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences, called to focus on the protection of children in the Church. In the Crux interview, Cardinal Cupich confirms that the Committee is “committed to achieving specific outcomes from this meeting that reflect the mind of Pope Francis.” He also stresses the consultative role of “both clerics and lay women and men, who have shown expertise and experience” in the area of abuse.

Bishops mum on clergy sex abuse turmoil in Buffalo Diocese, Malone

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

November 24, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

A firestorm in the Buffalo Diocese over Bishop Richard J. Malone’s handling of clergy molestation allegations was not specifically mentioned when more than 250 Catholic bishops, including Malone, gathered last week in Baltimore to address the church’s ongoing sex abuse crisis.

The bishops, at least in public, steered clear of commentary on the Buffalo Diocese or Malone, who has refused to step down despite calls from some Western New York Catholics for his resignation.

The bishops focused in three days of meetings on making themselves more accountable for how they handle abuse cases, without criticizing a single bishop or diocese for mismanaging or covering up such cases.

The only public criticism of a bishop was levied at Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, who resigned as a cardinal in July and was removed by Pope Francis from public ministry after revelations of sexual misconduct with seminarians dating back decades. McCarrick, who is being investigated by the Vatican and others, did not attend the meetings.

Former priest arrested for alleged sexual abuse years ago

HAYWARD (WI)
The Associated Press

November 23, 2018

A former priest is accused of sexually abusing at least three boys while he was stationed at St. Peter's Church in Winter, Wisconsin, decades ago.

Seventy-one-year-old Thomas Ericksen was arrested Nov. 16 at his home in Minneapolis. He faces child sexual assault charges for the alleged abuse between June 1982 and April 1983.

Prosecutors declined to provide details to USA Today Network-Wisconsin as to why so much time elapsed before charges were filed.

It wasn't immediately clear if Ericksen has an attorney. A listed home telephone number couldn't be found.

Bishop in South Africa says abuser priests should be excommunicated

YAOUNDÉ (CAMEROON)
Crux

November 21, 2018

An archbishop in South Africa has suggested the Church’s law system should be amended to mandate the excommunication of priests who commit sexual abuse.

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg made his comments during an ordination mass for four new priests.

“Perhaps the abuse of minors by a priest, considering its moral gravity … ought to be considered as an automatic excommunication. In other words, when a priest is found to have abused a child, that should be included in the list of those acts that bring about automatic excommunication,” he said Oct. 27.

Currently, there are several offenses which lead to an automatic excommunication for a priest, including breaking the seal of confession and soliciting sexual favors during the sacrament of reconciliation.

Tlhagale’s suggestion came against the backdrop of the trial in Port Elizabeth of a Nigerian tele-evangelist, 58-year-old Timothy Omotoso, who was accused of raping a woman and kidnapping over 30 girls.

French priest, bishop convicted over paedophilia scandal

FRANCE
Agence France-Presse

November 23, 2018

A French priest from the town of Orleans was handed a two-year jail term on Thursday and a bishop was convicted for failing to report him in rare prosecutions that have shaken the French Catholic church.

Pierre de Castelet, 69, was sentenced to two years in prison, with another year suspended, after abusing children during a summer camp in 1993 where he touched them while pretending to carry out medical examinations.

His superior, the former bishop of Orleans Andre Fort, 83, was given a suspended prison sentence of eight months for failing to notify French police when he was made aware of the abuse allegations in 2008.

Both men are expected to avoid serving time behind bars, however, under French law that allows a convict to apply for a non-custodial punishment in cases involving short jail sentences.

Prosecutions of bishops are extremely rare in France, with the last case dating back to 2001 when a bishop in the town of Bayeux-Lisieux was given a three-month suspended jail term for failing to report abuse.

Landeskirchen: 107 Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs

[Landeskirchen: 107 cases of sexual abuse]

GERMANY
NDR.de

November 22, 2018

In den niedersächsischen evangelischen Landeskirchen Hannover, Braunschweig und Oldenburg hat es 107 Missbrauchsfälle seit 1950 gegeben. Das gab der Braunschweiger Landesbischof Christoph Meyns am Donnerstagabend bei der Tagung des Kirchenparlaments in Goslar bekannt. 95 der Missbrauchsfälle seien dem Bereich der auch für Kinderheime verantwortlichen Diakonie zuzuordnen. Eine unabhängige Kommission, die für alle Kirchen in Niedersachsen tätig ist, habe den Betroffenen Anerkennungsleistungen und die Erstattung von Therapiekosten zugesprochen, so Meyns.

Theologin: Kirche droht kritischen Frauen mit Entlassung

[Theologian: Church threatens critical women with dismissal]

GERMANY
Katholisch.de

November 23, 2018

"Entweder ihr seid still, oder ihr verliert euren Job!" Sie kenne Frauen, die von der Kirche genau vor diese Wahl gestellt wurden, berichtet Theologin und Buchautorin Jacqueline Straub. Scharf krtisiert sie zudem die Jugendsynode.

Die junge deutsch-schweizerische Theologin Jacqueline Straub hat der katholischen Kirche eine Knebelung kritischer Stimmen von Frauen vorgeworfen. Oftmals drohe kirchlichen Mitarbeiterinnen die Kündigung, wenn sie öffentlich über bestimmte Themen redeten, sagte Straub dem Schweizer Presseportal kath.ch (Donnerstag). In Deutschland kenne sie Frauen, "die vor die Wahl gestellt wurden: Entweder ihr seid still, oder ihr verliert euren Job".

Laut Kardinal Müller können Laien Bischöfe nicht verurteilen

[According to Cardinal Müller, lay people can not condemn bishops]

GERMANY
Dom Radio

November 22, 2018

"Mit Lynchjustiz kommt man nicht weiter"

Die Missbrauchsaufarbeitung ist in vollem Gang. Wie soll man mit Bischöfen umgehen, die Missbrauch vertuscht haben, ist eine der Fragen. Sie können jedenfalls nicht innerkirchlich durch Laien gerichtet werden, meint Gerhard Ludwig Kardinal Müller.

Zu den Diskussionen um entsprechende Pläne der US-Bischöfe sagte der frühere Leiter der Glaubenskongregation im Interview der kanadischen Website LifeSite-News (Mittwoch Ortszeit): "Die Lösung sehe ich nicht darin, dass nun 'die' Laien das Heft in die Hand nehmen, weil es die Bischöfe nicht aus eigener Kraft schafften - wie man meint."

Missstände ließen sich nicht überwinden, indem man "die hierarchisch-sakramentale Verfassung der Kirche auf den Kopf stellt".

To the editor: Church not being transparent

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

November 21, 2018

When it comes to abuse and coverup, it is clear the Toledo Catholic bishop is going backwards ( “Man’s allegations of abuse by Fostoria priest surface after 40 years,” Friday). For years, Bishop Daniel Thomas and dozens of his staff have publicly and deceptively claimed how they’re now allegedly more “transparent” about abuse than before. But they’re not.

In 2003, an alleged victim of the Rev. Joseph Schmelzer got to speak with the diocesan abuse panel. But in 2016, despite two years of trying, another alleged victim of the same now-suspended cleric was denied. Bishop Thomas’ public relations staffer refused to explain the change or say when it happened.

Bishop Thomas claims Father Schmelzer is being overseen. But The Blade reports that “the diocese has not informed (the priest’s victims) of any oversight measures,” and the circumstances of Father Schmelzer’s supervision “were not disclosed by the diocese” to the press or the public.

Finally, a church website “glosses over the circumstances of Father Schmelzer’s removal (and) makes no mention of why the priest was removed,” according to The Blade.

Why Catholic bishops are terrified of investigations

CANADA
LifeSiteNews

November 22, 2018

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report into clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church and the Australian Royal Commission on child sex-abuse have an English equivalent in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is currently taking evidence from witnesses, in public hearings.

Bishops and religious superiors publicly humiliated by these bodies have, of course, brought it upon themselves. Certainly, the degree of humiliation in each case does not necessarily correspond exactly with the degree of guilt, but the ones in the dock tend to make an admission of failure the keynote of their opening statements.

Despite all this, it is difficult to discern any real change of direction in episcopal policies and attitudes. The cases which remain hidden, and above all the clerics with credible allegations hanging over them still in active ministry, poison dioceses and religious communities. It is easy, though painful, to imagine the effect on the morale of seminarians and priests aware of the allegations against former Cardinal McCarrick, to see him honored and invited around the country year after year. But while the secular power is dragging information out of bishops about one case after another, bishops still seem to have no appetite to review old cases, to ensure that widely-suspected abusers are not still swanning around the diocese.

Sex abuse survivors slam Cuomo’s comments on Child Victims Act

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union

November 21, 2018

By Rachel Silberstein

Survivors of childhood sex abuse are pushing back on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Tuesday comments about the Child Victims Act.

The bill, which would enable adult victims of childhood sex abuse to bring claims against their abusers in court, includes a controversial “look-back window,” which groups like the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church fear will cripple them financially.

At at pre-Thanksgiving event in Buffalo, the Democratic governor told reporters that he supports the bill, which has passed the Assembly twice and has nearly unanimous support among Democrats in the state Senate, but expressed concern about the version of the bill touted by his party.

Why we need to tax the ‘costly joke’ of religion

AUSTRALIA
SA Weekend

November 23, 2018

By Ian Henschke

Royal Commissions have been in the news lately. And it’s been a sad and sorry time. Last month was the National Apology following the findings of the inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

That happened while the top end of town was reeling from revelations from the investigation into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Now we’ve got another starting in Adelaide looking into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Royal commissions focus the minds of the public and the parliament. They also have repercussions. Look at the fallout from the one into banking and finance. The businesses involved have been hit with fines and remediation costs totalling more than a billion dollars. They have to give back money. Heads have rolled and there’s talk of criminal charges.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley: I’m still Pope Francis’ man

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

November 26, 2018

By Sean Philip Cotter

Cardinal refutes speculation of Vatican snub after being left off panel

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley says he remains as close to Pope Francis and involved in fighting against sex crimes in the church as ever, pushing back on speculation that followed his being left off of the organizing committee for a summit aimed at preventing abuse.

O’Malley told the Herald he retains the trust of the pope, who has kept O’Malley leading the Vatican advisory commission of the sex abuse of minors.

“I’m still on the commission, and I’m still one of his advisers — I’m going next month for another meeting,” O’Malley said of the pope.

The cardinal, who’s the archbishop of Boston, said the fact he’s not on the summit committee is simply a case of logistics.

“We still have the commission,” O’Malley said following an event in Malden. “The point-person of the group is a member of our commission — Father Zollner, who lives in Rome , and so they need someone there who will be able to organize it and pull it off.”

Steubenville Bishop Speaks Out on Delay in Sex Abuse Accountability Policy

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
Wheeling Intelligencer

November 26, 2018

By Linda Harris

Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton said he understands Pope Francis’ desire to develop a worldwide approach to combating the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis.

The Diocese of Steubenville’s leader made his comments following “an obvious curveball” that the Vatican threw at the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops when it nixed the group’s plans to vote on accountability proposals. Monforton said Pope Francis wants to pursue a worldwide, rather than a geographical, approach.

Although the council did sign off on an anti-racism letter, it also had planned to vote on a proposal to establish an investigative board — one that would include lay people — to look into allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as a draft code of conduct for bishops. That plan changed when the Vatican issued a last-minute directive prohibiting a vote until after a global Vatican-led meeting on the church’s sex abuse scandal convenes in February.

“We came in thinking we were going to take a vote; obviously that vote was delayed,” Monforton said during a recent interview, adding he thought the Council of Bishops “certainly acclimated well” to the delay so Pope Francis “can work with all the bishop conferences throughout the world.”

“We have to look through the universal eyes of the church, it’s not just us,” Monforton said. “After that, we have to keep our minds open” to other ideas.”

November 25, 2018

Exclusive: Archbishop Scicluna says February meeting start of ‘global approach’ to fighting sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
America Magazine

November 23, 2018

By Gerard O’Connell

In a decision highlighting the great importance he gives to next February’s summit meeting on “the protection of minors in the church,” to which he has called the presidents of all the Catholic bishops conferences, Pope Francis has appointed a high-powered steering committee to oversee the project.

The committee is composed of two cardinals, Blase Cupich (Chicago) and Oswald Gracias (Bombay, India), and two of the church’s experts in the field: Archbishop Charles Scicluna (Malta), and Father Hans Zollner, a German Jesuit and president of the Center for Child Protection and Director and professor of psychology at the Gregorian University in Rome, who will serve as coordinator. The Vatican announced this today, November 23.

In this exclusive interview with America, Archbishop Scicluna, whom the pope recently appointed as adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and who is also the president of its tribunal for appeals, speaks about the significance and goals of the February meeting, and how it will be conducted.

Priest working in Jackson previously accused of sexual harassment, lawsuit shows

JACKSON (MS)
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

November 21, 2018

By Sarah Fowler

A priest currently visiting the Jackson diocese has faced past accusations of sexual harassment.

The Rev. Maurice Nutt was in attendance and helped lead Mass Sunday at St. Peter's Catholic Cathedral in downtown Jackson to open the cause for canonization of Sister Thea Bowman of Canton, the first African-American member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The Catholic Diocese of Jackson posted photos from the Mass on its Facebook page. Nutt prepared the gifts for consecration alongside Bishop Joseph Kopacz.

Nutt, a Redemptorist priest, is "back and forth" between Jackson and New Orleans while he works as a consultant on the cause for canonization, according to Maureen Smith, spokeswoman for the diocese. Smith said the diocese was aware of the allegations against Nutt.

AG Healey On Priest Sex Abuse: 'We Cannot Allow That Kind Of Conduct To Continue'

BOSTON (MA)
WGBH News

November 21, 2018

By Tori Bedford

[LISTEN: Healey On Sexual Misconduct In The Catholic Church]

Attorney General Maura Healey said she is “actively reviewing” the existing policies and procedures that surround the reporting of cases of sexual misconduct after several Catholic advocacy groups have called on her office to investigate the personnel records of all Massachusetts archdioceses.

"We’ve been in touch with the archdiocese, we’ve been in touch with the district attorney’s offices," Healey said during an interview with Boston Public Radio Tuesday. She later said, "I want to make sure that there are answers, and that there is accountability. ... We cannot allow that kind of conduct to continue, and the coverup, and the hiding, and the failure to deal with this."

Activist groups, including Catholic Democrats and Voice of the Faithful, are calling for an update to the 2003 investigation into priest sex abuse and a full investigation of dioceses in Fall River, Worcester and Springfield.

Healey stated that "any report or allegation of abuse will be thoroughly investigated and addressed, either by my office or by another office."

Catholic Cardinal: LGBTQ People Are to Blame for Sex Abuse Scandal

Advocate

November 23, 2018

By Jacob Ogles

The former doctrine chief for the Catholic Church told a conservative website the child sex abuse scandal in the church is tied to growing influence of LGBTQ ideology, which he said was based on atheism and the denial of God.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, spoke with the far-right website LifeSite regarding the recent resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

McCarrick is accused of sexually abusing young boys, but Müller seemed more focused on the “the moral depravity of homosexual acts among adults.” He said the recent scandal comes from growing influence of LGBTQ voices in the church.

On that front, he said the inclusion of the term “LGBT” in church documents shows the real problem. He referenced the term among “propaganda phrases of the homosexual lobby.”

Ex-teacher at 2 Toronto Jewish day schools convicted of sex offenses

TORONTO (CANADA)
Times of Israel

November 23, 2018

By JTA

Stephen Schacter guilty of 3 counts of sexual assault, and 3 other crimes between 1982 and 2002

A former teacher at two Toronto-area Jewish day schools was found guilty of several sexual offenses.

Stephen Joseph Schacter was found guilty last week by a Superior Court of Justice judge of three counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and one count of gross indecency, the Canadian Jewish News reported last week.

Sentencing hearings on the child pornography charge and the sexual offenses are scheduled for early 2019.

The offenses occurred between 1982 and 2002. The case featured four complaints.

Schacter was a teacher at Eitz Chaim schools between 1986 and 2004. At a news conference Monday, police said Schacter taught second and third grades at the Orthodox Jewish school, which runs three campuses in the Toronto area.

February abuse summit will have to navigate waters of a global church

DENVER (CO)
Crux

November 25, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

On Friday, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, was among the prelates tapped by Pope Francis to organize his Feb. 21-24 summit of presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world to tackle the clerical sexual abuse scandals that have rocked Catholicism for decades.

In comments to Crux later in the day (collected by our relentless Mumbai correspondent, Nirmala Carvalho), Gracias said he sees the organizing panel as a sign that Francis “is taking the protection of minors very seriously.”

Chile bishop subpoenaed by prosecutors denies covering up abuse

CHILE
Crux

November 24, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A retired Chilean bishop accused of not only cover-up but of sexually harassing seminarians testified to local authorities on Wednesday. He was interrogated for over seven hours, and even though the content of the questioning remains under seal, he spoke to media afterwards to defend his actions and deny having covered up abuse.

Bishop Gonzalo Duarte of Valparaiso is one of seven Chilean bishops currently being investigated by civil authorities, though others might soon be added to the list.

Duarte had his resignation accepted by Pope Francis earlier this year, on the same day as Bishop Juan Barros, long accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile.

Duarte said he was questioned for his actions on six cases of abusive priests in Valparaiso, telling reporters: “We didn’t destroy any files […] I did everything I was supposed to do, meaning investigate and not cover up.”

Erie bishop picks firm for victims’ fund, urges hope

GoErie.com
ERIE (PA)

November 25, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico is again turning to outside experts as he navigates the Diocese of Erie through the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

Persico in 2016 hired a law firm from Pittsburgh, K&L Gates, to launch a sweeping internal investigation that led the diocese in April to release an unprecedented list of clergy and laypeople credibly accused of child sexual abuse and other misconduct with minors since the 1940s.

Persico is now hiring another outside expert to administer the diocese’s victims’ compensation fund, a response to the August statewide grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

The diocese, Persico said, will retain the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Ken Feinberg, one of the nation’s most prominent authorities on compensation funds. Feinberg and co-administrator Camille Biros handled the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, set up following the terrorist attacks, and compensation funds for theater shooting victims in Aurora, Colorado, and the victims of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster.

Catholic priest from Prospect accused of sexual abuse of a minor placed on administrative leave

PITTSBURGH (PA)
TribLive.com

November 24, 2018

By Michael DiVittorio

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh officials placed a Prospect parish leader on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

Father Joseph Feltz, 65, was accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the mid-1980s, officials said via news release Saturday.

The allegation was made in a recent lawsuit against the diocese.

Bishop David Zubik sent letters this weekend at all parishes where Feltz served, which most recently was St. Christopher Parish in Prospect.

Officials said Feltz denied the allegation, which has been reported to law enforcement.

Victim of clergy sex abuse starting non-profit to help others

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI-TV

Novemnber 23, 2018

[Video]

Since the grand jury's report on clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania Diocese, dozens of victims have come forward to share their stories of survival.

Now, one of them is taking it a step further to help others.

Jim VanSickle is in the process of creating a non-profit organization to help other survivors connect with services and speak of their experiences.

Since making his own story of abuse at the hands of a priest public last February, VanSickle said he's spoken with other survivors across the country either by phone or in-person.

Fourth Minnesota diocese plans to file for bankruptcy amid abuse claims

WINONA (MN)
Catholic News Service via Crux

November 22, 2018

Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, said the diocese planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following the recommendation of several consultative groups.

The announcement from the diocese Nov. 20 said a legal path is the “most just and equitable way to hold the diocese accountable for past child sexual abuse by clergy.”

The bishop first told parishioners about the plan in a letter distributed in parish bulletins the weekend of Nov. 17-18.

The planned filing by the end of November was made with the cooperation of attorneys representing abuse survivors, Quinn said.

Class Action Sex Abuse Lawsuits Part 3: The Evil Opt-Out

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

November 18, 2018

By Joelle Casteix

~Part three in a multi-part series~previous post

Settlement Class Actions Lawsuits are BAD for victims, BAD for justice, and a PUBLIC SAFETY HAZARD.

And the opt-out? It’s every bishop’s dream.

I talked about the opt-out a little in my last post. But in this post, I will talk about why settlement class action lawsuits in sex abuse cases are the enemy of SOL reform. The main reason (among many)? The evil opt-out.

What is the opt-out? It is an artificial deadline more pernicious than old statutes of limitations. When a class action is certified (that is, a judge says it’s cool to move forward), s/he will set an opt-out date. Usually six months after the certification (to allow for advertising), the opt-out date is the LAST day that a survivor can say in writing that they DO NOT want to be a part of the class.

Why we need to tax the ‘costly joke’ of religion

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

November 23, 2018

By Ian Henschke

Royal Commissions have been in the news lately. And it’s been a sad and sorry time. Last month was the National Apology following the findings of the inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

That happened while the top end of town was reeling from revelations from the investigation into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Now we’ve got another starting in Adelaide looking into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Royal commissions focus the minds of the public and the parliament. They also have repercussions. Look at the fallout from the one into banking and finance. The businesses involved have been hit with fines and remediation costs totalling more than a billion dollars. They have to give back money. Heads have rolled and there’s talk of criminal charges.

The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis Is Dredging Up An Old Heresy

UNITED STATES
The Federalist

November 23, 2018

By John Daniel Davidson

Catholics leaving the church over the sex abuse crisis are giving into the false notion that the sacraments depend on blameless clerics.

Many Catholics were outraged last week when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops failed to take action to address the clergy sex abuse crisis. Almost as soon as the bishops convened in Baltimore, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the conference president, announced he’d received a letter from the Holy See instructing the conference not to vote on measures that would bring greater accountability to bishops. Instead, they were told to wait for a synod on the crisis that Pope Francis will host in Rome in February.

The news went down like a lead balloon. For some Catholics, it was more than they could bear. Melinda Henneberger, a columnist for USA Today and former Vatican correspondent for The New York Times, announced she was leaving the church. Addressing the bishops directly, she wrote: “After a lifetime of stubborn adherence on my part and criminal behavior on yours, your excellencies, you seem to have finally succeeded in driving me away.”

Diocese Of Pittsburgh Priest Accused Of Child Sexual Abuse, Placed On Leave

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA-TV (cbslocal.com)

November 24, 2018

A priest in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of sexually abusing a minor.

The Diocese announced Saturday afternoon that Bishop David Zubik has placed 65-year-old Father Joseph Feltz on leave.

Feltz most recently served as pastor of Saint Christopher Parish in Prospect, Butler County. The Diocese says he retired from Saint Christopher Parish in October, but he remained in active ministry.

The priest is accused of sexually abusing a minor in the mid-1980s.

Feltz is among four priests named in 12 new lawsuits filed this week on behalf of victims. Feltz was not named in the grand jury report released earlier this year.

Attorney Alan Perer is representing the victims.

“I think [the fact] that we have four new priests that were not named [in the grand jury report] there shows you that this was a broader and wider system of abuse,” Perer said. “When I talk to people like [the victim], there’s no doubt in my mind that what they tell me is true about the particular priest.”

Pittsburgh diocese places another priest on leave after abuse allegation

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI.com

November 25, 2018

[Video]

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has placed another priest on administrative leave after he was accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

The allegation made against the Rev. Joseph Feltz, 65, who most recently served as pastor of Saint Christopher Parish, dates back to the mid-1980s, the diocese said Saturday.

The allegation surfaced in a recent lawsuit filed against the diocese. Feltz has denied the allegation, the diocese said.

Placing Feltz on leave doesn’t imply he is guilty, the diocese said.

The allegation will be investigated by law enforcement and the diocese.

Precht declara por excapellán Fach: “No se hizo ninguna investigación”

[Precht testifies in case of former Fach chaplain: "No investigation was done"]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 25, 2018

By Leyla Zapata Sánchez

El otrora sacerdote aseguró a la fiscalía que el exarzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, supo de las denuncias contra Pedro Quiroz.

Ocurrió en septiembre pasado. En ese momento, el exsacerdote Cristián Precht Bañados interponía una serie de recursos judiciales contra la Iglesia de Santiago, argumentando varios eventuales vicios, mientras que en Europa el Vaticano sencillamente decidió expulsarlo del estado clerical, luego de que el Papa Francisco conociera los nuevos antecedentes por presuntos delitos sexuales que pesaban en su contra.

El embajador vaticano pide perdón en Madrid por los “silencios y pasividades” de la Iglesia

[Vatican ambassador apologizes in Madrid for the Church's "silences and passivities"]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

November 20, 2018

By Juan G. Bedoya

Enzo Fratini celebra una Eucaristía ante los obispos españoles en la Jornada Mundial de Oración por las Víctimas de Abusos

Los obispos españoles, reunidos en Madrid en asamblea plenaria, han escuchado este martes palabras muy severas en boca del nuncio (embajador) del Estado vaticano en Madrid, el arzobispo Enzo Fratini, que se han leído en clave de abusos y pederastia en el seno de lglesia. “Pedimos cada uno de nosotros perdón por nuestras infidelidades, nuestras omisiones, nuestros silencios y pasividades. El pecado es personal y cada uno tiene que llevar su responsabilidad en su conciencia. No es suficiente pedir perdón por los demás, por lo realizado irresponsablemente por quienes tenían un encargo pastoral y han dañado a la Iglesia”, les dijo en el sermón que pronunció en la Eucaristía concelebrada en la Casa de la Iglesia, en Madrid, como acto penitencial y de petición de perdón colectiva.

Silencio cómplice y encubridor

[Silence as an accomplice and concealer of clergy abuse]

SPAIN
El País

November 20, 2018

By Juan José Tamayo

Hay que cambiar las imágenes patriarcales de Dios que con frecuencia están en la base de no pocos de los abusos sexuales

Cuando los obispos españoles recibían las informaciones sobre los crímenes de pederastia producidos en las Iglesias de otros países, no se daban por aludidos y guardaban silencio porque no iba con ellos. Algunos incluso presumían de no tener ni haber tenido en sus diócesis casos similares. La Iglesia española parecía un oasis en medio del desierto pederástico que se cernía por todo el cuerpo eclesial. ¡Qué espejismo o, peor, qué cinismo! Lo que era un secreto a voces a nivel del catolicismo mundial, para un sector importante de la jerarquía católica española eran o bien calumnias o bien deseos malévolos de desprestigiar a la Iglesia.

November 24, 2018

Reader's View: Church continues to blackball priest

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News Tribune

November 21, 2018

By Lisa Lou Dunaiski, Duluth

I was baptized and confirmed at St.Michael's Church in Lakeside. The bishop is alienating several of us in the Catholic church by blackballing Fr. William Graham ("Split verdict in Duluth priest's suit against accuser," Aug. 25).

Of late, I have been impressed by letters in the News Tribune in support of Fr. Graham, a real genuine man who has taught theology at the College of St. Scholastica. He earns his own money.

I agreed with the letter that said Graham's accuser came forward in the last hours and that there had been no other complaints ever about Fr. Graham (Reader's View: "Fr. Graham didn't deserve bishop's treatment," Oct. 20). In the last hours was just in time to destroy a man's parish and career.

Graham wasn't even where the alleged abuse occurred, according to another priest and his Oct. 3 commentary, "'Yes, I am angry!': Alleged abuse did not happen."

St. Michael's College School principal and president resign amid student sex assault scandal

TORONTO (CANADA)
CBC News

November 22, 2018

By Amara McLaughlin

The principal and president of St. Michael's College School have both resigned amid allegations of assault and sexual assault between students, according to a statement issued by the private, all-boys' school Thursday afternoon.

Principal Greg Reeves and Father Jefferson Thompson, school president, stepped down to allow the Roman Catholic school to move "forward without distractions and allow it to focus on healing and change after the horrific events," the board of directors of St. Michael's said in the statement.

"Greg Reeves and Fr. Thompson have always put the welfare, education and formation of our students first — and they do so once again today," board chair Michael Forsayeth said.

Memory of childhood rape by priest motivates Warwick man to fight for other victims

Warwick (RI)
Providence Journal

November 23, 2018

By Amanda Milkovits

David Silipigni says his life was ruined by what happened to him as a child at the St. Aloysius Home, an orphanage run by the Diocese of Providence. Now he’s fighing to give other victims the legal remedy that he’ll never have.

For nearly his entire life, David S. Silipigni has lived in a jail cell or a room the size of one.

He paces a room the way memories pace his mind, turning to what he says happened nearly 50 years ago, when he was a little boy in the care of a Catholic orphanage in Smithfield.

Silipigni says that he was sexually assaulted by a priest while living at St. Aloysius Home.

He says he remembers the weight of the man’s chin on his head while he was being raped in the basement.

He says he remembers when the same man shoved his hands down his pants in a room off the chapel.

For a long time, Silipigni didn’t tell anyone. Silence tortured him.

The 57-year-old man has been incarcerated. He’s been homeless. He’s been a thief. He’s been addicted to drugs. He was saved from suicide. It didn’t stop him from trying to kill himself slowly.

He’s been in and out of most mental-health treatment programs in Rhode Island and remains in the care of a psychologist and psychiatrist. He’s trapped by thoughts of shame and rage.

What Silipigni wants now is what the Rhode Island Supreme Court and state law won’t give him — the ability to sue the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

So, he’ll take his case to the State House. State Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee pre-filed legislation last week to extend Rhode Island’s statute of limitations from seven years to 35 to allow lawsuits against those who sexually abuse children and those who employ the perpetrators.

Why not have a woman run a diocese?

National Catholic Reporter

November 22, 2018

By Phyllis Zagano

There's been a lot of talk about women in church leadership. Any cynic will remind you not much has happened. Even so, the pope has made it clear he wants to have women where they can make a difference.

The members of the recent Synod of Bishops agreed: "An area of particular importance ... is the presence of women in ecclesial bodies at all levels, even in positions of responsibility, and the participation of women in ecclesial decision-making processes, respecting the role of the ordained ministry."

What to do?

How about putting women in charge of a few dioceses?

There are dioceses all over the world without bishops. There are many competent churchwomen — chancellors, former general superiors, Catholic Charities heads, for example — who could easily run a diocese while the Congregation for Bishops and the pope decide what's best down the road. In the United States alone, there are seven or eight vacant sees. One already sets the example.

Class Action Sex Abuse Lawsuits Part 2: Lessons from Covington

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

November 18, 2018

By Joelle Casteix

~Part two in a multi-part series~ see previous post

Settlement Class Actions Lawsuits are BAD for victims and BAD for transparency.

But they are mighty good for bishops.

Here is what we know about victims of child sexual abuse:

It can take decades for victims to come forward, because child sexual abuse is a crime of shame and secrecy
Victims of child sexual abuse should be able to come forward when THEY ARE READY
Statutes of limitation put artificial timelines on victims and let predators roam free. That is why SOL reform is so important.
And here is what we know about class action lawsuits when it comes to child sexual abuse:

In June 2005 in the Diocese of Covington, KY, church officials there settled a class action lawsuit with an undisclosed amount of victims (newspaper reports suggest approximately 200) for $120 million.

Let’s look at the terms.

1. No secret documents were released. No evidence of abuse or cover-up was disclosed.

Four months after McCarrick’s resignation, silence from the Vatican on his fate

WASHINGTON D.C.
Washington Post

November 23, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer

When Theodore McCarrick resigned his title as a cardinal of the Catholic Church in July, the church made one promise as shock waves rippled through the pews: McCarrick would face a canonical trial, the Vatican’s version of a criminal inquiry, for the sexual misconduct he allegedly committed.

Four months later, McCarrick has moved from Washington, where he was once the archbishop and then a prominent diplomat, to a remote friary in Kansas. Vatican leaders have said no to American bishops' request that the Vatican conduct an investigation here into the disgraced ex-cardinal’s behavior. When the U.S. bishops tried to vote last week on new rules regarding bishops, designed to prevent another McCarrick-type scandal, the Vatican issued a last-minute directive telling them to not even take a vote.

The question lingering on many Catholics' minds remains: What’s going to happen to McCarrick?

The Vatican remains silent on the answer.

“What I hear from the people of God who I’ve been listening to … the Archbishop McCarrick case has particularly upset them,” Bishop Robert Deeley of Maine told his fellow bishops in an emotional remark last week at the U.S. bishops' meeting in Baltimore, where numerous bishops raised demands for more investigation into McCarrick. "What the people don’t understand is, this behavior must have been known, because people are saying that it was known. And how did these promotions happen? I think that’s where the problem, a lack of trust, is. [Parishioners are asking] ‘Can we trust you?’ ”

Pope omits Cardinal Sean O’Malley from summit committee

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

November 24, 2018

By Jordan Graham

‘It is a clear vote of no confidence’

Pope Francis has named the members of an organizing committee for a February summit aimed at preventing abuse, but did not include Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, who leads the Vatican advisory commission of the sex abuse of minors — an omission one church watcher called significant.

“His absence is very, very noteworthy,” said Peter Borre, founder of Boston’s Council of Parishes. “It is a clear vote of no confidence.”

The pope named four members of the committee that will prepare for the summit next year. The Rev. Hans Zollner is the point-person for the group, which includes Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, for a decade the Vatican’s sex crimes prosecutor, Francis appointee Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich and Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a member of Francis’ key cardinal adviser group.

Gonzalo Duarte ante la fiscalía de O'Higgins: "Hice todo lo que tenía que hacer, investigar y no tapar"

[Gonzalo Duarte before O'Higgins prosecutor: "I did everything I had to do, investigate and not cover up"]

CHILE
AgenciaUno via Soy Chile

November 21, 2018

El obispo emérito declaró como imputado por encubrimiento de abusos sexuales por el caso contra el ex capellán del Ejército, Pedro Quiroz. La diligencia se realizó luego de que el pasado 22 de octubre se aplazara la audiencia.

Este miércoles el obispo emérito de Valparaíso, Gonzalo Duarte, llegó a la Fiscalía Regional de Rancagua para declarar como imputado por encubrimiento de abusos sexuales al interior de la iglesia católica nacional, en particular por el caso contra el ex capellán del Ejército Pedro Quiroz.

Former Riverview priest accused of sexually abusing minors

ST. PETERSBURG (FL)
WFLA-TV (Channel 8)

By Victoria Price

November 21, 2018

A former priest at St. Stephen Chuch in Riverview is under investigation by the Catholic Church for accusations he sexually abused minors.

The allegations against Father Michael Juran come from Buffalo, New York. Juran is a priest with the Diocese of Buffalo, but according to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, still lives here locally.

The Diocese of Buffalo announced October 31st that Juran was on administrative leave after receiving an abuse complaint. Parishioners at St. Stephen got a letter about a week and a half later, explaining Juran was accused twice of sexually abusing minors. It did not specify when. According to the letter, Juran is not allowed to publicly present himself as a priest while on leave.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg tells News Channel 8 Juran served as St, Stephen's Parochial Vicar from 2006 to 2011, adding he still resides in the diocese but has not served as a priest since 2011. A spokesperson for the Diocese of St. Petersburg did not explain why Juran stayed in Florida while remaining under the purview of the Diocese of Buffalo once his assignment at St. Stephen was through.

Investigan red de "sacerdotes prestamistas" en Arzobispado de Puerto Montt

[Network of "priest moneylenders" investigated in Archdiocese of Puerto Montt]

CHILE
Soy Chile

November 21, 2018

Dos curas fueron denunciados ante el Ministerio Público por el administrador apostólico, Ricardo Morales.

La Iglesia Católica sigue en la palestra en Puerto Montt. A la reciente "autodenuncia" del administrador apostólico Ricardo Morales, luego que fuera sindicado anónimamente como encubridor de un presunto delito de abuso sexual, ahora se suma la denuncia que él mismo presentó al Ministerio Público, contra dos sacerdotes por presuntas irregularidades en la gestión del centro de salud familiar San Pablo, tutelado por el Arzobispado local.

The Bishops’ Meeting: From Bad to Worse

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle

By Betty Clermont

November 24, 2018

In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury disclosed credible allegations of sexual abuse by over 300 priests, with thousands of victims. A joint Boston Globe/Philadelphia Inquirer investigation, published Nov. 3, found more than 130 U.S. bishops – or nearly one-third of those still living – have been accused of failing to properly respond to sexual misconduct allegations.

The bishops’ response was much-anticipated. But, at their Nov. 12-14 meeting, they failed to adopt reforms addressing the sex abuse crisis

“Bottom line – Catholics have lost trust in their leaders,” declared Tom Gjelten, who covers religion, faith, and belief for NPR News, after the meeting.

“Too many are losing faith, losing trust, losing hope – we are, in so many ways, losing our religion,” wrote Deacon Greg Kandra.

“This loss of trust in the leadership of the Church makes this the most significant crisis confronting ting the church since the Reformation,” noted Madeline E. Lacovara in the magazine, America.

Protest against sexual abuse in Catholic church grows in India

KERALA (INDIA)
Al Jazeera English

November 20, 2018

by Raksha Kumar

Nuns are joined by crowds in Kerala to demand justice for those who allege sexual abuse by powerful church figures.

The Catholic Church in India is facing a trying time, with a growing protest movement in response to allegations of sexual assault by clergymen.

In June, police in the southern Indian state of Kerala registered a case against the bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, in the northern state of Punjab.

A nun had alleged that the bishop, Franko Mulakkal, had raped her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kerala.

The nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Jalandhar.

The bishop was arrested but then released from prison on October 15 on bail on the condition that he presents himself in the police station once every fortnight.

Opinion: Even as the Catholic Church claims to come clean, something is not right

WASHINGTON D.C.
Washington Post

November 23, 2018

By Elizabeth Bruenig

The only thing that can save the Roman Catholic Church in America is the truth, and the truth is going to hurt. This is the choice facing the ecclesial establishment, which must decide either to release its vast records related to clergy sexual abuse, or wait for state and federal investigations to deprive them of those documents by force of law. If the church awaits the latter, then the Pennsylvania grand jury report that sparked this summer’s blistering revisitation of the sex abuse crisis will only be the beginning.

On a certain level, the church seems to know that disclosure is not only what its members desire but also the only way ahead. Even Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned as archbishop of Washington after revelations that he protected sexually abusive priests while a bishop in Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006, seemed to intuit as much. One of Wuerl’s last official acts was to release a list of 31 clergy credibly accused of sexual assault over the past several decades. The move, Wuerl wrote, represented “a necessary step toward full transparency and accountability and the process of healing.”

Wuerl’s diagnosis was correct. But the list left survivors and parishioners unsettled, with lingering doubts about the archdiocese’s honesty.

The list included Peter Michael McCutcheon, a Maryland priest who pleaded guilty in 1986 to sexually molesting three boys over several years. The archdiocese document asserted that McCutcheon’s conduct had come to its attention only in 1986, the year he was arrested and convicted. But those familiar with McCutcheon’s brief career found themselves questioning the archdiocese’s claim.

“When the list stated they knew in 1986, I thought: They are continuing to give the impression of innocence on their part,” said McCutcheon’s sister-in-law, Diana McCutcheon, the mother of two of the priest’s victims. “And how will anyone believe what they have to say going forward?”

Diana McCutcheon’s doubts are not unfounded. Court documents and interviews with parishioners familiar with Peter McCutcheon’s behavior suggest that church officials had ample indications of his disturbing conduct several years before his arrest. But instead of dealing with it, they appear to have moved him from parish to parish while the abuse continued.

Pope Picks Cupich For Committee On Catholic Sex Abuse Crisis

CHICAGO (IL)
CBSLocal.com

November 23, 2018

Pope Francis has chosen Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich as a member of the organizing committee for a Vatican summit on the sex abuse crisis that has embroiled the Catholic church.

According to Vatican News, the goal of the committee “will help to put together the analysis, the awareness, the shame, the repentance, prayer, and discernment regarding actions to be undertaken and decisions to be made in justice and in truth.”

The Catholic church has been embroiled in controversy for years involving sex abuse incidents by its clergy.

Earlier this month the Vatican told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to delay voting on any measures that would hold bishiops accountable for failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

Global Catholic nuns urge reporting of sex abuse to police

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

November 24, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The Catholic Church’s global organization of nuns has denounced the “culture of silence and secrecy” surrounding sexual abuse in the church and is urging sisters who have been abused to report the crimes to police and their superiors.

The International Union of Superiors General, which represents more than 500,000 sisters worldwide, vowed to help nuns who have been abused to find the courage to report it, and pledged to help victims heal and seek justice.

The statement, issued on the eve of the U.N.-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was the first from the Rome-based UISG since the abuse scandal erupted anew this year and as the sexual abuse of adult nuns by clergymen has also come to light. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the Vatican has known for decades about the problem of priests and bishops preying on nuns, but has done next to nothing to stop it.

In the statement Friday, the UISG didn’t specify clergy as the aggressors. While such abuse is well known in parts of Africa, and an Indian case of the alleged rape of a nun by a bishop is currently making headlines, there have also been cases of sexual abuse committed by women against other women within congregations.

After Catholic Church sex abuse cover-ups, we in the pews must no longer simply pray & pay

UNITED STATES
USA Today

November 23, 2018

By Tim Roemer

Disappointed and angered once again by the Catholic Church, we lay people must act to protect our faith.

I have done a lifetime of public speaking, in the chambers of Congress in Washington and in a foreign country as a diplomat. But that was not enough to keep my knees from shaking when I stood up during Mass after the priest's homily in August at St. Thomas à Becket and called out loudly: "Justice in the name of Christ. Justice for our children."

It was righteous anger for our innocents — the hundreds of children recently revealed in a Pennsylvania grand jury report as victims of both sexual abuse and a cover-up by high-level Catholic clergy.

The Catholic Church has repeatedly tried to explain away its history of sexual abuse as a lamentable but distant part of its past. Yes, that was wrong, officials say, but it was a different time and we have changed.

Oakland Catholic diocese delays release of priest sex abuse list

OAKLAND (CA)
Mercury News

November 23, 2018

By Matthias Gafni

The Oakland diocese has announced it will delay releasing the list of all priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors until next year.

On Oct. 8, the Catholic diocese announced it would release the list in about 45 days, with the 45th day falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving. But on its website, the diocese said it needed more time and moved the new date to “after Jan. 1, 2019.”

“The primary reasons for this are two-fold,” the diocese said in a statement. “First, we have decided it is essential we contact survivors in advance of a public announcement, and this will require a sensitivity to their unique situations. Secondly, it is important we spend more time verifying the information we have on priests from religious orders and from other dioceses who served in the Oakland Diocese.”

Jesuit Mertes wirft Kardinal Müller „klerikale Dünkel“ vor

[Jesuit Mertes accuses Cardinal Müller of "clerical conceit"]

GERMANY
New Ruhr Word

November 23, 2018

Jesuitenpater Klaus Mertes hat Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller ungewöhnlich scharf kritisiert und ihm „klerikale Dünkel“ vorgeworfen.

[Jesuit Father Klaus Mertes has criticized Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller with unusual harshness and accused him of "clerical arrogance".]

Sexueller Missbrauch im Bistum Hildesheim: Ehemaliger Messdiener belastet Bischof und Priester

[Sexual abuse in the diocese of Hildesheim: Former altar boy abused by bishop and priest]

HILDESHEIM (GERMANY)
Studio 9

November 24, 2018

By Sebastian Engelbrecht

Eine Studie enthüllte, dass auch im Bistum Hildesheim Minderjährige sexuell missbraucht wurden, ohne die Täter zu nennen. Doch hier besteht der Verdacht, dass eine Gruppe von Klerikern systematisch Missbrauch betrieb – darunter der langjährige Bischof von Hildesheim.

[A study revealed, without naming the perpetrators, that even in the Diocese of Hildesheim minors were sexually abused. But here there is a suspicion that a group of clerics systematically abuse - including the longstanding Bishop of Hildesheim.

November 23, 2018

Another Voice: Counseling, confrontation help a sex abuse survivor

BUFFALO
Buffalo News

November 22, 2018

By David Kibler

It is good to see there is pressure on and exposure of the abuse that has been experienced by the young boys and girls at the hands of priests in the Catholic Church for so many years.

The call for the Buffalo Diocese to open up the books, be transparent about what has happened and name those abusers is important.

It is not only a way to curtail future abuse, but also an important step in helping victims to heal.

I know this because I was a victim.

Abusers may be stripped of their priesthood and possibly their freedom, and the church might compensate victims. That retribution may help for a while, but once the headlines and sensationalizing stop, the unyielding weight, the pain and loss of control from the abuse will still be felt.

O’Malley left out of group planning child abuse prevention summit

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

November 23, 2018

By Michael Levenson

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said Friday he looks forward to attending a high-stakes summit on child abuse prevention at the Vatican in February, even though Pope Francis conspicuously omitted his name from the committee that is organizing the event.

O’Malley’s absence from the four-member planning committee was striking because he is often considered one of Francis’ closest American advisers and is head of a Vatican advisory panel on the prevention of clergy sexual abuse.

When the list of names was released Friday, some church observers debated whether O’Malley’s absence was a sign that he has lost his stature in Rome.

French priest, bishop convicted over sexual abuse of minors

PARIS (FRANCE)
Associated Press

November 22, 2018

A French priest has been sentenced to two years in prison for sexual abusing multiple children while his former bishop was convicted for failing to report the crimes.

A court in the city of Orleans handed down the verdict Thursday against priest Pierre de Castelet and retired Orleans bishop Andre Fort.

A court official said the ruling forbids De Castelet from working as a priest or meeting with minors, puts him on a national list of sex offenders and orders him to receive psychiatric treatment.

Fort was given an eight-month suspended sentence. Three victims were awarded 16,000 euros ($18,245) each in damages.

Predominantly Catholic France has seen priests accused of sexual abuse but has not faced a national scandal or reckoning like that seen in some other countries.

French priest charged with child rape, in new blow to church

PARIS (FRANCE)
Associated Press

November 23, 2018

A French priest has been handed preliminary charges of raping minors in the latest blow to the Catholic Church in France.

The regional prosecutor’s office said the Rev. Robert Bonan was arrested Tuesday in the town of Lautenbach near the German border. The charges were based on multiple complaints, some dating to the 1980s.

His archbishop, Monsignor Luc Ravel, called it a “disaster for humanity.” In a diocese statement Friday, he praised those “who came forward, in great suffering.” He promised the church would help seek justice for these “terrifying crimes” and urged other victims of priest abuse to step forward.

Another French priest was sentenced to two years in prison this week for sexual abusing multiple children while his former bishop was convicted for failing to report the crimes.

California diocese delays releasing names of accused priests

OAKLAND (CA)
Associated Press

November 23, 2018

A Northern California diocese that had pledged to release the names of priests credibly accused of sex abuse says it needs more time.

The Diocese of Oakland announced in early October that it would publish names within 45 days, but now says publication won’t be until after Jan. 1, 2019 for two reasons.

The diocese says it has decided to contact survivors in advance of a public announcement and that it needs more time to verify information on priests from other orders and dioceses who served in Oakland.

A law firm suing California bishops has compiled a report of clergy in the San Francisco Bay Area it says are accused of misconduct. Attorney Jeff Anderson says the report lists nearly 100 accused in the Diocese of Oakland.

“We are taught to never call police:” Former Montcalm Co. church members share alleged abuse stories

CARSON CITY (MI)
Fox 17 TV

November 22, 2018

More former members of the Church of Carson City are coming forward and sharing their stories of alleged abuse and torment.

Claims of how the church allegedly hid accusations of child sexual abuse for decades first aired on FOX 17 on Tuesday. Those claims came to light after a woman was arrested for vandalizing the church last month.

More people are coming forward adding to the long list of those who have left what’s commonly called the 'Shermanite Church' by locals. Their stories give more insight into what life was allegedly like as a Shermanite.

Peter Michelsen and his two sisters shared their stories of alleged sexual abuse and torment with the Church of Carson City on Tuesday. Now, three more people are sharing their stories with FOX 17.

"There was a lot of tongues and prophecy that goes on," said former member Dan Newhall.

O’Malley left off Pope’s organizing committee for abuse prevention summit

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via the Boston Globe

November 23, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis named the Vatican’s top sex abuse investigator and a close U.S. ally to an organizing committee for a February abuse prevention summit that has grown even more high stakes after the Holy See blocked U.S. bishops from taking action to address the scandal.

Abuse survivors and women working at the Vatican will also contribute to the preparatory committee. Notably absent from the lineup announced Friday was Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, who heads the pope’s sex abuse advisory commission, though one of his members, the Rev. Hans Zollner, is the point-person for the group.

In addition to Zollner, the committee includes Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, for a decade the Vatican’s sex crimes prosecutor, Francis appointee Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich and Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a member of Francis’ key cardinal adviser group.

The Pennsylvania report on clergy sex abuse spawned a wave of probes nationwide. Now what?

UNITED STATES
The Washington Post

November 22, 2018

By Tom Jackman, Michelle Boorstein and Julie Zauzmer

The explosive report about sexual abuse by Catholic priests unveiled by a Pennsylvania grand jury in August has set off an unprecedented wave of investigations over the last several months, with attorneys general in 14 states and the District of Columbia announcing probes and demanding documents from Catholic officials. Those efforts have been joined by a federal investigation out of Philadelphia that may become national in scope.

The swift and sweeping response by civil authorities contrasts sharply with the Vatican’s comparatively glacial pace. While some U.S. dioceses have published lists of priests they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse and two cardinals have been ousted, the Vatican this month put on hold a vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on measures to hold bishops more accountable until after a global synod in early 2019. In the meantime, Rome has done little to address the crisis.

“The Catholic Church has proven that it cannot police itself,” said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), whose state is among those investigating. “And civil authorities can’t let the church hide child sexual abuse allegations as personnel matters. They’re crimes. We need a full accounting of the church.”

The new investigations are taking place in a very different climate than existed in 2002, when the Boston Globe exposed decades of abuse and coverups in that city. Many lay Catholics have lost faith in the church’s ability to right itself and are pushing for civil authorities to hold high-ranking church officials accountable. There’s also a greater willingness by law enforcement to do battle with a church that has become a far less formidable local presence. And the graphic grand jury report has spurred widespread public outrage.

However, hope for action won’t be satisfied quickly. Following an initial flurry of news conferences and calls to hotlines set up for the public to report abuse, there is likely to be an extended period of silence while prosecutors gather evidence.

State and federal prosecutors have three tools at their disposal: criminal charges against allegedly guilty priests or even the bishops believed to have abetted their abuse, civil suits against individuals or larger church entities, and public reports that expose the names and deeds of accused abusers without formal action.

« Enfance abusée » : pour briser l’omerta sur la pédophilie

["Abused childhood:" to break code of silence around pedophilia]

FRANCE
Le Monde

November 20, 2018

By Antoine Flandrin

Des victimes d’abus sexuels ont accepté de revenir, face caméra, sur les agressions qu’elles ont subies dans leur enfance.

Corinne Bouchoux, ancienne sénatrice du Maine-et-Loire, sous la bannière Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, le dit sans détour : la lutte contre la pédophilie en France est un sujet politique impopulaire. Elle qui, à l’âge de 8 ans, est tombée sous les griffes d’un prêtre « aux mains baladeuses », a demandé à maintes reprises, entre 2011 et 2017, qu’une commission d’enquête soit mise sur pied pour faire le point sur les agressions sexuelles dans l’Eglise, le système éducatif et les colonies de vacances. « Je n’ai pas réussi à lancer une dynamique politique, regrette-elle. Il y avait toujours plus grave et plus urgent. »

Deux ans de prison pour Pierre de Castelet, un ancien prêtre d’Orléans coupable d’atteintes sexuelles sur mineurs

[Former Orléans priest Pierre de Castelet sentenced to two years in prison for sexually abusing minors]

FRANCE
Le Monde

November 22, 2018

L’ancien prêtre Pierre de Castelet a été jugé coupable d’atteintes sexuelles sur mineurs de moins de 15 ans et condamné à trois ans de prison, dont deux ferme, jeudi 22 novembre à Orléans. Le tribunal correctionnel a également prononcé une peine de huit mois de prison avec sursis pour celui qui était son supérieur hiérarchique, l’ancien évêque Mgr André Fort, coupable de n’avoir pas dénoncé ces faits dont il avait été informé par une victime.

Un cura condenado por abusos integra un tribunal eclesiástico que los juzga

[Parish priest condemned for abuses transferred, serving on ecclesiastical tribunal]

MADRID, SPAIN
El País

November 20, 2018

By Íñigo Domínguez

Un párroco de Ciudad Rodrigo, con una pena de cárcel de 1998 que se ocultó, fue trasladado a otro pueblo y hoy forma parte de la vicaría judicial del obispado salmantino

El párroco de Espeja, un pueblo de poco más de 200 vecinos de Salamanca, fue condenado a un año de cárcel en 1998 por abusos sexuales sobre una niña de diez años, según han reconocido la diócesis de Ciudad Rodrigo, y el obispo de la época, Julián López, que hoy está en León. No llegó a entrar en prisión por no tener antecedentes. Sin embargo, la sentencia no trascendió públicamente y este cura, Joaquín Galán Pino, siguió de párroco en Serradilla del Arroyo, a 40 kilómetros. Al menos desde 2002, según testimonios recogidos en este pueblo, hasta la actualidad. Es más, a día de hoy forma parte, como notario, de la vicaría judicial de la diócesis de Ciudad Rodrigo, como consta en su página web. Es el tribunal eclesiástico que se encarga de juzgar precisamente las denuncias por abuso de menores.

French priest, bishop convicted over pedophilia scandal

FRANCE
RTE

November 22, 2018

A French priest from the town of Orleans was handed a two-year jail term today and a bishop was convicted for failing to report him in rare prosecutions that have shaken the French Catholic church.

Pierre de Castelet, 69, was sentenced to two years in prison, with another year suspended, after abusing children during a summer camp in 1993 where he touched them while pretending to carry out medical examinations.

His superior, the former bishop of Orleans Andre Fort, 83, was given a suspended prison sentence of eight months for failing to notify French police when he was made aware of the abuse allegations in 2008.

Both men are expected to avoid serving time behind bars, however, under French law that allows a convict to apply for a non-custodial punishment in cases involving short jail sentences.

Prosecutions of bishops are extremely rare in France, with the last case dating back to 2001 when a bishop in the town of Bayeux-Lisieux was given a three-month suspended jail term for failing to report abuse.

Schoenstatt definiría la próxima semana retorno de Cox a Chile

[Schoenstatt order weighs returning Cox to Chile]

CHILE
La Discusión

November 14, 2018

By Cristóbal Vaccaro and Nicole Contreras

La congregación de Schoenstatt confirmó que ya realizó exámenes médicos para determinar si el exobispo de Chillán y excura, Francisco José Cox, deberá ser devuelto a Chile. Patricio Moore, vocero de la orden en Chile, dijo a Radio La Discusión que los resultados de las pericias realizadas al exreligioso, acusado de abuso sexual en Chillán y otras ciudades del país, podrían conocerse durante los próximos días.

Diácono apartado del ministerio por acusación de abuso se autodenuncia ante la Fiscalía

[Deacon removed from the ministry after abuse accusation asks prosecutor to investigate him]

CHILE
BioBioChile

November 21, 2018

By Emilio Lara

El diácono permanente de la Capilla de la Virgen del Carmen de Linares, Óscar Villagra, se autodenunció ante la Fiscalía durante la jornada del martes para que la policía civil investigue una denuncia de abuso en su contra. A principios de noviembre, el religioso fue apartado de sus funciones y conminado a residir dentro de la diócesis, luego que el Obispado de Linares acogiera una acusación producto de la agresión que habría sufrido un menor hace 25 años.

Juan Carlos Cruz reitera acusación a cardenal Errázuriz por encubrimiento tras fallida conciliación

[Juan Carlos Cruz reiterates cover-up accusation against Cardinal Errázuriz after failed conciliation]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 20, 2018

By Pablo Retamal Navarro

El abogado de los denunciantes, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, señaló hoy, tras la citada audiencia, que "se reconoce una serie de errores que, en mi opinión, constituyen encubrimiento, pero no están dispuestos a decir que hubo encubrimiento".

Esta tarde, Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas de abuso del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, reiteró su acusación al cardenal Errázuriz por encubrimiento. Esto, tras la fallida cuarta audiencia de conciliación entre la Iglesia y los denunciantes del expárroco de El Bosque.

No hubo conciliación entre Arzobispado de Santiago y víctimas de Karadima

[No reconciliation between Santiago Archdiocese and victims of Karadima]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 20, 2018

By Leyla Zapata and Angélica Baeza

El presidente de la Novena Sala anticipó que el fallo sobre la demanda se conocerá antes de fin de año.

La propuesta del Arzobispado de Santiago a las víctimas de Fernando Karadima, en la demanda por encubrimiento interpuesta contra la entidad eclesial, incluía “reconocer todos los errores y omisiones que se cometieron durante la investigación de los abusos que sufrieron los demandantes, y también la reparación de los daños sufridos”, señaló el abogado del Arzobispado, Nicolás Luco, antes de ingresar a la audiencia de conciliación que se realizó este martes.

November 22, 2018

Cardinal DiNardo denies priests named in report ‘credibly accused’

HOUSTON (TX)
Catholic News Agency

November 21, 2018

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, has denied that he allowed two priests to remain in active ministry despite credible allegations of sexual abuse against them.

CBS News aired a report Nov. 20, citing accusations against two Houston priests, Fr. Terence Brinkman and Fr. John Keller, who are presently in active ministry within the archdiocese.

During the meeting of the U.S. bishops’ conference held in Baltimore last week, CBS asked DiNardo if he was aware that “you have two priests with credible sexual abuse allegations currently in active ministry in your diocese?”

DiNardo, who serves as president of the U.S. bishops' conference, asked which priests were being referenced. On hearing the names of Brinkman and Keller, he immediately responded that neither was a credible allegation.

The Pope Owns This

ROME
National Catholic Register

November 16, 2018

By Msgr. Charles Pope

This is no time to be dismissive. This is a time to work together for reform and a new springtime of faith in the Church and in the world.

The annual Fall Meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which took place in Baltimore earlier this week, was a disappointment on many levels. Yet there were also moments of light and strength coming from a good number of bishops. They spoke with clarity, acknowledging the seriousness of the crisis both in terms of the need to bring some semblance of justice to the victims and of the faltering credibility of the Church. Some even made the forbidden connection of the crisis to active homosexuals in the priesthood. Still others lamented the collective silence on sexual morality, wondering how many bishops and clergy do not believe what the Church teaches. (The interventions of these courageous bishops were reported in detail in the National Catholic Register here and here.)

Lamentably, the vote to encourage the Holy See to release all documents related to former Cardinal McCarrick’s alleged misconduct did not pass. The debate seemed to center on canonical issues and even wordsmithing. Nonetheless, the fact that more than 80 bishops were willing to issue even a mild-mannered insistence to Rome shows that many are finding a voice that is willing to confront when and where necessary.

#ChurchToo: How can we prevent the abuse of women by the clergy?

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

By Lea Karen Kivi

November 16, 2018

Much attention has been paid in recent years to the horrific sexual abuse of minors in the church, and rightly so. But many men and women who experienced sexual abuse by members of the clergy in adulthood have yet to receive compassionate acknowledgment of the harm they have suffered. Regardless of the age at which sexual abuse by clergy was experienced, churches of all denominations have a long distance to travel in setting up healing ministries for and with survivors.

I have great respect for the many Catholic priests who have blessed my journey of faith. I am grateful to my parish pastors, and to the Paulist, Franciscan, Jesuit and Basilian priests who have fed my faith and inspired me by their sacrificial service. Accepting a call to the priesthood at this point in history may be especially challenging, and I hope those currently in the priesthood or considering a call will persevere despite the revelations of wrongdoing in the church. This wrongdoing has always existed. The good news is that we now know about it, are talking about it and therefore can work to eliminate it. We must consider how to prevent abuse of women in the church, and how to make it easier for women (and men) to come forward should they themselves experience abuse by clergy in adulthood.

I use the term abuse to describe any situation in which a priest attempts to use his position of power over or proximity to someone to sexualize the relationship. The example of inappropriate clergy behavior that I share here is not the only incident I have experienced, and it is far from being the most serious. My complaint was handled within the church. I have chosen not to name the priest or his religious community.

Six students charged with sexual assault at iconic Canadian Catholic high school

TORONTO (ONTARIO)
Catholic News Service via America Magazine

November 21, 2018

An iconic Canadian Catholic high school is reeling following the arrest of six students who are charged with assault and sexual assault following an alleged incident in a locker room.

The accused are 14- and 15-year-old students of St. Michael's College School in midtown Toronto. Five of the accused turned themselves into police early Nov. 19 and a sixth was arrested on his way to school.

Their names and ages are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police announced the charges at a news conference. The accused are facing charges of assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon, said Inspector Dominic Sinopoli, who heads the Toronto police's sex crimes unit. They appeared in court Nov. 19 and were released into the custody of their parents. They are scheduled to make their next court appearance Dec. 19.

A video that circulated on social media appeared to show teens pinning a student whose pants had been pulled down, while two others allegedly assaulted him with the handle of a broomstick. The alleged attackers, as well as the youth who allegedly recorded the incident, have all been charged.

Has Catholic infighting gotten worse?

UNITED STATES
"Inside the Vatican," America Magazine

November 21, 2018

By Colleen Dulle

[AUDIO]

This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Gerry and I look into some new developments in the stories surrounding the U.S. bishops' delay of the vote on new sex abuse protocols. We also discuss the history of resistance to papal initiatives in the last 30 years. Is the current climate different from what happened during recent pontificates?

We’ll also look at Pope Francis’ recent initiatives to make “invisible people visible.” From creating shower and laundry facilities for the homeless in the Vatican to recent comments at the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis is making it clear that giving to the poor is not just a fad under this pontificate, it’s what Christians are called to do.

Indian bishop promotes peace in Miao, but sees church enemies in allegations

BROOKLYN (NY)
National Catholic Reporter

November 20, 2018

by Peter Feuerherd

When Bishop George Pallipparambil was named in 2005 to lead the newly formed Diocese of Miao, India, he knew he was to lead a church of the laity. There was no other alternative.

As a Salesian priest, he had ministered in the region since a church was first formed there in 1979 with the baptisms of 900 people. It now boasts some 90,000 Catholics, led by 156 lay catechist leaders, with 96 diocesan and religious priests, as well as 165 religious sisters.

"It was planted, watered and nourished by laypeople and it continues," Pallipparambil said Oct. 16 in an interview conducted at the offices of the U.S. chapter of Aid to the Church in Need, a group that supports impoverished dioceses such as Miao. Pallipparambil was in the U.S. on a tour seeking support.

As the bishop of a small, impoverished diocese, Pallipparambil is on the frontlines of a post-Vatican II church which seeks out the gifts of laity. At the same time, as a church leader in sometimes hostile territory, Pallipparambil is convinced that the church's enemies are responsible for sensational national headlines implicating a fellow bishop.

Why did Pope schedule sex abuse summit on feast of St. Peter Damian, bane of homosexual clergy?

UNITED STATES
LifeSiteNews

October 25, 2018

When my translation of St. Peter Damian’s Book of Gomorrah was first published, I sent a copy to Pope Francis. The book was dedicated to him as pope and to all of his successors, “that they might heed the counsel of St. Peter Damian and fulfill their solemn duty to protect and preserve the moral and doctrinal integrity of the clergy and laity.” I received a form letter thanking me for the gift.

I doubt that Francis ever saw my translation and if he did, I’m even more doubtful that he read any of it – he’s not fond of English. However, I know that he knows about St. Peter Damian’s crusade against homosexual sodomy in the clergy, because he once gave a talk for EWTN and quoted from the Book of Gomorrah.

As is customary with Pope Francis, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio sought to use Damian’s work to promote his theme of tolerance towards those living immoral lives, claiming that Damian was emphasizing “indulgence and kindness” towards sinners, when in fact the Book of Gomorrah’s main focus is the permanent defrocking of priests and monks who commit acts of sodomy.

Pollster says Pope has tripled his American negatives over sex abuse

MIAMI (FL)
Crux

November 14, 2018

Though Catholics in America continue to have an overall favorable opinion of Pope Francis, according to the director of the Pew Research Center, the Argentine pontiff has tripled his negative ratings for his handling of clerical sexual abuse in the most recent survey and today is ranked below Pope emeritus Benedict XVI at his worst.

Speaking with the Crux of the Matter, which airs every Monday on the Catholic Channel, Alan Cooperman said the drop in the pope’s favorability is directly related to his handling of the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

The share of Catholics who think the pope is doing a “poor job” has tripled from what it was in 2015, according to the Pew findings, reaching 36 percent of American Catholics.

“Back in 2014, 54 percent of American Catholics thought he was doing a good or excellent job [handling the abuse crisis],” Cooperman said. “Today it’s down to just 3 in 10, 30 percent of U.S. Catholics giving him a good or excellent, dropping 24 points in four years, 14 points just from the beginning of 2018.”

The sex abuse scandal and a lost sense of Catholic history

UNITED STATES
La Croix International

November 21, 2018

By Massimo Faggioli

There is a gap between the cultural myths of Catholicism and the historical reality of the Church

The clergy sex abuse crisis has become an integral part of the current narrative of Catholicism. But we are still trying to find precedents in history to make sense of this moment. There are two major hypotheses on the similarities between today’s situation and other periods of turmoil.

The first hypothesis was articulated recently by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, a well-regarded Church historian who was one of the four cardinals who signed the dubia against Pope Francis.

The German cardinal sees a precedent for today’s crisis in the 11th-12th centuries. It was during this period that St. Peter Damiani, in 1049, urged Pope Leo IX to take strong action against concubinage and homosexuality among the clergy.

Around the same time the laity of Milan rose up and called for similar reforms in what was known as the Pataria or Patarine movement (which has some similarities with the current dynamic between Rome and U.S. Catholics).

Spring mother of church abuse accuser not too hopeful son's priest will be on clergy list

HOUSTON (TX)
ABC13-TV

November 21, 2018

By Jessica Willey

ABC13's Jessica Willey speaks to a Spring woman whose son accused a priest of abuse | Despite a list outing priests, she's not too hopeful her son's priest will be on it.

Ahead of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston publishing a list of all clergy "credibly accused' of sexual abuse, a mother of one alleged victim isn't hopeful the priest her son says abused him will be on it.

Carol LaBonte, of Spring, has been frustrated with the church she loves for years.

"It has been covered up and covered up and covered up," she said. "I've had it."

When her now-adult son, John LaBonte, who does not live in Texas anymore, was 16, she says he was sexually abused by a priest who sent him an incriminating letter.

"I know you were upset by what happened and I don't want you to be and I really love you," she recalled elements of the letter.

November 21, 2018

How parents can help protect their children from sexual abuse

NEW JERSEY
North Jersey Record

November 21, 2018

By Hannan Adely

From #metoo, to sex crimes against young gymnasts, to Catholic Church abuse scandals, stories about sexual violence have gripped this nation. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.

It’s a frightening statistic, but parents don’t have to feel helpless. There are concrete steps parents can take today to prevent sexual violence, said Elizabeth L. Jeglic and Cynthia Calkins, clinical psychologists who published a book on the topic earlier this year.

“Knowledge is power,” said Calkins. “There are lot of misconceptions about sexual abuse and sexual violence, so we wanted parents to be informed about what that abuse looks like, who perpetuates it, where it happens and what the circumstances around abuse are.”

As professors at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Jeglic and Calkins have researched sexual violence for more than a decade. Together, they’ve published articles in academic journals, written a book and spoken to peers at conferences about their findings on sexual violence prevention.

Why did Homeland Security raid Catholic Diocese of Jackson? It starts with a priest.

JACKSON (MS)
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

November 12, 2018

By Jimmie E. Gates and Sarah Fowler

The Office of Homeland Security raided the Catholic Diocese of Jackson office investigating accusations a Starkville priest obtained money by lying about having cancer when in fact he was HIV positive and was sent to a Canadian sexual addiction facility for priests.

An affidavit by Homeland Security Special Agent William Childers was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Jackson. The search of the Jackson Diocese apparently took place Nov. 7.

The affidavit says Homeland Security Investigations have developed probable cause to believe the Rev. Lenin Vargas-Gutierrez, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Starkville, knowingly devised schemes of obtaining money by means of false and fraudulent pretense, through the use of wire communications.

The affidavit refers to Lenin Vargas-Gutierrez as Father Vargas after the initial introduction. A native of Mexico, he was ordained a priest in the Jackson diocese in 2006.

New Catholic Church abuse claims surface in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

November 20, 2018

By Rob Masson

A long-time church sex abuse attorney said more clients are coming forward now that the New Orleans archdiocese has released a list of clergy members credibly accused of abuse.

“I have several new people who have come forward,” said attorney Roger Stetter.

Stetter said he’s got 20 clients, more than a dozen of whom claim that former deacon George Brignac sexually abused them. Stetter said Brignac is responsible for more than a half-million dollars in payouts from the archdiocese.

“I think we have 13 Brignac victims, and seven from other places - Edward the Confessor and Eymard, which doesn’t exist anymore,” said Stetter.

Stetter said a man contacted him claiming that former Jesuit High School brother Claude Ory abused him. Ory’s name doesn’t show up on the archdiocese list of 57 credibly accused clergy members.

Jesuit put out a statement saying Ory’s wasn’t on the list because he was a religious brother in the Society of Jesus. The Advocate newspaper reported that Jesuit settled abuse claims involving Ory, who appears to be living in Maryland.

“They have their own system for addressing these issues,” Stetter said.

Are Catholics losing faith amid clergy abuse scandal?

HARRISBURG (PA)
WHTM

November 20, 2018

By Dennis Owens

A woman from Enola spoke with us and doesn't want her face seen, or her name identified, but she does want her voice heard.

"I can't stress enough how much a part of my identity being Catholic was as I grew up," she said. "[I'm] sad, disturbed, embarrassed at some level even to identify as a Catholic, and there's a real feeling of betrayal."

She is not alone, but are fewer faithful filling pews and collection baskets in the Harrisburg Diocese?

"Generally not, the faithful are still coming and they're still committed to the church," said Matt Haverstick, an attorney for the diocese.

Haverstick would not reveal the exact numbers on attendance or contributions since the scandal. He's a little more forthcoming on the number of clergy abuse victims out there.

"A little over a hundred," he said.

And how much money a newly created fund will need to help them.

"It is going to be real. It's not a token effort or a phantom effort. This is going to be in a quantum of millions," he said.

Haverstick insists collection plate money will not be used.

Where does the clerical sex abuse settlement money come from?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic News Service

November 20, 2018

By Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. The news reports of settlements made in the millions of dollars to victims of clergy sex abuse trouble me. Were there secret assets from wills and estates on reserve for that purpose? Where did all that money come from? (Metuchen, New Jersey)

A. National Public Radio reported in August 2018 that dioceses and religious orders in the United States had thus far paid settlements totaling more than $3 billion to victims of clergy sexual abuse. The settlements have come, not from any “secret assets,” but from a combination of cash, proceeds from the sale of land and buildings, and from insurance payments.

What must be said first, though, is that no financial amount is sufficient to compensate victims for their suffering. As Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in May 2018 when announcing a settlement of $210 million in restitution to several hundred survivors, “I recognize that the abuse stole so much from you — your childhood, your innocence, your safety, your ability to trust and, in many cases, your faith. … The church let you down, and I’m very sorry.”

Northern Virginia religious bookstores feeling effects after Catholic sex abuse scandal

ARLINGTON (VA)
ABC7

November 19, 2018

By Victoria Sanchez

Some Northern Virginia religious bookstores are feeling the effects of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in their bottom lines three months after the release of the scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Meg Rydzewski opened the doors to Joyful Spirit Gifts in 2014. The Catholic store and church supply in Arlington provides things like candles to come local parishes and religious milestone items like baptismal and first communion clothing to families. In August, Rydzewski noticed a drop in customers and purchases.

The release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report uncovered decades of sexual abuse in the church involving roughly 300 priests. The news rattled the national Catholic community and Rydzewski’s small business 250 miles away.

“It was certainly unexpected for me and it was hard for me to understand that that’s what might be happening but as we moved through summer into September and into October, with the softer sales continuing, I kind of had to connect the dots,” she said.

Winona-Rochester diocese to file for bankruptcy amid abuse lawsuits

WINONA (MN)
Catholic News Agency

November 21, 2018

By Christine Rousselle

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it was announced Sunday. Bishop John Quinn wrote a letter explaining the decision, which was distributed in bulletins throughout the diocese.

In a recorded video statement posted on the diocesan website, Quinn said he was sorry, and that on behalf of his brother priests, he “offer(s) an apology to these survivors and acknowledge their pain and suffering,” and pledged to “remain vigilant” to prevent abuse in the future. He also said it was important to create an “environment of healing” for both abuse survivors and their families.

Quinn explained that due to the 121 claims of child sexual abuse by priests within the diocese, and after praying for guidance as to how to best heal the pain of these survivors, the diocese would file for bankruptcy. A total of 17 priests in the diocese have been accused of sexual abuse.

This move is the “most just and equitable way to hold ourselves accountable, to bring healing and justice to the survivors, and to find a path forward for our diocesan community,” said Quinn.

“By proactively taking this step, we will begin to bring healing and justice to survivors, holding ourselves accountable for the abuse that occurred in the past,” said the bishop. The diocese will continue to work with survivors and their legal counsel.

Head of U.S. Catholic bishops kept 2 priests accused of abuse in active ministry

UNITED STATES
CBS NEWS

November 20, 2018

By Nikki Battiste

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, making him one of the most powerful Catholic officials in the country. He has also been one of the most vocal critics of the church's handling of its sex abuse scandal.

But this summer, Rev. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, a priest whom DiNardo had promoted, was arrested for allegedly molesting two children. DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston since 2006, has vowed to release by January a list of all the priests in Houston who have been, in the church's judgment, "credibly accused" of sexually abusing a child.

Now, a CBS News investigation has uncovered a lack of action by DiNardo in handling sex abuse allegations in his own archdiocese.

John LaBonte said Rev. John Keller molested him when he was 16 years old. He said DiNardo has allowed Keller to continue presiding over one of the largest Catholic churches in Houston.

"I shrank. I was like, I'm not here. I left my body. They say there's the flight and fright. Well, I was frozen," LaBonte said.

Head of U.S. bishops accused of keeping priests in ministry despite abuse claims

UNITED STATES
CBS News Videos

November 21, 2018

A CBS News investigation has uncovered an alleged lack of action by one of the most powerful Catholic church leaders in handling sex abuse claims. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has been the archbishop of Galveston-Houston since 2006 and is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Last week he presided over around 300 bishops in Baltimore to address the church's sex abuse crisis. Nikki Battiste reports.

Priest working in Jackson previously accused of sexual harassment, lawsuit shows

JACKSON (MS)
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

November 21, 2018

By Sarah Fowler

A priest currently visiting the Jackson diocese has faced past accusations of sexual harassment.

The Rev. Maurice Nutt was in attendance and helped lead Mass Sunday at St. Peter's Catholic Cathedral in downtown Jackson to open the cause for canonization of Sister Thea Bowman of Canton, the first African-American member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The Catholic Diocese of Jackson posted photos from the Mass on its Facebook page. Nutt prepared the gifts for consecration alongside Bishop Joseph Kopacz.

Nutt, a Redemptorist priest, is "back and forth" between Jackson and New Orleans while he works as a consultant on the cause for canonization, according to Maureen Smith, spokeswoman for the diocese. Smith said the diocese was aware of the allegations against Nutt.

Nutt has previously denied any wrongdoing. He has not been charged with a crime. He is a priest in "good standing," Smith said, and "has the full confidence of his religious community."

In March 2001, a police officer began working as a "neighborhood facilitator" for a community board on which Nutt served in Missouri. Nutt's parish, St. Alphonsus "Rock" Catholic Church, was within the officer's assigned area. In a lawsuit filed in 2002, the officer alleged Nutt "made unwelcome sexual advances" on three separate occasions.

Complaint against justice moves forward

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

November 20, 2018

By Patrick Anderson

But at hearing Tuesday, defense lawyer attacks commission, saying it oversteps its authority

Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Francis X. Flaherty’s defense against an ethics complaint accuses the State Ethics Commission of overstepping its legal authority and its chairman of displaying an “obvious negative predisposition” toward the Catholic Church in his criticism of child sexual abuse scandals.

In a tense hearing Tuesday, the Ethics Commission refused to throw out a complaint that Flaherty should have disclosed his position as president of the St. Thomas More Society of Rhode Island when he ruled on an appeal of a priest sexual abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic bishop of Providence. The St. Thomas More Society of Rhode Island is a nonprofit organization promoting Catholic legal work.

Representing Flaherty, lawyer Marc DeSisto questioned whether the non-lawyer members of the commission could rule on his motions in the short time span since they were filed and asked them whether they had read the case law.

It got more contentious from there.

EXPANDED STORY: Former Winter priest charged with felony sexual assault of boys

HAYWARD (WI)
Sawyer County Record

November 20, 2018

By Terrell Boettcher

Story update on Nov. 20: Sawyer County Sheriff Douglas Mrotek stated that Ericksen was taken into custody at his residence in coordination with the Minneapolis Department without further incident, and is awaiting extradition proceedings to be transported to the Sawyer County Jail.

Michigan State University Ex-President Charged With Lying In Larry Nassar Case

EAST LANSING (MI)
NPR

November 20, 2018

By Vanessa Romo

Former President of Michigan State University Lou Anna Simon was charged with two felony and two misdemeanor counts on Tuesday for allegedly lying to police during their investigation into how the school handled sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, the doctor convicted of abusing scores of young women while employed by the university and USA Gymnastics.

According to the warrant, Simon purposefully concealed that she knew that the university's Title IX office and police department had launched an investigation into a sexual assault complaint filed against Nassar in 2014, ESPN reported.

Nassar was eventually cleared of wrongdoing by the school but when asked by investigators about the case, Simon allegedly told police that she did not know the name of the sports medicine doctor involved.

"In fact she knew it was Larry Nassar who was the subject," investigators said according to ESPN.

Nassar pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal child pornography charges and 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan state courts.

Simon, who has denied any criminal wrongdoing, could face up to four years in prison, according to the Associated Press. The 71-year-old is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Eaton County, Mich.

Michigan State Ex-President Lou Anna Simon Charged in Nassar Scandal

EAST LANSING (MI)
Legal Reader

November 21, 2018

By Ryan J. Farrick

Michigan State University’s former and long-time president, Lou Anna Simon, has been charged with two felony and misdemeanor counts of allegedly lying to law enforcement officials investigating Larry Nassar.

Nassar, a USA Gymnastics physician convicted of molesting scores of patients, has already been sentenced to serve up to 125 years in prison.

Simon, reports NPR, repeatedly told officials that she didn’t know Michigan State’s Title IX office and police department had opened an investigation into Nassar following a 2014 complaint. While Nassar was eventually cleared by the university, Simon later said hadn’t been told the sports medicine practitioner’s name.

“In fact she knew it was Larry Nassar who was the subject,” investigators claim.

Nassar pled guilty in early 2018 to federal child pornography charges and 10 counts of criminal sexual misconduct in Michigan.

If Simon’s found guilty of the charges filed against her, she too could face time behind bars—up to four years, according to the Associated Press.

Altar Boy Comes Forward with Lawsuit Against Disgraced Ex-Priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Legal Reader

November 21, 2018

By Sara E. Teller

A former altar boy is the latest to come forward, filing a lawsuit claiming he was sexually abused by a former Pennsylvania priest. The priest already admitted to abusing another boy several years ago and was previously cleared to work with kids by a New Mexico clinic for troubled clergy.

Bruno Tucci, 76, allegedly abused the altar boy who is identified only as a 29-year-old “John Doe” for several years between 1999 and 2001 at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Nesquehoning, a small town outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Tucci allegedly told the boy to “put his arms out like Jesus on the cross” while he fondled him.

“He is a broken young man,” the client’s chief attorney, Gerald Williams, said. “He veers from anger to despair to depression.” He was motivated to come forward after Tucci was identified by a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August as one of 301 “predator priests” who preyed on thousands of children in parishes across six dioceses.

Catholic diocese in Iowa removes priest after girl reports inappropriate touching

DES MOINES (IA)
The Associated Press

November 20, 2018

By Ryan J. Foley

A longtime Catholic priest in Iowa has been removed from the ministry indefinitely after a girl complained a year ago that he improperly touched her, a diocese has confirmed.

The fourth-grader alleged that the Rev. Brian Danner of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Humboldt rubbed the top of her leg while taking her confession, the Diocese of Sioux City told the Associated Press. The girl's parents were "extremely upset" and complained to church officials, recalled diocese lawyer Michael Ellwanger.

The diocese reported the incident to the county attorney last December and has revoked Danner's ability to function as a priest indefinitely. Its review found that Danner's actions were inappropriate but didn't constitute sexual abuse, Ellwanger said.

Philadelphia Archdiocese to set aside $25M for abuse victims

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Tribune

November 20, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Tuesday it is putting aside $25 million to start paying claims to people who say its clergy sexually abused them as children.

The archdiocese said it expects to need more money than it has on hand, so it will have to borrow and liquidate assets. A spokesman calls initial funding of $25 million to $30 million, from existing liquid assets, “a floor and not a ceiling.”

The archdiocese announced last week it was beginning a claims process and had mailed out a few hundred informational packets to people who had previously reported credible abuse claims.

Most of the state’s dioceses are setting up compensation funds.

A proposal to retroactively allow child sexual abuse lawsuits that are otherwise too old to pursue passed the state House by a wide margin but was blocked by state Senate Republicans.

Catholic priest scandal: New lawsuits use nuisance and racketeering laws to target clergy sex abuse

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Bay Area News Group

November 21, 2018

By Tracey Kaplan

The ongoing scandal over sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has led to two new high-profile lawsuits, both aimed at forcing American bishops to divulge secret lists of offenders dating back more than six decades.

But one of the legal attacks goes even further by pinning the blame on Vatican officials for misconduct in the United States, relying in part on a legal doctrine more commonly used to take down drug dealers and Mafia members. And the other relies on nuisance laws, alleging that the church has created a public hazard.

The lawsuits, both of which include victims from California and were filed in federal court this month, represent a far more sweeping approach than suing individual priests or a diocese as a way to expose clergy abuse and its alleged cover-up.

This is not “Father so-and-so” abusing one child, said Mitchell A. Toups, of Texas, one of the lawyers in the suit that names the church government in the Vatican, known as the Holy See. “This is a much broader attack.”

Judy Keane, a spokeswoman for the conference of bishops, said the group does not comment on pending litigation.

Cuomo wants Child Victims Act to pass next year, but says final bill shouldn't bankrupt the Church

ALBANY (NEW YORK)
New York Daily News

November 20, 2018

By Kenneth Lovett

Gov. Cuomo said Tuesday he wants to see a bill making it easier for victims of child sex abuse to seek justice as adults pass next year—but not in a way that would bankrupt the Catholic Church.

“Obviously nobody wants to see a dioceses or the Catholic Church bankrupt, so how it is done is very important,” Cuomo told reporters during a pre-Thanksgiving trip to Buffalo to pass out turkeys.

But Cuomo quickly added that “nor do I think you should say, ‘well this may cost the Church money, so we shouldn’t do it.’ There’s a long step between acknowledgment and justice and financial catastrophe, so I do believe there should be a recognition and justice should be done for the victims.”

Buffalo has been contending with a widespread priest abuse scandal.

Judge dismisses female genital mutilation charges in historic case

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

November 20, 2018

By Tresa Baldas

In a major blow to the federal government, a judge in Detroit has declared America's female genital mutilation law unconstitutional, thereby dismissing the key charges against two Michigan doctors and six others accused of subjecting at least nine minor girls to the cutting procedure in the nation's first FGM case.

The historic case involves minor girls from Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, including some who cried, screamed and bled during the procedure and one who was given Valium ground in liquid Tylenol to keep her calm, court records show.

The judge's ruling also dismissed charges against three mothers, including two Minnesota women whom prosecutors said tricked their 7 -year-old daughters into thinking they were coming to metro Detroit for a girls' weekend, but instead had their genitals cut at a Livonia clinic as part of a religious procedure.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman concluded that "as despicable as this practice may be," Congress did not have the authority to pass the 22-year-old federal law that criminalizes female genital mutilation, and that FGM is for the states to regulate. FGM is banned worldwide and has been outlawed in more than 30 countries, though the U.S. statute had never been tested before this case.

"As laudable as the prohibition of a particular type of abuse of girls may be ... federalism concerns deprive Congress of the power to enact this statute," Friedman wrote in his 28-page opinion, noting: "Congress overstepped its bounds by legislating to prohibit FGM ... FGM is a 'local criminal activity' which, in keeping with long-standing tradition and our federal system of government, is for the states to regulate, not Congress."

When sexual assault becomes dinner conversation: A #MeToo holiday survival guide

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Lifestyle

November 20, 2018

By Beth Greenfield

Now that the #MeToo movement, Kavanaugh hearings, Betsy DeVos’s proposed campus rape rules and protests like the Google walkouts have put sexual assault right up there with movies, pets, weather and politics as very possible topics of family dinner discussions, heading into the holidays can feel more fraught than ever. That’s especially true if you’re a sexual assault survivor. And it’s why being thrust into such a conversation without being mentally prepared could leave you rattled.

“I left feeling jarred and jangled and with a feeling disequilibrium,” says Fran (not her real name), a 48-year-old California woman, regarding a recent visit with her parents during which they raised the topic of her childhood assault at the hands of a family member. She believes they brought up the incident, after many years of avoidance, because the national conversation had provided them with a new way of understanding it all. “I wasn’t mad, but I left feeling unmoored,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “because it didn’t feel like it was about me and my well-being and my resolution, but more about theirs.”

Her advice to others heading into a similar setup, particularly for people with traumas that have yet to be disclosed? “Imagine the topic is going to come up in some form, and know who you’re talking to and where they’re coming from … and know that no one’s going to be thinking about you,” she says, “so you think about you. What would be meaningful for you? What would help move you forward and not just the conversation?”

Experts agree that it’s a great guidepost and offer more guidance on how to be ready for sensitive, triggering discussions about sexual assault and harassment — particularly those that leave you wanting to disclose your own history in order to make a heat-of-the-moment point to your clueless relative. “It’s a very pivotal moment when you are able to share your trauma,” psychologist Kathleen carterMartinez, author of Permission Granted: The Journey From Trauma to Healing From Rape, Sexual Assault and Emotional Abuse, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. And you want to do it in a way that feels like healing, rather than self-harm.

L.A. County sheriff's sex crimes investigator arrested on suspicion of raping minor

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

November 19, 2018

By Richard Winton and Maya Lau

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy assigned to handle sensitive sex abuse crimes, often involving vulnerable minors, has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl in a case he was investigating.

Neil Kimball was taken into custody Friday evening after a monthlong inquiry into the allegations by the sheriff's criminal internal investigation bureau. He was booked on suspicion of rape by force and preventing or dissuading a victim from testifying.

The 45-year-old investigator with the special victims unit met the girl during the “scope of his work,” a department spokeswoman said Monday.

Kimball, a 20-year department veteran, has investigated dozens of child molestation cases in Los Angeles County as a member of the elite specialized unit since 2013.

“The investigation and arrest resulted from information provided to the department by a member of the public,” the Sheriff's Department said in a statement. It did not announce the arrest Friday and provided the statement after an inquiry by The Times.

Kimball was investigated previously, after a woman told the Sheriff’s Department in February 2009 that Kimball had grabbed her hand several months earlier and tried to make her touch his genitals, according to a memo from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Prosecutors ultimately declined to charge Kimball in the case.

Abusers become more brazen when they are suspected of abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
jimmyhinton.org

November 20, 2018

By Jimmy Hinton

Pedophile abusers are not intimidated by church policies or accountability partners and will not refrain from abusing kids simply because a handful of people are “keeping an eye” on them. When they are in the church, they are primed for abuse and will strike again. Churches have made a fatal theological mistake by not calling wolves by the proper name and this, in my opinion, is a leading reason why churches continue to be one of the most dangerous places for our youth. Churches mistakenly accept wolves as if they were sheep and give them exactly what they seek to devour. The Bible rightly distinguishes wolves from sheep because wolves are inherently intent on feasting on their prey. A wolf does not get better–he or she gets smarter. Wolves do not convert into sheep. They are, by nature, predators and predators blend in to the flock of prey exceptionally well.

Convicted sex offender, a youth minister, found guilty of another sex crime

NEW JERSEY
For NJ.com

November 18, 2018

By Joe Brandt

A church youth minister who was convicted in the 1990s for sexual assault was convicted again on Friday of having inappropriate sexual contact with a teenage girl.

A jury found Shawn Butler, of Hillsborough, guilty of criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced.

Butler, 52, worked as a youth minister at Eternal Life Christian Center in Franklin Township and served on the church's executive board.

At trial, Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Carver made the case that Butler improperly touched a 15-year-old girl in South Brunswick and at his home in Hillsborough several times between March and June 2014.

Another big story from alternative Catholic press: Cupich and Wuerl teamed up on what?

VATICAN
Get Religion

November 19, 2018

By Terry Mattingly

When I was breaking into the mainstream religion-news biz — soon after the cooling of the earth’s crust — the words “church press” basically meant one thing.

It meant working for the news office in a denomination’s headquarters or, perhaps, in the outreach office of a religious non-profit. In other words, it was one step from the world of public relations.

As the old saying goes: It’s hard to cover a war when a general is signing your paycheck.

However, the Internet has — year after year — been blurring many of these lines. The denominational press is still out there, but so are lots of non-profit publications that offer an often dizzying mix of commentary and factual news.

This is especially true for reporters covering Catholic news. As my colleague Clemente Lisi noted the other day, referring to developments on scandals surrounding ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick:

November 20, 2018

Sioux City diocese removed priest after girl reported touching during confession

SIOUX CITY (IA)
Associated Press

November 20, 2018

By Ryan Foley

A longtime Roman Catholic priest in Northwest Iowa has been removed from the ministry indefinitely after a girl complained a year ago that he improperly touched her, the Diocese of Sioux City has confirmed.

The fourth-grader at St. Mary's school in Humboldt alleged that the Rev. Brian Danner of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Humboldt rubbed the top of her leg while taking her confession, the diocese told The Associated Press. The girl's parents were "extremely upset" and complained to church officials, recalled diocese lawyer Michael Ellwanger.

The diocese reported the incident to the county attorney last December and has revoked Danner's ability to function as a priest indefinitely. Its review found that Danner's actions were inappropriate but didn't constitute sexual abuse, Ellwanger said.

View From the Eye of the Storm, Part One: Observations on the Sex Abuse Scandal

PHILAdELPHIA (PA)
Patheos

November 20, 2018

By Teresa Messineo

I live in the eye of the storm that is the Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse scandal. The diocese named, the schools, parishes, bishops and sex abuse survivors are all with me here, at ground zero. Photographs of people crying, or staring stoically ahead, or holding on to each other as our attorney general finally read the findings of the two-year grand jury investigation – those people aren’t just human interest stories, or a way to sell more papers, or images to lead off internet articles. They are my high school classmates. My teammates. My friends.

And the priests named in that report – the men who wrote us demerit slips for chewing gum or rolling down our dress socks, while they raped and tortured children – I know them, too. They were our class advisors, our religion teachers; they heard our confessions and doled out penances for our petty sins while they exonerated themselves from all wrong-doing.

The Catholic Church stands at a crossroads, globally. But nowhere is that more apparent than here, in Pennsylvania. Every fourth person in our state is Catholic. I’ve gone to mass in Pittsburgh, where there were three Catholic churches in one square block. Older Philadelphians still give directions by parish. So, the uncertainty facing the future of our church is – to a large extent – a shared uncertainty about our own future, the two are so closely enmeshed.

Mississippi priest says he informed about another priest

JACKSON (MS)
Associated Press

November 20, 2018

A Mississippi priest says he was an informant for the federal fraud investigation of another priest.

The Clarion Ledger reported The Rev. John Bohn told the weekend services at St. Richard Catholic Church in Jackson that he was an informant in the case involving a priest in Starkville.

Bohn previously served in Starkville.

A federal affidavit says there were four informants as they investigated the priest, whom The Associated Press is not naming because he has not been charged.

The affidavit says the Starkville priest announced from the pulpit numerous times that he had cancer and was going to Canada for treatment. He received donations from parishioners.

The affidavit says the priest actually had been diagnosed with HIV. The diocese said it could not talk about the priest's medical condition.

Bishop 'could not keep silent'

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Jefferson City Press Tribune

November 20, 2018

By Joe Gamm

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of the Diocese of Jefferson City — one of the youngest and newest of those attending the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — was among the first and loudest to respond when the Vatican asked the conference to delay action on the sexual abuse crisis facing the church.

Many were surprised. Maybe none more so than McKnight.

"I made the promise to myself that I would not speak at my first major general assembly out of deference. You're the new guy, and you need to learn how this crisis works," McKnight said Monday. "But, when this crisis blew up and the November assembly was focused primarily on addressing it. The way this was happening, I could not keep silent, no matter how young I am."

The U.S. bishops meet annually to promote the greater good the church can do for humankind, according to the conference website, and fits programs to circumstances as required. The agenda going into this year's conference in Baltimore was to create a strategy to deal with the growing clergy sexual abuse crisis across the country.

Seminary Abuse Victim Still Waits For Denver’s Archdiocese To ‘Do The Right Thing’

DENVER (CO)
Colorado Public Radio

November 20, 2018

By Allison Sherry

Stephen Szutenbach didn’t have anywhere to turn when his priest and mentor came on to him sexually when he was 18 years old.

Szutenbach aspired to be a priest himself. He had never even kissed anyone before.

He first met Rev. Kent Drotar, a leader at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, at a youth retreat in 1999. It was the summer before he started his senior year at Conifer High School.

Szutenbach was having trouble with his parents and confided in Drotar. The priest gave him advice and counsel and supported him personally and spiritually throughout his last year in high school. He attended his swim meets and graduation, where Szutenbach delivered the valedictorian speech in 2000. Drotar gave Szutenbach a laptop computer after graduation.

“I saw him as a friend and a mentor,” Szutenbach said. “And as a father figure.”

That summer, Szutenbach was slated to start seminary and got a job working on the grounds at Denver’s St. John Vianney Seminary. Drotar often had him over for lunch in his apartment.

“Slowly but surely as the summer went on, we would be sitting on the couch eating lunch, he would put his arm around me, he would put his hand on my leg and try to cuddle with me,” Szutenbach said. “It made me uncomfortable.”

Former Florida Priest Accused Of Sexual Misconduct With Minors

RIVERVIEW (FL)
Bradenton Patch

November 20, 2018

By Paul Scicchitano

A Florida Catholic church has informed its parishioners that a well-known former priest who once worked as a stunt car performer in an automotive thrill show, has been accused of two cases of sexual misconduct with children. The allegations involve the Rev. Michael P. Juran, who was most recently assigned to the Diocese of Buffalo in upstate New York though still living in Florida.

"On Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 we received information from the Diocese of St. Petersburg regarding allegations involving Rev. Michael P. Juran, a former parochial vicar of St. Stephen Catholic Church from 2006 to 2011," wrote Father Dermot Dunne in a Nov. 8 letter to parishioners of his western Florida parish.

In 2008, Juran appeared in a video in which he described his work with the thrill show, even allowing himself to be strapped to the hood of a stunt car at 60 mph as he crashed through a flaming firewall on the track.

"The faster you go the better and then it doesn't hurt as much," Juran told an interviewer. "Right through the firewall and then you come back and you take your bow."

East Brunswick church parishioners express anger, hope over sexual abuse revelations

EAST BRUNSWICK (NJ)
CentralNewJersey.com

November 20, 2018

By Vashti Harris

Striving to address recent sexual abuse revelations within the Catholic church, St. Bartholomew Church served as a host to a listening session for patrons to voice their concerns.

“The church decided to have a listening session for all Catholics of our parish and surrounding parishes in order to hear about how they are feeling about the sexual abuse crisis and ask for their opinions for what actions the church can take going forward,” parishioner MaryEllen Firestone said.

More than 30 patrons attended the session that was facilitated by Sister Margaret Conlon of Sister of Charity of Saint Elizabeth on Oct. 22 at St. Bart’s in East Brunswick.

Conlon has ministered to high school students and families, as a teacher and counselor, in Jersey City for more than 20 years. For the last 27 years, she has ministered as a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor at Emmaus House, a holistic center for women religious, in Ocean Grove. Conlon has facilitated programs for suicide prevention for youth as well as groups and retreats for adult women in recovery, according to a prepared statement from the St. Bartholomew Church.

The session began with parishioner JoLynn Krempecki talking about the history of the crisis and the church’s response.

“Today we are in a terrible state in the Catholic church. The sins of some clergy that have been committed in the dark were brought to light in 2002. These were sins of sexual abuse against children,” Krempecki said. “Sadly, not all of the abusers were named [and] some abused children were afraid to come forward.”

In 2002, the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team published an investigative article exposing systemic sexual abuse against children in the Boston area by numerous priests.

“When the Spotlight was shown the [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] scattered to make decisions that was suppose to ensure that such things would never happen again,” Krempecki said. “They put guidelines and provisions into place and since then all who work with children must go through criminal background checks and also must have training that teaches people where the boundary lines are. This is a national policy and this is a policy in this diocese and every parish and every Catholic institution are checked regularly for compliance.”

Why I Stay

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

November 20, 2018

By Dorothy Fortenberry

It was somewhere in the process of explaining transubstantiation to my skeptical seven-year-old that I taught her the phrase “Go big or go home.”

I hadn’t intended to bring up transubstantiation, or religion, or anything at all—we were just trying to make it through a rare sit-down post-church brunch (we usually do more of a perching coffee and pastries), helping the two-year-old balance scrambled eggs on her spoon, when my older kid asked, pretty much out of nowhere, “The cracker and the wine…they’re not really the body and the blood of Jesus, right?”

Even though my husband attended Catholic school for five years and has sat through more theology classes than I have, I’m the actual Catholic, so I was fielding this one.

I grabbed the moment as best I could to explain that yes, well, actually, the craziness of that idea was the point. The whole idea that something could literally transform before our eyes. That we could, daily if we wanted to, eat the body and drink the blood of a two-thousand-year-old man, alongside a billion other people across the globe. She raised her magnificent eyebrows. “Okaaaaaay."

Why I left

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

November 20, 2018

By Helene Stapinski

In 1992, I quit my job at my local newspaper and moved to Nome, Alaska, to join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I was only twenty-seven but felt jaded and hopeless in the face of the problems I wrote about in my hometown of Jersey City—AIDS, toxic waste, political corruption. I never seemed to make a dent.

The motto of the JVC is “Ruined for Life”—the idea being that once you join, you’re fundamentally changed, eager from then on to make a difference in the world. I had been raised Catholic but felt estranged from the church because of its positions on the gay community, birth control, women’s roles—the usual liberal lament. But I knew the Jesuits had a reputation for being forward-thinking, and I thought a year spent at a radio mission might just renew my faith. I thought I could bring some change by working with the 3,000-person community of Nome, where alcoholism, domestic abuse, and suicide were common problems.

On my flight in, an older man sitting in front of me turned around and asked, over the seat, “Where you headed, honey?”

Honey? “I’m one of the new KNOM volunteers,” I said. KNOM was the voice of western Alaska, the glue that held Alaska Native villages together. The man only gave me a wooden stare. “You know,” I said. “KNOM? The radio station?”

“I’m familiar with KNOM,” he answered. He paused again. He reached a hand out to shake mine. “I’m Father Jim Poole.”

The shame of the Catholic Church

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Daily Advertiser

November 20, 2018

By Cal Thomas

One doesn't have to be Roman Catholic or even Christian to recognize the great good the Catholic Church has done. America would be worse off were it not its pro-life stance and numerous acts of charity.

But good works are sometimes diluted or even overwhelmed by evil works, and it is the evil works of pedophile priests that threaten to sully the good the church has done.

But what should trouble not only Catholics but non-Catholics too is the latest statement from the Vatican regarding the sexual abuse scandal, a scandal that has prompted many Catholics to leave the church and the faith altogether.

In a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore, the Vatican, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, requested that U.S. bishops "wait until after the Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse takes place in February" to take action on the sexual abuse issue plaguing the church. "The conference of bishops had expected to focus ... on measures to combat abuse, including establishing a new code of conduct."

Is it just a question of timing, or yet another attempt to avoid dealing with the crisis?

Seminary Abuse Victim Still Waits For Denver’s Archdiocese To ‘Do The Right Thing’

DENVER (CO)
Colorado Public Radio

November 20, 2018

By Allison Sherry

Stephen Szutenbach didn’t have anywhere to turn when his priest and mentor came on to him sexually when he was 18 years old.

Szutenbach aspired to be a priest himself. He had never even kissed anyone before.

He first met Rev. Kent Drotar, a leader at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, at a youth retreat in 1999. It was the summer before he started his senior year at Conifer High School.

Szutenbach was having trouble with his parents and confided in Drotar. The priest gave him advice and counsel and supported him personally and spiritually throughout his last year in high school. He attended his swim meets and graduation, where Szutenbach delivered the valedictorian speech in 2000. Drotar gave Szutenbach a laptop computer after graduation.

“I saw him as a friend and a mentor,” Szutenbach said. “And as a father figure.”

That summer, Szutenbach was slated to start seminary and got a job working on the grounds at Denver’s St. John Vianney Seminary. Drotar often had him over for lunch in his apartment.

Missouri bishop calls for greater lay role in Church, including abuse probes

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Catholic News Service

November 19, 2018

Laypeople need to help the U.S. bishops get out from under the clerical sex abuse scandal that is plaguing the Church, said Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City in a message to Catholics of his diocese posted Nov. 16 on the diocesan website.

Beyond just the abuse crisis, laity need to be involved “at all levels of the church,” McKnight said.

“Why can’t we have well-qualified, nationally known and trusted lay experts named to the special task force announced by the president of the USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)?” he asked. “The Second Vatican Council gave us not only the freedom but the obligation to utilize and engage the gifts and talents of the laity in the life and mission of the Church.”

After the substantiated abuse allegation that prompted retired Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick’s resignation in July from the College of Cardinals, “an internal investigation of the McCarrick scandal without the use of competent and qualified lay investigators will hardly be considered transparent and credible,” McKnight said.

Vigil held at New Haven church to denounce sexual abuse

NEW HAVEN (CT)
WFSB

November 18, 2018

By Rebecca Cashman and Jennifer Lee

Saint Mary’s Parish in New Haven held a vigil in the wake of sexual abuse scandals around the country involving clergy on Sunday night.

Members of the church and the Knights of Columbus allowed parishioners to view and pay their respects to a relic of the world famous, French Saint Jean Vianney who Catholics believe symbolizes love, courage, and commitment.

The relic is the 159-year-old heart of Saint Vianney and is on display after Sunday’s mass from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A pastor from France led the vigil that followed mass and reflected on personal holiness.

Child sexual abuse and the church: Reporting & care after abuse occurs

TEXAS
Baptist Standard

November 19, 2018

By Scott Floyd

The church has the incredibly important task of creating a safe atmosphere for children. The previous article in this series considered a brief theology of care of children and then pivoted to practical steps the church can take to provide effective protection for the safety of children.

Now, think about what no one wants to think about. Consider the role of ministry personnel as mandated reporters when abuse occurs. Here, we will explore what must happen and how the church can assist child victims and families after abuse takes place.

NY legal group urges Catholic Church sex abuse survivors to come forward

ROCHESTER (NY)
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

November 19, 2018

By Sarah Taddeo

A group of U.S. lawyers is publicizing its services to survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, in anticipation of the potential passage of the Child Victim’s Act in the New York state legislature.

Versions of the bill have made their way around the legislature for more than a decade, and while a version passed the Assembly in June 2017, it has yet to pass the Senate.

The bill would extend the age at which individuals can seek criminal charges for sexual abuse from 23 to 28, and the age at which they can seek civil penalties against their abusers from 18 to 50.

State Democrats, who now control both houses of the legislature, have indicated that this issue is a priority for the upcoming session, which starts in January.

Detroit priest opens up about Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal

DETROIT (MI)
Click on Detroit

November 19, 2018

By Sandra Ali and Kayla Clarke

Allegations rocked Catholic Church

Sexual abuse revelations have rocked the Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States traveled to Baltimore last week for their first time meeting since an explosive grand jury report by the Pennsylvania attorney general that detailed decades of sexual abuse involving hundreds of priests.

The bishops left the meeting without taking any action. They were asked by the Vatican to stand down and wait until Pope Francis meets with church leaders from all over the world to discuss the abuse crisis.

A Detroit priest opened up to Local 4 about the scandal. The Rev. Stephen Pullis is the director of evangelization of catechesis and schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he would start investigation allegations of sexual abuse and assault by Catholic priests dating back to the 1950s.

Months after the Mormon Church sexual abuse is settled, the families involved are speaking up

MARTINSBURG (WV)
Local DVM

November 16, 2018

By Thao Ta

Tom Stollings said the accused, lived in his home for about two months.

The Mormon Church settled a sexual abuse case in Berkeley County nearly five months ago. Now, some families are speaking up with allegations that there were sexual abuse cover ups by an individual who has a history of sexual abuse.

It's a case that rattled the Mormon Church community. Allegations of sexual abuse hidden for years by one of their own members at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Martinsburg .

"They stop at nothing to attack the parents," said Tom Stollings, a former member of the church who is speaking up now.

Tom Stollings and Kelly H., are among the nine plaintiffs who sued the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Martinsburg, saying the church covered up years of sexual abuse, involving member Christopher Michael Jensen. They say the case was prolonged for nearly five years before a date for the civil trial was set in January in West Virginia.

"I felt like we were settled to shut up," said Kelly H.

Sexual abuse victim pursues Hillsong’s Brian Houston over crimes of his father

NEW YORK (NY)
The Guardian

November 19, 2018

By Naaman Zhou

Brett Sengstock waives anonymity to accuse Hillsong founder of failing victims by not reporting pastor Frank Houston to police

The victim of a paedophile pastor has accused the man’s son, Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston, of not doing enough to expose his father’s crimes.

Brett Sengstock waived his anonymity as he told Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes program on Sunday night he was sexually abused by Frank Houston, the influential leader of the Pentecostal denomination Assemblies of God in the 1960s and 70s.

Sengstock had previously testified before the royal commission into child sexual abuse in 2013, under the pseudonym AHA.

But he told 60 Minutes he wanted to publicly ask Houston’s son Brian why he did not report his father to the police, despite knowing of his abuse since 1999.

Bishop urges other bishops to be honest about McCarrick cover-up: ‘Be men, not cowards’

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
LifeSiteNews

November 20, 2018

By Lisa Bourne

Bishop Shawn McKnight was “very disappointed” at the Holy See’s intervention last week prohibiting the U.S. bishops from taking action on measures to address sexual abuse.

“My frustration, shared with many other people, is this,” Bishop McKnight of the Diocese of Jefferson City explained. “We have known about the scandal of Archbishop McCarrick since the end of June, and our Church must take immediate, decisive and substantive action in light of the deep wound the scandal has caused.”

It’s not so much the time it’s taking to punish McCarrick, he said, and more is needed beyond punishment of the perpetrator.

“How could his rise to such an influential position in the Church have happened?” he questioned. “I am concerned how the national conference of bishops and the Holy See answer that question.”

Tears of a broken man: Cancer sufferer relives the unspeakable torment of sexual abuse at the hands of a preacher whose son went on to found celebrity-backed Hillsong Church

AUSTRALIA
DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

November 18, 2018

By Lauren Ferri and Alex Chapman

- Brett Sengstock held back tears as he recalled years of torment he suffered
- The 56-year-old cancer sufferer was sexually abused for years in his youth
- He spoke for the first time about being molested by pastor Frank Houston
- Mr Sengstock said the religious figurehead abused him for five years in the 1970s
- Executives at the Assemblies of God church discovered the paedophilia in 1990

A man battling stage four brain cancer has bravely spoken about being sexually abused by a pastor for years as a young child.

Brett Sengstock and his family were loyal followers of the Assemblies of God in Australia church when he was growing up.

Pastor Frank Houston, the father of Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston, would sneak into the young boy's room and molest him, a horror he repressed for 44 years.

Breaking decades of silence, the 56-year-old choked back tears and could hardly stomach a response when shown a photograph of the man who stole his childhood.

Wanting to put a face to previously anonymous accusations, Mr Sengstock broke down in tears while recounting the horrific memories of sexual abuse on Channel Nine's 60 Minutes.

Saturday Soapbox: Catholic church whistleblowers need protection to expose abuse

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald

November 16, 2018

By Robert Fontana

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a gay man in a church that teaches homosexual behavior is sinful, has been exposed as a sexual predator who targeted males, mostly seminarians, and young boys.

According to Kenneth Woodward (former religious editor for Newsweek, Commonweal -11/9/18), McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., was not only protected by his high office but by a network of gay clerics that had secrets to keep. Woodward writes, “By network, I mean groups of gay priests, diocesan and religious, who encourage the sexual grooming of seminarians and young priests for decades, and who themselves lead double lives – breaking their vows of chastity while ministering to the laity and staffing the various bureaucracies of the church.”

These men hide behind a veneer of public ministry, celibacy and Catholic orthodoxy while living secret lives of sexual misbehavior, some of it criminal.

Readers of the Yakima Herald-Republic saw a glimpse of this in the story of Juan Jose Gonzalez Rios. Gonzalez, a former seminarian and retreat director, was arrested in the spring, 2008, for an outstanding warrant for accessing child porn. Charges were later dropped (“Former Seminarian Tells His Story,” Yakima Herald-Republic, 5/15/08). Gonzalez described how his pastor drew him into parish ministry, simultaneously introducing him to a public life of service and a private life of pornography, sex games, drinking, and gambling. This behavior continued as Gonzales entered the seminary and ended, according to Gonzalez, when the priest sexually assaulted him.

AG urges Pa. lawmakers to allow suits in old clergy abuse cases, hints at more charges

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WITF

November 20, 2018

By Katie Meyer

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday more is to come from his office’s investigation into abuse within the Catholic Church.

In a wide-ranging speech, Shapiro touched on the many lawsuits he’s been involved in against the Trump administration. He also touted improvements to the AG office after years of scandal, and rebuffed a question about whether he wants to be governor.

But he had perhaps the most to say about a grand jury report released earlier this year that found more than 300 clergy members abused more than 1,000 children over many decades.

Diocese Sex-Abuse List Includes Priest At Center Of 2006 Lawsuit, Plaintiff Speaks Out

ROCKFORD (IL)
The Rock River Times

November 19, 2018

By Jim Hagerty

A former Rockford priest at the center of chilling allegations and a 2006 lawsuit appears on a list of 15 priests accused of sexual abuse.

Theodore “Ted” Feely, who Rockford resident Donald Bondick claimed in a five-count lawsuit molested him and other boys, is one of the 10 men on the list released by the Diocese of Rockford Wednesday that have since died.

The list is part of a letter by Bishop David Malloy​ and includes six priests, one deacon and eight priests/brothers. The accusations range from 1925 to 1991.

According the 2006 lawsuit, Feely raped Bondick in 1969, when Bondick was 13.

N.J. Catholic Church will name every priest 'credibly accused' of child sex abuse

NEW JERSEY
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

November 19, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer

The names of every priest and deacon "credibly accused" of sexually abusing a child will be made public by New Jersey's five Catholic dioceses early next year, church officials announced Monday.

The dioceses -- Newark, Camden, Paterson, Metuchen and Trenton -- are also establishing a victim compensation fund and counseling program for victims of sexual abuse by clergy and other church employees, said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the head of the Archdiocese of Newark.

"The dioceses will undertake this action in coordination with the attorney general of New Jersey's ongoing task force examining the issue of clergy sexual abuse. It is hoped that these steps will aid in the process of healing for victims, who are deserving of our support and prayers," Tobin said in a statement.

Lawsuit seeks church abuse records

PENNSYLVANIA
69 News

November 18, 2018

Two survivors of alleged child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy are suing for the release of church records from all of Pennsylvania's dioceses.

The lawsuit seeks the release of records from dioceses related to allegations of child sexual abuse and a list of all accused priests and their work histories.

The firm that filed lawsuit has filed similar lawsuits in New York, California and Illinois and against the U-S Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A New Series ~ Settlement Class Action Sex Abuse Lawsuits

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

November 18, 2018

By Joelle Casteix

~Part one in a multi-part series~
[Read Part 2: Lessons from Covington and Part 3:The Evil Opt-Out]

Class Actions: BAD for Victims. BAD for Justice. BAD for Transparency

Class action lawsuits are a bishop’s dream and a victim’s nightmare. Let me explain:

Earlier this week, news reports discussed a federal class action lawsuit filed on Tuesday against the Vatican and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

(This class action lawsuit is not to be confused with this civil public nuisance lawsuit against the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, also announced this week. It is NOT a class action. The civil public nuisance is a case filed by six individuals. Confusing, I know.)

New Jersey’s Attorney General Ramps Up Investigation and Issues Subpoenas to Church Officials

NEW JERSEY
SNAP

November 16, 2018

The attorney general for New Jersey has ramped up their investigation into clergy sex abuse and has issued subpoenas to at least one of the state’s catholic dioceses. We applaud this move by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

The issuing of these subpoenas is a huge step forward for the investigation in New Jersey and one that will make a major difference in the effort to get to the bottom of the clergy sex abuse crisis. Subpoena power was a critical tool in Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s investigation into clergy sex abuse that revealed evidence of more than 1000 children abused by more than 300 priests. By following in the footsteps of AG Shapiro, it is clear that AG Grewal is taking this investigation seriously.

Priest being sued for sexual misconduct briefly served in Brenham

BRENHAM (TX)
KBTX

November 19, 2018

By Clay Falls

A Catholic priest that served in Brenham earlier this year is now at the center of a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse and misconduct.

The lawsuit filed in Austin raises concerns against Father Isidore "Izzy" Ndagizimana and the Austin Diocese. Six anonymous women claim the priest was abusive while serving at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Austin. They are seeking more than $1 million in damages.

The court documents claimed he was abusive even when the women were in a confessional. The plaintiff's attorneys accuse the church of not addressing the problems and moving the priest to other parishes. The lawsuit claims the misconduct happened in Austin and not in Brenham.

The Austin Diocese said KBTX Father "Izzy" started in Brenham on July 2 and served until August 21, when we was placed on leave.

"They really hit a brick wall and something needs to change here. There need to be some change in policies and procedure with the diocese," said Sean Breen, who is the attorney representing the women. He says they hope the suit will bring changes to the church for allegations of misconduct.

Despite Vatican Inaction, SNAP Urges Bishops to Follow the Lead of Others

UNITED STATES
SNAP

November 16, 2018

On Monday, the Vatican delayed a vote that would have let US bishops take small steps towards addressing the clergy sex abuse crisis. Despite that delay, some bishops around the country have already been taking positive steps in their own way.

Without permission from the Holy See or their colleagues in the USCCB, several US bishops have become leaders by example. In doing so, these bishops provide a counter-example to the myth that bishops cannot act on this crisis without Vatican approval. Three examples of bishops doing the right thing include:

Abuse lawsuits open a second front on time limits

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 16, 2018

By Peter Smith

The dozen lawsuits filed this week against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh represent the opening of a second front in the effort to overcome the statute of limitations and enable victims to sue over decades-old sexual abuse, even as a similar effort remains stalled in Harrisburg.

The plaintiffs allege that the diocese engaged in a systematic effort at fraud and concealment, which the victims couldn’t have known about when they were younger because it’s only now in the open, thanks to an August grand jury report.

As a result, they claim, the statute of limitations that normally would have closed the courtroom door to them long ago should be opened wide.

It’s an argument that their attorneys tried more than a decade ago without success. But this time they are banking on the statewide grand jury report released in August to reverse their fortunes.

Winona-Rochester diocese plans bankruptcy amid abuse lawsuits

WINONA (MN)
MPR News

November 19, 2018

By Martin Moylan

The southern Minnesota Catholic diocese of Winona-Rochester plans to file for bankruptcy protection later this month, as it faces lawsuits alleging former priests sexually abused children.

In a letter to parishioners this past weekend, Bishop John Quinn said that bankruptcy offers the best opportunity to resolve 121 claims of sexual abuse.

"Bishop Quinn, in consultation with a number of groups within the diocese, feels that this is the best way to help bring about healing and justice for survivors and a way forward for our entire diocesan community," said Matt Willkom, director of communications for the diocese.

He said the bankruptcy filing will not affect the day-to-day operations of diocese parishes and schools.

Victims would be compensated from diocesan savings, insurance and asset sales.

The Winona-Rochester diocese includes 20 counties and serves more than 131,000 Catholics.

A silver lining?

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Catholic

November 20, 2018

By Father James F. Keenan, SJ

Many people were disappointed when, as the U.S. bishops began their meeting in Baltimore Nov. 12, it was announced that the Vatican instructed them to delay their votes on their response to the abuse crisis until a February meeting of the presidents of the world’s bishops conferences.

Most U.S. Catholics were expecting new structures of accountability and transparency to be voted on at the Baltimore gathering. Thus, the Vatican interruption was startling, but might it actually have been helpful? Can we find a silver lining here?

Four items strike me as important for us to better understand the events of last week.

First, the more we understand the context of the bishops’ proposals, the more questionable their readiness seems to have been. Questions were raised about how strong the proposed structures would be, whether there was sufficient specificity in them and whether difficulties between the proposals and canon law were resolvable at the meeting.

Furthermore, the draft texts were only sent to Rome at the end of October, and to the full conference at the beginning of this month.

Second, Pope Francis is calling to Rome the presidents of every bishops’ conference in the world for a meeting to address the crisis Feb. 21-24. This is extraordinary in that the pope is convening the entire episcopacy to accountability over the scandal. No longer is it seen as “an American problem,” as many have suggested.

Recent reports from Chile, Germany and India highlight how tragically universal the crisis really is. So if the U.S. bishops passed a problematic proposal or, worse, didn’t pass anything because of internal divisions, it would have set a terrible precedent for the February meeting.

Third, at the pope’s suggestion, the U.S. bishops have scheduled a retreat from Jan. 2-8 at Mundelein Seminary. While some say the bishops need to act more than pray, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has not always shown a great deal of collegiality and solidarity with one another or even the pope.

For instance, the conference has yet to put the pope’s apostolic exhortation on family life, “Amoris Laetitia,” on its agenda. Other episcopal conferences, from Germany and Austria to South Africa and Argentina, have not only welcomed and discussed it, but developed interesting programs to help families with their marriages, particularly those who have divorced. The retreat might lead to greater unity among the body of bishops, which may bring stronger responses to the current crisis.

Protest against sexual abuse in Catholic church grows in India

KERALA (INDIA)
Aljazeera

November 20, 2018

by Raksha Kumar

The Catholic Church in India is facing a trying time, with a growing protest movement in response to allegations of sexual assault by clergymen.

In June, police in the southern Indian state of Kerala registered a case against the bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, in the northern state of Punjab.

A nun had alleged that the bishop, Franko Mulakkal, had raped her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kerala.

The nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Jalandhar.

The bishop was arrested but then released from prison on October 15 on bail on the condition that he presents himself in the police station once every fortnight.

Five nuns of the same congregation have come out in support of the complainant. Six of them live in a convent in Kerala, under police protection.

Accused Catholic priest: 'I know I'm innocent'

AMHERST (NY)
The Post Star

November 20, 2018

A Roman Catholic priest in upstate New York who was placed on leave amid accusations of child sex abuse says he knows he's innocent.

WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reports the complaint against the Rev. Samuel Venne centers on his time at Our Lady of Pompei in Depew in 1980.

Venne says he has not been told the accuser's name, and his attorney has not been able to give evidence to show his innocence.

Venne is one of 18 Buffalo-area priests placed on leave as part of an investigation into alleged abuse. The investigation process abides by Catholic canon law and not the American justice system.

Ethics complaint about state Supreme Court justice advances

PROVIDENCE (RI)
The Associated Press

November 20, 2018

The state Ethics Commission has denied motions by a Rhode Island Supreme Court justice to dismiss a complaint against him.

The complaint alleges Justice Francis Flaherty violated ethics rules by not reporting his service on the board of a Catholic lawyers' group on financial disclosure forms.

The commission dismissed Flaherty's motions Tuesday. A hearing will be held to determine whether Flaherty violated the code.

Flaherty says it wasn't a willful violation. He questioned the commission's authority and says his due process rights were violated.

New Jersey Dioceses to Establish Victim Compensation and Counseling Program

NEWARK (NJ)
Newark Archdiocese

November 19, 2018

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, announced today that the Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Camden, Trenton, Paterson and Metuchen are committed to the establishment of a Victim Compensation and Counseling Program. The details and mechanics of this Program will be finalized after consultation with - and input from - all stakeholders, and will be released when they are available.

This Program will provide the resources to compensate those victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and employees of the Dioceses in New Jersey whose financial claims are legally barred by New Jersey's statute of limitations. This will give victims a formal voice and allow them to be heard by an independent panel. The Cardinal said that the Program also will assure that victims who have not received any financial compensation will be paid, regardless of whether their claims meet the time requirements of the statute of limitations. This initiative will expand on the current arrangement through which the Catholic Church in New Jersey already has provided some fifty million dollars in financial settlements to victims of abuse. The vast majority of these claims had been barred by the statute of limitations.

The Program also will be a resource to provide permanent funding for necessary counseling to those who have been victimized. Such counseling so often is needed to help in the healing of those who have been harmed.

Criminal complaints offer new details into allegations against former Wisconsin priest

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
KSTP TV 5

November 19, 2018

A former Wisconsin priest is accused of preying on several minors who served as altar boys at his churches in the early 1980s, according to details contained in the criminal complaints filed against him.

Thomas Edward Ericksen, 71, was living in Minneapolis and was arrested Friday in Hennepin County after being charged with sexual assault in Wisconsin.

Court records show Ericksen is charged with second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim, second-degree sexual assault against a child and first-degree sexual assault against a child. According to Jeff Anderson & Associates, a law firm which represents victims of sexual abuse, Ericksen was ordained in 1973 and worked in Wisconsin parishes until 1988, when he was permanently removed from ministry.

Ericksen left Wisconsin, even left the country and lived in Indonesia for a while. For years, no one knew of his whereabouts. Court records showed he returned to the United States in 2013 and his name was added to the list of predator priests. In 2016, investigators interviewed Ericksen, where he freely admitted to "fondling five boys," yet was never charged.

NJ Priests Accused Of Sex Abuse To Be Named: Here Are 9 We Know

POINT PLEASANT (NJ)
Patch

November 20, 2018

By Tom Davis

Leaders of the Catholic Church in New Jersey announced this week they will soon reveal the names of priests "credibly accused" of child sex abuse to help victims heal as more revelations have been made in recent months.

Indeed, at least nine members of the clergy with ties to New Jersey have faced allegations of child sex abuse in recent years. Nearly all of them were either sanctioned by the church, charged with a crime or both.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, announced Monday that the Roman Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey will undertake a complete review of their files so that, early next year, the names of all priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors will be made public.

The dioceses will undertake this action in coordination with the Attorney General of New Jersey's ongoing task force examining the issue of clergy sexual abuse. The revelation could be made by the end of the year.

"It is hoped that these steps will aid in the process of healing for victims, who are deserving of our support and prayers," according to a statement from Tobin's office.

Cupich denies hatching, with Wuerl, a plan for handling bishop misconduct

KANSAS CITY(MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 19, 2018

by Heidi Schlumpf

After public discussion raised several criticisms of a possible new commission to receive and investigate accusations of misconduct by bishops, a retired prelate of Tucson, Arizona, suggested using a church structure already in place: metropolitans, or the archbishops who oversee ecclesiastical provinces — in the U.S., usually a state.

Now some are saying that alternative plan was hatched in advance of the annual bishops' meeting in Baltimore by two-high ranking cardinals — a charge at least one of them vehemently denies.

"At no time prior to the Baltimore meeting did the two of us collaborate in developing, nor even talk about, an alternative plan," Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich told Crux on Sunday.

Cupich called "false" a news story that alleged that he and Cardinal Donald Wuerl worked on the alternative plan "for weeks" and presented it to the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops before the four-day meeting of the U.S. prelates last week.

Deceased SD bishop accused of abuse; Church officials must do more

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 19, 2018

A now-deceased Rapid City bishop has been accused of molesting a Minnesota child, Catholic officials recently acknowledged.

St. Cloud MN Bishop Donald Kettler said that Bishop Harold Dimmerling has been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor while a priest in the Diocese of Saint Cloud. The allegation has been reported to law enforcement.

SNAP hopes others who may have been hurt by this deceased prelate will come forward to independent sources of healing, such as therapists, loved ones, and support groups like ours.

Bishop Kettler has said that he will hold listening sessions in the near future in areas of the diocese where Bishop Dimmerling worked. We also encourage current Rapid City Bishop Robert Gruss to aggressively reach out to those who may be suffering in silence, shame and self-blame. He and his staff should use parish bulletins, pulpit announcements, church websites and other resources to seek out and help anyone who might have been hurt by the accused hierarch. Bishop Gruss should also closely reexamine all the abuse allegations handled by his predessor.

Conservatives in ascendant at divided US bishops’ plenary

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

November 20, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

The US bishops’ conference concluded its autumn plenary last week divided and disheartened. After a summer of intense focus on their mishandling of clergy sex abuse issues, they fumbled any attempt to demonstrate a reason the people in the pews should trust them to lead the ecclesial community.

The Holy See had issued a last minute directive, barring them from enacting the proposed remedies formally, pending the outcome of a Rome meeting in February with the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences. The executive committee proposed “Standards of Episcopal Conduct”, and a National Review Board to investigate charges against bishops. But, when they discussed those proposals with a view towards instructing their president-delegate to that same meeting, it quickly became clear that the bishops found them inadequate, too expensive, and too cumbersome. They did not even take a “sense of the body” vote on the proposals as was suggested by Cardinal Blase Cupich when the Vatican’s decision to bar a vote on enacting the proposals was announced.

Nor was there any consensus on diagnosing the problem. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco commended a study purported to link increased numbers of gay people in the priesthood with clergy sex abuse and Bishop Joseph Strickland, of Tyler, Texas, criticised Fr. James Martin, S.J., without naming him, for his efforts to encourage outreach to the LGBT community. Sex abuse victims’ groups have repeatedly denounced efforts to blame the abuse crisis on gays and the most thorough study of the sources of the crisis, published by the John Jay College in 2011, cited a variety of factors that led to the crisis but insisted homosexuality is not a predictor of sex abuse.

Archbishop Paul Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska pointed to the culture of clericalism. He criticised bishops “who have gotten too accustomed to listening to lawyers over victims” and those too concerned with power, privilege and pride. “That’s a corruption of our life as shepherds that has to be called out and say ‘No more. It’s not tolerable.’”

The lack of consensus and mixed motives were evident in the debate over a proposal by Bishop Earl Boyer of Lansing, Michigan. Boyer proposed a resolution urging the Vatican to publish all documents related to the scandal surrounding former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Cardinal Joseph Tobin pointed out the Vatican is already conducting an investigation and has promised to publish the results. The proposed resolution was defeated two-to-one.

More Jesuit provinces announce plans to release list of accused priests

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

November 19, 2018

By Michael J. O’Loughlin

Following the announcement earlier this month that Jesuits in the western part of the United States will release a list of credibly accused priests and brothers on Dec. 7, two more provinces, which cover most of the middle and southern parts of the United States, will follow suit.

“We take this step in the spirit of transparency and reconciliation,” Brian Paulson, S.J., the provincial of the Midwest Province, said in a press release. “As we look back at our history, the failures of the Church and the Society of Jesus to protect those entrusted to its care fill our hearts with outrage, sorrow and shame. On behalf of the Midwest Jesuits, I sincerely apologize to victims and their families for the harm and suffering you have endured. Many have suffered in silence for decades. Our concern and prayers are with the victim-survivors and we hope and pray that this step will strengthen the trust of those we serve.”

Making sense of the USCCB fall assembly and its aftermath

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic World Report

November 18, 2018

By Christopher R. Altieri

If the bishops cannot break their thrall to their umbrella organization, and their paralysis within the warped culture of cronyism that structure fosters from top to bottom, all under the more general rubric of collegiality, it will likely be their undoing.

In the wake of reports that the intrusion of the Holy See on the proceedings of the USCCB fall meeting in Baltimore was even more extensive than previously understood, and that the Holy See’s intrusion involved high-ranking members of the Conference in its organization and execution, frustration and outrage has increased across broad quarters of the Catholic body. Some of that frustration and outrage will inevitably result in railing and denunciation, but this moment in the life of the Church and in the US theater of the global crisis calls for cold analysis.

Bistum gibt Akten an Staatsanwaltschaft

[Diocese gives files to prosecutor]

GERMANY
RWM

November 16, 2018

Das Bistum Essen wird der Staatsanwaltschaft Essen 41 Akten möglicher Missbrauchsfälle zur Verfügung stellen. Dies sei das Ergebnis eines gemeinsamen Gesprächs im Essener Generalivikariat vom Donnerstag, erklärte Oberstaatsanwältin Anette Milk, Pressesprecherin der Staatsanwaltschaft Essen, Neues Ruhr-Wort auf Anfrage.

„Wir rechnen mit den Unterlagen in den nächsten Tagen“, sagte Milk. Da die Bistumsgrenzen und der Zuständigkeitsbereich der Staatsanwaltschat Essen nicht deckungsgleich seien, sei es möglich, dass die Ermittler Akten nach einer ersten Sichtung auch an benachbarte Behörden abgeben.

"Es ist ein Problem der Institution"

[Expert: Abuse Prevention Must Begin in the Seminary
"It's a Problem of the Institution"]

GERMANY
Domradio.de

November 17, 2018

Expertin: Missbrauchsprävention muss im Priesterseminar beginnen

Der Missbrauchsskandal wird die katholische Kirche in Deutschland wohl noch lange beschäftigen. Bei einer Fachtagung in Dresden gab jetzt eine Psychologin von der Päpstlichen Universität in Rom bemerkenswerte Einblick.

Als im September die Ergebnisse der von den katholischen Bischöfen in Auftrag gegebenen Studie zu sexuellem Missbrauch von Minderjährigen durch Geistliche öffentlich wurden, war das Entsetzen groß. Zwischen 1946 und 2014 wurden demnach in Deutschland 3.677 Kinder und Jugendliche Opfer sexueller Übergriffe von mindestens 1.670 Beschuldigten; das sind 4,4 Prozent der Geistlichen. "Die Ergebnisse geben einen guten ersten Eindruck. Wobei die Dunkelziffer sicher höher ist. Insgesamt liegt Deutschland damit im internationalen Vergleich aber in der Norm", urteilt die Psychologin Katharina Fuchs. Als Verantwortliche für Forschung und Entwicklung am "Centre for Child Protection" der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom ist sie Expertin für sexuellen Missbrauch durch Kleriker.

Kirche will Zahlen aus allen Bistümern vorlegen: Polens Kirche kündigt Daten zu Kindesmissbrauch an

[Church wants to present numbers from all dioceses
Poland's church announces data on child abuse]

WARSAW (POLAND)
katholisch.de

November 16, 2018

Wie groß ist das Problem des sexuellen Missbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche in Polen? Zur Beantwortung dieser Frage will die polnische Kirche im kommenden Jahr statistische Daten über Kindesmissbrauch durch Geistliche veröffentlichen.

Die katholische Kirche in Polen will im ersten Halbjahr 2019 statistische Daten über sexuellen Kindesmissbrauch durch Geistliche veröffentlichen. Alle Diözesen sollen bis Ende November ihre Erhebungen einem Statistikzentrum melden, sagte der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Polnischen Bischofskonferenz, der Jesuit Adam Zak, der polnischen katholischen Nachrichtenagentur KAI (Donnerstagabend). Die Auswertung der Daten werde mehrere Monate dauern.

Pédophilie dans l'Eglise: la commission d'enquête n'aura "aucune restriction" selon son président

[Pedophilia in the Church: the commission of inquiry will have "no restrictions" according to its president]

PARIS (FRANCE)
AFP

November 16, 2018

La commission chargée de faire la lumière sur les abus sexuels sur les mineurs dans l'Eglise depuis 1950, une première en France, aura "tous les moyens nécessaires" pour enquêter, assure à l'AFP son président, Jean-Marc Sauvé.
QUESTION : A la demande des évêques, vous avez accepté d'être président d'une commission de transparence sur la pédophilie dans l'Eglise. En quoi sera-t-elle indépendante?

RÉPONSE : "Elle sera indépendante, car c'est moi et moi seul qui la composerai. Il n'y aura aucune interférence de l'Eglise catholique, ni de la Conférence des évêques. Son mandat est large et ne comporte aucune restriction. Ses méthodes de travail seront déterminées par elle.

Youngstown-area priest accused of sexual misconduct removed from service in Phoenix

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WYTV

November 16, 2018

Father Zappitelli moved to Phoenix from Youngstown in 1983

A priest accused of sexual misconduct within the Diocese of Youngstown has been removed from public ministry in Phoenix.

Father Frank Zappitelli is a retired priest of the Diocese of Phoenix. When the diocese learned he had been placed on Youngstown's list of accused priests, the bishop removed him from service.

The 84-year-old moved to Phoenix from Youngstown in 1983. He served at six parishes there.

After he retired in 2001, Zappitelli helped out at another parish.

His allegation of sexual misconduct dates back to the mid-'70s in the Youngstown area.

Parishioner concerned with turmoil at Vienna church

HUBBARD (OH)
Tribune Chronicle

November 16, 2018

By Bob Coupland

A member of the Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Vienna said she was doing her job as church procurator in reporting an alleged incident of inappropriate behavior involving a priest and a minor.

Joann Knuth of Hubbard said Thursday that church members have split in the wake of the Rev. Denis Bouchard, church pastor since 2009, being placed on administrative leave after the Diocese of Youngstown received an allegation against Bouchard of inappropriate behavior with a minor.

Knuth said she believes congregation members are blaming her for what turmoil is happening in the church.

The Diocesan Review Board met and recommended to Bishop George Murry further investigation to determine credibility and substantiation. The Rev. John Jerek, vicar for the clergy, said it is the policy of the diocese that Bouchard be placed on administrative leave while a thorough investigation proceeds.

In the interim, the Rev. Carlos Casavantes has been appointed administrator at Queen of the Holy Rosary. Both Bouchard and Casavantes are members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

Jerek said because it is an ongoing investigation, additional comments on the case cannot be made.

Knuth, a longtime parish member, said she was contacted by the mother of the victim, neither of whom she has met. She said the mother left the church years ago.

Protesters circle Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese with 'Silence Stops Now' signs

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WTAE

November 13, 2018

By Chris Lovingood

Seven laps -- that's how many times a small group of protesters said they would walk around the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh offices on Tuesday morning.

Carrying signs and wearing red shirts and that said, "Bishop Zubik Silence Stops Now," the group was pushing for more transparency from the church.

"I am angry, and I think it's a righteous anger," said Mary Gasior, of Robinson Township.

The diocese said Monday that the Rev. Richard Lelonis had been put on administrative leave. He's the latest priest to be accused of sexually assaulting minors -- once in the 1970s, and an attempted abuse in the 1980s.

"We saw in the summertime that things are still covered up, and the victims need a voice and we are here for them," said Gasior.

Everyone Believed Larry Nassar

UNITED STATES
The Cut

November 19, 2018

Larissa Boyce was 10 when her coach, John Geddert, forced her legs into a split so hard she cried. He pulled her right leg up toward his torso, sending shooting pains through her groin and hamstrings, and he kept pulling. “Racking,” as it’s called, was common practice at the gym, but it was evidently too much for Larissa’s mother, who marched onto the mats and told Geddert to take his hands off her daughter. From then on, Larissa would train under Kathie Klages, a relatively low-key coach with unruly red hair and glasses at Michigan State University’s Spartan youth gymnastics team. Klages, like Geddert, considered herself a dear friend of an athletic trainer named Larry Nassar and sent her gymnasts to him.

When, six years later, Larissa felt ready to talk about the fact that Larry had penetrated her with his hand without warning, she approached Klages. Larissa remembers her office as a small room with a desk, a window, and green carpet. “‘I have known Larry for years and years,’” Larissa recalls Klages saying. “‘He would never do anything inappropriate.’”

Larissa named another gymnast who had been touched, and when Klages called her into the office, she told her the same story. Klages countered by bringing in college gymnasts, who said that Larry had touched “around” the area but that it was never “inappropriate.”

“That’s not what happened to me,” Larissa said. Klages, who has been indicted for allegedly lying to police about this and another such instance, maintains that no one ever came to her with complaints of sexual abuse.

According to Larissa, Klages said she could report the allegations but doing so would have “very serious consequences” for both Larry and Larissa. Larissa couldn’t look at Klages, so she stared out the window. She didn’t want to get anyone in trouble. Afterward, she cried in the bathroom and resolved never to tell anyone again. She worried that Klages would tell Larry.

The next time she went to visit Larry, he closed the door, pulled up a stool, sat down, and looked at her. “So,” he said, “I talked to Kathie.”

“I’m so sorry,” Larissa said. “I misunderstood. It’s all my fault.”

It was 1997. Most of Larry Nassar’s victims had not yet been born.

Polish Church asks for forgiveness for pedophilia cases

WARSAW (POLAND)
Reuters

November 19, 2018

By Marcin Goclowski

Poland's Catholic Church on Monday asked victims of sexual abuse by the clergy for forgiveness, a month after an appeal court upheld a ruling stating the Church was responsible for the crimes of one if its priests.

The Catholic Church worldwide is reeling from crises involving sexual abuse of minors, damaging confidence in the Church in Chile, the United States, Australia and Ireland and other countries.

The Polish court of appeal upheld last month a landmark ruling granting a million zloty ($260,000) in compensation to a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, accepting that the Church was responsible.

"We ask God, the victims of abuse, their families and the Church community for forgiveness for all the harm done to children and young people and their relatives," the Polish Bishops wrote in a statement after a conference dedicated to the issue.

Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : Jean-Marc Sauvé prend la présidence de la commission indépendante

[Pedophilia in the French Church: Jean-Marc Sauvé will chair independent commission]

FRANCE
Le Monde

November 13, 2018

By Cécile Chambraud

L’ancien vice-président du Conseil d’Etat doit mettre en place cette commission chargée de faire la lumière sur les affaires de pédophilie dans l’Eglise depuis 1950.

L’Eglise catholique est allée chercher un grand commis de l’Etat pour faire la lumière sur les abus sexuels sur mineurs perpétrés dans ses rangs depuis 1950. Jean-Marc Sauvé, qui fut vice-président du Conseil d’Etat pendant douze ans, jusqu’en mai, présidera la commission indépendante dont les évêques ont décidé la création à Lourdes, le 7 novembre. Il rencontrera prochainement Mgr Georges Pontier, le président de la Conférence des évêques de France, « pour préciser les objectifs de cette commission » ainsi que ses moyens, a indiqué l’épiscopat mardi. Avec cet organisme, l’Eglise espère apurer le passé et prévenir la répétition de tels faits dans l’avenir.

La Iglesia no vio abusos sexuales, sino “pecado”, en la Orden de los Miguelianos

[The Church did not see sexual abuse, but "sin" in the Order of the Miguelianos]

PONTEVEDRA (SPAIN)
El País

November 14, 2018

By Elisa Lois

Adoctrinamiento, anulación de la consciencia y agresiones sexuales son algunas de las prácticas de las que se acusa al líder de la organización, que afronta 66 años de cárcel

Mientras excongregados de la disuelta Orden y Mandato San Miguel Arcángel que declararon contra su fundador, Miguel Rosendo, han dejado testimonios estremecedores (alguna ocultándose tras un biombo) en el juicio que se celebra desde septiembre en la Audiencia de Pontevedra por presuntos abusos sexuales y otros 11 delitos, la postura de la Iglesia ha quedado en evidencia en este proceso al no haber denunciado los hechos ante la Justicia.

Los obispos se reúnen sin la pederastia en el orden del día

[Spain's bishops meet without pedophilia on the agenda]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

November 19, 2018

By Juan G. Bedoya

La Conferencia Episcopal Española celebra su ‘plenaria de otoño' con discrepancias sobre cómo afrontar su peor crisis

Las jerarquías del catolicismo se sienten “en estado de sitio”, en palabras de uno de los obispos que esta mañana se encierra con sus colegas en la asamblea plenaria que la Conferencia Episcopal Española (CEE) celebra todos los otoños. La reunión se prolongará hasta el viernes y no incluye en su orden del día debate alguno sobre los escándalos de pederastia.

Blázquez: “No se deben encubrir los abusos ni darles respuesta equivocada”

[Blázquez: "Abuses should not be covered up or given the wrong answer"]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

November 19, 2018

By Juan G. Bedoya

El presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal hace suyas las conclusiones sobre pederastia del Sínodo de Obispos de octubre

El presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal Española (CEE), Ricardo Blázquez, ha leído este lunes un documento en el que dice que "la Iglesia reconoce abiertamente los abusos de diversa índole y tiene la firme decisión de erradicarlos". Lo ha asegurado durante la sesión inaugural de la Asamblea Plenaria de los obispos, en la que ha dado las gracias a las víctimas de abusos sexuales en el seno de la Iglesia por su "valentía al denunciarlos", porque "ayudan a la Iglesia a tomar conciencia de cuanto ha ocurrido y de la necesidad de reaccionar con decisión".

Una sentencia canónica admite que la Iglesia “miraba hacia otro lado” ante los abusos

[Canonical sentence reveals the Church "looked the other way" in the face of abuses]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

November 19, 2018

By José Manuel Romero and Julio Núñez

EL PAÍS publica el fallo de un tribunal eclesiástico que expulsó a un cura por violar repetidamente a una niña y admite la tolerancia de los obispos ante casos similares

El tribunal eclesiástico de la diócesis de Mallorca dictó una sentencia canónica en marzo de 2013 sobre un caso grave de abusos a menores en la que admite la culpa de la Iglesia por encubrimiento de estas conductas. EL PAÍS hace pública esa sentencia, oculta hasta ahora como el resto de las impuestas por tribunales eclesiásticos.

El informe de 1987 que advertía las "presiones indebidas" de Karadima en El Bosque

[1987 report warned of "undue pressure" by Karadima in El Bosque]

CHILE
BioBioChile

November 19, 2018

By Valentina González

“Sus nervios lo traicionan frecuentemente con explosiones de rabia, violencia con los pobres de la parroquia, a quienes amenaza con Carabineros si no se van, desprecios, hablar muy mal de la gente en público y con sus íntimos (yo he tenido esa experiencia)”.

November 19, 2018

A tale of two states on clergy abuse prosecutions

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 19, 2018

By Peter Smith

When Michael Norris talks with fellow survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, he finds that they have a lot in common — the betrayal by a trusted priest and the long trail of damage to family relationships, schooling and a career path.

But Mr. Norris said many victims are astonished when he gets to the part of the story in which he sat in a rural Kentucky courtroom on a November day in 2016. There, he witnessed a group of jurors come out from their deliberations and convict his perpetrator.

“It was the ultimate release,” said Mr. Norris, 55, now of Houston. “To hear the jury come back with a guilty verdict, it just overwhelmed me. Most survivors don’t get that kind of justice.”

Abused by the Rev. Joseph Hemmerle in a summer-camp cabin in 1973, Mr. Norris first came forward to the church and police in 2001, but no charges were filed and the priest returned to ministry.

More than a decade later, after a second victim came forward, Hemmerle was charged and convicted in separate court cases. As long as the wait was, such an outcome wouldn’t have been an option at all if the abuse had happened at that time in Pennsylvania or many other states.

Six women sue Catholic Diocese of Austin, priest for alleged sexual harassment, abuse

AUSTIN (TX)
CBS 29 TV

November 14, 2018

Six women are suing the Catholic Diocese of Austin and a priest for years of alleged sexual harassment and abuse.

The women name Father Isidore Ndagizimana in their suit. They say he made unwanted sexual advances and isolated them -- holding the women against their will.

This reportedly happened while they were attending Austin's St. Thomas More Catholic Church off FM 620 in Northwest Austin.

The suit says Ndagizimana, also known as "Father Izzy," was transferred to a parish in Brenham after the women brought the allegations to light.

According to the suit, the women behind the lawsuit are mothers, wives and active parish volunteers.

The women claimed that they were told they didn't need to take legal action against Father Izzy or the church and that they should trust the diocese to handle the situation.

This comes about a month after more than a dozen Catholic bishops in Texas announced they'd release the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of child sexual assault.

2018: The year of losing our religion

NEW YORK (NY)
Patheos (blog)

November 16, 2018

By Deacon Greg Kandra

If bishops want a sense of where things stand these days, consider this:

Last weekend, a parishioner shared with me a story that offers a snapshot of what the world now thinks of the Catholic Church.

He works for a private, secular day camp on Long Island and was giving a tour to a family. The mother kept peppering him with questions about how the children were supervised. Where did they change? What sort of access did adults have? My friend politely answered the questions and concerns, and at the end of the tour the mother explained. “I’m sorry if I asked so many questions,” she said, “but with what’s happening with the Catholic Church now, you can’t be too careful…”

Mind you: she was not Catholic. The camp was not Catholic. But the festering boil that is the sex scandals of the Church has now broken wide open, and no bandage can contain it. This is how the public now perceives us.

Reporters have to start reading the alternative Catholic press

GET RELIGION

November 10, 2018

By Clemente Lisi

The scandals that have engulfed the Catholic Church the past few months are only intensifying.

The allegations to come out of Pennsylvania (as well as Ireland and Australia) and accusations against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick not only revealed how much the church is hurting, but also the stark ideological split within it. These events have also seen a rise in the power of online media.

The growth of conservative Catholic outlets, for example, and their ability to break stories against “Uncle Ted” has coincided with the internal struggle contrasting what traditionalists see as inadequate news coverage from the mainstream media regarding Pope Francis’ leadership. Filling that void are conservative journalists and bloggers on a mission to expose what they see as the Vatican’s progressive hierarchy.

In 2002, an investigation by The Boston Globe unearthed decades of abuse by clergy never before reported to civil authorities (click here for links). These days, accusations of wrongdoing within the Catholic Church are being exposed by smaller news organizations. No longer are mainstream outlets setting the pace here. Depleted newsrooms and not wanting to do negative stories about the pontiff have spurred conservative Catholic media to fill the journalism void.

Indeed, it’s a small group of influential blogs and news websites that has helped to inform millions as well as drive the debate.

Henneberger’s cri de coeur is a scorching rebuke to Catholic bishops

The Anchoress (blog)

November 16, 2018

By Elizabeth Scalia

After the Vatican ordered US Bishops to refrain from voting on episcopal correctives to their failures on the sex abuse front (a February bishop’s gathering in Rome will now address it), American bishops left their bi-annual conference with little to show for their time beyond approving a the promotion of the excellent Sister Thea Bowman’s cause for sainthood.

The do-little gathering left plenty of American Catholics feeling short-changed and fed-up, and precipitated Melinda Henneburger’s scorching rebuke to the bishops as she declared herself “done” with the Church. Her piece is a stunningly naked and raw howl of authentic anguish from a woman who feels betrayed beyond endurance.

[USCCB President Cardinal Daniel] DiNardo recounted that it happened this way: “In our weakness,’’ he said in Baltimore, “we fell asleep.” Not so much like Peter in the garden, though. More like Rip Van Winkle, and for a century instead of 20 years.

When and if the bishops do fully rouse themselves, I won’t be in the pews to hear about it.

Read all of it.

Henneberger says she has not been able to bring herself to attend Mass since last June, when revelations concerning former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick came to light. Having covered the Vatican for the New York Times, Henneberger thought she had a good sense of McCarrick, and so she felt particularly and personally crushed by his sins, and the evidence they gave of the man’s deep betrayal of everything he professed and preached:

After “credible and substantiated” allegations that the now former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had taken advantage of seminarians, assaulted an altar boy in 1971 and even, because evil knows no shame, abused the first child he had ever baptized, the accused was shipped off to the quiet of a Kansas friary — thanks so much for thinking of us out here on the prairie! — to pray, repent and, so far, stick to his story that he has done nothing wrong.

Far from alone
Yes, that’s one angry woman, and she is far from alone. My email is a daily font of fury being expressed by friends and Catholic media colleagues who declare their faith shaken enough to impact their prayer lives, their attendance at Mass, and even their foundational belief in the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Amid so many lies, cover-ups and assists to evil, they catch themselves wondering, is any of true?

Deceased bishop accused of abuse while a priest in St. Cloud Diocese

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
The Catholic Spirit

November 19, 2018

Bishop Donald Kettler has added the name of Bishop Harold Dimmerling to the list of clergy likely to have abused minors, according to a Nov. 12 statement from the Diocese of St. Cloud.
Dimmerling was a priest of the Saint Cloud Diocese who later served as bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, from 1969 until his death in 1987.

Bishop Kettler recently received an allegation that Dimmerling sexually abused a minor while serving as a priest in the Diocese of Saint Cloud, the statement said.

Bishop Kettler has spoken with the victim/survivor and, after prayer and consultation, deemed the allegation credible. The allegation has been reported to law enforcement. There has been no other report of sexual misconduct involving Dimmerling in the Diocese of Saint Cloud prior to receiving the present allegation, the statement said.

In line with past practice, Bishop Kettler will hold listening sessions in the near future in areas of the diocese where Dimmerling served. The sessions have three primary goals: to assure parishioners of the bishop’s support and assistance; to offer a process whereby sexual misconduct issues/concerns can be voiced and discussed; and to allow other potential victims the opportunity to come forward and receive assistance and healing.

Dimmerling was ordained on May 2, 1940, in the Diocese of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and was incardinated upon ordination into the Diocese of Saint Cloud. His assignments in the diocese included: assistant, Cathedral of St. Mary, St. Cloud (1940-1943); chaplain, St. Francis Hospital, Breckenridge, while also serving at St. Joseph, Brushvale (1943-1949); pastor, Sacred Heart in Glenwood and St. Bartholomew in Villard (1949-1957); pastor, St. Mary of the Presentation, Breckenridge (1957-1961); spiritual director, diocesan seminary, Collegeville (1961-1963); rector, diocesan seminary, Collegeville (1963-1969); pastor, St. Mary, Little Falls (1969).

Catholic dioceses in New Jersey will name priests accused of child sex abuse

NEWARK (NJ)
North Jersey Record

November 19, 2018

By Hannan Adely

The Catholic Church in New Jersey will name all priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors early next year, Cardinal Joseph Tobin announced Monday.

The naming of the alleged abusers is part of a larger effort by the church that includes a "complete review" of abuse allegations and the establishment of a victim compensation fund and counseling program, Tobin said in a statement.

The announcement comes amid a time of turmoil in the church, following abuse controversies and alleged church cover-ups of abuse that have led some faithful to question their support of the church and its leadership over the years.

A two-year investigation in Pennsylvania found more than 1,000 victims there over 70 years and evidence of a cover up by church leaders. Some 300 Pennsylvania priests were implicated, including at least four priests had who spent part of their ministries in New Jersey.

Jim Goodness, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, did not say how many priests and deacons the church has already identified in connection with credible abuse allegations.

Diocese of Winona-Rochester to file for bankruptcy after sex abuse claims

LACROSS (WI)
WXOW TV

November 19, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of the month following multiple claims of clergy sex abuse.

Chapter 11 is a specific type of bankruptcy that allows the Diocese to restructure so it can divide its assets among its creditors.

“As part of this healing, it is incumbent upon us to create a path forward that provides just compensation for the victims of abuse. This must include public acknowledgment of their pain and an apology for it as well as financial compensation,” Bishop John Quinn said in a statement released over the weekend.

The Diocese is facing 121 pending claims of clergy sex abuse by 14 priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with children from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The Diocese disclosed the names of the priests in 2013: Thomas Adamson, Sylvester Brown, Joseph Cashman, Louis Cook, William Curtis, John Feiten, Richard Hatch, Ferdinand, Leo Koppala, Jack Krough, Michael Kuisle, James Lennon, Leland Smith, and Robert Taylor.

They include a high school principal, parish priests, a hospital chaplain, and seminary instructors. All of whom have either died or been suspended from the ministry. 11 of them served in Rochester parishes.

One lawsuit includes Father Richard Hatch who sexually abused a 13-year-old boy in 1962 while serving as a priest at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church and School in Winona. The suit alleges the Diocese knew about Father Hatch being a possible sexual abuser at the time, citing a 1964 letter from then diocesan chancellor Monsignor Emmett Tighs, in which he said that Hatch was “a very disturbed man.”

Malone says it’s difficult to have one’s integrity questioned

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

November 19, 2018

Bishop Richard J. Malone states it’s difficult to have one’s integrity questioned. He is right.

He should ask every one of the children who went to their parents about what was happening to them behind the altar. He should go to each mother who watched her broken child become depressed, anxious, perhaps in later years alcoholic or suicidal. Sexual abuse does that to kids.

Then Malone should study the word integrity, “the state of being unimpaired; perfect condition; the quality or state of being of sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty, sincerity.” What part of this word applies to him?

There is no question: Malone’s integrity is not being questioned. The answer is in. He must resign.

Lynn Sullivan

Orchard Park


Troy church deacon bound over to circuit court for sex crimes with teen boy

OAKLAND (MI)
Oakland Press

November 19, 2018

By Aileen Wingblad

A Chaldean Catholic church deacon has been bound over to Oakland County Circuit Court for alleged sex crimes against a teen boy.

Hurmiz Ishak, 65 of Sterling Heights, is charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct - multiple variables for alleged acts at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church, 2442 E. Big Beaver Rd. in Troy.

Judge Maureen McGinnis of Troy’s 52-4 District Court advanced the case to the higher court on Nov. 15. Ishak is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 29 by Judge Phyllis McMillen.

Court records indicate the alleged assaults began May 1, 2017 and Troy police say they continued over the past several months. Church officials contacted police Oct. 14 after learning about the alleged incidents from the victim's family.

Diocese details pastor's background as Bishop plans to visit

STARKVILLE, MS
Starkville Daily News

November 19, 2018

By Ryan Philips

Few details have been revealed by the Catholic Diocese of Jackson concerning a Starkville priest at the center of a federal investigation.

But through an email exchange with the Starkville Daily News, the Diocese did provide background information on Father Lenin Vargas of St. Joseph Catholic Church as church leaders address accusations that he defrauded parishioners with a fake cancer diagnosis — a scam that investigators and some in the church believe was covered up by the Diocese to avoid negative publicity.

Diocese Communications Director Maureen Smith said Father Vargas was first ordained a priest in June 2006. Most recently the native of Mexico was the subject of a 37-page affidavit filed in federal court in Jackson last week with a search warrant for both the Starkville parish and the Diocese’s office in Jackson.

In the affidavit, as many as five confidential informants provided information to investigators, with at least one saying Vargas was diagnosed with HIV in 2014, but instead told parishioners at St. Joseph and Corpus Christi Mission in Macon that he had a rare form of cancer and began collecting donations for his supposed cancer treatment in Canada.

Informants also claim he propagated at least two fraudulent pet projects — an orphanage and a chapel on a Mexican mountain — to those in the church to raise money, which he then used for unrelated personal expenses not associated with any medical expenses.

Smith said Vargas attended Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. When he was first ordained in 2006, he served as the associate pastor at St. Francis of Assisi in Madison, Mississippi.

In Alabama, ‘archaic’ laws fail Catholic child sex abuse victims

ALABAMA
AL.com

November 19, 2018

By Christopher Harress

Mark Belenchia remembers the day when he first set eyes on the new Catholic priest in the small Mississippi Delta town of Shelby. It was 1968 at the time and he was 13 years-old.

“He turned up without his collar on at a baseball game I was playing in,” said Belenchia from his home in Jackson, Mississippi. “He was different from the stuffy priests we were used to. Charismatic, like a breath of fresh air.” “That was Rev. [Bernard] Haddican’s first day on the job. The day he began to groom us.”

While Belenchia’s story takes place in Mississippi, his position as an advocate for sex abuse victims has put him in touch with people from across his home state, Alabama and other parts of the country. He has heard the full scale of sexual abuse against children dating back decades. He has heard grown men cry over the phone as they, for the first time, explain what happened to them. Many of it decades before. Now, with the expected release of a list naming priests and other clergy accused of sexually abusing children over the last 50 years in parts of Alabama and Mississippi, Belenchia is preparing himself for more heartbreaking calls.

“I want to be there for people as much as I can,” said Belenchia, who is an advocate for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) . “but the sad truth is that for most of them time has run out.”

Politics and the Politics of the Catholic Church

BALTIMORE (MD)
Maryland Matters

November 18, 2018

By Frank A. DeFilippo

Back in the dark ages, around 1970, the prelates of the three Roman Catholic archdiocese and diocese that straddle Maryland – Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, Del. – sought a meeting with Gov. Marvin Mandel (D) to discuss one of the church-bell issues of the day, aid to parochial schools.

As press secretary to Mandel (and a former altar boy), I briefed Mandel, Maryland’s first and only Jewish governor, on the proper titles and greetings for the princes of the church – your eminence for the cardinals of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Washington and your excellency for the Bishop of Wilmington.

Concluding the conversation, I said: “And the most important thing to remember, Marvin, is that they became cardinals and bishops the same way you became governor.”

A decade before that event, when Woodstock College, in Howard County, was the intellectual center of the Catholic universe, the reigning Jesuit theologians of the era were Avery Dulles, John Courtney Murray and Gustav Weigel.

NEW ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE EMERGE FOR IRISH PRIEST WHO FLED UNITED STATES

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Extra.ie

November 19, 2018

By Emer Scully

An Irish priest who was removed from his ministry in America over a sexual abuse allegation went on to serve for 20 years in Ireland, where new allegations of abuse emerged, Extra.ie has learned.

Fr Joe Seery fled to Ireland in 1978 while police in New Orleans were investigating the case of sexual abuse of a male minor, and was immediately appointed on special assignment to Knock, Co. Mayo, in preparation for Pope John Paul II’s visit.

New allegations of sexual abuse arose when he was moved to a small parish in Connemara, according to Fr Pat Buckley, who was ordained with Fr Seery in Waterford in 1976 – just two years before sexual abuse allegations arose in New Orleans.

He went on to serve five more parishes in Ireland over a period of 20 years before being pressured into retiring in 1997, aged just 44.

Details of his life have been uncovered for the first time after the Archdiocese of New Orleans published a file on priests who had been removed from ministry for sexual abuse allegations, as part of a new policy of openness in the American Catholic Church.

The right move: Ogdensburg releases names of priests removed from ministry

WATERROWN (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

November 19, 2018

Many parishioners objected to a previous decision by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg to not release the names of priests accused of sexual abuse, and officials have received their message.

On its website last week, the diocese listed the names of 28 priests removed from the ministry. This followed an announcement the previous weekend by Bishop Terry R. LaValley pledging to do so.

“I am writing to address an important matter: the release of the names of priests removed from ministry according to the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Bishop LaValley wrote in a letter read Nov. 11 during Masses throughout parishes in the diocese. “In the past, we have declined to publicize the names of these individuals for many reasons, including due process questions. While there are strong arguments for releasing the names and strong arguments for not releasing the names, recent controversies in the church make it necessary for us to now release the names.

“The recent controversies and scandals have produced righteous anger, discouragement and frustration among the people of God. Increasingly, the faithful have called for the release of the names of those removed from ministry under the charter. I know the release of names will cause pain for those on the list, their families, former parishioners and friends. There will be a need for compassion and understanding among all of us. While our main concern is the safety of our young people and helping victims find healing and peace, we must also strive to uphold the dignity of those removed from ministry. Mercy and reconciliation are central to our mission as the church of Jesus Christ.”

Releasing these names was a good step on the part of the diocese. It shows that officials are beginning to recognize the anger and frustration felt by many members of the church.

People around the world have demanded answers over how authorities could permit incidents of sexual abuse to go on for so long. They want to know what is being done about all those who moved predator priests from parish to parish.

Diocese of Winona-Rochester to file for bankruptcy after sex abuse claims

ROCHESTER (MN)
FOX 47 TV

November 18, 2018

“As part of this healing, it is incumbent upon us to create a path forward that provides just compensation for the victims of abuse. This must include public acknowledgment of their pain and an apology for it as well as financial compensation,” Bishop John Quinn said in a statement released over the weekend.

The Diocese is facing 121 pending claims of clergy sex abuse by 14 priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with children from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The Diocese disclosed the names in 2013: Thomas Adamson, Sylvester Brown, Joseph Cashman, Louis Cook, William Curtis, John Feiten, Richard Hatch, Ferdinand, Leo Koppala, Jack Krough, Michael Kuisle, James Lennon, Leland Smith, and Robert Taylor.

They include a high school principal, parish priests, a hospital chaplain, and seminary instructors. All of whom have either died or been suspended from the ministry. 11 of them served in Rochester parishes.

Father Hatch sexually abused a 13-year-old boy in 1962, while serving as a priest at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church and School in Winona. The lawsuit alleges the Diocese knew about Father Hatch being a possible sexual abuser at the time, citing a 1964 letter from then diocesan chancellor Monsignor Emmett Tighs, in which he cited Hatch as being quote “A very disturbed man.”

Quinn, in his statement, said the Diocese is committed to creating an environment of healing for these victims and their families.

Catholic Diocese of Rockford names 15 priests accused of sexual abuse

ROCKFORD (IL)
Northwest Herald

November 19, 2018

By Katie Smith

The Catholic Diocese of Rockford has released the names of 15 priests accused of sexual abuse, including at least three of whom previously were assigned to churches in McHenry County.

Although the diocese previously reported some of the 15 priests named in the report, which was released Wednesday, others were not disclosed until the diocese reviewed the claims while compiling the list, according to a statement from Rockford Bishop David Malloy.

A statement attached to the release did not include details about the specific allegations, dates when church officials learned about the alleged abuse or how the claims were substantiated. A diocese spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Three of the named men – Mark A. Campobello, John C. Holdren and William I. Joffe – each were priests in McHenry County at one point.

In 2000, Campobello was assigned to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake as a priest, but he served the parish for less than a year. He pleaded guilty in 2004 to abusing two teenage girls he taught at Aurora Central Catholic High School while serving as a priest in Geneva and received a four-year prison sentence. Campobello was removed from the ministry in December 2002, and he was stripped of his religious status in 2005, according to the release.

In 2004, the Catholic Diocese of Rockford announced that it received sexual misconduct allegations against Joffe, who had been a pastor in Woodstock, Cary and Harvard. Joffe was removed from the ministry in August 1993 and died in April 2008.

Most recently, Holdren was accused in 2015 of sexually abusing a 7- to 9-year-old child while assigned to an Aurora church. He retired in 1994 from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg, where he spent 10 years as a priest. He also spent six years in the 1970s at St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake and St. Peter in Geneva from 1981 to 1983. Holdren was removed from the ministry for a reason not related to a child abuse allegation in July 1994, and died this past April, according to the diocese’s records.

Another church scandal: Bishops meet and fail to address abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

November 19, 2018

The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States traveled to Baltimore last week for their first meeting following an explosive grand jury report by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro detailing decades of sex abuse involving hundreds of priests across the state. They were there in part to confront this latest chapter in the scandal but left without taking any action.

The Vatican instructed the bishops to hold off voting on any reforms until next year. That's when Pope Francis plans to hold a summit in Rome to address the sexual abuse crisis that continues to engulf the church around the world.

Survivors of clergy sex abuse are angry and disappointed by the lack of action from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But given the woeful track record of bishops to take accountability for their role in covering up decades of bad clergy behavior, did anyone expect any substantive reforms to come from the meeting?

This is an institution that has presided over a criminal conspiracy and cover-up for more than half a century. The bishops have demonstrated they remain unable to hold abusive priests or themselves fully accountable.

There was hope Pope Francis would root out the wrongdoers and their enablers. But the scope of the scandal is entrenched and rife with coconspirators more interested in wallpapering over the horrific crimes. Not even the pope, it seems, has the fortitude to take on the powerful interests within the church who seem hell-bent on keeping a lid on the wrongdoing.

Yes, there have been sexual-abuse scandals at other institutions, including public schools, universities, other religious organizations, the media, politics, and Hollywood. But nowhere has the abuse been as widespread and accountability so disregarded. And few carry the moral weight of exploiting the authority of the Church to turn the faithful into victims.

As the recent investigation by the Inquirer and Boston Globe found, more than 130 U.S. bishops have been accused of failing to properly respond to sexual misconduct allegations, including Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Philadelphia's former archbishop.

Claims involving more than 50 bishops center on incidents that took place after a 2002 gathering of U.S. bishops, where they promised the church's days of cover-up and inaction were over. At least 15 of the bishops have been accused of committing sexual abuse or harassment themselves.

The only reckoning has come through grand jury investigations and civil claims. The recent Pennsylvania grand jury report showed the same playbook has been used in diocese after diocese to cover up the abuse. The report has prompted prosecutors in other states to launch investigations.

Ex-teacher at Opus Dei school sentenced to 11 years for abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 19, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A Spanish layman and member of Opus Dei was sentenced to 11 years in prison Thursday after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a minor. The ruling comes after prosecutors had asked for a 20-month sentence, saying they doubted some of the testimony of the victim.

José María Martínez Sanz, professor of the all-male school Gaztelueta in Leioa, northern Spain, was accused of abusing a student from 2008 to 2010, when the student was 12 and 13 years old. The case had been investigated by ecclesial authorities and the school, but nothing came of those probes.

The professor, who no longer works in the school, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Spanish judge and has been banned from contacting the victim for the next 15 years.

During the trial Martínez insisted on his innocence, and prosecutors acknowledged they had doubts regarding some of the allegations. However, the lawyer of the victim argued that at the beginning, the victim hadn’t told the whole story because he was ashamed. According to him, the abuse escalated from indecent touching to penetration.

November 18, 2018

Cupich denies he and Wuerl hatched rival plan before Baltimore

NEW YORK (NY)
Crux

November 19, 2018

By Christopher White

Cardinal Blase Cupich is firing back against claims that he sought to advance an alternative proposal for bishop accountability ahead of last week’s meeting in Baltimore, in place of the plan put forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“The allegation is false,” the archbishop of Chicago told Crux on Sunday, in response to a Catholic News Agency (CNA) report Friday that he and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington collaborated on a separate proposal.

“At no time prior to the Baltimore meeting did the two of us collaborate in developing, nor even talk about, an alternative plan,” he said.

At the start of last week’s meeting of U.S. bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB, made the surprise announcement that the Vatican had requested a delay on voting until after a February summit in Rome where Pope Francis will convene the head of every bishops’ conference around the world to confront the global sex abuse crisis.

On the table was a proposal for new standards of conduct for bishops, as well as the establishment of a new lay commission that would investigate claims against bishops.

The two proposals were put forth in response to this summer’s revelations that former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick serially abused seminarians for decades while ascending the ranks of Church leadership, along with the findings of a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August chronicling seven decades of sexual abuse and cover-up.

Editorial: Clean the windows

TRAVERSE CITY (MI)
Record Eagle

This week the Catholic Diocese of Gaylord named 10 priests in our area who faced “credible and substantiated” allegations of sexually abusing children.

The list carries names and current clerical status. Further details — like where the men served — were not available.

Eight of the 10 men on the list are dead.

None of the names have a prison record or were prosecuted in court. None of the names were ever on the sex offender registry. All of them were involved in at least one “credible incident of sexual abuse with a minor.”

Publishing and maintaining a list “may be helpful to the healing process of victims-survivors” and to the continued effort for increased transparency, a diocese statement reads.

That may be true but it’s also true that this comes after a search warrant was served two months ago by the Attorney General’s office investigating “alleged sexual abuse and assault of children and others by Catholic priests from 1950 to the present for all seven Catholic dioceses in Michigan.”

Like lists are being dropped by dioceses across the country. Like, careful wording. Like state investigations (at least a dozen, including our own) into the Catholic Church. Like headlines following.

Commentary on U.S. Bishops' Meeting: "The Moral Credibility of Catholic Bishops in the United States Is in Tatters"

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
Bilgrimmage

November 17, 2018

By William Lindsey

Barry Blitt's "Welcome to Congress" cover for New Yorker, 9 November 2018

Now if a knock-off cover could only be produced, showing all those whited-out men in suits as the Catholic bishops at their latest meeting….

My major takeaway from the recent USCCB meeting: the bishops convened it with a huge deficit of moral and pastoral authority, and they have even less moral and pastoral authority now that it's over. Something has finally given way within American Catholicism — a willingness to tolerate the vain show any longer, to make one more excuse for Father. There's no going back to the obediential culture the EWTN crowd wishes to cultivate — as long as the pope is not Francis.

I frankly felt a thousand miles removed as I read commentary about the USCCB meeting. In many ways, I could not care less about anything the Catholic church is now discussing — and, above all, about the stale, incestuous, airless, parochial commentary of the mostly straight, mostly white, mostly male U.S. Catholic commentariat. Here's commentary I have found worth reading, however:

Current Bishop Lawrence Persico reacts to Former Bishop Donald W. Trautman's remarks in Baltimore

ERIE (PA)
YourErie.com

November 16, 2018

Over the last week the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops convened in Baltimore. Among them was former Erie Bishop Donald W. Trautman.

As Bishops exchanged ideas about ending child abuse, Trautman questioned reports like the one released by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the media.

"We should not be so Naive as to accept every government report every attorney general report as being totally accurate or honest and I wouldn't cite the Philadelphia Inquirer or Boston Globe as sources of confident information," said Trautman.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General August grand jury report on clergy abuse found that Trautman failed to remove an abusive priest. Current bishop Lawrence Persico has publicly been supportive of survivors and victims of sexual abuse. He was in the room when Trautman made his comments.

Editorial | Class-action lawsuit latest step toward justice for abuse victims

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

November 18, 02018

By Dave Sutor

A Johnstown native and five other men have taken a drastic step in the push to see justice in the ever-growing saga of individuals who were sexually abused by priests.

Shaun Dougherty, a New York restaurant owner who grew up in Westmont, is among the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed this past week against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican itself.

This happened even as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was wrapping up special meetings in Baltimore that were called to develop a shared response to the building abuse crisis. But no action was taken and no plan was put forth, in part because Pope Francis ordered the bishops to stand down.

Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington, Vermont, told The Associated Press that the pope’s decision “to constrain us” weakened the impact of the gathering on an issue that has exploded – including reports in dioceses across Pennsylvania of widespread abuse over several decades and a cover-up by the church.

Pennsylvania sex abuse legislation remains in limbo until next year

HARRISBURG (PA)
KYW Newsradio

November 17, 2018

By Tony Romeo

As expected, the state legislature this past week wrapped up work in the current two-year session without resolving the fight over legislation sought by victims of child sex abuse.

The state Senate indicated it would return for one post-election day to re-elect leaders for the next session, and not to vote on legislation, and made good on that plan. Nonetheless, as members of the GOP Senate majority met behind closed doors, Cindy Leech of Johnstown stood in the hallway with a picture of her late son, a victim of clergy sex abuse and the drug abuse that followed.

“Just because they decided not to vote, we’re not going away," Leech said. "We’re going to show them that we’re bound and determined.”

A short time later, the top-ranking state Senator, Republican Joe Scarnati, said not much had happened since the Senate had last met a month before.

Rome won't fix the sex abuse crisis in U.S. churches, so let U.S. lay Catholics try

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Morning News

November 17, 2018

By Daniel E. Burns

"We have accepted it with disappointment." That was the public reaction of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo to the latest indignity inflicted on him and his fellow Roman Catholic bishops in the United States. The Vatican had demanded that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose annual meeting in Baltimore this week had cleared its agenda to focus on the sexual abuse crisis, must cancel its vote on proposals that would have begun to address that crisis.

Why have the American bishops acceded to this demand from Rome? None of their collective decisions carry any juridical force until the pope ratifies them. They could have held their vote and still left Rome to react as Rome sees fit.

The simple answer is that our bishops are afraid to irritate Rome. And who can blame them? The Vatican heads up the world's largest international bureaucracy, with a million employees and many times as many volunteers. It hires and fires bishops with no transparency or possibility of appeal. Any bishop who wishes to continue doing God's work for his flock will hesitate countless times before defying even an unreasonable whim when it comes from Rome.

An image of the front of the Dallas News offices with the text 'Local Journalism Matters. Subscribe today' laid over the top of it.

There is a structural problem here. For the great majority of Catholic history, a bishop owed his position to local laity, local clergy, local political authorities, regional bishops and/or the pope. Only recently has so much power been concentrated in Rome.

Even if we had reason to trust that Rome was rushing to coordinate a global solution to the global abuse crisis, a global solution will not be adequate for the particular challenges that the crisis poses in our country (with its unusual legal traditions, unique media landscape, educated and assertive laity, cultural distrust of secretive institutions, and so on). The American abuse crisis will be addressed only when the concrete administration of American dioceses is put into the hands of leaders more responsive to the demands of rank-and-file American Catholics. But these days Rome seems more open to power-sharing with the Chinese Communist Party than with its own bishops. The party may soon be granted a role in the selection of the Chinese hierarchy, but when American bishops wish to formalize preliminary measures against abuse in their own dioceses, Rome suddenly sees a threat to its apparently fragile authority.

Northern New Mexico man breaks silence on priest abuse he suffered as teen seminarian

TAOS (NM)
Taos News

November 17, 2018

By Cody Hooks

Donald Naranjo had gone back to the old seminary campus in Santa Fe only once since he was a teenager, but he still knew where to turn: Make a right at the midcentury house with a double garage, go east about a mile, turn left.

Naranjo, now 70, was a sophomore in high school when he convinced his parents to let him heed a calling. He started his studies to be a priest at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary on the eastern edge of Santa Fe, a facility that now serves as a retreat. For a kid from the Española Valley, a heavily Catholic community, it was the kind of choice that makes a family proud.

“If you wanted to seek a vocation in the church, it was wonderful,” Naranjo said. “You’d be right there next to God.”

His mother, sitting behind the wheel of the family’s Ford Falcon, dropped him off at the seminary in August 1963, when he was 15.

The abuse started soon after, Naranjo said.

Known as John Doe No. 60 in a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Naranjo is one of scores of people who have sued the archdiocese, claiming abuse by a priest, and one of thousands nationwide.

Like many other priests from around the country, the man Naranjo accused of abuse, Earl Bierman, came to New Mexico for treatment at a Jemez Springs facility that became a dumping ground for sexual abusers. It was run by the Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order in New Mexico with close ties to both the Catholic Church’s hierarchy and local parishes.

At least two lawsuits allege Bierman abused young men at the Santa Fe seminary: one filed in 1995 and Naranjo’s in 2016.

Bierman died in prison in 2005 as he was serving out a 20-year sentence for pleading guilty to sexually abusing boys in three Kentucky counties while he was a priest there.

Naranjo, who has settled his case with the archdiocese, is one of the few claimants of Catholic clergy abuse to share their stories publicly. He told the Taos News that he hopes his story will help prevent further abuse by clergy and will prompt other victims who have remained silent about abuse to begin a path of healing.

Reader's View: Sirba can disclose more regarding allegations

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News Tribune

November 17, 2018

By David Clohessy

Duluth's top Catholic official continues to maintain the same secrecy about accused priests that long has plagued the church. As a result, some parishioners are misinformed and feel betrayed while some alleged victims feel discouraged and intimidated.

After months of inquiry, the Catholic Diocese of Duluth said Fr. William Graham was "credibly accused" of abusing a child ("Diocese names two Duluth priests as 'credibly accused,'" Aug. 6).

It's true a jury made a puzzling ruling in this case, finding for both the accused and the accuser ("Split verdict in Duluth priest's suit against accuser," Aug. 25). But it's also true that Duluth Diocese Bishop Paul Sirba, who could have shed much light on the situation, did not testify.

Regardless, some churchgoers continue to defend Fr. Graham. I certainly understand their feelings. One of my brothers this month was listed as a former priest credibly accused of sexual abuse in Missouri.

What should happen now with regard to Fr. Graham? The bishop should make public his file on Graham and the names of his review board. He repeatedly has pledged to be transparent in such matters. He should meet with and take questions from parishioners. And he should insist they stop making public comments that criticize Graham's accuser. Such callousness makes the church more dangerous by deterring others from speaking up who see, suspect, or suffer misdeeds.

Bishop Continues To Avoid Discussing Clergy Sexual Abuse Allegations

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2 TV

November 16, 2018

By Brad Edwards

The Attorney General promised a sweeping inquiry into the state’s six diocese, and on Friday staff from the Attorney General’s office was in Joliet looking at records.

The diocese in Joliet has 650,000 Catholics, and CBS 2 has been searching for just one–the Bishop of the Joliet Diocese, Daniel Conlon.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards found him at home on Friday before he slammed his front door in his face.

CBS 2 obtained this memorandum, initialed by Conlon.

In it, he says, “I would like to update you on the status of the Illinois Attorney General’s inquiry into matters involving allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy in the diocese of Joliet. Today, Nov. 16, four members of the AG’s office will be on site at the Blanchette Catholic Center to review files of diocesan priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse.”

That includes this list of more than 30 priests, including Father James Nowak.

The diocese paid millions to, in part, settle claims brought by eight men alleging Nowak abused them.

This summer, CBS 2 found Nowak living next to a school–with the diocese footing his expenses.

After CBS 2 inquired, he moved to an extended stay motel. He has since moved again.

Nowak once wrote on Facebook, “In regard to our beloved bishop Daniel Conlon, he has cared for me well.”

Police report filed claims there's evidence for allegation against local priest

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI TV

November 15, 2018

More than 100 local priests were named in the Pennsylvania grand jury diocese abuse report released in August.

Channel 11 has worked tirelessly going through those names to investigate the allegations against priests in our local communities. We started looking into one priest’s background in particular after we found a police report saying there was evidence to substantiate claims against him.

The Rev. Robert Moslener was placed on leave from the Greensburg diocese in 2002 after multiple allegations of sexual abuse of minors. Those allegations are all documented in the grand jury report.

According to the report, bishops William Connare and Anthony Bosco allowed Moslener to prey on children for 22 years after the first complaint.

In 1980, after the first allegation of inappropriate behavior with a 15-year-old boy, Moslener was sent for evaluation. An internal diocesan document called it “an unacceptable yet understandable waystation on his path to more adult sexual integration.”

Claims that the leaders of these dioceses knew about abuse and didn’t do enough to stop it have bothered state leaders and parishioners alike.

“What’s now the most outrageous part is clearly people in authority knew for not just a couple days, but for decades, and this is clear evidence right here,” said state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

During his career, Moslener was moved between 10 different parishes. In 1986, six years after the first allegation, North Huntingdon police launched an investigation into Moslener and acts involving male juveniles.

Critics: List of priests accused of sexual abuse should be longer

ROCKFORD (IL)
Rockford Register Star

November 15, 2018

By Corina Curry and Kevin Haas

When the Diocese of Rockford released a list Wednesday of clergy members accused of sexual abuse, Sid Pauletto searched for the name of the priest who he said abused him more than 50 years ago.

It wasn’t there.

There are four other clergy members publicly accused of abuse who are not on the diocese’s list, including the priest Pauletto identified. Pauletto, along with advocates for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy members, have criticized the diocese’s list as incomplete and renewed calls for an independent investigation of sexual abuse by priests.

The diocese named 15 clergy members on Wednesday, covering a span from 1908 to today. The only names listed are those associated with cases in which the diocese says it found some proof of the allegations.

The list supports the diocese’s claim that those working in the diocese today have done nothing wrong, said Penny Weigert, director of communications for the diocese.

“It proves what we have said,” Weigert said. “Anyone with a credible accusation against them is not in our ministry.”

Still, Pauletto believes that his complaint was never given the attention it deserved. He said he was never questioned after coming forward and is not aware of any investigation.

“It just pisses me off that they’re pushing it off like it never happened,” said Pauletto, 67, who now lives in Roscoe.

To report an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, the Diocese of Rockford asks that people call the police in the county in which the abuse occurred and then contact the Diocese of Rockford at its victim abuse hotline, 815-293-7540 or reportsexualabuse@rockforddiocese.org.

For more information about the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Essential Norms, the diocese’s safe environment policies and training of children and adults in prevention, detection and reporting of sexual abuse, the diocese asks that

U.S. Bishops: Not Shaken, Nor Stirred

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholics 4 Change

November 17, 2018

By Kathy Kane

It had been a long day of travel, prayer and protest for the Mom Squad from the Philadelphia Archdiocese. A stroke of good luck had enabled us to book the very last room available at the pricey Marriott Waterfront where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was being held. Accumulated travel points covered our one-night stay, a rate so high it would have cost the average Catholic a few months of donation basket envelopes. A very nice hotel employee upgraded us. This gave us access to the 31st floor concierge lounge where free food was available along with beautiful views of the Baltimore harbor and skyline. Somehow, on a shoe string budget we managed to live like Bishops for a night.

The first person I recognized when we walked through the Marriott lobby bar on Tuesday night was Bishop John Mcintyre, an auxiliary bishop from Philadelphia.

We hadn’t been sure we would see any clergy during our stay. A church insider told me that most clergy would be laying low, at least for optics sake. That made sense due to the prior day’s news that depicted a hierarchy reeling from the Vatican directive to delay reform along with the eyes of the world watching in the wake of the McCarrick case, PA grand jury report and PA federal investigation.

Instead, the atmosphere was what you might expect at any corporate convention. Priests and bishops circulated throughout the public areas of the hotel as well as the lay employees with their USCCCB lanyards. Everyone looked healthy and not too malnourished from all the fasting. All seemed to hold their liquor well too despite that drinking on an empty stomach can be a disaster.

There were clergy in the concierge lounge, some grabbing a bite to eat, others enjoying a glass of wine or evening cocktail. One Bishop with a booming voice and swagger of a CEO, talked loudly on his cell phone. At the dessert table a lay employee took it upon herself to loudly identify each dessert to a bishop, treating him like a helpless man child.

A Study In Contrasts

There were clergy in the main lobby throughout the day, talking and enjoying each other’s company. In contrast, protestors came in from the cold whipping winds of the waterfront to warm up for a minute or use the bathroom. Security was polite but ever present. Protest signs were forbidden and the Mom Squad had to conceal them or risk those losing their stay and accumulated travel points.

Cupich and Wuerl collaborated on alternative sex abuse proposal

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency

November 16, 2018

By Ed Condon

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington collaborated extensively on a recently proposed policy for handling abuse allegations against bishops, CNA has learned.

Cupich submitted the plan Tuesday to leaders of the U.S. bishops’ conference, proffering it as an alternative to a proposal that had been devised by conference officials and staffers.

The conference’s proposed plan would have established an independent lay-led commission to investigate allegations against bishops. The Cupich-Wuerl plan would instead send allegations against bishops to be investigated by their metropolitan archbishops, along with archdiocesan review boards. Metropolitans themselves would be investigated by their senior suffragan bishops.

Sources in Rome and Washington, DC told CNA that Wuerl and Cupich worked together on their alternative plan for weeks, and presented it to the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops before the U.S. bishops’ conference assembly in Baltimore. Cupich and Wuerl are both members of the Congregation for Bishops.

The Cupich-Wuerl plan was submitted to the U.S. bishops even after a Vatican directive was issued Monday barring U.S. bishops from voting on any abuse-related measures. The Vatican suspended USCCB policy-making on sexual abuse until after a February meeting involving the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world.

Former Winter priest charged with sexually assaulting altar boys

HAYWARD (WI)
Sawyer County Record

November 17, 2018

By Terrell Boettcher

In charges filed Friday, Nov. 16, the Sawyer County District Attorney’s office is accusing a former parish priest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Winter with sexually abusing altar boys while he was stationed in Winter in 1982 and 1983.

Thomas Edward Ericksen, 71, now residing in Minneapolis, is charged with first-degree felony sexual abuse of a boy under the age of 12 from June 1, 1982, through April 1, 1983, in the village of Winter; second-degree felony sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy on Sept. 17, 1982; and second-degree felony sexual assault of an unconscious victim on Feb. 4, 1983.

The charges were filed by Assistant District Attorney Aaron Marcoux, based on an investigation by the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office.

On Nov. 16, a Sawyer County warrant was issued for Ericksen’s arrest. A court date has not been set.

According to bishopaccountability.org, Ericksen was removed from the priesthood in 1988. The Superior Diocese settled with Ericksen’s accusers in 1989 for several million dollars.

U.S. bishops’ meeting has echoes, and differences, from 2002 gathering

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service

November 18, 2018

By Carol Zimmermann

The gathering of U.S. bishops in Baltimore Nov. 12-14 on the heels of the clergy abuse scandal that hit the Catholic Church this past summer had echoes of the 2002 bishops’ meeting in Dallas, which took place just months after the Church was also reeling from a clergy sexual abuse crisis that made headlines in The Boston Globe.

But the two meetings reflected different times and also ended with different results.

Both meetings involved U.S. Church leaders facing allegations of sexual misconduct and cover-up among their own ranks and the laity’s demands for action amid feelings of strong distrust of church hierarchy.

“They were starting from scratch” in 2002, said Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, a senior analyst at Religion News Service, about the bishops’ response then to sexual abuse charges in the Church.

Standards the Church still uses to protect children and deal with abusive priests were developed at that meeting, but the bishops at that time failed to address standards of episcopal accountability, which this year they discussed but didn’t vote on.

At the Dallas meeting, Reese, who was then the editor of America magazine, was a guest anchor at a CNN desk on site, which indicates the extent of news coverage for the June 13-15 meeting.

Both meetings were the bishops’ typical twice-yearly meetings as a body. The spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is usually in June at different locations each year and the fall meeting in recent years has always been in Baltimore.

Both the Dallas and the Baltimore gatherings were almost entirely devoted to the Church crisis, along with time for prayer, and both years abuse victims addressed the bishops.

Typically, media coverage of bishops’ meetings is pretty sparse. Last year, about 40 reporters attended the fall meeting in Baltimore. This year, the number jumped to 160, but many of these reporters left during the first day when it was announced at the meeting’s opening that the bishops would not be voting on responses to sexual abuse as planned.

Attorney General’s office says sex abuse hotline stays

FT. MYERS (FL)
WINK TV

November 18, 2018

The Florida Office of the Attorney General said its sex abuse hotline for victims to report crimes will stay active after the transition of office. Victims in Southwest Florida have already used their hotline and website to report abuse.

The sex abuse hotline Attorney General Pam Bondi established in October will continue as elected Attorney General Ashley Moody takes office.

WINK News spoke to attorneys who explained the difficulties of handling these types of crimes.

“It could be quite lengthy depending upon the number of people that respond,” said Bob Foley, a former FBI agent and attorney.

Foley has worked several sex abuse cases in his career. He said the active criminal investigation in the Catholic church and other institutions will take time.

“When you do a sweep and you ask for the public’s assistance, what you find from an evidentiary standpoint is the same type of information is repeated over and over again, Foley said.

Foley said those kinds of patterns are easier to prove in court.

State Prosecutor Nick Cox told WINK News they can’t comment on specifics; however, the online hotline remains active with no end date planed. The hotline and website continue to get reports from victims, which includes those form Southwest Florida.

Cox said with transition of a new attorney general in the state, worries that the hotline will end is unfounded.

Victims recount trauma as Catholic priest dismissals continue

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
The Vindicator

November 18, 2018

By Ed Runyan and Justin Dennis

Former area clergy recently exposed for alleged child-sex crimes continue to sow turmoil in Catholic parishes across the country, as well as in the lives of their accusers.

A member of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Vienna Township says the announcement that its priest, the Rev. Denis G. Bouchard, is on administrative leave over allegations of inappropriate contact with a minor is causing conflict within the parish.

Also, a Catholic diocese in Phoenix, Ariz., recently dismissed one of its retired priests, Frank Zappitelli, who was previously removed from the Youngstown Diocese after sex-abuse allegations in the mid-1970s, and who then moved to Arizona in 1983.

And, 30 years after 43-year-old Scott Cunningham alleges former Youngstown priest Jose Vazques molested him in the St. Aloysius Parish rectory, he said he and his parents are still learning to cope with the trauma and guilt.

November 17, 2018

Fiscalía confirma que Errázuriz será citado a declarar como imputado por posible encubrimiento

[Prosecutor confirms Errázuriz will be summoned to testify in possible abuse cover-up]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 14, 2018

By Claudia Soto

De acuerdo a los antecedentes entregados por el fiscal regional de O'higgins, Sergio Moya, el cardenal será citado en su mayoría, por el caso del sacerdote Jorge Laplagne.

Luego de tomar la declaración del obispo emérito de Osorno, Juan Barros, el fiscal regional de 0’Higgins, Sergio Moya, anunció que el cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, será citado a declarar en una fecha que aún no ha sido definida.

Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico critica declaración de la CECh de colaborar con la justicia

[Network of clergy abuse survivors criticizes bishops' statement on collaborating with prosecutors]

CHILE
El Mostrador

November 16, 2018

"¿No es obvio que todos estamos obligados, máxime cuando se trata de delitos sexuales y de abuso contra la infancia?", cuestionaron. En la declaración calificaron de "aberrante" que se hable de la firma de un documento para colaborar con la justicia pues -aseguran- "nadie que está siendo investigado como ellos actualmente puede tener la desfachatez de aparecer firmando colaboraciones cuando se trata de su deber ciudadano. ¿O acaso desean acogerse a algún tipo de beneficio delatorio? ¿Dejarán de ser encubridores para convertirse en colaboradores de la policía?".

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico en Chile criticó la declaración de la Conferencia Episcopal (CECh) de formalizar un acuerdo de cooperación con la Fiscalía para investigar los casos de abuso sexual cometidos por religiosos, apuntando a que es "innecesario aplaudir" que una institución declaré que colaborará con la justicia.

Denunciantes de abusos critican a administrador apostólico de Valparaíso por no considerarlos como "víctimas"

[Whistleblowers criticize the apostolic administrator of Valparaiso for not considering them as "victims"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

November 16, 2018

Mauricio Pulgar y Sebastián del Río llegaron hasta la asamblea plenaria de la Conferencia Episcopal -que culminó hoy- y se reunieron con el obispo Fernando Ramos. Aseguraron que él tampoco los reconoció como abusados.

By Tomás Molina J.

Hasta la asamblea plenaria de la Conferencia Episcopal, desarrollada en La Florida, llegaron dos representantes de los denunciantes de abusos sexuales y de poder en la diócesis de Valparaíso, durante las administraciones de los obispos Santiago Silva y Gonzalo Duarte, respectivamente.

Conferencia Episcopal pide respetar presunción de inocencia ante acusaciones contra obispo que preside la instancia

[Chile's Episcopal Conference will defend the presumption of innocence in the face of accusations against its presiding bishop]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 16, 2018

By Alejandra Jara

La Iglesia además rechazó la muerte del comunero mapuche Camilo Catrillanca ocurrida el miércoles: "Condenamos la violencia venga de donde venga, más si repercut en la dignidad de las personas".

La Conferencia Episcopal concluyó este viernes la 117° Asamblea Plenaria que abordó, entre otros temas, la crisis que enfrenta la Iglesia por los casos de abusos sexuales contra niños, jóvenes y adultos.

“Nuevos y viejos”: el choque de estilos que deja la reunión de obispos

["New and old:" the clash of styles at the bishops' meeting]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 16, 2018

By María José Navarrete

La Conferencia Episcopal cierra hoy su 117° Asamblea Plenaria con la presencia de ocho administradores apostólicos. Su presidente, Santiago Silva, sigue en la mira.

Desde el reciente lunes 12 de noviembre hasta el mediodía de hoy, la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile (Cech) se reunió en su 117° Asamblea Plenaria, en el Centro Salesiano de Espiritualidad Lo Cañas, en La Florida, Santiago.

Conferencia Episcopal termina su peor año sin cambios en su jerarquía

[Chile's Episcopal Conference ends its worst year without changing its hierarchy]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 16, 2018

By María José Navarrete

Obispos culminaron la 117 Asamblea Plenaria con casi el mismo comité permanente que comenzó 2018. Prelados anunciaron un importante proyecto de colaboración con la fiscalía para indagar casos de abuso.

No es ninguna novedad decir que 2018 fue un año de crisis para la Iglesia Católica chilena. En este período el Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia de siete de los 32 obispos en ejercicio, mientras que las denuncias por abuso sexual por parte del clero, según el último informe de la Fiscalía -a octubre-, llegan a 124 causas vigentes, con 178 personas investigadas -entre ellas ocho obispos- y 222 víctimas.

Precht acude a la Suprema para apelar rechazo de recurso de protección contra el Arzobispado

[Ex-priest Precht goes to Supreme Court to appeal rejection of protection appeal against Archdiocese]

CHILE
El Mostrador

November 16, 2018

El ex sacerdote acusa a la Iglesia de vulnerar sus garantías constitucionales en el marco de la investigación canónica que se está llevando en su contra, argumentando que esta le ordenó residir en Santiago mientras durara la indagatoria, lo que fue descartado de forma unánime por el tribunal de alzada.

La defensa del ex sacerdote Cristián Precht acudió hasta la Corte Suprema para apelar y dejar sin efecto el rechazo de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago al recurso de protección interpuesto contra el Arzobispado.

Conferencia Episcopal mantiene a Santiago Silva como presidente pese a acusaciones de encubrimiento

[Chile's Episcopal Conference keeps Santiago Silva as president despite accusations of cover-up]

CHILE
BioBioChile

November 16, 2018

By Matías Vega and Erik López

El secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal, Fernando Ramos, aseguró que la Conferencia Episcopal discutió la condición en que se encuentra su presidente, Santiago Silva, quien es imputado por presunto encubrimiento de abusos sexuales.

Crisis in the pews: San Diego Catholics shaken by revelations of abuse, cover-ups

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Union-Tribune

November 18, 2018

By Peter Rowe

Mary Josweg is a 21st century Catholic, but she sounds an awful lot like the 16th century Protestant reformer Martin Luther.

“The church needs to get cleansed,” said Josweg, 69, a parishioner at St. Patrick’s in Carlsbad. “I believe in Jesus as the son of God and Creator of the world — I happen to be Catholic. But the organization that I belong to is totally corrupt.”

Josweg was among the thousands of Catholics who attended eight “listening sessions” convened by San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy in October and November. He got an earful.

“People are no longer following blindly,” said Harley Noel, 85, a parishioner at St. John’s in Encinitas. “Now, the heirarchy can't — I hate to say pull the wool over people’s eyes, but it’s hard for them to run and hide.”

The Pope Owns This

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

November 16, 2018

By Msgr. Charles Pope

The annual Fall Meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which took place in Baltimore earlier this week, was a disappointment on many levels. Yet there were also moments of light and strength coming from a good number of bishops. They spoke with clarity, acknowledging the seriousness of the crisis both in terms of the need to bring some semblance of justice to the victims and of the faltering credibility of the Church. Some even made the forbidden connection of the crisis to active homosexuals in the priesthood. Still others lamented the collective silence on sexual morality, wondering how many bishops and clergy do not believe what the Church teaches. (The interventions of these courageous bishops were reported in detail in the National Catholic Register here and here.)

Lamentably, the vote to encourage the Holy See to release all documents related to former Cardinal McCarrick’s alleged misconduct did not pass. The debate seemed to center on canonical issues and even wordsmithing. Nonetheless, the fact that more than 80 bishops were willing to issue even a mild-mannered insistence to Rome shows that many are finding a voice that is willing to confront when and where necessary.

The greatest disappointment was Pope Francis’ decision to suppress any vote or action on the abuse scandals by the U.S. bishops. Some bishops remarked that this decision indicates that Rome is serious about reform—a gratuitous claim. To many if not most of the faithful from whom I regularly hear, this seems yet another sad example of intransigence from Rome and the Pope. There is an almost complete tone-deafness in Rome; there seems to be bewilderment as to why these American “conservatives” are so worked up. Even worse, it appears that there is intentional resistance, obfuscation, and outright refusal to grant the legitimate requests of God’s faithful for a full and prompt investigation. These requests by the faithful are intended to ensure that tolerance of sin, violations of chastity, and clerical malfeasance will end. Victims deserve a prompt and thorough investigation and the faithful are right to insist that their clergy live up to the vows they take and observe the Sixth Commandment.

‘Go and Do Likewise’ - What the Synod on Young People Accomplished

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal Magazine

November 15, 2018

By Griffin Oleynick

On my last night in Rome covering the Synod on Young People, I got lost in a neighborhood adjacent to Vatican City. To return to my hotel, I had to circumambulate the mura vaticane—the massive walls first erected by Pope Leo IV in the ninth century and later reinforced by Pius IV in the sixteenth. I was struck not only by their height and thickness, but also by the kind of church they represent: fearful, defensive, and opaque. Farther along, though, it’s a different story, as the walls end abruptly at St. Peter’s Square. Here, Michelangelo’s twin elliptical colonnades gracefully cradle the open space like two outstretched arms. The architecture now signals a different kind of church, one that embraces visitors and pilgrims from all around the world. How appropriate, I thought. Just before leaving the Synod, I’d stumbled on the Vatican as a kind of visual metaphor for the Roman Catholic Church: an institution at times open and loving, but just as frequently impenetrable and unwelcoming.

The Synod officially concluded almost three weeks ago, with Pope Francis, delegates, and auditors all expressing mutual affection and gratitude for their time together. A cheerful atmosphere prevailed at the closing Mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica on October 28, where during his homily Francis thanked participants for their “witness” to unity and synodality. “We have worked in communion, with frankness and the desire to serve God’s people,” the pope said. Since then, delegates have explained that the Synod really isn’t over: the challenge now is bringing its collaborative spirit to dioceses and parishes all over the world. The road ahead won’t be easy. After returning to the United States in mid-October, I noticed a pointed lack of interest in (and even a certain skepticism toward) the proceedings—even from friends in the priesthood and religious life. How can the Synod overcome such indifference and realize its promise to revitalize the church for coming generations?

Whatever the Synod accomplishes in the next few months, its “first fruit”—the much anticipated Final Document—has failed to generate much enthusiasm. At more than twenty-seven thousand words, it’s both shorter and more concrete than the earlier Instrumentum laboris, but that hasn’t made it more widely read. Drafted in Italian by a small committee of delegates and approved on October 27 by a two-thirds vote in the hall, the Final Document still hasn’t been made available in English. Analysis on this side of the Atlantic has largely focused on the document’s third and final section (it’s dedicated to pressing problems and practical proposals, while the first two are theoretical). Critical reactions have emerged from different sides: progressive commentators have decried the exclusion of the term “LGBT,” calling it a “missed opportunity,” while conservatives have objected to passages on the topic of synodality. Some speculate that Po

Letter: Malone has already abandoned his flock

NEW YORK (NY)
Buffalo News

November 16, 2018

By Kathleen Janish

Bishop Richard J. Malone’s Nov. 5 press conference was unsatisfactory partly because he left most of the explanations and difficult questions to his lawyers. They repeatedly stated that most of the priest sex abuses occurred in the 1960s and 1970s before Malone’s arrival. While those abuses were a horrific betrayal, what happened since his arrival has angered many people.

Malone states he will not resign because a shepherd does not abandon his flock in a time of crisis. This is a crisis of his creation.

A good shepherd does not hide the names of predatory priests for five years and then release them only when pressured.

A good shepherd does not hide the whereabouts of the predators, thus worrying his flock about their safety.

A good shepherd does not let his flock learn from others that this was only a partial list, thus increasing their anger and anxiety, maximizing the pain of abuse victims, and putting good priests under a cloud of suspicion.

A good shepherd does not allow a staffer to present an unconvincing tale about the creation of a database to explain the delay in releasing further names.

A good shepherd protects his entire flock and does not hide the names and abuse charges of priests because they concern adults and not minors.

Softening the pontifical secret

AUSTRALIA
La Croix International

November 17, 2018

By Kieran Tapsell

The pontifical secret has been in the news lately because of comments by two of Pope Francis' conservative critics. In his second statement on the McCarrick matter, Archbishop Viganó admitted to breaching the pontifical secret by revealing some of the allegations against the ex-cardinal.In a television interview, Cardinal Muller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cited the pontifical secret when declining to provide details of allegations of child sexual abuse against the late Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. Muller alleges that Pope Francis ordered him to stop the investigation.Justin Glyn SJ in his article What Canon Law is For (Eureka Street 8 August 2018) writes: 'Rules like the Pontifical secret, for instance, should be read in such a way as to protect the rights of the innocent and avoid false accusations but should not be used to obstruct justice for victims.'

Timlin’s tone-deafness

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Citizens Voice

November 17, 2018

Parish priests have spent the months since a devastating Pennsylvania grand jury report in August apologizing to congregants for the conduct of the hierarchy and trying to reassure the faithful that the Catholic Church has launched an era of reform.

Amid that contrition and reassurance, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, generally, and former Scranton Bishop James C. Timlin, specifically, have displayed a stunning level of tone-deafness.

The grand jury report revealed up to 70 years of child sexual abuse by hundreds of priests is six dioceses statewide and, worse, inaction and coverups by bishops. All eight Pennsylvania dioceses now are under federal investigation.

Timlin is accused in the report of not doing enough to protect young people from predatory priests, including a case in which he allegedly shielded and transferred a priest who had raped a teenaged girl and facilitated her abortion.

In response, Bishop Joseph Bambera barred Timlin from representing the diocese.

Diocese Sex-Abuse List Includes Priest At Center Of 2006 Lawsuit, Plaintiff Speaks Out

ROCKFORD (IL)
Rock River Times

November 17, 2018

By Jim Hagerty

A former Rockford priest at the center of chilling allegations and a 2006 lawsuit appears on a list of 15 priests accused of sexual abuse.

Former priest Theodore Feely, who Rockford resident Donald Bondick claimed in a five-count lawsuit molested him and other boys, is one of the 10 men on the list released by the Diocese of Rockford Wednesday that have since died.

The list is part of a letter by Bishop David Malloy​ includes six priests, one deacon and eight priests/brothers. The accusations range from 1925 to 1991.

According the 2006 lawsuit, Feely raped Bondick in 1969, when Bondick was 13.

“Feely repeatedly molested Plaintiff to develop various psychological coping mechanisms and symptoms of psychological distress, including depression, repression and dissociation,” the complaint reads. “As a result, Plaintiff was under a disability and has only recently been able to link his severe psychological and emotional problems with the acts perpetrated by Feely.”

Bondick’s lawyers claimed the Diocese failed to take any action regarding the abuse, which the suit alleged was consistent with a decades-long practice of failing to respond to credible allegations.”

“On numerous occasions since at least 1960 the Defendants received credible allegations of sexual abuse but failed to take the actions necessary to properly investigate the allegations,” the suit continued. “On information and belief, the Defendants engaged in a pattern and practice of pedophilic behavior, to protect its reputation and avoid the scandal that would result if parishioners and the public at large were aware of the incidents of pedophilia in the church community.”

The Diocese responded to the lawsuit in a Feb. 24, 2006, statement: “We steadfastly believe that lawsuits should be resolved in a court of law, so we have no intention of attempting to try this case in the media. However, the allegations in this complaint are so sensationalized, harassing and irrelevant, justice demands that we respond.

Bishops’ meeting in Baltimore left much work to be done

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Jefferson City Catholic Diocese

November 16, 2018

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

The November General Assembly of Bishops in Baltimore was a difficult but perhaps unavoidable experience for us to move forward as a Church. I was very disappointed to learn that the Holy See found it necessary to insist that the USCCB not take action at this time on the proposals presented by our conference leadership. My frustration, shared with many other people, is this: We have known about the scandal of Archbishop McCarrick since the end of June, and our Church must take immediate, decisive and substantive action in light of the deep wound the scandal has caused.

I am not so concerned about the time it is taking to punish the perpetrator. Pope Francis immediately required the Archbishop to resign from the College of Cardinals when Cardinal Dolan announced the New York review board found a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against him. I’m okay with the fact that further penalties (which could include McCarrick’s return to the lay state) will take more time for a complete canonical process. McCarrick isn’t going anywhere and he is already living a life of imposed prayer and penance.

Catholic church whistleblowers need protection to expose abuse

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald

November 17, 2018

By Robert Fontana

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a gay man in a church that teaches homosexual behavior is sinful, has been exposed as a sexual predator who targeted males, mostly seminarians, and young boys.

According to Kenneth Woodward (former religious editor for Newsweek, Commonweal -11/9/18), McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., was not only protected by his high office but by a network of gay clerics that had secrets to keep. Woodward writes, “By network, I mean groups of gay priests, diocesan and religious, who encourage the sexual grooming of seminarians and young priests for decades, and who themselves lead double lives – breaking their vows of chastity while ministering to the laity and staffing the various bureaucracies of the church.”

These men hide behind a veneer of public ministry, celibacy and Catholic orthodoxy while living secret lives of sexual misbehavior, some of it criminal.

Readers of the Yakima Herald-Republic saw a glimpse of this in the story of Juan Jose Gonzalez Rios. Gonzalez, a former seminarian and retreat director, was arrested in the spring, 2008, for an outstanding warrant for accessing child porn. Charges were later dropped (“Former Seminarian Tells His Story,” Yakima Herald-Republic, 5/15/08). Gonzalez described how his pastor drew him into parish ministry, simultaneously introducing him to a public life of service and a private life of pornography, sex games, drinking, and gambling. This behavior continued as Gonzales entered the seminary and ended, according to Gonzalez, when the priest sexually assaulted him.

Author Jason Berry says Vatican needs to establish independent investigative unit

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE TV

November 16, 2018

By Rob Masson

A local author who helped bring church sex abuse in Louisiana to light believes it’s time for the church to do more to police itself.

Jason Berry said the future of the church could hinge on change if the Justice Department launches a nationwide investigation.

The harm is immeasurable.

Twenty-six years after author Jason Berry first wrote about Catholic Church sex abuse in the Lafayette diocese, victims are still coming forward.

“I was the canary in the coal mine before people realized there was a coal mine,” said Berry, who wrote, “Lead Us Not Into Temptation.”

With the church paying out billions in settlements worldwide, church leaders grapple with reform. Berry said bishops may have made a mistake this week when they delayed - at the request of the Vatican - a vote on setting up a bishop oversight commission.

“The optics are not good for the Vatican, at the last minute, to intervene,” Berry said.

Abuse lawsuits open a second front on time limits

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Post Gazette

November 16, 2018

By Peter Smith

The dozen lawsuits filed this week against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh represent the opening of a second front in the effort to overcome the statute of limitations and enable victims to sue over decades-old sexual abuse, even as a similar effort remains stalled in Harrisburg.

The plaintiffs allege that the diocese engaged in a systematic effort at fraud and concealment, which the victims couldn’t have known about when they were younger because it’s only now in the open, thanks to an August grand jury report.

As a result, they claim, the statute of limitations that normally would have closed the courtroom door to them long ago should be opened wide.

It’s an argument that their attorneys tried more than a decade ago without success. But this time they are banking on the statewide grand jury report released in August to reverse their fortunes.

“Upon reading the grand jury's report, plaintiff learned the diocese was a location rampant with child molestation for decades,” reads language in one of the lawsuits, which is echoed in others.

Archbishop Lori reflects on completed bishops’ meeting

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic Review

November 16, 2018

By Christopher Gunty

While the U.S. bishops ended up taking no concrete action regarding the sexual abuse scandals in the church during their Nov. 12-14 meeting in Baltimore, Archbishop William E. Lori told the Catholic Review he would not wait for the U.S. bishops to approve a code of conduct for bishops to ensure that he and the archdiocese’s three auxiliary bishops would be held to the same standards as other clergy, seminarians, employees and volunteers.

“In almost every diocese, including the Archdiocese of Baltimore, there is a code of conduct, and so we are certainly bound … by that code of conduct,” he said. Furthermore, bishops are to be held accountable to what they pledged to do in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and their accompanying norms, approved by the U.S. bishops in 2002.

“In the charter and the norms, we set how we would handle cases, … we enunciated the standards of behavior that we expect of other clergy. In our statement of episcopal accountability back in 2002, we pledged that we would hold ourselves to everything that is in the charter,” he said.

Catholic bishops angered by scandal involving ex-Cardinal McCarrick

NJ.com
Associated Press

November 14; 2018

At a national assembly focused on the sex-abuse crisis, numerous U.S. Roman Catholic bishops called Wednesday for a formal repudiation of Theodore McCarrick, the ex-cardinal facing allegations of sexual misconduct over a long stretch of his career.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, nearing the close of its three-day meeting in Baltimore, has been striving to show a commitment to combating clergy sex-abuse even though the Vatican ordered it to delay votes on two key anti-abuse proposals.

While the abuse scandal has affected many dioceses nationwide, the bishops appeared to be most angered and embarrassed by McCarrick, who allegedly abused and harassed youths and seminarians over many years as he rose to be archbishop of Washington and a member of the College of Cardinals until his removal by Pope Francis in July.

McCarrick, the former head of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen, is also accused of sexual misconduct with priests and seminarians during his time in New Jersey and New York. He is awaiting a church trial.

Several investigations, including one at the Vatican, are underway to determine who might have known about and covered up McCarrick's alleged misconduct. The U.S. bishops expressed eagerness to learn details of the Vatican probe but defeated a motion pressing for access to information uncovered in that process.

Editorial: US bishops have yet to find their collective moral core

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 16, 2018

By NCR Editorial Staff

This is how upside down and inside out things have become in the church: The U.S. bishops passed, by an overwhelming vote, a pastoral letter against racism during their recent meeting in Baltimore. Unfortunately, it was birthed in the shadow of the sex abuse crisis, discussion of which overwhelmed the conference meeting, and it will struggle to gain any notice amid the rubble of the ongoing fallout from the crisis.

It is a passable document and necessary, given the emergence of racism, xenophobia and anti-immigrant hate talk emanating not only from the corners of society but from the culture's corridors of power. It was one of the few items on the original agenda that wasn't scrubbed because of the need to discuss the abuse crisis.

In the current atmosphere, however, it felt like an afterthought, the discussion out of place. It was a statement of moral purpose by a group of men who have yet to find their collective moral core in dealing with the most perilous danger to the church in modern history.

NCR Connections: Panel examines how church culture enables abuse crisis

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 15, 2018

By Tom Roberts

Editor's note: Executive editor Tom Roberts aims to help readers understand how recent news stories fit together. NCR Connections will provide guideposts and markers to help lead readers through key issues and stories. See previous posts here.

Is this an existential crisis?

The question, to which there was no crisp answer, came at the very end of an hour and a half of a panel discussion and Q&A session about the clergy sex abuse crisis, the "this" of the question.

We need you! Support independent Catholic journalism. Become an NCR Forward member for $5 a month.

"The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis: How Did We Get Here?" was the topic of a briefing for media and NCR members (more on how to become an NCR member below or click here) held Sunday night in Baltimore before the start of the meeting there of the nation's bishops.

The Sins of Celibacy

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Review of Books

November 22, 2018

By Alexander Stille

On August 25 Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published an eleven-page letter in which he accused Pope Francis of ignoring and covering up evidence of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and called for his resignation. It was a declaration of civil war by the church’s conservative wing. Viganò is a former apostolic nuncio to the US, a prominent member of the Roman Curia—the central governing body of the Holy See—and one of the most skilled practitioners of brass-knuckle Vatican power politics. He was the central figure in the 2012 scandal that involved documents leaked by Pope Benedict XVI’s personal butler, including letters Viganò wrote about corruption in Vatican finances, and that contributed to Benedict’s startling decision to abdicate the following year. Angry at not having been made a cardinal and alarmed by Francis’s supposedly liberal tendencies, Viganò seems determined to take out the pope.

As a result of Viganò’s latest accusations and the release eleven days earlier of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that outlines in excruciating detail decades of sexual abuse of children by priests, as well as further revelations of sexual misconduct by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., Francis’s papacy is now in a deep, possibly fatal crisis. After two weeks of silence, Francis announced in mid-September that he would convene a large-scale gathering of the church’s bishops in February to discuss the protection of minors against sexual abuse by priests.

November 16, 2018

Senators urged to pass statute of limitations bill

ALTOONA (PA)
WTAJ TV

November 14, 2018

Senators returned to the state capitol today for one last session day.

But they were greeted by sexual abuse survivors pushing them to pass a bill on the statute of limitations.

Senators were only scheduled to vote on leadership positions today and not move any bills. Survivors were in the Senate halls throughout the day, hoping to change their minds.

"These pedophiles need to be outed. Victims need to have their day in court," said Carolyn Fortney, victim's advocate.

Five of the Fortney sisters were sexually abused by the same priest when they were growing up in the Harrisburg Diocese. On Wednesday, they stood in the halls of the capitol as Senators returned for their final day of session.

Priest pleads not guilty to sexually touching a minor

RAPID CITY (SD)
Rapid City Journal

November 16, 2018

By Arielle Zionts

A priest who previously served in the Diocese of Rapid City pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 16.

John Praveen, 38, served in the diocese before he was charged Oct. 2 and accused of sexually touching a 13-year-old girl over her clothes, according to court records and statements.

Before calling court to order, Judge Robert Mandel of the Seventh Circuit called a translation company to connect with a Telugu speaker who had been booked for the arraignment.

Praveen, who is from India, was originally set to be arraigned Nov. 6, but the hearing was rescheduled after Mandel wasn't able to reach a translator.

British archbishop apologizes for church’s response to abuse survivors

MANCHESTER (UK)
Catholic News Service

November 16, 2018

By Simon Caldwell

A Catholic archbishop publicly apologized to the victims of child abuse during a government-backed inquiry that shed light on allegations against priests over half a century.

Some of the allegations were made against Father John Tolkien, the son of JRR Tolkien, the best-selling author of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England, acknowledged failures of the church to protect children in his testimony Nov. 16 to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse in London. He assured the inquiry of his commitment to the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

The inquiry is investigating child abuse throughout various United Kingdom institutions and heard evidence of abuse in the Birmingham Archdiocese during a five-day hearing Nov. 12-16.

“I am deeply sorry. I

To immunize priests against clericalism, start with seminaries

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 16, 2018

By Ken Briggs

How do you learn "clericalism"? As the Broadway show "South Pacific" said about human prejudice, "you've got to be carefully taught."

It's an attitude inculcated mostly in subtle ways, in little gestures and tainted language. It's absorbed in behavior and habits considered normal rather than aberrant, accepted as a natural way of life.

The upheaval sparked by priests' sex abuse and bishops' cover-up has pointed to clericalism as a major factor. The phenomenon has long plagued Catholicism as a contrived power grab based on arrogance and superiority. Its audacious presumption was that ordination was God's method of conveying higher status and authority on certain individuals, conferring rights to rule the church without the consent or advice of the laity. They alone were entitled to espouse what the church officially taught and exact sanctions for disobedience.

New Jersey’s Attorney General Ramps Up Investigation and Issues Subpoenas to Church Officials

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 16, 2018

The attorney general for New Jersey has ramped up their investigation into clergy sex abuse and has issued subpoenas to at least one of the state’s catholic dioceses. We applaud this move by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

The issuing of these subpoenas is a huge step forward for the investigation in New Jersey and one that will make a major difference in the effort to get to the bottom of the clergy sex abuse crisis. Subpoena power was a critical tool in Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s investigation into clergy sex abuse that revealed evidence of more than 1000 children abused by more than 300 priests. By following in the footsteps of AG Shapiro, it is clear that AG Grewal is taking this investigation seriously.

This move by AG Grewal could not come at a better time. At the end of the same week in which the Vatican prevented steps to hold bishops responsible for abuse cover-ups accountable, AG Grewal is using the power vested in him by the legal system to enforce accountability on his own. We hope that others attorneys general across the US will follow in AG Grewal’s footsteps, whether by ramping up their own investigations or taking steps to begin them in their own state.

Despite Vatican Inaction, SNAP Urges Bishops to Follow the Lead of Others

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 16, 2018

On Monday, the Vatican delayed a vote that would have let US bishops take small steps towards addressing the clergy sex abuse crisis. Despite that delay, some bishops around the country have already been taking positive steps in their own way.

Without permission from the Holy See or their colleagues in the USCCB, several US bishops have become leaders by example. In doing so, these bishops provide a counter-example to the myth that bishops cannot act on this crisis without Vatican approval. Three examples of bishops doing the right thing include:

Bishop Stephen Biegler of Cheyenne, Wyoming forcing an investigation – by both police and the Vatican – into his predecessor, Bishop Joseph Hart, and publicly called the abuse accusations against Hart “credible.”

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston publicly criticizing Buffalo's Bishop Richard Malone for his inaction on abuse while using his influence with the Pope to call for an investigation into Malone’s diocese

Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, MO insisting that religious orders post lists of accused priests and disallowing order priests to work in his diocese if they refuse

Others are trying to do the right thing too, such as the handful of bishops from dioceses around the country who have taken the first step towards transparency by releasing and publicly posting lists of priests accused of abuse. We encourage these bishops to take the next step and urge independent investigations into their own diocese and the dioceses of their colleagues.

Yet there are some, such as Bishop Joseph Jugis of Charlotte, NC who are taking the Vatican’s move to delay Monday’s vote as confirmation that they should continue to obfuscate and push back on efforts to bring transparency to their dioceses. But as the men listed above have shown, bishops do have the power to do the right thing of their own accord.

Man's allegations of abuse by Fostoria priest surface after 40 years

TOLEDO (OH)
The Blade

November 16, 2018

By Lauren Lindstrom and Nicki Gorny

Riley Kinn thought he was handling it.

Never mind the drinking, the substance abuse, the difficulty in interpersonal relationships that had intermittently plagued him since he was a teenager.

He’d been to therapy. He thought he’d managed to push down and push away the months of grooming and abuse by the Rev. Joseph Schmelzer, predatory behavior that he says culminated in sexual assault in the rectory of St. Wendelin Parish in 1980.

Then came 2015. Mr. Kinn took a new client for his information technology business — his childhood parish in Fostoria.

Once on site to run new wires for the internet and phone systems, he found himself drawn to the rectory bedroom. The memories flooded back. So did a fierce panic attack. He fled to his truck and took off.

Former Youngstown priest removed due to allegations

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ TV

November 16, 2018

By Alan Rodges

The Diocese of Phoenix has removed Frank Zappitelli from public ministry upon learning that he was accused of sexual misconduct within the Diocese of Youngstown.

84-year-old Zapitelli was incardinated into the Diocese of Phoenix on April 15, 1983. He was assigned to the following parishes in the Diocese: St. Maria Goretti, St. Louis the King, Resurrection, Christ the King, St. Jerome, and St. Daniel the Prophet.

The allegation against Zappitelli was sexual misconduct with a minor. This allegedly occurred in the mid-1970's in the Youngstown area.

Mum of Ayrshire girl who killed herself after she was forced to show thong during rape trial backs #ThisIsNotConsent

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

November 15, 2018

By Annie Brown

Lindsay Armstrong, 17, took her own life after being forced to hold up her underwear in court and read out the slogan 'Little Devil'.

The mum of a rape victim who killed herself after a court case in which she was forced to hold up her underwear has backed protests over a similar scandal in Ireland.

This week, women shared pictures of their underwear on social media with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent after a 17-year-old girl’s “thong with a lace front" was cited as part of the defence against her allegation of rape.

The case, which has sparked demonstrations and worldwide condemnation mirrors the devastating experience of Lindsay Armstrong, 17, who wept as she was told to display her thong to the jury.

She was also told to read out the slogan on the front saying: “Little Devil”.

Lindsay, from New Cumnock in Ayrshire, took her life two weeks after the trial in 2001 found her 15-year-old attacker guilty of rape.

U.S. Bishops Had a Plan to Curb Sex Abuse. Rome Ordered Them to Wait.

BALTIMORE (MD)
The New York Times

November 12, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

Facing a reignited crisis of credibility over child sexual abuse, the Roman Catholic bishops of the United States came to a meeting in Baltimore on Monday prepared to show that they could hold themselves accountable.

But in a last-minute surprise, the Vatican instructed the bishops to delay voting on a package of corrective measures until next year, when Pope Francis plans to hold a summit in Rome on the sexual abuse crisis for bishops from around the world.

Many of the more than 350 American bishops gathered in Baltimore appeared stunned when they learned of the change of plans in the first few minutes of the meeting.

They had come to Baltimore wanting to prove that they had heard their parishioners’ cries of despair and calls for change. Suddenly, the Vatican appeared to be standing in the way, dealing the bishops another public relations nightmare.

Man's allegations of abuse by Fostoria priest surface after 40 years

FOSTORIA (OH)
The Blade

November 16, 2018

By Lauren Lindstrom and Nicki Gorny

Riley Kinn thought he was handling it.

Nevermind the drinking, the substance abuse, the difficulty in interpersonal relationships that had intermittently plagued him since he was a teenager.

He’d been to therapy. He thought he’d managed to push down and push away the months of grooming and abuse by the Rev. Joseph Schmelzer, predatory behavior that he says culminated in sexual assault in the rectory of St. Wendelin Parish in 1980.

Then came 2015. Mr. Kinn took a new client for his information technology business — his childhood parish in Fostoria.

Once on site to run new wires for the internet and phone systems, he found himself drawn to the rectory bedroom. The memories flooded back. So did a fierce panic attack. He fled to his truck and took off.

#ChurchToo: How can we prevent the abuse of women by the clergy?

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

November 16, 2018

By Lea Karen Kivi

Much attention has been paid in recent years to the horrific sexual abuse of minors in the church, and rightly so. But many men and women who experienced sexual abuse by members of the clergy in adulthood have yet to receive compassionate acknowledgment of the harm they have suffered. Regardless of the age at which sexual abuse by clergy was experienced, churches of all denominations have a long distance to travel in setting up healing ministries for and with survivors.

I have great respect for the many Catholic priests who have blessed my journey of faith. I am grateful to my parish pastors, and to the Paulist, Franciscan, Jesuit and Basilian priests who have fed my faith and inspired me by their sacrificial service. Accepting a call to the priesthood at this point in history may be especially challenging, and I hope those currently in the priesthood or considering a call will persevere despite the revelations of wrongdoing in the church. This wrongdoing has always existed. The good news is that we now know about it, are talking about it and therefore can work to eliminate it. We must consider how to prevent abuse of women in the church, and how to make it easier for women (and men) to come forward should they themselves experience abuse by clergy in adulthood.

N.J. Catholic Church gets subpoenaed by state, revving up priest abuse investigation

TRENTON (NJ)
NJ.com

November 15, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer

New Jersey's attorney general has begun issuing subpoenas to force the state's Catholic dioceses to turn over records and files related to its clergy sexual abuse investigation, church officials said.

The Archdiocese of Newark, the state's largest diocese that represents more than 1 million Catholics, was asked to turn over documents, said James Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

"The archdiocese has received a subpoena," Goodness said Wednesday, declining to provide additional details. "We are cooperating with the AG task force."

The subpoena to the Archdiocese of Newark is one part of what is expected to be a lengthy and wide-ranging investigation into potential priest sex abuse cases across all five dioceses and thousands of Catholic churches and schools.

New Jersey's other four dioceses - Camden, Paterson, Trenton and Metuchen - are also expected to turn over documents. But none would confirm if they have received subpoenas yet.

Blowing the Whistle on Mishandling Diocesan Sex Abuse

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

November 15, 2018

By Peter Jesserer Smith

A lifelong, devout Catholic from Buffalo, Siobhan O’Connor found herself living a disciple’s dream: working with her bishop to help build up Christ’s Church in their diocese. Three years later, having seen how the diocese and Bishop Richard Malone dealt with sexual abuse, O’Connor became a whistleblower in the chancery, leaking a trove of documents. The story was reported by Buffalo’s 7 Eyewitness News investigative journalist Charlie Specht, and then went national with 60 Minutes.

The Diocese of Buffalo is now under state and federal investigation, and Bishop Malone has fought calls for his resignation, saying his leadership is needed for the diocese’s stability.

In this interview with the Register, Siobhan O’Connor, 37, discusses why she became a whistleblower, her own Catholic faith, and the role of the laity in holding bishops accountable.

Siobhan, Bishop Malone has had meetings with the priests, deacons, and lay ministers of the diocese, and a Nov. 5 press conference that revealed more predator priests in the clergy than the 42 originally reported back in March. Do you believe the diocese is now honestly addressing its handling of sex abuse following your leak of the chancery documents?

Well, I would say that it’s definitely doing so much more effectively than they were in the past, and as much as they might say that they were planning to do this of their own volition, the timing would suggest that it was in response to 60 Minutes episode, and the fallout from it.

Survivors demand justice for abuses in Chilean seminary

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 16, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Four former Chilean seminarians, all survivors of clerical sexual abuse, are coming forward at the end of the plenary meeting of the local bishops, demanding justice be done for those abused in the seminary of Valparaiso some 60 miles from Santiago.

The four are Mauricio Pulgar, Sebastian del Rio, Marcelo Soto and Marcelo Rodriguez. Father Eugenio de la Fuente, who met with Pope Francis earlier this year in Rome as part of a group of nine priests and laity abused in one form or another by former priest Fernando Karadima, also signed their public declaration and a letter to Bishop Pedro Ossandón.

Ossandón was appointed as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Valparaiso after Francis accepted the resignation, on June 11, of former Bishop Gonzalo Duarte.

Duarte, who was 75 at the time, has long been accused by the four survivors of not only cover-up but also of abuse of power and of conscience as well as sexual harassment.

Bishops continue to define response to sex abuse despite Vatican call for delay

BALTIMORE (MD)
National Catholic Reporter

November 16, 2018

By Thomas Reese

As the U.S. bishops' meeting in Baltimore ends Nov. 15, the most newsworthy happening is still Monday's last-minute instruction from the Vatican to delay any vote on new procedures to sanction or otherwise deal with bishops who had either abused children or failed to remove abusive priests from ministry.

The instruction, in the form of a letter from the Congregation of Bishops in Rome, threw the gathering in Baltimore into chaos on its opening day.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, openly expressed his disappointment with the Vatican's intervention. He and other bishops felt their house was burning down, and the Vatican was asking them to delay turning on the fire hoses.

Other bishops were secretly relieved. Some questioned the proposals for how to deal with abuse, which had been put together quickly in response to the Pennsylvania grand jury report and the scandal over ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Those who wanted the reforms to pass feared they would fail to get the necessary two-thirds vote for passage. Now both groups could buy time while blaming the Vatican for their inaction.

From any vantage, the Vatican intervention was extremely disappointing. It contradicts everything Francis has said about empowering bishops' conferences and decentralizing decision-making in the church. It was also a public-relations disaster for the pope, who is already losing the confidence of Catholics on the abuse issue, according to a September poll from the Pew Research Center: Only 31 percent of Catholics thought the pope was doing a good or excellent job handling the sex abuse scandal, down from 55 percent three years ago.

Hundreds call on India court to cancel bail for bishop accused of rape

MUMBAI (INDIA)
Crux

November 16, 2018

By Nirmala Carvalho

Over 500 people held a demonstration demanding the cancellation of bail for Indian Bishop Frank Mulakkal, who has been accused of raping a nun on multiple occasions.

The Save Our Sisters (SoS) Action Council held the rally on Wednesday in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Mulakkal was arrested on Sept. 21 after a months-long investigation into the accusations of a nun claiming he raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The nun is a member of the Punjab-based Missionaries of Jesus congregation, but said the attacks happened in Kuravilangad, the location of one of the order’s convents in Kerala.

Mulakkal vehemently denies the charges, and claims the nun is retaliating because he initiated an investigation against her for an affair she allegedly had with a married man.

The bishop was released on bail on Oct. 15, despite the objections of the police and the family of the nun making the accusations.

New Lawsuit Against PA’s Catholic Dioceses Demands More Disclosures

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS (PA)
WHYY Radio

November 16, 2018

By Bobby Allyn

Two people who have accused priests of molestation in Philadelphia have filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and all of the state’s dioceses demanding that additional church secrets be exposed.

The suit filed on Thursday in Common Pleas Court marks the latest civil action following this summer’s grand jury report implicating more than 300 so-called predator priests who allegedly abused minors and covered up decades of crime.

Plaintiff Daniel Hillanbrand, 48, a warehouse manager who now lives in North Carolina, said in the early 1980s he was abused in Philadelphia by Rev. James Dux, who has been accused of numerous instances of sexual misconduct by other minors.

The cases of Hillanbrand and the other plaintiff in the suit, LeeAnne Natali, 57, who says she was abused by a Philadelphia priest in the 1970s, were not involved in the scathing state grand jury report released in August because previous grand juries had already investigated clergy sex abuse in Philadelphia.

Both claims in the suit are too old under the law to be pursued for monetary damages, but lawyers for the plaintiffs say this legal challenge has a different aim: to reveal the names of additional clergy members involved in enabling abusers across the state.

“They’re all engaged in the same practice in concert and they are continuing to cause peril for minors,” said Minnesota-based lawyer Jeffrey Anderson, who is the lead attorney on the suit. “The grand jury report this summer named the problem, and we’re trying to do something about it to make communities safer.”

Here’s why the Vatican told US bishops to delay vote on sex abuse reform, Braxton says

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News Democrat

By Mary Cooley

November 15, 2018

The Vatican has asked U.S. Bishops to delay their votes on two items regarding clergy abuse to ensure worldwide consistency, Bishop Edward Braxton says.

The proposals in response to the sex-abuse crises were to be voted on at the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops, which Braxton is part of. Braxton provided a statement on Wednesday afternoon that “most of the bishops were surprised and disappointed” initially by the instruction to delay the votes.

However, he said, the delay will allow issues discovered or proposals made by Bishops in other countries to have the same approval and provide worldwide consistency in the Catholic Church.

“The reason for the Holy See’s request for the delay was not because of any expressed objection to the contents of these proposed documents,” Braxton said. “Rather, it was because the Holy Father wanted the Bishops of the United States to wait until after the February meeting that h

Church scandal questions won’t just go away

MOBILE (AL)
Lagniappi Weekly

November 14, 2018

By Rob Holbert

So is the Archdiocese of Mobile finally coming clean about the history of sexual abuse of minors, or is the announcement last week that they will release the names of priests since who, since 1950, were removed from ministry due to such accusations just a way of avoiding the bigger issue?

The answer to that depends a lot on perspective and whether one believes the Catholic Church is really going to be totally transparent without being legally forced. The record thus far certainly would not lean favorably in the church’s direction.

Last week Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi announced the archdiocese will “publish the names of clergy and religious who were removed from ministry due to an accusation of abuse of a minor.” This will cover both Catholic dioceses in Alabama and Mississippi — four in total.

The only such accounting the Archdiocese of Mobile has offered up to this point was released in 2004 and included the names of 13 priests and admitted to 18 victims. It’s not yet known if more names will be added to the total from Mobile’s diocese, but presumably more new information may come from the other three.

Rodi’s announcement offered no timeframe for the release of the names and even seemed to temper any expectations a list would be produced soon.

Media silence as gang rape survivor from northern Iraq wins Nobel Peace Prize

IRAQ
World Tribune

November 1, 2018

News that Yazidi sex slave survivor Nadia Murad has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war barely registered on the American media radar screen.

Murad was abducted in northern Iraq in August 2014, when Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists took over her village.

“At just 21 years old, she was kidnapped alongside an estimated 3,000 other Yazidi women and girls, traded as sex slaves from one ISIS fighter to another. She was forced to pray, dress up, and apply makeup in preparation for her rape, which was often committed by gangs,” Kelsey Harkness wrote for The Daily Signal on Oct. 12.

Murad said: “My hope is that all women who speak about their stories of sexual violence are heard and accepted, that their voices are heard so they feel safe.”

But, Harkness wrote, “Nadia’s story is falling on deaf ears. Because being ‘heard’ requires others to listen. Imagine the difference ‘feminists’ could make if, in addition to banging on the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court, they also took a few minutes to bang at the doors of the United Nations.”

“While any comparison between Nadia’s story and the accusations leveled against newly minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh would be completely unfair,” Harkness continued, “it is fair to wonder how news of uncorroborated allegations of gang rape brought by porn lawyer Michael Avenatti can overshadow a gang rape survivor-turned-women’s advocate being honored with the most prestigious award in the world.”

When her village was overrun by ISIS, Murad said the Yazidi people – a Kurdish and Arabic-speaking religious minority – were given two choices: Convert to Islam or die. Refusing to give in, Nadia said she watched men get massacred and family members march to their graves.

Thousands of Yazidis remain missing, including at least 1,300 women and children.

St. Bonaventure University: Buffalo Diocese should not have identified deceased friar

ST. BONAVENTURE (NY)
Olean Times Herald

November 15, 2018

By Tom Dinki

St. Bonaventure University says that the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo should not have publicly named a deceased university friar as being credibly accused of child sexual abuse given diocesan criteria for identifying accused priests.

The Rev. Maurice Scheier, who worked at St. Bonaventure for nearly 60 years prior to his death in 1991, was among the 36 additional priests that the Buffalo Diocese announced last week had substantiated claims of child sex abuse made against them.

The Buffalo Diocese states on its website that the 36 priests identified Nov. 5 — as well as the original list of 42 priests released in March — do not include priests “who received a single allegation after their death.”

Pope Francis has encouraged the anti-abuse action one of his archbishops wants to delay

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

November 16, 2018

To the editor: Kudos for covering the mixed message from the Vatican, which wants to prevent sexual abuse by predator priests and bishops but delays action until all the bishops “throughout the world” can address the issue.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wanted to take care of their own backyard and address this urgent issue, but the Vatican advocated delay. It’s too bad that some archbishop from Rome felt “offended" because the church leaders in the U.S. wanted to create a commission of laypeople to review complaints against bishops.

This archbishop’s attitude is a reflection of what Pope Francis denounced last month as the “scourge of clericalism.” Francis stated that clericalism “arises from an elitist and exclusivist vision of vocation, that interprets the ministry received as a power to be exercised rather than as a free and generous service to be given.”

Now is the time for the Vatican to practice what it preaches by establishing a lay commission to review complaints against bishops, because a church that does not listen cannot be credible.

Tom Kaminski, Manhattan Beach

To the editor: You criticize the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for delaying action on abuse that you say is overdue. As a harsh critic of the church on these matters and others, I think the L.A. Times has failed to see that these problems are not exclusively American ones, but also world problems.

Pope Francis has called for a world bishops conference in three months to resolve this cancer within our holy church. This conference will consider the U.S. bishops’ proposal as well as opinions of bishops and laypeople around the world — as it should.

George Dufresne, La Habra

Area man says bishop won't hear his abuse allegations

FOSTORIA (OH)
The News-Messenger

November 16, 2018

By David Yonke

At their meeting in Baltimore this week, America's Catholic bishops decided to delay a proposed vote on dealing with clerical sexual abuse.

The delay did not surprise Riley Kinn, a 51-year-old Fostoria man who said he has been trying for two years to talk to Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas about allegations that a priest sexually abused him when he was a child.

"All I am asking is for Bishop Thomas to sit down with me for a short while and listen," said Kinn. "This is bigger than just one child being victimized. They say they want other victims to come forward, but why would they come forward if no one in the church will even listen to them?"

Thomas oversees the Toledo Catholic Diocese, which has more than 320,000 members in 19 counties across Northwest Ohio including Sandusky and Ottawa counties.

Seeks review board meeting
In addition to seeking a meeting with Thomas, Kinn has repeatedly asked for an opportunity to present his case in person before the Diocesan Review Board, a panel that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established in all American dioceses after the clerical sexual abuse scandal erupted in Boston in 2002 and then spread across the nation and world.

The review boards are tasked with evaluating allegations of abuse by priests and determining whether the charges are credible.

"I call them a few times every week and ask for a meeting," Kinn said. "I leave messages saying the same thing on their voicemail and they never return my calls. I say, 'I'd like you to call me back. I'd like to ask some questions. I'd like to meet with you or at least talk to you by telephone'. They never return my calls."

The voicemail routine has almost become a joke, Kinn said with a shrug, but he is deadly serious about his allegations that a priest in the Toledo diocese, the Rev. Joseph Schmelzer, molested and raped him when Kinn was 13 years old.

Schmelzer was removed from public ministry on Feb. 19, 2007 by then-Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair, after the review board deemed that allegations of abuse made by other accusers were credible.

Twelve suits alleging sexual abuse in Pittsburgh Diocese include 4 priests not previously named

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 15, 2018

By Paula Reed Ward

Twelve lawsuits filed Thursday in Allegheny County against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh include accusations of sexual abuse against four priests not previously named.

The four priests, who were not listed in the statewide investigating grand jury report released in August, are the Revs. Peter Pilarski, John Unger, George Leech and Joseph Feltz. They are not among those the Diocese of Pittsburgh lists on its website as having been credibly accused of abuse.

The complaints, filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, name as defendants Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, who was formerly bishop in Pittsburgh. They allege that the church and officials there knew about abusive priests but did nothing to stop them.

After Baltimore, where things stand on the sexual abuse crisis

DENVER (CO)
Crux

November 16, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

Now that the dust has settled on the U.S. bishops’ fall meeting in Baltimore - which was keenly anticipated in the run-up, and which turned out to be massively anti-climactic in the aftermath - it’s time to take preliminary stock of where things stand in the bishops’ efforts to respond to the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

The agenda for the meeting was waylaid late afternoon on Sunday, when a letter reached Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the USCCB, from Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, telling the bishops to delay votes on matters related to the abuse crisis until Feb. 21-24, when Pope Francis has summoned presidents of all the bishops’ conferences around the world for a summit on child protection.

Some bishops floated taking non-binding votes on the abuse proposals, the centerpiece of which was the creation of an independent commission to investigate bishops accused of violating anti-abuse standards, and a new code of conduct for the bishops themselves. In the end, no such non-binding votes were taken.

While much remains uncertain about what happened and where things go from here, here’s what we do know with reasonable certainty.

Italian Church to create national anti-abuse center

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 16, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

Italian bishops have concluded their Nov. 12-14 extraordinary assembly. New guidelines on the question of clerical sexual abuse were discussed and presented, with the creation of a National Advisory Center to aid bishops and the promise to make a “more radical evangelical choice” in terms of prevention.

“Woe to whoever touches children!” said Italian Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), during a press conference Nov. 15, adding that clerical sexual abuse “is a problem that the Italian Church intends to resolve in radical terms.”

At Pope Francis’s request, the Italian episcopacy was asked to create new guidelines on clerical sexual abuse to be added to the already existing ones published in 2014 and focusing primarily on prevention, information and education.

Italian bishops were presented with the new guidelines, which were created by an ad hoc commission, and will take them back to their dioceses to evaluate them until the next episcopal gathering in May 2019.

The guidelines will not be made public until the bishops approve them by vote, though Bassetti said that he intends to bring some of its content to the February 21-24 summit of representatives from episcopal conferences from around the world that will focus solely on the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

The Catholic Bishops Who Couldn’t: The Vatican prevents American prelates from addressing clergy sexual abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Wall Street Journal

November 15, 2018

By Mene Ukueberuwa

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met urgently this week to address the most recent revelations of sex abuse by clergy. If public anger about past coverups wasn’t enough to spur church leaders into action, the pressure of more than a dozen state investigations presents an ultimatum, forcing bishops to prove they are able to police their own affairs. Yet on the eve of the conference in Baltimore, the Vatican forbade the bishops to adopt practical reforms. The move tears the U.S. church between the authority of Rome and the trust of its followers.

Two abuse stories have battered the American church since the summer: the uninhibited rise of a serial sexual predator, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and the Pennsylvania grand-jury report, which unveiled sex-crime accusations against more than 300 priests. The bishops’ lack of accountability connects the two stories. Equal among themselves under Catholic law, bishops can’t discipline each other without Vatican intervention. This enables them to cover up abuse in their own jurisdictions—and gives them an excuse to keep quiet about others.

Ahead of the conference, the bishops coalesced around two proposals to impose accountability. The first is a simple code of conduct extending to bishops the zero-tolerance policy for sex abuse enacted for priests in 2002. The second is an independent review board to investigate claims against bishops and refer credible cases directly to the Vatican. “Each bishop would have to agree to allow himself to be investigated by the committee,” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told me last week. He described the bishops’ shedding of immunity as “a covenantal sort of relationship” that would allow them to police each other better.

Former AZ priest says he was forced to choose between his religion and the law

PHOENIX (AZ)
3TV/CBS 5

November 15, 2018

By Nicole Crites

Accountability for sex abuse in the Catholic Church has really come to a head this week. Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted and his national brother bishops were just about to vote on new proposals to end the crisis at a conference in Baltimore.

The Vatican stepped in and stopped the vote.

The church ambassador to the U.S. also suggested they do not need to work with any lay councils or law enforcement.

And Wednesday, Jesuits West just announced they are getting ready to release a new list of priests accused of sexual abuse going back to the 1950s here.

So what does that do to the progress we saw in transparency?

The Justice Department and 18 states are now investigating the Catholic church.

The Valley had one of the first task forces in the country and we got to sit down with their key witness.

Joe Ladensack helped take down a bishop and a half-dozen priests here in Phoenix 15 years ago.

Meeting of U.S. bishops in Baltimore closes with no action after sexual abuse crisis

BALTIMORE (MD)
Washington Post

November 14, 2018

In the first meeting of U.S. bishops since a national sexual abuse crisis hit the Catholic Church in June, no name came up more than that of an ex-cardinal shut away in a remote Kansas friary: Theodore Mc­Carrick.

In debate and comments over the three-day conference in Baltimore, the now-resigned former Washington archbishop became a proxy for excessive clericalism, corruption and for those who see homosexuality as the core sin for which the church is being punished.

And then in the final hours on Wednesday, the bishops representing 196 American archdiocese and dioceses took a vote on a measure to simply “encourage” the Vatican to share documents related to its investigation of McCarrick.

It was shot down, 137 to 83.

And thus closed the gathering of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which opened dramatically with the Vatican’s insistence that the body delay a vote on reform measures until a major Vatican synod in the winter and wound down with an almost complete lack of the kind of contrition and decisive action parishioners have been demanding since summer.

Terry McKiernan, co-director of the research site and advocacy group BishopAccountability.org, said Wednesday evening that he hopes the “deference to the Vatican and the paralysis seen at this meeting raise the stakes for the U.S. bishops in the months ahead.”

“It’s even more urgent that they demonstrate some resolve and act,” rather than just wait docilely for the synod, he said.

Here’s why the Vatican stopped American bishops from voting on responses to sexual abuse

WASHINGTON (D.C.)
Washington Post

November 15, 2018

By Bill McCormick

On Sunday, the Vatican ordered U.S. bishops to stop considering proposals about how to respond when bishops are accused of sexual abuses. Those proposals were on this week’s agenda at the fall gathering of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

Why were the bishops considering action now? For several reasons. This summer, the Vatican removed retired Archbishop Theodore McCarrick from ministry after finding that allegations that he had sexually abused young men were credible. In August, the Pennsylvania attorney general released a grand jury report revealing extensive clerical sex abuse in the state, prompting several other state attorneys general to investigate church abuse records. The resulting public outcry put tremendous pressure on the bishops to act decisively.

What were the bishops going to do?

On Monday, the bishops planned to address a key gap in their response to clerical sex abuse: how to deal with allegations against bishops. The U.S. Roman Catholic Church had, in 2002, released a directive on best practices for reporting and responding to sex abuse, called the “Dallas Charter.” But it did not include rules for bishops.

The bishops’ Baltimore agenda, according to the Jesuit magazine America, included:

Approving new “Standards of Episcopal Conduct” for bishops, the creation of a new commission to handle allegations of abuse against bishops, and new protocols for bishops who are removed or who resign from office due to sexual misconduct with adults or minors.

Why did the Vatican halt the vote?

The many possible reasons all arise from the complicated dynamics of Catholic Church governance. For one, the church has come to see clerical sex abuse as a global issue, not a problem isolated in a few countries such as Ireland or the United States. The church has thus increasingly seen the need for a global solution. The Vatican might be hoping that a more united front will emerge from a February 2019 meeting of bishops that it has called on this issue.

November 15, 2018

Cardinal guilty of covering up sex abuse addresses US bishops’ conference

BALTIMORE (MD)
LifeSiteNews

November 14, 2018

A cardinal barred from public ministry since 2013 as a result of his systematic cover-up of sex abuse spoke at the U.S. Bishops’ General Assembly in Baltimore Tuesday, telling the bishops they "need to lead by witness."

In remarks lasting a little more than five minutes during the open mic portion of the afternoon session (full remarks below), retired Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, 82, urged bishops to adopt what he called an “affective collegiality” where they would grow in devotion to and in association with one another.

“We are not bishops alone or separate. We belong to a college and we have a responsibility to the college,” he said, quoting St. Charles Borromeo. We must have “devotion to each other as members of the [USCCB] and the College of Bishops.”

Mahony, no friend to the pro-life cause, was censured in January 2013 by current Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez, two years after retiring in 2011. Gomez’s decision was motivated by a court order that forced the LA Archdiocese to release documents more than 12,000 pages long that proved Mahony, appointed in 1985, purposely concealed from the public his knowledge of priests who committed sex crimes with youth and then transferred them after they received counseling only to have them sexually abuse again and again.

Ogdensburg diocese releases list of priests accused of sex abuse, joining national trend

OGDENSBURG (NY)
Syracuse.com

November 15, 2018

By Julie McMahon

The Diocese of Ogdensburg this week released the names of priests accused of child sex abuse, joining a trend nationwide.

The diocese named 28 priests, 16 of whom have died. Officials said all of the living priests had been removed or left ministry.

Those named were the subject of a finding "of reasonable grounds" that they had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor or vulnerable adult, according to the diocese.

The Ogdensburg diocese joins 75 other dioceses across the country that have released the names of abusive priests, according to a count by the law firm Anderson & Associates, which represents victims nationwide.

A quick Google search shows that new dioceses every day are releasing names.

That leaves 120 dioceses or archdioceses in the U.S. that have refused to list the identities of sexually abusive priests.

With Ogdensburg's latest release, three dioceses in New York state continue to refuse to release the names.

In Syracuse, Bishop Robert Cunningham has said he will not release a list. Cunningham's policy is to confirm the names once a victim makes it public.

9&10 News Investigates Past Assignments of Accused Diocese of Gaylord Priests

GAYLORD (MI)
Channel 9 & 10

November 15, 2018

By David Lyden, Jeff Blakeman

We’re diving deeper into the clergy sex abuse investigation across the state by taking a look at where some of those priests used to work.

We were the first to report that the Diocese of Gaylord had released a list of all the priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct involving minors.

That list includes ten priests but does not include a record of where they spent time.

Father Ronald Gronowski was serving as pastor of parishes in Lake City and Manton when he was removed from the ministry back in 2002.

It came after a 1995 allegation surfaced accusing Gronowski of sexual misconduct back in the 1970’s.

We also know Gronowski spent time in Indian River.

Father Jim Holtz was pastor in Fife Lake and Kalkaska when he was removed from ministry in 2002.

He’s accused of sexually abusing a minor while drunk in the 1980’s.

Best practices? ‘What is best for victims,’ says California bishop

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service

November 15, 2018

By Mark Pattison

As the U.S. bishops, individually and collectively, pursue “best practices” in their dioceses and for the country on how to deal with another clerical sexual abuse scandal in their midst, Bishop Oscar Cantu of San Jose, California, said best practices are simply “what is best for victims.”

And, despite listening to victims of abuse tell their stories, determining what’s best may not be so clear cut.

“When the victim sees the name of their abuser on the list publicly, that helps them,” Bishop Cantu told Catholic News Service in a Nov. 14 interview following that day’s general session of the U.S. bishops’ meeting in Baltimore.

Further, when an abuse victim still holding on privately to the memory of past abuse sees the name of the abuser published in a list, “it emboldens them to come forward,” Bishop Cantu said.

Now, however, a new strain of thought has emerged that seeing the list of names, including that of a victim’s own abuser, is “another wounding. They’re retraumatized by listening to this horrible reality of abuse over and over,” he added. “It’s one of the things we’ve been told by professionals — so I assume that it’s correct — every time that we released a new list of names people feel retraumatized.”

This was one of the issues California’s bishops were wrestling with when the met jointly a couple of weeks prior to the U.S. bishops’ Nov. 12-14 meeting in Baltimore. “Can we agree on one single day for the release of names? It’s hard to do,” Bishop Cantu said.

In San Jose, he has released the names of credibly accused clergy. And “the list is live,” he said, meaning if a priest or deacon not already on the list is credibly accused, his name will be added.

Española man tells story of healing old wounds of sexual abuse at Santa Fe seminary

TAOS (NM)
Taos News

November 15, 2018

by Cody Hooks

Donald Naranjo had gone back to the seminary campus in Santa Fe only once since he was a teenager, but driving through the city, he still knew where to turn: make a right at the midcentury house with a double garage, go east about a mile, turn left.

Naranjo, now 70, was a sophomore in high school when he convinced his parents to let him heed a calling. He started his studies to be a priest at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary on the eastern edge of the city near the foothills. For a kid from the Española Valley, a devoutly Catholic and mostly Hispanic community about an hour north of the seminary, it was the kind of choice that makes a family proud.

“If you wanted to seek a vocation in the church, it was wonderful,” Naranjo said. “You’d be right there next to God.”

Naranjo’s mom, sitting behind the wheel of the family’s Ford Falcon, dropped her son off at the seminary in August 1963.

Illinois Catholic Church official rips handling of sex abuse cases

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS TV

November 14, 2018

By Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner and Barb Markoff

A top official of a downstate diocese, who coordinates assistance to victims of priest sex abuse, on Wednesday castigated the Roman Catholic Church for the way misconduct cases are handled.

"At times it seems that protecting the institution is a higher goal than caring for victims" said Deacon Robert Sondag. "Bishops, you are ordained to lead the church. Years of prolonged mishandling of sexual abuse victims continues to plague the Catholic church. The checks and balances put in place in 2002 through the Dallas charter have been compromised" Deacon Sondag said.

Sondag, recently a diocesan chancellor as well, was speaking in Baltimore where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrapped up its fall meeting.

"We are here today to call for a deeper reckoning and transparent reporting of the past and present mishandling of victims and their perpetrators" he said. "This can only be accomplished by the use of a truly independent auditor beholden to the good of the public, not to the Catholic Church as a client."

His call for independent, outside administration of the church crisis is unusual for two reasons: it comes from a current diocesan employee and it was unfurled at the announcement of a new lawsuit against the bishop's conference by six alleged victims of priest sexual abuse. The lawsuit alleges that church officials covered up the crimes of predator priests.

Survivors decry Vatican making US bishops wait on abuse vote

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Irish Catholic

November 15, 2018

Following Monday’s shock announcement that the Vatican has requested the US Catholic Bishops to delay voting on new standards for bishop accountability, survivors of sexual abuse and bishop accountability activists decried the move as “totally unacceptable”.

Terence McKiernan, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, called the move a “pre-emptive strike” by the Vatican against US bishops as they seek to respond to the current crisis of sexual abuse and its cover-up “in a modest way”.

Peter Isley, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse who now works with the organisation Ending Clergy Abuse, said the decision from the Vatican effectively means: “We care more about our organisation and our princely titles and positions” than enacting measures of accountability.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is gathered in Baltimore this week for its General Assembly, in which they were expected to enact new standards of conduct and accountability for bishops engaged in sexual abuse or its cover-up. At the start of Monday’s meeting, however, USCCB president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, announced that he had received a request on Sunday afternoon to postpone the vote until after a global summit on the crisis at the Vatican in February.

Belleville bishop challenged on abuse

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

“Sexually violent predator” worked in diocese

Few knew of his time in southern IL until recently

Two more accused abusers missing from church site

Catholic officials should hire outside firm to look through its files

This recommendation just made by church’s top abuse lay leader

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose, for the first time, that a convicted child molesting cleric who was deemed “sexually violent” worked in Belleville.

They will also call on local Catholic officials to

--update the diocesan website and add names of all three publicly accused clerics who are missing, and

-- use lay church members and an outside firm to review all abuse records to see if there are old cases that should be revisited and/or other proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics who are being hidden.

WHEN

Thursday, Nov. 15 at 2:00 p.m.

US DOJ and State AG’s must intensify their investigations of bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
End Clergy Abuse

November 14, 2018

The US bishops came to Baltimore this week assuring Catholics and the public that they would act with “intense urgency” to implement comprehensive and tough reforms to hold themselves accountable for the decades long cover up of child sex crimes across the United States.

Not only are they leaving Baltimore without implementing one concrete change, this afternoon they even voted down a feeble amendment to send to Pope Francis a short message “suggesting” that he should release the documents concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.

McCarrick, once a Cardinal, had abused seminarians for decades and at least two minors. His conduct was known about by several of his brother bishops and senior Vatican officials. It is the most egregious case of cover up yet revealed in the American church. The bishop’s response to the McCarrick case, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, and other revelations that have been cascading down upon them already demonstrated their utter lack of credibility.

Now, they leave Baltimore telling us they cannot act on what they promised. That they have no actual authority over themselves or the actions they take in the United States.

Vatican, US bishops face class-action lawsuit from victims of clergy sex abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency/EWTN News

November 15, 2018

The U.S. bishops' conference and the Holy See face a class action lawsuit filed by six men who claim they were sexually abused by Catholic clergy during their childhoods. They are seeking financial damages as well as public contrition and reparation from the Church.

The 80-page suit filed Nov. 13 claims that the Vatican and the bishops knew about - and covered up for - the “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others at the hands of active members of the clergy, religious orders, and other Church representatives.

The suit opens by invoking two passages of Scripture: “(B)ut people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed,” and: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather, expose them.”

Rather than protect the plaintiffs, the lawsuit says Church leaders protected and - “incredibly” - promoted the offenders.

These kinds of “wrongful actions, inaction, omissions, cover-up, deception, and concealment” create a “conspiracy of silence to their financial and reputational benefit and to Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ personal, mental, psychological, and financial detriment.” These actions are “ongoing and continuous” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. by four attorneys representing six individuals who lived in six different states at the time the abuse occurred - Iowa, California, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. It does not specifically detail the cases of abuse reportedly suffered by the individuals.

Vatican shows for the umpteenth time it doesn’t take the clergy sex abuse scandal seriously

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Examiner

November 15, 2018

By Becket Adams

Pope Francis takes the cancer of clergy sexual abuse seriously, but not seriously enough to allow the U.S. bishops to move quickly to enact serious and much-needed reforms.

The American bishops appeared stunned this week after it was announced in Baltimore at the start of their annual meeting that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops had ordered them to cancel a planned vote on measures to address the clerical sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican has instructed the U.S. bishops instead to hold off until the Church’s sexual abuse summit in Rome, which doesn’t convene until February 2019. Because what’s the rush?

“We have accepted it with disappointment,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, who heads the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We are not ourselves happy about this. We are working very well to move to action, and we’ll do it. We just have a bump in the road.”

"I remain hopeful that this additional consultation will ultimately improve our response to the crisis we face,” he added, trying his best to put some sort of positive spin on the decision.

New Lawsuits Accuse 11 Of Clergy Sex Abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA-TV

November 15, 2018

A law firm announced the suits were filed in 12 complaints that named the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop David Zubik and Cardinal Donald Wuerl as defendants.

The complaints name eight priests who were already named in the grand jury report along with three new individuals named by victims who have since come forward for the first time.

The priests accused in the new lawsuits include:
John Hoehl, at Quigley High School
Francis Siler, accused by two alleged victims at St. Catherine Parish and St. Margaret parish
William O’Malley, accused by two alleged victims at St. Canice Parish and St. Francis de Sales parish
George Zirwas, at St. Michael Parish
George Leech, at St. Bartholomew Parish
Edward Huff, at the parish of North American Martyrs
Raymond R. Rhoden, at St. Francis of Assisi parish
Ernest Paone, at Madonna of Jerusalem parish
John Unger, at Sacred Heart Elementary School
Peter Pilarski, at Resurrection parish
Lawrence O’Connell, accused by two alleged victims at St. Gabriel parish
Leech, Pilarski and Unger’s names were not disclosed in the grand jury report.

Delay in addressing sexual abuse is another black eye for Catholic church

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Morning Call

November 15, 2018

By Paul Muschick

I may be inviting a plague of locusts on my house by saying this. But the Vatican needs to get its act together on how the Catholic church will respond to the sex abuse crisis, or get out of the way of lower church leaders who are trying to do something.

The church had a chance this week to show a new commitment to dealing with clergy sexual abuse of children. But it blew it. Again.

There’s no doubt this time who was to blame — this blunder is on the Vatican.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore from Monday through Wednesday. Their agenda included highly anticipated votes, in the works since September, to address the problem by improving accountability for themselves.

Proposals included creating a commission, to include lay experts, that would review complaints against bishops; enacting a new code of conduct for bishops; and finalizing how to permanently remove bishops who are found to be abusers.

Vatican asks US bishops not to vote on their proposals to tackle sexual abuse
Monday morning, those votes suddenly were called off.

The president of the conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, told the gathered bishops that the pope did not want them to act on bishops’ accountability until he convened a worldwide summit of church leaders in Februa

A new call for cooperative reform in the Catholic Church

MILFORD (MA)
Milford Daily News

November 14, 2018

By Frank Mazzaglia

Some 4,000 Roman Catholics from across the United States gathered in Boston vowing to transform a church they claimed betrayed them by failing to protect children from sexual abuse. The date was July 20, 2002. It was the first national convention of The Voice of the Faithful, a lay reform group which originated from a church basement in Wellesley only five months earlier.

In theory, Voice of the Faithful presented three goals: 1. To support victims of abuse; 2. To support “priests of integrity”; and 3. To support structural change in the church. The core of the problem, according to noted cardiologist Dr. James E. Muller was “centralized power, with no voice of the faithful.” The idea was to bring together reform-minded and traditional Catholics and demand that laypeople have a voice on key issues.

Seminaries partner with prisons to offer inmates new life as ministers

NASHVILLE (NC)
Religion News Service

November 14, 2018

By Yonat Shimron

Inside a squat cinderblock building on the grounds of Nash Correctional Institution, 24 inmates are hunched over white plastic tables listening to Professor James Dew explain how God is omnipotent and omniscient.

More than half of the men listening are serving life sentences for murder, armed robbery and other offenses. The rest have at least 12 years left to serve.

But Dew is not preaching to his audience as he paces the room posing questions about whether God can sin (No) or know people’s emotions (there’s disagreement, but most Christians say yes). He is teaching theology to prospective ministers.

The prisoners jotting notes, calling up documents on closed-circuit laptops or asking Dew questions of their own are earning four-year bachelor’s degrees in pastoral ministry from the College at Southeastern, the undergraduate school of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in nearby Wake Forest.

Dew’s class is part of a new niche in prison education: training inmates to become “field ministers” who serve as counselors for other inmates, lead prayers, assist prison chaplains and generally serve as a calming influence in prison yards.

The Catholic church is in crisis, and its leaders are making it worse

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

November 15, 2018

Baltimore Sun Editorial Board

If any truth emerged from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting this week in Baltimore, it was surely Archbishop William E. Lori’s observation that the priest sex abuse scandal “ is going to be with us for a long, long time.” The church covered up the widespread abuse of children and adults by priests for a long, long time. It denied and deflected public outrage for a long, long time. And now, when a Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed the breadth of the abuse, and the fall of former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick demonstrated that it extended to the top rungs of the Catholic hierarchy, the church is waiting longer to take even the most obvious of steps to restore its parishioners’ faith.

The crisis now facing the Catholic church is born not just of the abuse by priests but also of the willingness of the church’s leaders to step in to protect the clergy at the expense of the abused. Pope Francis’ call at the beginning of this meeting for the American bishops to delay any action until after a Vatican synod on the matter this winter thus looks not like a sign that the church is finally ready to address the matter at the highest level but that its old habits of deferring to clerical rather than civil or moral authority and papering over abuse remain intact. The church once moved abusive priests from parish to parish, now it is shuffling the fallout from meeting to meeting.

The bishops go back to their dioceses for a reckoning. They have faced pointed questions if not outright defections from the pews since the Pennsylvania and McCarrick scandals broke, and now they must own up to their impotence in addressing them. Before the meeting began, Archbishop Lori published an op-ed in The Sun in which he concluded that one of the factors that worsened the crisis was a “deep-seated culture of clericalism, which fostered unhealthy notions of entitlement and exclusivity, as well as the distorted view that the priestly state puts those who abused minors, as well as those who protected them, beyond reach of civil law and authority.” Yet when the opportunity came to demonstrate a break from that past, the bishops again folded in the face of clerical authority. They could not even muster a vote to encourage the Vatican to release documents related to the investigation of Mr. McCarrick.

Healey Mum On Laity Call For Renewed Church Investigation

BOSTON (MA)
WGBH TV

November 14, 2018

By Mike Deehan

Attorney General Maura Healey has failed to respond — at least to date — to a call from Catholic advocacy groups that her office investigate the personnel records of all Massachusetts archdioceses in order to ensure that there is no evidence of accused abusive priests being shuttled between or among parishes.

It should be noted that there have not been renewed allegations of priestly abuse in Massachusetts. The Roman Catholic Church, however, is embroiled in a heated, almost global debate about how to respond to such charges which have become almost commonplace.

The political group Catholic Democrats and church accountability organization Voice of the Faithful want an investigation of the Worcester, Springfield and Fall River Dioceses, as well as an update to a 2003 investigation of the Boston Archdiocese.

Leaders of the lay groups say knowing which priests were paid for work in what parishes, and if any additional payments or pensions were given out, can shed light on whether accused priests were relocated after accusations of abuse.

Survivors: Bishops Must Deliver on Final Day of Conference

BALTIMORE (MD)
End Clergy Abuse

November 14, 2018

President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, began the week by announcing that per the Vatican, no vote would be taken on measures to reform the process of the investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct against bishops or the bishops’ negligence in responding to allegations.

The bishops are expected today to present concrete working proposals that describe how they intend to repair their irrevocably damaged credibility, now considerably worsened by their inaction so far this week.

Furious dad hacks off priest’s penis after he was accused of sexually abusing his nine-year-old daughter

LONDON (UK)
The Sun

November 15, 2018

By Gerard du Cann

A FURIOUS father partially castrated a preacher he believed raped his nine-year-old daughter in South Africa, it is alleged.

Preacher Mase Malgas, 66, died after being attacked on September 30, a court was told.

Constable Lundi Nqwelo was called as a witness by the state prosecutors and testified that the defendant had been told by his ex-wife that their daughter had been raped by Malgas, The South African reported.

The father, ex-wife and a friend of the couple tracked down Malgas, who was based at St Philips Church in Gompo, and burst into his home intent on revenge, the court heard.

Nqwelo said the accused, who cannot be named as it would also reveal his daughter's identity, then severely beat Malgas and attempted to sever the preacher’s penis.

Fort Worth priest removed after being accused of groping man at park near his church

FORT WORTH (TX)
Ft. Worth Star Telegram

November 15, 2018

By Domingo Ramirez Jr.

A priest at All Saints Catholic Church has been removed after he was accused of grabbing a man’s genitals at a park in September, church officials and police said Thursday.

Father Genaro Mayorga Reyes told officers he did not touch the 43-year-old man at Marine Park on the morning of Sept. 25, according to police reports.

Bishop Michael F. Olson requested that Reyes be recalled to Mexico after learning of the incident, according to a statement released by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth last week to members of All Saints. It was effective Nov. 5.

“Please pray for Father Genaro and please pray for members of the All Saints parish,” the statement said.

Michigan Catholic Diocese publishes list of priests accused of sexual abuse

MICHIGAN
Michigan.Live.com

November 15, 2018

By Justin P. Hicks

The Catholic Diocese of Gaylord has created an online list of priests and deacons who have been "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to 1971.

As of Thursday, Nov. 15, the list featured 10 clergy. Eight of the priests are deceased. The two living priests -- Ronald Gronowski and James Holtz -- have been "permanently removed from public ministry."

The release of the list comes amid a state investigation of sexual abuse by priests being led by the Michigan attorney general's office. In August 2018, the state agency began investigating the handling of allegations dating back to 1950.

The diocese said it has previously released information about the allegations of sexual abuse of minors involving priests or deacons, but chose to publish and maintain the list because it "may be helpful to the healing process for victim-survivors," and to continue efforts for increased transparency.

A "credible and substantiated allegation," as used by the diocese, is an accusation that, after an investigation and review of available information, appears more likely true than not and has been accepted as credible by the bishop, according to the diocese.

The Sex-Abuse Crisis and Culture Change in the Church

National Catholic Register
November 12, 2018

By Father Raymond J. de Souza

The U.S. bishops began their annual plenary meeting in Baltimore with a day devoted to prayer and reflection, a departure from the customary practice prompted by the 2018 “summer of shame.”

But why should beginning the annual meeting with a period of prayer and recollection be a departure from the norm? Might the “Crisis of 2018” prompt a revisiting of clerical culture, at least as it touches upon how bishops exercise their governance in common?

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the preacher for the bishops’ Mass Nov. 12, will have material ready at hand, given the readings. St. Paul writes to Titus about the qualities required of a bishop, with a specified list of virtues:

For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents (Titus 1:7-9).

Convicted in child porn case, rogue priest still preaches as he crafts his own narrative

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

November 15, 2018

By Brandie Kessler and Dylan Segelbaum

The Catholic church kicked him out. He is among 301 'predator priests' named by a grand jury. But he still leads a Catholic church in York County.

Harry Spencer realized that he was home.

He’d grown uncomfortable with the direction of the Catholic Church, particularly since Vatican II. The doctrines had changed. The Mass had changed. So had all the traditions and rituals.

Then, about seven years ago, Spencer started going to what would become St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Lower Windsor Township. It offers a traditional Latin Mass. The Rev. Virgil Tetherow, also known as Father Gabriel, leads the church.

“I have never met a priest that I’ve felt more comfortable with in his religiosity and his ability to teach the religion of the Roman Catholic faith,” Spencer said. “I love my religion. And Father Tetherow is a true Catholic priest.”

But that is not what the Catholic church says.

In fact, Tetherow “is not recognized as a priest, is prohibited from presenting himself as clergy and is not associated with the Diocese of Harrisburg,” said Mike Barley, a spokesman for the diocese, who encouraged the faithful to not attend Tetherow's services.

Clergy sex abuse: Why a national all-faiths inquiry is needed

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

November 15, 2018

By Christa Brown and David Clohessy

Ten years ago, SNAP was the butt of the most outrageous criticism in its three decades of work on behalf of clergy sex abuse survivors.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was founded with a focus on Catholic clergy abuse. But as we expanded our efforts to other faiths, the worst name-calling came not from any Catholic official but from a Baptist official. Paige Patterson, a former Southern Baptist Convention president who, at the time, was head of a prominent Baptist seminary, labeled SNAP as “evil-doers” and said we were “just as reprehensible as sex criminals.”

It may seem odd to note the anniversary of such an odious aspersion, but at a time when survivor advocates have much to cheer about, it’s important that we not lose sight of how much work remains to be done in changing institutions and attitudes to make kids safer.

Too many survivors still face hostility when they attempt to confront religious leaders about clergy child molesters. The U.S. Justice Department has now launched an investigation into the sexual abuse of children and the cover-up of those crimes in the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania. And because the Justice Department put every diocese in the country on notice that they should preserve all documents relating to sexual abuse allegations, there appears the possibility of a broader investigation into Catholic abuses and cover-ups.

Amateur hour at the bishops' conference

BALTIMORE (MD)
National Catholic Reporter

November 15, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

I am always glad to attend the bishops' conference meeting in Baltimore every November. I get to witness up close the debates that determine the shape and direction of the church in this country, I can visit with friends and colleagues in the religious press, and the crab cakes are always delicious. This year, the crab was still delicious, and it was good to see friends and colleagues, but what I witnessed was amateur hour at the U.S. bishops' conference.

On Nov. 12, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the conference, expressed his disappointment when he announced the Vatican's decision to delay any votes on concrete proposals to confront the clergy sex abuse crisis. At the coffee break, bishops were fuming, complaining that Rome had pulled the rug out from under them. Even those bishops who are most enthusiastic about Pope Francis were distressed, worried that he did not understand the media spotlight under which the bishops were laboring.

But, when the bishops began discussing the proposals on Nov. 13, it quickly became obvious that the proposals were ill-conceived and would have fallen apart on their own, without any help from Rome. Erecting a national oversight commission, at considerable expense and with additional bureaucracy, to monitor 200 bishops, very few of them likely to have broken their vows of celibacy, didn't seem very practical once they began discussing it. The proposed commission would report allegations to the nuncio but that happens now and no one had bothered to ask the nuncio if he wanted a commission to help him in his work. The Standards of Conduct seemed poorly framed and vague. The whole thing seemed amateurish.

Editorial: Vatican postponing reform measures is disappointing

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

November 14, 2018

By News Editorial Board

Victims of the child sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church were hoping for some action on reforms this week when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore.

They got thoughts and prayers instead.

The Vatican directed the U.S. bishops to delay their votes on two reform measures until a special council of bishops worldwide convenes on Feb. 8. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston opened the conference on Monday with that announcement from Rome.

“We are not ourselves happy about this,” said DiNardo, adding he found the decision “quizzical.”

“We just have a bump in the road” on the way to reform, he said.

CAL THOMAS: The shame of the Catholic church

BARTLESVILE (OK)
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

November 15, 2018

One doesn’t have to be Roman Catholic or even Christian to recognize the great good the Catholic Church has done. America would be worse off were it not its pro-life stance and numerous acts of charity.

But good works are sometimes diluted or even overwhelmed by evil works, and it is the evil works of pedophile priests that threaten to sully the good the church has done.

But what should trouble not only Catholics but non-Catholics too is the latest statement from the Vatican regarding the sexual abuse scandal, a scandal that has prompted many Catholics to leave the church and the faith altogether.

In a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore, the Vatican, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, requested that U.S. bishops “wait until after the Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse takes place in February” to take action on the sexual abuse issue plaguing the church. “The conference of bishops had expected to focus ... on measures to combat abuse, including establishing a new code of conduct.”

Is it just a question of timing, or yet another attempt to avoid dealing with the crisis?

The church has long been reluctant to go to law enforcement about cases of sexual abuse by priests, choosing instead to have its own officials handle the cases themselves, or as was most often the case, suppress them, moving suspected clergy from parish to parish, threatening the safety of children, and thereby continuing a pattern of depravity and neglect.

Cambria County man joins federal suit that says Catholic hierarchy covered up abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 14, 2018

By Torsten Ove

A Cambria County man who says a Johnstown priest abused him when he was a child is among a group of plaintiffs who sued Catholic church leaders in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, claiming they covered up the actions of pedophile priests across the nation.

Shaun Dougherty, who lives in Westmont outside of Johnstown, is one of six men who brought the suit in federal court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See in Vatican City.

The suit, which is seeking class action status on behalf of some 5,000 potential plaintiffs across the United States, alleges that church leaders protected priests who sexually abused children and moved them around from church to church.

In addition to Mr. Dougherty, the plaintiffs are from Arizona, Mississippi, Illinois, California and New Jersey and all claim to have suffered at the hands of predator priests.

Chilean cardinal confirms exit from Pope Francis’s advisory body

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 15, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A Chilean cardinal who has been at the center of the country’s clerical sexual abuse crisis acknowledged on Wednesday that he’s no longer a member of the council of nine cardinals, referred to as the C9, that advises the pope. In addition, a local prosecutor announced he’ll be summoning him under charges of covering up abusive priests.

Speaking with Radio Cooperativa, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz said that having reached the five-year term he had been appointed to serve the pope in the C9, he had travelled to Rome to say goodbye to the pope and to “thank him for the job he entrusted us with.”

The Vatican’s press office didn’t answer Crux’s request for confirmation.

The C9 is a task force created by Pope Francis at the beginning of his pontificate to reform the government of the Church, known as the Roman Curia. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston is the lone American on the commission.

On the same day Errazuriz made his announcement, the prosecutors’ office in Chile announced that they will be summoning the cardinal to testify on the alleged cover up of the actions of Father Jorge Laplagne, who’s been accused of sexually abusing minors.

Bishops, anticipating action on abuse, settle for a metaphor

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 14, 2018

By Brian Roewe

After months of anticipation, Catholics hoping the U.S. bishops' annual meeting would yield actionable steps on the sexual abuse crisis will have to settle, for now, for "a springboard."

The three-day public portion of the fall general assembly concluded Wednesday with no final decisions or concrete steps, in part due to a Vatican request to delay any votes on proposals until after a February meeting in Rome among Pope Francis and the heads of bishops' conferences from around the globe.

The request, delivered as the bishops began their proceedings Monday, came as a disappointment to many bishops who arrived eager to demonstrate their seriousness on the abuse issue, not to speak of the wider Catholic community and public watching to see if the church leaders would deliver on promises to address the matter with more than words.

In his concluding remarks, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared in the sentiment, though left room for some hope.

"Brothers, I opened the meeting expressing some disappointment. I end it with hope," he said. "My hope is first of all grounded in Christ, who desires that the church be purified and that our efforts bear fruit."

Former State Opera chief executive Timothy Sexton pleads not guilty to child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

November 14, 2018

By Rebecca Opie

The former chief executive and artistic director of the State Opera of South Australia will stand trial accused of multiple child sex offences.

Timothy Sexton, 58, pleaded not guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to four child sex charges including maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a minor and indecent assault.

Prosecutors allege the offences were committed between 1988 and 1991 in South Australia.

Mr Sexton was the artistic director and chief executive of the State Opera from 2011.

Erie’s Trautman criticizes media, attorney general report

ERIE (PA)
GoErie

November 15, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Retired bishop of Erie commented at meeting of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in Baltimore. He also called “unjust” a proposed hotline for bishop misconduct.

The Catholic Diocese of Erie has become a case in point in the divide over how Roman Catholic bishops in the United States want to address the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

The differences within the diocese — specifically, the differences between its current bishop and retired bishop — have been on display this week in Baltimore, at the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Many bishops at the conference, such as Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico, have embraced calls for change. Others, such as Persico’s predecessor as bishop, Donald W. Trautman, who retired in 2012, have criticized some of the conference’s proposals, including those designed to monitor the bishops and their handling of abuse allegations.

Trautman was outspoken in his remarks on Tuesday, the second day of the conference, which ended Wednesday.

At a session for debate, Trautman raised questions about the accuracy of “every attorney general report.” The Pennsylvania attorney general’s August grand jury report on clergy abuse statewide found that, among other things, Trautman failed “to aggressively pursue” removal of an abusive priest.

And Trautman on Tuesday questioned the accuracy of a joint investigation by the Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer, published two weeks ago, that reported that “more than 130 U.S. bishops — or nearly one-third of those still living — have been accused during their careers of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses.” The report did not name Trautman, who led the 13-county Erie Catholic Diocese from 1990 to 2012.

Missbrauch im Stift Klosterneuburg: Kritik an Bericht

[Abuse in Stift Klosterneuburg: criticism of report]

GERMANY
religion.orf.at

November 2018

Der Expertenbericht zu einem Missbrauchsfall aus dem Jahr 1993 im Stift Klosterneuburg, der am Samstag vorgelegt worden war, ist von der Initiative gegen Gewalt und sexuellen Missbrauch an Kindern und Jugendlichen kritisiert worden.

In einer Aussendung vom Montag wurde etwa festgehalten, dass Sachverhalte und Zeugenaussagen nicht intensiv genug geprüft worden seien. Johannes Heibel, der Vorsitzende der Initiative mit Sitz in Deutschland, kritisierte auch, dass die Expertengruppe es nicht für notwendig erachtetet habe, „alle von der Initiative benannten Zeugen einzuladen und persönlich anzuhören“. Zudem habe die Gruppe weder über einen erfahrenen Ermittler noch über einen Kirchenrechtler verfügt. Auch die Unabhängigkeit der Expertenrunde zog Heibel in Zweifel.

Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Ex-Bischof Janssen

[New abuse allegations against ex-Bishop Janssen]

GERMANY
NDR.de

November 13, 2018

Gegen den ehemaligen Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen (1907-1988) gibt es einen neuen Missbrauchsvorwurf. Dies teilte das Bistum Hildesheim mit. Der amtierende Hildesheimer Bischof Heiner Wilmer erklärte am Dienstag, dass sich jein heute 70-Jähriger bei ihm gemeldet habe. Der Mann habe angegeben, ab dem Jahr 1957 gleich von mehreren Kirchenmitarbeitern sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein, darunter auch dem damaligen Bischof Janssen. Es ist bereits der zweite Missbrauchsvorwurf gegen Janssen. Vor drei Jahren hatte ein früherer Messdiener von sexuellem Missbrauch durch Ex-Bischof Janssen berich

U.S. Catholic bishops to return to Baltimore after fall conference that failed to take action on abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

November 15, 2018

By Jonathan M. Pitts

The nation’s conference of Catholic bishops announced Wednesday that it will return to Baltimore in June for an assembly as leaders grapple with a sex abuse crisis that has engulfed the church in the United States.

The move represents a change in plans for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was to have held its week-long summer gathering next year in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The bishops’ fall meeting — held for years in Baltimore — traditionally centers on business and agenda-setting for the approximately 300 leaders of the nation’s nearly 200 dioceses. The June assembly, which is held in different locations each year, typically includes elements of a retreat.

Speaking between sessions Wednesday on the final day of the 2018 meeting at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori said that with the clergy abuse crisis dominating church affairs, conference leaders decided to treat the June assembly as a business gathering as well, and Baltimore — site of the nation’s oldest diocese — has proved an excellent site for such meetings.

Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference, told the bishops at the end of the day that the meeting will be June 11-19.

Neuer Vorwurf gegen Hildesheimer Altbischof

[New charge against Hildesheim's old bishop "The guy has to get out of the cathedral"]

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

November 14, 2018

By Peter Wensierski

"Der Kerl muss aus dem Dom raus"
Gegen den ehemaligen Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen sind neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe bekannt geworden. Ein früherer Ministrant sieht erschreckende Parallelen zu seinem eigenen Fall.

"Jetzt bricht alles wie ein Kartenhaus zusammen", sagt ein ehemaliger Ministrant, der sich vor drei Jahren im "SPIEGEL" zu Wort gemeldet hatte, weil er als Junge vom Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen missbraucht worden sei. Der Betroffene hatte angegeben, dass der Bischof ihn in den Fünfziger- und Sechzigerjahren regelmäßig durch Masturbation, Oral- und Analverkehr missbraucht habe.

How Long, Lord?

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Catholic Thing

November 14, 2018

By Robert Royal

I’ve been on the road and much occupied the past two days; my first glance at the news about the Vatican’s request that our American bishops not vote on steps to resolve the abuse crisis came as I was boarding a plane. It’s been almost twenty-four hours since then, as I’m writing – and trying, on the move, to catch up with this odd development. Second thoughts may follow, but for now, I find it hard to believe that it’s not just a bad dream.

The Vatican knew for months that the bishops would deal with abuse at their regular Fall gathering. The pope asked them to cancel it and hold a spiritual retreat instead until the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world meet in February. It’s hard to say with any degree of precision what Pope Francis fears might happen at such a gathering.

We’re hearing vague claims that decisions by the American bishops might conflict with canon law. But when has this papacy ever been held up by law – or wanted bishops everywhere in the world to follow universal rules – when it really wanted to get something done?

Whatever the fear, to wait until the very day the meeting opened to request no voting take place is almost without precedent. For many Americans, sad to say, the pope has probably just confirmed what he was forced to admit in Chile: he’s part of the problem. That no one convinced him this move would be a public relations nightmare – and would cause more trouble than a frank discussion and voting (which he could always massage later anyway) – is a sign of where we are in the Church now.

Alleged abuse victims call for Nashville Diocese investigation

NASHVILLE (TN)
WZTV

November 9, 2018

By Harriet Wallace

Mike Coode is 79 years old. The trauma of what he says happened to him starting at age 12 still haunts him.

“After that I was pretty nuts. I did crazy things because I felt guilty, like I needed to be punished. It hurts so bad. As I said, I was devastated,” said Mike Coode.

Coode, who is no longer a practicing Catholic, went to Catholic school and church in Nashville and says a priest molested him for more than 10 years. He claims the Diocese protects guilty priests and continues to do so.

“All we’ve ever wanted was the truth, and they won’t give it to us,” said Coode.

What the Nashville Diocese is giving up are the names of 13 priests accused of molesting kids. Nine are dead, two are in prison and two are no longer acting priests. Diocese spokesman Rick Musacchio says the Diocese is being transparent and doing right by the victims.

November 14, 2018

Sexual abuse allegations are made against priest who retired in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The San Diego Union-Tribune

November 14, 2018

By Peter Rowe

The Rev. James Burson, a Catholic priest now living in San Diego County, has been accused of molesting a Buffalo, N.Y., high school student in the 1970s.

Burson recently was added to the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct. The alleged molestation involved a boy at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Buffalo in 1979.

Moving from Buffalo to San Diego around 1996, Burson initially worked as a chaplain at Alvarado, Grossmont and Kaiser hospitals. He also served as a priest at San Diego’s Blessed Sacrament parish until his retirement on July 1, 2009.

Then he moved to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Carlsbad. As recently as Nov. 4, the parish bulletin listed him “in residence.” However, a Diocese of San Diego spokesman said that poor health caused him to enter a board and care facility last year.

At Cardinal Dougherty, “there were multiple incidents of abuse,” said Mike Reck, a lawyer in the Los Angeles office of Jeff Anderson & Associates. “There are probably survivors that need to know about this.”

The Diocese of San Diego has received no complaints about Burson, a diocesan spokesperson said.

New book throws light on Viganò and McCarrick

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

November 14, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

The 288-page book, published last week, and so far only available in Italian, draws on sources who worked with Viganò

“The truth emerges,” Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post once said.

It’s a phrase that might usefully be applied to the testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal ambassador to the United States, who in August called on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly ignoring sexual misconduct allegations against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In an explosive 11-page dossier of accusations, he claimed that the Pope had not only ignored formal sanctions that had been placed on McCarrick but had elevated him to a role as trusted adviser; he also made assertions about the pernicious influence of “homosexual currents” in the Vatican.

Since then, Archbishop Viganò has pulled back from his call for the Pope to resign, and has admitted there weren’t formal sanctions on Archbishop McCarrick, only private restrictions.

A new book, “Il Giorno del Giudizio” (“The Day of Judgment”), by two experienced Vatican journalists, Andrea Tornielli (whose interviews with Pope Francis were published in 2016 as “The Name of God is Mercy”) and Gianni Valente, helps to untangle Archbishop Viganò’s claims further, placing them into context and going some way to separating fact from fiction.

The 288-page book, published last week, and so far only available in Italian, draws on sources who worked with Viganò and from inside the Vatican. Although many details of the McCarrick case remain mysterious, this is a forensic and sober analysis that sheds new light on the career of the 88-year-old McCarrick, who was removed from public ministry and the College of Cardinals by Francis when a credible allegation he had abused a minor emerged. What “Il Giorno del Giudizio” tries to demonstrate is that attempts to turn the McCarrick saga into a “J'accuse” against Francis involves twisting facts to suit an agenda. Viganò, Tornielli and Valente claim, built a castle of accusations on grains of truth.

A new claim made in the book is that McCarrick’s sexual misconduct – which included inviting seminarians to share his bed at a beach house – was reported to the Vatican in 1999, a few months before Pope John Paul II appointed McCarrick Archbishop of Washington. Cardinal John O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, according to the authors’ sources, "wrote a heartfelt letter” to Rome in which he referred to “homosexual harassment” by McCarrick. “He declared that McCarrick was charismatic, very good at raising funds,” the book explains. “O'Connor remembered that he had recommended him in the past but that now, in conscience, he felt that he should not be chosen [for Washington].”

Child sexual abuse and the church: The church’s responsibility to protect children

TEXAS
Baptist Standard

November 13, 2018

By Scott Floyd

Previous articles considered the rate of childhood sexual abuse and how abuse impacts children and adults. Now, we ask what is the church’s role in ensuring protection to children and their families? To answer this question, we will consider a brief theology of care of children and then will look at how the church can provide effective protection for the safety of children.

What does Scripture say about care for children?

The Bible gives a clear pattern for how the world should work. In God’s design, children are to grow up in a safe environment where they can learn about God. Big people, like parents and adults who work with children, are to be loving and caring and to help little people grow up to be healthy, responsible adults who follow God with all their hearts.

Passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 78:5-8 tell of the importance of parents passing their faith along to their children. These children grow up and, in turn, pass their faith along to their children.

Mark 10:13-16 relates a time when Jesus was in Judea, well into his ministry. Individuals were bringing their children to Jesus. The disciples believed it was not the best use of Jesus’ ministry for him to spend time with children. They actually rebuked parents for bothering Jesus with their little ones.

New lawsuit filed against Catholic Church in N.O. details alleged sexual abuse at orphanage

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

November 13, 2018

By Kimberly Curth

There are disturbing allegations in a new lawsuit against the Catholic Church in New Orleans. Four men have come forward claiming they endured sexual and physical abuse at the orphanage and youth home, Madonna Manor and Hope Haven, when they were boys in the late 1970s and 80s.

The men are only identified as John Roes. They’re suing the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Charities and the Salesian Society.

One alleged victim says when he was 9, he was selected to be an altar boy for Masses that were performed at the Madonna Manor Chapel. And, “during numerous different occasions at these masses, the priests took John Roe I to the chapel sacristy where he would be raped by certain visiting priests.”

He also says he was sexually assaulted on a field trip to St. Joseph’s Abbey in Covington by an unknown cleric.

In the face of sex abuse, the church should rethink the sacrament of reconciliation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 13, 2018

By Pat Perriello

The NCR editorial staff did not mince words in its open letter to U.S. Catholic bishops. Its insistence that "it is over" is compelling.

Let me just highlight a few points that the editorial makes.

First, the editorial highlights the efforts church leaders made to hide the truth of the scandal from the faithful, the public and law enforcement.

The authors then go on to describe the pharisaical nature of our hierarchy. They have been "imbibing the excesses of power, authority and privilege that have accrued over centuries."

It is also important to note just how big a deal the present crisis is. NCR says there is no precedent in U.S. church history and perhaps in global church history for what is facing the church right now. This is not about a debatable religious or dogmatic issue. It is a "rot at the heart of the culture entrusted with leadership of the Catholic community."

While the editorial acknowledges that the church has done some good things that makes it a safer place today, it notes that these changes were essentially made only because the scandal became public. Thus, "you were moved to words of contrition because you were, once again, caught."

These are strong words from the editorial staff of NCR. The staff is still looking to the hierarchy for a true personal examination, sincere desire for forgiveness, and a resolve to change. It demands ceding authority and ridding the clerical state of privilege and power.

Birmingham Catholic church sex abuse victims treated as 'scourge'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

November 13, 2018

Child sexual abuse victims were treated like "third class citizens" and "a scourge" by a Roman Catholic Archdiocese, a survivor has claimed.

An inquiry is examining Birmingham Archdiocese' response to allegations made against four priests including Father John Tolkien, son of novelist JRR Tolkien, who died in 2003.

Fr Tolkien allegedly forced a boy to kneel and pray with his trousers down.

The survivor said he was told he was chosen "for a very special position".

Can you be a former Catholic? With new betrayal on child sex abuse, I'm about to find out

UNITED STATES
USA Today

November 14, 2018

By Melinda Henneberger

Catholic to her church: After a lifetime of stubborn adherence on my part and criminal behavior on yours, you have finally managed to drive me away.

For months, American Catholics had been asked to be patient just a little longer. We were promised that the church’s “summer of shame,” following only the latest revelations about the systemic cover-ups of clerical sex abuse, would finally be addressed this week in Baltimore at the biannual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This wouldn’t be just one more round of forced apologies, either, but would involve action — and maybe even a vote on a new standard of conduct for bishops, and an outside commission to review violations of it.

Only, to the astonishment of no one past the age of reason, that’s not going to happen after all.

Instead, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the bishops conference, who has himself shielded at least one predator, opened the meeting by announcing that the Vatican had insisted on delaying any action until after a February Vatican summit on the scandal.

Former seminarian speaks out about Denver seminary abuse

DENVER (CO)
The Associated Press

November 13, 2018

A Catholic priest from Denver accused of sexually abusing an adult seminary student was temporarily placed in a parish after officials learned of the allegations over a decade ago but later removed.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on the case Monday after former seminarian Stephen Szutenbach went public partly because he is upset Rev. Kent Drotar wasn't officially defrocked.

Anglican church welcomes broader abuse inquiry

AOTEAROA (NEW ZEALAND)
Maori Television

November 13, 2018

By Moana Makapelu Lee

The Anglican church is welcoming the government's announcement to include faith-based institutions in its inquiry into historical abuse of children in state care. Northland Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu says the inquiry must not be limited to the state sector and churches must also be held accountable.

The Anglican church says the inquiry will provide a pathway to healing for the victims of abuse.

Bishop Pikaahu says, "This is inquiry is about resolution for men and women in state and church care.”

He says many children were placed into church care from 1940-1980 and an investigation would unveil the extent of abuse.

“The government are now listening. Churches must also be held to account for any wrongdoing against those in their care.”

In a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in March, the Anglican church requested that churches be included in the inquiry but were turned down.

“I believe it’s because they were afraid of how far the extent of the issue went, but nothing will go amiss in this inquiry.”