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March 23, 2019

Pell's hometown Ballarat at the center of Australia's sex abuse scandal


March 24, 2019

By Hilary Whiteman, Anna Coren and Jo Shelley

Nearly 150 people would later tell an Australian royal commission looking into institutional sex abuse that they had been abused by Catholic priests and brothers across the diocese from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

"The amount of kids I saw get taken out of class, sexual abuse was rampant, was definitely rampant, there's no other way you could put it. That's what it was; they were doing it all the time," says abuse survivor Phil Nagle.

Some of Australia's worst pedophiles were preying on children in Ballarat, then a city of about 60,000 people.

Now after Pell's conviction on five charges of sex offenses against two choirboys in Melbourne's St. Patrick's Cathedral in the 1990s, Ballarat locals are again examining who knew what -- and what went so wrong.

Review of Catholic Church in Colorado is miserably weak

Daily Camera

March 23, 2019

The Colorado attorney general and Catholic Church last month announced an agreement that established an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse of children by clergy. This is Colorado's contribution to a broader search for truth that's occurring in states across the country. In some states, law enforcement officials are aggressively pursuing relevant information, but that's not happening in Colorado. In fact, the terms of the agreement are so favorable to the church and so incommensurate to the gravity of crimes uncovered in numerous other dioceses that it's doubtful to result in an honest account of abuses that took place in Colorado.

The agreement between Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and the state's three archdioceses sets up an "independent review" conducted by a so-called special master, a position that was assigned to former Colorado U.S. Attorney Robert Troyer. Troyer is charged with reviewing diocesan files and records, which the church has agreed to make available for the review, and he's supposed to complete by Oct. 1 a report that describes substantiated allegations of abuse.

The shortcomings of the arrangement are numerous.

First, the "independent review" is not altogether independent. In the language of the agreement itself the review was established "in the spirit of compromise and cooperation." That's the opposite of independent. Troyer will be required to meet with church representatives at least once a month to update them on his progress. Before he issues his final report, Troyer must submit a draft of the document to the church, whose officials will have the opportunity to suggest changes. An investigatory entity that consults with the subject of its investigation and grants the subject influence over findings cannot claim impartiality.

The Catholic Church must make these seven changes now

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

March 23, 2019

By Francis Sullivan

Many have asked whether the Catholic Church can survive the shock of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell and the impact on its credibility, even utility.

Yet to assume that the institution is exclusively the Church is to miss the point: Cardinal Pell has been sentenced, not Australia's Catholics.

Believers, and those who identify with the Catholic faith tradition, are the real Church. The institution is but an organised mechanism to give expression to some of that believing community's social and practical activities.

For the Church to survive, its members need to take responsibility for their future.

Former Waukesha priest accused of groping woman while administering last rites

Journal Sentinel

March 23, 2019

By Annysa Johnson

A Catholic priest with ties to a Waukesha religious community has been charged with misdemeanor assault in Texas for allegedly groping a woman while administering her last rites.

The Rev. Gerold Langsch, 75, a member of the Schoenstatt Fathers, could face up to a year in jail and a fine of $4,000 if convicted.

Langsch appears to have moved to Austin in 2015 to serve at a parish there. According to news accounts, on Oct. 5, he was called to the home of a 60-year-old woman in hospice care who was suffering from renal failure as a result of diabetes.

The woman told police Langsch anointed her chest with holy oil, then massaged her breast with lotion and pinched her nipple, asking, "Does that feel good?" He then tried to reach into her diaper, but could not, authorities said.

Langsch was arrested this month on a charge of assault by contact and released on $15,000 bond.

Rickter Scale: Brother Gary strikes again

BC Local News

March 21, 2019

By Rick Stiebel

Fifty-five years later, I can still feel the scratch of his stubble and the smear of his spittle on my cheek.

Although the memories of Brother Gary and what he tried to do have dulled under the weight of decades passed, they still ooze to the surface occasionally from my personal quagmire of Catholic schooling buried deep within. Disturbing revelations of serial sexual abuse by 286 priests in Texas – suppressed for years until the end of January – act as a trigger that causes the spam-like files to crawl back into the inbox of my mind.

Even though he wasn’t one of my regular teachers at Father McDonald Memorial High School, I looked up to Brother Gary in every possible way. I had considered, at least as seriously as any 13-year-old altar boy on the brink of puberty can, to one day become a priest, Brother of the Sacred Heart or missionary, like the one who visited our home to regale me with tales of doing the Lord’s work in Africa.

Brother Gary approached me to help him sort books in the school library after school one day and suggested I give my parents a heads-up that I would be late for supper. After the school had cleared, including the last janitor emptying the trash cans in each class, I found myself trapped on the lap of his six-foot-four frame with no way to escape, the vice-like clamp of his arms coiled around me like a boa constrictor. Wracked with panic and a feeling of impending doom, I feigned submission just long enough to knock his glasses askew. He reached up to catch them, and I was out the nearest exit in a blink, running the entire mile all the way home. I can still picture the family all seated at the table and my mother retrieving my dinner covered in aluminum foil from the oven.

Wages of sin: ‘Banned’ priests still receiving aid from Catholic church

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

March 23, 2019

By Peter Smith

When he was removed from the priesthood in February over the sexual molestation of minors, the 88-year-old former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick didn’t lose a roof over his head. He’s staying in a monastery in Kansas.

When Australian Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for sexual abuse was announced the same month, the church didn’t need to provide such housing — because the penitentiary system was providing it.

But such cases raise a question that also pertains to priests who are removed due to one or more substantiated cases of sexual abuse.

Since 2002 in the United States, the policy has been to ban such priests from ministry for life.

But then what becomes of them? Does the church still owe a cleric a living even if he betrayed the trust placed in him?

It mainly depends on whether a diocese keeps him under its wing or not, and if it doesn’t, whether he’s able to fend for himself.

And when the church does provide a living, it’s typically at subsistence levels.

“It’s basically not putting them out on the street,” said Sister Sharon Euart, a canon lawyer and executive director of the Resource Center for Religious Institutes, based in Maryland. They would get food, shelter and other basic needs but no luxuries, said Sister Euart, a former executive coordinator of the Canon Law Society of America and canonical consultant for religious institutes and diocesan bishops.

Since the U.S. bishops adopted a zero-tolerance policy in 2002, there are two scenarios for handling a priest who is found to have committed abuse:

1. A bishop could start a “canonical” process within the church legal system, asking the Vatican to defrock the priest (“dismissed from the clerical state,” in canonical language).

2. In other cases, particularly “for reasons of advanced age or infirmity,” a bishop could allow the man to retain the technical status of priest but with a lifetime ban on public ministry and such trappings as clerical garb and the title “Father.”

16 former Wilmette clergy accused of sexual misconduct in new report

Wilmette Beacon

March 23, 2019

By Eric DeGrechie

Catholic clergy members from across Illinois, including 11 from Wilmette’s Loyola Academy and five from other Wilmette religious institutions, were accused of sexual misconduct in a 182-page report published Wednesday, March 20, by the Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates.

According to The Anderson Report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese and Dioceses in Illinois, the release of the report, which includes nearly 400 names of Catholic clergy in the state, is intended to “raise awareness about the important issues of sexual abuse, provide the public with vital information including assignment histories, and provide awareness and healing to survivors of sexual abuse.” The law firm claims that the dioceses in Illinois have not publicly made available the full histories and their knowledge of their sexually abusive agents and employees.

The clergy named in the report worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield.

Some of the allegations previously have been reported by 22nd Century Media, parent company of The Beacon, and other publications in some cases predating this company. Some of the allegations also have been publicly reported by various dioceses or archdioceses.

Bridgeport Diocese Adds New Names to List of 'Credibly Accused' Priests

NBC Connecticut

March 23, 2019

The Diocese of Bridgeport has added the names of 10 priests to its list of clergy it says are credibly accused of sexual abuse.

The Most Rev. Frank Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, said in a letter posted on the Diocese's website, that the names are being added because of new circumstances surrounding their investigation.

Caggiano said the diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board expanded its investigation to include allegations of abuse against priests who died years before the creation of the Board. He said the Diocese has also received new allegations of sexual abuse of minors that date back several years, and that they have also re-reviewed cases in which new information has become available.

The Bridgeport Diocese made its original list of credibly-accused clergy public in October 2018.

The 10 names added to the list on Friday include nine diocesan priests and one visiting priest from Venezuela who only spent the summer of 1991 in the Bridgeport Diocese, according to Caggiano. Of the nine diocesan priests, eight are dead and one is living. The one living priest has not served in the Diocese since 1984 and was put on permanent administrative leave after an allegation in 2006 of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to the 1970s, Caggiano said.

Ezzati defiende su gestión: “No basta con decir que uno es encubridor, hay que probarlo”

[Ezzati defends his tenure: "It is not enough to say one is a concealer, you have to prove it"]

La Tercera

March 23, 2019

By Angélica Vera

De acuerdo al ex arbozispo de Santiago, su salida de la arquidiócesis de Santiago responde a un "criterio del derecho canónico" relacionado con su edad.

El arzobispo emérito de Santiago, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati se refirió a su salida de la arquidiócesis de Santiago, oficializada por el Papa Francisco luego de que aceptara su renuncia, y la designación del obispo Celestino Aós como administrador apostólico sede vacante de la arquidiócesis de la capital.

Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico de la arquidiócesis de Santiago tras salida de Ezzati: “Esta misión la asumo con tranquilidad”

[Celestino Aós, apostolic administrator of Santiago archdiocese after Ezzati: "This mission I assume with tranquility"]

La Tercera

March 23, 2019

By Sergio Rodríguez

El prelado continúa en Copiapó y se comentó a La Tercera que se enteró de su nuevo cargo "un tiempito antes, no anoche, pero también todo ha sido muy rápido".

Esta mañana el Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati y designó al obispo Celestino Aós Braco como administrador apostólico de la sede vacante de la arquidiócesis de Santiago. La designación fue dada a conocer cerca de las 8 de la mañana en Chile (mediodía en Roma) por la Nunciatura Apostólica en Chile y según comentó Aós a La Tercera, el prelado también se enteró de su nuevo cargo hace poco. “Esto me toma igual que a ustedes, con sorpresa y como una misión de Dios para su Iglesia”.

Viernes amargo para Ezzati: rechazan intento de sobreseerlo en causa por encubrimiento de abusos

[Bitter Friday for Ezzati: court rejects attempt to dismiss him in abuse cover-up case]

El Mostrador

March 22, 2019

La Corte de Apelaciones rechazó en decisión unánime el recurso de la defensa del cardenal que está siendo investigado, pero aún no ha sido formalizado, por su posible encubrimiento en los casos del sacerdote Oscar Muñoz, ex canciller del Arzobispado

En votación unánime,la Octava Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, integrada por los ministros Juan Cristóbal Mera, Mireya López y Tomás Gray– rechazó la solicitud de sobreseimiento interpuesta por la defensa del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, investigado por el Ministerio Público como encubridor en la causa que sigue en contra del excanciller del Arzobispado de Santiago, Óscar Muñoz Toledo, por estupro y abuso sexual.

Fiscal Arias admite que la colaboración del Vaticano ha sido nula en las investigaciones de abuso sexual en la Iglesia chilena

[Prosecutor Arias admits Vatican has provided "nothing at all" to help in sexual abuse investigations in Chilean Church]

El Mostrador

March 21, 2019

"Nada de nada" fue la respuesta del persecutor frente a la pregunta de si la Santa Sede había respondido a los tres requerimientos de información hecha por la justicia. Además confirmó que existen antecedentes para formalizar al cardenal Ezzati pero que junto a su equipo aún no lo han decidido. Hoy concurrió a declarar el sacerdote Tito Rivera.

El fiscal regional de O'higgins, Emiliano Arias que encabeza las investigaciones por abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia Católica chilena reconoció lo que a su juicio ha sido la nula cooperación de el Vaticano en cuanto a entregar información que sea útil en las diversas indagatorias en torno a estos delitos. La fiscalía ha hecho tres requerimientos de información a la Santa Sede. En este contexto, Arias fue consultado respecto de si han recibido respuesta. "Nada de nada", contestó a radio Cooperativa.

Survivors of pedophile priest who served in Sudbury subject of documentary

Windsor Star

March 22, 2019

By Dalson Chen

Over the course of 38 years, William “Hod” Hodgson Marshall — who served as a Basilian priest and Catholic teacher in Sudbury, Toronto and Windsor — sexually abused at least 17 minors.

“I grew up Catholic in Windsor. I was an altar boy at a church in the east end,” recalls filmmaker Matt Gallagher.

“I was a grown man when these things about certain priests started coming out … I haven’t considered myself a Catholic since I was 18 years old. But this film was still very difficult to do.”

“It’s stories of abuse, told by men, kept secret for so long.”

Set for a world premiere next month, Gallagher’s latest documentary project — a TVO production entitled Prey — gets particularly close with one of Marshall’s victims, Rod MacLeod, and his search for justice.

MacLeod was a student at an all-boys high school in Sudbury in the 1960s when he first became subject to Marshall’s attention at the age of 13.

The abuse went on for four years.

"Cualquier cosa es mejor que Ezzati": aplauden salida del cardenal y piden que responda ante la justicia

[Reactions to cardinal's exit: "Anything is better than Ezzati"]

El Mostrador

March 23, 2019

El papa Francisco finalmente aceptó la renuncia del arzobispo de Santiago, imputado por el encubrimiento de casos de abuso sexual al interior de la iglesia. En su reemplazo fue nombrado el obispo Celestino Aós como administrador apostólico. Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los denunciantes de Karadima, fue uno de los primeros en reaccionar sobre la determinación, deseando lo mejor a la gestión del religioso entrante y haciendo un llamado a que el saliente prelado responda ante la justicia chilena "antes de escapar del país".

El papa Francisco finalmente aceptó la renuncia presentada -en mayo del año pasado- por el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati. Se supone que los obispos deben presentar sus renuncias al papa una vez cumplen los 75 años de edad, pero la salida de Ezzati, de 77, se produce justo en un momento en el que es investigado por encubrir casos de abusos sexuales a menores por parte de curas.

Quién es Celestino Aós, el obispo español que asumirá como administrador apostólico de Santiago tras salida de Ezzati

[Who is Celestino Aós, the Spanish bishop who will assume as apostolic administrator of Santiago after Ezzati's resignation]


March 23, 2019

By Juan Undurraga

El prelado llegó de forma definitiva a Chile en el año 1983, tras ser nombrado vicario parroquial en Longaví.

Durante esta mañana, la Nunciatura Apostólica en Chile anunció que el Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati y que en su lugar asumirá quien hasta ayer era obispo de Copiapó, Celestino Aós Braco. El prelado nació en el año 1945 en la ciudad de Navarra, España, país en el que estudió las carreras de filosofía y teología, además de realizar una licenciatura en psicología.

Bill would let churches, nonprofits disclose sex abuse allegations

Houston Chronicle

March 14, 2019

By Robert Downen

Texas nonprofits would be allowed to disclose sexual misconduct allegations against former employees without being sued under a new bill that was filed one month after the Houston Chronicle detailed hundreds of sexual abuses in Southern Baptist churches.

Introduced last week by McKinney Republican Rep. Scott Sanford, House Bill 4345 is the latest in what one expert said is a national wave of similar policies sparked by the #MeToo movement and ongoing religious sexual abuse scandals.

The Texas bill has support from two groups associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, which has been grappling publicly with its own sexual abuse crises since a February investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News found hundreds of Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have been charged with sex crimes in the last two decades. The newspapers also found dozens of instances in which church leaders apparently failed to disclose concerns about former employees who applied for jobs at other congregations.

Papa Francisco acepta renuncia de cardenal Ezzati

[Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Ezzati]

La Tercera

March 23, 2019

By Daniela Silva and Angélica Vera

En su reemplazo nombró al obispo Celestino Aós como administrador apostólico sede vacante de Santiago de Chile.

Esta mañana la Nunciatura Apostólica en Chile comunicó que el papa Francisco ha aceptado la renuncia presentada por el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati y ha nombrado como administrador apostólico sede vacante de la arquidiócesis de Santiago de Chile al obispo Celestino Aós Braco.

More from Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican

Bilgrimage blog

March 22, 2019

By William Lindsey

As I keep reading Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican, I'd like to say more about the theme of corruption I featured in my last commentary about thiss book. I noted, pointing to several important passages in Martel's book as documentation, that much of the corruption in the Catholic church right now is rooted in the historical matrix of the papacy of St. John Paul the Great. The corruption is rooted quite specifically in the following: while hiding homosexual secrets, the powerful Vatican courtiers surrounding John Paul chose to mount war against the queer community, combating its rights, scapegoating LGBT people — especially for the abuse crisis in the church — and targeting theologians calling for compassionate outreach to queer people.

As I also added in my previous commentary, it's the corruption of pretend heterosexuality coupled with abominable treatment of queer people — all engineered by homosexual clerics posturing as heterosexual — that's the very dark heart of the corruption within the Catholic institution. So much of the corruption — real corruption, as in Vatican financial shenanigans, cover-up of clerical sexual abuse, and policies throwing progressive priests in Latin America to murderous wolves — begins with this dark heart of the story.

More needs to be said about the very specific kind of corruption, combining flagrant hypocrisy on the part of homophobic men acting out in homosexual ways with financial malfeasance with gross abuse of fellow human beings who do not belong to the entitled boys' club that is the Catholic clerical club. It's, to my way of thinking, a bit too easy to conclude, "Oh, these are men with homosexual secrets who had no choice except to cover up abuse of minors by fellow clerics, lest they themselves be outed as homosexual." The corruption Martel is describing runs much deeper than that. Here are some key passages documenting the specific kind of corruption with which we're dealing, especially in the historical matrix of John Paul's papacy — a matrix that still has enormous influence in many Catholic circles including the governing circles in the Vatican.

WA priest accused of molesting teen girl found dead

The New Daily

March 23, 2019

A West Australian priest has been found dead after being alerted that he was under investigation over child sex-abuse allegations.

Catholic priest Father Joseph Tran was found dead, with reports in Western Australia saying he died by his own hand.

“Police commenced an investigation relating to an allegation of child sexual abuse by a priest from a Catholic Church located in the southern suburbs,” a WA police spokesman said.

“During the investigation (on Thursday) the priest was located deceased.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Perth released a statement on Saturday addressing the circumstances.

“This news is heartbreaking for everyone involved,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

The dead priest was allegedly confronted by allegations of sexual abuse of a young teenage girl before his sudden death.

Tran spent 15 years in Whitford, about 24 km north of Perth, leaving in early 2018 to become the parish priest in St Francis Xavier, Armadale.

A parish newsletter marking his departure cited his “fondest memory” as leading 170 young people to 2008’s World Youth Day in Sydney event.

“That was really amazing experience. Many fond memories of the parish will go with me,” Fr Tran said.

A look at some of the priests and nuns in a new report on clergy child sex abuse in Illinois

Chicago Tribune

March 23, 2019

A new report lists nearly 400 priests and other Catholic Church officials with Illinois ties who have been the subject of child sex abuse claims, according to the group of lawyers who represent victims and released the study.

Many of the names on the so-called Anderson Report have been revealed before through court documents, criminal charges, media reports and church officials themselves. Some, like Daniel McCormack, have become notorious symbols of the abuse scandal in Chicago. Now defrocked, he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing multiple boys, many from St. Agatha’s Parish on Chicago’s West Side. McCormack served prison time and then last year was designated a sexually violent person so he could continue to be held indefnitely in a state facility.

Here’s a look at just a few of the lesser-known cases highlighted in the new report.

Monk convicted of crime against child in ’68 — and then again in ’94
In 1993, the Rev. Augustine Jones, then a Benedictine monk at Marmion Abbey in Aurora, was accused of having had inappropriate contact with a minor.

As the abuse crisis deepens, Francis sets his face like flint

LaCroix International

March 22, 2019

By Robert Mickens

Pope Francis is now in his seventh year as Bishop of Rome and chief pastor of the Universal Church. His pontificate, which began in March 2013 with such promise and hope, now seems to have been struck a mortal blow by an institutional crisis that looks to be spiraling out of control.

While there are still too many men in the Catholic hierarchy who continue to put their heads in the sand, it can no longer be denied that the phenomenon of clerical sex abuse (and its cover-up) is global in scope.The organizers of last month's abuse "summit" at the Vatican made it their primary goal to convince all the world's bishops of this fact.

But let's be honest, is it really possible that prelates from Africa and Asia (and even Italy!) – where the abuse crisis continues to be downplayed or ignored – could be persuaded in the course of only four days of something that it took decades to drill into the heads of their confreres in places like the United States, Germany, Australia and Ireland?

Twelve priests with local ties named in sexual misconduct report


Mar. 22, 2019

By Matt Hopf

Twelve priests with local connections have been named in a 182-page report naming 395 Catholic priests and lay people reportedly accused of sexual misconduct in Illinois. Seven of the names already had been released by the Springfield and Peoria dioceses in reports of substantiated claims.

Named in the report are:

º Alvin Campbell, who briefly served at St. John Catholic Church in Quincy in 1952.

º Joseph Cernich, who had been a deacon at St. Mary Catholic Church in Quincy before ordination in 1983.

º Kevin Downey, who worked at Quincy College, now Quincy University, in two different stints from 1983 until 1985 and from 1986 to 1991.

A Victim of Catholic Clergy Sexual Assault Speaks Out

National Catholic Register

March 23, 2019

By Krista Keil

Catholic bishops from around the world commenced a meeting last month in Rome to address the issue of clergy sexual abuse of minors. In the days leading up to the conference, another layer in this crisis emerged and was acknowledged by Pope Francis: sexual abuse of nuns in Africa by priests.

As an adult female victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest — abuse that occurred across international borders — I want to share my story.

In November 2012, I was 22 years old and headed to Tanzania, Africa, to do missionary work for the Catholic Diocese of Geita. On my second day in the country, a Catholic priest attempted to rape me at a diocesan-run hotel and conference center (known as TEC) in the capital of Dar es Salaam (Dar), where I was temporarily staying. After my perpetrator locked us in my hotel room, he eventually fled the scene after I began yelling and let out cries for help.

While there were three priests I was acquainted with that day who had taken me to experience Tanzanian culture and see the city of Dar, only one priest was responsible for the physical assault.

I was shocked, intimidated, confused, jet-lagged and completely alone in a foreign country. I didn’t speak the local language and had no idea how to report the incident to local authorities.

Pope accepts resignation of Chilean cardinal who faces abuse cover-up probe


March 23, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Chilean Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago, who’s been subpoenaed by a local prosecutor’s office to testify over allegations that he covered up for cases of clerical sexual abuse.

Ezzati’s resignation came on Saturday and was announced by the Vatican’s press office.

To replace him, the pontiff tapped Bishop Celestino Aós Braco, of Copiapó, as Apostolic Administrator “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis.”

As was the case with the other seven Chilean bishops whose resignations Francis accepted in the past year, the Vatican failed to provide an official explanation for Ezzati’s departure, though it’s widely understood that it has to do not only with his age, as he’s over 75, the mandatory age for bishops to offer their resignation, but also with his role in the country’s massive clerical abuse scandals.

Other religious faiths should follow the lead of Catholic Church

Vicksburg Post

March 22, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Jackson took the bold step last week of identifying 37 former clergy members accused of sexually abusing children.

Eleven priests and one deacon who once served in parishes in Warren County were credibly accused of the sexual abuse. Thirty of the 37 were accused of sexual abuse while serving in Mississippi with the investigated cases happening between 1939 and 1998. The other seven worked in the Mississippi diocese but were accused of abuse in other states.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz publicly apologized at a news conference outside a cathedral in downtown Jackson after the diocese published the list on its website as part of the Catholic Church’s international reckoning.

Cardinal De Keser raises issue of child abuse at funeral of Cardinal Danneels

Brussels Times

March 23, 2019

The funeral took place in Mechelen on Friday of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who died last week at the age of 85.

The ceremony in the Sint-Rombouts cathedral was attended by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, as well as a number of leading politicians and 175 members of the clergy. The funeral was conducted by Cardinal Jozef De Keser, the current head of the church in Belgium.

Cardinal Danneels was “a good shepherd for many years,” who had guided the church through “a turning point for the church and for society,” Cardinal De Keser said in his homily.

“It was not easy to be guide and shepherd at the same time, but he managed it with courage and authority,” he said.

A letter was read out at the service from Pope Francis, who had been elected by a conclave attended by Danneels.

The end of Danneels' career as head of the church was marked by the scandal of sexual abuse by clergy, which by then had reached as high as the former bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe. His successor as bishop is now Danneels' successor as primate – Cardinal De Keser. And he took the opportunity of the service to bring up the subject of the scandal.

“When his biography was presented several years ago, he spoke in public for the last time,” De Kesel said. “At that point the church was sorely confronted by sin and weakness within its own ranks. And he said, 'Where I fell short, I rely on God's forgiveness'. That is the prayer today of all of us.”

Deadline to file Catholic sex abuse claims set for June 17

Taos News

March 22, 2019

By Cody Hooks

The last day to file a claim against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe related to sexual abuse by its clergy will be June 17.

The announcment appeared in the Legal notices of The Taos News March 21 and was posted to the archdiocese's website.

The "bar date" is part of the Archdiocese bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New Mexico.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in December. It has about $49 million in assets, including about $31.6 million in property, according to the court documents. Under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, the debtor -- in this case, the church -- comes up with a plan to pay its debts while also continuing to operate.

USF prof's book looks at hierarchy amid sex scandals

The Journal Gazette

March 23, 2019

By Dave Gong

University of Saint Francis professor Adam DeVille has been writing about sex abuse in the Catholic Church for 27 years.

Now, he's written a book that examines the structural issues of governance in the church. Specifically, DeVille's book discusses how current structures, which centralize power with bishops and popes, must be reformed in favor of new structures that put power in the hands of localities.

The book, “Everything Hidden Shall Be Revealed: Ridding the Church of Abuses of Sex and Power,” has been endorsed by various bishops, clergy and theologians in the United States, Europe and Australia, according to a news release from the university.

DeVille's book was released about a week ago, and so far, he said he's received some mixed reaction.

DeVille said he anticipates his work will be somewhat controversial.

“I think that it's going to be a stretch for some people, in some ways, to think about some of these changes, so I expect the reception will be critical in some ways and very controversial,” he said.

“I say, bring it on because we can't just stick with the status quo.”

Diocese Outlines Efforts to Protect Children

The Intelligencer

March 23, 2019

By Linda Comins

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston issued a letter Friday to the “faithful of the diocese,” outlining diocesan efforts to ensure a safe environment for children and to deal with any allegations of sexual misconduct.

The letter comes three days after West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a civil suit against the diocese and its retired bishop, the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, for allegedly violating the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. Morrisey’s 14-page complaint, filed Tuesday in Wood County Circuit Court, seeks to enjoin and restrain the diocese from violating the Consumer Credit and Protection Act and to order Bransfield and the diocese to pay civil penalties for violations of the West Virginia Code.

In the unsigned letter, church officials state, “The diocese will address the litigation in the appropriate forum. However, the diocese strongly and unconditionally rejects the complaint’s assertion that the diocese is not wholly committed to the protection of children, as reflected in its rigorous Safe Environment Program, the foundation of which is a zero tolerance policy for any cleric, employee or volunteer credibly accused of abuse. The program employs mandatory screening, background checks and training for all employees and volunteers who work with children.”

In addition, the officials said, “The diocese also does not believe that the allegations contained in the complaint fairly portray its overall contributions to the education of children in West Virginia nor fairly portray the efforts of its hundreds of employees and clergy who work every day to deliver quality education in West Virginia.”

The “safe environment” mandate was part of a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002. Church officials said the diocese implemented its own sex abuse policy in the mid-1990s.

March 22, 2019

Taking stock of the clergy sexual abuse crisis: Protecting children

National Catholic Reporter

March 23, 2019

By Thomas Reese

Last month's summit in Rome on child sex abuse did not break new ground for those, like myself, who have been following this crisis for more than 30 years, but it did made clear — again — that the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has been devastating for the victims of abuse and for the church as a whole.

There are three parts to the crisis, which I plan to deal with in three successive columns.

First, there is the failure to protect children; second, the failure to hold bishops accountable; and third, the lack of transparency in dealing with the crisis.

Protecting children is a fundamental obligation of any adult, even of those who are not parents. Children are vulnerable and abuse is criminal. It is impossible not to be moved when listening to the horrible stories of survivors of abuse, who can be permanently scarred by the experience.

Abuse occurs in other settings, of course, including schools and in families' homes, but that fact is no excuse for the church's poor handling of abuse.

What is the legacy of Bishop Joseph Adamec?


March 22, 2019

By Crispin Havener

Some are praising the memory of the longest serving bishop in the region's history for transforming the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Many others Friday were remembering his record of hiding the child sex abuse scandal inside the church.

It all comes following the death of Bishop Emeritus Joseph Adamec on Wednesday. His “unexpected” death was announced Thursday by the diocese, though no cause was given.

“He was a man at times who would have a focus on something and he was going on it and there were times where he would sit back and say what do you folks think?” said Very Rev. James Crookston, Rector of St. John Gaulbert Cathedral in Johnstown. “He's been living the life of penance and prayer (since his retirement).”

The diocese's announcement of his death highlighted what he did to modernize the diocese, through mergers, ministry and bringing everyone together. But he was in charge in 1994 when the Francis Luddy case first cracked the child sex abuse scandal wide open, and has overtaken the diocese, the nation, and the world in the quarter century since.

"My sadness is for the hundreds of child sexual abuse victims of priests, teachers and employees the Diocese Of Altoona-Johnstown, and for their pain and despair, rather than someone in a position of power and respect that enabled and protected child predators," said Richard Serbin, the lawyer for the victim in the Luddy case who would later bring may cases against the diocese.

Watchdog Group Lists 24 Sioux Falls Catholic Clergy Accused Of Abuse


March 22, 2019

By Angela Kennecke

A day following the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese release of a list of names of 11 priests who abused children, KELOLAND Investigates is looking back at the history of the priest sex abuse problem in Sioux Falls.

Our requests for an interview with current Bishop Paul Swain on the release of this list of priest was denied.

In 2002, more than a dozen new cases of accused sexual misconduct surfaced against former Sioux Falls priests. At that time Bishop Robert Carlson did grant KELOLAND News an interview.

Robert Carlson is now an Archbishop of St. Louis where he has been lauded for his transparency when it comes to the church's dealings with abusive priests. He's given Missouri's attorney general access to the church's policies and procedures.

He reportedly did the same in South Dakota when he was bishop in Sioux Falls after the 2002 sex-abuse crisis.

"I think with the policies we have in place and those we're going to add, I think we'll be on top of it and will be handled in a way people will be happy with and at the same time can trust the good priests who are out there, because obviously the reputation of all of us is on the line," Bishop Robert Carlson said in a KELOLAND News Interview on May 8, 2002.

The Bishop revealed in 2003 that 38 people had accused 16 different priests of sex abuse over the previous 53 years.

In 2014, Carlson testified in a sexual abuse lawsuit in Minnesota. Carlson admitted he didn't turn Reverend Thomas Adamson in to police after Adamson admitted to him he had abused a child in 1984.

Attorney Jeff Anderson: Archbishop, you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?

Carlson: I'm not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not, I understand today it's a crime.

Carlson's statement received national attention.

Carlson later went on to say that his statement from the 2014 Minnesota deposition was taken out of context and that he was responding to a specific point of Minnesota mandatory reporting law, not the act of abuse itself when he said, "I'm not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it's a crime."

We've told you that the list of abusive priests put out by the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese Thursday had 11 names on it.

Catholic priest accused of groping Austin woman during last rites

Dallas News

March 22, 2019

An Austin priest faces an assault charge after allegedly groping a woman while administering her last rites in the fall, authorities say.

The victim, who suffers with complications from diabetes, was in home hospice care when Langsch was called to perform the religious ceremony, which offers absolution of sins before dying.

It was then that Langsch allegedly applied holy water and lotion to the victim's chest, massaged her breast and asked, "Does that feel good?" according to the affidavit.

Although the incident took place several months ago, an arrest couldn't be made until the victim was well enough to identify the priest in a lineup, Austin police told Fox.

The arrest came a month after Langsch's removal from the Diocese of Austin's active ministry in February.

Former priest gets 9 years for sexually abusing boys

Blackburn News

March 22, 2019

By Miranda Chant

A former Anglican priest convicted of sexually abusing four boys on the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation 40 years ago has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

David Norton, 72, was found guilty last November of three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault. He was sentenced for his crimes at the London courthouse on Friday.

The nine year sentence delivered by Superior Court Justice Lynda Templeton matched the joint sentencing submission provided by the Crown and the defence earlier this week.

“Both the Crown and I recognized that, that sentence was at the higher range of sentencing,” Norton’s defence lawyer Lakin Afolabi said after the sentencing hearing. “The judge stated that she had to send a message of specific deterrence and general deterrence. She had very strong words for [Norton’s] behaviour and she felt that this sentence meets the ends of justice.”

Norton served as the rector of St. Andrews church on the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation in the 1970s and early 1980s. The abuse took place during that time.

“Nones” Are Statistically Tied for the Largest “Religious” Group in the Country

Patheos blog

March 22, 2019

By Hemant Mehta

According to just released 2018 data from the General Social Survey, “Nones” are now the largest single “religious” demographic in the country (23.1%), statistically tied with Catholics (23.0%) and just above evangelical Christians (22.5%).

While the single data point may not tell you much, look at those trend lines. “No religion” just keeps getting higher and higher, apparently pulling people from mainline Christian denominations and maybe some evangelicals, too.

Counting On Mystery: What Do The Duggar Men Do For A Living?

Celebrity Insider

March 22, 2019

By Suzy Kerr

For more than a decade, the Duggars have been one of the most popular families on reality TV thanks to their fundamentalist lifestyle and uber-conservative beliefs. Counting On fans love to watch the Duggar kids as they start courting, get engaged, and then get married – and that all usually happens in less than a year. But what TLC cameras don’t often capture is what the Duggar men do for a living, and fans are wondering how they make their money.

Of course, TLC pays thousands of dollars per episode to feature the Duggar family on their network every week. But, when you split that money up between the family, it doesn’t go very far. So, the Duggars have their own businesses to create more income and to make ends meet.

Family patriarch Jim Bob started in the real estate game before 19 Kids & Counting debuted, and over the years he has made money acquiring different commercial and rental properties and also by flipping houses. He has taught some of his sons the family business, but many of the men in the family are either in school or working random jobs.

Why is the Vatican’s process for holding bishops accountable still so opaque?

America Magazine

March 21, 2019

Since the summer of 2018, the church has seen three cardinals face specific consequences in connection with sexual abuse. Understanding these already complex cases has been made more difficult by unclear canonical procedures, by decisions reserved to Pope Francis himself and—most vexing—by limited communication from the Vatican about what process is being followed on what timeline.

Taken together, these cases illustrate why accountability for bishops has become a focus of the sexual abuse crisis in the church. Both process and communication need to be improved in order to rebuild trust among the people of God that the church is committed to healing and reform.

A quick review of the cases of the three cardinals suggests the challenges the church faces. With allegations of sexual abuse of a minor found to be credible and substantiated by the Archdiocese of New York, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was restricted from ministry and dismissed from the College of Cardinals (both decisions made under Pope Francis’ personal authority) very quickly. Even though the criminal statute of limitations had passed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith conducted a canonical process and he was finally dismissed from the priesthood in early 2019, just before the international summit on preventing sexual abuse in the church began.

Sexual abuse of First Nations boys an ‘abhorrent breach of trust’: London judge sentences ex-priest

Global News

March 22, 2019

By Liny Lamberink

A disgraced Anglican priest “forever stained the white collar” that he wore, said the London judge in charge of delivering his second sentencing in under a year.

Norton, a 72-year-old man who is already serving a four-year prison term for sexually abusing a young boy in the ’90s, was sentenced to another nine years behind bars for the sexual abuse of four altar boys at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Chippewa of the Thames First Nation decades ago.

Superiour Court Justice Lynda Templeton found Norton guilty on three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault last November, and on Friday said he was a “man divided.”

“Mr. Norton purported to be a man of God,” she told the courtroom, calling his actions in the ’70s and ’80s, a “profound and abhorrent breach of trust.”

Publicly accused Jackson clerics who are NOT on the diocesan ‘credibly accused’ list 3/19

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 21, 2019

--Fr. Charles Potocki, whose name was included among 17 released by the St. Paul archdiocese in 2014 as part of settlement. The list was of priests with 'substantiated' claims of sexual abuse of minors against them. Fr. Potocki worked in Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Mississippi. He was ordained in 1970, belonged to a religious order called the Order of Friar Minor also known as Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart (OFM) and died in 1992



--Br. Robert B. McGovern, who was named in a 2005 lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse in New Jersey at some point after 1975. He was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, attended Iona College and Manhattan College, joined the Congregation of Christian Brothers in 1962, and took his final vows in 1969. Fr. McGovern worked at several New York schools (mostly in the Bronx) and at Holy Child School in Mississippi.

In 2011, he was the co-leader of annual Edmund Rice Youth Camp at Brother Rice High School in Chicago. He died in Chicago in 2016.





--Fr. Kenneth M. Brigham was a Chicago priest who spent at least a month in Bay St. Louis MS. He retired to Las Vegas in 2005 and died in 2006. Fr. Brigham's personnel file is one of 30 files of priests 'credibly accused' of sexually abusing minors produced by Chicago archdiocese in 2014 and released by plaintiffs' counsel Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN.



DC priest rejects plea offer, maintains innocence in sex abuse of parishioners


March 22, 2019

By Neal Augenstein

Rev. Urbano Vazquez has rejected a plea offer from D.C. prosecutors, maintains his innocence and will fight current charges of sexually abusing two children and an adult female parishioner.

In a status hearing, assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Williams told Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna that Vazquez has turned down a plea offer that would have him plead guilty to reduced charges of one count of 2nd degree child sexual abuse, one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child with aggravating circumstances, and one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse.

Currently, Vazquez faces a statutory maximum of 30 years, 6 months in prison. With the reduced charges, he could have faced up to 11 years, 3 months behind bars.

McKenna asked Vazquez, who was standing next to defense attorney Robert Bonsib, if he was rejecting the offer — Vazquez said yes.

Outside the courtroom, Vazquez’s attorney said: “He maintains his innocence. He will contest the charges at trial,” which was set to begin Aug. 5.

As WTOP first reported, a 9-year-old girl told police Vazquez had kissed her on the mouth and inappropriately touched her approximately 60 times in 2017.

After Vazquez’s arrest was reported, he was charged with two more crimes, involving another minor, and an adult woman.

Prosecutors have said in addition to the three victims Vazquez has been charged with abusing, three other victims — two minors and an adult — had accused him, but the statute of limitations had expired.

The plea offer extended by prosecutors would have precluded other charges involving the six alleged victims.

It’s unclear whether prosecutors intend to charge Vazquez with assaulting other victims. Williams told the judge he expects Vazquez will be indicted on the current charges by early May.

State Lawsuit Against Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Background and Reactions

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

March 22, 2019

By Glynis Board

West Virginia’s attorney general is suing the state’s Catholic Church. The lawsuit filed this week claims the church knowingly employed pedophiles in schools and camps without informing parents.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the state is stepping in because the church violated the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act when it failed to disclose important information to families paying for educational services.

“We allege that the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese persisted in covering up and keeping secret the criminal behavior of priests related to sexual abuse of children,” Morrisey said during a press conference.

Investigations into the Catholic Church exist in more than a dozen other states, many suits drawing criminal charges in specific abuse cases.

Andy Beshear, who campaigns as a child protector, got Boy Scouts abuse cases tossed

Herald Leader

March 22, 2019

By John Cheves and Daniel Desrochers

As attorney general and as a gubernatorial candidate this year, one of Democrat Andy Beshear’s biggest issues has been protecting Kentucky children, particularly from sexual predators. Beshear frequently touts his record of hammering on pedophiles and child-porn offenders.

“Whether it’s been years or whether it’s just been days, let us seek justice for you,” Beshear said as he proposed legislation last year to allow him to convene a statewide grand jury to investigate sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church. “That’s how we stop this activity from occurring again and make sure we try to build the type of commonwealth where no child and no person is ever harmed.”

But Beshear sang a different tune six years earlier in Paducah.

Then, as a lawyer in the firm of Stites & Harbison, Beshear successfully defended the Boy Scouts of America from two lawsuits filed by men who said they were sexually molested by their scoutmaster when they were minors in the 1970s. The men — with some evidence, including a 1979 letter — said Scout officials knew at the time of their scoutmaster’s predatory behavior but failed to stop it.

Violación en la Catedral: Sacerdote Tito Rivera declara como imputado en Fiscalía de Rancagua

[Rape in the Cathedral: accused priest Tito Rivera testifies in Rancagua]


March 22, 2019

By Alberto González, Roberto Rojas, and Jorge Molina Sanhueza

Por cerca de 6 horas declaró en calidad de imputado el sacerdote Tito Rivera, acusado por abuso y violación en la Catedral de Santiago. El religioso llegó este jueves hasta la Fiscalía de Rancagua acompañado de su abogada, María Pinto, en una diligencia que se realizó antes de su formalización programada para el próximo 29 de marzo en Santiago.

“Fuimos a denunciar los abusos y el director nos echó del despacho”

["We went to denounce the abuses and the director threw us out of the office"]

El País

March 22, 2019

By Iñigo Domínguez

Una cuarta víctima en el colegio de los jesuitas en Gijón acusa a un sacerdote en los años noventa, que fue apartado en 2001 por hacer fotos de niñas en el centro

Los jesuitas del colegio la Inmaculada de Gijón apartaron en 2001 a uno de sus profesores religiosos, Cándido Alonso, tras recibir quejas de familias de alumnos por su comportamiento con menores y porque, admiten ahora, ya en los años noventa se había registrado otra protesta similar de una familia. En concreto, ha explicado la orden, tomaba fotografías de las niñas en el patio. Portavoces de la Compañía de Jesús han reconocido que durante una década no se tomaron medidas contra este religioso. Tras hallar esta información “en los archivos”, han confirmado los datos a EL PAÍS, que ha encontrado una mujer que acusa de abusos a este jesuita, fallecido en 2013. Se trata del cuarto caso de presuntos abusos en este colegio, protagonista de un nuevo escándalo desde hace diez días tras varias noticias aparecidas en la prensa local.

El arzobispo de Toledo aparta a un cura imputado por abusos después de que la víctima escribiera al Papa

[Toledo archbishop dismisses priest accused of abuse more than a year after victim wrote to Pope]

El País

March 22, 2019

By Julio Núñez

La joven puso una querella judicial en 2017 y la envió al Vaticano. Un año y medio después, la justicia tomará declaración al acusado.

El arzobispado de Toledo ha apartado a un sacerdote imputado por abusar sexualmente de una menor entre 2010 y 2013. Después de denunciar los hechos ante la justicia civil en octubre de 2017, la supuesta víctima escribió una carta al papa Francisco y otra al cardenal Luis Ladaria, prefecto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, y adjuntó una copia de la querella. El obispado abrió un proceso canónico contra dicho clérigo, José Luis Galán Muñoz, aunque no ha precisado la fecha concreta y cuándo tomó las medidas cautelares. En junio de 2018, el vicario general de la diócesis tomó declaración a la supuesta víctima. La justicia ha tardado dos años y cuatro meses en llamar a declarar a la joven, ahora de 22 años, y espera escuchar al acusado este viernes. Después, la jueza decidirá si abre o no un juicio penal.

Defrocked Jersey priest who molested boys now teaches kids English in Dominican Republic

NBC News

March 22, 2019

By Evelyn Gruber and Nicole Acevedo and Corky Siemaszko

A former Roman Catholic priest who was defrocked and convicted of molesting two boys in New Jersey has found a new vocation in a new location — teaching children English at a private school in this resort town. The former priest, Hadmels DeFrias, 47, told the NBC News reporter who tracked him down that he is no longer a threat to minors and also claimed to be a bishop in the "progressive Celtic church. "I don't see the children with those eyes anymore," DeFrias said in an extensive interview outside the Colegio del Caribe school in Punta Cana, where he watched over dozens of young boys and girls while shielding himself from the sun with an umbrella."For me they are children and they need to be treated like children because that is what they are," he said. "I don't feel the attraction. I am not telling you that maybe someday it won't be there, because I can't predict the future."As a priest, DeFrias, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, was assigned to the St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey, when he was accused of fondling two brothers, both under 14, in 2001 and 2002 while the brothers were working in the church rectory, according to court records and published reports. Charged with criminal sexual contact, DeFrias pleaded guilty in August 2004 and was sentenced to three years of probation, court records show. As part of his sentencing agreement, he was barred indefinitely from any future contact with children under 18 in the state of New Jersey. After being contacted by NBC News, the Union County Prosecutor's Office in New Jersey issued a statement disapproving of DeFrias' position working with children."It is deeply concerning to hear that a defendant prosecuted, convicted and sentenced here for criminal sexual contact with children has resurfaced overseas, apparently with supervisory capacity over children," the office said. "We would urge anyone in any jurisdiction to be vigilant and immediately report allegations of such conduct to local authorities."NBC News has reached out to both the Dominican Republic educational officials and the school where DeFrias is employed to find out if they were aware of his criminal past. So far, neither has responded. In the interview, DeFrias expressed regret for assaulting the brothers but insisted that his urges are under control and that he has been in therapy for a decade. He said he told school officials about his criminal past before they hired him, even though he claims he didn't need to "inform them."

State Lawsuit Against Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Background and Reactions

WV Public Broadcasting

March 22, 2019

By Glynis Board

West Virginia’s attorney general is suing the state’s Catholic Church. The lawsuit filed this week claims the church knowingly employed pedophiles in schools and camps without informing parents.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the state is stepping in because the church violated the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act when it failed to disclose important information to families paying for educational services.

Group says four names were omitted from list of clergy abusers


March 22, 2019

By Nick Ducote

On Tuesday March 19th, the Jackson diocese released the names of 37 former priests and church leaders accused of sexually abusing children.

Two days later, local members of the group SNAP, or “Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests,” say that four names were omitted from the list of credibly accused priests.

Mark Belenchia, SNAP Mississippi coordinator, says the four men omitted from that list were publicly accused of abusing children.

“They were in the diocese at some point in some capacity. I’m not sure what those capacities were, some were here longer than others. But they spent time here in Mississippi. Not having a complete list of credibly accused clergy puts children in Mississippi in harms way,” said Belenchia.

Belenchia and a small group of people stood outside the diocese, and the cathedral of St. Peter with a sign with the 4 men’s classification and their last names. When the group looked them up the andersonadvocates.com, the website gives a full brief of the accused priest.

Guest View: Sex-abuse victims deserve justice

Washington Post

March 21, 2019

The all-but-impregnable wall of power and influence that for decades blocked victims of child sex abuse from seeking justice and compensation from pedophiles and their enablers has started to crumble — not a moment too soon. Stunned by revelations in Pennsylvania and elsewhere documenting the scale of abuse by priests given cover by the Catholic Church, state lawmakers are starting to tear up laws that set strict limits on the number of years that victims are given to bring lawsuits.

Until now, the church, along with insurance companies and a few other private organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, has had the lobbying muscle to impede such measures, especially in states with sizable populations of practicing Catholics. In New York, for instance, people molested as children by pedophiles had until age 23 to press criminal charges or file civil lawsuits against their abusers. Repeated efforts to loosen that law were blocked by Republicans in the state Senate.

The dam of opposition to reform in Albany broke after Democrats took control of the upper house in last fall’s elections. In January, the church dropped its long-standing opposition to a more open system — allowing criminal charges until childhood victims turn 28 and civil suits until they turn 55 — when lawmakers agreed to apply the new law to public schools, as well as private entities such as the church. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law last month.

A similar bill has advanced in New Jersey; a push for reform is underway in Pennsylvania.

Protest claims ‘injustice’ by diocese

Herald Star

March 22, 2019

By Amy Neeley

Two leaders from the Survivors of Those Abused by Priests Thursday held a protest outside the Diocese of Steubenville to question what they are calling “injustices” by the diocese.

Judy Jones, the S.N.A.P. Midwest regional leader, and Steven Spaner, the S.N.A.P. Australian volunteer coordinator, were in Jefferson County to bring attention to what they feel is in incomplete list of abusers and insensitive behavior by the diocese.

S.N.A.P. claims that the list of abusive clergy members released by the diocese should include eight more names.

Jones said that the absence of the eight names makes the victims feel abused again.

“The victims want the cover up to stop,” she said. “That’s almost worse than the abuse.”

Dino Orsatti, director of communications for the diocese, said the diocese feels it has been transparent with its list.

“We feel our list was complete and thorough,” he said. “We don’t feel we have any other names (to add.) When we do we will add them.”

SNAP shows support for A.G.'s lawsuit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston


March 21, 2019

It has been two days since West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his suit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and people are continuing to react.

Thursday afternoon, people from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) rallied together today in front of the Cathedral in Wheeling in support of the lawsuit.

SNAP leader Judy Jones said that they hope that this lawsuit helps dictate the future of other Diocese investigations in every state.

"We are hoping is that what the Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has done here is going to prod other Attorney Generals in other states to do the same thing," said Jones.

Lay Catholic group drafts a blueprint for trust

Buffalo News

March 21, 2019

The Movement to Restore Trust is a panel of influential local Catholics working to suggest reforms to the church in Buffalo in the aftermath of the sexual abuse scandal that opened wounds in the diocese.

The panel, after convening six different work groups that each came up with its own recommendations, this month delivered a report with nine key recommendations for the Buffalo Diocese. They deserve to be implemented.

The nine points urge the diocese to: work with the laity to restore trust; make changes voluntarily; address the needs of survivors for support; provide full transparency into the scale of the sexual abuse; ensure “the faithful” are central to the church’s organizational structures; delegate more authority to consultative bodies in the diocese; schedule periodic reviews of implementation; engage the leadership roundtable and “revive the Spirit of Vatican II.”

Bishop Richard J. Malone would do well to see that all nine are implemented. The Vatican II ideal, according to the Movement to Restore Trust website, is that “the Church is not simply the clergy, it is not simply the hierarchy, and it is not just the Vatican or the Chancery; the Church is the people of God.”

33 priests who worked in DuPage County accused of child sexual abuse

Suburban Life

March 20, 2019

By Sherri Dauskurdas

Three hundred ninety-five Catholic members of clergy, publicly accused of childhood sexual abuse, have been named this week in a report that highlights their Illinois service histories, allegations of abuse, history of their subsequent transfers and any disciplinary action taken by both church and authorities.

A Bannockburn-based law firm specializing in cases involving clergy abuse released the list March 20. Within it are the names and photos of the nearly 400 members of clergy who have been publicly accused in the State of Illinois of abusing one or more children. All were either accused in a public forum or a settlement was reached between the church and the victims/families, according to representatives from the firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates.

Names, photos and locations where clergy served through the years of their duties all are included in the report. They are associated or were associated with the Diocese of Chicago, Joliet, Belleville, Peoria, Springfield and Rockford.

The Diocese of Joliet listing includes 43 alleged child abusers, 33 of whom worked for periods of time in DuPage County churches and schools.

Among them are:

Fr. John F. Barret, who served 1960-2011 at St. Peter and Paul in Naperville, Notre Dame in Clarendon Hills, St. Alexander in Villa Park, and Mary Queen of Heaven in Elmhurst.

Fr. Richard L. Bennett who served from 1976-1986 at St. Pius X in Lombard, St. Raphael in Naperville, St. Mary in Downers Grove, Catholic Community of Wheatland, and Holy Spirit Catholic Community Church in Naperville

Jury acquits Catholic priest Robert DeLand of sexually assaulting 2 teens

Saginaw News

March 21, 2019

By Cole Waterman

A jury deliberated for about two hours before acquitting a popular Roman Catholic priest in a case where he was accused of sexually assaulting two male teens. It was the first of three trials.

The nine-woman, three-man jury delivered its verdicts about 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, finding 72-year-old Rev. Robert J. “Father Bob” DeLand Jr. not guilty of attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The charges are 15-year felonies and DeLand had previously pleaded no contest to them.

Neither of the teens who testified against DeLand were in the courtroom when the verdicts were read. Several supporters of DeLand were seated in the gallery behind him, however. Some gasped at hearing the verdicts. Others cried and hugged each other.

DeLand himself was initially stoic. After the jurors filed out of the courtroom, he stood and began embracing his supporters, smiling as he did so.

Prosecutors are declining to comment on the matter until all DeLand’s trials are resolved, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark J. Gaertner said. Defense attorney Alan A. Crawford declined commenting until later in the day.

After the priest testified, the prosecution recalled his accusers to the witness stand.

Jurors began deliberating about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, after attorneys delivered their closing arguments.

Accused Priests Return To Duty

Post Journal

March 22, 2019

By Eric Tichy

Allegations of child sexual abuse against two priests with ties to Chautauqua County have not been substantiated following an investigation.

According to a statement released Thursday by Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Buffalo Diocese, the Rev. Robert A. Stolinski and the Rev. John J. Sardina are eligible to return to active ministry following an investigation by the Diocesan Review Board. The independent board recently met to consider reports by investigators tasked with reviewing allegations of abuse by priests.

Claims against the Rev. Ronald B. Mierzwa, however, were substantiated and he will remain on administrative leave while the investigation is reviewed by the Vatican in Rome, Malone said.

According to WKBW-TV, Mierzwa was the pastor of Holy Name of Mary Church in Ellicottville.

Stolinski, meanwhile, is a retired priest who served in the Jamestown area, including as chaplain at then-WCA Hospital. He was one of four priests placed on leave in June of last year amid an investigation by the Buffalo Diocese.

Priest who served at Sacred Heart accused of sexual abuse

News 4 Jax

March 21, 2019

By Corley Peel

"Credible allegations" of sexual abuse of a minor were made against Father William Malone, who served at a Jacksonville Catholic church, according to a release Thursday from the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Malone, who served in the Diocese of St. Augustine from January 1982 to March 1992, died in 2003, the release said. The cases of abuse occurred in the early 1980s at Sacred Heart Parish in Jacksonville.

According to the diocese, a thorough review of the claims was conducted by an independent investigator, who determined the accusations were credible.

Former altar boy assaulted by priest demands archdiocese open its records

Toroto Sun

March 21, 2019

By Michele Mandel

When Bob McCabe filed his lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Toronto in 2014, he says church leaders told him how sorry they were that he’d been sexually assaulted as an altar boy by one of their priests more than 50 years before.

And yet not only did they still refuse to settle, forcing the case to go to a gruelling trial, but when the jury awarded him $550,000 they took the Guelph man back to court to appeal the amount.

“Father (Brian) Clough said we’re really sorry, it should never have happened, but then they appeal it? I was absolutely disgusted. And all because they didn’t like the number, they appealed it and put a victim through another two years of trauma. It’s unconscionable,” says McCabe, 67.

“It all comes down to money.”

Defrocked priest who molested two boys now teaching children in Dominican Republic

NBC News

March 22, 2019

By Evelyn Gruber, Nicole Acevedo and Corky Siemaszko

A former Roman Catholic priest who was defrocked and convicted of molesting two boys in New Jersey has found a new vocation in a new location — teaching children English at a private school in this resort town.

The former priest, Hadmels DeFrias, 47, told the NBC News reporter who tracked him down that he is no longer a threat to minors and also claimed to be a bishop in the "progressive Celtic church."

"I don't see the children with those eyes anymore," DeFrias said in an extensive interview outside the Colegio del Caribe school in Punta Cana, where he watched over dozens of young boys and girls while shielding himself from the sun with an umbrella.

“For me they are children and they need to be treated like children because that is what they are,” he said. “I don’t feel the attraction. I am not telling you that maybe someday it won’t be there, because I can’t predict the future.”

Sioux Falls Diocese names 11 priests accused of child sex abuse

Argus Leader

March 21, 2019

By Patrick Anderson and Jeremy Fugleberg

The Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls released a list Thursday of priests who faced substantiated accusations of abusing a minor while serving in eastern South Dakota.

Bishop Paul J. Swain, head of the Sioux Falls diocese, published a two-page letter and prayer to the Sioux Falls community encouraging other victims to come forward and promising to help them heal.

"It is my prayer that this will encourage any victim harmed by any on this list or any other person serving in ministry in the Church to come forward to law enforcement or to the diocese so that appropriate assistance might be offered and justice accomplished," Swain said in his letter. "To all who choose to come forward, please be assured that your confidentiality will be respected."

I-TEAM: Bishop Malone reinstates priest with history of pornography problems


March 21, 2019

By Charlie Specht

Bishop Richard J. Malone on Thursday returned a priest to active ministry despite a history of pornography problems and a looming federal investigation that may involve the priest.

Malone returned Rev. Robert A. Stolinski to "active ministry," the diocese said in a statement, after abuse allegations against him "have not been substantiated."

But the bishop's own records -- obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team -- detail a long history of pornography found in rectories where Stolinski was living. The diocese made no mention of those incidences in its public statement Thursday.

Stolinski was sent to a "treatment center" in Canada twice but allegations continued to surface over the past two decades. He is retired but was allowed to hold a position "assisting clergy" at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Niagara Falls until his suspension last year, according to a church bulletin. It is unclear whether he will return to that church now that Malone and his diocesan review board has cleared him.

In 1987, when Father Joseph Bissonnette was murdered on Buffalo's East Side, Stolinski was living in the same rectory and serving as chaplain at Erie County Medical Center.

"When the police investigated, they found a great deal of pornography (male homosexual pornography not involving children)," reads a passage in Bishop Malone's "black binder" of diocesan secrets prepared for him by Terrence M. Connors and Lawrence J. Vilardo's law firm when Malone became bishop in 2012.

"Father Stolinski was counseled," the passage states, going on to describe financial problems with the priest. "He was then sent to Southdowns [treatment center] for analysis and counseling."

Pittsburgh Diocese confirms job cuts


March 22, 2019

By Jamie Bittner

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report revealing accusations of clergy sex-abuse in the Catholic Church is causing a ripple effect on church finances.

The Pittsburgh Diocese has confirmed to Pittsburgh's Action News 4 recent staff reductions are happening as the diocese continues cost-cutting efforts.

Part of those cost-cutting efforts may benefit the alleged victims, as Rev. Nicholas S. Vaskov stated, "we must also support the work of the newly-announced Secretariat for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults as we continue and strengthen these efforts."

Rev. Vaskov added, however, the cost-cutting can also be attributed to the 'On Mission for The Church Alive' initiative that has been in place over the last 4 years to respond to changing needs and fewer resources in parishes.

Names left off list of priests accused of sexual abuse, Mississippi chapter of SNAP says

Clarion Ledger

March 22, 2019

By Sarah Fowler

A Mississippi activist group says four names were left off the recently released list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

Tuesday, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson released the names of 37 clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse. All 37 served in Mississippi.

Mark Belenchia, coordinator of the Mississippi chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commonly referred to as SNAP, said Thursday he believes four names were left off the list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

"It took two people two days in a garage office to research this information," Belenchia said. "Why were their names not included on the church's list when, in fact, we have been waiting for months for this list?"

The Clarion Ledger is not publishing the four names provided by SNAP because the allegations could not be independently verified.

Archdiocese of Mexico City seeks to seize initiative in fight against abuse


March 22, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Continuing its efforts to fight clerical sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Mexico City presented on Wednesday an Interdisciplinary Team for Attention to Victims, that involves priests, lay people and survivors, including the director of SNAP-Mexico.

The proposal is a concrete response to the Feb. 21-24 summit on the protection of minors that took place in the Vatican, with the participation of the presidents of bishops’ conferences from all over the world.

Joaquin Aguilar, who represents survivors on the new team, was among those who introduced the initiative to the media on Wednesday. After acknowledging that it hasn’t always been easy for victims of clerical sexual abuse to have paths of communication with the archdiocese, he said that recently it’s the Church that has been reaching out to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

He also said that the institution has taken the first steps towards an “integral reparation” of the damage done by abuse, such as the sanctioning of those responsible, crime prevention, and victim assistance.

Using God to sexually abuse children

Blue Ridge Muse

March 21, 2019

By Doug Thompson

Wife Amy grew up in a Catholic family in Belleville, Illinois, a moderate-sized city across the Mississippi river from St. Louis.

This week, a report from the Archdiocese of Chicago, identifies 22 priests from the Diocese of Belleville as child sexual predators.

One is Father Garrett Neal Dee, who served in Belleville from 1974-76 and from 1965-68 in Alton, where I lived and worked for 12 years at The Telegraph. He went “absent on leave” while at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Groom, TX, in 2003 and his whereabouts now are “unknown,” the report says.

Another priest, now retired served at St. Bernard’s in Wood River, which lies just East of Alton, from 1958-69. Another was in Alton in the 60s and returned to another church there in 1981. He died in 1983. Same for Father J. Cullen O’Brien. He began his priesthood at SS Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in Alton in 1943, then two other Catholic Churches in the area before returning to St. Patrick’s in Alton in 1969 but left in 1970 and died eight years later.

Father Frank Westhoff began mass at St. Patrick’s in Alton in 1962, moved to a Springfield church in 1969 and then to Decatur before being listed as “absent on leave” in 1976 and again from 1986-88. He died in 2006

The “Spotllight” Boston Globe investigative team, who discovered widespread sexual abuse by priests in and around Boston and then nationally and worldwide, found that “absent on leave” was the church’s way of saying a priest is receiving treatment for his predatory sexual abuse of children.

When I showed the list, Amy shook her head and “no, that number of too low.” She suggested the number of sexual predators in and around her home down is easily more than double what the report claims.

The report named close to 400 in Illinois. Many are now dead or their whereabouts is “unknown.” Some live in “retirement residences” of the Catholic Church. Many remained priests until they died.

March 21, 2019

W.Va. attorney general calls for more victims to come forward after lawsuit against diocese

Herald Dispatch

March 22, 2019

By Megan Osborne

The West Virginia attorney general is calling for more victims to step forward after a lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and a former bishop Tuesday for knowingly employing pedophiles and failing to conduct background checks.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the situation is still under investigation.

"We identified a number of individuals and different types of activities that were occurring which we thought were violating the law, but we remain very open to collect more information, to talk to more victims, to learn more, because we can amend our complaint," Morrisey said.

The suit alleges the diocese and Bishop Michael Bransfield chose to cover up arguably criminal behavior and claims the diocese employed admitted sexual abusers and priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse without adequate background checks. It comes about a week after church officials barred Bransfield from priestly duties following an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed adults and committed financial improprieties, The Associated Press reported. The suit was brought under the state's Consumer Credit and Protection Act, which several attorneys said is a first-of-its kind move.

Morrisey said he hopes the suit will result in the diocese cooperating to change the systematic issues.

"Victims need to get the help they need - that's what this is all about," Morrisey said. "I'm still hopeful that the church is going to step forward and they want to cooperate on this so we can put the fixes in place so that nothing like this ever happens again."

Already in response to the lawsuit, a group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) demonstrated Thursday in front of the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, West Virginia, praised the attorney general's action and disclosed three "publicly accused predator priests" who they say spent time in West Virginia but are not on the diocese's "accused list." SNAP alleges the priests have "largely escaped public attention in the state."

Former St. Bernard School student accuses teacher of sex abuse

South Hills Community News

March 21, 2019

By Mike Jones

A former student at St. Bernard School filed a lawsuit last week alleging he was molested by a teacher at the Catholic grade school in Mt. Lebanon in the 2000s.

Pittsburgh-based attorney Robert Peirce III filed the lawsuit March 14 in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas against the unnamed teacher, the school and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in a case that could test the limits of the special Sex Abuse Victim Compensation fund set up last year by the diocese to help victims abused by predator priests.

The lawsuit claims the unidentified former student was molested at least five times during one school year while being tutored by the teacher, identified only as John Doe, because he was struggling with math. Doe was “abusing his role as a teacher and mentor to a young student breached the duty owed to his students” at the grade school that teaches pre-school students through eighth grade, the lawsuit states.

After the abuse, the lawsuit claims, the student began to abuse drugs and alcohol in high school to “repress the memories” from the alleged abuse. The student began seeing a therapist in December 2010 for behavioral issues, but didn’t tell his parents about the abuse until December 2017.

The Rev. Nicholas Nascov, spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, said he could not comment on the lawsuit, but that the “acts alleged do not involve anyone currently employed by Saint Bernard School.”

Postergan Para el jueves el juicio a un cura acusado de abusos a menores en Entre Ríos

[Trial of priest accused of child abuse in Entre Ríos is delayed]


March 20, 2019

El juicio al ex cura payador Marcelino Moya, acusado por abusar de menores en la parroquia de la ciudad de Villaguay entre 1992 y 1997, fue postergado hasta mañana por la renuncia de su abogado defensor, José Ostolaza. Los jueces María Evangelina Bruzzo, Fabián López Moras y Melisa Ríos integrarán el Tribunal de Juicio y Apelaciones de Concepción del Uruguay y juzgarán a Moya mañana y el viernes, en audiencias orales, pero no públicas.

Victims group wants to see upcoming criminal trial of accused KCK priest play out

Kansas City Star

March 21, 2019

By Judy L. Thomas

Less than three weeks before the criminal trial of a priest charged with sexually abusing a child is set to begin in Wyandotte County, victims’ advocates on Thursday said they hoped the complete story comes out in court.

David Clohessy, former executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the group wants prosecutors to reject any plea deal for the Rev. Scott Kallal and instead push for a jury trial at which those “who may have concealed or ignored” alleged child sex crimes against Kallal “might also be publicly exposed.”

SNAP also revealed the identities of three more accused priests who had connections to the Kansas City area but have escaped scrutiny.

“We challenge local Catholic officials to disclose the names of all alleged predator priests, along with their photos, whereabouts and full work histories,” Clohessy said.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kallal was charged in Wyandotte County District Court in 2017 with two felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. A jury trial is scheduled to begin April 7.

At Kallal’s preliminary hearing in 2017, a 13-year-old girl testified that when she was 10, Kallal twice tickled her breasts against her wishes. The incidents allegedly occurred in 2015 but the police report was not filed until July, when Kallal was suspended and charged.

Declaran culpable de abuso sexual a sacerdote veterocatólico en Puerto Montt

[Puerto Montt 'priest' found guilty of sexual abuse of minor]


March 19, 2019

By Sebastián Asencio and Robinson Cardenas

Este martes declararon culpable de abuso sexual a un sacerdote veterocatólico que dirige una congregación en el sector Pelluhuín y Chamiza en Puerto Montt, región de Los Lagos. Se trata de Luis Felipe Izquierdo, religioso no reconocido por la Iglesia Católica que fue investigado por el Ministerio Público tras ser denunciado por el delito sexual.

Víctimas chilenas cuestionan al Papa por rechazar dimisión de cardenal francés encubridor de abusos

[Chilean survivors question Pope's refusal to accept cardinal's resignation]


March 20, 2019

By Ariela Muñoz and Nicole Martínez

Sobrevivientes de abusos eclesiásticos en Chile cuestionaron la decisión del Papa Francisco de rechazar la dimisión del cardenal francés Philippe Barbarin. El sacerdote fue condenado a seis meses de cárcel por encubrir delitos contra menores de edad, de los que tuvo conocimiento entre 2014 y 2015. El Vaticano dejó en manos del purpurado la determinación “que crea más oportuna”, invocando la presunción de inocencia. Todo cuando ya Barbarin decidió retirarse temporalmente del mando del arzobispado de Lyon.

Arzobispo Fernando Chomalí asegura que están "decididos a terminar con los abusos" en la Iglesia

[Archbishop Fernando Chomalí says they are "determined to end abuses" in the Church]


March 20, 2019

By Manuel Stuardo and Carlos Agurto

El arzobispo de Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, aseguró que están “absolutamente decididos a terminar con los abusos” al interior de la Iglesia Católica. Chomalí llegó hasta la comuna de Yumbel para encabezar la festividad religiosa denominada “20 chico”, la que tradicionalmente replica en esta fecha lo que se vive para San Sebastián en enero.

Tito Rivera asegura que su denunciante: “Parece gozar con las fantasías sexuales que relata”

[Priest Tito Rivera says that his accuser "seems to enjoy the sexual fantasies"]

La Tercera

March 18, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

El sacerdote reiteró que la denuncia en su contra es un "montaje" e insistió en que "existe una realidad de pecado que se vive al interior de la Iglesia, y no reconocerlo es taparse los ojos con ambas manos".

El sacerdote Tito Rivera leyó esta mañana una declaración de prensa, para aclarar sus dichos en una entrevista que fue sumamente cuestionada por sus pares y líderes religiosos. Esto, luego de que se conociera denuncias en su contra de abusos sexuales y violación al interior de la Catedral Metropolitana.

Corte de Apelaciones dará a conocer fallo por sobreseimiento de Ezzati este 22 de marzo

[Court of Appeals will issue ruling on dismissing case against Ezzati this March 22]

La Tercera

March 20, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

El viernes se conocerá si el tribunal sobresee al arzobispo de Santiago de los posibles encubrimientos en abusos realizados por los sacerdotes Óscar Muñoz, Jorge Laplagne y Tito Rivera.

La Octava Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones determinó que el viernes 22 de marzo resolverá si sobresee o no al arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, por los posibles encubrimientos en abusos realizados por los sacerdotes Óscar Muñoz, Jorge Laplagne y Tito Rivera.

La diócesis de Guadalajara aparta a un monje condenado por abusos tras recolocarlo como párroco

[Guadalajara monk imprisoned for abuse removed from public ministry after three years]

El País

March 19, 2019

By EFE (news agency)

El fraile estuvo tres años en prisión en El Escorial. Sus superiores justificaron su nuevo puesto tras salir de la cárcel porque oficiaba en "localidades sin niños"

El obispado de Sigüenza-Guadalajara ha decidido apartar de la misión pública a Celso García, un religioso agustino condenado en 2012 por abusos a menores que, tras salir de la prisión en 2015, fue recolocado como párroco de 24 pequeñas localidades del norte de la provincia de Guadalajara.

El obispo de Guadalajara recoloca de párroco para 24 pueblos a un fraile tras tres años de cárcel por abusos

[Bishop of Guadalajara places a priest in ministry for 24 villages after three years in prison for abuses]

El País

March 18, 2019

By Íñigo Domínguez

El monje, denunciado en la escolanía de El Escorial, fue condenado en 2012. “Ya ha cumplido su deuda con la ley y son localidades sin niños”, justifica la orden

Un monje agustino condenado por abuso de menores a tres años de cárcel en 2012, según ha confirmado la orden religiosa a este periódico, ha sido recolocado de nuevo como párroco en 24 localidades del norte de Guadalajara tras salir de prisión en 2015. Celso García fue denunciado en 2010 por tres menores de 11 y 12 años de la escolanía del monasterio de El Escorial, donde era profesor. Solo hubo noticias del caso un año después, cuando lo desveló el diario Público, pero luego nada más se supo del resultado del proceso ni del paradero del acusado. Lo cierto es que tras cumplir su condena, García está ejerciendo como sacerdote en numerosos pueblos, sin ninguna cautela especial, desde octubre de 2015. García reside en una de estas localidades. Un portavoz de los agustinos justifica la decisión porque “ha cumplido su deuda con la ley y la justicia”. Asegura también que “está totalmente fuera del contacto con menores, porque son pueblos muy pequeños solo con población anciana”.

Los colegios católicos recomiendan “informar” sobre los abusos porque es “más sencillo y adecuado” que denunciar

[Spain's Catholic schools recommend reporting abuses, create crisis committees]

El País

March 18, 2019

By Julio Núñez

La patronal crea un comité de crisis para gestionar la pederastia en sus escuelas

Escuelas Católicas, la patronal de los centros concertados religiosos de España, ha publicado un decálogo de actuación contra los abusos sexuales a menores que obliga a informar a las autoridades y a apartar al acusado “independientemente de cuándo se produjeran los hechos”. La nueva norma recomienda a todos los adultos que tengan conocimiento de algún caso de abusos que lo comuniquen a la Fiscalía, la Guardia Civil o la Policía Nacional. "Existen dos posibilidades: denunciar o comunicar; esto último, en muchas ocasiones, es una vía más sencilla y adecuada", señala el documento.

Priest accused of sexual abuse arrested trying to leave Costa Rica

AFP and The Tico Times

March 21, 2019

A Costa Rican Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse of a minor was arrested Thursday as he tried to leave the country by land to Panama, the prosecutor’s office said.

The priest was arrested at the border post of Paso Canoas, the main border crossing with Panama, when trying to leave the country, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

“The Deputy Prosecutor for Gender Affairs confirmed the arrest of a priest with last name Morales Salazar in Paso Canoas, when he was trying to leave the country,” the institution said in a brief statement.

The statement added that “Salazar is being investigated as a suspect in committing an alleged sex crime, so he will be transferred to San José, where a preliminary statement will be taken, and the request for precautionary measures will be assessed later.”

The case of the priest Jorge Arturo Morales Salazar came to light recently when Semanario Universidad published the testimony of Fabian Arguedas, 27, a student who said he had suffered abuses by the priest throughout two years during his adolescence.

His parents submitted a complaint to hierarchy of the Catholic Church, according to the story. On Friday of last week, Arguedas went to the prosecutor’s office to file a criminal complaint against Salazar.

Priest accused of sexual abuse arrested trying to leave Costa Rica

AFP and The Tico Times

March 21, 2019

A Costa Rican Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse of a minor was arrested Thursday as he tried to leave the country by land to Panama, the prosecutor’s office said.

The priest was arrested at the border post of Paso Canoas, the main border crossing with Panama, when trying to leave the country, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

“The Deputy Prosecutor for Gender Affairs confirmed the arrest of a priest with last name Morales Salazar in Paso Canoas, when he was trying to leave the country,” the institution said in a brief statement.

The statement added that “Salazar is being investigated as a suspect in committing an alleged sex crime, so he will be transferred to San José, where a preliminary statement will be taken, and the request for precautionary measures will be assessed later.”

The case of the priest Jorge Arturo Morales Salazar came to light recently when Semanario Universidad published the testimony of Fabian Arguedas, 27, a student who said he had suffered abuses by the priest throughout two years during his adolescence.

His parents submitted a complaint to hierarchy of the Catholic Church, according to the story. On Friday of last week, Arguedas went to the prosecutor’s office to file a criminal complaint against Salazar.

Victims ‘out’ 8 more accused Steubenville clerics

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

They are not on diocese’s list of 'credibly accused' or admitted abusers
Group blasts Catholic officials on abuse & cover up
It’s “outraged” diocese has a priest answering victims’ calls
“He should be replaced by a non-Catholic licensed therapist,” SNAP says
"The real solution," group insists, "is prosecution & legislative reform"

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that 8 publicly accused clerics were left off the Steubenville diocese’s list of ‘credibly accused’ or admitted abusers. Each spent time in southeastern Ohio but has attracted little or no media or public attention before in the state.

And the victims will call on local Catholic officials to
--stop using a priest to field calls from victims,
--post names of ALL publicly accused priests on their diocesan website,
--include details like their work histories, whereabouts and photos, and
--join with victims in pushing for real legislative reform, like repealing Ohio's "archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations" so survivors can do what bishops will not do: expose child molesters in court.

Thursday, March 21, at 11-am

Pope won’t let go of cardinal convicted for sex abuse cover-up

Agence France-Presse

March 21, 2019

Pope Francis has rejected the resignation of French cardinal Philippe Barbarin who was handed a six-month suspended jail sentence this month for failing to report sex abuse by a priest under his authority, prompting surprise among Church leaders and condemnation from victims.

The pope’s decision, announced by Barbarin in a statement and confirmed by the Vatican, comes ahead of a judicial appeal of the case.

But it also comes against the background of the Roman Catholic Church’s struggle to restore trust in its efforts to fight child abuse, with the pope saying last month that “no abuse must ever be covered up, as has happened in the past”.

In a statement issued from his see in the French southeastern city of Lyon, Barbarin said: “Monday morning, I handed over my mission to the Holy Father. He spoke of the presumption of innocence and did not accept this resignation.”

Barbarin, the most senior French cleric caught up in the global paedophilia scandal, said he would remain in Lyon pending the court appeal, but added that “for a little while” he would step back from his job, allowing, at the pope’s “suggestion”, the local vicar general Yves Baumgarten to run day-to-day affairs.

“I remain in office but withdraw myself from the running of the diocese,” he told Catholic TV station KTO.

“After this judgement, this condemnation, and even if there had not been this condemnation, I think it is good that a page should be turned,” he added.

Here's another example of Pope Francis being weak against priest sex abuse

Morning Call

March 21, 2019

By Paul Muschick

The Catholic Church continues talking about how it must confront once-and-for-all the evil of priests sexually abusing children. The church’s actions continue to show those words are hollow.

I’m talking this time specifically about Pope Francis.

The pope declined Monday to accept the resignation of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of France, who was convicted March 7 of failing to report a known pedophile priest to police.

Contrast that with what the pope said only a month ago at a worldwide summit he called to address the sex abuse scandal.

“No abuse should ever be covered up (as was often the case in the past) or not taken sufficiently seriously, since the covering up of abuses favors the spread of evil and adds a further level of scandal,” he said.

Pope Francis condemned concealing abuses. Yet he chose to retain someone who was convicted of concealing abuses.

Polish cardinal, St. John Paul's aide, defends pontiff's record on sex abuse

Catholic News Service

March 21, 2019

WARSAW, Poland – A close aide to St. John Paul II has vigorously defended the late pope's handling of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and denied accusations that he ignored the problem during his 27-year pontificate.

"Emerging opinions that John Paul II was sluggish in guiding the church's response to sexual abuse of minors by some clerics are prejudicial and contrary to historical facts – the pope was shocked and had no intention of tolerating the crime of pedophilia," said Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was the pontiff's personal secretary for 39 years.

St. John Paul saw how local churches "dealt with emerging problems and gave help when necessary, often at his own initiative."

The 79-year-old cardinal, who retired in 2016 after 11 years as archbishop of Krakow, was reacting to media criticisms that the Polish pontiff failed to confront abuse claims when they became widespread in the 1980s.

In a March 20 statement to Poland's Catholic Information Agency, KAI, he said the pope had concluded "new tools were needed" when the abuse crisis "began to ferment" in the United States.

He added that the saint had given church leaders new powers to combat it, including indults, or special licenses to ensure "a policy of zero tolerance," for the U.S. and Irish churches in 1994 and 1996.

"These were, for the bishops, an unambiguous indication of the direction in which they should fight," Cardinal Dziwisz said.

"When it became clear local episcopates and religious superiors were still unable to cope with the problem, and the crisis was spreading to other countries, he recognized it concerned not just the Anglo-Saxon world but had a global character," the cardinal said.

Criticisms of St John Paul's record have increased in recent months.

Taking stock of the clergy sexual abuse crisis: Protecting children

Religion News Service

March 21, 2019

By Thomas Reese, S. J.

Last month’s summit in Rome on child sex abuse did not break new ground for those, like myself, who have been following this crisis for more than 30 years, but it did made clear — again — that the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has been devastating for the victims of abuse and for the church as a whole.

There are three parts to the crisis, which I plan to deal with in three successive columns.

First, there is the failure to protect children; second, the failure to hold bishops accountable; and third, the lack of transparency in dealing with the crisis.

Protecting children is a fundamental obligation of any adult, even of those who are not parents. Children are vulnerable and abuse is criminal. It is impossible not to be moved when listening to the horrible stories of survivors of abuse, who can be permanently scarred by the experience.

Abuse occurs in other settings, of course, including schools and in families’ homes, but that fact is no excuse for the church’s poor handling of abuse.

Let's Talk About TV's Evolving, Complicated Relationship With Sex

TV Guide

March 21, 2019

By TV Guide Editors

TV Guide's Sex Ed Week explores the ways TV is pushing boundaries forward – and the ways it still lets us down

It's no secret: people love to talk about sex, baby. But what Salt-N-Pepa left out of their groundbreaking, envelope-pushing, hit single was "on television." As one of the more democratic mediums — and often the one preferred by younger viewers (at least before YouTube and streaming platforms took over) — television has long been a battleground over the ways in which sex, gender, and related issues are portrayed. And while some critics lambast television for how certain shows may negatively influence viewers' beliefs and behavior, television has also been praised for the ways it can fill in the gaps of understanding, helping to create better informed and healthy relationships with sexuality for its viewers.

Over the past few decades, television has played a key role in shifting the representation of sex away from a restrictive, patriarchal binary to a more open, authentic, and accurate reflection of varying perspectives and experiences. And in recent years, the way television has approached issues surrounding sexuality has expanded at a rapid rate, as writers and producers are interrogating sex in ways they either never had the opportunity to do before or never chose to do before. Thanks to shows like Steven Universe and Sex Education, TV is carving out space to provide viewers of all ages with a progressive education on sexuality and gender that will hopefully further the conversation for this generation and the next.

But while we've come a long way since I Love Lucy's married protagonists slept in twin beds, it's not as though TV has magically solved issues pertaining to outdated boundaries, biases, and misconceptions surrounding these sensitive issues. For every groundbreaking series like Vida, there's another that continues to let down their viewers again and again when it comes to its approach to sex (sorry, Game of Thrones, but yes, we are talking about you), and the way sex scenes are filmed still has a long way to go before they're consistently safe for the performers involved.

Former Athletic Department Intern Accuses Cal Football Players, Coaches Of Sexual Harassment


March 21, 2019

By Lauren Theisen

A former sports medicine intern in the UC Berkeley Athletic Department named Paige Cornelius has accused Cal football coaches and players of sexual harassment, in a public Facebook post written on Wednesday.

Cornelius, whose post can be read in full here, first tells of a “member of the Cal Football Coaching Staff” who said to her, “I will get you fired if you do not have sex with me,” at a practice after sending her persistent texts. Cornelius told ESPN that this man was a volunteer assistant. Here’s what she says about him in her post:

Consent on campus: ‘We’re building zero tolerance to sexual harassment’

The Irish Times

March 19, 2019

By Carl O'Brien

UCC’s ‘bystander intervention’ is being made available to all 22,000 students

One of the most ambitious attempts to create a “zero tolerance” approach to sexual harassment in Irish third level is unfolding on the campus of University College Cork (UCC).

A few years ago, it began piloting a compulsory series of workshops on “bystander intervention” during the first year of its law, nursing and applied psychology classes.

Students were required to attend at least three of the six hour-long workshops to pass their exams.

Louise Crowley, a senior lecturer in law who leads the initiative, says the vast majority of students attended at least five of the classes.

Colleges risk losing funding if sexual consent classes not provided

The Irish Times

March 19, 2019

By Carl O'Brien

Report ordered by Minister recommends ‘transparent and accountable’ protocols

All third-level colleges should be obliged to provide classes on sexual consent for students or risk losing State funding, a Government-commissioned report has recommended.

The report follows rising concern over the level of rape and sexual assault on college campuses.

Commissioned by Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor, it outlines a series of steps which third-level colleges should be required to take to help create “safer and more respectful campuses”.

Among its proposals are that:

Connecticut diocese settles priest abuse lawsuits for $3.5M

Associated Press

March 21, 2019

A Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut has agreed to pay $3.5 million to five men who alleged in lawsuits that they were sexually abused as children by priests.

The settlements involving three priests announced Wednesday by the Diocese of Bridgeport were reached following mediation with the law firm Tremont, Sheldon, Robinson and Mahoney representing the plaintiffs.

Two of the three accused were diocesan priests and have died. The third was a Maronite who worked at a church not overseen by the diocese. The Maronites paid for most of that portion of the settlement.

The suits alleged the abuse occurred from the late 1980s to the early 2000s in Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury and Ridgefield.

The diocese in a statement says it hopes the settlements “bring a measure of healing and justice to victims.”

At least 16 priests with area ties on Illinois list of alleged sex offenders

News Gazette

March 21, 2019

By Ben Zigterman

At least 16 priests with area connections are among the nearly 400 Catholic clergy members and church staff in Illinois named in a report — released Wednesday by a Minnesota-based law firm — that accuses them of sexual misconduct.

All had been previously mentioned on lists released by the Joliet, Peoria and Springfield dioceses, but Wednesday's report by attorney Jeff Anderson is the largest list of accused clergy in Illinois and includes where each priest served.

It comes after a report in December by former Attorney General Lisa Madigan, which found that Illinois dioceses had only publicly identified 185 accused clergy out of the 690 it had been made aware were alleged to have committed sexual abuse.

The new report accuses the Illinois dioceses of "orchestrating an institutional cover-up of enormous magnitude" by transferring and retaining alleged perpetrators.

The Springfield, Peoria and Joliet dioceses all issued statements Wednesday about the report, explaining why some names on the list aren't on their own publicly available lists, either because they never received allegations or found them to be unsubstantiated or not credible.

Leading cleric slams gay Irish leader, says Irish church scandals “peripheral”

Irish Central

March 21, 2019

By Niall O'Dowd

A leading US Catholic church figure has slammed Irish leader Leo Varadkar for his gay orientation, attacked Irish clergy as weak and said decades of sex abuse scandals in Ireland's Catholic Church are "peripheral"

A celebrated New York pastor with a worldwide audience on EWTN, the global Catholic network, has slammed Ireland’s leader Leo Varadkar for “publicly living in perverse contempt for the sacrament of holy matrimony.”

When asked about his comments by IrishCentral, Father George Rutler agreed that he was speaking specifically about Vardkar’s sexual orientation and the fact that he may well marry his partner, Matthew Barrett.

Accused predator priest’s trial approaches

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Ordained in 2011, the accused cleric is young
Two alleged victims are both in early teens now
SNAP: “It’s your civic & moral duty to speak up”
Group also ‘outs’ 3 more accused Kansas priests
It seeks “victims, witnesses & whistleblowers now!”
“Archbishop: Teach your flock how to act,” SNAP says

Holding signs and childhood photos a at a sidewalk news conference, weeks ahead of a rare criminal accused KC KS priest’s trial, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--disclose that a second victim of the alleged offender will testify,
--beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers with information or suspicions about the accused priest to call law enforcement,
--urge prosecutors to “be tough and stand strong” against a plea deal, and
--prod the KC KS archbishop to educate his flock about the proper way to behave when abuse reports are made public.

They will also
--reveal the identities of 3 accused priests who are/were in Kansas City but have escaped virtually all scrutiny or attention here, and
--challenge local Catholic officials to disclose the names of ALL alleged predator priests, along with their photos, whereabouts and full work histories.

TODAY,Thursday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Victims applaud WV attorney general

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 21, 2019

Victims applaud WV attorney general
They prod others with info to ‘step forward’
Group seeks “witnesses & whistleblowers to help AG
SNAP also ‘outs’ 3 accused priests ‘under the radar’ in WV


Holding signs and childhood photos a at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

---praise the WV AG for his recent civil suit on behalf of Catholic families and against the Catholic hierarchy, and

---prod the AG to work harder to bring victims, witnesses and whistleblowers forward, using his bully pulpit and public service announcements.

They will also:

--reveal the identities of 3 accused priests who are/were in WV but have escaped virtually all scrutiny or attention here, and

--challenge local Catholic officials to disclose the names of ALL alleged predator priests, along with their photos, whereabouts and full work histories.


Thursday, March 21 at 1:00 p.m.

Catholic Priest Accused Of Groping Texas Woman During Last Rites

Associated Press

March 21, 2019

A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested after being accused of groping a woman while giving her the last rites in Texas.

Reverend Gerold Langsch, 75, allegedly anointed the woman's chest with holy water, then began to apply lotion, massaging a breast, pinching a nipple and asking 'does that feel good?'

The woman, who is still alive, added that Langsch, from Austin, then tried to slip his hand inside her diaper but was unable to.

He was arrested today after being accused of assaulting the woman in home hospice care on October 5.

Despite the incident being reported five days later, the arrest was delayed because of the woman's health problems, reports CBS news.

Investigation into accused priest continues

The Monitor

March 21, 2019

By Mark Reagan

The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday that it is investigating “one or two” former priests who are alive and accused of sexual abuse.

“Although the investigation is still ongoing, it does show that most of the alleged perpetrators are deceased and the alleged acts occurred more than 10 years ago and therefore fall outside the statute of limitations,” District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said. “There are one or two where the perpetrator is alive and the alleged acts are still in the statute of limitations and those are the ones we are focused on.”

The Diocese of Brownsville in late January released a list of 13 priests and a deacon, who were assigned to 42 parishes across the Rio Grande Valley, who the church says are “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse.

After the Diocese released the list, the DA’s Office initiated an investigation.

“I can tell you that up to this point the Diocese through their counsel has been very forthcoming in providing information that I requested,” Saenz said.

Saenz declined to name the suspects and it wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspects were on the list of credibly accused the Diocese of Brownsville released.

However, Saenz did say the one individual his investigators are focusing on that is alive and the allegations fall within the statute of limitations is not in the United States.

“One of the individuals is believed to be outside of the U.S.,” Saenz said. “So … if we do decide that we can charge him, if he does get arrested, it would involve extradition.”

Pope Francis wants psychological testing to prevent problem priests. But can it really do that?

Washington Post

March 21, 2019

As the Catholic Church quakes through one sexual abuse scandal after another, Pope Francis recently announced a policy he wants to implement on a worldwide scale: No man should become a priest without a psychological evaluation proving he is suited to a life of chastity.

In the United States, most men seeking to enter a Catholic seminary undergo psychological testing, often a battery of questions that probes their deepest secrets and can last for days.

As Francis elevates the visibility of this type of testing, it raises the question of just how this profiling works and whether any psychologist can truly determine a young man is cut out for a lifelong vow to abstain from sex or is likely to commit sexual crimes. As it stands, there is no single agreed-upon method for conducting these assessments of priests. There is also no reliable way of measuring the tests' effectiveness at weeding out problem priests.

"Standard psychological testing, it's not very good in ferreting out sexual difficulties among the general population," said Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a Catholic University professor who formerly led St. Luke Institute, a mental health facility for priests. "There isn't much. We've been working hard to figure out what to do, how do we better understand sexuality."

Outside the church, some scientists think the quest to identify future problem priests through psychology is a fool's errand - especially when it comes to preventing pedophiles from entering the priesthood.

"From a scientific point of view, it's useless," said James Cantor, a Toronto researcher who is a leading expert on pedophilia. "There does not exist a pen-and-pencil test [to diagnose pedophilia]. Just asking someone isn't going to help."

But the idea of psychological testing for priests dates back decades; Rossetti said he went through a battery of tests when he entered the seminary in 1979. Other religious denominations routinely ask their clergy candidates to undergo psychological evaluations as well.

March 20, 2019

South Dakota diocese outs 21 priests accused of sex abuse

Patheos blog

March 21, 2019

By Rick Snedeker

Add my own state of South Dakota to the states in which local Catholic Church authorities have publicly released the names of alleged sex-abusing priests. In this new list, all but one are deceased.

On March 19, the Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss, bishop of Rapid City, the state’s second largest city, published a public statement of contrition and a list of 21 priests of the Diocese of Rapid City “credibly accused of sexual abuse while serving in schools, churches, hospitals and on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud [Indian] reservations from 1951 to 2018.”

“It is important to acknowledge the horrid truth of past abuse in the church so that we can repent of these actions and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that no one is hurt moving forward,” Bishop Gruss wrote in a March 15 letter posted on the diocese website, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Gruss said publishing the list of alleged offenders is “essential in restoring the trust that has been broken as the result of the misconduct of a few.” He explained in his letter that a reasonable cause of abuse was established for each priest on the list after “a process of consultation.” He acknowledged that because allegations were made years or decades after relevant incidents and some might be false, the determination of credibility is not the same as a conviction in court.

Report shines light on 395 Catholic priests, church staff accused of sex abuse


March 19, 2019

By Nader Issa and Mitch Dudek

A 182-page report released Wednesday compiled information about nearly 400 Catholic clergy members and church staff in Illinois who have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct in the state’s six dioceses, including dozens in Chicago.

Jeff Anderson & Associates, a Minnesota-based law firm, published the report that included names, background information, work histories and photographs of 395 priests and laypeople accused throughout the state.

Though a seminarian, a teacher and several deacons were on the list, the vast majority were priests.

The law firm said, by its count, hundreds of Illinoisans were the victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of people tied to the church.

Clergy abuse investigation: Illinois Catholic Church allegedly failed to investigate 500 priest sex abuse allegations

Predator priests: States ask for assistance to pursue Catholic Church for documents on abuse by priests, Pennsylvania attorney general says

“Those at the top have chosen not to believe so many survivors for so many years who have come forward with reports and have chosen, then, to keep secret not only the identities of those offenders, but [also] those who have been complicit in that concealment at the top,” said Jeff Anderson, the trial attorney who heads the firm that published the report.

List ‘represents the past’
Mary Jane Doerr, the director of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, said at a press conference Wednesday that her office’s efforts to protect children from abuse in the church go “beyond a list of names.”

“What’s frustrating to me is the lists represent the past,” Doerr said. “And it was not a good past, but we don’t do that anymore. That’s not what’s going on today. Today, all allegations are taken seriously.”

Pope Won’t Accept Resignation of Cardinal Convicted of Ignoring Child Sex Abuse

Patheos blog

March 20, 2019

By Hemant Metha

It should’ve been easy for the Catholic Church to rid itself of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin. Earlier this month, he announced he would resign from the Church after a secular court found him guilty of not reporting a pedophile priest who had sexually abused minors.

But Pope Francis said yesterday that he would not accept the resignation.

Cardinal Barbarin, 68, promptly offered to resign, though he is appealing the verdict. He met with Pope Francis on Monday to personally hand in his resignation, but both the cardinal and a Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said on Tuesday that the pope had not accepted it.

Instead, they said, the cardinal, one of the highest-ranking and best-known Roman Catholic officials in France, will step aside for an unspecified length of time.

Cardinal Barbarin said in a statement that the pope had acted “invoking the presumption of innocence.”

It’s hard to act on a presumption of innocence when a secular court has declared you guilty of shielding a predator priest. What the pope is saying is that the courts don’t matter, and the evidence is secondary to forgiveness… which might be inspirational if we weren’t talking about the Catholic Church’s most infamous crime.

The pope just doesn’t think covering up for a molesting priest is that big of a deal. This is his reward for protecting the Church.

Two more alleged predators were in Columbia

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 19, 2019

One, ousted last week, was at MU Newman Center
The other, ‘outed’ last month, was at a local parish
A third priest, just publicly accused, worked nearby
SNAP wants University officials to “do real outreach”
Group also wants mid-MO bishop to update accused list

Holding childhood photos and signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose
--that a just-ousted publicly accused priest worked in Columbia.
--the name of another publicly accused abusive priest who worked in mid-MO, and
--the name of a third publicly accused abusive priest who worked nearby.
None of them are on the Jefferson City diocese’s list of accused clerics.

They will also prod
--University of Missouri officials to “aggressively reach out to ex-staff and students” who may have been hurt by the just-ousted accused priest, and
--mid-Missouri’s Catholic bishop to do the same.

Victims accuse diocese of keeping secrets

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Another alleged abuser was "quietly ousted"
Church tells flock, but not public, about prie]st
SNAP: "Where's your promised 'transparency?'"
Group also 'outs' another mid-MO alleged perpetrator
It also reveals workplaces of two others who are accused
SNAP wants church & university officials to “do real outreach”
"Diocese should also update & expand its accused list," SNAP says

Holding childhood photos and signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will:
--blast Jeff City's Catholic bishop for "keeping secrets" about a just-ousted priest,
--disclose that the priest worked in Columbia as well as Jeff City,
--reveal the name of another publicly accused abusive priest who worked in mid-MO, and
--expose a third publicly accused abusive clerict who worked nearby.
(Only one of them is on the Jefferson City diocese’s list of accused clerics.)

They will also prod
--diocesan and University of Missouri officials to “aggressively reach out to ex-staff, members and students” who may have been hurt by the just-ousted accused priest, and
--mid-Missouri’s Catholic bishop to do the same.

Teens testify Catholic priest sexually assaulted them

Michigan Live

Mar 20, 2019

By Cole Waterman

With a jury looking on Wednesday, two teens testified that a Roman Catholic priest had sexually assaulted them.

Testimony in the first of three trials for Robert J. “Father Bob” DeLand began the afternoon of Wednesday, March 20, before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson. DeLand, 72, is a longtime priest who worked in the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.

After Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Hoover and defense attorney Alan A. Crawford gave their respective theories on the case via opening statements, Hoover called a now-19-year-old man to the stand.

The teen said he had known DeLand as a greeter at Freeland High School. In that capacity, he said DeLand would often make him uncomfortable.

“He would shake my hand sometimes,” he said. “He would do it very tight, wouldn’t let go. He’d hug me really, really tight and breathe in my ear every now and then. Very uncomfortable.”

On May 14, 2017, the teen said he and his father attended a memorial service at St. Agnes Church for a classmate of his who had died by suicide earlier that day. The service was organized by DeLand.

As his father mingled with other attendees, the teen was called out to by DeLand, who asked him how he was doing with the recent death. The priest then called him into a coatroom where they were alone, he said.

Survivors say Columbus Diocese list of accused priests is incomplete

ABC 6l News

March 20, 2019

By Tom Bosco

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus released its list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse earlier this month, but a survivors' advocacy group said the list is incomplete. The group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said there are at least seven clergy members who should be on the list.

The names have been made public before and include two that have been the subject of news coverage in the last few years.

Joel Wright was in seminary, studying to become a priest in north Columbus when he was arrested in 2016 as he tried to travel to Mexico to have sex with infants. Fr. James Csaszar of New Albany and Perry County before that, killed himself in 2016, a month after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a teen.

The other names may be more obscure but have been revealed in the past. Here are their names and where they served in the diocese:

Fr. James Gates, Holy Rosary, 1994-2002;
Fr. John Walsh, SS. Simon and Jude, 1960s;
Fr Fintan Shaffer, Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd, 1980s;
Br. Robert Hayden, Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd, 1980s;
Fr. Walter Horan, Zanesville, 1940s.

Nearly 400 Catholic Clergy Members Accused of Sexual Misconduct in Illinois

Daily Beast

March 20, 2019

Attorneys released a report Wednesday revealing the names of nearly 400 clergy members who have been accused of sexual misconduct, USA Today reports. Law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates reportedly released a 182-page-report providing over 200 additional names of priests and deacons who had not been identified by Catholic officials and were accused of abuse in “legal settlements and news reports.” According to the newspaper, the report includes the names of clergy members in “Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield,” and includes photos, background information, and employment history of those listed.

“We’ve chosen to reveal this information, because the Catholic bishops and religious orders who are in charge and have this information . . . have chosen to conceal it,” lawyer Jeff Anderson said. The six Catholic dioceses of Illinois previously released a list of 185 clergy members whom the church deemed credibly accused of sexual abuse. The Rockford Diocese told USA Today that they did not disclose the allegations outlined in the report because they founds the allegations were unsubstantiated or “without merit.” Joliet Diocese also told the newspaper they declined to list the names because they had not been substantiated.

Austin Catholic priest arrested, accused of sexually assaulting woman during last rites

CBS Austin

March 20, 2019

An Austin Catholic priest was arrested after police say he sexually assaulted a woman in hospice care.

75-year-old Rev. Gerold Langsch has been charged with assault by contact, class a misdemeanor.

The incident allegedly happened in October 2018 when a woman was put on hospice care after suffering from several medical conditions.

While on hospice, the victim's ex husband contacted the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic-based fraternal service organization, to inform them of the victim's illness.

They offered to send a priest to their home to give the victim her last rites, a religious ceremony to offer absolution of sins prior to dying through anointment.

22 former Rockford Diocese clergy members accused in report on sexual abuse


March 20, 2019

A scathing new report has been released naming nearly 400 former and current clergy members of the Illinois Catholic Diocese who have been accused of sexual abuse.

The 182-page report was published Wednesday by the Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, which has lead the charge and filed the lawsuit demanding the Diocese release a full list of people accused of sexual abuse while working under the diocese.

The 395 men named in that report worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Springfield and Rockford. Twenty-two men with ties to the Diocese of Rockford are included in it.

Back in November, the Diocese of Rockford published a report that outlined the history of sexual abuse of minors in the diocese. It disclosed files and said that between 1950 and 2002, allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were substantiated against three priests. The total report included 15 names, something the diocese said Wednesday it stands by.

In a statement, the Rockford Diocese said it did not disclose allegations against many clergy on Anderson’s list “because the accusations either have not been substantiated or are completely without merit.”

Officials with the Rockford Diocese did say one name on Anderson’s list did not appear on their November 2018 report because they were unaware of the accusations. They say the Rev. Ivan Rovira committed sexual abuse after he left northern Illinois in the 1970s.

The Rockford Diocese also said in the statement, “Sexual misconduct by clergy, Church personnel, Church leaders and volunteers is contrary to Christian morals, doctrine and Canon Law. It is never acceptable and Bishop Davis J. Malloy has declared emphatically that ‘one case of abuse is one too many.'”

Bridgeport Diocese pays out $3.55 million in abuse settlements

Connecticut Post

March 20, 2019

By Daniel Tepfer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has agreed to pay $3.55 million to five men who claim
in lawsuits they were sexually abused as children by priests.

The claimed abuse occurred from the late 1980s to the early 2000s by three priests, the Rev. Walter Coleman, the Rev. Robert Morrissey and the Rev. Larry Jensen, in Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury and Ridgefield.

The settlements were reached following mediation with the law firm, Tremont, Sheldon, Robinson and Mahoney which represented the five plaintiffs.

“As a result of countless hours of effort and hard work over the past 25 years, our law firm has been able to develop a collection of materials and information which we use to get our clients compensation for the abuse they have suffered,” said Douglas Mahoney. “While the money can never take away their pain, we hope that the resolution will allow them to take a small step forward with their healing.”

The settlements come as Pope Francis is being lauded for directing the church to finally take responsibility and make amends for decades of abuse by priests amid reports from around the country and the world of abuse.

“I admire the bravery and tenacity of the survivors. They came forward with the truth and persevered through what had to be a very stressful trial process. The priests who abused them wounded innocent children. These men are lucky that the statute of limitations for prosecution of sex crimes is short. I hope that changes soon,” said Gail Howard, Connecticut co-leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Bridgeport Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has gone to the forefront of a movement by the church to become more transparent revealing in a report last October that the diocese has paid $52.5 million to settle 156 allegations of sexual abuse by priests since 1953. He also appointed a retired judge to look into claims that the diocese covered up priests’ sexual abuse of children for decades.

7 names missing from Columbus priest sex abuse list, victims group says

The Columbus Dispatch

March 20, 2019

By Danae King

An advocacy group for survivors says it has identified seven priests who have been accused of abusing children but were not on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus’ list of “credibly accused” clergy released on March 1.

On Wednesday afternoon, two representatives of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stood in front of St. Joseph’s Cathedral on East Broad Street Downtown, calling for more action by the church. One of them held a sign with photos of 12 children who they said are survivors of priest abuse.

“We have to remind ourselves these are children,” said Steven Spaner, a volunteer coordinator with SNAP. “They might be grown up adults now, but they were children.”

West Virginia attorney general sues Catholic bishop, saying he 'knowingly employed pedophiles'


March 20, 2019

By Daniel Burke

West Virginia's attorney general has sued the state's diocese and former bishop, saying they "knowingly employed pedophiles" while failing to alert parents about potential risks at Catholic schools and other activities.

"Parents who pay and entrust the Wheeling-Charleston diocese and its schools to educate and care for their children deserve full transparency," Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement.

"Our investigation reveals a serious need for the diocese to enact policy changes that will better protect children, just as this lawsuit demonstrates our resolve to pursue every avenue to effectuate change as no one is above the law."

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Morrisey said he opened an investigation last fall after a grand jury in Pennsylvania found evidence that more than 300 Catholic priests had abused children in that state since the 1950s. Most of the accusations dated to before 2002, when many Catholic dioceses in the United States instituted new child safety protocols.

Missouri diocese accused of withholding information about priest under investigation


March 20, 2019

By Alisa Nelson

Victims of clergy abuse say the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City has not gone far enough to tell the public about a priest under investigation for alleged “boundary violations” involving minors. Bishop Shawn McKnight has informed Immaculate Conception School families in Jefferson City about Father Geoffrey Brooke being placed on leave during the review.

Missouri diocese accused of withholding information about priest under investigation

David Clohessy, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, says Bishop Shawn McKnight did not inform members where Brooke previously served – at the Newman Center on the Mizzou campus in Columbia.

“I honestly think he (McKnight) tried to pull a fast one,” says Clohessy of St. Louis. He really hoped that there would be a chance at least that nobody at the Jefferson City parish would contact anybody in the press and that this could all go under the radar. To hide this information serves no one, except those who commit and those who conceal abuse.”

The Diocese’s website lists priests accused of abuse, but Clohessy says the page should also include every clergy member credibly accused of abuse, all locations the priests served and their whereabouts.

“Bishops disclose the absolute bare minimum, only when they feel like they have to, only under public pressure,” he says. “If Bishop McKnight is going to claim that he’s coming clean on abuse, then for Heaven sakes, come clean. Tell us all the names because that’s what protects kids and tell us where they worked, tell us where they are now.”

Catholic Church scandal: 395 Illinois priests, deacons accused of sexual misconduct


March 20, 2019

By Aamer Madhani

Nearly 400 Catholic clergy members in Illinois have been accused of sexual misconduct, according to attorneys who represented clergy sex abuse victims across the USA.

A 182-page report, published Wednesday by the Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, includes the names, background information, photos and assignment histories of each accused clergy member.

“The danger of sexual abuse in Illinois is clearly a problem of today, not just the past,” the report concludes. “This will continue to be a danger until the identities and histories of sexually abusive clerics, religious employees and seminarians are made public.”

Anderson said he hopes the report will push church leaders to publicly identify hundreds more clergy who faced allegations.

The men named in the report worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield.

Lawyers release list of Illinois Catholic clergy accused of sexual misconduct


March 20, 2019

Attorneys who have represented clergy abuse victims across the United States released a report that lists the names of every Catholic priest and lay person in Illinois who has been publicly accused of sexual misconduct.

On Wednesday, the attorneys say they will release a 185-page report that includes background information and work histories of 395 priests and lay people accused in the state's six dioceses.

Attorney Mark Pearlman says this is the first time such a comprehensive Illinois list has been compiled. It aggregates previously reported information and it's not clear how much is new.

The Archdiocese of Chicago says it already releases the names of every priest who's had a substantiated allegation against him and turns over the names of those accused to law enforcement.

Rapid City Diocese Publishes List Of Accused Priests

Associated Press

March 20, 2019

The Rapid City Diocese has published a list of 21 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

The list includes priests who were credibly accused while in schools, churches, hospitals and on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations from 1951 to 2018.

Bishop Robert Gruss wrote in a letter posted on the diocese's website that publishing the list is "essential in restoring the trust that has been broken as the result of the misconduct of a few."

The 21 priests include those who were permanently assigned to the diocese as well as those who served in the diocese but fell under control of a different bishop or religious order.

All are dead except for John Praveen, a priest who awaits sentencing after pleading guilty in February to sexually touching a 13-year-old girl.

Abuse survivors deserve better from church

Staten Island Advance

March 20, 2019

By Anthony J. Raiola and Michelle Simpson Tuegel

For decades, the Catholic Church has turned a blind eye to the child predators in its ranks and refused to be held accountable for the thousands of lives it ruined.

Yet it took less than two days for the Brooklyn Diocese to respond to a joke on Saturday Night Live that compared the Catholic Church to R. Kelly.

There is no greater evidence that the Church refuses to take its child abuse problem seriously. It is clear the priorities lie in feigning outrage, not actually changing the culture of secrecy and abuse that has become the tenet of the modern Catholic Church.

Take, for example, the recent Vatican conference on sexual abuse of minors that was portrayed by many as a positive step forward by the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the conference failed to establish any real solutions or tangible outcomes for survivors of clergy abuse. The Church has knowingly allowed abuse against minors to go on for decades, working hard to keep the abuse quiet and rotating sexual predators around different communities. Despite a contrite tone, Pope Francis proposed no concrete solutions to deal with the scourge of clergy abuse and failed to promise a zero-tolerance approach from the Church.

Survivors of clergy abuse in New York and beyond deserve more. It is time for Catholic bishops in New York state to make real reforms rather than empty promises, and do what the participants of the Vatican conference refused to do — focus on the survivors and enact concrete changes so that this abuse never happens again.

For example, New York bishops must convene a statewide summit and actually listen to the voices of survivors, not the clergy and institution that allowed this corruption to happen. By failing to prioritize the needs of survivors, the Church is once again choosing its leadership over the people it has failed to protect for decades.

Time for states to address priest abuse

Xavier Newswirre

March 20, 2019

Headlines of abuse dominated news cycles in August 2018 after the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report released the names of hundreds of priests who had sexually abused children for more than seven decades. Since then, evidence of the global epidemic within the Catholic Church of sexual abuse of the innocent has continued to surface. The Associated Press publishes a new article nearly every week about new investigations, diocese reports, complaints by survivor advocacy groups and continued corruption. This sex abuse does not only mar religious institutions. Since places of worship have acted as the backbone of communities for centuries, this festering wound underlying the fabric of our secular institutions reaches from sea to shining sea.

But the grand jury report was eight months ago, and the public is more numbed than motivated to demand change. The 300 predatory priests’ names that were just released by dioceses in Texas, the confirmation that the Catholic Church has destroyed documents proving they were aware of priests’ predatory behavior and even the confirmation that six Jesuits who worked with Xavier as recently as 2002 were credibly accused of sexual assault read as old news. What is even more stale to read is how states are not stepping in.

Dioceses have conducted their own internal audits to oust sexual predators since the Boston Globe exposed the misdeeds of then-priest James G. Geoghan in 2002. That year, clergy leaders from across the nation committed to a set of policies called the Dallas Charter. These policies seek to prevent child sex abuse as well as make the names of known abusers available to both law authorities and the public for the safety of parishioners.

Harrisburg Diocese announces changes to victims fund; opens it up to new claims

Patriot News

March 20, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus

The Diocese of Harrisburg has made a substantial change to eligibility requirements for its victims compensation fund.

On Wednesday, Bishop Ronald Gainer announced he would waive the requirement that survivors of clergy abuse must have identified themselves to the diocese by Feb. 11. Under the revised guidelines, survivors of abuse who had not previously come forward to the diocese are eligible for the program.

Gainer rolled out the change after recently completing a series of meetings with parishioners across the diocese. In a written statement, diocesan officials noted that the bishop had made the change based in part on the feedback from those sessions.

“Our goal is to help as many survivors of clergy sexual abuse as possible and we encourage you to come forward and contact our fund administrators, Commonwealth Mediation & Conciliation, Inc. (CMCI)," Gainer said in the statement. "Again, in my name and on behalf of the Church, we extend our prayers, heartfelt sorrow and apologies to all survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”

More on Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican: The Dark Heart of Martel's Story

Bilgrimage blog

March 20, 2019

By William Lindsey

Corruption of Pretend Heterosexuality Coupled with Abominable Treatment of Queer People

I have now made my way about halfway through Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican, trans. Shaun Whiteside (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), and am finding the book grim going. It's, as many commentators have noted, eye-popping, and overwhelming in the detail with which it tells — and documents — its story of corruption. To quote Mary Oliver in her poem "The Chance to Love Everything," this is for me the dark heart of the story here: it's a story of incredible corruption running through the governing structures and clerical culture of a major Christian institution, a story that does a very convincing job, I think, of rooting that corruption genetically in the intense homophobia of the governing elite of this institution.

This passage leaps out at me:

It was when I met the cardinals, bishops and priests who worked with him that I discovered the hidden side – the dark side – of his very long pontificate. A pope surrounded by plotters, thugs, a majority of closeted homosexuals, who were homophobes in public, not to mention all those who protected paedophile priests.

"Paul VI had condemned homosexuality, but it was only with the arrival of John Paul II that a veritable war was waged against gays," I was told by a Curia priest who worked at John Paul II's ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Irony of history: most of the players in this boundless campaign against homosexuals were homosexual themselves" (p. 194)

New Report To Detail Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Cases


March 20, 2019

By Vi Nguyen

A new report out today lists hundreds of names, work histories and background information of Catholic priests in Illinois accused of sexual abuse.

The survivors behind the 185-page report—the most comprehensive to date–hope it pushes bishops to reveal the identities of hundreds of more clergy involved in the cases.

The report was assembled by law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, which gathered information from survivors, lists of credible allegations and other outlets.

Some of the names mentioned in the report have already been released by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The report will detail the assignment histories of 395 Catholic clergy who the law firm says worked or continue to work at six dioceses in the state.

Attorneys representing some of the victims want Catholic bishops in the state to release all names and files of Catholic clergy accused of sexual abuse.

They want that information handed over to law enforcement and say this is something the public needs to know.

Last December a report from the Illinois Attorney General found more than 500 priests who have not been publicly named by the Catholic Diocese in Illinois.

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston ‘strongly rejects’ claims

Herald Star

March 20, 2019

By Linda Comins

The Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said it “strongly and unconditionally rejects” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s assertion that the diocese is not wholly committed to the protection of children.

On Tuesday, Morrisey filed a civil lawsuit against the diocese and its retired bishop, the Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, for allegedly failing to protect children from sexual abusers.

Diocesan spokesman Tim Bishop released a statement from the diocese late Tuesday.

Church officials stated, “The diocese will address the litigation in the appropriate forum. However, the diocese strongly and unconditionally rejects the complaint’s assertion that the diocese is not wholly committed to the protection of children, as reflected in its rigorous Safe Environment Program, the foundation of which is a zero tolerance policy for any cleric, employee or volunteer credibly accused of abuse.

“The program employs mandatory screening, background checks and training for all employees and volunteers who work with children.”

Bishop said, “The diocese also does not believe that the allegations contained in the complaint fairly portray its overall contributions to the education of children in West Virginia nor fairly portray the efforts of its hundreds of employees and clergy who work every day to deliver quality education in West Virginia.”

Meanwhile, representatives of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests applauded Morrisey’s civil action against the diocese and Bransfield.

John Nienstedt, Detroit’s poster boy for the Catholic Church abuse scandal, is back — and the archdiocese has been keeping it quiet

Metro Times

March 20, 2019

By Michael Betzold

It didn't look like anyone was living at the home north of Port Huron — no cars in the driveway, no tire tracks in what was left of the snow and ice.

Looking through a screen, I saw two pairs of boots on the floor, the corner of a treadmill, and a chair and table. Just as I was going to leave, he got up from the table, clutching a copy of Inside the Vatican magazine.

Suddenly I was face to face with Archbishop John Nienstedt.

He looked surprised but confirmed who he was — then when I started asking questions, he quickly murmured "no, thank you" and shut the door in my face.

Archbishop John Nienstedt. Named as one of the Catholic Church's five top offenders in the entire world who most deserve to be expelled from the priesthood.

Archbishop John Nienstedt. Resigned after a legal settlement that bankrupted the archdiocese he ran in Minnesota because of its cover-up of perpetrator priests.

Archbishop John Nienstedt. Hounded out of Battle Creek by angry parishioners.

Archbishop John Nienstedt. Unwelcome to remain even at right-wing California think tank the Napa Institute.

March 19, 2019

West Virginia Attorney General suing Wheeling-Charleston diocese for falsely advertising safety


Mar 19, 2019

By Erin Beck

West Virginia's attorney general filed a consumer protection lawsuit Tuesday morning against the state's Catholic diocese – the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston – and its former Bishop Michael Bransfield, alleging that Catholic leaders employed predatory priests while falsely advertising a safe environment at Catholic schools and camps.

The Diocese, meanwhile, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon accusing Morrisey of making errors in his lawsuit, and defending itself as "wholly committed to the protection of children."

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office isn't responsible for criminal prosecutions. That task would fall to county prosecutors.

Instead, Morrisey is arguing the Diocese violated the state's Consumer Credit and Protection Act, although he said he has been in touch with some prosecutors.

West Virginia's Consumer Credit and Protection Act states, "Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful."

Morrisey's lawsuit, filed in Wood County circuit court, argues that the Diocese "sells and supplies educational services" and that it "advertised services not delivered" and accuses it of "failure to warn of dangerous services."

"Now some may ask why are we pursuing a consumer protection action in this matter, but the answer is very straightforward," Morrisey said, during a press conference at the State Capitol Tuesday. "Every parent who pays a tuition for a service falling under our consumer protection laws deserves to know that their schools that their children are attending are safe.

"Now this is obviously not a common action for our office to file but it is a critical one, as the public relies upon the state attorney general to enforce a variety of laws, especially as they may impact the well-being of children, our most precious resource."

In August of 2018, a Pennsylvania grand jury issued a report identifying hundreds of predatory priests, including one or more who worked in West Virginia, according to the lawsuit.

Morrisey said his office began their investigation in September of 2018 into whether Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children had worked in West Virginia.

West Virginia accuses Catholic diocese of violating consumer protection law by hiring pedophile priests

NBC News

March 19, 2019

By Corky Siemaszko

The West Virginia attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming that a local Roman Catholic diocese and former bishop failed to protect children from predator priests and teachers — and violated consumer protection laws by not alerting parents there were abusers on the payroll.

The suit takes what appears to be a novel approach by using state consumer protection laws, with parents as "purchasers" of services for their children.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey claims in the suit that former Bishop Michael Bransfield and the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese engaged in "intentional concealment."

"Omissions of these material facts caused the purchasers of their educational and recreational services to buy inherently dangerous services for their children for many decades,” the court papers state.

The lawsuit, which cites the specific West Virginia code that Bransfield and the diocese allegedly violated, is seeking a permanent court order “blocking the diocese from continuation of any such conduct.”

Authorities: Pa. native and W.Va. bishop Michael Bransfield knowingly employed pedophiles

The Philadelphia Inquirer

March 19, 2019

By Jeremy Roebuck and William Bender

West Virginia authorities on Tuesday accused Michael J. Bransfield, a Philadelphia native and former Roman Catholic bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va., and his predecessors of “knowingly employing pedophiles” — including some priests cited in last year’s Pennsylvania grand jury report examining decades of clergy sex abuse and cover-up.

In a civil suit, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey alleged that West Virginia’s prelates had endangered children for decades by failing to conduct adequate background checks or disclose abuse accusations against clerics and diocesan employees to parents in the parishes where those people were assigned.

In some cases cited in the filings, child molesters were allowed to stay in parish assignments that brought them in routine contact with minors for years after they had admitted their crimes.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of high-profile civil actions taken by state authorities across the country in the last year against a church that they say has been too slow to respond to — and in some cases covered-up — a crisis of sex abuse within its ranks.

Mr. Bransfield — the scion of a family of prominent Philadelphia clerics who resigned last year facing his own allegations of sexual misconduct — dismissed Tuesday’s action as little more than a fishing expedition.

“I don’t understand why there is a sudden concern,” he said in an interview with the Inquirer. “Considering the publicity about my own situation, they’re trying to find other things that could have happened. This is all happening because of what’s happening to me.”

A spokesperson from the diocese disputed the suit’s allegations, though he said in a statement that church officials would address the matter in “the appropriate forum.”

Survivors of clergy abuse want more transparency about accused priest


March 19, 2019

By Eric Graves

Victims of clergy sexual abuse said the Jefferson City Diocese needs to be more open about a priest recently put under investigation for "boundary violations with a minor."

Father Geoffrey Brooke has been barred from practicing while the diocese investigates the allegations.

David Clohessy, a representative of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Bishop Shawn McKnight should release the work history of any priest accused of sexual misconduct.

"The more information we have the better we can protect our families," he said.

Clohessy said Brooke's work wasn't confined to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jefferson City. Brooke also worked at the Newman Center, a gathering place for Catholics on the University of Missouri campus, Clohessy said.

Helen Osman, a representative of diocese, said she could not confirm whether Brooke was involved at the Newman Center.

A student there, Tyler Peterson, said he knows Brooke.

Peterson told KOMU 8 Brooke went to the Newman Center and attended MU, "like 10 years ago."

Peterson said he took a class taught by Brooke at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He said, during the time he was in Brooke's class, he did not notice anything wrong.

“There’s nothing that I know of that would make me think he would do anything malicious to children or anyone like that," Peterson said.

He said he is not going to make any judgments until there is an investigation.

“I want to know the details, and, for now, he should definitely not have his name slandered," Petterson said.

The Jefferson City Diocese maintains a web page listing clergy who have been accused of abuse. Clohessy said, in addition to the names, it should include all of the locations where that clergy member has worked.

Survivors accuse Missouri bishop of witholding details about abusive priests

Columbia Tribune

March 19, 2019

By Roger McKinney

With Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the background, two members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests accused Bishop Shawn McKnight and the diocese of Jefferson City of continuing to withhold information about abusive priests.

“We’re here to essentially protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s president based in St. Louis.

Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr., a priest at Immaculate Conception Church and School in Jefferson City, has been placed on administrative leave while being investigated for allegations of “boundary violations” with minors. The bishop sent an email to school families, which was passed on to a Jefferson City reporter. The email said the Missouri Children’s Division hotline had been notified.

Clohessy said Brooke previously was at the Newman Center at the University of Missouri, something not revealed by the bishop.

“He thought it wouldn’t show up in the press,” Clohessy said about the bishop’s failure to disclose information. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Clohessy said he didn’t know details, but Brooke was at the Newman Center recently because he was ordained just in 2015.

“It is tragically reckless that Bishop McKnight continues to be secretive about these dangerous clerics,” Clohessy said.

Clohessy said Brooke was ordained long after a screening process for priests was established in 2002, but he added that he didn’t think there’s any way of screening for child abusers.

The diocese in December added the name of Mel Lahr to the list of priests with credible allegations of abuse. Clohessy said Lahr was a pastor at Sacred Hearth Catholic Church in the 1970s and 1980s.

Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese Removes Names of Former Archbishops From Buildings

WUWM Radio

March 19, 2019

By Latoya Dennis

Former Archbishops William Cousins and Rembert Weakland's names have removed from buildings in Milwaukee

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee has removed the names of two former Milwaukee Archbishops -- William Cousins and Rembert Weakland -- from buildings as part of the church’s response to sexual abuse by clergy.

The Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center, which was named in honor of William Cousins, will be renamed on Friday. And Rembert Weakland’s name has been removed from the parish center at St. John the Evangelist in downtown Milwaukee.

Cousins and Weakland led the Milwaukee Archdiocese between 1958 and 2002 and helped cover up clergy sexual abuse of children.

Jerry Topczewski is chief of staff for current Archbishop Jerome Listecki, and says he hopes the name removals provide healing for victims.

Cardinal Barbarin remains archbishop, takes leave-of-absence

Catholic News Service

March 19, 2019

By Hannah Brockhaus

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin will remain the Archbishop of Lyon, the Vatican announced Tuesday. According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis has not accepted the cardinal's resignation, though Barbarin has stepped back from the day-to-day leadership of the diocese.

Barbarin was convicted by a French tribunal on March 7 on charges of failing to report allegations of sexual abuse committed by a priest of his diocese. He was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and plans to appeal the verdict.

Barbarin met with Pope Francis March 18 to submit his resignation as archbishop. Papal spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said March 19 that Francis chose to not accept the resignation of Barbarin as Archbishop of Lyon but, aware of the “difficulties” of the archdiocese at the present moment, “left Cardinal Barbarin free to make the best decision for the diocese.”

According to Gisotti, Barbarin has decided to “retire for a time,” leaving the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Lyon in charge during his absence.

In a statement on the Lyon archdiocesan website March 19, the cardinal said the pope did not want to accept his resignation, “invoking the presumption of innocence.”

Catholic Media Figures Discuss Church’s Future

The Heights

March 19, 2019

John L. Allen Jr., editor of online Catholic newspaper Crux, and Rev. Matt Malone, S.J., president and editor-in-chief of American Media, spoke on a panel titled “Revitalizing Our Church: Ideas from the Catholic Press” on Thursday. University Spokesman Jack Dunn moderated the event, the first part of The Church in the 21st Century Center’s three-part Easter Series conversations.

The talk, stylized in a question-and-answer format, was part of an ongoing discussion surrounding numerous sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church. Dunn asked the panelists questions pertaining to both the crisis in general and the media’s role in providing solutions.

“There are things now that we can do that we don’t have to wait to do,” Malone said. “We don’t have counsel. We don’t have to have a change in the magisterium’s articulation of the church’s doctrine. For example, if who is in the room when the decisions are made matters, let’s get a greater amount of diversity in the room where the decisions are made.

“We should take an inventory of every job in the church in this country and ask ourselves if it really has to be done by a cleric, and if it doesn’t, then it should be done by a layperson with a preference for a woman. … If we change the people in the room, the culture will follow.”

Malone also said that introducing more women into the clergy would be beneficial, noting that there are already female chancellors, or bishops’ law officers.

“If we keep governing the church as if it’s 1955, it’s going to be a long way to Easter,” he said.

Dunn asked Allen about the role of the Catholic press in the journey toward the renewal of the church. Allen replied that he sees himself as a journalist who happens to be Catholic rather than a Catholic journalist, maintaining that the press is formed by secular institutions and that it should remain a secular enterprise uninfluenced by Catholic doctrine.

Pope Rejects Resignation of French Cardinal Convicted of Abuse Cover-Up

New York Times

March 19, 2019

By Elisabetta Povoledo and Aurelien Breeden

Pope Francis has rejected the resignation of a French cardinal, the Vatican announced on Tuesday, despite the cardinal’s conviction this month for covering up decades-old allegations of sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese.

A French court found Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, guilty on March 7 of failing to report abuse to the authorities, and imposed a six-month suspended sentence.

Cardinal Barbarin, 68, promptly offered to resign, though he is appealing the verdict. He met with Pope Francis on Monday to personally hand in his resignation, but both the cardinal and a Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said on Tuesday that the pope had not accepted it.

Instead, they said, the cardinal, one of the highest-ranking and best-known Roman Catholic officials in France, will step aside for an unspecified length of time.

Cardinal Barbarin said in a statement that the pope had acted “invoking the presumption of innocence.”

“He gave me the freedom to make the decision that seemed best, today, for the life of the Lyon diocese,” the cardinal said. At the pope’s suggestion, he said, he was stepping aside “for a while,” effective immediately, and would leave the day-to-day handling of church affairs to Father Yves Baumgarten, the vicar-general in Lyon.

Alleged Abuse Victim Calls For Removal Of UWS Priest


March 19, 2019

By Brendan Krisel,

A man who claims he was abused by a priest as a freshman at Cardinal Hayes High School in the 90s is calling on the Archdiocese of New York to remove the priest from his current posting on the Upper West Side.

Rafael Mendoza and his lawyers stood across from the Church of Notre Dame with his lawyers Tuesday morning and called on the church to suspect the church's administrator Monsignor John Paddack so that he cannot have any more contact with children. Mendoza and four other unnamed victims claimed they were abused by Paddack between 1988 and 2002 when the priest taught at three different high schools.

"He took advantage of me when I was at my weakest point," Mendoza said Tuesday. "I believe he should be removed. I don't know if he is still [abusing] anyone else or any kids out there."

Mendoza said Paddack abused him in 1996 during his freshman year at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx when he was just 14 years old. Mendoza was new to the school and said he was abusing pills and suicidal when he reached out to Paddack, the school's counselor, for help.

West Virginia attorney general sues Catholic diocese, says pedophile priests knowingly hired

USA Today

March 19, 2019

By Chris Woodyard

West Virginia's attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a retired Catholic bishop and a diocese alleging that they knowingly employing pedophile priests and failed to conduct adequate background checks.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's suit follows the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston's disclosure last November of 18 priests who were credibly accused of having sexually abused children over a span from 1950 through last summer and another 13 who were accused in other states and then came to West Virginia, though no complaints were lodged against them there.

"The diocese and its bishops chose to cover up and conceal arguably criminal behavior of admitted child sex abusers," the lawsuit states.

The diocese had no immediate comment. In September, it announced Bishop Michael Bransfield's retirement and said he had been under investigation over allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties. A team of investigators had interviewed 40 people over four months and delivered its findings to the Vatican, the diocese said.

West Virginia sues Catholic diocese for knowingly hiring sexual abusers of children


March 19, 2019

By Gabriella Borter

West Virginia officials sued the state’s Roman Catholic diocese on Tuesday, accusing the church of knowingly employing priests and lay people in schools, parishes and camps who had admitted sexually assaulting children.

The lawsuit alleges the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston violated consumer protection laws by failing to disclose possible unsafe conditions at schools, parishes and camps caused by the employment of people who had records of child sexual assault. It seeks unspecified financial damages.

The lawsuit, which follows an investigation by the state, marks the latest move by U.S. officials to take on long-running patterns of sex abuse, which have driven down attendance and undercut the church leadership’s moral authority around the world in recent years.

“The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese engaged in a pattern of denial and cover-up when it discovered its priests were sexually abusing children, particularly in schools and camps run by the Catholic Church and funded through tuition paid by West Virginia consumers,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said at a news conference.

Diocesan representatives did not respond to a request for comment. Attempts to reach the people named as defendants, including priests and bishops, were unsuccessful.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the world’s biggest support group for people hurt by religious and institutional authorities, said it was grateful to Morrisey for undertaking the investigation and “bringing these egregious oversights into the light.”

Dallas Jesuit Prep sued over alleged sex abuse by priest on list of ‘credibly accused’

Dallas Morning News

March 19, 2019

By David Tarrant

Three months after members of the Dallas Jesuit community were named on a list of clergy “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of a minor, a lawsuit has been filed by a former student at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.

The suit claims Donald Dickerson, a former Jesuit priest, sexually assaulted the student in the late 1970s. Dickerson was one of 11 men who previously worked at Dallas Jesuit included on a list released by the Jesuits in December of clergy members “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of a minor.

Dickerson was removed from the Jesuit order in 1986 and died in 2018.

The plaintiff in the case -- listed in the suit only as John Doe -- is seeking damages in excess of $1 million, said his attorney, Hal Browne, who filed the suit Monday in Dallas County District Court.

Dallas Jesuit Prep and the Catholic Society of Religious and Literary Education, within the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province, are named as defendants in the suit. The school is located within the Central and Southern Province of the Jesuits.

'It's just a cruel thing to do,' retired Madison priest says of being on sex abuse list.

Mississippi Clarion Ledger

March 19, 2019

By Sara Fowler

For more than 70 years, Father Paul Canonici has been a prominent figure in the Mississippi Catholic community. Tuesday, he was one of more than a dozen priests identified by the church Tuesday who has been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

In his Madison home Monday afternoon, Canonici, 91, spoke for over an hour about the allegations against him.

"I'm not aware that I have abused, that I have done anything that was sexually abusive to people," he said.

A native of Shaw, Canonici joined the priesthood when he was 30 years old. Over the course of his tenure, he served as the diocesan superintendent of education, assistant principal and then principal of St. Joseph High School in Madison as well as the priest for multiple parishes throughout the Jackson metro area.

He retired when he was in his mid 70s, he said, but remained active in the church. Despite his five decades with the diocese, he's not listed on the church's website of retired priests.

Canonici said he's "devastated" to be named on the list of accused priests and feels like the process is "unfair."

Archdiocese of Milwaukee to drop names from Cousins, Weakland centers

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

March 19, 2019

By Bruce Vielmetti

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced Tuesday it would remove the names of former archbishops William E. Cousins and Rembert G. Weakland from buildings as part of the Catholic Church's response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The sign at the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center in St. Francis will be removed at noon, and a new name announced with a temporary sign at 10 a.m. Friday., according to the announcement from the archdiocese.

The Weakland Center is located north of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Milwaukee and is the site of parish offices and outreach initiatives. It was named after Weakland following the renovation of the cathedral and the surrounding block in 2000.

Catholic MP urges Pope to take 'urgent' action to reform Church

The Tablet

March 19, 2019

A senior Catholic MP has written to Pope Francis warning him that the Church is facing its worst crisis since the Reformation.

Sir Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, calls on the Pope to take "urgent and strong action" to renew the Catholic Church, arguing that even among the faithful, "there is widespread disillusion".

Reiterating the comment by the Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge that the Church's credibility is "shot to pieces", Sir Edward says the policy must be one of zero tolerance: "Half measures will not do. Only root and branch reform will cut out this cancer." Priests proven to have abused children must be stripped of the priesthood, he says, not just moved around, or covered up.

Jackson bishop to release names of clergy, ministers accused of abuse


March 19, 2019

By Ryan Phillips

Bishop Joseph Kopacz of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson will hold a press conference Tuesday to formally release the names of clergy and lay ministers connected to the Diocese who are “credibly accused of abuse.”

The move comes amid both a nationwide push for transparency from the church as it relates to priests accused of abuse and local incidents in the Starkville parish and Jackson diocese that have drawn backlash from parishioners and prompted a federal investigation.

Parishioners under the Jackson diocese were notified over the weekend through a letter from Bishop Kopacz, announcing the list of accused clergy would be made public during a press conference Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle on North West Street in Jackson.

“We know that this list will cause pain to many individuals and communities and I am truly, deeply sorry for that pain,” Bishop Kopacz said. “The crime of abuse of any kind is a sin, but the abuse of children and vulnerable adults is especially egregious. First and foremost, it is a sin against the innocent victims, but also a sin against the Church and our communities. It is a sin that cries out for justice.”

The bishop will be joined by members of his chancery team during the press conference, including Chancellor and Archivist Mary Woodward and Coordinator for the Office of Child Protection Vickie Carollo.

Defrocked KCK priest no longer holds active medical license in Kansas or Missouri

Kansas City Star

March 19, 2019

By Judy L. Thomas

A priest of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas defrocked last year over what church leaders said were credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors is no longer licensed to practice medicine in Kansas and Missouri.

John H. Wisner, who had been a priest for more than 45 years, also was a psychiatrist who held a medical license in both states. Those licenses remained valid months after he was defrocked.

But now, an “active licensee” search for Wisner’s name in Missouri professional registration records comes up empty. And Kansas records currently list Wisner’s license — which wasn’t due to expire until July 31 — as “inactive.”

“The designation of inactive is available for a person who is not regularly engaged in the practice of healing arts in Kansas and who does not hold oneself out to the public as being professionally engaged in such practice,” said Kathleen Selzler Lippert, executive director of the state Board of Healing Arts, in an email to The Star.

Rosemary Nolan reflects on brother's abuse by 'paedophile priest'

Naracoorte Herald

March 19, 2019

By Lee Curnow

As the world followed Cardinal George Pell's sex crimes trial, one Apsley resident was watching closer than most.

Rosemary Nolan is one of hundreds of western Victorians who have been directly or indirectly affected by the actions of Cardinal Pell and his cohort of so-called "paedophile priests".

Rosemary's family - and many other people she knows from her time growing up in Edenhope - were impacted forever by a three-year stint in their town by now convicted paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.

"Ridsdale arrived in 1976 in Edenhope and was there for three years. Eventually it came out that whilst he was in Edenhope, he was abusing boys," Rosemary recalls.

"He was the first of the modern priests, he had a flash car, he was extremely friendly. We were so naive, we didn't even know there was such a thing as a paedophile."

Sadly, Rosemary's brother John Ruth became one of Ridsdale's victims during that time.]

Convicted paedophile priest Paul David Ryan pleads guilty to sexually abusing three children

The Australian

March 19, 2019

By Tessa Akerman

A convicted paedophile priest who confessed his abuse to another paedophile priest has pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to sexually abusing three children.

Paul David Ryan today pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault, one count of sexual penetration with a person aged between 16 and 18 years and one count of indecent act with a child under 16.

Ryan was committed to stand trial on nine charges but ultimately pleaded guilty to just three.

In a separate case, Ryan had pleaded guilty in 2006 to three charges of indecent assault against one victim.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse heard authorities would have known about Ryan’s “activities with adolescent boys” by 1981-1982.

Ryan said he made confessions to priests, including now deceased Ronald Pickering, also a paedophile, as a way to reconcile his actions with God.

“I know that was very seriously flawed. I mean I was seriously flawed in the way I assessed myself and fooled myself, rationalised I suppose is the word,” Ryan told the commission.

Pope doesn't accept Barbarin resignation

Agenzia Nazionale Stampa

March 2019

Pope Francis has not accepted the resignation of Lyon Archbishop Philippe Barbarin, found guilty earlier this month of failing to report sexual abuse of minors in the 1970s and '80s at the scout camps of Father Bernard Preyna, and sentenced to six months in jail, Vatican Spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said Tuesday.

But "the Holy Father has left Cardinal Barbarin free to take the best decision for the Diocese and Cardinal Barbarin has decided to retire for a period of time," Gisotti said.

Vicar General Yves Baumgarten will take over the diocese, Gisotti said.

Barbarin, 68, was sentenced to six months in jail by a Lyon court on March 7.

It was a conditional sentence.

Barbarin tenders his resignation as archbishop after the sentence.

The Catholic Church has been roiled by abuse scandals and last month a Vatican summit of world bishops vowed zero tolerance on the issue.

Also last month, former Vatican No.3 George Pell became the top Catholic Church figure to be convicted of sex abuse of minors, in his native Australia.

Jefferson City priest placed on leave by Diocese

KWOS Radio

March 19, 2019

A Jefferson City priest is on administrative leave after allegations of what are called ‘boundary violations with minors’. Father Geoffery Brooke serves at Immaculate Conception Parish. The Missouri Children’s Division confirms they received a hotline call about the priest. The agency is heading up the investigation. The Diocese published a list of staff accused of sexually abusing children last fall.

Letter: Doubt any popes or high Catholic church officials in heaven

Roanoke Times

March 19, 2019

How can any group or organization call itself a Church and advocate a set of religious beliefs while amassing a fortune of over $150 billion. Right now I’m talking about the Catholic Church. WWJD??? Would He approve? What was that thing He did with the money changers in the Temple a few years back?

Throughout its history the Catholic Church has had numerous financial scandals and now the clerical sex abuse scandal is out in the open. How long has it been going on?? Ever since this so-called church was established, I’m sure. And I’m equally sure that every pope who ever sat in Rome has known about it and I bet some of them were guilty also. I will never believe Pope John Paul, who is now a saint, didn’t know about the abuse, as Pope Francis has known about it for years. Aren’t they guilty of aiding and abetting? Isn’t that a criminal act? Isn’t pedophilia a crime? Why aren’t hundreds of priests, bishops, cardinals and other assorted officials of the Catholic Church in prison?

I read that the pope had “punished” a cardinal by banishing him. Gee whiz, poor guy. He can’t go to Mass any more. I guess he will have to join another church, perhaps another one that has amassed a fortune and yet preaches about money being the root of all evil.

Two more alleged predators were in Columbia

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Two more alleged predators were in Columbia

One, ousted last week, was at MU Newman Center

The other, ‘outed’ last month, was at a local parish

A third priest, just publicly accused, worked nearby

SNAP wants University officials to “do real outreach”

Group also wants mid-MO bishop to update accused list


Holding childhood photos and signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose
--that a just-ousted publicly accused priest worked in Columbia.
--the name of another publicly accused abusive priest who worked in mid-MO, and
--the name of a third publicly accused abusive priest who worked nearby.

Only one of them is on the Jefferson City diocese’s list of accused clerics.

They will also prod
--University of Missouri officials to “aggressively reach out to ex-staff and students” who may have been hurt by the just-ousted accused priest, and
--mid-Missouri’s Catholic bishop to do the same.

Tuesday, March 19 at 11:00 a.m.

Today in history


March 19, 2019

In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.

Abuse summit achieved something, but not what pope or bishops expected

National Catholic Reporter

March 19, 2019

By Thomas P. Doyle

The so-called "summit" on the clergy sex abuse crisis was not a total failure. The process and the outcome of the Feb. 21-24 meeting of bishops at the Vatican were clearly a serious disappointment to the victim-survivors, their families and countless others who hoped for something concrete to happen. The accomplishments can only be understood in the context of the totality of the event: the speeches, especially those of the three women, the bishops' deliberations, the media reaction, and the presence and participation of the victims-survivors from at least 20 countries.

I have been directly involved in this nightmare since 1984, when the reality of sexual violation of the innocent by clerics, and the systemic lying and cover-up by the hierarchy (from the papacy on down) emerged from layers of ecclesiastical secrecy into the open. By 1985, Pope John Paul II and several high-ranking Vatican clerics possessed detailed information about what was quickly turning into the church's worst crisis since the Dark Ages.

From that time onward, bishops on various levels of church bureaucracy have been engaged in almost nonstop rhetoric about the issue that has been a mixture of denial, blame-shifting, minimization, explanations (the most bizarre, that it's the work of the devil), apologies, expressions of regret, promises of change. The rhetoric has been accompanied by procedures, policies, protocols and a few changes in canon law. The gathering in February was no exception.

Who killed a disgraced ex-priest from N.J.? Nevada police still investigating mysterious death.


March 19, 2019

By Chris Kudialis

More than a week after police found him shot in the neck in his house in the Nevada desert, John Capparelli’s killer remains a mystery.

Police say they are still investigating who shot the disgraced ex-priest from New Jersey in the kitchen of the well-kept house where the alleged child molester had started a new life.

“We have no additional information,” said Officer Rod Peña, a spokesman for the Henderson, Nevada, police department.

The Catholic Church wants you to move on

The Star-Ledger

March 17, 2019

By Drew Sheneman

The NJ dioceses release of 188 priests accused of sexual abuse was a step in the right direction toward transparency and finally healing the gaping wounds left by the massive, worldwide sexual abuse scandal. The Pope has been saying all the right things, as well as openly addressing the abuse scandal, which would have been unthinkable under different church leadership.

Transparency and openness are good, but the church’s contrition apparently only goes so far. It stops at the statute of limitations for civil cases brought against it. The church is happy to admit wrongdoing and act contrite, as long as it doesn’t cost them anything.

Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese of Orange and Priest

Anderson Advocates

March 18, 2019

Diocese Protected Fr. John Ruhl In Spite of Multiple Abuse Accusations

What: At a press conference Tuesday in Santa Ana, California, survivors, advocates, and the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates will:

• Announce a lawsuit on behalf of a man naming the Diocese of Orange and Fr. John E. Ruhl as defendants. The lawsuit alleges that Fr. Ruhl sexually abused the boy at a Placentia parish.

• Discuss the lawsuit and history of Fr. Ruhl, who has now been accused of sexually abusing at least four students before being incardinated in the Diocese of Orange.

• Address troubling public safety danger and lack of information regarding the whereabouts and status of this alleged offender.

• Challenge Bishop Kevin W. Vann to publicly and permanently take action against Fr. Ruhl and to release the identities, whereabouts and files of all clergy accused of sexual misconduct that have ever associated with the Diocese of Orange, including Fr. Ruhl.

• Demand Bishop Vann release the names of all Church officials, past and present, in the Diocese of Orange, who were complicit in concealing child sex abuse.

When/Where: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM PST
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Santa Ana – Orange County Airport
Ballroom F
201 E. MacArthur Boulevard
Santa Ana, California 92707

March 18, 2019

Catholic Diocese to publish list of Mississippi clergy accused of sex abuse


March 19, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Jackson is releasing names of Mississippi clergy members it said have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz said the list will be published Tuesday on the Diocese website.

"We know that this list will cause pain to many individuals and communities and I am truly, deeply sorry for that pain," Kopacz said in a letter released Monday. "The crime of abuse of any kind is a sin, but the abuse of children and vulnerable adults is especially egregious. First and foremost, it is a sin against the innocent victims, but also a sin against the Church and our communities. It is a sin that cries out for justice."

The bishop said he encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a clergy member or church employee to come forward.

"We know it can take years for a victim to come forward," Kopacz said. "We want to hear from those who have been abused by a member of the clergy or an employee of the church. Not only is it our legal duty to report these cases, helping victims find healing and wholeness is our moral imperative."

Kopacz also said the church is taking steps to prevent abuse, including screening and educating employees and volunteers.

"I apologize from the depths of my heart to those who have been sexually abused by clergy and church personnel, to the families damaged by these crimes and to the Catholic community for the scandal this scourge has brought upon our Church," Kopacz said. "There is no room for this evil in our society or our churches."

After years of abuse by priests, #NunsToo are speaking out

National Public Radio

March 18, 2019

By Sylvia Poggioli

In February, Pope Francis acknowledged a longstanding dirty secret in the Roman Catholic Church — the sexual abuse of nuns by priests.

It's an issue that had long been kept under wraps, but in the #MeToo era, a #NunsToo movement has emerged, and now sexual abuse is more widely discussed.

The Vatican's wall of silence was first broken in Women Church World, a supplement of the official Vatican daily, L'Osservatore Romano. An article in the February issue by editor Lucetta Scaraffia — a history professor, mother and feminist — blamed abuse of women and minors on the clerical culture of the all-powerful priesthood. The piece was based on hundreds of stories she heard from nuns.

It's very hard for a nun to report she has been raped by a priest, says Scaraffia, because of the mindset that, in sex, women can always say no.

"These nuns believe they're the guilty ones for having seduced that holy man into committing sin," she says, "because that's what they've always been taught."

Adding to the trauma, she says, raped nuns who get pregnant become outcasts from their orders.

"These poor women are forced to leave their order and live alone raising their child with no help," she says. "Sometimes they're forced to have abortions — paid by the priest because nuns have no money."

"We are unobserved, invisible, ignored and not respected"

Sister Catherine Aubin, a French Dominican nun who teaches theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, says the abuse is the result of male domination in church leadership.

"The Vatican is a world of men," she says. "Some truly are men of God. Others have been ruined by power. The key to these secrets and silence is ... abuse of power. They climb up a career staircase toward evil."

Aubin, who also works on Women Church World, describes women's treatment inside the male Vatican world this way: "We are unobserved, invisible, ignored and not respected."

The first extensive report on abuse of women in the church was in 1994 by an Irish nun, Sister Maura O'Donohue. Her report covered more than 20 countries — mostly in Africa, but also Ireland, Italy, the Philippines and the United States.

List of Mississippi priests accused of sexual abuse to be released

Magnolia State Live

March 18, 2019

A list of Mississippi Catholic priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse is scheduled to be publicly released Tuesday in the church’s effort for full disclosure.

Parishioners across Mississippi were given a letter from Bishop Joseph Kopacz, The Clarion Ledger reported. In the letter Kopacz wrote that the release of the list would cause pain to some people and communities.

Kopacz wrote that while he regretted the pain the release of the names is likely to cause, he acknowledged sexual abuse against children and vulnerable adults was “especially egregious.”

Tuesday’s expected release follows a number of similar lists released by Catholic dioceses across the country.

Maryland House of Delegates OKs bill lifting age limits on filing child sexual abuse lawsuits

Baltimore Sun

March 18, 2019

By Pamela Wood

The Maryland House of Delegates on Monday approved a bill removing the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits arising from child sexual abuse.

The House passed the bill by a bipartisan vote of 136-2 without debate, sending it to the state Senate for consideration.

The bill would allow victims of child sexual abuse to file a lawsuit anytime. And victims who previously were barred from filing a lawsuit because of the prior limits would have a two-year window to file a lawsuit.

Under current law, child sexual abuse victims have until age 38 to file a lawsuit. The law was expanded from age 25 to age 38 two years ago.

The vote to lift the statute of limitations was applauded by advocates for sexual abuse victims.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said that if the bill becomes law, it would take Maryland from having “one of the worst” statute of limitations laws to “one of the best.”

“Survivors of sexual abuse, both child victims and adult survivors, will have a fairer opportunity to seek justice in this state,” read a statement from SNAP Maryland.

The two-year window for lawsuits “will open the doors of the courts to allow past victims a chance at justice and to expose predators,” SNAP Maryland said.

There’s been an increasing focus on child sexual abuse as the public has become more aware of the scope of abuse committed by Catholic priests, which bill sponsor Del. C.T. Wilson cited in arguing in favor of his bill Saturday.

Locally, it was recently revealed that 10 adults in positions of power at the private Key School in Annapolis sexually abused students in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

SNAP Urges Pope Francis to Fire French Cardinal Sentenced for Ignoring Abuse

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 18, 2019

Today, a French Cardinal who two weeks ago was given a six-month suspended sentence ignoring allegations of sexual abuse will meet with Pope Francis to tender his resignation.

We hope that rather than accept the resignation letter of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin that Pope Francis will instead make the decision to fire him. While in practice, both situations mean Cardinal Barbarin will be removed from his position of power, we believe that it is critical for the Pope to show that he is taking this crisis seriously by taking deliberate action against those who would perpetuate it.

At the end of his summit, Pope Francis called for an “all-out battle” to end clergy sexual abuse. In failing to report allegations, Cardinal Barbarin is a deserter in the Pope’s army – as such, he should be fired when he and the Pope meet, not allowed to resign with his title intact.

Regardless of what happens today, we hope that those paying attention to this case will realize how critical it is to bring allegations immediately to police and prosecutors, not church officials.

Sex Abuse Must Be Reported By Clergy, Senate Bill Contends


March 18, 2019

By Sue Wood

California Sen. Jerry Hill, (D-San Mateo), has introduced legislation to require clergy of all faiths to report suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement without regard to the circumstances.

Although current law includes clergy members in the list of 46 professionals with social workers and teachers as mandated reporters, the law also exempts clergy from such reporting if they gain their knowledge or suspicion of the crimes during "a penitential communication."

Senate Bill 360 would remove that exemption.

"SB 360 is about the safety and protection of children," said Hill, who represents San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. "Individuals who harm children or are suspected of harming children must be reported so a timely investigation by law enforcement can occur. The law should apply equally to all professionals who have been designated as mandated reporters of these crimes – with no exceptions, period. The exemption for clergy only protects the abuser and places children at further risk."

Judy Klapperich-Larson, vice president of Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests' Board of Directors, expressed strong support of the legislation on behalf of SNAP, which was founded 31 years ago and now has supporters throughout the world.

Human rights organisation criticises church's 'meaningless words'

Buckingham Today

March 18, 2019

By Sam Dean

Last week former Catholic priest Francis McDermott, who practised in Aylesbury between 1990 and 2005, was sent to prison for almost ten years for sexually abusing six children in the 1970s. During the trial, which this reporter attended, a common theme throughout was the importance of Mr McDermott's role as a priest with regards to enabling him to commit his crimes for so long undetected.

Stephen Evans, CEO of The National Secular Society Many victims spoke of their parents' piety and consequent lack of scrutiny of the priest's behaviour, resulting in them being left alone as young children for hours at a time with a man in his thirties.

One victim said: “Because of their Catholic faith they believed what they were told – that's what the Catholic religion meant to my mother – she wouldn't question it.”

French cardinal, convicted of abuse cover-up, meets pope

Catholic News Service

March 18, 2019

As he announced he would do after he was convicted of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon met Pope Francis March 18 to hand in his resignation.

The Vatican confirmed the meeting took place but gave no details and no immediate sign of whether the pope agreed that the 68-year-old cardinal should step down.

The cardinal's lawyers have filed an appeal of the conviction, which was handed down March 7 by a French court. Barbarin was given a six-month suspended sentence.

The court found the cardinal guilty of covering up abuse by Fr. Bernard Preynat at Lyon's Saint-Luc Parish, where he ran a large Catholic Scout group in the 1970s and 1980s. Although Barbarin did not become head of the Lyon archdiocese until 2002, it was alleged that he had known of the abuse at least since 2010.

Barbarin suspended Preynat in 2015, and in 2016, the priest was charged with abuse and rape; he is awaiting trial.

Judge delays decision on change of venue request in Catholic priest’s sex abuse trial

Saginaw News

March 17, 2019

By Bob Johnson

The attorney for Robert “Father Bob” DeLand Jr. argued in a Saginaw County District courtroom Monday that extensive media coverage will make it difficult to seat an unbiased jury in the Saginaw Catholic priest’s upcoming trial.

During the hearing that took place on Monday, March 18, in Judge Darnell Jackson’s courtroom, attorney Alan Crawford asked for a change of venue as well as additional challenges when vetting potential jurors.

“It’s going to be rare that we find anyone who hasn’t heard anything about this case,” Crawford said.

Prosecution argued that media coverage was not grounds for a venue change and called it premature.

The attorney is claiming heavy media coverage has prejudiced potential jurors against his client.

Jackson denied the additional challenges of potential jurors that Crawford requested, but did not rule on a venue change, stating that he will reserve that ruling for once jury selection begins.

Immaculate Conception priest put on leave

ABC 17 News

March 18, 2019

By Madison Fleck

A priest at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was placed on leave last week after he was accused of "boundary violations with minors."

Father Geoffrey Brooke was placed on leave while the allegations are investigated, according to a notice sent by Rev. W. Shawn McKnight to church members on March 10. The allegations were reported to the Missouri Children’s Division hotline, which will investigate the situation. The Diocesan Review Board will then review the results of the investigation and make a recommendation on how the Diocese should handle the issue.

Father Joshua Duncan was appointed as the part-time associate pastor for the Immaculate Conception parish, starting Monday.

The Diocese of Jefferson City released a list of clergy or brothers credibly accused of sexually abusing children in November.

Allegations against Brooke were made after the list was released, and those allegations will not be considered credible until the investigation has been completed, said Helen Osman, a spokeswoman with the Diocese of Jefferson City.

2nd Annual Rally Event Planned

For Such a Time as This blog

Anti-Abuse Rally Planned Outside 2019 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting

In June 2018, For Such a Time as This Rally gathered in Dallas outside the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting to call for decisive action on addressing abuse. With the Houston Chronicle’s three-part series “Abuse of Faith” published a week ago, the urgency of abuse within the SBC cannot be overstated.

Today, For Such a Time as This Rally is announcing it will join the SBC’s 2019 annual meeting, this time in Birmingham, Alabama on June 11-12, 2019.

Rally organizers have requested appointments with SBC President J.D. Greear and met with representatives of his office. Representatives from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is overseeing the Sexual Abuse Study Group, have also met with rally organizers. While rally organizers appreciate recent announcements and apologies in the wake of the Houston Chronicle’s coverage, there remains a long road ahead.

One of those who raised the alarm over abuse in the SBC decades ago is #ChurchToo survivor, advocate, and attorney Christa Brown. She responded to Greear’s unveiling of www.churchcares.com website and curriculum by stating: “J.D. Greear promised ‘bold steps.’ This isn't bold. It’s bare-bones. The SBC still has a long ways to go.”

Why Am I Still Writing For Patheos Catholic?

Patheos blog

March 18, 2019

By Melinda Selmys

Several months ago, I announced that I was no longer able to worship in the Catholic Church. This has prompted several people to ask, quite reasonably, why I am still blogging for the Catholic channel. They deserve an answer.

When The Field Hospital Isn’t Safe

First, it’s important to understand that I haven’t rejected Catholicism. I’m currently working out how I feel and think in the aftermath of an abusive marriage, and there is a strong relationship between that marriage and my faith. I converted alongside my ex, and to a large degree my relationship with him formed and shaped my religious beliefs and practice.

“Hemos llevado a la justicia 105 casos de pederastia en la Iglesia mexicana”

["We have brought to justice 105 cases of pedophilia in the Mexican Church"]

El País (Spain)

March 17, 2019

By Georgina Zerega

El secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal mexicana, Alfonso Miranda, exige a los obispos notificar a las autoridades los casos de abuso sexual

La Iglesia mexicana promete haber iniciado la lucha contra la pederastia. Lo hace a viva voz. Una institución que se ha mantenido durante décadas bajo la sombra de resonantes casos de abuso contra menores, se dispone ahora a investigarlos. A dos semanas de haber vuelto de la cumbre del Papa en Roma, Alfonso Miranda, secretario general de la conferencia episcopal mexicana, atiende a EL PAÍS por teléfono y revela los primeros resultados del único registro interno que se ha hecho sobre el tema. “Hemos presentado ante la autoridad civil 105 casos”, dice

Sacerdotes suscriben carta contra abusos en la Iglesia: Agrupación de Laicos pide medidas concretas

[Priests sign letter against abuses in the Church: Lay group calls for concrete measures]


March 18, 2019

By Alberto González and Edgar Pfennings

70 sacerdotes suscribieron una carta en contra de los abusos sexuales ocurridos al interior de la Iglesia Católica, la que fue leída en misas a lo largo del país durante el fin de semana. La Agrupación de Laicos y Denunciantes afirmaron que se necesitan medidas concretas y colaboración con la justicia.

“Esperamos que todos los delitos sean sancionados oportunamente por la justicia civil como corresponde y que también se apliquen las sanciones canónicas más rigurosas”, señala la misiva.

'Spotlight' attorney discusses priest sexual abuse

The Columbus Dispatch

March 15, 2019

Length: 18:45

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, made famous by his portrayal by Stanley Tucci in the 2015 movie 'Spotlight,' tells Dispatch reporters Danae King and Marty Schladen about how he uncovered abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston and sheds some light on clergy abuse in Columbus.

For decades, a sexual predator doctor groomed this community to believe he could do no wrong

NBC News

March 17, 2019

By Corky Siemaszko

“They really circled the wagons and supported Dr. Barto,” one victim said. “You know how predators groom victims? Well, he groomed a community to believe he could do no wrong.”

More than 20 years later, it’s the ribbons that stick out in Erika Brosig’s memory of the day when it seemed like the entire town showed up at the high school football game to support Dr. Johnnie Barto.

Though Brosig, who was 15 and a member of the Richland High School color guard, does not recall the color of the ribbons, she remembers with a still-sickening clarity the feeling when she pinned one on her uniform.

“I remember that ribbon burning a hole in my chest,” Brosig, 36, said.

A 65-year-old Johnstown mother, who asked not to be identified, said she also remembers being at Herlinger Field on that crisp fall day in 1998 and how she waved off a volunteer who tried to give her a ribbon.

Relentless Survivor of childhood sexual abuse pursued indictment of her abuser

The Key News Journal

March 12, 2019

By Patrice K. Muhammad

Now an adult, she says police, prosecutors and the church failed her

In 2017 Tanyqua Oliver attended a church service at House of Prayer in Nicholasville, KY. To her surprise, she said, Darnell Nutter was there.

When Tanyqua was 14, in 2006, the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and Lexington Police investigated Darnell Nutter for raping her over several years, from the age of 9 until she was most 13 years old.

Tanyqua says that Darnell was not a church visitor like her that day, he started helping out and made the alter call, inviting people to accept Jesus and join the church. During the service Tanyqua could not think of anything except the children, she recalled. Children were at the church, many without parents.

Painfully, she confronted the church’s pastor Tammel Thomas, who is her own mother and who was married to Darnell during the years he raped her in their home.

Southern Baptist executive, experts say churches should address abuse of adults

Religion News Service

March 14, 2019

By Adelle M. Banks

A Southern Baptist publishing executive recently revealed that she was a victim of alleged abuse for more than a decade from another Baptist leader.

In an online statement posted Friday (March 8), Jennifer Lyell, director of the books ministry at LifeWay Christian Resources, alleged that she was the victim of a now-resigned professor at the flagship seminary of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

The alleged sexual misconduct and abuse of power started during a mission trip when Lyell was a seminary student and continued for years. She said that she feared coming forward out of concern that revealing what happened would cause “collateral damage.”

“That collateral damage was the reason that the abuse had continued for so long,” she wrote. “The reason that a professor was able to continue grooming and taking advantage of his student was because I became like part of his family.”

As A Survivor Of Sex Abuse By Clergy, Here's What Pell's Sentence Means To Me

10 Daily

March 13, 2019

By Andrew Collins

Hopeful survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and advocate for other victims who can't speak up

I sat in my psychologist’s office watching Pell’s sentencing with him.

I wanted to do it in a safe environment, then have the opportunity to process it and talk about it. I knew that it would have an effect on me, and it did. It reminded me of sitting in court when one of my offenders was sentenced. My stomach was knotted, and I was full of apprehension.

I kept reminding myself that this is just a part of a legal process, and that it isn’t necessarily about justice. The judge has to weigh up a lot of different factors, and needs to explain how he came to the decision that he made. When he spoke of Pell’s character, I understand that he is bound to take this into account, and that it isn’t unusual.

Survivor, activists ask Kzoo diocese to publish names of priests accused of abuse


March 14, 2019

By Lauren Edwards

Ann Phillips Browning said she was on social media Thursday morning when she saw that the local SNAP chapter was going to hold a press conference in front of the Catholic Diocese on Westnedge Avenue at 10:30 a.m. The group was requesting the diocese publish the names of six priests accused of sexual assault.

Browning immediately got in her car and drove five miles in the rain to the presser.

“I thought, that’s interesting I have a list of 12,” Browning said during an interview after the presser. “I wanted to see who their six were and where they came from.”

Browning said she isn’t a part of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. However she supports their mission considering she is a survivor herself.

“I want accountability,” Browning said. “I want every offender to be tracked [and] to be followed.”

Ex-teacher waives hearing

Altoona Mirror

March 14, 2019

A former music teacher accused of grooming and molesting a 14-year-old boy has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Richard Kuiawa, of 2111 16th Ave., appeared briefly at Central Court on Wednes­day to waive 10 charges, including five felonies, related to the alleged sexual abuse of a then-14-year-old boy in 2007 on to Blair County Court.

Kuiawa taught music at Bishop Guil­foyle High School for five years, between 1982 and 1987, and along with being the founder and director of the Keystone Chorale, he ran his own music school where he taught voice and piano.

Faithful taking wait and see approach

Altoona Mirror

March 15, 2019

By Russ O'Reilly

Few details available about Mazur’s placement on leave

About 100 people attended Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona at noon Thursday. Some were visitors who were unaware of recent news, and some were lo­cals who just didn’t hear the news yet.

It’s safe to say more than a few were a bit confused when the presiding priest referenced “difficult times” in the opening and closing prayers.

Monsignor Robert C. Mazur, the Cathedral’s rector since 1995, was placed on leave from public ministry Wednesday.

John McIntyre of Hollidaysburg attends Mass daily at the Cathe­dral or another church.

Regarding Mazur, he said he knew him to be a good man.

George Pell looked a changed man as he was sentenced for his crime

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

March 15, 2019

By Louise Milligan

In the end, he was just an elderly, grey-faced man in the dock.

Not a prince of the church, not a cardinal, but a man convicted of and sentenced for terrible crimes against children.

A man who once flew first class will celebrate his 78th birthday in prison, and at the very least, his 79th, 80th and 81st.

A large part of it will be in protective custody because this man is and remains a lightning rod for discontent in the Australian community and, as a psychiatrist who specialises in child sexual abuse once told me, prisons are full of victims of these crimes.

Cardinal convicted of abuse cover-up meets pope

Catholic News Service

March 18, 2019

As he announced he would do after he was convicted of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon met Pope Francis on 18 March to hand in his resignation.

The Vatican confirmed the meeting took place but gave no details and no immediate sign of whether the pope agreed that the 68-year-old cardinal should step down.

The cardinal's lawyers have filed an appeal of the conviction, which was handed down March 7 by a French court. Cardinal Barbarin was given a six-month suspended sentence.

The court found the cardinal guilty of covering up abuse by Father Bernard Preynat at Lyon's Saint-Luc Parish, where he ran a large Catholic Scout group in the 1970s and 1980s. Although Cardinal Barbarin did not become head of the Lyon archdiocese until 2002, it was alleged that he had known of the abuse at least since 2010.

Former Erie Catholic Diocese Priest Serving Time for Sexually Molesting Two Boys Formally Removed from the Priesthood

Erie News Now

March 15, 2019

Poulson was notified by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on March 5 that he was released from all obligations attached to holy orders.

The former Erie Catholic Diocese priest who is serving time for sexually molesting two boys between 2002 and 2010 has been formally removed from the priesthood, according to a news release from the diocese.

David Poulson was sentenced in January to spend 2 years, 6 months to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children in October.

Poulson was notified by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on March 5 that he was released from all obligations attached to holy orders.

Journalists share experiences covering Nassar cases, sexual assault

The State News

March 13, 2019

By Riley Murdock

A group of journalists and media professionals gathered at the Michigan State Museum Tuesday evening to discuss their experiences covering the Larry Nassar cases and their impact.

The panel discussion, titled "Covering the Crisis: Journalism and Sexual Violence," was the fourth of the "Sister Survivors Speak" series. The series consists of five panels leading up to the opening of the MSU Museum's "Finding our Voices: Sister Survivors Speak" exhibit, set to open April 16.

Among the panelists were Matt Mencarini from the Lansing State Journal, Kim Kozlowski from The Detroit News, Kate Wells from Michigan Radio and independent journalist Alexandra Ilitch. Others on the panel included WKAR Digital News Director Reginald Hardwick and MSU School of Journalism professors Judith Walgren and Joanne Gerstner. The panel was moderated by MSU School of Journalism professor Sue Carter.

Before she started "Believed", a podcast documenting the experiences of Nassar survivors, Wells said it seemed like a really bad idea at first. Nassar was in prison, the national media had moved on and it appeared MSU was starting to be held accountable, she said.

Former GU Hospital Chaplain Barber Admitted to Abusing Minor

The Hoya

March 15, 2019

By Mason Mandell

Fr. Michael Barber, S.J., who was removed from the ministry in 1994, served as a chaplain at the Georgetown University Hospital from 1976 to 1978 in the department of pastoral care, where he assisted patients and staff in their religious life.

But in 1994, Barber, now 76, admitted to sexual abuse of a minor, according to a December 2018 disclosure by the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus.

Georgetown Hospital chaplains offer Mass, visit patients and their families, and counsel staff in decision-making, according to the hospital’s website.

Andrew Rannells Describes the Moment in High School When a Catholic Priest ‘Muscled His Tongue into My Mouth’


March 15, 2019

By Andy Towle

In an excerpt from his new memoir, Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthoodh, Andrew Rannells describes becoming an altar boy in the Catholic Church while he was in high school and was beginning to understand things about his sexual orientation.

In the excerpt, published on Vulture, Rannells discusses his interactions with both the nuns and the priests that operated around the school and church he attended. He said he attended mass once a week and it was during one particular confession that a priest forced himself upon him.

“This was not your typical confession with private rooms and curtains drawn,” wrote Rannells. “Priests would set up two chairs close to each other in various darkened corners of the quad, turn on music at a low volume to muddle the sound of confessions, and then you would basically just get right up in a priest’s face and whisper your sins. Sometimes he would close his eyes and grab the back of your neck firmly while you confessed. It seemed very ‘Roman Wrestler’ at the time, but looking back it was also very ‘Abusive Pimp.’ I waited in line to talk with Father Dominic, who was popular for confessions. I told myself that he was going to be helpful, that this was my best option.”

SNAP calls for less church involvement in sex abuse investigations

Chicago Sun Times

March 15, 2019

By Sam Charles

Leaders of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests on Friday called on Cardinal Blase Cupich to rethink his proposal that metropolitan bishops should lead investigations into sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

“We believe, in order for this crisis to end, there needs to be accountability brought in from outside, independent and secular sources,” SNAP’s Executive Director, Zach Hiner, said during a press conference outside the Archdiocese of Chicago’s office at the corner of Pearson and Rush. “And given what we’ve learned about clergy sex abuse over the past six months — much less the past several decades — how could we have confidence in the metropolitan plan, which is basically more bishops policing bishops.”

CONCANNON: What lessons can the clergy sex abuse crisis draw from church schism?

Argus Press

March 17, 2019

By Cavan W. Concannon

A string of sex abuse scandals have rocked Christian communities recently: In the Roman Catholic Church, revelations related to sex abuse by priests continue to unfold across the globe. Within the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., media reports have brought into public view allegations of sexual abuse dating back decades.

These scandals stand alongside abuses by prominent male church officials that have occurred in independent Christian communities, such as Harvest Bible Chapel, Willow Creek Community Church and Mars Hill Church.

Why Do People Refuse to Believe Victims of Abuse?

Patheos blog

March 14, 2019

By Rebecca Bratten Weiss

I’ve spent a lot of time, in the past few months, in conversation with abuse survivors.

It’s been painful to hear what they have to say, but my pain in hearing is nothing in comparison to the pain they carry with them – sometimes for most of their lives.

Turning away from these stories is not an option for me, uncomfortable though they may make me. Because in so many cases, the pain survivors carry is multiplied and exacerbated by the fact that over and over no one would listen. No one would believe them.

I’ve had a tiny taste of that frustration myself, when people refused to believe I was telling the truth about the abuse and toxicity I witnessed in a former workplace. Instead of listening, people over-wrote my story of injustice with a narrative that was more comfortable for them:

Maybe I was the problematic one?

I must have been causing drama.

I was probably overreacting.

It takes two to tango.

Anyway these problems are everywhere, so why the big fuss?

What Did Evangelicals Know and When Did They Know It?

Patheos blog

March 15, 2019

By D. G. Hart

The National Association of Evangelicals, one of the major institutional outlets for white Protestants who coalesced around the ministry and institutions associated with Billy Graham, has issues a call addressed to the increasing awareness of sexual abuse in Christian circles. A Call to Sexual Purity and Child Protection has three sections, a code of ethics for pastors, another for congregations, and one more for church leadership. Here is a sample of the call’s instructions for pastors:

Avoid sinful sexual behavior and inappropriate involvement. Resist temptation: “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality” (Ephesians 5:3a);

Identify a minister/counselor who can provide personal counseling and advice when needed;

Develop an awareness of personal needs and vulnerabilities;

Avoid taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of others through exploitation or manipulation; and

Address the misconduct of another clergy member directly or, if necessary, through appropriate persons to whom that member of the clergy may be accountable.


First Things

March 17, 2019

By Charlotte Allen

On February 20, California Democratic State Senator Jerry Hill, whose affluent, liberal-leaning district encompasses the San Francisco Peninsula and portions of Silicon Valley, introduced a bill to abolish legal protection for the Catholic Church’s sacramental seal of confession, at least as regards confessions of child abuse.

Specifically, the bill would remove an exemption for “penitential communications” in an existing state law that designates more than forty categories of professionals—clergy, physicians, teachers, counselors, social workers, and the like—as “mandated reporters” who face criminal penalties if they fail to report sexual and other mistreatment of children that they learn about in their professional capacities. Currently, the law carves out a narrow exception for information obtained during the Catholic sacrament of Penance and other religions’ similar penitential rituals, which bind clergy to secrecy. If the California legislature enacts Hill’s bill, that exception would disappear—and Catholic priests, bound by canon law not to disclose the contents of a confession, could face criminal prosecution and imprisonment for refusing to comply. “The law should apply equally to all professionals who have been designated as mandated reporters of these crimes—with no exceptions, period. The exemption for clergy only protects the abuser and places children at further risk,” Hill said in a statement accompanying the proposed measure, SB-360.

The Catholic doctrine of the seal of confession dates back to the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which mandated that Catholics confess their grave sins to a priest via the sacrament of Penance. The latest formulation of the church’s Code of Canon Law states: “The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.” The penalty for any priest who divulges anything heard in confession—or even a penitent’s identity—is automatic excommunication. Eastern Orthodox churches do not have such an explicit rule, but they do have the same expectation of absolute secrecy surrounding sacramental confession. Since the Middle Ages it has not been unusual for priests to risk—and occasionally endure—martyrdom from secular authorities rather than break the seal, as did several priests executed by militant secularists during Mexico’s Cristero uprising of the 1920s and the Spanish Civil War a decade later. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1953 film, I Confess, involves a priest who risks conviction for a murder he did not commit after the true murderer confesses the crime to him and he is bound not to reveal it.

'Counting On': Do Josh Duggar's Sisters Forgive Him for What He Did?

The Cheat Sheet

March 17, 2019

By Amanda Harding

By now most people know why the original series about the Duggar family, 19 Kids and Counting, got canceled on the TLC network. The reality show followed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as they navigated the trials of raising a family with 17, then 18, then 19 children. But one thing no one anticipated was a sexual abuse scandal that would mean the end of the series.

The eldest son in the family, Josh Duggar, was accused of sexually molesting several of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager. By the time the scandal broke in 2015, Josh was already married with three kids. But the controversy was enough to get the show canceled and disgrace the family name.

One popular question in the wake of the abuse is this: Do Josh Duggar’s sisters forgive him? Several have spoken out on the matter, and it appears they all agree.

Evangelical financial group suspends Harvest Bible Chapel's accreditation

Daily Herald

March 17, 2019

By Susan Sarkauskas

Even as Harvest Bible Chapel attempts to recover from scandal, its leaders are facing more negative news.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability announced last week it suspended its accreditation of Harvest, while it investigates whether the church violated the organization's core principles.

In its announcement, the organization said it launched an investigation of Harvest Nov. 28, and after an on-site visit in December, believed the church was in compliance.

But it has received new information, it said, that has it concerned the church "may be in serious violation" of four standards of stewardship.

"The investigation has been and will remain ongoing during the suspension as we work to determine whether Harvest Bible Chapel should be terminated, advised of the steps necessary to come into full compliance or whether they are in fact in compliance with our standards and should, therefore, be restored to full membership," council President Dan Busby said in an announcement of the suspension.

The standards require that every organization be governed by a responsible board of not less than five individuals, a majority of whom are independent; prepare complete and accurate financial statements; exercise appropriate management and controls to provide reasonable assurance that all of the organization's operations are carried out in a responsible manner; and set compensation of its top leader in a manner that demonstrates integrity and propriety.

The statement did not provide details about Harvest's suspected violations.

Efforts to reach Harvest officials Sunday were unsuccessful.

However, an interim leadership team has announced that the church is opening a new bank account to handle members' tithes, and the money will be used only for ministry expenses, "banking obligations" and staff salaries. None of it will be directed to the senior pastor's office, or to items in past budgets, the church's website says.

It also announced that donations recently have decreased 40 percent. As a result, the church will reduce its weekly operating expense by 25 percent, from $409,000 a week to $308,000 a week. It did not say how it would do so.

Abuse survivor priest tackles ‘crisis of masculinity’ in the Church


March 18, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

A U.S. parish priest and author, who experienced sexual abuse by clergy, takes on the “crisis of masculinity” in society and the Catholic Church one lecture at a time, by always “keeping it real” and remembering that “even in the midst of all this darkness, there is always hope.”

“We need to be called to this new masculinity, which isn’t a power thing, it isn’t about dominating anything,” said Father Larry Richards in a March 14 interview with Crux. “A true masculinity is he who lays down his life in love.”

“A true masculinity is Christ on the Cross,” he added.

Richards has been a diocesan priest for over 30 years, ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania by Bishop Michael Murphy. He has been a Catholic chaplain to college campuses and a teacher at all-boys high schools.

In 2004 he founded “The Reason For Our Hope Foundation,” which - in his words - focuses on bringing people closer to the Catholic faith and showing them that “God is not out to get you, he’s out to love you.”

In 2009 he released his first book, Be a Man! Becoming the Man God Created You To Be, which became Ignatius Press’s number one book in 2010.

“My thing is to try and help people - especially men - to come to know God, to know God’s love,” he said.

'Vicar abused me 350 times and killed himself before he could face justice'

Sunday Mirror

March 18, 2019

By Geraldine McKelvie

Young Steve Rowell watched in horror as his abuser spoke to the bride and groom about love, honesty and faithfulness.

Traumatised Steve suffered at the hands of pervert priest King more than 350 times.

Today he reveals his six-year ordeal and tells how he demanded to meet Church leaders to bring about change.

And a top bishop has now urged fellow abuse survivors to step forward.

Steve was assaulted by King from the age of 11 but the predator cheated justice by killing himself after being quizzed by police.

Abuse victims in Germany demand timetable for redress

La Croix International

March 18, 2019

As thousands of victims of predator priests in Germany seek redress for clerical sex abuse, German Catholic bishops conceded they must admit wrongdoing and make amends, but failed to offer a timetable.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, said March 14 that the culture of silence and cover-ups "is over," adding this should have been dealt with "perhaps 20 years, 30 years ago," AFP reports.

However, "the process of cleansing is not finished in three days, it's a continuing path," he said.Critics say Cardinal Marx was resorting to the Church's default setting of stonewalling on the issue, as he would not be drawn on concrete plans or dates for new policies or compensation payouts.

The prelate made the remarks at the end of a four-day episcopal conference in Lingen that was punctuated by a rally outside its gates organized by the Catholic Women's Community of Germany.

Movement leader says Christ is key to recovery from abuse scandals


March 18, 2019

By Elise Harris

Catholicism’s ongoing clerical abuse scandals have provoked wide reactions, not the least of which has been a push both within the Church and from outside it for tough norms and policies to provide accountability for both the crime and the cover-up.

However, according to a leading member of a high-profile Catholic movement, the more essential change the scandals should provoke is a renewed internal commitment to Christ.

“All the efforts that can be made will not solve the problem if the faith, that is, the personal and communitarian bond with Christ, is not the center,” said Alberto Savorana, a member of the Communion and Liberation movement, in comments to Crux.

“If I love Christ, if I follow Christ, every other desire, every other relationship, acquires its just perspective. Above all, one recognizes that they are a sinner and that they cannot save themselves on their own,” he said, adding that recovering from the abuse crisis does not mean simply fighting evil, but doing good.

The renewal the Church is facing has to be more than correcting the wrong that’s been done, but it has to be offering something positive to the world, he said, and pointed to Peter’s denial of Christ as an example.

'I feel like it's a setup,' parishioner says of Homestead priest accused of sex assault

Local 10 News

March 18, 2019

By Peter Burke and Liane Morejon

Some parishioners at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead were in denial Sunday after learning the news that a priest there was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.

The Rev. Jean-Claude Jean-Phillippe, 64, was arrested Friday on a charge of sexual battery on a victim who was physically incapacitated.

Adolphe is an altar server and longtime parishioner at the church.

"I feel like it's a setup, for real," he said. "In my opinion, I feel like it is."

Has the Catholic Church done enough to clean its own house?

Washington Post

March 17, 2019

Regarding the March 14 Metro article “More U.S. Catholics ponder exit from church”:

The reason to be Catholic is because one believes in the teachings of the church; it’s not a social club that should be judged by its worst members. Every large organization is going to have a small percentage of people who commit evil acts.

Fewer than 5 percent of Catholic priests have been accused of sexual abuse. The Catholic Church made widespread reforms in 2002 regarding abuse, and abuse cases have slowed to a trickle. The reforms are working. The vast majority of the abuse cases are from decades ago — before the 2002 reforms were put in place.

The Catholic Church is one of the safest places for children today. Compare this with public schools, which have not reformed and have unions that protect abusive teachers. Of course, we wouldn’t consider ending public schools because of a few bad teachers.

The Catholic Church is given no credit for the reforms of 2002, which many people don’t even know about because they are not publicized in the media. This is unfair and wrong.

Brian Wood, Gaithersburg

In his March 14 op-ed, “The greatest crime in U.S. history?,” George F. Will drew attention to the unfolding Catholic institutional criminal operation that has exploited children. The Pennsylvania report is only the latest report that, when combined with reports issued in other countries, provides the same sorts of gruesome details of criminal behavior by clerics. Then Catholic leadership used its unique powers not only to hide sexual predators but also to protect their priesthoods, thus perpetuating expansion of the number of victims.

Our bishops have tried to put assets beyond the reach of victims. Our bishops are fighting actions to modify statutes of limitations for child sexual crimes to avoid litigation against perpetrators of heinous actions.

We must cry out against these horrific practices, for justice for victims and for an accounting of crimes. We must support civil authorities shedding light onto these practices. And we must begin asking church leaders how they can credibly serve as moral authorities setting things right on this most fundamental issue.

We faithful Catholics are part of the problem. We demand too little. How much more will we put in the collection basket? Our Confirmation calls each of us to be more than disciples. We are called to be apostles and demand of our apostle bishops that they live up to their anointed leadership role.

Betty Walter, Annandale

Age of victim in prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein, long a source of confusion, eased his obligations to register as a sex offender

Washington Post

March 17, 2019

By Beth Reinhard, Kimberly Kindy and Julie Tate

A federal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein had flagged scores of potential underage victims, including the 14-year-old girl who first alerted police. But when he pleaded guilty in state court in 2008, the only minor Epstein was convicted of soliciting was 16 years old at the time the offenses began, according to information obtained by The Washington Post.

The younger girl who initially notified police has long believed that hers was the case referenced in the guilty plea, her attorney said. Some media accounts said as much. Publicly available charging documents contained no name or age, however. Pressed to resolve the ambiguity, state prosecutors in Florida recently provided The Post with the victim’s date of birth.

The decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen — part of a plea deal that has already been criticized as overly lenient — has eased his obligations to register as a sex offender. In New Mexico, for instance, where Epstein has a 7,600-acre property called Zorro Ranch, he is not required to register because his victim was not under 16, state officials said.

The case has faced growing scrutiny since last month, when a federal judge ruled that the prosecution team led by then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now President Trump’s labor secretary, violated the rights of alleged victims by failing to notify them of an agreement not to bring federal charges. Some House Democrats are calling for the resignation of Acosta, whose department oversees investigations into sex trafficking and workplace abuses.

Attorneys for the alleged victims are seeking to void the non-prosecution agreement, which ended the federal probe and granted immunity to any potential co-conspirators.

“They were cutting a plea deal. It wasn’t a prosecution,” said attorney Spencer Kuvin, who represented the 14-year-old girl who alerted police, referencing the number of victims court records say federal prosecutors identified. “They had a grab bag of 40 girls to choose from.”

Former local priest defrocked

Courier Express

March 16, 2019

The Vatican has defrocked a former Roman Catholic priest who is serving a prison term for the sexual assault of two boys in Jefferson County.

Bishop Lawrence T. Perisco of the Erie Diocese announced Friday that David Lee Poulson “was granted a dispensation from all the obligations attached to holy orders.”

“Because Mr. Poulson has now been removed from the clerical state, he is forbidden to function as a priest in the Catholic Church and should no longer present himself as a priest and not be admitted as a priest in the celebration of the sacraments,” Perisco said in a statement.

Poulson pleaded guilty in October to two felony charges in connection to repeated sexual assaults against one boy and the attempted assault of another. The boys were age 8 and 15 at the time of the abuse, which reportedly occurred at a remote cabin in Cook Forest. Poulson was also accused of assaulting one victim in a church rectory and then making that victim confess the abuse to him afterward.

Priest in Homestead accused of drugging, raping woman

Associated Press

March 18, 2019

A Roman Catholic priest in Florida is facing charges that he drugged a female parishioner and raped her.

The Rev. Jean Claude Jean-Philippe was in a Miami-Dade County jail late Saturday charged with sexual battery on an incapacitated victim.

The Miami Herald reports that in October the 64-year-old priest invited the victim to his home at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead. The woman said she drank tea he gave her and passed out. She told investigators she woke up two hours later naked in Jean-Philippe's bed, believing she was raped.

Legislators looking to help older victims of priest abuse get settlements

The Day

March 18. 2019

By Joe Wojtas

State Sen. Mae Flexer, D-26th District, and other Democratic leaders are working to modify a pending bill so it would eliminate the statute of limitations on the filing of civil lawsuits in cases of sexual assault.

If the General Assembly approves the bill, it is expected to impact the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses, where alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests, nuns, deacons and bishops have been prohibited from filing suits after they turn 48.

Victims and their supporters say that for a variety of reasons, some victims do not disclose they were abused until much later in life.

One of the victims is John “Tim” McGuire of New London, who discovered when he went to a lawyer to find out about suing the Diocese of Norwich, that he had missed the deadline for filing a suit by a mere three weeks. McGuire, who alleges he was sexually assaulted by the late Rev. James Curry when he was an 8-year-old altar boy at St. Joseph’s Church in Noank, has been lobbying legislators to eliminate the statute of limitations for himself and other victims.

“This is great news,” McGuire said Sunday, saying he knows of people in his support group of people assaulted by priests who would file suits if the change is approved.

The Day has spoken to a number of alleged victims in recent months who say they too would file suits against the Diocese of Norwich if the law is changed.

“There’s a great injustice here in Connecticut because victims of sexual assault have such a limited opportunity for justice both on the criminal and the civil side. The church needs to take responsibility for its actions,” said Flexer, who described herself as an active Catholic.

Did Australia Convict an Innocent Cardinal?

Patheos blog
March 18, 2019

By Gene Veith

Sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church–as well as other churches–is a horrible scandal. That does not mean, however, that every clergyman accused of these crimes is guilty. And the climate of outrage about these revelations can lend itself to false accusations, hoaxes, and a lynch mob mentality.

A prominent conservative churchman, Cardinal George Pell, was accused of sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choir boys in 1996 when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in Australia. He was recently tried, convicted, and sentenced to six years in prison.

But there are compelling reasons to believe that he is innocent.

According to the man who testified that he was abused, Cardinal Pell caught the two choir boys in the vestry immediately after Mass, where they had gotten into the Communion wine. In the course of chastising them, Cardinal Pell allegedly forced them to perform oral sex.

A shocking, repellant story, similar to others that we have heard about pedophile, homosexual priests. But there are major problems with that story.

Bishop’s phone porn didn’t involve minors, but questions remain on move to Vatican


March 18, 2019

By Inés San Martín

When Pope Francis decided in 2017 to bring an Argentine bishop to Rome and give him a job in the Vatican, the prelate had been accused of “strange behavior” but not of criminal sexual conduct, Crux has learned.

The first formal allegations against Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, formerly of the northern Argentine diocese of Oran, came in 2015 when a diocesan secretary found pornographic pictures on the prelate’s phone.

The images included gay porn featuring young men, but not minors, as well as images of Zanchetta touching himself. They were allegedly sent to unknown third parties.

Local newspaper El Tribuno published documents from 2015 and 2016 that prove the Vatican, including the pope, knew about the bishop’s improper behavior. There were also allegations of financial wrongdoing. Zanchetta was not suspected of stealing money, but of failing to report diocesan income.

March 17, 2019

Upper West Side priest accused of sexually abusing five children

Daily News

March 18, 2019

By Kerry Burke, Molly Crane-Newman and Michael Gartland

Five former Catholic school students are accusing a priest of sexually abusing them when they were boys attending schools and churches in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.

The men, four of whom wished to remain anonymous and spoke through a lawyer, claim that Monsignor John Paddack isolated them from other students, sought to offer them advice in private and then groped them.

Collectively, the accusers and their lawyers claim the abuse took place from 1988 to 2002 at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, St. Joseph by the Sea High School on Staten Island and the Church of the Incarnation in Upper Manhattan.

I-TEAM: It takes a village to abuse a child, Buffalo Diocese survivor says


March 17, 2019

By Charlie Specht

The story of David Harvey, who said he was abused by a Buffalo priest in the 1970s, is one of incredible courage.

It’s also one of incredible cowardice.

Courage on the part of Harvey, who spent dozens of tortured years dealing with the demons of abuse, to rebuild his life.

Cowardice on the part of the two men who could have done something to stop the abuse -- but looked the other way.

It all started with the type of offer that -- for a working-class kid from Tonawanda -- was hard to pass up.

The Rev. David J. Peter invited the altar boys from St. Edmund’s Catholic Church in Tonawanda on a special boat ride in the Niagara River, Harvey said.

It was the 1970s, and Harvey was 8 years old at the time. He still remembers being led down the stairs of the boat for a private tour by two men -- Father Peter and another man who was not a priest.

By the time he got to the bottom of the stairs, Harvey said the priest was practically on top of him.

“I knew that I was in trouble,” Harvey said in a recent interview with 7 Eyewitness News.

Decades later, Harvey now has a family, a successful career and many reasons to be happy and proud.

But it’s still hard for him to recall that moment of horror without the tears coming.

“I thought that I was going to die,” he said. “I had completely forgotten anything that was going on outside of that room. I just knew that I was in terrible trouble”

The Pell Conviction in Light of Frédéric Martel's Exposé of the Gay "Parish" Inside the Vatican

Bilgrimage blog

March 15, 2019

By William Lindsey

The jailing of Cardinal George Pell resonates because he was so powerful in an institution that covered up the abuses of its clerics.

In commenting on Cardinal Pell's conviction and sentence, Michael Cook's Lessons from Cardinal Pell’s 6-year jail sentence makes a move that should trouble all of us concerned about shoring up the legitimacy of court systems and criminal justice systems in democratic societies. Cook opens by reminding us of that Pell was conficted on the basis of the testimony of one person testifying behind closed doors.

He then goes on to state,
The Pell trial shows that the victim will be presumed to be truthful when he steps into the witness box.

This is something none of us who were not in that closed-door court hearing can possibly know or affirm with any certainty. Because the hearing was, as Cook himself reminds us, a closed-door hearing... It is a judgment without any substance when it's offered by anyone who was not at the closed-door hearing in which testimony was given.

How Cardinal George Pell Became the Highest-Ranking Catholic Official to Be Convicted of Child Abuse

Rolling Stone

March 17, 2019

By Nicholas Lord

In late October 1996, Cardinal George Pell stood before a panel of reporters in Melbourne, Australia, and apologized. He apologized on behalf of the Australian Catholic Church, who, as it had recently surfaced, was complicit in covering up pervasive and unimaginable child abuse by priests. “I would like to make a sincere, unreserved, and public apology,” Pell said, according to David Marr’s The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell. He had a his peculiar manner of speaking — an Australian accent polished by an Oxford education. “First of all to the victims of sexual abuse, but also to the people of the archdiocese for the actions of those Catholic clergy.” He declared himself an advocate in the fight against child abuse, and announced a new compensation scheme for the victims of his religious brothers.

Yet only a few weeks later, Pell cornered two thirteen-year-old choirboys in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and sexually abused them, a jury has found. He forced one boy to perform oral sex while the other flinched away — “crying” and “sobbing” and “whimpering,” as a judge later described. It was a Sunday morning, after mass. The boys had just finished singing hymns. They were on a singing scholarship and came from poorer communities. Pell had just been appointed archbishop.

After years of accusations involving Pell’s complicity and direct abuse — and several trials later—Cardinal Pell has been convicted of child abuse on five counts and sentenced to six years in jail. News of the court proceedings was suppressed until only recently, as his case was protected by a strict media gag order common in high-profile criminal cases in Australia. The verdict was announced formally only days after Pope Francis’s Vatican summit to address child abuse within the Catholic Church, an institution that’s still grappling with its horrifying history of child abuse around the world. As the global investigations continue, the church is left in a crisis: how to handle the child abuse epidemic, how to ensure it doesn’t continue and how to respond to a community left at odds with their faith.

La iglesia de Salta Investiga a otro sacerdote por denuncias de abuso sexual

[Salta Church investigates another priest for allegations of sexual abuse]


February 27, 2019

El sacerdote José Carlos Aguilera, a cargo de la parroquia del barrio Santa Lucía de la capital salteña, y director de la Pastoral Social, es investigado por un tribunal del Arzobispado de Salta por denuncias de abuso sexual, revelaron hoy fuentes vinculadas al caso. Fuentes cercanas a la investigación confirmaron a Télam que Aguilera se suma así a la lista de sacerdotes denunciados por el delito de abuso sexual en Salta, entre los que se encuentran los sacerdotes Emilio Lamas y Agustín Rosas, ambos con causas en la justicia.

Suspenden a un cura cordobés por una denuncia de abuso sexual

[Río Cuarto priest suspended after sexual abuse report]

La Voz

March 8, 2019

El obispo de la diócesis de Río Cuarto, Adolfo Uriona, resolvió suspender cautelarmente al cura Carlos Alberto Maffini, quien prestaba servicio pastoral en la localidad de Carnerillo, en el sur provincial, a raíz de una denuncia de abuso sexual. En un comunicado del Obispado, Uriona detalló que la denuncia contra Maffini fue presentada el 7 de marzo por una mujer adulta. Ese mismo día se dispuso la investigación previa que manda el Código de Derecho Canónico.

El Vaticano investiga a un cura salteño por abusos sexuales

[Vatican investigates Salta priest for sexual abuse]


March 2, 2019

By Juan Luis González

La Santa Sede de Francisco comenzó una investigación al cura José Aguilera, acusado por abusos sexuales. La opinión del arzobispado de esa localidad.

El arzobispado de Salta confirmó hoy una noticia que venía sacudiendo a la provincia: el Vaticano comenzó una investigación formal sobre el presbítero José Carlos Aguilera, párroco del barrio Santa Lucía, en la capital, capellán y profesor de la Universidad Católica de Salta, y titular de la Pastoral Universitaria de esa localidad. El cura está acusado por presuntos delitos de abuso sexual.

Elevaron a juicio la causa contra el cura Agustín Rosa Torino

[Abuse case against priest Agustín Rosa Torino goes to trial]

El Tribuno Salta

March 8, 2019

La Sala I del Tribunal de Juicio será la encargada de juzgar al sacerdote por los delitos de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante y abuso sexual simple, en ambos casos agravados por ser ministro de culto reconocido.

La fiscal penal 2 de la Unidad de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual, María Luján Sodero Calvet, fue notificada de que la causa Agustín Rosa Torino, imputado por los delitos de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante y abuso sexual simple, en ambos casos agravado por ser ministro de culto reconocido, fue elevada a juicio y recayó en la Sala I del Tribunal de Juicio, que deberá fijar fecha para la audiencia de debate de acuerdo a su agenda.

Obispado de Chillán informa procesos por abusos: un sacerdote fue dispensado

[Chillán Diocese issues update on abuse cases, Pope removed one priest]


March 16, 2019

By Aton [news agency]

"La Diócesis de Chillán expresa su compromiso de seguir enfrentando en la verdad las situaciones escandalosas de abuso, contribuyendo a forjar una cultura del cuidado y la protección", señalaron en el comunicado.

El Obispado de Chillán informó sobre la situación de sacerdotes de la diócesis que actualmente están sujetos a una investigación o proceso canónico, a causa de denuncias por abuso sexual de menores. Uno de ellos fue dispensado del sacerdocio por el papa Francisco.

Iglesia: más de 70 sacerdotes suscriben carta contra abusos

[Church: more than 70 priests sign letter against abuse]

La Tercera

March 17, 2019

By T. Yáñez, G. Peñafiel and C. Said

Misiva comenzó a ser leída desde las 20 horas de ayer en misas y templos de Santiago. El documento no alude a los obispos.

El caso del sacerdote Tito Rivera, quien enfrenta una denuncia por eventual violación en la Catedral, ha provocado diversas reacciones, tanto dentro como fuera de la Iglesia Católica chilena. Una de ellas es que un grupo de cerca de 70 sacerdotes de la diócesis de Santiago suscribió una carta, que desde las 20 horas de ayer comenzaron a difundir entre los fieles, en misas y otros encuentros religiosos.

Once obispos españoles han encubierto casos de abusos en los últimos cuarenta años

[Eleven Spanish bishops have covered up abuse cases in the last 40 years]

El País

March 17, 2019

By Julio Núñez and Iñigo Domínguez

La investigación de EL PAÍS sobre pederastia en la Iglesia acredita las maniobras para ocultar casos y trasladar a curas acusados por víctimas sin abrir procesos canónicos

Un total de 11 obispos españoles, jefes en sus diócesis, han ocultado durante los últimos 40 años casos de pederastia de los que tuvieron constancia, impidiendo con ello que se conocieran públicamente dichos hechos. La lista se eleva a 17 con otros acusados de silenciarlos de algún modo. El encubrimiento se hizo por varias vías: mantener al supuesto abusador en su destino sin investigar los hechos, trasladarlo de parroquia ante las primeras quejas e incluso enviarlo a otro país.

Columbus diocese has a priest take abuse reports

The Columbus Dispatch

March 17, 2019

By Danae King

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus is one of only three dioceses in the country with a priest assigned to take reports of clergy sex abuse from survivors.

Several victim advocates, survivors and coordinators of victim assistance in other dioceses say having to meet with someone in the same uniform and position as the person who abused them as a child could re-traumatize survivors or dissuade from reporting abuse.

"If you're looking at survivors, their abuse was a cleric, so you're wanting to make sure you're not causing further trauma because it's someone in a collar," said Deacon Bernie Nojadera, executive director of the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "It's all in the approach, in the manner the person carries out the ministry, and the competence."

In Columbus, all reports of clergy sex abuse — which come iin as phone calls, emails and forms that the public can fill out — ggo to Monsignor Stephan Moloney, the vicar general and victim assistance coordinator.

Read more: Victims of abusive priests won’t likely see justice, expert say
Moloney, who is also the pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Upper Arlington, has been taking reports of child sex abuse by priests in the diocese since 1997. But he and many others across the country officially gained the title of victim assistance coordinator in 2002, when the conference of bishops started requiring the archdioceses and dioceses to create the position.

"I have always taken a pastoral approach to it," Moloney said.

He said that in the past 22 years, he has taken dozens of abuse reports, including a half-dozen or so involving priests in active ministry.

In the shadow of Mount Cashel: The tipping point of disillusionment with the Catholic Church

CBC Broadcasting

March 17, 2019

By Ainsley Hawthorn

The spectre of Mount Cashel loomed large in my late childhood, both literally and figuratively.

My family moved to St. John's from the west coast of Newfoundland when I was eight years old. It was October 1989, and a judicial inquiry's hearings on the allegations of child abuse by the Christian Brothers had begun only one month earlier.

I enrolled in Vanier Elementary, a small school in the east end of the city. The classrooms for Grades 4 to 6 were in the back of the building, facing a broad field where we would spend recess and lunch.

At the end of the field, beyond a chain-link fence, stood the Mount Cashel Orphanage.

Even at our young age, my classmates and I shivered at the name "Mount Cashel." We understood that secrets had been revealed, that children like us had been hurt by the people who were meant to protect them.

The orphanage itself was imposing but dilapidated. Looking up at it as a child, I had the impression that a great institution had fallen.

The Mount Cashel hearings rocked a province where more than a third of the population identified as Catholic. As the full scope of the abuse came to light, some disillusioned Newfoundlanders and Labradorians stopped going to church altogether.

Today, fewer than 19 per cent of all residents of this province attend weekly religious services, compared with 32 per cent in 1989.

New Mexico priest is charged with 'raping an 8-year-old girl until she vomited and then made her clean it up'

The Daily Mail

March 16,2019

Bt Ariel Zilber

A former priest raped an 8-year-old girl nearly 30 years ago to the point where she vomited - only to then force her to clean up the mess, it has been alleged.

Sabine Griego, 81, was arrested on Tuesday at his New Mexico home for the alleged assault and other rapes involving the girl.

Griego, a resident of Las Vegas, New Mexico, has been charged with one count of sexual penetration of a minor and coercion resulting in great bodily harm and mental anguish.

The charges are just the latest allegations against Griego, who has also been accused of sexually assaulting more than 30 children over decades while in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Between 1993 and 1995, Griego was implicated in eight closed cases. He was put on leave from the church in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2005 that he was formally dismissed from clerical duties.

Legal options limited for man who says priest molested him

New Mexican

March 16, 2019

By Rebecca Moss

It was early summer and the altar servers for Holy Cross Catholic Church were squirming in the heat of their white robes. There was no air conditioning in the sacristy behind the chapel as the children prepared the church for the 10:30 a.m. Mass.

Isaac Casados, who was 10 at the time, had grown up in this church. He planned to become a priest and felt that leading his fellow altar servers was the first step.

“Every young kid at Holy Cross was taught being an altar server is the greatest thing,” said Casados, now 37. “At the same time, all the nuns would always teach you the priest was kinda the closest thing to God. What they did, what they said, was firm. You did not refute it, you did not question it. Because if you did, you’d go straight to hell.”

On that hot Sunday nearly three decades ago, Casados was a fourth-grader at a school run by Holy Cross and one of several children assigned to help the Rev. Marvin Archuleta, an assistant priest for the Sons of the Holy Family at Santa Cruz de la Cañada parish in Española.

Casados said in a recent interview that the priest, known as Father Marvin, told him he needed to adjust his altar robe, which had bunched in the back.

“I thought he was going to straighten out my shirt,” Casados said. “He came up behind me … and instead, his hand went straight into my pants.”

Florida Priest Accused Of Sexually Battering Woman He Married


March 16, 2019

By Paul Scicchitano

A 64-year-old Catholic priest assigned to a South Florida church was taken into custody over the weekend and accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a female parishioner whose wedding he once officiated at.

Fr. Jean Claude Jean-Philippe was charged by Miami-Dade police with sexual battery of a physically incapacitated person. He was arrested 8:30 p.m. Friday night at 1701 NW 87 Ave. in Doral.

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami said Jean-Philippe served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead, which is about 38 miles from Miami.

"Effective immediately, Archbishop Thomas Wenski has removed Fr. Jean-Philippe from Sacred Heart Catholic Church, placing him on administrative leave," the spokeswoman said.

Catholic priest accused of drugging, raping woman in Florida

Associated Press

March 17, 2019

A Roman Catholic priest in Florida is facing charges that he drugged a female parishioner and raped her.

The Rev. Jean Claude Jean-Philippe was in a Miami-Dade County jail late Saturday charged with sexual battery on an incapacitated victim.

The Miami Herald reports that in October the 64-year-old priest invited the victim to his home at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead. The woman said she drank tea he gave her and passed out. She told investigators she woke up two hours later naked in Jean-Philippe's bed, believing she was raped.

She did not notify police until two weeks ago after telling another priest. The Miami Archdiocese says she was told to contact authorities. Officers say Jean-Philippe confessed when confronted.

The Catholic church wants you to move on


March 17, 2019

By Drew Sheneman

The NJ dioceses release of 188 priests accused of sexual abuse was a step in the right direction towards transparency and finally healing the gaping wounds left by the massive, worldwide sexual abuse scandal. The Pope has been saying all the right things as well by openly addressing the abuse scandal that would have been unthinkable under different church leadership. Transparency and openness are good, but the church’s contrition apparently only goes so far. It stops at the statute of limitations for civil cases brought against it. The church is happy to admit wrongdoing and act contrite, as long as it doesn’t cost them anything.

As laws currently stand victims of abuse have a window of two years from acknowledging their abuse in which to file a civil suit against the church. There’s a bill in the legislature that would extend that window for victims of abuse and make it easier to bring a case against the institution that sheltered and defended their abusers for decades. It’s helpful to remember the lengths the Catholic church went to protect the predators in their midst, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish knowing full well what crimes they had committed.

The issue of sexual abuse among the priesthood was well known within the church, all the way up to the very top of the gilded halls of the Vatican, and for decades nothing was done about it. The church was only ever concerned for it’s own well being and was content to let the victims suffer as long as it was kept out of the headlines. They lost any benefit of the doubt long ago. Extend the statute of limitations and hold them accountable.

Former TCNJ chaplain from Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal exposed, victim tells story

The Trentonian

March 17, 2019

By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

As the Catholic Church grapples with widespread sex abuse scandals, new details have emerged about a child-molesting ex-priest who targeted students at the local campus known today as The College of New Jersey.

The Rev. Vincent J. Inghilterra, better known as Father Vince, has debauched the morals of “multiple victims” and has since been removed from ministry, the Diocese of Trenton confirmed in a public tell-all outing the identities of 30 clergy members credibly accused of sexual abuse against a minor.

Among his many assignments, Inghilterra in the 1980s served as the campus town chaplain at Trenton State College, a Ewing-based institution later renamed TCNJ. The so-called Father Vince prowled around campus with a seedy reputation that preceded him, according to one of his victims.

Thomas Venditti, 56, a former student at Trenton State, transferred to another school, he said, because he needed to escape from the trauma that Inghilterra put him through.

“I don’t want Catholics to completely give up their faith,” Venditti said, “but I don’t want them to get victimized, either.”

“Me reuní con Carlos Osoro para decirle que apartara al cura que abusó de mis hijas y no hizo nada”

["I met with Carlos Osoro to tell him to put away the priest who abused my daughters and he did nothing"]

El País

March 17, 2019

By Julio Núñez

La madre de una víctima denuncia la inacción de la Iglesia ante las denuncias de abuso que presentó al actual cardenal de Madrid, por entonces arzobispo de Oviedo

El silencio que V. C. guardó durante más de una década era tan ensordecedor que no podía soportarlo. Explotó cuando tenía 19 años. Su secreto: Eustasio Sánchez Fonseca, el sacerdote con el que vivía junto con su madre en una comunidad cristiana en Campo de Caso (Asturias), también había abusado de ella desde los cinco hasta los 14 años. "Cuando empecé la universidad en 2002, los recuerdos de los abusos me vinieron como un flashback. No aguanté y lo conté todo. No denuncié. En esos momentos, todavía estas asimilando que alguien te robó la infancia y tienes que poner todo eso en orden antes de poder hacer algo", narra V. C. Su madre cuenta que, a pesar de no denunciar, acudió a pedir ayuda a la Iglesia. “Hablé con un sacerdote amigo mío y consiguió que fuera a hablar con el arzobispo Carlos Osoro. Queríamos que Tito no abusara de más niños. El arzobispo me dijo que hablaría con él. A las semanas, el cura al que pedí consejo me dijo que Tito lo negó. La diócesis no hizo nada y no volví a saber nada más”, relata la madre.

llness Might Have Driven Bishop To Sexual Harassment – Dufour

The Gleaner

March 17, 2019

By Nadine Wilson-Harris

The banning from priestly ministry of former Bishop of Mandeville Gordon Bennett for sexual harassment has come as a shocker for the local Catholic Church, but Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston, the Reverend Charles Dufour, has questioned whether ill-health might have contributed to his actions.

“We are grieved that a man we knew to be a good man apparently is alleged to have engaged in such behaviour. Having known that his character had been deeply affected by his depression and stroke, one wonders how much this contributed to his actions,” Dufour said in a statement to the press released on Saturday afternoon.

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori has announced ministerial restrictions for Bishop Bennett and Bishop Michael Bransfield, who resigned from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston last year. Bishop Bransfield was accused of sexually harassing adults and committing financial improprieties.

According to a story carried in The Associated Press on Monday, Bennett served in Baltimore from 1998 until 2004, when he was appointed Bishop of Mandeville in Jamaica. He resigned in August 2006, a few months after the archdiocese learnt of an allegation of his sexual harassment of a young adult in Jamaica.

But Dufour said he was told at the time that Bishop Bennett’s resignation was due to ill-health.

“I learned – like everybody else when Archbishop Lori of Baltimore released his statement – that there were also other reasons linked to his departure: that of an unfortunate alleged case of sexual harassment of an adult,” he said.

“As the former Archbishop of Kingston and Bishop of Montego Bay and as the present apostolic administrator of Mandeville, I can only state how saddened and shocked we all are at learning of this event, which was reported to have taken place 13 years ago,” Reverend Dufour stated.


Buffalo News

March 17, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.” A common thread among 2018’s Outstanding Citizens is their ability to pull far more than their share. Some made news headlines during the year, while others toiled in anonymity, their good works visible only to those standing near. All have made a difference.

Three were central figures in unraveling the childhood sex scandal that enveloped the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo: Michael F. Whalen Jr., whose public allegations of abuse by the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits helped other survivors to come forward; Siobhan M. O’Connor, a whistleblower who is former executive assistant to Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone; and Paul L. Snyder III, a prominent local businessman and longtime deacon who was the first clergyman to call for Malone’s resignation.

During a year of anguish for the church, Sister Mary McCarrick, recently retired diocesan director of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, steered the organization through a successful fundraising appeal. There was pop-up hero Jack Harzynski, a district manager for The Buffalo News and postal worker who saved the life of a Wyoming County sheriff who was being attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. Paul Billoni, owner of Colvin Cleaners in Kenmore, is the driving force behind Coats 4 Kids and Gowns for Prom. Superintendent Kriner Cash made the list by continuing to move the Buffalo Public Schools in the right direction. And Atiqur Rahman, owner of Broadway Harbor Store, who has helped hundreds of Bangladeshi immigrants to settle in Buffalo.

All the honorees have earned the respect and gratitude of a community that is richer for their contributions.

What Are Catholic Parents to Do?

The Atlantic

March 17, 2019

By Julie Beck and Ashley Fetters

As it has been for decades, the Catholic Church is in the midst of a crisis, one whose long reach has traumatized thousands and left one of the world’s oldest institutions struggling to find a way forward. In late February, the Vatican held a high-profile conference on the sexual-abuse crisis—the revelations of decades of abuse, by priests in different parts of the globe, of children, adult seminarians, and nuns. During the conference, Pope Francis called for “concrete” change, though the Atlantic reporter Rachel Donadio wrote that, on the whole, the meeting seemed largely to be a “consciousness-raising exercise,” out of step with the “zero tolerance” that many victims’ advocates in the United States have been demanding for priests who use their power to abuse. It seems the crisis will likely drag on as the Church’s highest authorities continue their slow-moving reckoning.

What is an institutional crisis for the Church is a personal crisis for the faithful. Lay Catholics are left to grapple with what this crisis means for them, their families, and their faith. Parents in particular often feel acutely conflicted. How can they not worry about sending their children to be altar servers after reading about priests taking advantage of altar servers in the past? At the same time, devout parents who deeply love the Church naturally want their children to receive its spiritual benefits. What are they to do?

Remorseless shepherd

The Blade

March 17, 2019

Those seeking accountability for the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church were sorely disappointed by Cardinal George Pell’s sentencing in Australia last week.

During the sentencing proceedings, which were broadcast on television, it came out that Pell’s lawyer mounted something like an insanity defense at trial. His suggestion was that Pell, convicted of sexually abusing two choirboys when he was archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s, was an otherwise smart and rational person who must have been out of his mind on the two occasions that he committed such heinous acts.

It was a lot of bunk, and in this desperate gambit to save himself, Pell sacrificed a key opportunity to do right by the church to which he and all priests pledge a lifetime of fidelity.

North Dakota dioceses move slowly on naming problem priests

Associated Press

March 17, 2019

North Dakota’s Roman Catholic dioceses are mulling whether and when to release information about priests accused of sexual abuse, even as critics say they are moving too slowly following explosive revelations in Pennsylvania last year.

The Bismarck Diocese, the state’s second-largest, says it plans to release the names of priests with “substantiated claims” against them of sexual misconduct with minors after it finishes reviewing its files. But the Fargo Diocese hasn’t yet decided whether to release names.

The dioceses responded to questions from The Associated Press following revelations in Pennsylvania last summer that more than 300 priests had been credibly accused of molesting more than 1,000 children, and as Pope Francis last month convened a summit of Catholic leaders from around the world on the issue.

March 16, 2019

Sex abuse survivor advocates want Kalamazoo Diocese to publish names of accused priests

Newschannel 3

March 14, 2019

Standing outside the offices of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, survivors of sexual abuse demanded Thursday that church leaders publish the names of six priests who have been accused of improper behavior.

The priests in question currently or formerly served in the Kalamazoo Diocese, members of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said, and if the diocese wants to promote transparency, it must publish their names.

“More and more victims are realizing that that's what it takes to protect kids,” said David Clohessy, a member of the network. “That's what it takes to heal. And in Michigan, especially, we would beg, not just victims, we would beg witnesses, whistle blowers, anybody with any knowledge or suspicion of child sex crimes on the church to come forward now because the attorney general is doing an investigation.”

Ann Philips Browning said she was abused by a priest when she was a teenager.

"The church owes us transparency and for some reason we’re not getting it unless there’s legal involvement," said Browning.

She said the Attorney General's Office interviewed her as part of its ongoing investigation. She said she told the office there are many people afraid to share their stories of abuse.

Publicly accused Gary area abusive priests ‘under the radar’

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 14, 2019

--Fr. Bernard "Barney" McMeel, who was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1954. He also worked in 24 assignments in two Alaska dioceses (1955-1978), nine in Montana (1978 until his death 1994) and one in California (1954-1955).

In a 2006 civil lawsuit, he was accused – along with fellow Jesuit Fr. Andrew Eordogh - of having sexually abused a boy in Holy Cross, Alaska, beginning when the boy was four years old in 1967. His accuser said Fr. McMeel "handed him off" to Fr. Eordogh when Fr. McMeel left in 1968 to become Superior Regular of Jesuits in Alaska.


--Fr. Walter George DeRoeck, who was a Chicago priest ordained in 1971. He resigned in 2001 and in 2006 was listed on the Chicago archiocesan ‘accused’ list. He "often" took boys to a vacation home he had in Michigan City with other priests, according to church records.(see AOC 012852)



-- Fr. Stephen J. Muth, who is a Toronto native but was ordained in Gary in 1982. He also worked in Canada, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, Kansas and three cities in California (San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Clara). A Byzantine Catholic priest, Muth was ordained in Toronto, Ontario in 1982. He later worked in several U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses as well as U.S. Byzantine Rite Eparchies. He was accused in 2006 of having sexually abused a 12 year-old boy in Wichita, KS in 1992.

Victims question new church accountability plan

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 15, 2019

Victims question new church accountability plan

SNAP: “It is big bishops investigating small ones”

Group prefers independent lay body instead

It also names ‘Dangerous Dozen’ Chicago priests

Most abused elsewhere & have gotten no attention here

Survivors will also prod archdiocese over 500 still-hidden accused priests’ names

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will release a “Dangerous Dozen” list of priests publicly accused of molesting children elsewhere but who also spent time in Chicago and have escaped virtually all public attention here.

They will also ask Chicago’s Cardinal Blasé Cupich to:
---release some of the 500 accused clerics’ names that an Illinois attorney general says he and his brother bishops have not yet disclosed,
---drop his plan to have bishops investigate other accused bishops, and
---back the Springfield IL bishop’s plan for an independent lay group to do this.

Friday, March 15 at 11:15 a.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Chicago Archdiocesan Headquarters at 835 N. Rush Street (corner of Rush and Pearson)

Chicago’s “Dangerous Dozen”

Survivors Network of those Abuswed by Priests

March 15, 2019

--Fr. Joseph Fertal was involved in at least one civil suit and was criminally investigated in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse. He was purportedly sent to St. Michael’s Institute, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sexual abuse, multiple times beginning in the 1980s. According to San Bernardino church officials, Fr. Fertal was permanently banned from ministry in that diocese and was included in its list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. In 2003, he was believed to be living in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, the site of another church priest treatment center, but his current whereabouts are unknown. Fr. Fertal was at LoyolaUniversity and in the Philippines twice: in Manila and at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City.

He belongs to a religious order known as the Divine World Missionaries and worked twice at its seminary in TechnyIL. The order is based in Rome.


Potentially dangerous because:
Only the most dangerous clerics ever get barred or banned from a diocese, also because of his international travel and because his whereabouts are unknown.

--Fr. James Vincent Flosi was sued in 2005 for allegedly abusing a Quigley Theological Seminary student in 1980 while assigned to Holy Name Cathedral. He faced multiple reports of sexual abusing kids dating to the 1970s. In 1991, he was accused of teaching several middle school age boys to masturbate and the following year he resigned from the priesthood and was defrocked in 2010. Later, he became the founder and CEO of Aidscare in Chicago.


Polish church releases first report on clerical sex abuse

Catholic News Service

March 16, 2019

By Jonathan Luxmoore

A top Polish Catholic leader, named the first bishops' conference delegate for child protection, welcomed a church report on sexual abuse by clergy in his country and vowed efforts to combat it.

Archbishop Wojciech Polak of Gniezno spoke at a March 14 news conference launching the abuse report, compiled from dioceses and religious orders by the Polish church's Statistics Institute and Child Protection Center. The report listed 382 cases of sexual abuse between 1990 and 2018, involving 625 minors: 58 percent boys and 42 percent girls.

"Every one of these victims should awaken pain, shame and guilt, both among clergy and in me as a leader," said Archbishop Polak. "We can never do enough."

The report said canonical procedures had been followed by the church in 95 percent of instances, with three-quarters of cases brought to completion. However, it added that only a quarter of cases had seen the defrocking of abusers; 40 percent ended in restrictions on priestly ministry.

Work transfers, suspensions and acts of penance had been ordered in 12 percent of cases, while 13 percent of cases had been discontinued and 10 percent of suspected abusers acquitted.

The report said "differences of reliability" among Polish dioceses and religious orders in responding to enquiries had necessitated "additional monitoring and data verification," while there had been "a certain ignorance" about church rules on abuse.

Last September, Poland's bishops responded to accusations of failure to tackle clerical abuse by setting out plans for new child protection guidelines, as well as prevention programs and data collection.

Md. bill would make it easier for child sexual abuse victims to sue Catholic Church

Washington Post

March 16, 2019

By Erin Cox

Amid worldwide investigations of child sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic Church, Maryland lawmakers on Saturday advanced legislation that would let people sue their assailants for damages in civil court regardless of when the abuse took place.

Lawmakers said that as the clergy sexual abuse scandal widens, it should be easier for victims to hold perpetrators — and the church — accountable.

“This is an issue that is growing in magnitude every single day; it is growing in magnitude across the country,” said House Judiciary Chairman Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City).

“Those people should get relief,” he said.

More than a dozen attorneys general have launched state-level criminal investigations into child sexual abuse allegations involving the church. Officials in Maryland, Virginia and the Districtare among them.

Maryland’s legislation won preliminary approval in the House of Delegates on Saturday, and it would erase an existing statute of limitations on bringing civil sexual abuse cases in the future. It would also apply retroactively, giving victims until October 2021 to file suit over abuse alleged to have happened at any time in the past.

If the proposal becomes law, it will create a new avenue for victims who are now adults to seek monetary damages. The civil cases can be filed regardless of whether law enforcement agencies pursue criminal charges.

Australian Catholics take stock as Pell falls

LaCroix International

March 16, 2019

Catholic reaction to the conviction of George Pell for child sexual abuse was as diverse as the Catholic community itself.

Some of the reaction has a public voice, including the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the Catholic commentariat, individual bishops, leaders of Catholic agencies and education authorities, and prominent Catholic survivors. This aspect of Catholic reaction can be identified.

Some explored the trial, conviction and forthcoming appeal, while the remainder discussed the likely impact on the Catholic community, sometimes a gut reaction of a personal kind.Some emphasised the value of the Church's works in the community while others gave reassurance that the Church is now a safe environment. Some questioned the verdict or urged against a rush to judgement before the completion of the appeal process.

VOTF to meet Tuesday

Midland Daily News

March 16, 2019

Voice of the Faithful will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in Conference Room A of Blessed Sacrament Parish, 3109 Swede Ave., Midland.

Sister Janet Fulgenzi, Diocese of Saginaw coordinator for the Office of Child and Youth Protection, will present an overview of two training programs offered by the diocese for the protection of children and prevention of abuse. This will be an opportunity to learn more and ask questions about VIRTUS, a program offered to all employees and volunteers. She also will explain Child Lures Prevention and Teen Lures Prevention, designed for youth to recognize lures and predator grooming behavior.

The public is welcome. For more information, contact Jim Kosinski at 989-837-2819 or jimkosinski@charter.net.

Monseñor Oscar Ojea, El presidente del Episcopado llamó a “dar un corte radical” a los abusos en la Iglesia

[Monsignor Oscar Ojea, Episcopate president, calls for "radical cut" in church abuses]


March 11, 2019

Fue al encabezar la apertura de la asamblea en Pilar donde se reúnen los obispos de todo el país.

Los obispos de todo el país se reúnen desde este lunes —y hasta el jueves— en la primera asamblea plenaria del año. Encabezada por el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal Argentina (CEA), monseñor Oscar Ojea, la reunión se desarrolla en la casa de retiros El Cenáculo de Pilar. En la primera jornada hubo una alusión directo a los abusos en la Iglesia a los que llamaron a dar "un corte radical".

Bishop under investigation for sexual misconduct is on spiritual retreat with Pope Francis

Catholic Herald

March 11, 2019

By Christopher Altieri

Bishop Zanchetta joins the Pope and senior Vatican officials on the retreat despite being under investigation for sexual and financial wrongdoing

The Catholic Herald has learned that a bishop currently under investigation for sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement, including claims he had naked selfies and gay pornography on his phone, is on retreat with Pope Francis and other senior members of the Roman Curia.

The bishop is Gustavo Zanchetta, emeritus of Orán, Argentina, and currently Assessor to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA). The bishop confirmed by phone to the Herald that he was on retreat.

The week-long Lenten retreat at the Casa del Divin Maestro began Sunday afternoon.

A January 4 statement from the Press Office of the Holy See said that Bishop Zanchetta would “abstain himself from work” during the investigation. “If the elements to proceed are confirmed,” the January 4 statement said, “the case will be referred to the special commission for the bishops.”

The Press Office of the Holy See had not responded by press time to requests from The Catholic Herald for information regarding Bishop Zanchetta’s current status.

Ezzati pide al papa apurar dimisión del estado clerical de Tito Rivera tras polémica entrevista

[Ezzati asks Pope to speed Tito Rivera's removal from clerical state after controversial interview]


March 15, 2019

By Yerko Roa and Nicole Martínez

El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, le pidió al papa Francisco apurar la dimisión del estado clerical del cura Tito Rivera –denunciado por una violación al interior de la Catedral Metropolitana–, luego de una entrevista que dio al programa Mentiras Verdaderas, donde reconoció su sexualidad activa. Nada bien cayeron las declaraciones del sacerdote Tito Rivera el miércoles por la noche en Mentiras Verdaderas de La Red.

Arias confirma investigación contra Monasterio de Monjes Trapenses de Codegua por casos de abusos

[Arias confirms abuse investigation against Trappist monks of Codegua]


March 16, 2019

By Manuel Stuardo and Nicole Martínez

El fiscal regional de O´Higgins, Emiliano Arias, confirmó que existe una investigación en contra del Monasterio de Monjes Trapenses de Codegua, la que aún se encuentra desformalizada, siendo parte de los antecedentes que se allanaron en el arzobispado de Santiago. Son al menos dos casos los que se indagan por el Ministerio Público, uno contra el actual abad, Pedro Barrientos, que incluye a un denunciante que postulaba para ser monje.

Pedophile ex-priest killed in his home reportedly hired male hookers

New York Post

March 13, 2019

By Gabrielle Fonrouge and Craig McCarthy

The New Jersey pedophile priest who was found shot to death in his Nevada home had a history of hiring male prostitutes, and police believe he was targeted for death, according to reports and neighbors.

The Henderson Police Department outside of Las Vegas has declined to comment on John Capparelli’s “suspicious” death, which has been ruled a homicide by the Clark County Coroner, but the local Fox 5 outlet reported the disgraced and defrocked priest had a history of ordering male prostitutes, citing police sources.

Capparelli, who’s been accused of sexually abusing at least two dozen young men while a New Jersey priest in the 1970s and 1980s and appeared on a list of Garden State priests credibly accused of sex abuse last month, was found dead on his kitchen floor on Saturday with a gunshot wound to his neck, the coroner’s office said.

When reached by The Post, neighbor Martha Lovato, 71, said police implied Capparelli’s death was a targeted attack.

“A policeman came to our door to ask if there were any outside cameras… they said they were investigating a crime in the neighborhood,” Lovato said.

Lovato added cops told her there was no cause for concern, leading her to believe it was a targeted attack.

“It sounds to me that somebody had a personal vendetta against him,” she said.

Another neighbor said cops believe Capparelli was killed last Wednesday Mar. 6 because he didn’t show up for dinner plans with a friend that night. Joann D’Angelo said the friend came by on Saturday morning to check on Capparelli and called police, who broke in and found his body.

Jefferson City priest placed on leave

News Tribune

March 16, 2019

A Catholic priest in Jefferson City has been placed on administrative leave while alleged boundary violations with minors at Immaculate Conception Church and School are investigated.

Information was shared with parishioners and students’ families this week regarding the Rev. Geoffrey Brooke, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Church.

In a letter to Immaculate Conception School families dated March 10, Bishop Shawn McKnight of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City stated the diocese had received allegations of violations involving Brooke. He wrote the diocese had notified the Missouri Children’s Division hotline and Brooke may not function publicly as a priest while on leave.

The letter was shared with the News Tribune by a community member, and Director of Diocesan Communications Helen Osman confirmed its authenticity.

“This does not mean there is a determination of guilty or if the allegations are credible,” McKnight noted in the letter.

McKnight said the Diocesan Review Board will receive information relevant to these allegations and update McKnight with its recommendation on what should happen with Brooke.

Sacerdote Héctor “Tito” Rivera pidió “ser dimitido del estado clerical”

[Priest Hector "Tito" Rivera asked "to be resigned from the clerical state"]

La Tercera

March 14, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

Ayer el religioso, acusado de violación al interior de la Catedral de Santiago, dio una polémica entrevista donde negó tajantemente las acusaciones, mientras que el Arzobispado rechazó varias de sus afirmaciones.

El sacerdote Héctor “Tito” Rivera solicitó hoy “ser dimitido del estado clerical”, en el marco de la investigación tras la denuncia en su contra, por violación de un mayor de edad al interior de la Catedral Metropolitana.

Ezzati reaparece en homilía y pide perdón por “las situaciones de pecado, de abusos, cometidos por algunos hermanos nuestros”

[Ezzati reappears in homily and asks forgiveness for "the situations of sin, of abuses, committed by some of our brothers"]

La Tercera

March 14, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

El arzobispo de Santiago había estado distanciado de las ceremonias masivas en medio de la investigación que se lleva en su contra, por encubrimiento de abusos sexuales.

Desde Navidad que el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, no aparecía en una ceremonia de alta convocatoria, como la de hoy, la Eucaristía de los 201 años del Voto de O’Higgins, en la Catedral Metropolitana.

Fiscal Arias: “Los obispos en general han declarado”

[Prosecutor Arias: "The bishops in general have answered questions"]

La Tercera

March 15, 2019

By M. J. Navarrete

El persecutor señaló que el énfasis de la investigación está en los casos que no han prescrito y destacó que después se verían eventuales encubrimientos.

El fiscal regional de O’ Higgins, Emiliano Arias, se refirió a la investigación que lleva respecto de presuntos abusos a menores cometidos por miembros del clero de la Iglesia Católica. El persecutor señaló que el énfasis de la investigación está en los casos que no han prescrito y destacó que después se verían eventuales encubrimientos. Respecto de las declaraciones de los obispos de esta semana, en que fueron citados Galo Fernández (Talca), Fernando Ramos (obispo auxiliar de Santiago y administrador apostólico de Rancagua), Moisés Atisha (Arica) y Fernando Chomali (Concepción), el persecutor señaló que “los obispos que han sido citados como imputados en general han prestado declaración y han respondido a las preguntas que se le realicen, con dos excepciones: Ezzati y Atisha”.

Sacerdote Tito Rivera se victimiza y niega denuncias en su contra: es "un montaje con el fin de sacar dinero"

[Priest Tito Rivera speaks out, denies accusations against him as "a montage in order to get money"]

El Mostrador

March 14, 2019

El sacerdote está en la mira de la justicia por la denuncia de violación en la Catedral, un hecho que además salpica al arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati por un supuesto encubrimiento. “La Iglesia me dio la espalda. Creo que el cardenal Ezzati ha sido prudente, pero de mis compañeros ninguno se ha tomado la molestia de visitarme”, añadió el religioso que asegura que “el 50% de los sacerdotes chilenos son homosexuales”

"Esta historia es inventada, un montaje con el fin de sacar dinero". Esta fue una de las declaraciones del sacerdote Tito Rivera, quien rompió el silencio tras las graves acusaciones en su contra, que incluyen una violación en plena Catedral de Santiago.

La Iglesia se reúne con las víctimas pero no se compromete a investigar los abusos del pasado

[Church meets with victims but does not commit to investigating past abuses]

El País

March 14, 2019

By Julio Núñez

La asociación nacional Infancias Robadas entrega 13 propuestas al presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal contra la pederastia

Representantes de la asociación nacional de víctimas de abusos sexuales se han reunido este jueves por primera vez con el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal Española (CEE), Ricardo Blázquez, para exigirle que tome medidas contra los casos de abusos abiertos o prescritos. Entre las exigencias de la agrupación Infancia Robada (AIR) destaca una: que se abra una investigación sobre la pederastia en las últimas décadas. Pero el cardenal no se ha comprometido a investigar el pasado, solo a trasladar el texto a la comisión antipederastia, según han informado los afectados al salir de la reunión. “El pasado también cuenta y cuando Blázquez dice que no investigará aquellos casos nos produce daño y enfado, vergüenza ajena y nos sentimos de nuevo agredidos”. En la Conferencia Episcopal no han querido hacer declaraciones.

Catholic school teacher outraged by what he’s been instructed to say about child sex abuse

Insight blog

March 16, 2019

In the aftermath of the George Pell scandal, a question has kept me awake at night: Why would anyone want to be a teacher at a Catholic school?

While this is not something I can freely discuss in the staff room, I don’t think I’m the only Catholic teacher who has come to this conclusion: I will continue to practice my faith; and I will continue to teach my students; but the Church is dead to me.

In the lead up to Pell’s sentencing, scores of priests used – or rather: abused – their Sunday pulpits to express contempt of the Australian judicial system. This denial from priests at every level in the Church is staggering – but not surprising. When the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began, representatives from the Catholic Education Office sat us down and told us how we should respond to any parent raising concern or anger at the Church. We were told to say we are ‘saddened’ by these ‘unfortunate’ revelations. At this point I publicly disagreed. I am not sad that the Church had been exposed – I am outraged that children have been abused. And I'm outraged by the Church's response.

The Church must be accountable to Civil Law like any other institution.

Even now, in the face of George Pell’s sentencing, bishops from around the country sent school principals letters stating the Church will not comment on Pell’s imprisonment until his appeal in June. The one part of the letter I did agree with, however, was the focus we must give to all victims.

Chilean bishops called in to testify about cover-up allegations


Mar 16, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Chilean bishops began testifying at the local prosecutor’s office this week on charges that they covered up cases of clerical sexual abuse.

Their questioning comes less than a year after every bishop in the country presented their resignation to Pope Francis, who said that many of them were guilty of cover-up and destroying evidence implicating abusive priests.

In all, eight Chilean bishops have been called to testify - some of them on charges that they themselves sexually abused either minors or seminarians.

At least three of them had court appointments this week. One of these, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, requested to postpone a hearing to request his case be dismissed after news broke earlier in the week that the cardinal had allegedly covered up for Father Tito Rivera, who’s been accused of raping an adult male in the Santiago cathedral.

Ezzati and the archdiocese are now being sued by the man for $500,000.

Francis is expected to accept Ezzati’s resignation soon, but sources with knowledge of the situation have told Crux that the pope is working hard to make sure he has the right replacement, and is at the same time not opposed to Ezzati feeling the edge of the sword of Damocles hanging over his head for a bit longer.

Lay people in Santiago and several members of the local clergy, on the other hand, are demanding the pontiff take action now.

Catholic Church hierarchy enabled sex abuse crisis

Press of Atlantic City

March 15, 2019

Your report of clerical abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Camden Diocese sparks special interest. I was educated at Blessed Sacrament in Margate and Holy Spirit in Absecon in the 1960s and 1970s, and many of the 56 accused priests’ names are familiar to me.

Galling best describes Camden Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan’s statement that 56 named priests were a “small percentage” of the more than 800 priests who had served over the past eight decades. His characterization of the problem sums up the problem itself: This is an epidemic of abuse enabled by church hierarchy.

The Catholic hierarchy has long known the findings of the late Richard Sipe, the psychotherapist and former Benedictine monk who treated and studied pedophile priests for decades. His findings estimated that 6 percent of clergy are child sexual predators. The Camden Diocese said 7 percent of its clergy have been credibly accused of acting out sexually with minors.

The diocese’s website lists the pedophile priests by name, along with their assigned parishes. Many of the clergy were reassigned with absurd frequency — up to 16 times — suggesting the diocese allowed these men to serially abuse youth with impunity.

Ted Gallagher
New York

Former Catholic priest from York County arrested, accused of molesting two altar boys

York Daily Record

March 14, 2019

By Candy Woodall

A defrocked York County priest was arrested Thursday morning on charges that he molested two altar boys between 1997 and 2002.

John G. Allen, who served in several parishes throughout Lebanon, Gettysburg, Selinsgrove, New Cumberland, Steelton, Lancaster and Harrisburg, is facing four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office.

Allen, a 75-year-old York County resident, abused the victims while they served as altar boys at St. Margaret Mary's Alacoque Church in Harrisburg, the criminal complaint said.

More: Priest accused of rape, defrocked - then got government job helping mentally disabled people

One victim said he was fondled from ages 10 to 13. The other victim said he was assaulted from ages 12 to 14, according to the district attorney's office.

Allen in August was among 301 abusive priests named in a Pennsylvania grand jury report and 71 named by the Diocese of Harrisburg.

A former altar boy filed a lawsuit in August against the Diocese of Harrisburg, claiming former Bishop William Keeler failed to protect him from an abusive priest.


Veracity blog

March 15, 2019

A woman’s own investigation into a priest she says sexually harassed her at a church in Fenton has prompted more calls for Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea to resign from his position.

In an open letter released Thursday, the woman also asks for the resignation of Lisa Kutas, who is the director of Human Resources for the Diocese of Lansing.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist in Fenton. She said she has been an active member of the church for several years.

Veracity is not naming her because she is a victim of sexual harassment. She also fears retaliation against her family.

The woman filed a sexual harassment complaint against Father Mathew Joseph in August 2018. She sent three letters to Bishop Boyea.

March 15, 2019

Diocese of Rochester ending settlement process for child abuse claims

Rochester First

March 14, 2019

By Howard Thompson

The Diocese of Rochester says it is concluding its settlement process as it reviews cases of reported sexual abuse at churches.

When complete, the diocese says more than 30 victims' claims will have been heard as part of the process. In a statement, the Diocese of Rochester says it "now wants to assess where we are as we prepare to respond to and cooperate with the process set forth in this recent legislation."

The legal process will continue, with Judge Robert Lunn serving as a mediator for the remaining claims. But, victims who have gone through the investigative process will have their claims administered by Judge Lynn.

"The Diocese has a long-established process of working directly with victims and will continue to do so," the church adds.

Statement concerning settlement process

Diocese of Rochester Website

March 14, 2019

With the passage of the Child Victims Act, the Diocese will conclude our settlement process involving Justice Robert J. Lunn, who has been serving as an independent neutral to resolve claims against the Diocese involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese now wants to assess where we are as we prepare to respond to and cooperate with the process set forth in this recent legislation. The program with Justice Lunn will not end immediately. Instead, all claimants who have now completed the investigation phase of the program will have their claims administered by Justice Lunn. When the process concludes, more than 30 claimants will have been heard. The Diocese has a long-established process of working directly with victims and will continue to do so.

Catholic Church cardinals implicated in sex abuse, cover-ups

Associated Press

March 7, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

The conviction of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin for failing to report a known pedophile priest to police deepens the crisis confronting an already discredited Catholic Church hierarchy. The verdict handed down by magistrates Thursday shows the church’s once-untouchable “princes” increasingly are judged accountable for priests who abuse children and the superiors who allowed the abuse to continue.

After centuries of impunity, cardinals from Chile to Australia and points in between are facing justice in both the Vatican and government courts for their own sexual misdeeds or for having shielded abusers under their watch..

Here is a look at cases implicating Catholic cardinals, members of the exclusive club of prelates that advises the pope and eventually elects his successor.

Cardinal Godfried Danneels Dies at 85

National Catholic Register

March 14, 2019

By Edward Pentin

The archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels was a controversial ‘reformer’ who jokingly admitted to being part of a ‘mafia’ club that tried to prevent Benedict XVI’s election in 2005.

Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who headed the Catholic bishops’ conference of Belgium for more than 30 years — and who favored changes to the Church that often put him at odds with Catholic teaching — died Thursday at the age of 85.

* * *

In 2010, Cardinal Danneels was accused of covering up a clerical sex-abuse case, which led to civil authorities raiding his private residence, as well as St. Rombaud Cathedral and archdiocesan property.

Leaked audio recordings revealed the Belgian cardinal urging the victim in that case not to make public that his abuser was the victim’s own uncle, Bishop Roger Vangheluwe of Bruges, and pressuring the young man not to force Bishop Vangheluwe to resign, which he did in 2010.

The cardinal’s spokesman said at the time that “there was no intention of any cover-up” and the recording had been taken out of context. But even if there was never a policy of cover-up, commentators criticized Cardinal Danneels for keeping Bishop Vangheluwe’s admission of guilt to himself, failing to convince his brother bishop to resign immediately, and for never involving a commission for protection of minors or his successor.

Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels dies at 85

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

March 14, 2019

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Vatican City - Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, retired archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, died March 14 at the age of 85.

Pope Francis expressed his condolences to Danneels' family and the Belgian faithful and praised the late prelate's zeal for the church, especially during the Synod of Bishops on the family in 2014 and 2015.

"This zealous pastor has served the church with dedication not only in his diocese but also at the national level as president of the Belgian bishops' conference, as well as serving as a member of various Roman dicasteries," the pope said in March 14 telegram to Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, the current archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels.

"I ask Christ, conqueror of evil and death, to welcome him into his peace and joy," the pope said. Born June 4, 1933, in Kanegem, Belgium, Danneels was the oldest of six children. He was ordained a priest in 1957 and two years later became chairman of the department of theology and spiritual director at the seminary in Bruges. In 1969, he became professor of theology at Louvain University.

* * *

Despite being respected within and outside the church, Danneels faced criticism in 2010 after meeting a victim of clergy sex abuse by a local bishop.

Belgium's Flemish-language De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad dailies published an alleged transcript of the then-retired cardinal's April 2010 meeting with relatives of the nephew of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe of Bruges. The unnamed nephew was abused by his uncle before and after the bishop's 1985 consecration.

Vangheluwe resigned in the same month after admitting abusing his nephew for 13 years.

According to the text, Danneels drew a distinction between "public and private punishment" of the bishop and suggested "forgiveness and forgiving" to the unnamed victim, who said he would leave the decision about going public to the cardinal.

French Court Convicts Cardinal of Not Reporting Child Abuse

Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

March 7, 2019

By Nicolas Vaux-Montagny

French cardinal offers to resign after court convicts him of failing to report known pedophile priest to police.

In a surprise ruling, France's senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, was convicted Thursday of failing to report a known pedophile priest to police, the latest high-ranking churchman to fall in the global reckoning over clergy sex abuse and cover-ups.

Magistrates in Lyon found that Barbarin had an obligation to report the Rev. Bernard Preynat to civil authorities and gave the cardinal a six-month suspended prison sentence. Barbarin offered to resign.

Preynat, who is scheduled to be tried on sexual violence charges next year, has confessed to abusing Boy Scouts in the 1970s and 1980s. People who said they were among the victims accused Barbarin and other church officials of covering up the priest's crimes for years.

Nine victims brought the case to trial. A group of Preynat's victims hailed the unanticipated conviction as a victory for child protection and a strong signal that church leaders will be held accountable.

Solidarity-era priest accused of abuse a monumental problem for Polish Church


March 9, 2019

By Paulina Guzik

On a day set aside for prayer and atonement for victims of sexual abuse in Poland, a statue of a Cold War-era priest was removed in the city of Gdańsk, after he was accused of abusing minors.

Penitential liturgies have been organized throughout Poland on the first Friday of Lent, including the Archdiocese of Gdańsk. On the same day, a statue of the legendary priest, Father Henryk Jankowski of Solidarność, was dismantled by order of the city council.

The coastal city of Gdańsk could be where “transparency,” the new flagship slogan of the Catholic Church - proclaimed during the Feb. 21-24 Vatican abuse summit - could run into the shallow waters of Poland.

Activist: Diocese of Ft. Wayne-SB failed to acknowledge 11 priests accused of abuse


March 14, 2019

By Karina Flores

Activists from a support group for victims abused by clergy members claim the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend failed to acknowledge 11 priests accused of abuse.

“We're here because we believe the bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend is deliberately concealing names of predator priests,” said David Clohessy, the St. Louis director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

Clohessy is traveling across the region calling for Bishop Kevin Rhoades to reconsider the list he released of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

“If [the bishop] is going to claim to come clean, he should really come clean and name all of the abusive priests, nuns, seminarians, bishops, brothers, monks – all of them,” Clohessy said.

As Jesuits Report Abusers, Experts Doubt Completeness

The Hoya

March 15, 2019

By Harrison Hurt

In the midst of an abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, the five Jesuit provinces in the United States released lists in December and January of priests accused of child sexual abuse. Yet the incomplete nature of these lists has sparked even greater criticism from lawyers and advocates, including lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented over 2,000 survivors of clerical abuse.

“The diocese and Jesuit Provinces want to appear as doing the right thing when they’re in fact doing the bare minimum,” Garabedian said in a phone interview with The Hoya.

Two ordained Jesuits with previous Georgetown affiliations and credible abuse allegations — Fr. Thomas M. Gannon, S.J., and Bernard Knoth — served in the Maryland Province but did not appear in the province’s Dec. 17 report, even after another province’s report revealed their time at Georgetown four days later.

For two former Jesuits mentioned the report, Fr. Neil McLaughlin, S.J., and H. Cornell Bradley, the province omitted time both priests had spent on Georgetown’s campus.

Gannon Abused Minors, Adults Across 3 Institutions; Later Taught Sociology at GU

The Hoya

March 15, 2019

by Myroslav Dobroshynskyi

In 1983, Fr. Thomas M. Gannon, S.J., received the faculty member of the year award from Loyola University Chicago for his work as chair of the sociology department. The same year, Gannon left Loyola to become a professor at Georgetown University and the director of the Woodstock Theological Center in Lauinger Library — a move that came after Gannon sexually abused a minor at a church in Highland, Ind., that year.

That accusation, deemed credible by the U.S. Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus in 2018, is one of several against Gannon, both before and after his time at Georgetown from 1983 to 1986. Gannon, who died in 2011, also sexually abused minors while teaching at an Ohio high school in the 1960s and at two parishes in the 1990s, according to the Midwest Province.

While he was chair of the sociology department at Loyola, Gannon — who would later teach sociology to undergraduates at Georgetown — allegedly sexually assaulted and harassed at least two graduate students, allegations that were reported at the time to Loyola administrators in the Jesuit order, but were not public until now.

Gannon taught Georgetown undergraduate classes on comparative social structures and the sociology of religion from 1983 to 1986, according to archives of class schedules from those years. During his time at Georgetown, Gannon lived in a Jesuit residence two blocks from the front gates and worked as the director of the Woodstock Theological Center, a research center located in the basement of Lauinger Library that was managed by the Maryland Province of the Jesuit order until the center closed in 2013.

Georgetown University, which first learned of allegations against Gannon from the Midwest Province’s report Dec. 17, 2018, has not publicly acknowledged his past work on campus.

"Sick Pleasure": GU Jesuit Walsh Abused Nieces for Decades

The Hoya

March 15, 2019

By Riley Rogerson

“We have a nightmarish fear that Father Walsh may sexually molest innocent female students, and little girls in the Georgetown area.”

Sarah Lynne Landsdale was 5 years old when her uncle, Fr. William J. Walsh, S.J., first molested her while wearing his clerical clothing. Approximately 40 years later, in 1996, she and four of her sisters told the Maryland Province that Walsh had abused each of them hundreds of times. And two years later, in 1998, she and her sisters called a press conference to plead for their uncle’s removal from Georgetown University’s campus.

Walsh, who served as a Georgetown professor during the 1966-67 school year and conducted research on campus from 1996 until 1998, sexually abused minors in at least four locations — including Washington, D.C. — over the course of four decades, according to a December 2018 report issued by the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus that deemed allegations against him credible.

Decade After Public Abuse Accusation, O’Connell Loses GU Emeritus Status

The Hoya

March 15, 2019

by Will Cassou

Fr. Daniel C. O’Connell, S.J., once a popular professor in the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus, was removed from his position as president of St. Louis University in 1978 after an allegation of sexual abuse. His work at Jesuit universities, however, continued for another 20 years, bringing him to Loyola University Chicago and Georgetown University, which only began the process of revoking his title of professor emeritus of psychology this week.

Though notified of credible allegations against O’Connell in 2009, Georgetown University did not decide to rescind O’Connell’s professor emeritus title until Wednesday, eight days after receiving questions from The Hoya for this story.

Fr. Daniel C. O’Connell, S.J., worked at Georgetown University as a professor, chaplain-in-residence and department chair. He was a professor emeritus at Georgetown until Wednesday.

Now 90, O’Connell served as a chaplain-in-residence in Harbin Hall and taught undergraduate psychology courses at Georgetown between 1989 and 1998, serving as chair of the psychology department for six of those years, according to university archival material. After leaving the university in 1998, he was granted professor emeritus status, a title he held for 16 years after his first legal settlement with a survivor of his abuse.

Serial Abuser Bradley Spent Year in Campus Ministry

The Hoya

March 15, 2019

By Sana Rahman

In between two periods of abusing minors as an administrator and a teacher at Gonzaga College High School in the 1960s and 1970s, former Jesuit priest H. Cornell Bradley worked as a campus minister at Georgetown University. Neither the university nor the Maryland Province of the Jesuit order, which has deemed allegations against Bradley credible, have acknowledged his time at Georgetown since his abuse was made public in 2006.

One year after his ordination, Bradley, who left the Jesuits in 2007 shortly after being removed from ministry, came to Georgetown in 1970, according to the Official Catholic Directory and contemporaneous records catalogued by the Maryland Province.

Bradley, now 80, lived two blocks from the university’s front gates at Holy Trinity Church from 1972 until 1976, according to a December 2018 report issued by the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus.

The Province did not include Georgetown on Bradley’s assignment record for the report, but later acknowledged his work on campus in a March 13 statement to The Hoya. Georgetown has not publicly acknowledged the allegations against Bradley, of which it was first notified by a March 1 email from The Hoya.

Survivor stories, in their own words

America Magazine

March 11, 2019

By David Clohessy and Rev. Dr. Serene Jones

[Includes 30-minute audio interview.]

Religious people need to face reality. The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the president of the Union Theological Seminary and the author of Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World. As Dr. Jones tells it, “we need to get out of our sweet little worlds…and not be afraid of the horror of what’s happening around us.” We need to listen.

For the next two weeks, “Deliver Us” will feature four episodes where sex abuse survivors have a chance to tell their stories, in their own words.

Listening to the survivors of sexual abuse can be difficult, but it is an essential part of the process of healing, says Dr. Jones. Bearing witness is a crucial component of the Christian life and Dr. Jones noted that “giving testimony and bearing witness is the absolute, most essential part of the process of healing. Until the stories and the reality of what's happened can come out into voice and can be heard by another person received by them, you can't start the healing process.”

Each survivor's story illustrates a unique journey through the shattering trauma of sexual abuse. We spoke with some people who found healing in breaking the silence and telling their stories. Another survivor committed herself to justice, fighting to prevent abuse from happening in the future. One survivor made his way back to his home parish and his spirituality after years away. There are many others who are just beginning these journeys.

As we prepared these episodes, Dr. Jones reminded us that when the stories become too much, we have to be able to admit that to ourselves and to find places, communities and people where we can also share our responses and “work through in [our] own heart what happened.”

In our first survivor stories episode, we will hear from Dr. Jones and sex abuse survivor and former national director of SNAP, David Clohessy.

Seven more Jesuit priests accused of abuse had ties to St. Louis


March 10, 2019

By Nassim Benchaabane

Seven more Jesuit priests who worked in St. Louis have been identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse, according to a list posted months ago by a Jesuit province but not publicized here until a survivors group outed the names on Friday.

Four of the priests were assigned to St. Louis University as recently as the 1970s, according to the Midwest Jesuit Province. One priest worked at Washington University in the late 1960s. Two, including one assigned to SLU, worked at St. Stanislaus Seminary in the 1940s. One of the priests, and a second convicted of abuse in Michigan, were patients at a Catholic treatment center in Dittmer as recently as 2012.

David Clohessy, spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, which pointed out the new information on Friday, said the Midwest Province should have published the information earlier.

“They tried to pull a fast one,” Clohessy said at a press conference SNAP called on Friday in front of St. Francis Xavier “College” Church on Lindell Boulevard on the SLU campus.

Critics Say North Dakota Dioceses Too Slow in Naming Problem Priests

Insurance Journal

March 15, 2019

By Dave Kolpack

North Dakota’s Roman Catholic dioceses are mulling whether and when to release information about priests accused of sexual abuse, even as critics say they are moving too slowly following explosive revelations in Pennsylvania last year.

The Bismarck Diocese, the state’s second-largest, says it plans to release the names of priests with “substantiated claims” against them of sexual misconduct with minors after it finishes reviewing its files. But the Fargo Diocese hasn’t yet decided whether to release names.

The dioceses responded to questions from The Associated Press following revelations in Pennsylvania last summer that more than 300 priests had been credibly accused of molesting more than 1,000 children, and as Pope Francis last month convened a summit of Catholic leaders from around the world on the issue.

Priests accused of sexual abuse file lawsuits against Diocese of Corpus Christi


March 12, 2019

By Tim Acosta

Two priests whose names were released by the Diocese of Corpus Christi in a list of priests who had been "credibly accused" of sexual misconduct have filed lawsuits against the diocese and Bishop Michael Mulvey.

Attorneys for Fr. John Feminelli and Msgr. Michael Heras filed lawsuits on behalf of both men Thursday in Nueces County. The men both claim Mulvey and the diocese made "false" statements by including them in the list and claiming they had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

"Defendants knew the statement was false and acted with reckless disregard for the truth," both lawsuits state. "The publication of the statement was made with malice."

Both Feminelli and Heras are seeking up to $11 million each in damages, according to the filings. They claim that there "was, and is, no evidence" that they were credibly accused "of the crime of sexual abuse of a minor."

The study concerning reported cases of sexual abuse of minors

Konferencja Episkopatu Polski (Polish Bishops Conference)

March 14, 2019

[See also the report (in Polish): Sexual abuse of minors by some clerics and some religious.]

382 reported cases of sexual abuse of minors, including 198 cases concerning minors under the age of 15, and 184 above the age of 15; the reported cases cover the time from January 1, 1990, to June 30, 2018 – according to the data received by the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference from all dioceses and religious orders. They were elaborated by the Institute for Catholic Church Statistics and the Child Protection Centre.

The total number of victims in all (also unconfirmed) cases under the age of 15 accounted for 345. Whereas, above the age of 15 – 280. Among the victims, in all reported cases, male minors accounted for 58.4%, while the female minors – 41.6%.

Among all the cases, in which the status of the canonical process was identified (94.8% of all reported cases), 74.6% of cases were already completed, and 25.4% of them were still in progress.

The cases completed with dismissal from the clerical state represented 25.2%. Other penalties (suspense, canonical admonition, prohibition on work with minors, removal from office, restriction of ministry or prohibition on public appearances) represented 40.3%.

Catholic Church in Poland Releases Study on Sexual Abuse by Priests

New York Times

March 14, 2019

By Joanna Berendt

Warsaw - The Roman Catholic Church in Poland released long-awaited statistics on Thursday that shed light on the sexual abuse of children by priests over the past 28 years.

The study, commissioned by the Episcopal Conference of Poland and pulling together data from over 10,000 local parishes, found that from 1990 to mid-2018, church officials received abuse reports concerning 382 priests.

During that time, the statistics said, 625 children, most of them aged 15 or younger, were sexually abused by members of the Catholic clergy.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, the president of the conference, said it was “particularly painful, even tragic” that priests betrayed public trust by “hurting those who are most vulnerable.”

French Cardinal Offers to Resign After Conviction for Covering Up Priest’s Sexual Abuse

Associated Press via New York Times

March 7, 2019

By Aurelien Breeden

Paris - A Catholic cardinal offered his resignation on Thursday after being found guilty by a French court of covering up decades-old sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese, a surprise victory for the priest’s accusers, who had forced the case to trial after it was dropped by prosecutors.

The conviction of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, was the first in France against such a high-profile clergyman, adding to a long list of sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church just weeks after a landmark meeting at the Vatican ended without a concrete plan to tackle the issue.

Cardinal Barbarin, 68, was found guilty of failing to report child abuse by the Rev. Bernard Preynat to the authorities from 2014 to 2015, after parishioners accused the priest of sexually abusing dozens of Boy Scouts in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The court handed down a six-month suspended prison sentence to Cardinal Barbarin, who had faced up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros, nearly $51,000. His lawyers said they would appeal.

Survivors want Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo to name priests accused of abuse

M Live Media

March 14, 2019

By Emily Monacelli

Kalamazoo - A support group for men and women abused by members of the Roman Catholic Church has called on the Diocese of Kalamazoo to publicly list the former Kalamazoo-area priests who have credible allegations against them.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on Thursday, March 14, called for Diocese of Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley to post the names of all church staff accused of molesting children on the websites of Kalamazoo churches. The post should include photos and work histories, SNAP said.

David Clohessy, director of SNAP Network’s St. Louis chapter, said he has found six priests who have worked in the Kalamazoo area and have been publicly accused of sex abuse.

Norwich Diocese settles priest abuse case for $900,000

Hartford Courant

March 12, 2019

By Dave Altimari

The Norwich Diocese has agreed to pay a former altar boy at a Pomfret church $900,000 to settle a claim that a priest sexually abused him “hundreds of times” over a six-year period in the 1990s.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2016 by Jonathan Roy against the diocese and now-deceased priest Paul Hebert, who was the pastor at The Most Holy Trinity Church in Pomfret when the alleged abuse took place between 1990-1996, the lawsuit said.

The case was settled rather than going to trial. The two sides were supposed to pick a jury in January but it was postponed while further mediation took place. The case was settled recently.

“We hope that the recent settlement reached in the case of allegations concerning late Father Paul Hebert brings closure to the parties involved,” Norwich Diocese spokesman Wayne Gignac said in a statement Tuesday.

New London attorney Kelly Reardon, who represented Roy, said Tuesday that Roy "is relieved that this ordeal is over and happy to get this behind him.” The lawsuit initially sought $2 million.

Defrocked priest accused of abusing teenage boys fatally shot in Nevada, police say

Fox News

March 14, 2019

By Ryan Gaydos

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest who was among nearly 200 New Jersey priests facing accusations of sexual abuse was shot and killed in a Las Vegas suburb, officials said Tuesday.

John Capparelli, 70, was found dead Saturday inside the kitchen of his Henderson home with a gunshot wound to his neck, said Nicole Charlton, the Clark County Coroner’s Office medical examiner. Capparelli had moved into the $319,000 home in August 2016, according to property records.

Police believe Capparelli died amid “suspicious circumstances,” but authorities haven’t divulged details as to whether there’s a suspect in his death or if the killing had anything to do with the abuse allegations.

Rochester diocese pulls plug on its sex-abuse victims compensation program

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

March 14, 2019

By Steve Orr

A new wave of allegations against Roman Catholic clergy will emerge in New York as a result of the new Child Victims Act. Matthew Leonard, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

The Diocese of Rochester ended its voluntary program to compensate victims of child sexual abuse Thursday, a move that could invite a greater number of lawsuits being filed by victims.

The diocese's reconciliation and compensation program, formed at the direction of the church hierarchy, aimed to settle claims from people who said they had been sexually abused as children by priests or other church figures.

The purpose was to offer a non-confrontational way to resolve claims without costly litigation.

About 30 people have entered into the settlement process, the diocese said, and compensation has been awarded in at least a half-dozen cases.

Former New Jersey Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Found Shot to Death

New York Times

March 12, 2019

By Rick Rojas and Liam Stack

Allegations of sexual abuse trailed John Capparelli, a former priest, for decades, resurfacing in the years after the Archdiocese of Newark removed him from ministry. There were the lawsuits from accusers, and last month his name was included on a list published by the Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey that identified priests who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

On Saturday, Mr. Capparelli was found fatally shot in his home in Nevada, and the authorities there said that his death was being investigated as a homicide.

The police said that officers found Mr. Capparelli’s body in his kitchen after being sent to do a wellness check at his home in Henderson, Nev., a city of 300,000 people just outside Las Vegas, where he has lived for the past few years.

Boy reported abuse to bishop, who told him to ‘Never speak of this again,’ suit alleges


March 13, 2019

By Rebecca Everett

It’s not unusual for victims of clergy sex abuse to wait decades to report what happened to them. But a lawsuit filed Friday claims a boy abused by a Vineland priest in 1962 was in a car within minutes of the abuse, being driven in the middle of the night to report it to the then-bishop of the Diocese of Camden.

“Never speak of this again,” was the response he received from the late bishop Celestine Damiano, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed by a 73-year-old Ocean County man describes abuse at age 16 by Father Richard Gerbino, then a priest at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Vineland. He is among the credibly-accused priests the New Jersey dioceses released publicly in February.

And in a twist, the priest the boy immediately reported the abuse to — and who drove him to meet with the bishop — also ended up being outed as a child abuser decades later.

The driver, John P. “Jack” Connor was named in the Pennsylvania clergy abuse grand jury investigation report. The report alleged bishops in Camden, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh shuffled him from diocese to diocese, even after he admitted to abusing a boy in 1984, until he was removed from ministry in 2002.

14 Abusive Priests Found in Georgetown’s Past, Present

The Hoya

March 15, 2019

By Adam Shaham, Will Simon and Will Cassou

Since 1937, Georgetown University students have learned from, lived with and sought the guidance of religious leaders on campus. Of those leaders, 14 have been credibly or plausibly accused of sexual abuse, according to an investigation by The Hoya.

Their names are Fr. Engelbert M. Axer, S.J.; Fr. Michael L. Barber, S.J.; H. Cornell Bradley; Fr. Neil Carr, S.J.; Fr. Martin J. Casey, S.J.; Fr. Augustine J. Ferretti, S.J.; Fr. Thomas M. Gannon, S.J.; Fr. Jack Kennington; Bernard Knoth; Fr. Anthony McGinley; Fr. Neil P. McLaughlin, S.J.; Fr. Daniel C. O’Connell, S.J.; Fr. William J. Walsh, S.J.; and Sr. Lisa Zuccarelli.

The credibility of accusations against each priest is based on settled lawsuits, the review of Catholic Church authorities or admissions of guilt. Each priest’s affiliation with Georgetown was verified through media reporting, public church statements or university archival material.

Georgetown confirmed all 14 priests were at some point affiliated with the university in a March 13 statement to The Hoya. Yet the university has publicly recognized abuse allegations against only four. One retained the title of professor emeritus at Georgetown until this week.

Your thoughts on the Vatican abuse summit

National Catholic Reporter

March 15, 2019

NCR readers had a myriad of reactions to the Feb. 21-24 summit of bishops at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sex abuse crisis. You can find all of NCR's coverage here. A sampling of letters from NCR readers reacting to the summit are below. They have been edited for length and clarity.

Abuse Victim to Michigan Bishop Boyea: Resign

Church Militant

March 14, 2019

Lansing - An abuse survivor has issued a public letter to Michigan Bp. Earl Boyea urging that he resign over his mishandling of clerical abuse cases.

"You must inform the public about your relationship with Egan and Inglot," the letter begins, "why you permitted both to be in charge of or near athletic men whom they would find attractive, and why the diocese attacked and discredited men who came forward."

The young man, who has asked to remain anonymous, was a victim of Fr. Pat Egan, who was stripped of his faculties in Sept. 2018 after a credible allegation of "inappropriate sexual behavior with an adult male," according to the diocese's statement.

The diocese left out the significant fact that Boyea had first learned of the allegation in 2014 but had taken no action to remove the priest from ministry for four years.

Former Saginaw Priest and Principal Accused of Abuse

Associated Press via CBS 62 Detroit

March 15, 2019

Saginaw - Church leaders in the Saginaw Diocese say a priest who was a local school principal in the 1980s is on a list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse.

Francis Landwermeyer died in September in Texas. The Saginaw Diocese says it learned Wednesday that he was accused of sexually abusing minors elsewhere, although his name was publicly disclosed by the Jesuit order in December.

Minnesota priests gather to listen, reflect on Church’s sex abuse crisis

Religion News Service via Crux

March 12, 2019

By Maria Wiering

Father Kevin Finnegan said he didn’t know what to expect when he arrived at St. Peter in Mendota.

The pastor of Our Lady of Grace in Edina was responding to an invitation Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda had extended to priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: to join him for an evening to reflect on the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

But Finnegan was grateful he went.

With about 80 other priests, he listened to presentations from a clergy abuse survivor and his mother. Both shared how the experience affected their Catholic faith and suggested ways priests can better help other survivors.

March 14, 2019

Kansas bill requiring clergy to report suspected sexual abuse receives broad support

Lawrence Journal-World

March 13, 2019

By Dylan Lysen

A bill that would require clergy to be mandatory reporters of suspected sexual assault received broad support during its first hearing in the Kansas Legislature.

Several people who identified themselves as victims or related to victims of sexual violence spoke Wednesday in support of Senate Bill 218 before the Kansas Senate’s state and federal affairs committee. Baldwin City Democrat Sen. Tom Holland introduced the bill in January.

The bill would add religious leaders, regardless of religion, to already existing laws that require teachers, social workers, firefighters, police, psychologists, therapists and other professionals to relay information of possible sexual assaults and other abuse to law enforcement.

“This, to me, is a no-brainer,” Holland said. “This is an issue across all religions and denominations.”

Janet Patterson, a Wichita woman who said she has fought for years to shed light on sexual violence committed by Kansas priests, shared the story of her son Eric, who killed himself at the age of 29. Patterson said that shortly before Eric’s death, she learned that Eric said he had been sexually assaulted by Robert Larson, a Catholic priest in Wichita. Larson pleaded guilty in 2001 to abusing three altar boys and another man, and he served several years in prison before his death in 2014, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Ex-priest accused of sex abuse found shot to death in Nevada: report

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

March 14, 2019

By Kim Chatelain

A former New Jersey priest who was credibly accused of groping young boys was shot to death in his Nevada home, NJ.com reported.

The body of John Capparelli, 70, was found in the kitchen of his home in Henderson, Nevada, by police who were conducting a welfare check on Saturday (March 9). He had been shot once in the neck, the website reported.

Capparelli’s name was included in a list of 188 clergymen in New Jersey who had been “credibly accused” of sex crimes against children. The state’s five Catholic dioceses released the names while under mounting pressure to identify clergy accused of sexual misconduct, according to NJ.com.

NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere Hit With Child Pornography Charges, Co-Founder Nancy Salzman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy


March 14, 2019

By Maria Sherman

There’s been a major update in the ongoing criminal trials surrounding NXIVM, the self-help organization and alleged “sex cult” that reportedly branded women with the initials of their leader Keith Raniere and forced them to offer up life-destroying collateral should they ever speak out publicly against the group. Nancy Salzman, the registered nurse who co-founded the group with Raniere, has plead guilty to conspiracy during a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Her sentencing is set for July 10.

Salzman teamed up with Raniere to form what she assumed was going to be a totally legitimate self-help organization, but quickly became involved in criminal activities to protect it. She admitted to stealking the identities of people looking to expose the group, hacking into their emails from 2003-2008, and tried to edit videos illuminating her criminal activities before they were surrender to plaintiffs in New Jersey. Salzman told the courtroom:

NXIVM Co-Founder Pleads Guilty in New York Sex Slave Case

The Associated Press

March 13, 2019

Nancy Salzman, a registered nurse who was known as "Prefect" within the embattled upstate New York self-help organization, was involved in stealing identities of the group's critics and hacking into their email accounts from 2003 to 2008, prosecutors said.

A co-founder of an embattled upstate New York self-help organization pleaded guilty on Wednesday in a case featuring sensational claims that some followers became branded sex slaves.

An emotional Nancy Salzman told a judge in federal court in Brooklyn that she teamed up with Keith Raniere, the NXIVM group's self-styled spiritual leader, because she wanted to help people improve their lives. But Salzman admitted that she later lost her way when she joined efforts to spy on perceived enemies seeking to expose the Albany-based group as a cross between a pyramid scheme and a cult.

"It has taken some time and soul searching to come to this place," said Salzman, choking back tears. "I accept that some of what I did was not just wrong, but criminal. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would. But I can't."

The Leader Of An Alleged Secret International Sex Cult Has Been Charged With Child Porn

BuzzFeed News

March 13, 2019

By Brianna Sacks

Keith Raniere, a self-help guru who allegedly recruited women into his group and forced them to be sex slaves, also victimized teenage girls, according to new court filings.

The co-founder of NXIVM, the self-help group that was allegedly used as a front of a secret sex cult, now faces child pornography charges.

Federal prosecutors, who announced the charges Wednesday, allege Keith Raniere took photos of two underage girls, one of whom he made a "slave."

Authorities in New York arrested Raniere last year, busting open the bizarre operation of the self-help group that prosecutors say recruited women into a type of pyramid scheme, then brainwashing and manipulating them into becoming sex slaves while following strict diets and performing manual labor.

Archdiocese to re-examine list of clergy accused of abuse


The Associated Press

March 13, 2019

The Archdiocese of Detroit says it will re-examine names on a list it put together of clergy credibly accused of abuse.

The Detroit News reports that the announcement Wednesday follows allegations by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that the list is incomplete.

Members of the support group say more than two dozen clerics accused of child molestation are not on the list even though they are or were in the Detroit area.

The archdiocese says it also will look at information provided by religious orders and that oversights on the list will be corrected.

Activist blasts Archdiocese of Detroit's handling of clergy sex abuse

Click on Detroit

March 13, 2019

By Rod Meloni and Amber Ainsworth

Man says list of accused clergy members is incomplete

An activist claims the Archdiocese of Detroit is not being fully honest in how it is handling clergy members accused of sexual abuse.

"We believe that the Detroit archbishop is being less than honest with his list of credibly accused priests," David Clohessey said.

Clohessey is the former national president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. He says that Archbishop Allen Vigneron's handling of the priest abuse scandal is insufficient.

For instance, the archdiocese put out a list of more than five dozen clerics who have Detroit ties, but a former priest who is in prison for criminal sexual conduct isn't on the list. James Francis Rapp, who was a priest at the Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, is serving 40 years at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility.

Former Harrisburg priest arrested, charged with indecent assault

CBS 21

March 14, 2019

By Alexandra Simon

A former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg was arrested Thursday morning on accusations that he molested two altar boys between 1997 and 2002.

John G. Allen was arrested on four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors.

According to the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office, an investigation into Allen, now 75, began in October 2018 after the Diocese of Harrisburg notified the DA's office of allegations made against the former priest.

Poland’s Catholic Church says 382 priests abused minors since 1990

The Associated Press

March 14, 2019

Poland’s Catholic Church leaders revealed Thursday they have recorded cases of 382 priests abusing minors since 1990.

The figure includes 198 priests who abused minors under 15 years old and 184 priests who abused others, aged between 15 and 18, according to Wojciech Sadlon, the head of the church’s Institute of Statistics.

The crimes occurred from 1990 through the middle of last year, he told a news conference.

Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the primate of Poland, expressed “pain, shame and the sense of guilt that such situations happened.”

The figures were released following a three-day session of Poland’s Episcopate in Warsaw that discussed abuse and ways of protecting children.

The release came just weeks after Pope Francis convened church leaders from around the world to the Vatican, where they discussed the issue of sex abuse of minors by the clergy.

Msgr. Mazur relieved of priestly duties

Altoona Mirror

March 14, 2019

A priest at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament has been put on leave, a move the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese indicated is because of an investigation into allegations involving a minor.

“This comes as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct involving a minor, which occurred years ago,” diocese spokesman Tony DeGol said in a statement about Monsignor Robert C. Mazur that was sent out to news media late Wednesday afternoon.

“This matter is reported to law enforcement,” DeGol added, although what law enforcement agency DeGol is referring to remains unknown at this time.

The 68-year-old Mazur served as the rector of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament since 1995 and was also administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Altoona since 2015.

Former priest with Harrisburg Diocese charged with indecent assault

Penn Live

March 13, 2019

By Travis Kellar

A former priest with the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has been arrested on child molestation charges, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

John G. Allen, 75, of York was arrested Thursday by detectives from the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division. Allen is charged with four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors.

Allen is accused of molesting two boys between 1997 and 2002 while they served as altar boys for St. Margaret Mary’s Alacoque Church in Harrisburg, police say.



March 13, 2019

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

Permitted McCarrick's living arrangements at IVE Seminary

Cardinal Donald Wuerl allowed Theodore McCarrick to move onto seminary property, in spite of knowing about allegations of homosexual predation, giving McCarrick free access to seminarians, some who lived and traveled with him.

In 2009, McCarrick was ordered by Pope Benedict to move out of Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Seminary in Washington, D.C. McCarrick then moved into a parish, but shortly afterwards left to live on the grounds of another seminary: the Institute of the Incarnate Word (Instituto del Verbo Encarnado, IVE), with Wuerl's full knowledge and permission.

As Church Militant has reported, McCarrick had close ties to the IVE, frequently flying down to Argentina to stay at the community's headquarters in San Rafael, where he visited with its founder, Fr. Miguel Buela, and ordained priests.

Diocese of Saginaw releases name of former priest accused of sexually abusing children


March 13, 2019

By Brianna Owczarzak and Jamie Sherrod

Victims of sexual abuse from priests are speaking out against the Catholic church in Saginaw, calling for more transparency from church leaders.

It comes on the same day the church’s most senior cleric ever to be convicted of child sexual abuse is heading to prison.

“Our mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. And that’s essentially what we’re doing here today,” said David Clohessy, leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in St. Louis.

Ex-priest charged with raping New Mexico girl in 1990s

Santa Fe New Mexican

March 13, 2019

By Rebecca Moss

Former Roman Catholic priest Sabine Griego was arrested Tuesday at his home in Las Vegas, N.M., accused of raping an 8-year-old Albuquerque girl nearly three decades ago.

Griego, 81, has been charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with one count of sexual penetration of a minor and coercion resulting in great bodily harm and mental anguish. He is being held without bond at the San Miguel County Detention Center in Las Vegas.

Documents filed by the Attorney General’s Office this week suggest the Archdiocese of Santa Fe knew of the rape allegations made by “Jane Doe A” for at least 15 years and likely much longer.

According to the arrest warrant, a 2004 letter marked “confidential” and signed by then-Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan provides “direct evidence” that the rape occurred and that the archdiocese had appeared to have conducted an investigation.

Saginaw Diocese says ex-Nouvel principal had credible sex abuse of minors allegations


March 13, 2019

By Bob Johnson

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw said it has learned of new allegations against a deceased former priest accused of sexually abusing minors.

According to a statement released by the diocese on Wednesday, March 13, Francis M. Landwermeyer, a former Jesuit priest who served as principal of Nouvel Catholic Central High School from 1985-88, was “credibly accused of multiple allegations” of sexual abuse.

Santa Fe Archbishop: Accused Priests Don't Represent Church

U.S. News & World Report/The Associated Press

March 14, 2019

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester says people shouldn't write off the Roman Catholic Church because of former priests who are facing child rape and sexual abuse charges.

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester says people shouldn't write off the Roman Catholic Church because of former priests facing child rape charges.

Wester told The Associated Press on Wednesday he understands the hurt and anger surrounding news of former Catholic priests being accused of sexual misconduct. But Wester says the church shouldn't be judged by the actions of a few and those actions don't represent the more than a billion Catholics around the world.

This week, the New Mexico Attorney General's office announced it had filed charges against a former priest who prosecutors say brutally raped a young girl at an Albuquerque Catholic school 30 years ago.

Change of venue sought in Saginaw County priest’s sexual assault trials


March 13, 2019

By Cole Waterman

The sexual assault trials of a Roman Catholic priest charged in Saginaw County could occur elsewhere if a judge agrees with defense counsel’s argument that media reports have made it impossible to seat a fair jury.

Attorney Alan A. Crawford, representing the Rev. Robert J. “Father Bob” DeLand Jr., on March 11 filed a motion seeking a change of venue in his client’s matters. Crawford said heavy media coverage of DeLand has prejudiced potential jurors.

Nunavut premier supports extradition of priest accused of sex crimes

Nunatsiaq News

March 13, 2019

By Jane George

"The alleged crimes of Fr. Rivoire have created a devastating legacy in Nunavut"

Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq has written to the federal government to complain that Canada has backed away from extraditing Father Joannis Rivoire, a fugitive priest accused of sexually abusing Inuit children in the 1960s.

“The alleged crimes of Fr. Rivoire have created a devastating legacy in Nunavut, one that continues to impact our families and cultivate lingering trauma,” Savikataaq said in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that was tabled on March 6 in the legislature.

Savikataaq made the commitment to write the letter to Trudeau in the legislature last month after facing questions from Aggu MLA Paul Quassa on the subject.

Studie: Ausmaß des sexuellen Missbrauchs in Kirchen deutlich höher


March 13, 2019

[Google translate: Study: extent of sexual abuse in churches much higher]

Das Ausmaß sexuellen Missbrauchs in beiden großen Kirchen in Deutschland ist einer neuen Studie zufolge wahrscheinlich deutlich höher als bislang angenommen.

Es sei von etwa 114.000 Betroffenen sexuellen Missbrauchs durch katholische Priester und noch einmal so vielen durch Pfarrer und Mitarbeiter in evangelischen Kirchen auszugehen, heißt es in der Untersuchung der Universität Ulm, die dem Evangelischen Pressedienst (epd) vorliegt. Zuerst hatte die Tageszeitung "Die Welt" (Dienstag) über die Studie berichtet.

Wissenschaftler um den Direktor der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie der Universität Ulm, Jörg Fegert, rechneten 2018 eine repräsentative Umfrage auf die Gesamtbevölkerung in Deutschland hoch. Dabei kamen sie auf bis zu 30 Mal so hohe Zahlen wie die Missbrauchsstudie der deutschen katholischen Bischöfe.

Polish Church says 382 minors abused by clergy from 1990-2018


March 14, 2019

By Marcin Goclowski

As many as 382 children were sexually abused by clergy in Poland between 1990 and 2018, according to findings presented on Thursday by the Polish Catholic Church in one of the most devout countries in Europe.

The report follows investigations into widespread abuse of minors by clergy in other countries - notably in Chile, the United States, Australia and Ireland - that have shaken the Roman Catholic Church to its foundations.

"This is an especially painful, tragic issue as it is connected with consecrated people, who devoted themselves to serving the church, other human beings. They have social trust and this social trust was so tragically violated," Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said at a news conference.

Laity Mobilize to End the Sex-Abuse Crisis and Reform the Church

National Catholic Register

March 12, 2019

By Peter Jesserer Smith

Throughout the Church’s history, the laity have proved essential to the reform of the clergy, and the present crisis is no exception.

Peter Isley, a sex-abuse survivor, has seen the sex-abuse crisis erupt in the Church three times. But this last time is different: The scope of the crisis emerging is global, the responsibility of the bishops for the cover-up of abuse is laid bare, and the laity are now taking the reform of the Church into their own hands.

“I’ve not seen this level of laypeople angry,” he said. “They’re just not tolerating this anymore.”

For Isley, a U.S. spokesman for the Ending Clergy Abuse coalition, this moment in the Church’s history comes after decades of a via dolorosa, where he and other victims suffered enormous persecution as they tried to wake up the lay faithful to the sex-abuse crisis and the cover-up by bishops and their chanceries.

Commentary: Has the Catholic Church committed the worst crime in American history?

The Chicago Tribune

March 12, 2019

By George Will

“Horseplay,” a term used to denote child rape, is, says Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, part of a sinister glossary of euphemisms by which the Catholic Church's bureaucracy obfuscates in documents the church's "pattern of abuse" and conspiracy of silence "that goes all the way to the Vatican." "Benevolent bishops" are those who allow predatory priests, shuffled from other dioceses, to continue as priests.

The fuse for the national explosion of fury about sexual abuse by Catholic clergy was lit in Boston — the excellent 2015 movie "Spotlight" recounts The Boston Globe's victory over the stonewalling Catholic hierarchy in 2001-2002. But the still-reverberating detonation occurred last August in a Pittsburgh grand jury's report on the sexual abuse by approximately 300 priests of at least 1,000 victims in six Pennsylvania dioceses.

Seven months later, the nationwide stonewalling and cover-up continue by the church that, Shapiro says, has resisted discovery "every step of the way." And "bishops are still involved." The church fought his office's jurisdiction, and fought the release of the report with its sickening details of, for example, giggling priests photographing and fondling boys, and "whips, violence and sadism."

At Lent, Catholics Reflect On Faith As Sex Abuse Scandal Shakes The Church

National Public Radio

March 10, 2019

By Michel Martin

Lent is meant to be a time of reflection for Christians around the world. But once again this year, it comes at a time of deep disquiet within the faith. Sexual abuse and misconduct scandals have continued to rock the Catholic Church, leading many to question their religious institutions, or even their faith itself.

Just this past week, a French Catholic Cardinal was found guilty of covering up dozens of incidents of sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese.

NPR's Michel Martin spoke with Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun from Erie, Penn. and author of numerous books, about the turmoil caused by these scandals — and how she believes that Lent can help people get their faith back on track.

Length: 6:01

Survivor Group Demands Saginaw Diocese Transparency

WSGW News Radio 790

March 13, 2019

Clergy sex abuse victims have come forward to demand information on more priests that have been accused of sexual misconduct.

The Saginaw catholic diocese has come under fire for priests who have been involved in sexual abuse cases during or prior to their time in Saginaw. During an informational picket session, SNAP ( Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) made a point to reveal the newly accused priests as Fathers Roy Drake, Francis Landwermeyer, and Austin Schlaefer for their alleged involvement.

Schlaefer and Drake have since passed away, but SNAP still wants to bring attention to the issue of sexual abuse in the diocese to prevent any future acts or history from getting swept under the rug.

Survey: More than a third of US Catholics question loyalty in wake of scandals

Religion News Service

March 13, 2019

By Jack Jenkins

A new survey reveals that more U.S. Catholics are questioning whether they should remain in the church today than when news of the “Spotlight” child sex abuse scandal broke in the Boston Archdiocese in 2002.

According to a poll released Wednesday (March 13) by Gallup, more than a third of U.S. Catholics — 37 percent — surveyed in January and February said they have questioned whether they should remain in the church. That’s up from 22 percent in 2002, when The Boston Globe published its report detailing widespread child sex abuse by priests in the city.

Frequent churchgoers were less likely than other Catholics to say they are rethinking their affiliation with the faith this year. Only 22 percent of Catholics who attend church weekly today said they have considered leaving the faith, compared with 37 percent of those who attend nearly weekly or monthly and 46 percent of those who seldom or never attend.

Archdiocese of Detroit will re-examine list of accused clergy

The Detroit News

March 13, 2019

By Sarah Rahal

The Archdiocese of Detroit said Wednesday that it will re-examine its list of religious order priests accused of abuse that some victims allege is incomplete.

The announcement came after members of a support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) claimed city's Catholic officials are being "reckless and secretive" by withholding details of all accused priests.

"As a result of these concerns, the archdiocese will carefully re-examine each name on our current list as well as the source information provided by the religious orders. If we discover any oversight on our part, it will be corrected immediately," the diocese said in a statement to The Detroit News.

SNAP members shared a list of 28 publicly accused clerics with allegations of child molestation who are or were in Detroit area but are not on the Detroit's archdiocese's list of credibly accused clerics.

MITCHELL GARABEDIAN, Boston: Hernandez ruling a comfort to Geoghan clergy abuse victims

The Patriot Ledger

March 13, 2019

To the editor:

I have represented 153 clergy sexual abuse victims of the late John J. Geoghan, who was convicted of child molestation in Massachusetts before he was murdered in prison.

Today, many clergy sexual abuse victims of Geoghan feel as though they have not been forgotten even though the ruling of the court (“Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction reinstated,” March 13) does not apply retroactively to his conviction.


Ex-priest defrocked for sex abuse killed in his home

KFSN – Fresno

March 13, 2019

He was accused of groping and brutalizing teenage boys, but still worked as a teacher and home tutor for high school and college students.

A Lyon, le cardinal Barbarin suspendu au verdict de la justice des hommes


March 7, 2019

[Google Translate: In Lyon, Cardinal Barbarin suspended on the verdict of men's justice]

Silence coupable ou "erreur d'appréciation"? Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin va savoir ce jeudi si le tribunal de Lyon le condamne pour ne pas avoir dénoncé les agressions pédophiles d'un prêtre de son diocèse.

L'audience de début janvier avait marqué les esprits, tant le prélat incarne depuis trois ans en France la crise de l'Église face à la pédophilie, qui vient de faire l'objet d'un sommet inédit de la hiérarchie catholique au Vatican.

High school students involved in nude sexting scandal: 'Most have no clue they are committing a crime'

Yahoo Lifestyle

March 14, 2019

By Kristine Solomon

About four dozen high school students have been disciplined after authorities uncovered a sexting scandal in which the classmates, aged 14 to 17, sent explicit photos to one another.

Last month, a parent informed the principal of Georgia’s Union County High School of the illegal photo exchange, which led to a larger investigation, according to WSB-TV. Police determined athat t least 46 students were involved in the incident, but Union County Schools superintendent John Hill says that number could be closer to 50 — accounting for 6% of the school’s population of 850 students.

Hill realizes the situation is more than mere misconduct — but he’s not convinced the students do. “In Georgia, if you’re under the age of 18, [sexting nude photos is] actually manufacturing and distribution of child pornography,” he said. “Most of the kids do not have a clue that they are committing a crime.”

That’s why the district chose not to press felony charges, though they could have.

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform


March 13, 2019

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican's most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW's Christoph Strack.

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope's finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell's lawyers have appealed the decision but for now Pell will go straight to jail, giving him time to think about his deeds — just like his victims are forced to come to terms with what Pell once did to them. Indeed, for a very long time the Catholic Church refused to acknowledge cases of sexual abuse even existed.

David Marr on the extraordinary rise of George Pell – The Reckoning podcast

The Guardian

March 2019

Now that George Pell has been found guilty of child sexual abuse, we can ask ourselves: what does his story tell us about the Catholic church? The rise of Pell, from a country diocese in Australia to the highest ranks of the Vatican, shows us what attitudes and actions find swift promotion in this ancient organisation

Length: 27:22

Pope Francis enacts his culture shift as the Catholic Church’s abuse crisis topples cardinals

The Globe and Mail

March 13, 2019

By Michael W. Higgins

Michael W. Higgins is distinguished professor of Catholic thought at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

It is a strange and disturbing business to see several cardinals lined up for indictment, censure, canonical sanction, jail sentences and public humiliation. It is not the customary way cardinals deport themselves.

But times have changed. Hans Hermann Groer of Vienna may be deceased, but he ushered in the legacy of shame back in the 1980s when he abused seminarians. As did Keith O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, who also retired in disgrace and died before having to return his red hat. Theodore Edgar McCarrick plunged the U.S Catholic Church into a crisis that is still roiling, and when he was judged to have abused a minor, in addition to seminarians, he paid the heaviest price yet: compelled to resign from the College of Cardinals and stripped of his priesthood. And now, Philippe Barbarin – Archbishop of Lyon and Primate of France – is paying a visit to Pope Francis to submit his resignation following a court trial that found him guilty of a clerical sex-abuse cover-up, while George Pell, a senior adviser to the Pope on economic matters and the most powerful Catholic prelate in Australia, has been sentenced to six years in jail for the abuse of two choir boys.

The good, the bad and the merciful: Pope Francis after six years

Religion News Service

March 13, 2019

By Thomas Reese

Six years ago, on March 13, the College of Cardinals surprised the world with the election of the Argentine Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as pope. Taking the name Francis, he won the admiration and respect of Catholics and non-Catholics alike with his simplicity and concern for the poor and marginalized.

With each passing year, however, criticism of the pope has become more vocal, especially from the Catholic right, who think he is breaking with traditional church teaching, and the political right, who don't like his views on global warming, immigration and social justice. Francis has also been unable to satisfy those who say the Catholic hierarchy's response to the clergy sex abuse crisis has been inadequate.



March 11, 2019

By Antonio Spadaro, SJ

As much as the calendar marks the anniversary of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the pontificate, you can’t stop time and take a snapshot. In short: it is not time for assessments. Reality is in motion. However, it is possible to reflect on these years highlighting some basic characteristics of Francis’ action.

First of all, the Pontiff has given the Church a synodal “rhythm” through which in six years three synods (on family and on youth) were celebrated, a synodal encounter (on the protection of minors) was held and the Synod on the Amazon is in preparation. The latter will have — as is already well understood now — a universal value, certainly not just regional. Reform is not the gesture of an isolated Don Quixote, but is the fruit of a long process of involvement for the Church.

Sixth year may go down as the most decisive in Francis' papacy

National Catholic Reporter

March 13, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

It was the early afternoon Eastern time when the smoke started to billow from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel. At first, it was hard to tell if it was white or not, but as the camera stayed trained on it, and the TV anchors debated its color, the smoke grew whiter and whiter, and then the bells of St. Peter's Basilica began to ring. Habemus papam.

It has been six years to the day since the cardinals elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal deacon, announced: Qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum.

The new pope emerged on the loggia wearing a simple white cassock and greeted the people gathered in the square below with the simple words of greeting: "Buona sera." The choice of name indicated a concern for the poor, and the simplicity of his manner suggested a less exalted or, at any rate, a less fancy papacy.

Unlike his concern for the poor and a more simple papal style that were immediately apparent, something not discernible that first night turned out to be foundational: Pope Francis has retrieved a sense of synodality that had been obscured, but never eliminated, after almost two centuries of Ultramontanist ecclesiology. As Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro, one of the Holy Father's closest confidants, wrote earlier this week:

Will Pell be abuse crisis’s Eichmann, Count of Monte Cristo or Rosenbergs?


March 13, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

In early June, Cardinal George Pell of Australia will have a hearing before the Supreme Court of Victoria regarding his appeal of a conviction for sexually abusing two minor altar boys in the 1990s, for which he was sentenced Wednesday morning local time to 6 years in prison with the possibility of parole after half that time is served.

While many uncertainties remain about the Pell case, at the level of public perceptions perhaps the greatest is this: Is the 77-year-old prelate destined to become the Adolf Eichmann, the Count of Monte Cristo, or the Rosenbergs of the clerical abuse scandals?

Respectively, those figures have passed into history as leading symbols of the following possibilities vis-à-vis criminal justice:

Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction to be reinstated, court rules

The Boston Globe

March 13, 2019

By John R. Ellement

Aaron J. Hernandez’s first-degree murder conviction must follow him to his grave, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday as it jettisoned a murky 44-year-old legal principle that would have erased his conviction.

The former New England Patriots star was convicted in Bristol Superior Court in 2015 of murdering Odin L. Lloyd in June 2013 in North Attleborough, but he committed suicide in his maximum security prison cell in 2017 before the appeal of his murder trial could be heard.

A lower court judge had thrown out the conviction, relying on a legal principle known as “abatement ab initio” that became part of Massachusetts case law via a 1975 ruling by the state Supreme Judicial Court.

In its 6-0 ruling Wednesday, the high court said it could not find a “reasoned analysis” to have ever used the concept in the first place.

Civil Courts Step In to Solve What the Catholic Church Won’t

The Atlantic

By Rachel Donadio

March 14, 2019

The conviction of a high-ranking cardinal for sexually abusing two boys shows that civil authorities, and not Church officials, will bring abusers to justice.

This week marked a major turning point in the Catholic Church’s sexual-abuse crisis. An Australian court sentenced Cardinal George Pell to six years in prison for sexually abusing minors, a decision that not only makes him the highest-ranking Church official to face civil justice, but also underscores a central animating tension in the issue: the one between civil and Church authorities.

After years in which victims saw Church officials as lax and unresponsive, more protective of the abusers than of the abused, civil justice has moved in and filled the gap. Pell isn’t the only cardinal who’s been on trial. A French court last month convicted Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, on charges of covering up for an abusive priest in his diocese in a case brought by a vocal group of victims, La Parole Libérée. Their effort is now the subject of a feature film in France. In the United States, a grand-jury report in Pennsylvania released last summer found evidence of the abuse of 1,000 children—and since then, other states have begun exploring their own grand-jury investigations.

Until Pell went back to Australia two years ago to face trial, he was seen as a reformer inside the Vatican. An adviser to Pope Francis, who named him the prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy and a member of the pope’s nine-person advisory council, Pell was known in Vatican City as a straight-talking Anglophone in an opaque Italian-run bureaucracy, a man who garnered enemies by poking under the rocks in the Vatican’s finances. In Australia, though, he has become the emblem of the Church’s abuse of power: Delivering his sentence, a judge spoke of Pell’s “staggering arrogance,” The New York Times reported.

George Pell's jailing defies the might of Rome but his fall is too appalling for celebration

The Guardian

March 12, 2019

By David Marr

Pell’s sentencing showed he was accountable to the law – and the bravery of his accuser must be acknowledged

In the squalor of this moment there is little to celebrate. Few are jumping for joy that George Pell may spend at least three years and eight months in prison. His fall is too appalling for celebration.

But by jailing a cardinal for these sordid crimes Australia has demonstrated once again that the rule of law runs in this country. Getting here hasn’t been easy but no other country stares down the Catholic church as we do now. This is a day to be proud of that record.

In their rage and confusion, Pell’s supporters have declared their man a martyr to the mob, a victim of press vendettas, a great priest whose reputation has been sullied beyond repair by the left. But that’s not what his fall is about. Somewhere in the past few years, Rome lost the power to protect men like him.

Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in prison – video

AAP via The Guardian

March 12, 2019


Chief judge Peter Kidd sentences Cardinal George Pell to six years in prison, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months, for the sexual abuse of two boys at St Patrick’s cathedral in the 1990s. Pell was convicted last month on five charges of child sexual assault, following a committal hearing, a mistrial and a trial. He has lodged an appeal, which will be heard in June.

Few abuse scandals involve Francis as directly as that of Argentine bishop


March 13, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Though Pope Francis has faced questions and even criticism for his overall handling of the clerical sexual abuse scandals in Catholicism, few cases touch the pontiff quite as directly as that of Argentine Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who was brought to Rome at the pope’s personal initiative and who now stands accused of abuse.

Appointed by Francis to the northern Argentine diocese of Oran, when the bishop resigned at the age of 53 in 2017 he said the move was for “health reasons.” A few months later, Francis named him Assessor to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which administers the Vatican’s financial portfolio.

Last year, it became public that Zanchetta has been accused both of sexual misconduct and of financial wrongdoing, although a Vatican spokesman insisted there were no abuse allegations at the time Zanchetta was brought to Rome.

Pell’s prison sentence greeted with praise, grief by friends and foes


March 14, 2019

By Elise Harris

There’s no doubt that the conviction of Australian Cardinal George Pell for “historical sexual offenses,” meaning the abuse of two altar boys in the 1990s, and his subsequent 6-year prison sentence have been among the biggest blockbuster moments in recent Catholic news.

However, the day after Pell was sentenced - he maintains his innocence, and an appeal hearing is set for June 5-6 - voices from all quarters spoke out, some hailing the sentence as an important step forward in the fight against clerical abuse, others complaining it was too light, and still others insisting they just can’t buy a guilty verdict given the evidence presented.

Pell, the former archbishop of Melbourne and the former head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison after he was found guilty in December of sexually abusing two 13-year-old boys in the 1990s. That verdict was only announced in late February, after an Australian judge lifted a strict suppression order.

Diocese, state police confirm complaint about priest abuse from former university president

Providence Journal

March 14, 2019

By Katherine Gregg

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence on Wednesday acknowledged having received a complaint in 2012 from former Lesley University President Margaret McKenna about a priest who had touched her under her clothing multiple times when she was growing up in Central Falls.

McKenna, who also served as a deputy White House counsel in the Carter administration, later told the state police that Bishop Thomas Tobin treated her “as if she were a suspect, rather than a victim.”

Names and dates are blacked out in the heavily redacted copy of a letter the diocese provided The Journal, to show that it had notified then-state police Detective Commander Michael J. Winquist of the unnamed woman’s allegations.

How recognising Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse might help shift Catholic culture

The Conversation

March 12, 2019

The crisis of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, and the institutional denial and cover up, has left many people of faith shocked by the lack of appropriate response toward survivors.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, the president of the Australian bishops’ conference, has called for a Copernican revolution on sexual abuse in the church and a shift in Catholic culture so that abuse survivors, not clergy, shape the church response.

In an interview with Crux, published during the recent Vatican summit on sexual abuse, he also compared victims of clergy abuse to Christ crucified.

Unless you see that what’s happened to the abused has happened to Christ and that therefore, they’re Christ crucified in their needs, all the external commands in the world won’t do it.

In our work, Rocio Figueroa Alvear and I have interviewed sexual abuse survivors and show that recognising Jesus as an abuse victim can help them, and help the church to change.

Jesus as victim of sexual abuse

There are good theological grounds for recognising a connection between Christ and those who have been subjected to abuse. The words of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 say that what is done to others is also done to Christ, and this has been explored in the work of Beth Crisp.

In Matthew 25, and presumably in the words of Archbishop Coleridge, this connection is at a theological or metaphorical level. But recent work has offered a strong argument to go beyond the theological connection and to see a more literal historical connection. In my own work, and writings by Elaine Heath, Rev Wil Gafney and Australian theologian Rev Michael Trainor, it is argued that Jesus does not just share theologically in the abuse, but that he himself experienced sexual abuse during the crucifixion.

This may seem outlandish at first. When Katie Edwards and I wrote on stripping as sexual abuse, many comments showed readers were perplexed that we could be seriously suggesting this. For many people, the initial reaction is to be startled and shocked. Some ask whether it is meant to be a serious suggestion, or say it is just jumping on a #MeToo bandwagon. However, as Linda Woodhead points out, if you look at it more closely you may start to think differently.

Should Catholics keep their faith? Sex abuse scandals prompt more to personally question ties to church, poll finds

USA Today

March 13, 2019

By Doug Stanglin

Amid the latest spate of allegations of sexual abuse of young people by priests, an increasing percentage of Catholics are re-examining their commitment to the religion, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Gallup poll found that 37 percent of respondents said "recent news about sexual abuse of young people by priests" has them personally questioning whether to remain Catholic — a 15 point increase since 2002.

The polling, conduct in January and February, came as Pope Francis met at the Vatican with Catholic leaders from around the world to respond to a new wave of sex abuse allegations in numerous countries.

Has the Catholic Church committed the worst crime in U.S. history?

The Washington Post

March 13, 2019

By George F. Will

“Horseplay,” a term used to denote child rape, is, says Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, part of a sinister glossary of euphemisms by which the Catholic Church’s bureaucracy obfuscates in documents the church’s “pattern of abuse” and conspiracy of silence “that goes all the way to the Vatican.” “Benevolent bishops” are those who allow predatory priests, shuffled from other dioceses, to continue as priests.

The fuse for the national explosion of fury about sexual abuse by Catholic clergy was lit in Boston — the excellent 2015 movie “Spotlight” recounts the Boston Globe’s victory over the stonewalling Catholic hierarchy in 2001 and 2002. But the still-reverberating detonation occurred last August in a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report on the sexual abuse by approximately 300 priests of at least 1,000 victims in six dioceses in the state.

Seven months later, the nationwide stonewalling and coverup continue by the church that, Shapiro says, has resisted discovery “every step of the way.” And “bishops are still involved.” The church fought his office’s jurisdiction and fought the release of the report with its sickening details of, for example, giggling priests photographing and fondling boys, and “whips, violence and sadism.”

Shapiro says his being Jewish has not adversely affected public perceptions of his office’s scrutiny of the church. This might be because of credible reports about a boy being raped and then forced into a confessional to confess his sin. Or a boy having his mouth washed out with holy water after oral sex.

The church’s crime wave is global. A French cardinal is convicted of concealing decades of sexual abuse by a priest in his jurisdiction; The Post reports how clerical pedophiles “preyed on the most isolated and submissive children” at an institute for the deaf in Argentina. Scrutiny of Latin America, from which today’s pope came, will be interesting.

Whitmer asks for $2M to investigate Catholic clergy sex abuse

The Detroit News

March 13, 2019

By Beth LeBlanc

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked the state Legislature to approve a $2 million supplemental allocation for a state investigation into clergy sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

The $2 million is expected to pay for the entirety of the investigation and would be funded by state settlement money, said Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Dana Nessel.

March 13, 2019

Six more accused Kalamazoo priests are ‘outed’

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 13

Six more accused Kalamazoo priests are ‘outed’

Most have attracted no attention in Michigan

They allegedly hurt children in other states

But each is or was in the Kalamazoo diocese

SNAP: “Bishop should post names of all the accused"

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that six publicly ‘outed’ and accused priests spent time in Kalamazoo. Most have escaped scrutiny here but were ousted or charged in other states.

They will also push Kalamazoo’s bishop to
--post his own list of those accused,
--include nuns, priests, brothers, bishops, seminarians & lay staff on that list, &
--provide photos, whereabouts and full work histories of all the accused.

Thursday, March 14 at 10:30 a.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Kalamazoo Catholic diocesan headquarters 215 N. Westnedge Ave, (corner of Eleanor St.) in Kalamazoo

Publicly accused Detroit abusive priests NOT on the archdiocesan ‘accused’ list

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 13, 2019

--Fr. Arthur Cooney, who was identified in 2013 in a Capuchin report as a current friar with confirmed reports of sexual abuse of minors. Cooney's name is included on this list without any additional information on claims against him except that he was removed from public ministry and living under supervision.


--Fr. Leopold Gleissner, who was identified in 2013 in a Capuchin report as a current friar with confirmed reports of sexual abuse of minors. Gleissner's name is included on this list without any additional information on claims against him except that he was removed from public ministry and was placed under supervision.


--Fr. Leonard R. Foisy, a New Hampshire native who also spent time in New York, Montreal, Washington DC and Maryland. He held leadership positions in thee Sulpician religious order. In 1994, he was accused in a lawsuit of abusing a boy for four years in the 1960s in Michigan, when he was at St. John's Seminary in Plymouth. He died in 2016.




Abuse victims say Gary Catholic officials are not being transparent

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Seven names should be added to their “accused” list, group says

SNAP ‘outed’ four in January but has since found three more

One, from Chicago, was deemed a ‘sexually violent predator’

Another one was nicknamed by police “Chester the molester”

Victims, witnesses & whistle blowers are urged to call law enforcement

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will disclose names and information about seven publicly accused child molesting clerics who spent time in the Gary area but who have attracted virtually no public attention in the area.

They will also
--prod Gary’s Catholic bishop to add more names to his “credibly accused” clergy list,
--urge victims to “step forward, get help, protect kids and expose perpetrators,” and
--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact the attorney general, who is conducting a statewide investigation into clergy abuse.

Thursday, March 14 at 2:45 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Holy Angels Cathedral, 640 Tyler St. in Gary (219 882 6079)

‘It’s karma,’ says alleged victim of former N.J. priest found shot to death in Nevada


March 12, 2019

By Kelly Heyboer

Rich Fitter wasn’t sure how he was supposed to feel when his phone started lighting up late Monday night with the news that the former priest he said sexually abused him and other young boys for years was dead -- shot to death in Nevada.

But Fitter said he knows one thing: John Capparelli, the former New Jersey priest and teacher who was dogged by abuse allegations for years but never prosecuted, will never be able to hurt anyone again.

“The world is a safer place without him,” said Fitter, of Sparta. “The guy had a 40-year record of abuse. Whatever lead to his death, it’s a certain amount of karma.”

Capparelli, 70, was found shot to death in his house in Henderson, Nevada, Saturday morning after police were asked to conduct a welfare check, local law enforcement officials said.

“Preliminary investigation indicates the victim died of suspicious circumstances, and the incident is being investigated as a homicide,” local police said in the statement. “A suspect has not been identified at this time and police are following up on developed leads.”

Capparelli was one of 188 priests and deacons in the state who had been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse, according to a list released by New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses last month. But the allegations against him were well known.

Group says diocese list of accused clergy short

Journal Gazette

March 13, 2019

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez

Survivors organization adds 10 men with local ties

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests has released the names of 10 men accused of sexually abusing minors who served or spent time in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend but are not on its list of credibly accused clerics.

The organization, also known as SNAP, released the names during a news conference Tuesday in front of the diocese's former chancery at 1103 S. Calhoun St.

All the men were credibly accused of acts outside the local diocese but spent time here, said David Clohessy, a SNAP organizer who released the list.

Five are deceased, he said. Some alleged abuse dates to the 1950s, while the most recent case came to light about three months ago, he said.

Clohessy said the list was compiled with a few hours of online research of publicly available internet postings. Many names came from www.bishop-accountability.org, a comprehensive abuse tracker.

Group to call on bishop to release names of accused priests


March 13, 2019

By Kylie Khan

An advocacy group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is planning to stand outside the Catholic Diocese of Lansing Wednesday.

They want Bishop Earl Boyea to release the names of the priests accused of sexually abusing children.

The group wants the names of the accused posted online on the diocese's website.

They want things like work history, photos, and where those priests currently are.

The group says that's all in addition to pushing the State of Michigan for legislative reform so survivors can "expose child molesters in court."

'Staggering arrogance': George Pell jailed for sexually abusing two choirboys

SBS News

March 13, 2019

By Maani Truu

In sentencing, Chief Justice Peter Kidd said George Pell should not be considered a "scapegoat" for broader failings of the Catholic Church.

Australian Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years in jail with a non-parole period of three years and eight months for sexually abusing two teenage boys in 1996.

In Melbourne's County court on Wednesday, Chief Judge Peter Kidd handed down the sentence, taking into account Pell's age and health, the severity of the crimes, the relationship of trust between Pell and the victims and the widespread publicity of the case.

Due to Pell's age, Judge Kidd said he imposed a shorter non-parole period than usual "to increase the prospect of you living out the last part of your life in the community."

Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in prison for child sex abuse


March 13, 2019

By Hilary Whiteman

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Vatican official to be convicted of sex abuse to date, has been sentenced to six years in prison for the "callous" assault of two choirboys in the late 1990s.

A former senior adviser to Pope Francis, Pell showed no reaction when Chief Judge Peter Kidd handed down his sentence in a hearing broadcast live worldwide on Wednesday from Victoria's County Court in central Melbourne.

Pell, 77, was found guilty of one count of sexual penetration of a child and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child last December after a secret five-week trial.

Reporting of the trial and verdict was suppressed by the court to avoid prejudicing a second trial, which crown prosecutors abandoned in February after the judge ruled some prosecution evidence couldn't be submitted.

In Australia, Catholic Church’s Bank Is Full, but Pews Are Empty

The New York Times

March 12, 2019

By Damien Cave and Livia Albeck-Ripka

Despite a series of sexual abuse scandals stretching back decades, Australia’s Roman Catholic Church displays a veneer of strength.

Across Australia, more Catholic parishes have stayed open than in other countries that have weathered abuse scandals, and Catholic schools are still filled with children — owing largely to the financial and legal savvy of Australia’s most prominent cleric, Cardinal George Pell.

But it’s not the bank accounts that are empty in the Australian church; it’s the pews.

Cardinal George Pell, 77, is sentenced to six years in jail for molesting two 13-year-old choirboys...

Daily Mail Australia

March 12, 2019

By Charlie Moore

...- as judge says highest-ranking Catholic official ever convicted of abuse 'showed no remorse' for 'breathtakingly arrogant' crimes

- Cardinal George Pell was until last month the third most senior Catholic in world
- In December he was found guilty of molesting two choirboys in the 1990s
- On Wednesday the cardinal was jailed for six years by Judge Peter Kidd
- The 77-year-old maintains innocence and is appealing the conviction in June
Cardinal George Pell has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing two teenage choirboys in the 1990s.

The former Vatican treasurer, 77, and top adviser to Pope Francis is the most senior Catholic figure ever to be found guilty of sex offences against children.

Cardinal Pell was found guilty last December of sexually abusing 13-year-old choir boys 22 years ago in the priests' sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne.

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston: Bransfield can no longer exercise ministry here

Metro News

March 11, 2019

By Jake Flatley

The retired bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston can no longer exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry within the diocese.

Archbishop William E. Lori, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese, made that announcement Monday about retired Bishop Michael J. Bransfield in a release stating the preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties by Bransfield has been completed.

George Pell sentenced to six years' jail for sexually abusing two choirboys

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

March 13, 2019

Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years' jail for sexually abusing two choirboys when he was Catholic archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

Pell, 77, was found guilty by a jury last December of sexually abusing the choirboys after a Sunday mass in December 1996 and then assaulting one of them a second time two months later.

The man who was once Australia's most powerful Catholic sat in the dock dressed in a black shirt and a grey blazer, without a clerical collar, as County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentence.

The chief judge described Pell's abuse of two choirboys in the sacristy at St Patrick's Cathedral as "a brazen and forcible sexual attack on the victims".

Initial Reporter Of Seungri And Jung Joon Young Case Reveals Her Investigation Process


March 13, 2019

By D. S.kim

On March 12, Kang Kyung Yoon, the reporter who released the initial reports on Kakaotalk chatrooms including Seungri and Jung Joon Young, participated in an interview to explain more in detail about the ongoing controversy.

Kang Kyung Yoon started the interview by explaining the steps she has taken so far. The reporter said, “I brought up the allegations of Seungri lobbying to investors by offering sexual favors as bribes last month. Since then, I reported on how the original text messages [that contained the evidence] were procured by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission and a chatroom including Seungri and other male celebrities that involved the sharing of hidden camera videos and photos.”

Cardinal Pell Was Sentenced to 6 Years. Here’s How Other Countries Have Punished Abusive Clergy.

The New York Times

March 12, 2019

By Livia Albeck-Ripka

The sentencing of Cardinal George Pell for molesting boys more than two decades ago comes just weeks after a Vatican summit in which Pope Francis called for “all-out battle against the abuse of minors.”

Cardinal Pell is the most senior cleric in the Roman Catholic Church ever to receive jail time for child sexual abuse. But for decades, it has been victims, journalists and civil authorities who have forced abusers into the open and called them to account when church leaders failed to do so.

Law enforcement officials in some countries have become more willing in recent years to prosecute priest perpetrators, according to observers of the scandals.

Exalumno de diácono Hugo Montes Brunet: Muchos vivimos situaciones claras de connotación sexual

[Former student of deacon Hugo Montes Brunet details questionable situations]


March 11, 2019

By María José Villarroel

La Fiscalía se encuentra indagando la tramitación canónica contra el diácono Hugo Montes Brunet -quien fue premio nacional de Educación en 1995- en la arista de encubrimiento de abusos sexuales. Según consignó El Mercurio, la primera denuncia contra Montes se dio a conocer en 2010 cuando una víctima lo acusó de abuso cuando era alumno del colegio San Esteban Diácono de Vitacura.

Exalumno de Montes Brunet y formulario que respondió por caso Manuel Correa: Contesté y ahí quedé

[New information in case of deacon Hugo Montes Brunet]


March 12, 2019

By María José Villarroel

La Fiscalía indaga la tramitación canónica contra Hugo Montes Brunet -diácono y premio nacional de Educación en 1995- en la arista de encubrimiento de abusos sexuales. Según consignó El Mercurio, el exministro Enrique Correa denunció parte de las conductas del diácono en el colegio San Esteban Diácono, lo cual se dio a conocer en un correo que envió Raúl Hasbún -quien era el promotor de justicia de la Iglesia- al cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz en 2011.

Quiere más tiempo: a solicitud de su defensa, suspenden audiencia para ver sobreseimiento de Ezzati

[He wants more time: at defense request, court suspends hearing about dismissing Ezzati charges]

El Mostrador

March 13, 2019

“Creo que a esta altura discutir sobre el sobreseimiento definitivo de Ezzati, frente a la cantidad abrumadora de antecedentes que hay contra él es extraño, pero ellos tienen el derecho de pedirlo y nosotros estaremos acá para oponernos”, dijo el abogado de las víctimas, Juan Pablo Hermosilla.

A solicitud de la defensa del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago decidió suspender la audiencia de sobreseimiento de las acusaciones de encubrimiento de abusos sexuales en el clero que lo tiene imputado por la Fiscalía.

La Iglesia enfrenta graves “turbulencias” en Costa Rica por las investigaciones de pedofilia

[Church faces serious "turbulence" in Costa Rica for pedophilia investigations]

El País (Spain)

March 12, 2019

En el único país confesional de América, la institución intenta atender el llamado del Papa al tiempo que trata de contener las acusaciones por abusos y encubrimiento

Hace un año, los obispos católicos de Costa Rica estaban bajo el foco por haber impulsado una ola ultraconservadora que amenazaba con arrebatar el Gobierno al centroizquierda; después, el catolicismo resultó vital en la derrota del predicador evangélico Fabricio Alvarado y, meses después, en septiembre, los prelados hacían de intermediarios entre el Gobierno y los sindicatos del sector público ante una la polémica reforma fiscal que provocó la huelga más larga del siglo. En este país centroamericano —el único Estado del continente en el que el catolicismo es la religión oficial, explícita en su Constitución— la Iglesia suele estar en la primera plana y casi nunca en las páginas de noticias policiales. Pero ya lo está.

Comenzó el desfile de obispos por la Fiscalía de Rancagua

[Parade of bishops begin testifying at Rancagua prosecutor's office]

La Tercera

March 12, 2019

By M.J. Navarrete and S. Rodríguez

Este martes fue el turno de Galo Fernández (Talca). Este miércoles declarará Fernando Ramos (Rancagua). El Jueves lo harán Fernando Chomali (Concepción) y Moisés Atisha (Arica).

Más de seis horas estuvo en la Fiscalía Regional de O’Higgins el obispo auxiliar de Santiago y administrador apostólico de Talca, Galo Fernández. El prelado, de 58 años, fue citado en calidad de testigo y respondió a las consultas del fiscal Emiliano Arias, quien indaga presuntos delitos relacionados con abusos a menores cometidos por miembros del clero. Además, dentro de las aristas, se investiga el eventual encubrimiento de algunos de estos hechos por parte de obispos, entre ellos el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati.

Cardinal George Pell to spend nearly four years in jail for child sexual assault

The Guardian

March 12, 2019

By Melissa Davey

Chief judge calls Pell’s crimes ‘breathtakingly arrogant’ as he sentences Pell to six years in jail, with non-parole period of three years and eight months

[Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in prison – video]

Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years in jail after being convicted of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys in 1996.

The former Vatican treasurer, 77, was handed a non-parole period of three years and eight months by the judge, who described his offending as “brazen and forceful” and “breathtakingly arrogant” because he believed the victims would never complain.

The sentence means he may spend at least three years and eight months in jail.

Cardinal Pell sent to prison for abusing 2 boys in Australia

Associated Press

March 13, 2019

By Rod McGuirk

The most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for molesting two choirboys in an Australian cathedral in a crime the judge said showed “staggering arrogance.”

Cardinal George Pell must serve a minimum of 3 years and 8 months before he is eligible for parole, according to the judge’s order. The five convictions against Pell carried a maximum possible sentence of 10 years each.

“In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,” Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd said in handing down the sentence.

Cardinal George Pell Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Choirboys

The Wall Street Journal

March 12, 2019

By Robb M. Stewart

Sentence took into account severity of the crimes, but was mitigated by the cardinal’s age, health and otherwise good character, judge said

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s former finance chief, was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for sexually abusing two choirboys inside a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.

Cardinal Pell is the most senior Vatican official ever to stand trial on child sex-abuse charges, and the sentence imposed by County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd will see him eligible to seek parole after three years and eight months. In a hearing that lasted about an hour and was broadcast live, Judge Kidd said the sentence took into account the severity of the crimes and the brazen nature of the attacks, but was mitigated by the cardinal’s advanced age, poor health and otherwise good character.

The 77-year-old cleric was found guilty by a jury in December of one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of an indecent act with or in the presence of a child. Each count carried a maximum sentence of 10 years, though his lawyers had argued the severity should be mitigated by Cardinal Pell’s age, a history of heart problems and the likelihood he wouldn’t reoffend.

The Cardinal has maintained his innocence, and his lawyers will argue for the right to appeal the convictions at a hearing in the Supreme Court scheduled for early June.

Cardinal Pell’s sentencing deepens a crisis that is roiling the Catholic Church. Last week, French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was found guilty of failing to report child sex abuse, the first conviction of such a high-ranking Roman Catholic official for covering up instances of criminal practice. In December, an Australian judge overturned a conviction and sentence of home detention against former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, who had earlier been found guilty of concealing child sex abuse.

Cardinal Pell has been held at a prison in Melbourne since his bail was revoked by Judge Kidd two weeks ago, and he has been added to a sex offenders’ registry in the state of Victoria as a serious offender.

In mid-December, a jury of eight men and four women unanimously accepted the testimony of a man who said that in late 1996 he and a fellow 13-year-old choir soprano were confronted and sexually abused in one of the sacristy rooms at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by Cardinal Pell, who had only recently taken over as Archbishop of Melbourne. About a month later, again following Sunday Mass, the same boy was in a corridor headed to a choir rehearsal room when the Archbishop squeezed his genitals, according to testimony read in court.

Australia’s Cardinal Pell sentenced to 6 years for sexual assault

The Washington Post

March 12, 2019

By A. Odysseus Patrick

Cardinal George Pell was sentenced to six years in prison by an Australian judge Wednesday for sexually assaulting two boys in the 1990s, making him the most senior Catholic official to be imprisoned in the worldwide wave of abuse that has blighted the church for the past several decades.

Dressed in an open black shirt, gray jacket and black trousers, Pell blinked but otherwise didn’t react as the judge told him that he would probably spend a substantial portion of the rest of his life in prison.

Pell will be eligible for parole in three years and eight months, and he will be placed on a register of sexual offenders for the rest of his life.

His five convictions carried a maximum possible penalty of 10 years each. Chief Judge Peter Kidd said Pell’s age — he is 77 — was a major factor in the sentence.

He also took into account Pell’s great power over the two boys, who were required to sing at Pell’s cathedral as part of their scholarship to a private Catholic school, and the prelate’s lack of remorse. Pell pleaded not guilty, did not give evidence at his trial and is appealing the verdict.

Some church victims complained Kidd was far too lenient.

“To give out such a light sentence is just insulting to the victims and no deterrence to future pedophiles,” said Michael Advocate, a 52-year-old who said he was abused at his Catholic boarding school in the late 1970s.

Pell’s conviction for fondling one 13-year-old boy and forcing another 13-year-old to perform oral sex on him at St. Patrick’s, Melbourne’s grandest cathedral, in 1996 shocked Catholics in Australia and worldwide.

Pell behaved with “staggering arrogance” when he caught the boys who had sneaked into a change room after Mass to drink sacramental wine, the judge said. “It was a brazen and forcible sexual attack upon the two victims,” he said.

During the sentencing, Kidd emphasized that he was not holding Pell responsible for the church’s broader problems.

“It is vital the community understands that you are not to be made a scapegoat for any failings, or perceived failings, of the Catholic Church,” he said to Pell, who showed no emotion and did not look at the judge. “To other victims who may be present, this sentence is not, and cannot be, a vindication of your trauma.”

One of the victims is now dead. The other, who cannot be legally identified, said he appreciates that the court recognized that he was assaulted but was waiting to see whether Pell’s appeal would succeed.

“It is hard for me to allow myself to feel the gravity of this moment,” he said in a statement. “It is hard for me, for the time being, to take comfort from this outcome. I appreciate the court has acknowledged what was inflicted upon me as a child. However, there is no rest for me.”

The lawyer who represented the dead victim’s father, Lisa Flynn, said he regarded the sentence as inadequate and would continue to fight for justice.

“Today is the start or a part of a long journey for many victims of abuse around the country,” the lawyer said. “For many, the battle against the Catholic Church has just begun.”

Kidd allowed the sentencing to be broadcast live on television. Courtroom broadcasts are rare in Australia, and the decision might have been an effort by the court to dispel a perception that Pell, 77, received special protection when the court imposed an Internet-wide gag order on his trial and guilty verdict. That order was defied by The Washington Post and other news outlets.

At the end of the sentencing, Kidd said: “If Cardinal Pell could be taken away, please.”

Pell bowed his head to the judge, then walked slowly out of the packed courtroom, with the help of a wooden cane and escorted by five police officers.

Pell, who oversaw the Vatican’s finances, is one of the most senior Australian religious figures in history. Since the conviction, a powerful network of allies and supporters has emerged to suggest that he may have been a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

“Should the appeal fail, I hope and pray Pell, heading for prison, is not the unwitting victim of a nation in search of a scapegoat,” Frank Brennan, a prominent Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer, wrote in the newspaper the Australian.

Victims and victims’ advocates expressed disappointment that the integrity of the legal system was being questioned after Pell was found guilty in a unanimous verdict by a 12-member jury overseen by a senior judge.

While one of Pell’s victims died several years ago of a heroin overdose, the other said he had experienced shame, loneliness and depression.

The choirboys’ abuse was first exposed by journalist Louise Milligan, who had spoken to one of the victims and briefly mentioned the abuse in a longer television report in July 2016. She later published a book, “The Cardinal,” that detailed Pell’s rise through the church hierarchy and the allegations against him.

Milligan, who was criticized by some Catholics for her reporting, sat in the front row of the courtroom on Wednesday, facing the judge.

“That’s the thing about these cases,” she said in an interview afterward. “He has to live with this for the rest of his life, and it’s a horrible crime and no sentence will ever make up for that.”

After Pell was found guilty, Robert Richter, his lead attorney, told the judge that the assault was “no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case.”

The comment by Richter, one of Melbourne’s leading criminal defenders, was regarded by many victims of sexual abuse as trivializing the psychological harm they suffered at the hands of priests.

Richter had to be shielded by police guards when he left the courthouse on Wednesday, surrounded by a mob of journalists and victim advocates, some of whom yelled abuse.

A government-ordered inquiry into sexual abuse in Australia last year calculated that 4,444 people reported allegations of child sexual abuse to Catholic authorities between 1980 and 2015, and that 7 percent of Catholic priests over sixty years were accused of abuse.

March 12, 2019

Victims ‘out’ three more accused Lansing priests

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Even now, the clerics are “under the radar” in the state

Group blasts central Michigan Catholic officials on abuse

SNAP wants bishop to post ALL alleged offenders' names online

“More details are also needed to better protect the vulnerable,” it says

"The real solution," group insists, "is criminal prosecution & legislative reform"

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that three publicly accused priests were or are in the Lansing diocese. Each spent time in central Michigan but have attracted little or no media or public attention before in the state.

The victims will also call on local Catholic officials to
--post the names of ALL accused priests on their diocesan website,
--include details like their work histories, whereabouts and photos, and
--join with victims in pushing for real legislative reform, like repealing Michigan's "archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations" so survivors can do what bishops will not do: expose child molesters in court.

Wednesday, March 13 at 3:15 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Lansing Catholic diocesan headquarters, 228 N. Walnut St, (corner of W. Ottawa St.) in Lansing, Michigan

Two – three victims and advocates who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Missouri man who was the group's former long time executive director

SNAP pushes Diocese to name priests accused of abuse outside region

Toledo Blade

March 12, 2019

By Nicki Gorny

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is questioning why the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo has not publicly acknowledged four priests who spent time at local schools and parishes before or after they allegedly sexually abused minors in other jurisdictions.

“The bishop’s silence is the voice of complicity,” Claudia Vercellotti, a local leader for SNAP, said. “It is the reason that these types of crimes continue and it is the coverup that keeps these crimes going. The only way to stop that is to expose them and to demand accountability.”

Ms. Vercellotti and David Clohessy, a former national director and current St. Louis director of SNAP, held a news conference outside the Toledo Diocese, 1933 Spielbusch Ave., on Tuesday to call attention to four priests identified by the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus in December in relation to “one or more established allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”

The Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church. They have a presence around the world.

While each allegation faced by the four priests took place outside the Toledo diocese, each at some point served here. The Jesuit Midwest Province identified more than 50 total clerics, many of whom are dead. The earliest allegation is dated to 1944.

SNAP called on diocesan officials to add the names of the four clerics who served locally to a list of clergymen against whom credible allegations have been made within the Diocese of Toledo. The diocese identifies some of the 46 clerics accused in incidents between 1950 and 2012 on its website, notably excluding 13 who have died and who “can neither defend themselves against the accusation nor possibly be a future threat to anyone if the allegation were true.”

SNAP also called on diocesan officials to “aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered any wrongdoing by” the four Jesuit priests.

“It’s important that even the dead predators are publicly acknowledged because it’s incredibly healing for a victim when he or she sees a priest or a brother or a nun or a seminarian who molested them – when that victim sees that their name is finally out in the public,” Mr. Clohessy said.

Diocesan spokesman Kelly Donaghy said in a statement that the diocese only identifies priests against whom they have received substantiated allegations related to an assignment within the Toledo Diocese. They have not received any accusations against the four priests whom the Jesuits identified as having spent time locally.

Mr. Clohessy criticized such an approach by bishops as “incredible hair-splitting.”

“They say things like, ‘he wasn’t ordained here.’ … ‘he wasn't suspended here.’ ‘We don’t have an allegation against him.’ Or in this case, ‘well, he belonged to a religious order, so I never signed his paycheck,’” he said. “We believe all of those are flimsy excuses to maintain secrecy.”

Ms. Donaghy also said the local diocese is “currently in the process of updating our website to include the assignment history of any priest who has a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor while serving in the Toledo Diocese.”

Sex abuse convictions of Australia cardinal prove polarizing

The Associated Press

March 12, 2019

By Rod McGuirk

The most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse will be sentenced to prison Wednesday in an Australia landmark case that has polarized observers

The most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse will be sentenced to prison in Australia on Wednesday in a landmark case that has polarized observers. Some described the prosecution as proof the church is no longer above the law, while others suspect Cardinal George Pell has been made a scapegoat for the church's sins.

Pope Francis' former finance minister, who had been described as the third-highest ranking Catholic in the Vatican, has spent two weeks in a Melbourne remand jail cell since a sentencing hearing in the Victoria state County Court on Feb. 27 in which his lawyers conceded the 77-year-old must spend time behind bars.

Pell had been convicted in December of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy's 13-year-old friend in the late 1990s, months after Pell became archbishop of Melbourne and initiated a compensation scheme for victims of clergy sexual abuse. A court order had prohibited media from reporting on the verdict until two weeks ago, when prosecutors abandoned a second trial on charges that Pell had groped two boys in a public swimming pool in the 1970s.

SNAP responds following finished Bishop Bransfield investigation


March 11, 2019

SNAP is urging another investigation from law enforcements following the Bishop Michael Bransfield investigation.

SNAP officials are encouraging West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to open an investigation into clergy sex abuse in the state.

Catholic Diocese Demands Apology After Pete Davidson's R. Kelly Joke

The Huffington Post

March 12, 2019

By Ron Dicker

Catholic officials in New York City demanded on Monday an apology from “Saturday Night Live” and NBC for Pete Davidson’s “disgraceful and offensive” jab at the church in a bit involving R. Kelly.

In the “Weekend Update” segment on the show, the comedian noted that Kelly, a singer facing multiple charges of sexual abuse, “is a monster who should go to jail forever.”

“But if you support the Catholic Church,” he continued (as seen in the clip above), “isn’t that like the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan? I don’t really see the difference, except like one’s music is significantly better.”

The Diocese of Brooklyn blasted the routine in a statement.

Two Bishops Accused of Sexually Harassing Adults Are Barred From Priestly Duties

The New York Times

March 12, 2019

By Liam Stack

The archdiocese of Baltimore said on Monday that it had barred two bishops from performing priestly duties and referred their cases to the Vatican after an internal investigation into allegations that they had sexually harassed adults, including one claim that was dismissed by church investigators a decade ago.

The announcement shined a light on the alleged abuse of adults, an often overlooked corner of the Catholic Church abuse scandal, and drew parallels to the downfall of Theodore E. McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, who was expelled from the priesthood last month after the church found him guilty of abusing children and adult seminarians.

“When you have a situation like this, usually there is a power imbalance where the victim feels compelled to do what the priest is telling them to do,” said David Lorenz, an abuse survivor and local leader in Maryland with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “That was the case with Cardinal McCarrick and the seminarians.”

Archbishop Lori restricts ministry of former head of West Virginia diocese

Catholic News Service

March 11, 2019

By Christopher Gunty

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore announced March 11 that a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties by Bishop Michael Bransfield, formerly of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, has been completed and will be forwarded to the Vatican for final judgment.

At the same time, the archbishop announced restrictions on the bishop's ministry.

The Vatican announced Bransfield's retirement from the diocese Sept. 13, and Pope Francis appointed Lori as apostolic administrator, with a mandate to investigate the allegations against the bishop.

A news release from the Archdiocese of Baltimore March 11 noted that the preliminary investigation took place over five months. Lori conducted the investigation with the assistance of a team of five lay experts.

Editorial: To curb sexual abuse of children, be alert to 'grooming'

The Chicago Tribune

March 11, 2019

Editorial Board

Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

“Leaving Neverland,” the HBO documentary alleging Michael Jackson sexually abused two young boys, examines an insidious aspect of child sex abuse: the way predators might groom children and even parents to build intimacy and trust.

Unfortunately, many of these alleged behaviors are only clear in retrospect. Gifts and outings with an admired adult may seem normal and even welcome. The child is flattered. The parents are proud. Only later might the plot become clear.

Jackson died in 2009. His family and estate have long denied the allegations contained in “Leaving Neverland.” But the documentary raises uncomfortable questions about predatory behavior. Among them: How does a mother luxuriate in a hotel suite while her young son is in bed with a grown man a few floors away? At least part of the answer is a grooming process in which victim and family come to trust and care for the accused predator. Viewers may pat themselves on the back for being smart enough not to let their children sleep with a gloved pop star. But look at Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting hundreds of girls and grooming an entire community. Or at the hundreds of abuser priests who were widely trusted figures.

The Role Mormon Religion Plays In 'Abducted In Plain Sight'


March 9, 2019

By Sarah Aswell

As millions of viewers watch the crime documentary Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix, the overwhelming response is shock and disbelief. How could this have possibly happened? How in the world could a man abduct the same child twice? And then not face consequences for it?

As the story unfolds, these questions aren't completely answered in a satisfying way – even filmmaker Skye Borgman told Vanity Fair that the family's explanations of the events frustrated her so much that she had to take a six-week break from making the movie.

But there's one explanation for the outrageous tale that isn't fully explored in the film (and Borgman herself agrees): the role that faith, religion, and the Mormon church played in the kidnappings, not only when it comes to perpetrator Robert "B" Berchtold's actions, but also the actions of victim Jan Broberg and her family.

Chilean cardinal addresses case of sex abuse in Santiago cathedral


March 11, 2019

Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago on Thursday denied knowing and giving money to the complainant in a rape case in the cathedral which took place in 2015.

The Archbishop of Santiago gave an interview to Informe Especial which was broadcast March 7.

In the interview, he discussed a rape complaint against Fr. Rigoberto Tito Rivera Muñoz, who was found guilty in August 2018 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the sexual abuse of adults.

Rivera sexually assaulted Daniel Rojas Alvarez, who was then about 40, in a room of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral in 2015.

Rojas claims he told Cardinal Ezzati of the attack during a confession, and that the archbishop asked him to pray for the abuser, gave him 30,000 pesos ($45), and asked that he not asked him not to share what happened.

Covering the Crisis: Journalism and Sexual Violence

Michigan State University Museum

March 12, 2019

Speaker Series for “Finding our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak”

Join us at the MSU Museum on Tuesday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. for our spring speaker series panel discussion titled, “Covering the Crisis: Journalism and Sexual Violence.”

March 12, 2019
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Entry Hall, MSU Museum

Investigation of allegations against Bishop Michael Bransfield completed


March 11, 2019

By Jaime Baker

After more than 5 months, a preliminary investigation of allegations against Bishop Michael Bransfield is complete.

Bransfield is facing allegations of sexual harassment of adults, and now, another issue is coming to light.

In September, the church announced a preliminary investigation into Bransfield after allegations of sexual harassment of adults surfaced.

That report is now complete and is entering the final of three phases.

Archbishop William Lori’s Investigation into Former Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Bishop Michael Bransfield Complete; Matter Forwarded to Vatican

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News- Register

March 11, 2019

An investigation into former Wheeling-Charleston Diocese bishop Michael Bransfield involved not only allegations of sexual harassment but also financial improprieties, and the matter has now been forwarded to the Vatican in Rome, the Diocese announced Monday.

On Sept. 13, 2018, the Holy See announced Bransfield’s retirement as bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and appointed Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori as Apostolic Administrator of Wheeling-Charleston, with a mandate to conduct a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties by Bransfield.

The preliminary investigation, which took place over five months, was conducted by Lori with the assistance of a team of five lay experts. The investigative team examined multiple allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties. It involved interviews with more than 40 individuals, including Bransfield. The investigation has now been completed and will be sent to the Holy See for final judgment.

At the request of those who provided testimony, victims will not be identified, nor will details of their personal accounts be disclosed.

Bishop Bransfield's fate rests in the hands of the Holy See


March 11, 2019

Parishioners within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston have been left with questions for months after the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield among allegations of sexual harassment of adults.

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, who has been serving as Apostolic Administrator, and a group of outside investigators have been looking into those allegations for months, and have just completed a preliminary investigation.

Diocesan officials now say the fate of Bishop Bransfield is in the hands of the Holy See in Rome.

They will make the final judgment.

Publicly Accused Ft. Wayne/South Bend Predator Priests Who Have Been Left Off The Official Diocesan ‘Accused’ List

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 12, 2019

1--Fr. Gregory H. Poser was ordained for the Crosiers, a religious order, in 1975. He spent time in the archdioceses of St. Paul-Minneapolis MN and Chicago IL and the dioceses of Kalamazoo MI and St. Cloud MN. In 1991 he was transferred to Indonesia, where he lived and worked as a missionary for many years. In 2003 he returned to MN, where he worked at three parishes and a mission church. Fr. Poser was suspended from those assignments in May 2016, when the diocese received a report that he had sexually abused a minor when he was working at a Shoreview MN parish in the 1970s.

From 1979-82, he was at the Crosier House of Studies and from 1982-83 he was at the Crosier Retreat Center, both in Ft. Wayne. From 1983-84, he was at the Crosier Fathers & Brothers in Garrett Indiana.


2--Fr. Vincent Arthur "Fr. Art" Yzermans was a St. Cloud MN diocesan priest, ordained in 1951. In addition to working in parishes throughout the diocese, he was also a writer, editor and a communications consultant during three sessions of Vatican II in Rome. In the mid-1960s, he was a press advisor to the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in Washington DC and the editor of a national Catholic paper, Our Sunday Visitor.

Fr. Yzermans struggled with alcoholism for which he was in and out of treatment more than a dozen times. In the mid 1970s, he spent a year in Santa Rosa CA, a year at St. Thomas College in Minneapolis, and later at a parish in Anchorage AK. He was on medical leave 1979-1984 before returning to St. Cloud. His name was among 33 released by the St. Cloud diocese in 2014 of clergy involved in incidents of likely claims of sexual abuse of minors. From 1967-69, he was at the Victory-Noll Motherhouse Novitiate Juniorate and College in Huntington Indiana.


3--Fr. Harvey Lamothe was accused of sexually abusing at least one boy in the Manchester NH diocese between 1979-1985. He was named as an abuser in a 2002 civil settlement with several victims. From 1950-1951, he was at the Divine Heart Seminary in Donaldson Indiana.


4--Fr. Joseph F. Mika (aka Rev. Salvatore Mika) was accused in 2004 of having sexually abused a female student when he worked in Pulaski, WI in the 1950s. Mika "expressed sorrow" about the abuse, and his supervisers said he was under "appropriate restrictions." From 1951-52, he was at Immaculate Conception of Lourdes Monastery in Cedar Lake IN.


5--Fr. John J. Gallen, who in 2018 was included on a list of credibly accused abusers by his Jesuit supervisors. He became an internationally known scholar and author who led seminars around the world on Catholic liturgy and worship.

In 1993, a man reported to his then-home diocese of Milwaukee that, when he was a 16-year-old altar boy in 1980 at a Toledo OH parish, Gallen sexually abused him. Gallen was at the parish in March 1980 to lead a week-long retreat. His accuser said Gallen touched him inappropriately and kissed him. The man said that Gallen later got his parents to allow him to help the priest with a move from Phoenix to Sacramento and that, during the trip, Gallen forced him into oral sex. Fr. Gallen's accuser said he reported the abuse to two of his parish priests shortly thereafter, but that the priests did not believe him.

Fr. Gallen sent his accuser letters of apology for his behavior in 1993 and 1994. Gallen could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired.

From 1977-1979, he was the Director of Center for Pastoral Liturgy at Notre Dame.



Four more accused priests were here

4 more accused priests were in Toledo

But they’ve attracted no public attention

One faced 16 Native American accusers

New disclosure by Jesuits spans 60+ years

SNAP: “Bishop & order should do outreach”

Group also wants accused cleric list expanded

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that four recently ‘outed’ Jesuits with "established allegations of sexual abuse of minors" worked in Toledo.

They will also push Toledo’s bishop to
--add the four names to his ‘accused’ priests list,
-- explain his omission, and
--expand that list to include photos, whereabouts and full work histories of all the named clerics

Tuesday, March 12 at 4:00 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Toledo Catholic diocese HQ (”chancery office”), 1933 Spielbusch (near Cherry St.) in Toledo

Three members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including the organization’s former long time Toledo volunteer director and the organization’s former long time national director

Abuse victims blast Ft. Wayne bishop

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Victims blast Ft.Wayne bishop

SNAP: “He’s hiding alleged at least 13 accused priests”

The clerics mostly abused elsewhere but escape scrutiny here

They were in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Garrett, Donaldson & Cedar Lake

“Victims, witnesses & whistleblowers should call attorney general,” group says

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will publicly disclose for the first time that 13 publicly accused predator priests (including one who became an internationally known author and lecturer) have been left off the diocese's 'accused' abusers list.

They will also
--prod Ft. Wayne’ bishop to explain these omissions, add the priests, and other alleged predators, to his “accused” clergy list, and
--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact the attorney general who they say should be conducting an investigation into this crisis.

Tuesday, March 12 at 2:00 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Ft. Wayne diocese headquarters (“chancery”), 915 S. Clinton St. (corner of East Washington) in Ft. Wayne, IN

March 11, 2019

BREAKING: Former LMU Jesuit accused of sexual harassment

The Loyolan

March 11,2019

By Isabella Murillo

Former LMU Jesuit and retired Bishop Gordon Bennett has been accused of sexual harassment, according to an article by the Catholic News Agency.

Bennett will no longer be able to perform any priestly or episcopal ministry. This status only applies to work in the Archdiocese of Baltimore or the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the archdiocese said in a press release on March 11.

Archbishop Lori of Baltimore and five lay experts revealed the allegation was filed against Bennett in May 2006. Three months later, Bennett resigned from his Jamaican diocese, which he held for only two years. He retired in August 2006 at 60 years old, reportedly due to health issues. The ordinary retirement age for bishops is 75.

Bennett is currently listed as a member of Alpha Sigma Nu at LMU on the LMU website, but the University said he left in August 2018. When asked for comment, Father Deck, the rector of LMU Jesuits program said they were "very sad" to hear about the incident.

Bennett worked at LMU for ten years and became a prominent figure at the University. He narrated a marketing video for LMU titled “Fall in Love at LMU,” which was deleted on March 11, when the press release detailing the sexual assault came out. He has also spoken out at many lectures and Jesuit events, such as “The Wit and Wisdom of LMU’s Jesuits” and a “Jubilee Year of Mercy” lecture series. His speech at Mission Day in 2010 called on crowd to “maintain Ignatian principles.”

Centuries of Secrets

The St. Rose Chronicle

March 11, 2019

By Sophia Rijo

It should come as no surprise that the Roman Catholic Church has always had rumors about them relating to the sexual abuse of children, specifically young boys. On Feb. 24, a top Cardinal of the Catholic Church admits that the Church has been destroying files related to the sexual abuse of children.

This news was first revealed on Feb. 23 during Pope Francis’ clergy abuse summit. German Cardinal Reinhard Marx stated that there were many documents that were filed by survivors but Church officials have been keeping them a secret.

Religion has always been a sensitive topic to speak about, since there are many variations of religion across the entire world. Children who come from religious families are immediately taught that they have to believe what the Priest says because they are the ones who send out God’s message. It has been that way for many centuries, back in medieval times, the Church was seen as the overall power – not even the Kings and Queens could disobey the word of God.

But as it has been proven before and it is proven now, no one, not even Priests, are exempt from corruption and lies. As the Cardinal continues, he said, “Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them.”

It is ironic, once someone has done something wrong, they are immediately labeled as an outsider to separate them from the original source. The ones who abused those children while they are predators and offenders, they were first priests. This issue of priests preying on the children – who place their trust in them because they speak the word of God – had been going on for long enough and it is apparent that the Church has done little to ward off those types of people from entering their midsts.

One woman, Veronica Openibo, the first African elected to lead the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, openly criticized the priests who “supported accused brethren over victims” and even questioned Pope Francis on his record on abuse.

Issues like these are not openly covered by mainstream media, and only those who dig and search will find stories like this one. Issues of abuse, corruption and cover ups by the Church only drive people away from believing in the Church again. There are many things that are written in the books of multiple religions that say that people must follow certain rules described, but people seem to forget that those rules applied back centuries ago and should be reviewed and updated to fit the current times.

SNAP Responds to the Conclusion of the Investigation into Wrongdoing by Former WV Bishop

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 11, 2019

The investigation against the former bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has concluded, diocesan officials have confirmed. Now, as the results of the diocesan investigation are sent to the Holy See for review, SNAP is urging another investigation into the claims, this time by West Virginia law enforcement officials.

As a result of the investigation into Bishop Michael Bransfield, the current diocesan administrator of Wheeling-Charleston, Archbishop William Lori, has announced that Bransfield “is not authorized to exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.”

For the protection of children and the prevention of future abuse, we’re glad that these few details have been made public and that some steps have been taken and are sure that those review board members who helped the Diocese investigate the allegations against Bransfield did so to the best of their ability and knowledge. But as we have consistently been shown in the past six months, we cannot count on church officials to be forthcoming about clergy sex crimes.

Results of former WV bishop investigation sent to Vatican

Gazette Mail

March 11, 2019

By Rebecca Carballo

A investigation into alleged sexual and financial misconduct by former Catholic bishop Michael J. Bransfield has ended after five months, and the former leader of West Virginia’s Catholics faces more restrictions while waiting for the Vatican to respond.

In a statement issued Monday, Archibishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said the investigation results have been sent to the Holy See. Lori was appointed to temporarily take Bransfield’s place at the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston when Bransfield’s retirement and the investigation were announced in September.

“Pending the assessment of the findings of the Holy See, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I have directed that Bishop Bransfield is not authorized to exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston,” Lori said in Monday’s statement. “I have further directed the Diocese to implement a third-party reporting system for any sexual or financial impropriety on the part of its bishop, clergy, religious and lay employees and volunteers.”

Order explains transfer of nun who spoke against rape-accused bishop in India

Catholic News Agency

March 11, 2019

Last month a provincial superior of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation explained that the recent transfer of Sister Lissy Vadakkel was unrelated to her acting as a witness in the case against a bishop accused of serially raping another nun.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur was accused in June 2018 by a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus of raping her during his May 2014 visit to her convent in Kuravilangad. In a complaint to police she alleged that the bishop sexually abused her more than a dozen times over two years.

Police in Kerala had charged Sister Alphonsa Abraham, superior of the FCC's Nirmala Province, based in Vijayawada, and three of her deputies, with the wrongful confinement of Sister Lissy, The News Minute reported Feb. 22.

Sr. Alphonsa stated that Sr. Lissy, 53, had been staying in a guest house in Muvattupuzha “for the last 14 years … in her personal capacity and not for any work associated with the Vijayawada Province.”

“During her stay there, she had established a relationship with the nuns of the Kuravilangad convent and gave a statement to the police against Bishop Franco Mulakkal clandestinely,” the provincial superior wrote. Kuravilangad is located about 20 miles south of Muvattupuzha.

District attorneys bring new muscle to clergy abuse investigations

The Berkshire Eagle

March 11, 2019

By Larry Parnass

District attorneys say they will probe complaints of clergy sexual abuse in Western Massachusetts, even if the passage of time leaves them unable to bring charges.

"We want to honor and respect what people in our area have gone through," said Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington. "Prosecution is about standing up for what's right and wrong — and for morality. Whether you can or cannot win a case."

Harrington and Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, who represents Hampshire and Franklin counties, say they feel a moral obligation to aid survivors, amid questions about whether the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has adequately relayed abuse complaints to prosecutors.

"It's really about the Diocese of Springfield being transparent, disclosing all the allegations of adult and child sexual abuse and then being accountable," Sullivan said. "It may not be a criminal prosecution, because the statute of limitations may have run on many people.

"But there's other forms of justice, for people to be acknowledged for the harm that was done to them. That restorative justice that goes on can be outside of the courts," he said in an interview at his Northampton office.

Separately, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni last month created a telephone hotline staffed by state police detectives that is accepting complaints of clergy abuse from any time period.

Moves by the three district attorneys — the top law enforcement officers for the four western counties — come as the office of Attorney General Maura Healey fine-tunes a memorandum of understanding related to how Catholic church officials report complaints of abuse. A spokesman for Healey declined to comment on the memorandum, but said the office is working with district attorneys "to make sure the policies and systems we have in place are strong to protect against these crimes, and remain a resource for survivors."

Archdiocese of New Orleans settles another sexual abuse case involving ex-deacon George Brignac

The Advocate

March 11, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

A volunteer firefighter from North Carolina who claimed that he was sexually abused in 7th grade by
disgraced former New Orleans deacon George Brignac settled his lawsuit with the Archdiocese of New Orleans last week.

The amount of the settlement paid to Morris Daniels, who claimed to have been repeatedly abused by Brignac while a student at Holy Rosary School in the early 1980s, wasn’t disclosed by either side. But the plaintiff’s attorney, Roger Stetter, described the figure as “substantial” during an interview Monday.

Stetter said he and Daniels, 49, opted to settle the case rather than proceed to trial so that the plaintiff could get a measure of finality without having to again recount the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of Brignac, a suspected serial child molester.

Archbishop William Lori’s Investigation into Former Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Bishop Michael Bransfield Complete

The Intelligencer

March 11, 2019

An investigation into former Wheeling-Charleston Diocese bishop Michael Bransfield involved not only allegations of sexual harassment but also financial improprieties, and the matter has now been forwarded to the Vatican in Rome, the Diocese announced Monday.

On Sept. 13, 2018, the Holy See announced Bransfield’s retirement as bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and appointed Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori as Apostolic Administrator of Wheeling-Charleston, with a mandate to conduct a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties by Bransfield.

The preliminary investigation, which took place over five months, was conducted by Lori with the assistance of a team of five lay experts. The investigative team examined multiple allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties. It involved interviews with more than 40 individuals, including Bransfield. The investigation has now been completed and will be sent to the Holy See for final judgment.

At the request of those who provided testimony, victims will not be identified, nor will details of their personal accounts be disclosed.

“Pending the assessment of the findings of the Holy See, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I have directed that Bishop Bransfield is not authorized to exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston,” Lori said. “I have further directed the Diocese to implement a third-party reporting system for any sexual or financial impropriety on the part of its bishop, clergy, religious and lay employees and volunteers.”

Diocesan officials give new details on Bishop Bransfield investigation


March 11, 2019

By Sam Coniglio

A five-month-long investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and financial impropriety against Bishop Michael Bransfield has come to a close, according to Archbishop William Lori.

The investigation was conducted by Archbishop Lori with the assistance of five lay experts, and it involved interviews with more than 40 people, including Bransfield. The findings of the investigation will be sent to the Holy See in Rome for a final judgment.

Diocesan officials say that there was no criminal conduct found during the course of the investigation.

"Pending the assessment of the findings of the Holy See, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I have directed that Bishop Bransfield is not authorized to exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston," Archbishop Lori said. "I have further directed the Diocese to implement a third-party reporting system for any sexual or financial impropriety on the part of its bishop, clergy, religious and lay employees and volunteers."

Catholic church challenges AG's subpoenas

Lincoln Journal Star

March 11, 2019

By Peter Salter and Riley Johnson

The Catholic church pushed back against state investigators this month, asking a judge to toss the 400 subpoenas the Nebraska attorney general served on churches and schools this week seeking evidence of clergy sex abuse of minors.

Short of that, church officials asked a judge to give them more time to comply, and to force Attorney General Doug Peterson to narrow his requests.

“The attorney general has improperly attempted to use these subpoenas like warrants without a showing of probable cause, by demanding immediate responses, threatening sanctions for failing to comply, and using the element of surprise,” lawyers for the bishops wrote.

On Tuesday, Peterson announced he’d instructed law enforcement officers across the state to serve 400 subpoenas on Catholic churches, schools and other institutions. Specifically, he required all records related to any assault or abuse by those employed or associated with each church or institution, whether previously reported or not, according to his news release.

What the release didn’t say: Peterson was demanding information covering 22 years, according to court documents. He was expecting immediate compliance from the offices of the Diocese of Lincoln and Archdiocese of Omaha. And he was giving churches and schools three days to turn over records.

Attorneys for both sides met privately with Lancaster County District Judge Robert Otte in his chambers March 1 before agreeing in court to delay the fight. Both sides will return to court later this month. Until then, the attorney general's office has agreed not to enforce the subpoenas.

Diocese of Brooklyn Responds to Saturday Night Live Skit Attacking Catholic Church

Brooklyn Catholic Diocese

March 11, 2019

The Diocese of Brooklyn is demanding an immediate public apology from “Saturday Night Live” and NBC after Saturday night’s disgraceful and offensive skit in which cast member Pete Davidson, during the Weekend Update segment, said: “If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?” The statement clearly shocked the studio audience as gasps could be heard off camera.

Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church. The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions. The mockery of this difficult time in the Church’s history serves no purpose.

The clergy sex abuse crisis is shameful, and no one should ever get a laugh at the expense of the victims who have suffered irreparably. The Diocese of Brooklyn strives every day to ensure that sexual abuse by clergy never happens again.

For nearly two decades, the Diocese of Brooklyn has taken this crisis seriously and instituted widespread changes mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Those changes include a zero-tolerance policy in which any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry. Since 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn has shared all of its files and allegations against clergy with the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Queens. In 2004, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio instituted a reporting line that sends reports directly to law enforcement authorities.

After the Vatican Abuse Summit, What Comes Next?

National Catholic Register

March 11, 2019

By Tim Busch

The time has come for an “all-out battle.”

So said Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Vatican’s first-ever summit on sexual abuse, which brought together the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world, along with many cardinals. It was a powerful moment at the end of an important gathering, and the Pope deserves praise for convening the meeting and for his strong words.

But the Pope’s exhortation doesn’t just apply to the bishops. It’s also a call to action for lay Catholics. In the wake of the summit, the faithful must support the Pope by prayerfully and respectfully requesting a greater role in the purification of our Church.

For Catholics in the United States, our focus needs to be the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ upcoming assembly in June in Baltimore. We’ve been blessed with many bishops who are committed to reform, accountability and healing. We need to let them know that we support them, which is why the laity should encourage the bishops to use the Baltimore gathering to expand one of the most effective Church reforms in U.S. history — the Dallas Charter.

The Dallas Charter was drafted by the bishops in June 2002 after the Boston abuse scandal hit earlier that year. It instituted many new and long-overdue procedures to crack down on predator priests. One of its most important reforms was the creation of lay review boards.

Priest gets 18 months

The Australian

March 12, 2019

With the power of priesthood and under the guise of artistic intent, Michael Ambrose Endicott took schoolboys to secluded locations, told them to strip nude and took photos.

Almost 40 years later, he will see the inside of a jail cell. Endicott, 75, was found guilty last week of three counts of indecently dealing with a Villanova College student while he was in charge of religious education at the Brisbane school in the 1970s.

Yesterday, the former priest was handed an 18-month jail term, to be suspended after six months. He avoided jail in 2010 when he was handed a wholly suspended sentence for the similar abuse of another boy.

The victim was first abused on a school hiking trip in 1975 when Endicott asked the nine-year-old to accompany him to a creek in dense bush, where he photographed the student naked.

NJ moves from the Worst to One of the Best for Statute of Limitation Laws

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 11, 2019

Today, New Jersey advances the safety of victims of sexual abuse with the expected approval of reform bills in NJ house and senate.

NJ bill A3648 to be heard this Monday March 11, 2019 before the New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee. The hearing will take place at 1 pm in Room 11 on the 4th floor of the NJ State House Annex building.

Many survivors of sexual abuse will be testifying in support of this long overdue legislation, that will modify NJ's Statute of Limitation (SOL) laws for both child victims and adults. The Bill will create a two-year window for victims regardless of age beginning Dec 1, 2019 thru Dec 1, 2021. After which the SOL will be extended to age 55 or 7 years from discovery whichever is later.

When these bills, Senate S477 and Assembly A3648, pass it will move NJ from having one of the worst SOL laws in the country to one of the best. Since 2002, forty other states have already modified its SOL laws for child sexual abuse. Survivors of sexual abuse, both child victims and adult survivors, will have a fairer opportunity to seek justice in this state.

Victims of abusive priests won’t likely see justice, experts say

The Columbus Dispatch

March 9, 2019

By Danae King and Marty Schladen

Sixteen years after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus formed a review board to advise the bishop on allegations against priests of child sexual abuse, it released a list of priests that it has deemed “credibly accused.”

But the options for victims of these priests to seek justice are limited.

Systems such as those within the Diocese of Columbus ­ in place to exact justice for victims of childhood priest sexual abuse ­ and in the broader legal system often are stacked against adult survivors, advocates say.

Within the church, their accusations are judged by colleagues or superiors of the priest the victims are accusing; a victim’s advocate who is also high-ranking clergy; and a board made up almost entirely of parishioners.

Outside the church, the Ohio legislature has so far rejected changes in laws that limit damages awarded to victims in civil cases, and prevent civil cases and criminal charges because of a statute of limitations.

“The church is the richest institution in the world, and with that money they buy influence and power,” said Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has made a career out of representing victims of clergy sexual abuse and was made famous by the 2015 movie “Spotlight.”

The Columbus diocese list, released March 1, named 34 clergy members and said the most recent credible claim of abuse happened in 1992. Though it took six months longer for it to release the list than it did the five other Ohio dioceses, Columbus added two more names March 5, making the total 36. Twenty-two of them are dead and the rest have been removed from ministry, according to the diocese.

The release of the list has brought added attention to the Columbus diocese, which did not see major repercussions after the 2002 Boston Globe investigation that forced other dioceses and archdioceses nationwide to open their files, face courts and offer justice to victims.

New Jersey may soon give sexual abuse victims more time to sue


March 7, 2019

By Matt Friedman

A bill to expand New Jersey’s statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits appears on its way to passage after being stalled in Trenton for years, thanks in part to the release last year of a Pennsylvania grand jury report into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

“Every single day that passes without changing this law is a reminder to [victims] that they don’t matter,” said state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex), the bill’s sponsor.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted, 8-1, Thursday to approve the bill, NJ S477 (18R), which allows victims of child sexual abuse up to 37 years after they turn 18 to file a lawsuit against their perpetrators and the institutions that harbored them. Beyond the age of 55, victims would have seven years from the time they realize the abuse has damaged them to file suit.

It’s a massive expansion of New Jersey’s current law, which only allows adult victims just two years from the time they realize the abuse has damaged them to file suit.

Priest’s rape trial witness charged with perjury

Beeville Bee-Picayune

February 28, 2019

By Gary Kent

One of the witnesses who testified in the 2018 aggravated sexual assault trial of a former Catholic priest was indicted this month on five counts of aggravated perjury.

The defendant, 37-year-old Jose Padron, allegedly gave false information while under oath on March 2, 2016.

Aggravated perjury is a third degree felony. If convicted, Padron could be sentenced to up to 10 years in state prison and fined as much as $10,000 on each count.

According to the indictment, Padron had claimed, under oath, that he called the former priest, Stephen Tarleton Dougherty, on Dec. 16, 2011.

Incoming bishop to address sexual abuse allegations against founding Memphis bishop


March 9, 2019

The Memphis Catholic Diocese will have a new Bishop next month.

Days after Bishop David Talley was named for the position, a list came out of the Richmond, Virginia Diocese of priests with credible sexual abuse allegations against them.

Memphis Diocese founder Bishop Carol Dozier was on that list.

David Brown is a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP.

Outside the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Midtown, where Dozier’s body rests, Brown called for Talley to tackle allegations of abuse by Dozier head on.

New sex abuse lawsuit names previously accused Newark Archdiocese priest

North Jersey Record

March 8, 2019

By Svetlana Shkolnikova

A 26-year-old man filed a sexual abuse lawsuit Friday against the Archdiocese of Newark and the Union County Catholic parish where he alleges he was abused by a priest as a minor.

The victim, named under the pseudonym Richard Roe in the complaint, accused the Archdiocese of failing to act on a sexual abuse claim lodged against the Rev. Kevin Gugliotta in 2003 and exposing Roe to abuse by allowing Gugliotta to serve as head of youth ministry at St. Bartholomew the Apostle parish in Scotch Plains.

“Kevin Gugliotta should have never been a part of my client’s life, he should have never had the opportunity to be around my client,” said Greg Gianforcaro, Roe’s attorney, in a press conference announcing the lawsuit. “We warned them about this guy but the Catholic Church just did not get the message.”

New sex abuse lawsuit will name a Newark Archdiocese priest previously accused

North Jersey Record

March 7, 2019

An attorney representing victims of clergy abuse says he plans to file a "significant childhood sexual abuse" lawsuit Friday against the Archdiocese of Newark and a Union County Catholic parish.

The suit will allege that the Rev. Kevin Gugliotta sexually abused a child while Gugliotta served as the head of youth ministry at St. Bartholomew the Apostle parish in Scotch Plains, a position he retained after the Archdiocese was told that Gugliotta was a predator, according to attorney Greg Gianforcaro.

Gugliotta, who was named on a list of credibly accused priests released by the Newark Archdiocese in February, had been removed from ministry after being charged with possession of child pornography at his vacation home in Pennsylvania. Gugliotta told probation officers that he collected the pornography to get "revenge" on God for his poker losses, according to records.

Even before the child pornography case, Gugliotta had once stepped down from ministry after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor. The accusation, lodged in 2003, involved abuse that was alleged to have occurred in the 1980s, before Gugliotta was ordained as a priest.

Incoming bishop to address sexual abuse allegations against founding Memphis bishop


March 9, 2019

The Memphis Catholic Diocese will have a new Bishop next month.

Days after Bishop David Talley was named for the position, a list came out of the Richmond, Virginia Diocese of priests with credible sexual abuse allegations against them.

Memphis Diocese founder Bishop Carol Dozier was on that list.

David Brown is a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP.

Outside the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Midtown, where Dozier’s body rests, Brown called for Talley to tackle allegations of abuse by Dozier head on.

“I feel for him. Bishop Talley is going to have his hands full, but he has an immediate need and that’s to reach out to these survivors here in Shelby County and West Tennessee,” said Brown.

According to the list released by the Richmond Diocese, they became aware of allegations against Dozier in 1985. That was 15 years after Dozier became Bishop in Memphis.

"Did he stop abusing when he came down here? We find most of the time pedophiles don't do that," said Brown.

In an exclusive interview with Talley, he said he was told about the allegations against Dozier immediately.

He said after he takes his position on April 2, he will get the information from Richmond.

NJ survivor of alleged sex abuse sues church for letting predatory priest lead youth group


March 11, 2019

Attorney Gregory Gianforcaro said he and his old client, known only as Mr. X, met with the Archdiocese of Newark on October 24, 2003, to detail allegations of sexual abuse by Father Kevin Gugliotta.

Mr. X did not want money. He wanted Father Gugliotta to be kept away from kids.

Instead, Gugliotta was assigned to St. Bartholomew the Apostle in Scotch Plains, less than 2.5 miles from Mr. X's home.

It took Gugliotta less than one year to meet his next alleged victim.

"I don’t understand what the problem is with this Catholic Church," exclaimed Gianforcaro. "After the warning — he was made head of youth ministry."

That's where he met Richard Roe.

Richard Roe is an alias. His real name has not been disclosed.

Roe was 11 years old in 2004, when he claims Father Gugliotta forced him to participate in oral sex, fondling and masturbation on trips and on church property.

His mother just found out a year ago. Roe is now 26.

"We were just both in shock and dismay of what happened," she said.

Gugliotta was later transferred to a parish in Mahwah, New Jersey.

"The younger the victim is the much harder it is for them to come forward," said Mark Crawford, head of New Jersey Survivors of those Abused by Priests.

Barron says Aquinas offers remedy to polarization, rise of ‘nones’


March 11, 2019

By Elise Harris

For Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, increased polarization of society and the rise of “nones” who reject religion, usually because it’s seen as irrational, are challenges for which the 13th century St. Thomas Aquinas, one of Catholicism’s most famed intellectuals, offers a powerful remedy.

Speaking to Crux, Barron said Aquinas’s renowned intellectual prowess is not archaic and limited to the past, but is “especially relevant now because of the rise in skepticism, the rise of the ‘nones,’ meaning those with no religion who tend to see the faith as pre-scientific nonsense.”

Aquinas, an Italian Dominican friar widely held to be the Catholic Church’s most influential theologian, was someone “who insisted on the interplay between faith and reason,” Barron said, explaining that Aquinas’s argument was principally that faith is not “sub-rational” but “beyond rational.”

There’s a constant dialogue between faith and reason with Aquinas, Barron said, which is an especially relevant dynamic in modern times, when “the faith is being derided by many as irrational, as superstitious.”

“We need Thomas Aquinas to make the same argument he made in this city (Rome), in Paris, and in other places - that faith and reason are in vital dialogue, and that the faith is in continuity with the best of our human reason,” he said.

Barron, arguably America’s best-known Catholic communicator through his “Word on Fire” ministry and his “Catholicism” series on PBS, was in Rome to receive an honorary doctorate in theology from Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also called the “Angelicum.”

Former Catholic priest jailed for repeatedly taking nude photos of young schoolboy


March 11, 2019

By Warren Barnsley

A former Catholic priest who took nude photos of a schoolboy while he has a teacher at Brisbane’s Villanova College has been jailed.

Michael Ambrose Endicott, 75, was found guilty last week of three counts of indecently dealing with the child about 40 years ago.

He was handed an 18-month jail sentence on Monday, to be suspended after he serves six months.

Endicott was in charge of religious education at the school during the 1970s, his Brisbane District Court trial heard.

The victim said he was first abused by Endicott on a school hiking trip in 1975. Endicott asked the nine-year-old boy to accompany him to a secluded area in dense bush, where he photographed the student naked.

Endicott told him: “There’s nothing to worry about. It’s okay. You’re doing a good job.”

Three years later, Endicott abused him in the school tower. Again, the boy was photographed naked.

Years later, when the boy was a teenager, Endicott took him into a change room and told him to strip when photos were taken of him in the shower.

“He went along with the defendant’s behaviour … because he was a priest,” crown prosecutor Russell Clutterbuck said.

“He said, ‘at school, priests ruled. They have absolute power over everything’ and he dared not speak out against them.”

The church protected pedophiles. Now, will lawmakers protect its secrets?


March 11, 2019

To sum up five hours of absolutely brutal testimony before the New Jersey Senate, some of which will be repeated today for the Assembly: It’s easy to rape a child and get away with it.

We heard this from four sisters abused as girls by the same priest, and two of the Olympic gymnasts assaulted byteam doctorLarry Nassar. We heard it from burly men and grandparents, who cried as they relived their childhood terror.

The problem is, child victims are put on a clock. By law, they have only two years to file a civil suit, from the time they first realize that the abuse damaged them. When a person sexually assaulted at age 7 finally figures this out, and grapples with the trauma, it can be too late. The predator goes unpunished, and so do his enablers.

The bill would expand the two-year statute of limitations in New Jersey, allowing childhood victims of sexual assault more time to file a civil lawsuit.

And without the discovery phase of a civil lawsuit, forcing testimony from church officials, for instance, we may never know why an abuser was moved from parish to parish.

Joan Isaacs gave evidence against the Catholic Church while struggling after pelvic mesh surgery

Newcastle Herald

March 11, 2019

By Joanne McCarthy

A CATHOLIC Church child sexual abuse survivor who prayed for death to relieve extreme pain after pelvic mesh surgery has accused key elements of Australia's health system of acting like the church over the mesh scandal.

"I went to the Catholic Church and there was minimising, inaction and denial. I complained after mesh surgery and the response was the same from the health system. It was just denying, denying, denying there was a problem with mesh for years," said Joan Isaacs, who was one of the first Catholic survivors to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission in 2013.

"In the past we've trusted doctors, just like the church. We put doctors up on a pedestal, just like priests and bishops, and both groups have minimised and denied when vulnerable people have been hurt. There's not much difference."

She told the royal commission the church's Towards Healing process for abuse survivors was "re-abuse", and wept this week as she talked about similar feelings while dealing with the health system, including the Therapeutic Goods Administration which approved mesh devices for use in Australia.

Violación en la Catedral: Ezzati intentó evitar notificación de demanda de víctima de Tito Rivera

[Rape in the cathedral: Ezzati tried to dodge receiving legal notice of complaint]


March 11, 2019

By Jorge Molina Sanhueza

La información consta en un documento remitido a la ministra de fuero que sustancia el libelo, Maritza Villadangos, por la receptora judicial, Silvia Larravide, quien el 7 de marzo llegó a las oficinas del Arzobispado para entregarle la demanda interpuesta por “Z”, quien fue violado en el principal templo religioso del país por el presbítero Tito Rivera. “Certifico y me consta que el demandado está en el lugar”, escribió Larravide. En todo caso, la mujer no cejó. Al día siguiente llegó temprano y logró su cometido. De esta manera le entregó a Ezzati el libelo y tres resoluciones dictadas por Villadangos, pero Ezzati se negó a firmar. En tanto, para el próximo 29 de marzo quedó fijada la formalización por abuso sexual, en contra de Tito Rivera, solicitada por el fiscal regional de O’Higgins, Emiliano Arias.

Andrea Idalsoaga, delegada episcopal: “Creo que es necesario crear una comisión de verdad”

[Andrea Idalsoaga, episcopal delegate: "I think it is necessary to create a real commission"]

La Tercera

March 11, 2019

By MJ Navarrete and S. Rodríguez

La abogada, encargada de coordinar la prevención de abusos en la arquidiócesis capitalina, afirma que se ha avanzado en la colaboración con la fiscalía y defiende el rol del cardenal Ezzati en el caso del sacerdote Tito Rivera.

“Las mujeres dentro de la Iglesia hemos tenido un rol distinto al del hombre, pero no lo llamaría secundario”, afirma la abogada Andrea Idalsoaga, quien desde septiembre pasado encabeza la Delegación para la Verdad y la Paz del Arzobispado de Santiago. Allí coordina el trabajo que se realiza en materia de abusos, como la recepción de denuncias, la determinación e inicio de procesos canónicos y la atención a las víctimas.

Nun compares Church to criminals in its dealing with priests’ abuse

Irish Times

March 10, 2019

By Patsy McGarry

A leading French nun has accused the Vatican and Catholic bishops of having sanctioned the spiritual and sexual abuse (including rape, prostitution and forced abortions) of women religious in many countries and on every continent for over 20 years and probably much longer.

“Any criminal organization would not have done worse,” said Dominican nun Sr Véronique Margron, president of the French Conference of Men and Women Religious (CORREF)

She accused the Church leadership of responding to reports if such abuse of nuns with silence, cover-up and in-action. It was shocking, she said.

More claims of abuse at St Aloysius College

BBC News

March 10, 2019

Five more men have claimed they were abused by a priest at a private school in Glasgow.

Their lawyer said they were seeking recognition and compensation for alleged physical and sexual abuse at St Aloysius College in the 1960s and 80s.

Last week another man made claims against two Jesuit priests, which were previously investigated by police.

The school said it has robust safeguarding procedures in place to protect pupils.

It also expressed "deep sadness" for all victims of abuse and said it would offer full co-operation with any inquiries.

St Alyosius is a long-established private school in central Glasgow teaching boys and girls from nursery through to secondary level.

None of these claims presented to lawyers relates to the current school

Patrick McGuire, a partner with Thompsons Solictors, said: ''The impact of historic abuse on all survivors is absolutely profound.

"It's lifelong; it's horrific so what we will do is seek to ensure the institution stands up and accepts the wrong and that the institution provides those survivors with the financial justice that they deserve.''

Fall River priest placed on leave after 'inappropriate communications'


March 10, 2019

A Fall River priest was placed on leave after complaints accused him of sending inappropriate communications to several adult parishioners the Fall River Diocese announced on Sunday.

According to the Diocese, the Bishop of Fall River placed Father Mark R. Hession on leave based on complaints received against the priest.

In a statement, the Diocese said Hession was placed on leave due to “conduct inconsistent with standards of ministerial behavior and in direct violation of the Code of Conduct for priests in the Fall River Diocese.”

During his time on leave, Hession will not be permitted to exercise public ministry nor present himself as a priest in public settings said the Diocese.

Hession was previously in the news after spending at his old church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was called into question.

Church renewal needs shared clergy-lay leadership, say experts

Catholic San Francisco

March 11, 2019

By Nicholas Wolfram Smith

Changing canon law to allow lay people “authentic and honest participation” could encourage renewal in a wounded church, an expert in church law said in a talk to the Catholic student group at UC Berkeley’s law school.

Jennifer Haselberger has a Ph.D. in philosophy and a licentiate in canon law and served as chancellor at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis before resigning in protest in 2013 over concerns about how the archdiocese handled clergy abuse cases. In her Feb. 26 lecture at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, Haselberger, one of many commentators across the ideological spectrum to emerge in a growing public debate over the roots of the clergy abuse crisis, discussed institutional factors and how they church can respond.

Haselberger said canon law restricts the power to exercise church governance to those who have received sacred orders. But she argued that the practice of the church makes that a “legal fiction.”

In single-judge annulment decisions, for example, the judge must be a cleric. Haselberger said small dioceses often lack a full-time priest for this work and instead use a lay person to author annulment decisions. By adding a digital signature, their work becomes valid in the eyes of the law.

Haselberger said a similar process can happen in parish finance, where the pastor has sole control but can often delegate all significant decisions to an administrator.

Seminaries, relatively recent in church history, are still evolving

National Catholic Reporter

March 11, 2019

by Peter Feuerherd

Editor's note: This is the sixth part of a series focusing on seminaries in the United States. Every priest, including those accused of sexual abuse or those who disagree with Pope Francis, attended seminary. How are priests being formed? Who is teaching them? How are seminaries adapting to the new wave of abuse crises and condemnation of clericalism from the papacy? NCR will attempt to answer these questions and more.

All accused priest sex abusers attended seminary. While that relationship does not constitute a cause, it has not escaped the attention of seminary rectors and scholars.

Seminaries — set apart from the secular world and seen by some as a breeding ground for clericalist attitudes that fostered the sex abuse crisis — have come in for criticism. Yet leaders of Catholic seminaries say that their priestly formation programs have already successfully implemented curricula that can check future sex abuse.

Like other academic institutions, seminaries have varying reputations regarding academic quality. But perhaps even more important is the reputation each institution retains for its philosophy and theology of priestly formation, the term that implies a complete look at a man's qualifications to be ordained.

Some emphasize the cultic nature of the Catholic priesthood, focusing on setting men apart in the sacramental life of the church, which can include the wearing of elaborate attire, such as cassocks, as everyday wear. Others focus on what Pope Francis has described as nurturing the "smell of the sheep," educating priests to better relate to the world of lay people. Still others combine elements of both.

Seminary leaders say they have a largely untold success story. Via classes in preventing sex abuse and more careful screening of candidates, public reports of sex abuse among new priests have declined considerably.

Franciscan Sr. Katarina Schuth, a longtime scholarly researcher about seminary life, is professor emerita at the Seminaries of St. Paul, part of St. Thomas University, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Schuth noted that the perpetrators cited in the Pennsylvania grand jury report graduated from seminaries well before the 1990s. The vast majority of cases detailed in the horrific accounts of that report involve priests who attended seminaries in the last century.

Changes in seminary formation date in part from a document issued by Pope John Paul II in 1992. The apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis described the need for human formation, including knowledge of psychology and sociology, in the formation of priests. Schuth also cited the 2002 Dallas Charter of the U.S. bishops, ousting any priest from ministry credibly accused of sex abuse, as another landmark document in how seminary formation deals with the issue.

"I think about it every day. We are on the frontlines," said Sulpician Fr. Phillip Brown, president-rector of St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore.

March 10, 2019

Catholic laity present recommendations to Bishop Malone

WBFO Radio

March 10, 2019

By Mark Scott

After three months of work by hundreds of Catholic lay volunteers, the Movement to Restore Trust has presented its recommendations to Bishop Richard Malone.

The movement was started by nine organizing members in the wake of clergy sexual abuse revelations in the Buffalo Catholic diocese, but has since grown quickly by thousands. Its mission is to assert the laity's role to restore trust and confidence in the Church.

"Our very clear sense from everything we've seen and read was that there has been a serious erosion of trust in the Diocese of Buffalo arising out of the handling of the sex abuse scandal," said Canisius College President and MRT organizer John Hurley, "and that there's a lack of confidence by the laity of the church, in the institutional church and particularly here in Buffalo."

Hurley said the Bishop is in a position to start the process of change and MRT members want him to be a leader in that.

Facilitator Stephanie Argentine said lay volunteers broke down into six workgroups and came up with nine initial recommendations for the Bishop:

Commit to a partnership with the laity to restore trust
Embrace the opportunity to act voluntarily now
Address the needs of survivors for support and healing
Provide complete transparency into the scale of th4e abuse in both human and financial terms
Ensure the faithful are central within the organizational structures within the church
Voluntarily delegate greater authority to the consultative bodies in the diocese
Establish accountability with periodic review of implementation
Engage the Leadership Roundtable
Revive the spirit of Vatican II
Hurley said an Executive Summary of those recomendations were presented to Malone and discussed during two meetings, which he characterized as "productive."

"Miracles of miracles, it happened," Hurley said. "The Bishop said all the right things about affirming our work, believing in our work. He reminded me that he's a Vatican II priest. He's firmly committed to Vatican II. He said, 'I'll have to study this, but as I look at your foundational recommendations, there's nothing here jumping off the page that tells me I gotta be worried about."

Alleged victims of first Catholic bishop of Memphis speak out

Fox 13 News

March 10, 2019

By Siobhan Riley

The victims abused by priests spoke out Saturday morning about the first Catholic bishop of Memphis who has been named on a list of priests accused of child sexual abuse.

FOX13 spoke with a victim involved in a separate incident who is demanding immediate action from the newly named Bishop for Memphis Catholic Diocese.

“All these buildings, all these facilities, all these awards named after Carroll T. Dozier, I want them taken down,” said David Brown with Survivors Network of those abused by Priests or SNAP.

Victims abused by priests have several questions after recent headlines accusing Bishop Carroll Dozier’s of sexual abuse against a minor.

The Richmond Virginia Diocese released the list accusing Dozier of the allegations. Dozier who led the Memphis Diocese from 1971 to 1983 was the first Catholic Bishop of Memphis.

“Did they report that to the Memphis Diocese, did they tell them then or did they remain silent which begs to question, they maintain what we call canonical files on all these priests, these are what they call the secret files, where are they,” Brown stated.

We spoke with Brown outside of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Midtown where Dozier was buried.

Last month we reported that there was a list released by Richmond Diocese saying the allegation of abuse against Dozier was made after his death in 1985.

“There may be survivors of him down here that have been so afraid to speak out,” Brown said.

Advice: Be warned that anyone can be a sexual predator

The Monitor

March 10, 2019

By Maria Luisa Salcines

“Leaving Neverland,” HBO’s documentary in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck detail the sexual abuse they say they suffered from Michael Jackson when they were young will turn your stomach. The two men were convincing.

It was heart-wrenching watching these men give explicit detail about what their experiences, and to know that the alleged abuse has affected their lives.
Both men said they are in therapy and working on forgiving their mothers for not protecting them as children.

Their families were allegedly seduced and groomed by Jackson, who was one of the biggest stars in the world. Both respective mothers loved Jackson and never imagined that Jackson would hurt their children.

As a mother, however, it’s difficult for me to comprehend how these women didn’t think it was inappropriate for their sons, who were 7 and 10 at the time, to allegedly sleep in the same bed as Jackson.

Jackson is accused of becoming friends with the parents, fooling them into thinking he was trustworthy. His home was filled with toys and video games. He is portrayed as someone who didn’t have adult friends, but would befriend and hang out with little boys. All of these are red flags.

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the accusers aired after Part 2 of “Leaving Neverland.”

She began her interview by saying, “This is a moment in time that allows us to see this societal corruption that’s like a scourge on humanity. And it’s happening right now. It’s happening in families — we know it’s happening in churches, and in schools, and sports teams everywhere. So if it gets you, our audience, to see how it happens, then some good would have come of it.”

The innocence of the child and inexperience makes them incapable of understanding that what is happening is wrong.

As we have seen in the news lately with Catholic priests and the Penn State and Syracuse scandals, child abusers hide behind positions of power, using their positions to seduce and manipulate their victims.

Editorial | Shining a light on the Neverland of child sex abuse

Santa Cruz Sentinel

March 9, 2019

It is both harrowing and infinitely sad to see “Leaving Neverland” and “Surviving R. Kelly,” two cable television documentaries about the crime of child sexual abuse, its perpetrators and victims.

R. Kelly currently sits in a Chicago jail cell for failure to pay child support, while at the same time, years of allegations about his sexual abuse of underage girls, have finally caught up with him. The R&B star says he is unfairly accused and that his career has been ruined by the allegations.

“Leaving Neverland” aired last week, profiling two men who say Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.

Jackson died in 2009 and his family has filed a lawsuit against HBO which aired the documentary.

That Kelly and Jackson face these accusations is hardly shocking, considering previous allegations both have faced, but the depravity of the alleged acts described by the victims — who come off eminently believable — is shattering. Much of the same debate has also been heard during the Roman Catholic Church’s repeated scandals of child sex abuse and in the #MeToo movement.

One of the questions asked of the two latest Jackson accusers is why they took so long to come forward and why they first denied they had been repeatedly molested by the pop star.

Both Wade Robson, who testified for Jackson in the singer’s court trial, and James Safechuck still suffer guilt and shame over what happened. Both men say they will spend the rest of their lives trying to come to terms with what happened, and about the feelings they still harbor.

They were groomed — or manipulated — by Jackson when they were little boys and considered him, in their words, like a “god” who turned them against anyone who might want to intrude into their twisted world. Both said they didn’t consider it “abuse” until relatively recently.

Safechuck, in particular, seems to remain traumatized at age 40, three decades after he met Jackson during the filming of a soda commercial. Jackson, in addition to allegedly repeatedly assaulting the child, also bought him a “wedding ring” that Safechuck still possesses.

The Catholic Church: Recognition of healthy sexuality crucial to cure

The Age

March 10, 2019

Elevating women and lay people to positions of power in the Catholic Church may help drag the institution into the modern world but will not address the heart of the sexual abuse problem ("Call for Catholic female voice", The Sunday Age, 3/3). Only when male and female clergy are free to enjoy healthy sexual relations and marry will sexual misconduct begin to be solved. Imposed celibacy and denying the inherent sexual drive of men and women is an archaic practice providing fertile ground for sexual abuse and other psychological illness.
Dr Paul Mulkearns, Mount Macedon

Empower women and reclaim the church
How refreshing to hear "The view from the pews" (Comment, 7/3) as Jim Barber speaks up for the many committed Catholic people who continue to support their church, damaged and publicly disgraced as it is. His pragmatic attitude balances the conflicting tensions of critical analysis and ongoing allegiance. Along with Pope Francis, he calls for an end to clericalism and he rightly urges the church to empower women to exercise their God-given gifts, and for committed lay people "to reclaim their church".
Father Kevin Burke, Eltham

Bring the Eucharist back home
Jim Barber is right to say that now is the time for Catholics to reclaim their church. We should begin by taking back the Eucharist. In the early church this was celebrated over a meal with family and friends, following the simple directive of Christ that it be done in memory of Him. We Catholics should return to our roots and bring the Eucharist back home where it belongs.
Sssan Glover, South Melbourne

Christ showed the way to follow
Catholic parishioners are less acquiescent than a few years ago, but of those who go to Mass, many do not speak up about matters of concern in the church.
Priests, by the very nature of their training and because of church culture, at times seem subservient to church authorities and they can be treated badly by them. There are a small number of priests who are notable exceptions to the ordinary priests and they are amazingly brave and compassionate.
A priest asked last weekend what was God on about with all that has been going on in the church. My answer was that I thought he wanted Catholics to reform the church, to be a better, kinder, more understanding church with more people following Christ's example of how to live in the community.
Mary Lane, Mornington

While terrible, abuse not the only issue
A thoughtful reminder from Jim Barber that most Catholic clergy were naively innocent while the abuse scandal bubbled away outside their gaze. I believe this is mostly true and they deserve our understanding. However, while he is still there in the pews the abuse issue was just one of the end points for many ex-Catholics. The faith no longer provides a useful narrative to us of why we are here and where we are going.

Peter McCarthy, Mentone

French cardinal’s downfall a lesson in how accountability happens


March 10, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

Charles Collins, the managing editor of Crux, is a smart guy. Recently he wrote a typically perceptive analysis about problems with the idea of using Metropolitan archbishops to deliver accountability for clerical sexual abuse, and so we had him on Crux’s weekly radio show on March 4 to talk about it.

After he got done explaining why the Metropolitan may not be the best way to foster accountability, I asked Charley what Church officials ought to do instead. I can’t remember his exact words, but the gist was, “It doesn’t matter, because grand juries and public prosecutors will do it for them.”

Right on cue, three days later Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, was found guilty by a French court of failure to report sexual abuse by one of his priests and was given a six-month suspended jail sentence. It’s the third time a Catholic bishop in France has been convicted of a similar offense, and the first time for a cardinal.

Barbarin has said he will appeal the verdict, and he declared in court that “I never tried to hide, much less to cover up, these horrible facts.” Following the verdict, he nonetheless said he’ll submit his resignation to Pope Francis.

(Presumably, no one in the Vatican today will be self-destructive enough to do what Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, at the time the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, did in 2001 after French Bishop Pierre Pican got a three-month suspended sentence for failure to report. Castrillon sent a letter to Pican congratulating him for refusing to turn in one of his priests, which a Vatican spokesman was forced to disown when it became public.)

On Friday, the daily newspaper Parisien described the Barbarin verdict as a “cataclysm” for the French clergy, given that the 68-year-old Barbarin is a member of the Legion of Honor and the Primate of Gaul.

How do pastors guard against abusing their power? Evangelical leaders weigh in

Christian Post

March 10, 2019

By Leah MarieAnn Klett

To guard against the temptations and abuses that come with positions of power and influence in the church, pastors must cultivate a life of prayer marked by honesty and vulnerability, two evangelical leaders have said.

In a recent video posted on the Gospel Coalition website, Kyle Strobel, professor of spiritual theology and formation at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California, and Jamin Goggin, a pastor at Mission Hills Church in San Marcos, California, warned that every pastor will, at some point, be tempted by worldly power in ministry.

“Just because you’re doing ministry doesn’t mean somehow you’re not going to be tempted to employ worldly power for the sake of it,” said Strobel.

One way to combat this temptation, Strobel said, is to cultivate a life of prayer “where honesty is at its core.” He encouraged pastors to consider the areas in their lives where they might be tempted toward power, from getting more people to download sermons to filling church pews.

“We need to be open to all these areas in our hearts where we're actually trying to use God,” he said. “We're actually trying to come up with ways where we can employ ourselves and wield them to try to further His Kingdom. All of these things are temptations toward power.”

“As I see myself being tempted by these things, now I have to come and say, ‘Lord, look at this,’” Strobel continued. "'I hear your message. I hear that without you, I can do nothing. I look at my life. I know how much you've done for me. I know everything I have is because you are a gracious Father, and yet I consistently look for ways where I can wield worldly power.'"

R. Kelly, Michael Jackson and the Lingering Questions About Child Sex Abuse Cases

New York Times

March 8, 2019

By Shaila Dewan

The explosive documentaries “Leaving Neverland” and “Surviving R. Kelly” have reignited a national conversation about child sex abuse.

“Leaving Neverland” profiles two men who say Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. Jackson faced several allegations that he molested young boys dating back to 1993, but was never convicted of any charges.

For more than two decades, R. Kelly has been trailed by a series of allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. Then in February, after “Surviving R. Kelly” aired, the authorities in Chicago charged him with 10 counts of sexual abuse. He denies the charges.

With these developments coming years after the alleged abuse, many are asking why victims can take so long to come forward, why they might at first deny the abuse and whether their parents could have done more. Here are some answers to those difficult questions.

Why do some victims take so long to come forward?

It can take decades for people who are sexually abused as children to come forward, for a multitude of reasons. They may suffer from effects of trauma or believe they are to blame, and it can take years for them to even identify what happened as abuse. In one German study, the average age of disclosure was 52. Despite that, some states in the United States gave victims only two or three years after reaching the age of 18 to seek criminal action.

The Catholic church child abuse scandal in the early 2000s drove most states to change their statute of limitation laws, extending the time those abused as children had to come forward. More recently, a wave of reports like one in Pennsylvania that found more than 1,000 child victims of Catholic priests has renewed a push to allow more time.

Universidad Católica desconoce fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones y otorga semestre “sabático” a profesor investigado por acoso sexual

[Universidad Católica ignores decision of the Court of Appeals and awards semester "sabbatical" to teaching priest investigated for sexual harassment]

The Clinic

March 6, 2019

En un comunicado a la comunidad de la Facultad de Teología de la Pontificia Universidad Católica, firmado por su decano Joaquín Silva, la institución desconoce la parcialidad de la investigación interna llevada a cabo por una denuncia de acoso sexual contra el sacerdote Rodrigo Polanco, que fue corroborada por la Corte de Apelaciones. Así también, informa que el Consejo de Facultad aprobó la solicitud del docente para adelantar el “inicio de las investigaciones que realizaría en el marco del sabático ya aprobado para el segundo semestre de este año”.

El 25 de julio de 2018, la investigadora designada para el sumario contra el profesor Rodrigo Polanco, María Graciela Donoso, propuso a la Secretaría General de la Universidad Católica el sobreseimiento definitivo del proceso de investigación por el acoso sexual que habría cometido el sacerdote contra la alumna K.H.M., alegando que “los hechos denunciados carecen de fundamento plausible”.

Keith C. Burris: The sins of the fathers


March 9, 2019

By Keith C. Burris

I was painting an attic wall, actually slathering on KILZ before applying paint, and was happy for an interruption. It was from my brother John — a text. Had I read the list of clergy abusers released by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus? It was printed in the Columbus Dispatch. My brother knew a couple of the names. He thought I might know more.

I did.

I attended St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, a truly great school then and now and a place for which I have abiding affection. Back in the day, St. Charles also had a college, a minor seminary, in the same building. I knew eight of the names on the list — some because they were what we called then “the collegians” and some because they were faculty members. One, recently accused, and eventually beloved by the St. Charles community, was the supervisor of my dorm. Seeing his name stunned me. We crossed swords many times and he threatened to expel me at least once. But we also had long talks about poetry, writing, and politics. I admired him.

Two people on the list did not surprise me. One was a collegian and one (Fr. X) the onetime assistant pastor of my church. The first was gifted, a charmer, and the last person I would have thought a predator — until I saw something that much later clicked in my head. The latter you would not think a predator either. But a guy with a screw loose, yes. His thing was the Boy Scouts. He was a Boy Scout chaplain.

When I lived in Connecticut, we had a local doctor, another “good guy,” who was heavily into Scouting, and, as it turned out, child porn. He was sentenced to prison. Did he diminish Scouting in Connecticut? Not the idea. But certainly the organization.

Did these priests diminish Catholicism in central and east central Ohio? Not the idea. But certainly the organization.

They operated with impunity, in church after church, for decades. None went to prison.

Review of sex abuse by Catholic priests will not include one-third of Colorado’s publicly accused clergy

Denver Post

March 10, 2019

By Elis Schmelzer

For five years in the late 1960s and early ’70s, a Catholic brother used ether to subdue at least 23 teenage boys at a Catholic high school in Pueblo. He told them he was conducting an “experiment.” Instead, they alleged in a lawsuit, he molested and raped them in the band room.

The Marianist brother, William Mueller, was later transferred to schools in St. Louis, where lawsuits claim he continued to abuse students. Some of the boys later said in lawsuits that they told the Diocese of Pueblo and school leaders at Roncalli High School about the abuse, but nothing was done.

Mueller’s case is one of the most high-profile Catholic clergy abuse cases in Colorado — it resulted in a settlement with the Diocese of Pueblo and Mueller’s religious order for $4 million.

But Mueller’s case and at least eight others like it will not be included in the third-party review announced last month by the state attorney general and the Catholic Church in Colorado because Mueller was supervised by a religious order, not a diocese. His victims will not have access to the recently announced reparations fund or reconciliation services, because he was under the supervision of a religious order and not one of Colorado’s three dioceses.

A spokesman for Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser did not respond to an emailed question about why religious-order priests and brothers were excluded from the review, which was initiated by Weiser’s predecessor and finalized after he took office.

Ezzati no deja su papel de víctima: niega las últimas denuncias y considera “injusto” que le quieran quitar la nacionalidad

[In interview, Ezzati denies the latest cover-up accusation and considers it "unfair" to remove his nationality]

El Mostrador

March 8, 2019

El cuestionado cardenal dio una extensa entrevista como parte de su estrategia comunicacional previa a la decisión que la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago debería adoptar la próxima semana respecto a su solicitud de sobreseimiento. El prelado se concentró en negar al denunciante del cura Tito Rivera, sacerdote acusado de cometer violaciones en la misma Catedral Metropolitana, y menos haberle ofrecido dinero. Incluso, dijo que todos los casos de abusos que han sido denunciados en la Arquidiócesis de Santiago “desde el año 2011 han sido investigados”.

A una semana que la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago se pronuncie respecto a su solicitud de sobresemiento de las acusaciones de encubrimiento de abusos sexuales en el clero que investiga la Fiscalía, el arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, decidió romper el silencio y pasar a la ofensiva.

Laicos penquistas valoran citación a Chomali para declarar en causa por encubrimiento de abusos

[Laity of Penquista assess Chomali's call to testify in abuse cover-ups next week]


March 6, 2019

By Manuel Cabrera and Óscar Valenzuela

La próxima semana deberá declarar en calidad de testigo el arzobispo de Concepción, Fernando Chomali, en la causa por eventuales encubrimientos de abusos sexuales en la Iglesia Católica. En ese sentido, abogados y representantes de la comunidad de laicos valoraron la citación del fiscal Emiliano Arias a varios clérigos.

Piñera realiza dura crítica por “encubrimientos” en la Iglesia y asegura sobre Ezzati que “todos tenemos que responder ante la ley”

[Piñera criticizes Church cover-ups and says about Ezzati: "We all have to answer before the law"]

La Tercera

March 7, 2019

By Carlos Reyes P.

El Mandatario afirmó que lo ocurrido "nos ha hecho dudar de muchas de las autoridades eclesiásticas" y que "es muy doloroso". Además, aseguró que "la única forma de enfrentar este problema es con verdad y justicia".

Un duro análisis de la crisis que enfrenta la iglesia chilena a raíz de las múltiples denuncias por abusos a menores realizó el Presidente Sebastián Piñera.

Abogado del cardenal Ezzati: “Hay una perversa estrategia comunicacional para vulnerar la presunción de inocencia”

[Cardinal Ezzati's lawyer: "There is a perverse communication strategy to violate the presumption of innocence"]

La Tercera

March 7, 2019

By Sergio Rodríguez and María José Navarrete

Hugo Rivera, quien representa al arzobispo de Santiago, levantó suspicacias respecto de que la denuncia sobre una presunta violación del sacerdote Tito Rivera a un hombre adulto, en la Catedral Metropolitana, se conozca la semana anterior a que se vea su sobreseimiento en la Corte de Apelaciones.

“Sin perjuicio de la gravedad de los hechos imputados al señor Tito Rivera, los cuales fueron investigados y aclarados por parte del Arzobispado de Santiago, a través de una investigación canónica que se inició en el año 2015, y que concluyó con la condena del Sr. Rivera, resulta indispensable precisar algunos hechos”.

Ezzati: “Estoy dispuesto a declarar, siempre, lo que la justicia quiera investigar”

[Ezzati: "I am willing to testify, always, what justice wants to investigate"]

La Tercera

March 7, 2019

By M.J. Navarrete and S. Rodríguez

En entrevista con “Informe Especial”, de TVN, el cardenal también se refirió a la posible revocación de su nacionalidad por gracia en el Senado: “Me duele inmensamente, es injusto”.

“Yo no tengo conciencia de haber confesado, porque no lo conozco, y menos todavía de haber sabido, de haberle dado un abrazo y haberle dicho que un sacerdote le entregaría un dinero a nombre mío. Eso lastimosamente no es así”, señaló, en una entrevista con el programa Informe Especial, de TVN, el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati. El prelado se refirió así a los dichos del denunciante del sacerdote Tito Rivera, quien aseguró que el cardenal le habría dado un abrazo luego de escuchar su confesión y que, por medio de otro sacerdote, le entregó $ 30 mil.

Las 40 investigaciones de la Iglesia de Chile por abusos a menores que están en curso

[Church of Chile currently investigating 40 cases of abuse of minors]

La Tercera

March 9, 2019

By M. J. Navarrete and G. Peñafiel

La Tercera consultó a las 27 diócesis del país, incluyendo al obispado castrense. En los últimos cinco años han sido condenados canónicamente 21 sacerdotes.

“Los fieles no perdonan la falta de transparencia, porque es una nueva violencia contra las víctimas”. Estas fueron las palabras de la periodista mexicana Valentina Alazraki, quien interpeló a las máximas autoridades del clero católico a fines de febrero, en el encuentro sobre la protección a menores en la Iglesia que se efectuó en el Vaticano. Su intervención fue aplaudida por las víctimas de abuso sexual eclesiástico y valorada por el propio comité organizador del evento.

March 9, 2019

Deadline set for abuse claims against church

Albuquerque Journal

March 10, 2019

By Colleen Heild

Priest sexual abuse survivors have until June 17 to file a proof of claim in the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

A Friday order by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma approving the deadline for claims tasks the archdiocese with getting the word out to clergy abuse victims, primarily by publishing notices in more than 22 newspapers or other publications in New Mexico and elsewhere.

“The order is the first step in what we hope will be a global resolution to provide fair compensation to all survivors of sex abuse by clergy,” said Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in a news release.

Wester said the archdiocese, the largest of New Mexico’s three Catholic dioceses, is working “collaboratively” with a creditor’s committee of sex abuse survivors and “our insurers to maximize the outreach to those who might have claims.”

Claims will be sealed and won’t be available to the public unless the claimant indicates otherwise.

“After the claims filing deadline of June 17, 2019,” Wester stated, “we are hopeful that mediation among the survivors’ committee, insurers, archdiocese and other parties will result in a consensual plan providing an appropriate resolution for each and every claimant.”

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy reorganization in December, citing the financial burden of continuing litigation brought by victims, most of whom allege they were sexually abused by priests decades ago.

“The establishment of a deadline to file claims is critical in this case because it will allow the Debtor and other necessary parties to understand the universe of claims asserted against the Debtor,” stated attorneys for the archdiocese in a Feb. 1 filing.

Hundreds Sign Useless Petition After Catholic School Bans Child of Gay Parents

Patheos blog

March 9, 2019

By Sarabeth Caplin

After a kindergartner was denied entry into a Catholic school for having same-sex parents, hundreds of people petitioned the school’s leaders hoping to reverse the decision.

The petition is addressed to Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann and school Superintendent Kathy O’Hara, both of whom oversee St. Ann Catholic School.

“Respectfully, we believe that the decision to deny a child of God access to such a wonderful community and education, based on the notion that his or her parent’s union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message,” the petition reads.

I guess they didn’t realize they were speaking to leaders in the Catholic Church. Asking for compassion and mercy mean nothing to Church leaders when confronted with the opportunity to denigrate same-sex couples.

Unsurprisingly, Naumanmn and O’Hara refused to budge in their decision, claiming that the Church is firm in its stance about what “real” marriage looks like.

… in a statement to The Star on Wednesday, O’Hara said the “Church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society.” Catholic doctrine recognizes marriage “as a sacrament entered into between a man and woman.”

“The Church teaches that individuals with same sex attraction should be treated with dignity,” the statement read. “However, the challenge regarding same sex couples and our Catholic schools is that same sex parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes regarding marriage and sexual morality consistent with essential components of the Church’s teachings.”

Violación en la Catedral: Fiscalía pide formalizar a Tito Rivera por delitos sexuales

[Rape in the cathedral: prosecutor requests formal charges against priest Tito Rivera]


March 9, 2019

By Jorge Molina Sanhueza

El fiscal regional de Rancagua, Emiliano Arias, solicitó el 13º Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago fecha para formalizar al presbítero Tito Rivera por el delito de abuso sexual. La decisión del perseguidor penal, que lleva una serie de indagatorias en contra de la Iglesia chilena, se produce a días que la Unidad de de Investigación de Radio Bío Bío, revelara que Rivera violó a “Z” en uno de los dormitorios de la Catedral de Santiago en 2015.

Víctima de violación en la catedral presenta querella por abusos contra el sacerdote Tito Rivera

[Victim of cathedral rape files complaint against priest Tito Rivera]


March 9, 2019

By Felipe Díaz and Erik López

Una querella criminal por abuso sexual en contra del sacerdote a quien acusa de violarlo al interior de la Catedral Metropolitana, interpuso Daniel Álvarez, quien además acusa al cardenal Ricardo Ezzati de encubrir estos hechos. Álvarez llegó este sábado hasta el Centro de Justicia capitalino en compañía de su abogado, Alfredo Morgado, para presentar la demanda en contra de Tito Rivera.

El cardenal francés que fue condenado por crímenes de encubrimiento similares a los de Ezzati

[Comparing the French cardinal who was convicted of covering up abuse to Ezzati]


March 7, 2019

By Paola Alemán

Si la iglesia católica ya estaba siendo sacudida por los escándalos de abusos sexuales, su cúpula ha recibido una grieta profunda tras el prolongado terremoto que remece la fe en esta institución. Cientos de sacerdotes, y hasta monjas, han sido señalados por hombres y mujeres, que ya como adultos, procesan una realidad en el presente la cual sigue siendo dolorosa.

Detienen a sacerdote en San Fernando por manejar en estado de ebriedad

[Priest arrested for drunk driving, suspended from ministry]


March 7, 2019

Jorge Vásquez fue "apartado del ejercicio público del ministerio sacerdotal" según informó la Diócesis de Rancagua.

Este miércoles se conoció que el sacerdote Jorge Vásquez, de la parroquia Santa Rita de Casia en San Fernando, región de O'Higgins, fue detenido durante la madrugada del 3 de marzo por manejar en estado de ebriedad. Según el capitán de la Primera Comisaría de San Fernando, Wladimir Fuentes, el auto que conducía el párroco colisionó por detrás a otro vehículo que esperaba que el semáforo cambiara a luz verde.

Ocho obispos y sacerdotes fueron citados a declarar por el fiscal Emiliano Arias

[Eight bishops and priests were summoned to testify by prosecutor Emiliano Arias]


March 6, 2019

By Juan Undurraga

Algunos entregarían su testimonio en calidad de testigos mientras que otros como imputados, en el marco de una investigación por presuntos encubrimientos de abusos.

La fiscalía regional de O'Higgins citó a declarar a ocho obispos y sacerdotes por el eventual encubrimiento de abusos, diligencia que quedó programada para el próximo jueves 28 de marzo. Según La Tercera, el fiscal Emiliano Arias notificó al cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, al arzobispo de Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, al administrador apostólico de Talca, Galo Fernández, y al administrador apostólico de Rancagua, Fernando Ramos, entre otros.

Iglesia de Santiago informa que primeras denuncias contra Tito Rivera las recibió en agosto de 2011

[Archdiocese of Santiago admits it received accusations against Tito Rivera in August 2011]


March 5, 2019

By Fernanda Villalobos D.

En un comunicado, agregaron que hace ocho años "no fue posible contactar a la denunciante". Además, anunciaron que realizarán "una revisión exhaustiva para esclarecer todos los antecedentes".

El Arzobispado de Santiago reconoció que las primeras denuncias en contra del sacerdote Tito Rigoberto Rivera Muñoz, por eventual abuso sexual de menores, las recibió en agosto del año 2011. Mediante un comunicado, la institución agregó que se iniciará una investigación "exhaustiva para esclarecer todos los antecedentes" del caso.

El Obispado de Bilbao reconoce tres casos de abusos a menores en Bizkaia desde 1950

[Bilbao bishop admits three cases of abuse of minors in Bizkaia since 1950]

El País

March 7, 2019

By Pedro Gorospe

Estos casos se suman a los denunciados en los Salesianos, y a otro caso conocido también hoy en el colegio de Jesuitas de Indautxu

El Obispado de Bilbao se comprometió con la transparencia en todo lo relacionado con los abusos a menores, y este jueves ha hecho públicas las conclusiones de un estudio interno para aflorar ese tipo de casos. En una nota, la diócesis que dirige Mario Iceta ha reconocido haber conocido el caso de tres sacerdotes que realizaron tocamientos a menores durante el ejercicio del sacerdocio y que ya habrían muerto.

Los marianistas expulsan a Manuel Briñas por abusar de niños durante tres décadas

[Marianists expel Manuel Briñas for abusing children over three decades]

El País

March 6, 2019

By Oriol Güell

La compañía toma la decisión contra el que fuera responsable de la cantera del Atlético de Madrid tras "constatar la veracidad" de las denuncias

La orden religiosa Compañía de María, popularmente conocida como los marianistas, ha decidido expulsar al fraile Manuel Briñas tras "constatar la veracidad de los testimonios" de las víctimas que han relatado los abusos sexuales sufridos durante su infancia. La publicación el pasado día 13 por EL PAÍS de un primer caso ha venido seguida en las últimas semanas por una catarata de nuevas denuncias que han permitido descubrir que los abusos se prolongaron durante más de tres décadas —de 1964 a 1997— en dos colegios de Madrid: el Hermanos Amorós, en el barrio de Carabanchel, y el Santa María del Pilar, en el distrito de Retiro.

For weeks I have been unable to bring myself to attend Sunday Mass

Sydney Morning Herald

March 9, 2019

By Anne O’Donovan

As a cradle Catholic, and as a mother and a grandmother, my response to the Cardinal Pell conviction is, as for others like me, deeply complex.

For weeks I have been unable to bring myself to attend Sunday Mass.

Almost daily I wake to a deadening of the heart as yet another story of abuse of children by Catholic clergy emerges, here and internationally. Catholics like me are in grief.

Cardinal Pell is an unsympathetic character, described as having a pathological lack of empathy, and emblematic of a church that is out of touch with its people. And yet he is a prince of the church: the only ranking higher is that of the Pope. How unthinkable that he has been convicted of abusing children.

I see myself as a liberal Catholic – loosely connected to St Carthage’s parish at Melbourne University, where the much-loved Father Michael Elligate ministers to a flock from every corner of Melbourne. When I go to Michael’s Mass, I come away with a thought about how to live my life – an opportunity for meditation on the deeper things.

I abhor the arrogant male exclusivity of elements of the church and long ago relinquished any regard for the dogmatic pronouncements from the Control Tower. And yet, and yet … something keeps me connected.

For me, it is a love of the ritual, something deep in my racial memory, and it’s the goodness of so many clergy and religious, the 93 per cent who are not abusers. Perhaps it’s also the debt we owe to generations of nuns, priests and brothers who gave us a start on what became fulfilling lives as successful professionals. Many in public life operate from principles of social justice imbibed in this system.

Seven more Jesuit priests accused of abuse had ties to St. Louis

Post Dispatch

March 9, 2019

By Nassim Benchaabane

Seven more Jesuit priests who worked in St. Louis have been identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse, according to a list posted months ago by a Jesuit province but not publicized here until a survivors group outed the names on Friday.

Four of the priests were assigned to St. Louis University as recently as the 1970s, according to the Midwest Jesuit Province. One priest worked at Washington University in the late 1960s. Two, including one assigned to SLU, worked at St. Stanislaus Seminary in the 1940s. One of the priests, and a second convicted of abuse in Michigan, were patients at a Catholic treatment center in Dittmer as recently as 2012.

David Clohessy, spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, which pointed out the new information on Friday, said the Midwest Province should have published the information earlier.

“They tried to pull a fast one,” Clohessy said at a press conference SNAP called on Friday in front of St. Francis Xavier “College” Church on Lindell Boulevard on the SLU campus.

The update brings the total number of credibly accused Jesuit priests with ties to St. Louis to 24. In early December, the St. Louis-based Central and Southern Province published a list that included 17 priests with ties to St. Louis.

The Jesuit provinces were among several Catholic institutions across the country that released lists naming priests credibly accused of sexual abuse in the wake of an explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report that documented decades of abuses and cover-ups involving hundreds of priests.

The seven names were included in the Midwest Province’s original list, published Dec. 17. But it wasn’t until the province updated the list with the priests’ work histories on Dec. 21 that SNAP identified the ties to St. Louis.

The Midwest Province did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment.

Clohessy, an abuse survivor, said the publicization of the names might help families identify past abuse and address current problems.

“That is the first step toward healing,” Clohessy said.

Two of the priests with local ties on the Midwest list were named in a 2003 federal lawsuit alleging abuse of students at church-run Native American boarding schools across the country.

One priest, James F. Gates, was accused by 15 women and one man of abusing them in the late 1960s and early 1970s while they were students at St. Mary’s Mission and boarding school in Omak, Wash.

Group wants names added to pedophile priests list

Express News

March 8, 2019

By Scott Huddleston

An advocacy group seeking greater protection for children from pedophile priests called Friday for the Archdiocese of San Antonio to add four names to its list of 56 clergy members who have worked in the area and have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse.

Patti Koo, local leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said she is aware of “just a handful” more of abuse survivors having come forward since the archdiocese issued its list Jan. 31, after the release of a report by a special lay commission to identify priests who had been “credibly accused” of sexual assault.

The survivors group also is worried that one of the priests on the list of 56 is not being adequately supervised. Koo encouraged more survivors to report past abuse to law enforcement officials, anonymously as an information report, so clergy members with a pattern of assault can be tracked through public records.

Koo also wants Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller to expand the list to at least 60 names — for now.

“We are asking the bishop to please update, add these to his list and please do this on a regular basis. They should be doing this aggressively and changing it. There are dioceses that do that already,” Koo said during a news conference in front of the archdiocese headquarters.

Catholic leaders knew N.J. priest was accused of abuse. He became a ‘youth minister’ anyway, lawsuit says.

Star Ledger

March 9, 2019

By Kelly Heyboer

Catholic Church officials learned in 2003 one of their priests had been accused of sexually abusing a boy years earlier while he was a Boy Scout leader before he joined the clergy, according to a new lawsuit.

But Archdiocese of Newark leaders still assigned the priest to a Union County parish, where he became “head of youth ministry” and began abusing another young boy a year later, according to a civil lawsuit filed this week by the alleged victim.

The Rev. Kevin Gugliotta, a nationally-ranked poker player, pleaded guilty in 2017 to disseminating child pornography in Pennsylvania. He was sentenced to up to 23 1/2 months in jail and has been permanently removed from ministry.

In the new lawsuit, one of his alleged victims, identified by the pseudonym Richard Roe, says the Archdiocese of Newark, then-Archbishop John H. Myers and St. Bartholomew of the Apostle Parish in Scotch Plains should be held responsible for the priest’s alleged abuse at the Union County parish.

Catholic group urges Buffalo's bishop to adopt reforms in wake of abuse scandal

Buffalo News

March 9, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

The Buffalo Diocese must do more to assist clergy sex abuse survivors and to disclose the depth and scale of abuses perpetrated on children and vulnerable adults, according to an organized group of Catholic worshippers.

Those are among nine key recommendations from the group, which has been meeting since December to find ways of rebuilding trust in the diocese in the wake of a clergy sex abuse scandal that has rattled the faithful.

The group calling itself the Movement to Restore Trust urged Bishop Richard J. Malone to offer one-on-one and group listening sessions with sex abuse victims, as well as a full spectrum of “independent, trauma-informed counseling services, treatments and therapies” and a more sensitive and responsive intake program.

The recommendations were released Saturday morning in a five-page executive summary distributed at a symposium in Canisius College’s Montante Center.

The report said a lack confidence in the institutional Catholic church and its leaders has resulted in lay people "feeling disillusioned, frustrated and alienated." It also called for transforming church culture from one that assigns greater authority to ordained clergy to one where clergy and bishops work in partnership with lay people.

“The embrace and implementation of the recommendations in our report will be an important step in breaking old habits driven by clericalism,” the report said.

The group called upon Malone to commit to a new type of partnership with lay Catholics so that they are not just represented, but are also consulted, heard and engaged.

Priest not named on credible clergy abuse list even though diocese was warned 18 years ago


March 8, 2019

By Kerri O'Brien

Father Richard Ahern’s name is not on the Diocese of Richmond's list of credible child sex abusers released last month but victim's advocates say it should be.

He has since died but he has been named by multiple accusers, was barred from holding confession with kids and was named in a court settlement. 8News has learned the Diocese of Richmond was warned about Father Ahern 18 years ago.

In a letter to the Diocese, the alleged victim writes, "I was seduced and sexually abused by a priest in the parish. Father Ahern is the priest in question."

That letter was faxed to the Diocese of Richmond's Bishop at the time, Bishop Walter Francis Sullivan.

The alleged victim stated he was abused by Father Richard Ahern when he an altar boy between 1959 and 1961 at Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge, Virginia.

It's now part of the Diocese of Arlington but at the time was part of the Diocese of Richmond. This letter and memo were shared with 8News by the group Bishop Accountability. The group maintains an international database of priests accused of abuse.

"We know that that letter was sent to the Bishop of Richmond, Bishop Sullivan,” says Terence McKiernan, President of Bishop Accountability.

Spokane's Bishop Daly talks to the Inlander about gay priests, sex abuse and that abortion letter

The Inlander

March 8, 2019

By Daniel Walters

There's a quote that Spokane Bishop Thomas Daly uses a lot that he attributes to his favorite saint, Vincent de Paul, from back when the church was experiencing another crisis of corrupt and abusive priests.

“'If you want to be one of the church’s enemies, be one of her priests',” Daly said on his Bishop and the Vicars podcast last year. “And, of course, you could say, one of her bishops for that matter.”

It's one of those quotes that can be read in two ways. You could read it as saying that it's sometimes the job of priests or bishops to become the righteous enemy of a corrupt institution. Or you could read it as saying that the priests themselves had become one of the biggest problems in the church.

"The very men who are supposed to be the heroes, by their behavior, are the villains," Daly said. "The very people who are supposed to lead people to Christ are harming it."

And that's the stance that Daly took in November at the bishop's conference in Baltimore, when he stood up on the floor and condemned some of his fellow bishops for their role in the latest series of abuse scandals, arguing some bishops were morally compromised while others were so obsessed with climbing up the "ecclesiastical escalator" that they'd turned a blind eye to evil and degeneracy.

In our latest edition of the Inlander, our cover story focuses on the culture-war divide splitting the Catholic Church, with Daly representing the more conservative, traditional wing, while his predecessor, Cardinal Blase Cupich, representing the more moderate or liberal wing.

March 8, 2019

The Catholic Church cannot reform itself


March 9, 2019

By Kent Roberts

Last Sunday, Pope Francis concluded the Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse. While the four-day summit provided an opportunity for real policy change, the summit was woefully short on specifics. The summit ended with the pope warning clerical abusers to fear the “wrath of God.” A better closing message would have been: If you abuse children, ready yourself for the “wrath of the criminal justice system.”

It would have been a minimalist step in the right direction if the summit supported developing a Vatican policy that required the reporting of alleged sexual abuse to civil authorities (i.e., the police). In the past, clergy accused of sexual abuse were often sent to monasteries or, worse yet, shuffled to other parishes. For example, now former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was accused of sexual abuse, was sent to St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas, within a block of Victoria Elementary School, for prayer and reflection (thanks for thinking about the nearby children).

As a victim of sexual abuse by a family member, I know firsthand that recovery is a lifetime journey with many difficult days. Some abuse victims have chosen to stay in the Catholic Church to try to effectuate fundamental changes. Others, like myself, seeing the hopelessness in dealing with the Church, have chosen to leave. Margaret Henneberger, an opinion columnist for USA Today, said “… 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.”

In an article in The Week, Damon Linker, a respected religious journalist, said he was leaving the Catholic Church because it was “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.” To those who believe his comments were overly harsh, read the 884-page Pennsylvania grand jury report (released in August) that concludes there were over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse by more than 300 Catholic clergy. Over a seventy-year period, these sexual clergy abusers were predatory monsters who executed the innocent souls of children. According to the grand jury: “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 New Testament tells us that Jesus loved children and said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-14). How is it that this simple, timeless message has been lost on the Catholic Church clergy for decades, if not longer?

5 more names of credibly accused clergy highlighted by local SNAP chapter

News 4 San Antonio

March 8, 2019

By Jim Lefko

Four more names surfaced today of men who may have abused children while they were living in San Antonio. The former clerics were identified by the local chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Each had previously been accused of abuse elsewhere.

Four more names surfaced today of clerics who may have abused children while they were living in San Antonio… https://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/5-more-names-of-credibly-accused-clergy-highlighted-by-local-snap-chapter …

SNAP also identified a fifth former cleric who has been credibly accused of abuse who is currently living in San Antonio.

"There’s four names that we have found that are credibly accused clergy not on the official list that was released (by the Archdiocese of San Antonio) on Jan. 31 that we feel are a risk to the community," said Patti Koo, leader of the local SNAP chapter "We know now, the church cannot police itself."

The four men accused in other cities are Gerald Funcheon, Joseph Gutierrez-Cervantes, Michael Charland and Robert Koerner, who is dead.

‘Abuse is abuse:’ N.J. bill would expand sex abuse statute of limitations

Philadelphia Tribune

March 8, 2019

By Joe Hernandez

New Jersey’s Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Thursday evening that would dramatically expand the state’s statute of limitations for sexual assault, allowing survivors to file civil lawsuits against their abusers for conduct that took place years or even decades earlier.

The up vote on a bill that had stalled in the Legislature in previous years came after hours of raw testimony from survivors about the abuse they had endured and the struggles of seeking justice with the state’s two-year limit.

This bill is focused on the statute of limitations on civil suits. In New Jersey, there is no criminal statute of limitations on sexual assault.

“They have been shut down by the court system, by this arbitrary deadline,” said Marci Hamilton, founder and CEO of Child USA. “It’s just a deadline.”

Under the plan, childhood victims of sexual abuse would have until age 55 to file a civil lawsuit — or within seven years of realizing that they were abused. Adult victims would have seven years from realizing their abuse.

Advocates decry Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s latest step on clergy sex abuse

Boston Herald.

March 8, 2019

By Lsia Kashinsky

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley on Friday announced an anonymous third-party system for reporting sexual abuse by cardinals and bishops, but clergy abuse victims and their advocates were quick to question its effectiveness.

The reporting system comes after a widely hyped Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse last month failed to engender substantive reform, producing little more than a guidebook for bishops on handling abuse.

Phil Saviano, a survivor of priest sexual assault, said O’Malley’s latest measure was “a step in the right direction” but urged those looking to report abuse to bypass the church and go straight to law enforcement.

“The cardinal says, ‘Make a report to us and then we’ll report it to civil authorities,’” Saviano said. “But you don’t know if they’re going to edit something out or how quickly they’re going to make the report to civil authorities. Why go through a middle man?”

In a letter to the local Catholic community, O’Malley said he plans to use the confidential EthicsPoint system “exclusively for the reporting of misconduct” by a cardinal, bishop or auxiliary bishop. Archdiocese of Boston spokesman Terrence Donilon said misconduct refers to accusations of sexual abuse against high-ranking officials, or issues with their handling of an abuse situation.

The new system will be run separately from the EthicsPoint system the archdiocese uses for reporting ethics and financial violations. Reports can be made online or through a toll-free hotline, and will be sent to O’Malley’s Independent Review Board, which he said must “immediately notify” law enforcement of abuse claims, as well as the Holy See’s diplomatic representative to the U.S.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse by priests, told the Boston Herald that O’Malley “fails to see the Archdiocese of Boston has a poor track record on sexual abuse and this proposal is just another layer in a cover-up of clergy sexual abuse.”

Support group for clergy abuse victims applauds Indiana AG’s initiative


March 8, 2019

By Kelly Reinke

Attorney General Curtis Hill's office introduced a new initiative to help victims of sexual abuse. It is now offering an online form to report abuse by clergy.

Hill says any forms submitted may be disclosed to law enforcement agencies in accordance with Indiana law.

Attorney generals in more than a dozen states said they are investigating or reviewing clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. It's making Hoosiers wonder how much of a problem it is in Indiana.

"I believe it will help survivors," said Tim Lennon, President of Board of Directors for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

SNAP questions list of clergy members named in report on child sexual abuse


March 8, 2019

By Bill Barajas

Patti Koo and Barbara Garcia Boehland stood outside the Archdiocese of San Antonio on Friday to voice their concerns about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

"We're calling on the Bishop (Gustavo) Garcia-Siller for truth and transparency, for the sake of protecting our children and vulnerable adults for the healing of survivors of clergy abuse,” said Koo, who is the San Antonio chapter leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

Koo believes at least four names are missing from the archdiocese's list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse.

"The four names that were not on the list (were) credibly accused and spent time in San Antonio. The first one is Father Gerald Funcheon," Koo said.

The other three names, according to Koo, are Joseph Gutierrez-Cervantes, Robert Koerner and Michael Charland.

Victim says Jesuits are being ‘deceitful’

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

March 8, 2019

Officials give out some accused abusers’ names
Then later, they quietly disclose clerics’ assignments
New info shows 50% more alleged predators were here
SNAP ‘outs’ eight more publicly accused priest offenders
Total number of reported molesters at SLU now stands at 15

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose the names of and details about 8 more publicly accused abusive local priests.

They will also
--charge local Jesuit officials with ‘misleading the public’ about the extent of the abuse here and
--call on Catholic staffers to disclose which child molesting clerics live or have lived or worked on at St. Louis University.

Friday, March 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Outside St. Francis Xavier Church, corner of Grand & Lindell, across from St. Louis University in St. Louis MO

Three or four members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Predatory teachers are moving from one school to another. Californians should be outraged

The Tribune

March 8, 2019

Here’s a dirty little secret about California’s school system: In some cases, it allows predatory teachers to quietly walk away from their jobs – only to find employment at another district where they prey on more innocent children.

This is no different from what the Catholic Church has been doing with priests accused of molesting children, yet the level of outrage over what’s happening in schools is not even close to the horrified reaction the church has been getting.

That must change.

Whether it’s a parish or a school district, a leadership that remains silent is complicit in molesting children.

Springfield Diocese churches open Monday for private prayers for victims of clergy abuse

The Republican

March 8, 2019

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

Holy Name Church will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 11, as part of Bishop Mitchell Rozanski’s Diocesan Day of Prayer for Healing and Reconciliation.

In a Jan. 15 letter to parishes in the Springfield Roman Catholic diocese that covers all four counties of Western Massachusetts, Rozanski asked all churches to remain open on the first Monday in Lent as part of diocesan-wide efforts addressing the clergy sexual abuse crisis through “prayer and dialogue.”

Reminders have run in some parish bulletins and on websites, like that of Holy Name, and the diocese has explained the all-day hours, usually reserved only for observances in most parishes like Good Friday, as enabling “parishioners to come to offer private prayers for victims of clergy abuse, their families and loved ones.”

The healing day is part of other recent efforts the diocesan has undertaken in the wake of national and global events that have highlighted how the Church’s decades old abuse crisis continues to deepen and evolve and have ignited concerns in dioceses that did take early steps to address the issue.

Is Cardinal Pell a perpetrator or victim? Aussie media keep wavering between the two

Get Religion blog

March 8, 2019

By Julia Duin

Ever since Australia’s Cardinal George Pell was convicted of child abuse, the journalism folks Down Under have been split on if he’s actually guilty or whether he’s the target of a vicious anti-Catholic campaign.

Reaction to his conviction and jailing (the sentencing isn’t until March 13), has rippled across the Pacific, prompting Ethics and Public Policy scholar George Weigel (writing at First Things) to call the Pell affair “our Dreyfus case.”

(Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was a French Jew and a military man who was wrongly pilloried and imprisoned in 1894 on charges of selling secrets to the Germans. He was declared innocent in 1906, but the matter was considered as barbaric anti-Semitism on the part of the French. The conflict tore at the heart of French society.)

I’ll get back to Weigel in a moment but first I want to quote from a piece BBC recently ran on all this.

Cardinal George Pell is awaiting sentencing for sexually abusing two boys in 1996. The verdict, which he is appealing against, has stunned and divided Australia in the past week.

It has sparked strong reactions from the cardinal's most prominent supporters, some of whom have cast doubt on his conviction in a wider attack on Australia's legal system.

The largely conservative backlash features some of Australia's most prominent media figures, a university vice-chancellor and a leading Jesuit academic, among others.

Former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott also continue to maintain their public support for the ex-Vatican treasurer.

Giving alms should cover several bases

Daily Press

March 8, 2019

For members of Roman Catholic and mainline Christian churches, Lent began March 6 with Ash Wednesday. And this year, it came on with a bit more controversy than usual.

As more news emerges about child molesters among the clergy, church members are increasingly reluctant to "give alms" to bishops who enabled the predatory priests. A Washington Post column appearing in the Daily Press - written by a Catholic - made that point. In his way of thinking, tithes are directly controlled by the bishops, and a number of these men have blood on their hands.

Many people are outraged by how children have been systematically taken advantage of. They argue the mandatory celibacy of priests is a factor, because it attracts candidates who are sexually "disordered." And although certain church officials may refer to LGBT people that way, it is certainly not the intent in this context. Sexually mature individuals, whether gay or straight, feel compelled to enter into relationships. It takes a special person to commit to permanent celibacy, and as we've seen, many priests and bishops in recent history may have indeed been "special," but not in a good way.

Outside observers may not believe it, but Pope Francis has done more than any pontiff in modern history to acknowledge this scourge. An important element is the willingness of law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial bodies to put pressure on church officials. When children are being harmed, no member of the clergy has a right to hide behind "freedom of religion" to wriggle out of legal ramifications.

There are few these days who believe anyone can be "cured" of pedophilia. Pedophiles are born with their "preference," and they can no more change that predilection than gay or straight folks. And the suggestion that homosexuality is related in any way to pedophilia is repulsive and ignorant - the kind of ignorance that touts a flat earth or draconian forms of public execution. Also outrageous is the willingness of some Catholics to wear blinders when it comes to pedophilia, while zealously demanding the eradication of abortion. Aren't the young victims of predators entitled to the protection of pro-life advocates, or do only "pure" fetuses deserve that honor?

But when it comes to denying money to the church in retribution for the horrors committed by an alarming swath of the clergy, other considerations must come into play. For one, the church does exceptional work with the poor, unwed mothers, handicapped individuals and other social justice issues that many Americans consider important. For another, the "church," regardless of denomination, is actually the people who are members, not the clergy itself.

The two faces of George Pell

The Australian

March 9, 2019

By John Ferguson

Chrissie Foster won’t be in court when ­George Pell is sentenced on Wednesday. Foster could often be found sitting mid-courtroom after Pell was charged, her back straight, w