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March 31, 2019

Fremont priest arrested, accused of 30 counts of felony child abuse

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

March 31, 2019

By Kimberly Veklerov

The head priest of the Corpus Christi Parish in Fremont has been arrested on suspicion of 30 counts of child sex abuse, officials said Sunday.

Father Hector David Mendoza-Vela, 42, was arrested Thursday and booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he is awaiting an arraignment in Alameda County Superior Court. His bail was set at $900,000.

The abuse happened over an 18-month period in 2016 and 2017 and involved a child who was 14 and 15 at the time, according to Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case.

The victim’s family “met Father Vela through his work as their Catholic priest and became friends of his like a lot of people do with leaders in the community,” Kelly said.

The abuse, described only as “lewd and lascivious acts,” happened at the victim’s Hayward home and in other locations, Kelly said. He did not provide further details on the victim or the acts.

Questions raised about possible 'secret archive' of historical sex abuse records in lawsuit against B.C. 'playboy' priest

TORONTO (CANADA)
National Post

March 29, 2019

By Douglas Quan

One evening in March 1977, Adam Exner, then bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese in Kamloops, B.C., sought to put a lid on what he saw as a brewing scandal involving allegations that a “playboy” priest was having “inappropriate relationships” with women.

Appearing before parishioners assembled at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, Exner kept things vague, according to his speaking notes from the time. He told them he had removed Rev. Erlindo Molon from the diocese because of a “personal” and “ongoing” problem that put Molon’s future as a priest at stake.

“In some situations, time and distance are the best remedy,” he wrote.

Some four decades later, a civil action in B.C. Supreme Court has brought fresh scrutiny upon the priest’s behaviour and the church’s response to it. Rosemary Anderson, then a young teacher at the adjoining Catholic elementary school, has sued Molon, alleging that he exploited and sexually assaulted her over several months starting in September 1976.

The lawsuit, filed in December 2016, also names the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops as a defendant, alleging that Exner, despite being aware of a pattern of alleged sexual misconduct involving Molon, was negligent and failed to adequately protect her and other parishioners.

Disgraced Wollongong paedophile priest Peter Lewis Comensoli dead at 80

ILLIWARRA (AUSTRALIA)
Illawarra Mercury

March 30, 2019

By Shannon Tonkin

The former Catholic priest passed away on January 24. A private funeral has already been held.

Comensoli was born in March 1939 and educated at Catholic schools in the Illawarra before being ordained as a priest in July 1965, at the age of 26, to minister in parishes in the Wollongong dioceses.

In 1993, the Mercury exposed Comensoli's sexual abuse of altar boys in the early 1980s, leading to him being stood down from all forms of ministry and charged by police.

The trauma and pain endured by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their families is real and is acknowledged.

The then-55-year-old pleaded guilty to the offences the following year and was sentenced to two years' jail, with a non-parole period of 18 months, in Sydney District Court.

Despite his conviction, Comensoli retained the title of reverend until he was formally defrocked in 2015, a year after being charged with further historical sexual offences stemming from crimes committed against three boys between 1966 and 1968.

He was convicted in 2016 but avoided a jail sentence due to his advanced age and lack of reoffending since 1994.

Editorial: Diocesan abuse department can’t become bureaucratic

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

March 30, 2019

“If only there were more bureaucracy.”

File that under things no one has ever said.

On Thursday, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik announced a new department to address sexual abuse claims and recovery. The Secretariat for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults is open for business as of Monday.

For the moment, let’s ignore the decades of bishops in Pennsylvania obscuring reported abuse and shuttling offending priests from parish to parish. Let’s just appreciate that things are actually getting done to address the very serious problem going forward.

According to Zubik, the new department brings together people who have worked with abuse victims within the diocese before but puts them all under a single umbrella to get the job done more effectively.

It’s not a new idea. It’s basically the same thing President George W. Bush did after the 9-11 terror attacks when he shuffled the decks in a number of departments, pulling out an agency here and a bureau there to create the Department of Homeland Security. Today, DHS is the third largest department in the federal government and has an annual budget of about $40 billion.

There is no question at all that the diocese and the church as a whole must take the damage already done seriously and must take steps to prevent children from being victimized going forward. Those things must happen. Full stop.

But now it has to be on all of us to keep it from happening again.

Let’s go back and remember why it is necessary. It isn’t just because there was horrifying abuse of children going back 70 years and across the entire state, as detailed in Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s grand jury report in August.

It’s that it was institutional.

Son argentinos y fueron abusados por curas: “Si el Papa quisiera cambiar algo tendría que echarlos”

[Argentine survivors of clergy abuse: "If the Pope wanted to change something, he would have to throw them out"]

ARGENTINA
Clarín

February 23, 2019

By Mariana Iglesias

Mientras la Iglesia discute en Roma, la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico en la Argentina tiene confirmados 40 casos. Creen que hay por lo menos 100 curas abusadores en el país.

Mailin llora. Todavía llora. Tiene 31 años. El cura la abusó mucho tiempo atrás. Se acuerda escenas, algunas claras, otras borrosas. Hay días que le aparecen situaciones nuevas, cualquier cosa las trae a su cabeza. Aún no sanó. Se pregunta si llegará el día en que eso ocurra.

“Pude contar la basura que era, fue liberador”, dice una de las víctimas del cura “payador”

["Telling the judges what trash he was, it was liberating," says victim of accused "payador" priest]

ARGENTINA
Clarín

March 30, 2019

By Mariana Iglesias

A Pablo Huck le llevó 22 años denunciar a Marcelino Moya, quien lo atacó cuando era adolescente. Este jueves comenzó el juicio.

A Pablo Huck le llevó 22 años denunciar al cura que lo había abusado durante casi dos años en su adolescencia. Este jueves empezó el juicio contra el sacerdote y él lo tuvo ahí, bien cerca. Ante los jueces, pudo decir que Marcelino Moya, así se llama el acusado, era "un hijo de puta", "una mierda de persona", "un delincuente". Pablo lo dijo con voz temblorosa, pero la frente bien alta. El cura no levantó la mirada del piso.

Cardenal Errázuriz se defiende de cargos en su contra: "Está claro que nunca encubrí a Karadima"

[Cardinal Errázuriz defends himself: "It is clear I never covered up for Karadima"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 29, 2019

By Matías Vega and Nicole Martínez

Por más de seis horas declaró como imputado el cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz en la Fiscalía Centro Norte, por encubrimiento y falso testimonio. Fue en esta segunda jornada en la que el religioso defendió su inocencia, descartando encubrimiento de su parte en el caso Karadima. Son 10 casos por lo que fue consultado en esta arista. Estos incluyen cargos por falso testimonio, al asegurar que no había cerrado la indagatoria del caso Karadima, cuando una carta al nuncio Giuseppe Pinto decía lo contrario.

Obispo de Los Ángeles por fallo a favor de víctimas de Karadima: Esperamos ya que se cierre el caso

[Los Ángeles bishop on Karadima compensation: We hope that the case will be closed]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 30, 2019

By Matías Vega and Esteban Sepúlveda

El obispo de Los Ángeles, Felipe Bacarreza, deslizó dudas de que la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago haya tenido todos los antecedentes para ordenar el pago de $100 millones de pesos a las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima. El prelado catalogó, sin embargo, como un crimen los casos de abuso sexual por los que fue acusado el exsacerdote de El Bosque.

Chicago Archdiocese is quietly using cemetery cash to pay priest sex abuse costs

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun Times

March 29, 2019

By Robert Herguth

For years, the Catholic Church in Chicago has said it enlists two revenue sources to pay for settlements and other costs related to priest sex abuse cases: loans and the sale of property.

But a Chicago Sun-Times examination found the church has been using money from its cemetery system to help pay down nagging debt related to sex misconduct — which at last count was more than $200 million — without telling the public.

A source with knowledge of the operations of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the arm of the church for Cook and Lake counties overseen by Cardinal Blase Cupich, said about $8 million a year has been shifted from the cemetery system to pay down that debt.

Neither Betsy Bohlen, chief operating officer of the archdiocese, nor Cupich would comment. But church spokeswoman Paula Waters said in a statement:

“Investment earnings on cemeteries assets are used to help fund annual debt payments. These investment earnings are over and above what is needed for the proper care of our cemeteries. We take all of our obligations seriously and discharge them responsibly.”

Waters wouldn’t answer questions about the church’s debt and whether the church has been less than straightforward by failing to disclose this revenue stream until now.

Pope Francis Issues a New Definition of "Vulnerable" Adult

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency

March 29, 2019

By Ed Condon

Pope Francis issued a new set of canonical norms Friday strengthening existing laws on sexual abuse for the Vatican City State and the Roman Curia.

The new norms introduce a mandatory reporting requirement for curial officials and employees who become aware of – or even suspect – a case of sexual abuse. But the most eye-catching change made by the pope was a redefinition of who can be a victim of sexual abuse.

Canon and Vatican City law obviously focus on the sexual abuse of minors. But in that same legal category is the abuse of “vulnerable” adults. How “vulnerable” adults are defined in law has been hotly contested in recent discussions of scandal and reform in the Church.

The new laws define a vulnerable person very broadly, including anyone “in an infirm state, of physical or mental deficiency, or deprivation of personal freedom, that in fact, even occasionally, limits their capacity to intend or to want or in any way to resist the offense.”

Connecticut priest accused of sexual assault also helped teen build pipe bomb

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

March 31, 2019

By Julia Perkins

One of the Connecticut priests accused of sexual abuse was also sentenced to prison for helping a teen build a pipe bomb.

Father Paul Gotta, who pleaded guilty in 2016 on explosives and firearms charges, was one of the 36 priests the Archdiocese of Hartford named earlier this year as being credibly accused of abuse since 1953. Most of these accusations involved children.

Gotta served in New Haven, Hamden, East Windsor and several other Connecticut towns, the Republican-American reported. He was a sacramental minister at Southern Connecticut State University and a part-time chaplain at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, among other positions in the Catholic church, according to the Republican-American.

He was suspended from the priesthood in 2013 after he was accused of sexually assaulting a minor, according to the Associated Press.

The arrest warrant accused Gotta of telling the teenage boy who did odd jobs at East Windsor’s St. Philip Church and St. Catherine Church that he would not get paid unless the boy stripped naked, according to the Journal Inquirer. Gotta also performed sexual acts on the teen and forced him to illegally purchase a gun, the outlet reported the arrest warrant as saying. The abuse occurred between January 2012 and February 2013.

Is Attorney General Just Seeking Favorable Publicity?

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

March 31, 2019

By H. John Rogers

It is a very dangerous thing when the government seeks to regulate or control religion for any reason. The First Amendment has long been construed by the courts to require “a wall of separation” between church and state.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has sued the Catholic Church in West Virginia over the past conduct of its priests and hierarchy. The basic charge in that the church knowingly hired pedophiles and did not conduct background checks on employees for schools and camps operated by the diocese. In the past!

For all practical purposes, the diocese has admitted these allegations. To the extent that they are crimes, the attorney general has absolutely no authority to deal with them. The power to initiate criminal proceedings is vested exclusively in the 55 local county prosecuting attorneys. The attorney general cannot even suggest a course of action to a local prosecuting attorney. Since there is absolutely nothing that the attorney general can do about even admitted criminal conduct in the past, this suit must be an attempt enjoin criminal conduct in the future.

The problem is that the civil law will not normally countenance an attempt to proscribe criminal conduct in the future. For example, the state cannot sue someone to prevent that person from robbing a bank or selling drugs, even if it is established as an absolute certainty that the crime will occur.

The asserted statutory basis for the suit here is the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. If a totally unqualified person were made head of West Virginia University, would an aggrieved student (or parent) have standing to sue? More importantly, could the attorney general bring a class action law suit on behalf of all the parents who paid good money for their children to attend a school and later discovered that the school had an incompetent president? Isn’t this precisely what the attorney general is trying to do here?

Selling people the Vatican “gets it” on abuse a challenge right now

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

Mar 31, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

Having just returned from an 18-day swing through the U.S. that took us to Boston, Denver, South Bend, Anaheim, Simi Valley, Whittier and Detroit, here’s probably the most common question I got along the way from American Catholics vis-à-vis the home office in Rome: “Do those guys over there get it?”

The “it” refers to the clerical sexual abuse crisis, and, more specifically, the gravity and depth of the situation as experienced by American Catholics over the last several months, and thus the perceived need for urgent and dramatic action.

Obviously, it would have been great if my answer could have been, “Yeah, absolutely, of course.” That would have been reassuring to the people we met, and also would have made the lives of the pastors, parish ministers and bishops we encountered infinitely easier.

Alas, recent experience dictates a more complicated response. To grasp why, let’s consider developments in just the last few days.

To begin, last week a Vatican-backed investigation commenced in the Argentine diocese of Oran regarding accusations of both sexual and financial misconduct against its former shepherd, Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who’s now the number two official in the Vatican’s Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, meaning its main financial administration center.

Archbishop Carlos Alberto Sánchez of neighboring Tucumán has been assigned to conduct the probe, which apparently will involve interviewing seminarians who’ve claimed to be victims of abuse by Zanchetta.

Turning point for child sex abuse laws

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WJLA TV

March 26, 2019

By Katie Davis

Across the country, thousands of people have been identified as victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests when they were children. Yet many of these survivors never got their day in court because it’s too late for criminal charges and civil statutes of limitations didn’t allow them to file a lawsuit.

Psychologist Ann Hagan Webb, herself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, now counsels other victims.

"I have never met a survivor who wanted change for themselves. They just don't want it to happen to other children,” she said.

Webb is advocating for changes to state laws that would give adult survivors more time to take legal action, in part because many people don’t remember or acknowledge childhood sexual abuse until decades later. She said she started to recall the abuse she endured only when she was in her 40s, after having her own children. It’s something she’s also heard from many of her patients.

Counselor explains importance of talking to your children about sexual abuse

WICHITA (KS)
KWCH TV

March 30, 2019

Decades after losing her son to suicide, Janet Patterson wants to make sure parents are talking with their children about sexual abuse.

"The main thing is if you're free to talk about what's going on, they'll feel more free to bring it up if there's a problem," Patterson said.

Sharilyn Ray is the founder and CEO of Restoration Family Services. She has years of experience working with sexually abused children.

Ray says parents should start the conversation at a young age.

"I think as early as they are able to comprehend body parts," Ray said. "We're working with our young ones on ear, nose, mouth eyes, but also teaching them names for their private parts. It is during that time they can recognize what areas are their own personal space."

Ray says use the technical names - not nicknames or slang terms. She says anything that's covered with a swimsuit should be taught as a private area.

As children get older, parents need to continue to have that conversation. Rays says the majority of abuse happens by someone kids know and trust. So anytime they spend time away, ask them if anything happened. If anyone touched them where they shouldn't

"Did someone make you feel uncomfortable in any way? Even asking "do you feel like someone invaded your bubble space?" Just to get them used to having that conversation with you and that door to be open," Ray said.

She says it's a conversation you should have often and don't let your kids believe it's a taboo topic.

"This is a picture of Eric when he was in high school and he had that detached look on his face. You see your child like this and you see them happy the next day and when you try to find out, they're just naturally not going to say anything so its hard," Patterson said.

"You have to work through the nonverbal stuff to get to the verbal," Say said. "Sometimes a simple hug goes a long way, and silence goes a long way. Sometimes you have to build up to that comfortable place to where your kid can just word vomit to you."

Rays says parents need to make sure to keep the guilt off their child.

"If you're a victim, you're a victim. You do not have control over someone's actions. If you say no or you're not inviting that, then it shouldn't happen have," Ray said.

House may act soon to reform child sex abuse laws, but some victims are angry over change in strategy

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patriot News

March 28, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus and Jan Murphy

After years of failed efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s child sex crime laws, a pair of House lawmakers this week served up the latest attempt at addressing remedies for thousands of adults who were sexually abused as children – and are looking for quick action on it.

Historically, victims of abuse have been among the most strident supporters of such efforts. This time, however, the proposals are engendering mixed reactions among victims, including outrage.

On Wednesday afternoon, state House Representatives Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) and Jim Gregory, (R-Blair) introduced House bills 962 and 963 respectively. Leaders ushered the bills swiftly into the House Judiciary Committee without seeking co-sponsors or holding a press conference.

Rozzi’s bill, House Bill 962, would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations on child sex crimes going forward; victims now must pursue criminal complaints by age 50. The bill would also raise the age limit for filing a civil claim arising out of child sexual abuse to 55, from the current age of 30.

However, Rozzi’s bill does not include what he and victims have long demanded: a retroactive window for victims to file civil suits even if they are beyond the statute of limitations.

Gregory’s House Bill 963 calls for a constitutional amendment to the remedies clause, which would pave the way for a retroactive window for victims who have timed out of the court system. The measure is designed to address concerns that such retroactive windows are unconstitutional, an argument that has been the main sticking point of detractors in efforts to reform child sex abuse laws.

Both bills are scheduled for consideration by the judiciary committee on April 8, which could tee them up for a possible vote by the full House as soon as April 10.

“I’ve been working closely with House leadership and the prime sponsors to make sure that we expeditiously address the issue for the victims in Pennsylvania, looking at the best way to address the grand jury report,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin County. “This is the way we fashioned to move forward obviously to get the best product and move it in a speedy fashion.”

Texas pastor who leads Baptist search didn’t stop alleged abuse at Dallas-area church

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

March 29, 2019

By Lise Olsen

For the past few months, pastor Steve Swofford of First Baptist Church in Rockwall has led a national search committee tasked with finding a leader to guide the Southern Baptist Convention through a national sex abuse crisis.

That six-member committee is expected to name a new president of the SBC Executive Committee on April 2 — weeks after the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News published an investigation into sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches. In response to the series, "Abuse of Faith," other SBC leaders already have promised to probe churches whose leaders knowingly harbored child abusers.

But Swofford has never spoken publicly about a scandal closer to home: allegations that a former youth pastor and the youth pastor's assistant each molested prepubescent boys from his own church in the 1990s, according to interviews and information the Chronicle obtained from civil lawsuits and Harris County criminal records.

Swofford has been pastor of the church east of Dallas since 1989, according to the church's web site. Though allegations made by one former youth group member received publicity after his family filed suit in 2015, most of what was alleged about the two men's sexual abuse of minors in Swofford's church in the late 1980s and early 1990s has not before been reported.

Diocese of Trenton removes Holmdel priest after ‘credible’ sexual abuse allegation

ASBURY PARK (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

March 30, 2019

By Erik Larsen

A recent and “credible” allegation of sexual abuse of a child from decades ago has been made against the Rev. Gregory D. Vaughan, who has served as pastor of the Church of St. Catharine in Holmdel since 2013, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton announced Saturday night.

“The alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when Monsignor Vaughan was a parochial vicar in St. Ann Parish, Keansburg,” the prepared statement from the Trenton diocese read. “In the interest of protecting the victim’s privacy, the diocese will not disclose further details of the alleged abuse. This is the first and only allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Monsignor Vaughan reported to the diocese.”

The allegation was reported to the diocese on March 17, according to the statement.

After the allegation was received, the diocese immediately reported the matter to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the statement read.

Adamec’s legacy, sadly, will forever remain tainted

ALTOONA (PA)
Altoona Mirror

March 31, 2019

The fact that retired Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Joseph V. Adamec was laid to rest on Tuesday will not end reflection on his 24-year-long diocesan leadership role.

Unfortunately, but deservedly, much of that reflection will focus on his failures tied to the diocese’s clergy sex-abuse scandal, the scope of which remained unknown until about five years after he retired in 2011.

It was in early 2016 that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a state investigatory grand jury report detailing decades of abuse inflicted on young people by predator priests.

Beyond that, the report focused on a cover-up by the diocese that allowed those predator priests to continue to serve and gave them the opportunity to victimize more young people.

The report placed much of the responsibility for that sordid, unconscionable situation on Adamec and his predecessor, Bishop James J. Hogan.

Adamec was presumed to be well prepared for priestly responsibilities at the time of his ordination in 1960, and he also was deemed well-prepared for much broader responsibilities when he was named Hogan’s successor in 1987.

Unfortunately, he proved himself ill prepared for dealing correctly with the terrible abuse scandal that will be linked forever to his and Hogan’s names — for their inaction rather than actions.

Adamec knew that his ordination as a bishop didn’t make him infallible, but that didn’t excuse him from being a leader at addressing a despicable situation that was destined — rightly — not to remain under wraps forever.

By trying to protect the Catholic Church from the logical fallout that he knew would be forthcoming if the abuse ever became public knowledge, he exacerbated the negative fallout instead.

An article in last Sunday’s Mirror reported a quote indicating that in death Adamec “is only facing one judge.”

For believers in God and an afterlife, that is the accepted assumption.

‘I continue to be optimistic,’ Attorney General Josh Shapiro says as Pa. House kick-starts reforms on child sexual abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Pennsylvania Capital Star

March 29, 2019

By John L. Micek

Eight months after his office released a landmark grand jury report that detailed decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests and a subsequent cover-up, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is still searching for justice for the victims.

“I continue to be optimistic,” Shapiro said Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview with the Capital-Star in his Harrisburg office. “And I know that this has to get done.”

The “this” that Shapiro is talking about are the four recommendations included in the 884-page grand jury report that lays out, in graphic detail, the abuse committed against thousands of children by priests who were shuttled from diocese to diocese, where they were allowed to abuse again.

Those recommendations include eliminating the criminal statute of limitations and the creation of a “civil window” that would allow older victims to sue in civil court.

A push for those changes fell apart last fall, on the final day of the 2018 legislative session, when the Republican-controlled state Senate failed to reach a consensus on a plan offered by President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. Under the proposal, victims would have been able to sue individual perpetrators, but not such institutions as the Catholic Church, which hid the abuse, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time.

How Attorney Gregory Gianforcaro Grew into the Role of Victims' Advocate

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Law Journal

March 24, 2019

By Suzette Parmley

Monday’s scheduled vote in the Assembly on a bill to remove the civil statute of limitations on certain offenses of child sexual abuse caps a milestone.

Advocates and attorneys who represent victims call it historic, saying lawmakers were finally listening and responding to survivors.

“It’s long overdue,” said plaintiff attorney Gregory Gianforcaro of Phillipsburg, who by his own count has settled more than 200 cases of childhood sexual abuse by clerics within the Catholic Church. “Legislators are finally understanding that the playing field has to be leveled—that there has to be a level field between the victim and the entity that was complicit in regards to the abuse.

“What this bill does, this is the legislators saying, ‘We hear your cries.’ We understand your arguments, and we acknowledge that it does take decades to come out. The average age of a victim of sexual abuse, when they are … courageous enough to disclose the abuse, is 53.”

S-477 was approved by the full Senate by a 32-1 vote on March 14. Its counterpart, A-3648, is expected to pass the Assembly in similar fashion, and Gov. Murphy is expected to sign it.

March 30, 2019

El arzobispo Fernández dio una misa con Lorenzo, el cura denunciado por abuso

[Archbishop Fernandez celebrated mass with Lorenzo, priest accused of abuse]

ARGENTINA
Pulso Noticias

March 26, 2019

By Estefanía Velo

Fue este domingo 24 de marzo en la iglesia Inmaculada Madre de Dios de Gonnet, donde está a cargo el párroco Eduardo Lorenzo acusado de abusar a un menor. En el mismo día del aniversario del golpe cívico-militar-eclesiástico en nuestro país, ninguno de los curas hizo mención a dicho suceso

Este domingo 24 por la noche la iglesia de la comunidad de Gonnet tuvo un invitado especial: el arzobispo platense Víctor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández quien acompañó en su misa dominical al encargado de la parroquia: Eduardo Lorenzo.

“Vamos a investigar los abusos y ayudar a la Justicia”, dijo Uriona

[Uriona: "We are going to investigate the abuses and help Justice"]

ARGENTINA
Puntal

March 26, 2019

El obispo señaló que están dispuestos a aportar datos en las causas en las que se acusa a sacerdotes de la ciudad y la zona. Rechazó el aborto en los casos de niñas violadas.

El obispo de la Diócesis de Río Cuarto, monseñor Adolfo Uriona, sostuvo que la Iglesia investigará las denuncias de abuso sexual que involucran a sacerdotes y que están dispuestos a colaborar con la Justicia para esclarecer esos casos. En tal sentido, insistió en que el sacerdote Maffini no había sido denunciado anteriormente y que actuaron ni bien tomaron conocimiento de la acusación en su contra en Carnerillo. En otro orden de cosas, indicó que las niñas violadas en Jujuy y Tucumán debieron seguir cursando el embarazo porque “hay que salvar las dos vidas”, pese a que la ley vigente indica lo contrario.

In N.J. and Pa., two very different responses to clergy abuse

PHILADELPHIA (NJ)
Philadelphia Inquirer

March 29, 2019

By Liz Navratil

When Pennsylvania resident Patty Fortney-Julius took to the microphone at a New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in early March, she had a clear request: Pass a bill that allows more child sex-abuse victims to sue, a step she and her sisters said is crucial for finding justice.

“It’s heartbreaking to us that the state of Pennsylvania has gotten it all wrong as they continue to put pedophiles and the institutions that cover it up before the victims,” Fortney-Julius said. “We implore you, as representatives of the great state of New Jersey, to not make the same mistake and to get this right today.”

As she and her sisters have done so many times in their home state, Fortney-Julius told their story. She told the committee of her family’s excitement in 1982, when they learned that a priest from New Jersey, the Rev. Augustine Giella, had been selected to run their church, St. John the Evangelist in Enhaut, part of the Harrisburg Diocese.

And then, her voice beginning to tremble, she recounted the time Giella took her and her siblings to a motel in Wildwood, and how he abused one of her younger sisters. The trip, she said, “will haunt us forever."

On Monday, New Jersey passed a bill that will allow the Fortney sisters and others like them to sue. New York also passed a measure, and similar changes to statutes of limitation are up for consideration in Maryland. Democrats have majorities in all three states.

In Pennsylvania, where Republicans control the agenda, the legislature has been paralyzed.

“This is not a political decision,” Carolyn Fortney, Patty’s sister, who also testified in New Jersey, said during an interview Friday. “I think it’s so disheartening when we hear people say, ‘We need a blue wave movement to do this.’ "

“This should be a bipartisan issue,” she added, noting that her family includes Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

Like their counterparts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey lawmakers had jockeyed for years over whether to change the statute of limitations.

Una de las víctimas de abuso del ex sacerdote Moya dijo que "la justicia tiene que dar el ejemplo"

[Victim of sexual abuse by ex-priest Moya says "Justice must set an example"]

ARGENTINA
Télam

March 29, 2019

Pablo Huck, uno de los hombres que denunció por abuso sexual al ex sacerdote Marcelino Ricardo Moya, espera la sentencia que se conocerá la semana próxima en Entre Ríos.

Pablo Huck aseguró que espera que en la sentencia "la Justicia dé el ejemplo para prevenir" y para que "se sepa que si se denuncia, hay condena y pena". Así lo señaló Huck, quien es médico y estudia psiquiatría, en diálogo con Télam respecto del juicio en el que ya declaró contra el ex sacerdote Moya, sobre quien pesa un pedido de 20 años de prisión efectiva por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro | Pulling back predator's cloak to obtain justice

ALTOONA (PA)
Tribune-Democrat

March 30, 2019

By Josh Shapirao

Something extraordinary happened last Monday in Courtroom 3 in the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg.

Over three hours, the statements of 18 victims who were sexually assaulted as young children by a powerful man in Johnstown – Dr. Johnnie Barto, a local pediatrician – were read aloud into the court record.

The collective voices of these brave survivors, describing Barto’s assaults and how it impacted them, were heard – many for the first time in their lives.

“Some may inquire why I hadn’t come forward sooner,” wrote one survivor, who was 5 years old when Dr. Barto assaulted her in his doctor’s office. “The answer is simple – I wasn’t strong enough. But I prayed for the opportunity to use my voice. Finally, my opportunity has come.”

Once every victim’s statement was read aloud, justice was delivered: Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry powerfully imposed a sentence of 79 years to 158 years in prison on Dr. Barto for his sexual assaults committed against 31 victims over many years.

After the sentencing, I met with Dr. Barto’s victims and their families in the courthouse.

This is some of what I shared with them.

A reckoning is underway in Pennsylvania and across the United States. From Hollywood to the news industry, from universities to the Catholic church, the time of protecting powerful institutions over people is ending. After a lifetime of not being believed, victims and survivors are being heard – and real action is happening as a result.

In Pennsylvania, a grand jury investigated the rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in six dioceses, took testimony from many victims, and released a groundbreaking report last August that identified 301 predator priests, more than 1,000 victims, and an institutional cover-up running all the way to the Vatican. My office led that investigation.

Across the United States, 16 other state attorneys general have publicly acknowledged opening investigations into sexual abuse by clergy, and more than 1,000 predator priests have been identified in credible allegations. I have spoken personally with 45 attorneys general on how we conducted our probe.

Abusos sexuales: “La Iglesia tiene privilegios para no colaborar con la Justicia”

[Sexual abuse: "The Church has privileges not to cooperate with Justice"]

ARGENTINA
El Acople

March 26, 2019

Así lo dijo en El Acople el abogado de víctimas de abuso sexual del sacerdote Emilio Lamas, Luis Segovia. “La causa fue elevada a juicio; se está en el procedimiento para ofrecer pruebas y se fijará una audiencia de debate. Fue una investigación vertiginosa con muchísimos actos procesales”, indicó Segovia y estimó que el juicio contra el sacerdote comenzará “antes de la mitad de año”.

En este sentido, el letrado manifestó su satisfacción porque “al menos se llegará a juicio en una causa con muchísima impunidad de por medio”. “En lo que respecta a la causa y en el procedimiento eclesiástico, Lamas apeló la sentencia del tribunal metropolitano, pero no quedó firme, por lo cual en la segunda instancia revisarán sus pruebas por el derecho canónico. No perdió su estado clerical”, indicó el letrado y continuó: “tiene que haber un avance de criterios políticos con el trato con la Iglesia, porque jurídicamente entiendo que la Iglesia con los privilegios que tiene, tiene derecho a no colaborar con la justicia”.

El confesor de Grassi denunciado por abuso: hablan los padrinos de la víctima del capellán penitenciario

[Confessor of Grassi denounced for abuse: victim's godparents detail accusation's against chaplain]

ARGENTINA
TN

March 27, 2019

By Miriam Lewin

Los Frutos son profundamente católicos y respaldaron desde el comienzo la denuncia del chico que quiso suicidarse después del asedio del cura. Aseguran que el acusado es un "peso pesado" y confirman que amenazó de muerte al adolescente para que no hablara.

Adriana y Julio Frutos se consideran los padres de León, el denunciante por abuso sexual del capellán mayor del Servicio Penitenciario Bonaerense Eduardo Lorenzo. Lo conocieron cuando vivía en la calle, en Gonnet, a los 12 años, y desde entonces lo apoyaron y protegieron. En diálogo con TN.com.ar, la víctima dio detalles del calvario que vivió.

En dos días, Errázuriz declaró por casi 12 horas

[Errázuriz testified for almost 12 hours in two days]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By E. L. Chekh and J. M. Ojeda

La fiscalía interrogó al cardenal por más de 10 causas distintas. La diligencia concluyó este viernes por la tarde.

“Yo nunca encubrí a Karadima y eso se estableció cuando vino la sentencia de la Corte de Apelaciones. No usa la palabra encubrimiento, porque no es cierto”, dijo el arzobispo emérito de Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, cuando llegó este viernes por la mañana a la Fiscalía Centro Norte, para declarar en calidad de imputado en la indagatoria por un presunto encubrimiento de casos de abusos del clero. “Vengo a colaborar con la investigación”, destacó el prelado.

Fiscalía investigará nuevos antecedentes sobre Ezzati tras declaración de Tito Rivera

[Prosecutor will investigate new background on Ezzati after Tito Rivera testifies]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By Juan Manuel Ojeda G.

El sacerdote fue formalizado por un presunto abuso sexual. Según la fiscalía, su relato sería clave en la investigación contra el cardenal por eventual encubrimiento.

Un interrogatorio de más de seis horas fue el que, hace una semana, prestó el sacerdote Tito Rivera ante la fiscalía de Alta Complejidad de Rancagua. Según conocedores de esa diligencia, su testimonio marcó un nuevo hito en las investigaciones por encubrimiento que lleva adelante el fiscal Emiliano Arias.

Por denuncias de abusos contra menores reubican casa de hermanos maristas de Instituto Alonso de Ercilla

[Due to abuse accusations, Marist brothers of Instituto Alonso de Ercilla separate residence from school]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By Angelica Baeza

Los religiosos confirmaron a La Tercera debido a las "situaciones de denuncias por abusos de menores" se "ha determinado que para la tranquilidad de las comunidades educativas, y en atención a la Política de Prevención y Protección que la institución se ha dado, es conveniente separar las residencias de los religiosos, de las instalaciones de los colegios".

Debido a la serie de denuncias de abuso sexual cometido por sacerdotes que se han dado a conocer en el último y que son investigadas por la fiscalía, la Congregación de Hermanos Maristas confirmó a La Tercera que decidió reubicar la casa de los religiosos del Instituto Alonso de Ercilla hacia una residencia al exterior.

Vicepresidente del Senado pedirá celeridad para proyecto que busca quitar los privilegios a miembros del clero

[Senate Vice President wants to accelerate efforts to remove clergy privileges and mandate reporting of abuse]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

Alfonso de Urresti pedirá acelerar el proyecto que busca eliminar privilegios procesales en favor de autoridades eclesiásticas. En la Cámara, en tanto, una iniciativa apunta a que autoridades eclesiásticas estén obligadas a denunciar los delitos cometidos en contra de niños, niñas o adolescentes.

A raíz de la cantidad de denuncias de abusos sexuales al interior de la Iglesia, y de todos los procesos investigativos que se están llevando a cabo, parlamentarios han ingresado al Congreso proyectos de ley que buscan generar la obligación de denunciar por parte de la Iglesia y que serían puestos en tabla para acelerar su despacho.

Percival Cowley, excapellán de la Moneda: “La jerarquía de la Iglesia eligió defender la institución a toda costa”

[Percival Cowley, Moneda chaplain: "The hierarchy of the Church chose to defend the institution at all costs"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 30, 2019

By María José Navarrete and María José Ahumada

El excapellán de La Moneda -cuyo testimonio fue clave para que la justicia ordenara a la Iglesia la indemnización de las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima- señala que la sentencia de la Corte de Apelaciones marca una nueva etapa. “La institución, no cabe duda, es necesaria e importante, pero no es primera, es segunda. La institución es para la persona”, afirma.

“Usted está destruyendo a la Iglesia”. El excapellán de La Moneda Percival Cowley no olvida la frase del excardenal Ricardo Ezzati. Se la dijo por teléfono luego de conocer algunas de sus declaraciones en las que pedía la salida de cuatro obispos provenientes de El Bosque, la parroquia dirigida por Fernando Karadima.

El “estilo Karadima”, un fantasma que aún pena en la Iglesia

[The "Karadima style" still haunts the Church]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 30, 2019

By M. J. Navarrete

El expárroco ya ni siquiera es sacerdote, pero, para algunos, las esquirlas de esa “mentalidad pastoral” todavía se asoman.

“No olvidemos que la cruz no es el final, que viene la resurrección. Que el pecado, el odio y la maldad no son el final”, afirmó Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico del Arzobispado de Santiago, en su homilía del pasado jueves, en la parroquia de El Bosque. Allí, donde durante décadas reinó Fernando Karadima, se reunió con Sergio Cobo, Eugenio de la Fuente y Alejandro Vial, todos sacerdotes que fueron víctimas de abusos y que pertenecieron a la Pía Unión Sacerdotal, controlada por el expárroco. Para algunos, su influencia y “estilo” -autoritario y abusivo- sigue presente sigilosamente en el clero, a veces incluso de forma inconsciente.

Shapiro addresses Pennsylvania child sex abuse case with feds, U.S. AG Barr

ALTOONA (PA)
Tribune Democrat

March 30, 2019

By Dave Sutor

When Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro talked with U.S. Attorney General William Barr recently at the White House, he brought up only one subject – child sexual abuse.

The Johnstown area and commonwealth as a whole have been rocked by that issue in recent years.

Locally, in 2016, the state office of attorney general released a report that provided details about abuse and cover-up within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, an investigation that was initiated when accusations arose about Brother Stephen Baker sexually abusing children when working as a trainer at what was then called Bishop McCort High School.

Two years later, another grand jury released a report in which 301 priests were accused of abusing thousands of children throughout six other dioceses – Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Greensburg and Harrisburg.

That report, released by Shapiro, led to federal prosecutors opening an investigation last October into child sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. All eight dioceses in the commonwealth, including the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Then, earlier this month, Dr. Johnnie “Jack” Barto, a Johnstown area pediatrician, was sentenced to no less than 79 years and up to 158 years in prison for charges related to 31 victims – patients or family members – he sexually abused.

“It was the only issue I raised with him because it’s the most important issue, I think, for the feds to confront at this time,” Shapiro said during a telephone interview on Friday. “I thought it was important that, as the new attorney general, he knew how important I thought it was and knew of my commitment to work with him and his colleagues on it.”

Shapiro had previously discussed the subject with former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

He did not provide details about his meeting with Barr, but characterized it “as a very positive and productive conversation.”

During the interview with The Tribune-Democrat, Shapiro mentioned three similarities between Barto and the dioceses, first saying “just the courage and strength of the survivors and their willingness to come forward and share their truth” was a key takeaway.

He also pointed to how the abusers held roles in the community that provided them protection. “In both the clergy case and the Barto case, it’s an example of the powerful institution – whether it’s the church or this pediatrician, school board, director, church leader – getting his way over the survivors because of their power in the community,” Shapiro said.

Also, in both cases, charges could not be brought by many alleged victims because of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, which is reached when an individual turns 30 for civil cases and 50 for criminal.

Fugitive priest accused of abusing boy faces trial

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

March 30, 2019

By Mary Hudetz

A priest who was captured in Morocco after fleeing the U.S. decades ago is facing a federal trial on charges that he sexually abused a New Mexico boy in the early 1990s at an Air Force base and veterans' cemetery.

The trial of 80-year-old Arthur Perrault is set to begin Monday in Santa Fe with jury selection. Prosecutors are expected to call dozens of witnesses, including a former deacon, parents and former military members who knew Perrault in the early 1990s.

Federal authorities have said in court documents that Perrault may have had as many as eight other victims. But the charges against him only involve an 11-year-old altar boy.

The church sent Perrault to New Mexico in the 1960s for treatment at a center for pedophile priests. He was arrested in 2017 in Tangier, where authorities say he had been teaching at an English-language school for children.

Perrault's case marks a rare federal criminal prosecution of a former Catholic priest in the state where dozens of clergy abuse victims have won more than $50 million in settlements from the Santa Fe Archdiocese, which has filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of the lawsuits.

"It's great he's finally being held accountable for what he did," Michael Norris, a spokesman for the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said about Perrault. "But I'm also disappointed that some of the bishops that allowed him to be shuffled around aren't being held accountable."

Perrault returned to the U.S. in September to face charges of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact. He has pleaded not guilty.

The late Bishop Eamonn Casey took a lover and fathered a son he then rejected

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
Belfast Telegraph

March 30, 2019

For decades he was the Catholic Church's most charismatic figure in Ireland. He highlighted homelessness and poverty. He drove fast cars and stopped to sing songs with the public as he went about his merry way. That was the public face of Bishop Eamonn Casey.

In his work as chairman of the development agency Trocaire, he was not afraid to put the wind up various Irish cabinet ministers and attack American foreign policy towards poor countries such as El Salvador.

But even at the height of his powers, before his life became mired in scandal, there were those who questioned whether the slogan of Trocaire - 'Live simply so others may simply live' - was entirely suitable for a man like Eamonn Casey.

Bishop Casey's life was anything but simple. He liked to eat in fancy restaurants and drive sports cars at alarming speed. He boasted to his lover, Annie Murphy, that he could dance like Fred Astaire.

By the mid-1980s, his celebrity had reached such celestial heights that RTE offered him a slot for one night hosting the Saturday Live chatshow. He regaled his audience with 'come-all-ye' songs and boasted that he knew 400 ballads off by heart.

Like his friend Fr Michael Cleary, who joined him as the warm-up act at the Papal Mass in Galway in 1979, Casey was the bridge between the fusty and reserved old world of the hierarchy, stuck in the 1950s, and the modern media world of soundbites, chat shows and talk radio.

Casey and Cleary, with their populist touch and crowd-pleasing manner, were seen at the time as standard-bearers for the more youthful Church of the future. But this was to unravel in spectacular fashion when news emerged much later of their sons and lovers.

The story of Casey's affair with American Annie Murphy and how he fathered a son, Peter, helped to shatter the Church's reputation as the ultimate arbiter of moral values. More recently, in the years before and since his death, Bishop Casey has enjoyed something of a rehabilitation.

Virginia Passes Mandated Reporting Bill, SNAP Responds

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

March 29, 2019

We are grateful any time state legislators work to pass legislation that will protect children, and so we are glad that this new mandatory reporting bill was passed in Virginia.

At the same time, we are concerned about a loophole present within the bill that makes the reporting requirement not as mandatory as it may seem.

Providing an exemption for communications according to religious definitions of “confidentiality,” means that not all allegations of abuse will be forwarded to law enforcement, something that this law was ostensibly drafted to ensure.

We hope that legislators in Virginia will close this loophole to require that all allegations are reported to authorities, not just some. We also hope that Virginia will continue to pass laws that help protect children and support survivors, such as statutes of limitation reform and the opening of civil windows.

Former Staten Island priest once accused of “sex-master” antics now suspended by Catholic Church

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

March 30, 2019

By Kyle Lawson and Maura Grunlund

A former Staten Island priest who resigned three years ago amid accusations of paying a “sex-master” with church funds has now officially been suspended and asked to step away permanently.

According to the March 28 print edition of Catholic New York, Rev. Peter Miqueli is prohibited from mass and administering church sacraments after he allegedly violated a 2016 order mandating he “avoid any and all persons or situations that could endanger (his) obligation to perpetual continence or any and all conduct that might cause scandal to the faithful or that would receive publicity in the media...”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan also recommended Miqueli seek voluntary dismissal from the clerical state, according to the article, which did not provide details as to how Miqueli violated the order.

The article was placed on page 16 of the newspaper, and could not be found online. A spokesperson for the Archdiocese did not immediately respond Saturday to a request for comment.

Miqueli resigned at the end of 2015, following a lawsuit that accused him of stealing at least $1 million from parishioners at two churches, including his current parish, St. Frances de Chantal in Throggs Neck, N.Y.

Several worshippers claimed Miqueli, 55, used their money to fuel BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) sex romps with his “sex master,” Keith Crist, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Sentencing of former priest Ronald Paquin postponed

NORTH ANDOVER (MA)
Eagle Tribune

March 30, 2019

By Mike LaBella

Sentencing planned for Friday for former Haverhill priest Ronald Paquin has been postponed.

According to officials with the York County Superior Court in Maine, sentencing originally scheduled for March 5 was continued to March 29 for a status conference, but Paquin's defense lawyer requested another continuance, which was granted by Superior Court Justice Wayne Douglas.

Another status conference date is expected to be scheduled in about a week, court officials said.

Paquin continues to be held without bail, they said.

Last November, Paquin was found guilty of sexually abusing a boy from his Haverhill parish during trips to Maine in the 1980s.

Paquin, 76, was convicted of 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct. He was found not guilty of similar charges related to a second boy. Now grown men, both accusers testified in sometimes graphic detail during the three-day trial. The York County jury deliberated for nearly five fours over a two-day period.

Indian priest who sexually abused teen girl gets six-year jail term in US

CHENNAI (INDIA)
New Indian Express

March 30, 2019

An Indian former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage girl in the US, according to a media report.

John Praveen, 38, pleaded guilty in February to sexually touching a 13-year-old girl in the Rapid City church, South Dakota over her clothes last year, Rapid City Journal newspaper reported.

Judge Steven Mandel handed down the sentence on Friday after prosecutors asked for the maximum of one year in prison. Mandel said that was "not adequate" for Praveen's crime, the report said.

He sentenced Praveen to six years in prison, minus 178 days of time served, and said he would be eligible for parole after three years.

The sentencing came after Praveen pleaded guilty to one count of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 16, a crime that carries a maximum 15-year punishment, the report said.

List shows Catholic Church has work to do to protect children from abuse

CHARLESTON (SC)
Post and Courier

March 29, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston on Friday released the names of 42 priests it says are credibly accused of child sexual abuse. But it will take more than a list of names for the church to regain the trust of the faithful.

The church must take meaningful action to ensure that children entrusted to its priests are safe. And it must make sure than anyone who preys upon children answers to the judicial process, as would any other citizen in our country.

In announcing the names, the diocese took a welcome step in that direction by encouraging abuse victims to first go to law enforcement before contacting the diocese.

At least 14 other dioceses have released lists of accused priests since a Pennsylvania grand jury last July reported more than 1,000 youths were abused by over 300 priests in that state. It was a shocking revelation made worse by the fact that the church for years covered up for criminals, which allowed the abuse to continue.

At the time, Pope Francis acknowledged the church’s failure to deal with these crimes, the cover-up and its role in perpetuating the abuse.

“We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,” Francis wrote in a 2,000-word letter addressed to the “People of God.”

It is important to point out that the list released Friday represents a minority of the priests who have ably and honorably served the Diocese of Charleston. But that is little solace to victims and their families who live with the terrible pain inflicted by sexual abuse.

The scope of the allegations across the country points to a deeper cultural problem that the church must address. They have damaged the integrity and authority of the church, which has struggled to come to terms with this great moral stain.

Chilean abuse crisis first thing to tackle for new Santiago Church leader

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

March 30, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Bishop Celestino Aós, the temporary administrator of the Archdiocese of Santiago in Chile, has an uphill battle ahead of him.

On Thursday, his predecessor Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, went before a local prosecutor to testify as a defendant as part of an investigation into the country’s sprawling sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

A civil court just ordered the archdiocese to pay $450,000 to the survivors of the abuse of one priest, after allegedly covering up the crime; Aós has decided not to appeal.

In addition, he doesn’t have a completely clean track record himself when it comes to handling cases of clerical sexual abuse: When he was the promoter of justice in the diocese of Valparaiso, he allegedly mishandled abuse allegations presented by ex-seminarians against five priests in 2012. He single-handedly investigated the allegations against all of them in three months, and deemed the accusations not credible.

Today, one of the priests is out of the priesthood, and some of the others are being re-investigated.

Mauricio Pulgar, a victim of abuse in the seminary of Valparaiso, told Crux last Saturday that when he had to deal with Aós in 2012, the bishop’s treatment was “inhumane,” and claimed that the prelate helped Bishop Gonzalo Duarte cover up the misconduct.

Yet there are some who are open to giving Aós an opportunity to prove himself as a bishop.

Catholic Church in SC names priests accused of sex abuse

CHARLESTON (SC)
Associated Press

March 30, 2019

By Jeffrey Collins

The Catholic diocese in South Carolina on Friday released a list of 42 priests with ties to the state who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

All but 11 of the priests on the list released by the Charleston Diocese have died. The list doesn’t specify the parishes or institutions where the priests served.

The list was broken into four parts. Twenty-one priests served in South Carolina. Others were named in a class-action settlement over abuse, had abuse claims from a diocese outside South Carolina or were a visiting priest to the state.

Bishop Robert Guglielmone said he was releasing the list with a heavy heart, but also wanting to assure accountability and transparency.

“It is my fervent hope and prayer that publishing this list will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been so grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and Church leadership,” Guglielmone wrote in a note released with the list.

The list was compiled from a review of priest records and the names were reviewed by the Church’s Sexual Abuse Advisory Board. Being included on the list isn’t a finding of guilt, but does mean the allegation either seems to be true or has reasonable grounds to be believed, Guglielmone said.

The release of the names is part of the Catholic Church’s international reckoning with allegations of sex abuse that have proliferated around the world.

“In order to experience a resurgence of holiness, we in the Church must continue to strengthen the protections provided to our children and young people in our parishes and schools. I urge you, the faithful of our Diocese, to participate in this resurgence,” Guglielmone wrote.

The Charleston Diocese covers all of South Carolina, where it estimates about 500,000 people practice the Catholic faith.

Advocates: Pope Francis’ reporting law ‘falls short’

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

March 29, 2019

By Lisa Kashinsky

Clergy sex abuse survivors and advocates said new legislation from Pope Francis requiring Vatican officials and diplomats to immediately report abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors was a step in the right direction, but faulted the Holy See for keeping his mandate within the confines of the city-state.

The legislation, dated March 26 and made public Friday, requires Catholic Church officials to report accusations of abuse “without delay.” Those who don’t could face fines of up to 5,000 euros or six months’ jail time. It was accompanied by guidelines for protecting children and “vulnerable people,” which Pope Francis wrote was “an integral part of the gospel message that the Church and all its members are called to spread throughout the world.”

The new rules came a month after a Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse left many underwhelmed when it concluded with just a handbook and promises of more work to be done. While this week’s legislation represents a significant step forward in tackling the decades-old issue — and is poised to be a model for the global church — survivors and advocates derided the pope for failing to involve outside law enforcement in his crackdown.

“Laws that make even one child safer should be applauded,” said Anne Barrett Doyle of Waltham-based BishopAccountability. But the Holy See’s approach still fails to “effect change or require the reporting of a child sex crime by clergy to secular law enforcement.”

“It’s a baby step in the right direction,” Doyle said. “However, it falls short of the bold reforms Pope Francis could enact if he chose to do so. He has the power to change universal canon law. He could choose to protect tens of millions of children instead of just a few dozen.”

Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said, “It just seems like it is more of the same, where this is decades of cases that have shown that the church is incapable of policing itself. If we really want to see change, we should see reports being required to go to independent and secular law enforcement officials.”

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse by priests, said the pope’s legislation “should state that if child abuse is suspected then the secular or civil police should immediately be called.”

Member of the Catholic Church, priest abuse survivor react to Pope Francis' new law

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KRCG TV

March 29, 2019

By Kyreon Lee

On Friday, Pope Francis issued new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

The mandatory reporting provision marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Don Asbee is a representative of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who said the abuse by his former priest started for him at the age of 9. He said the law shouldn't just be a model for the Catholic Church and only apply to the Vatican City, but be applied to every Catholic Church across the board.

"This should apply to any of the people in positions of the church. If it's not universal, then it doesn't have teeth," Asbee said.

He said if it doesn't create a system to punish the people in the church abusing, then it isn't effective.

"The whole cycle of abuse and cover up has got to stop because it's not a sin, it's beyond a sin, it's a crime and it has to be treated accordingly," Asbee said.

Catholic Church member Kelsie Backues said she thinks this is a step forward for the Catholic Church.

Diocese of Charleston releases names of 42 SC priests accused of sexual misconduct

CHARLESTON (SC)
Post and Courier

March 29, 2019

By Robert Behre, Gregory Yee and Rickey Dennis

The Roman Catholic Church late Friday released its list of 42 South Carolina priests who have a credible allegation of child sexual misconduct — 10 more than it reported five years ago.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said the list was released “in the spirit of transparency and accountability.”

He said he hopes publishing the names of the priests will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been “grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and church leadership.”

“The victims of sexual abuse and their families have suffered much pain and are understandably hurt and angry,” he said. “We must continue to pray and care for our brothers and sisters who have experienced this trauma inflicted by priests they trusted.

“We also need to honor the courage of those who have come forward to share the most intimate and painful experiences of their entire lives,” he added. “My heart hurts for the victims and the damage this has caused to them and to their families.”

March 29, 2019

SNAP Austin urging state to lift statute of limitations on all child sex cases

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN TV

March 29, 2019

By Brittany Glas

Two months after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin released the names of 22 clergy "credibly accused" of sexually abusing children, victim advocates are calling for reform at the local and state levels.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is fighting for all statute of limitations to be lifted in Texas for child sexual assault cases and encouraging victims to speak out, regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse happened.

According to current Texas law, it no longer matters when victims of child sexual assault report their abuse to law enforcement for potential prosecution. The case can be prosecuted now or 20 years from now — after the report is made. Since Sept. 1, 2007, there is no longer a statute of limitations on these crimes.

"Looking backwards, we still have limited windows for childhood survivors that were abused in the past," said Carol Midboe, the Austin support group leader for SNAP.

Midboe traveled to Rome last month for the papal clergy abuse summit.

Diocese of Metuchen failed to name 9 sexually abusive priests in list of credibly accused: advocates

BRIDGEWATER (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News

March 29, 2019

By Nick Muscavage

Clergy abuse victim advocates claim the Diocese of Metuchen failed to name eight more priests, in addition to one they named previously, accused of child sexual abuse in its list of credibly accused clergy it released last month.

According to Mark Crawford, New Jersey director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), at least two priests alleged to have sexually abused children, in addition to the Rev. Romano Ferraro who they previously named, were also assigned to St. John Vianney Church in the Colonia section.

The namings by Crawford come on the heels of advocates meeting outside the church Thursday to release documents depicting how the Metuchen Diocese accepted Ferraro, who allegedly abused boys in New York, into its parishes from the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Ferraro, who later was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Massachusetts for raping a 7-year-old boy there, came to Metuchen in the 1980s under the watch of then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick. McCarrick was defrocked by the Vatican last month after claims of sexual abuse of a child and young adult men were found credible by the church.

The Rev. Edward M. DePaoli
Edward M. DePaoli, who was a priest with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, served at St. John Vianney between 1988 and 1991, according to a write-up of his allegations and criminal history on the website of Horowitz Law.

DePaoli was convicted in 1986 of receiving child pornography through the mail, according to a 2005 grand jury report cited on www.adamhorowitzlaw.com. DePaoli went for treatment in 1986 after his arrest, which proved unsuccessful, according to the post.

UD professor: New Vatican abuse policy could lift ‘culture of secrecy’

DAYTON (OH)
Daily News

March 29, 2019

By Thomas Gnau

A new directive requiring Vatican City personnel and diplomats to immediately report abuse allegations may represent a step toward lifting a “culture of secrecy” at the independent city-state that anchors the Catholic Church worldwide, said Dennis Doyle, a Catholic theologian and professor at the University of Dayton.

“It’s almost similar to what you find in police departments,” Doyle said Friday. “Some people are corrupt; some people are not. But people are reluctant to turn in other people.

The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope, marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time, the Associated Press reported.

Added Doyle: “This makes it actually a crime not to report incidents of sex abuse. And it specifies whom this has to be reported to, which are the Vatican prosecutors, who are going to be trained to rise above the culture of secrecy.”

Aós anuncia visita a Roma: Se reunirá con el Papa Francisco la próxima semana

[Aós announces visit to Rome: He will meet Pope Francis next week]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 29, 2019

By Consuelo Ferrer

El nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago anunció a los trabajadores del arzobispado que sostendrá un encuentro con el Pontífice.

"Mis prioridades en la Iglesia de Santiago son claras: el evangelio. Ese es mi manual de instrucciones". Fueron las palabras emitidas por nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago, el obispo Celestino Aós Braco, durante su primer saludo a los trabajadores del Arzobispado de Santiago.

Abogado de denunciantes de Karadima dice que Arzobispado debiese indemnizar también a las víctimas del "cura Tato"

[Lawyer for Karadmina whistleblowers says Archdiocese should also compensate victims of "priest Tato"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 29, 2019

By Tomás Molina J.

Juan Pablo Hermosilla afirmó que la Iglesia tiene esa "obligación ética" y dijo que sería un "gesto increíble". Respecto del reciente fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones, afirmó que este podría ser "el primero que establece una separación real entre la Iglesia y el Estado".

El abogado de los denunciantes del ex sacerdote Fernando Karadima, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, analizó esta mañana los alcances del reciente fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, el cual determinó que el Arzobispado capitalino debe pagar $300 millones a sus representados, resolución a la que la arquidiócesis decidió no apelar.

Aós responde a cuestionamientos: Afirma que envió a España a sacerdote denunciado por "problemas de salud"

[Aós responds to questions: Affirms he sent an accused priest to Spain for "health problems"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 29, 2019

By Ignacio Guerra

El nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago aseguró que Antonio Vargas viajó a Europa porque en Chile "no podía atenderse", justo cuando lo habían acusado de "actitudes inapropiadas".

Celestino Aós salió a responder los primeros cuestionamientos que surgieron en su contra como nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago, que apuntan a que envió a España al párroco Antonio Vargas cuando era acusado de "actitudes inapropiadas" con mujeres y menores, en septiembre del año pasado. Luego de sostener una reunión con sacerdotes que sufrieron abusos por parte de Fernando Karadima este jueves, el ex obispo de Copiapó aseguró que su decisión se debió a que Vargas se encontraba enfermo, y no a una maniobra de encubrimiento.

Con arraigo nacional y arresto domiciliario nocturno quedó Tito Rivera tras formalización por abuso

[Tito Rivera goes to court for abuse, nighttime house arrest set]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 29, 2019

By Felipe Delgado and Nicole Martínez

El religioso Tito Rivera fue formalizado este viernes en el 13° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago por la acusación de un presunto abuso sexual ocurrido al interior de la Catedral Metropolitana. En un comienzo se habló del delito de violación, pero hoy se presentaron los hechos como abusos sexuales que incluyen sexo oral y tocaciones.

Angry supporters of Father Joseph Tran ‘confronting’ mothers and daughters over child abuse claims

PERTH (AUSTRALIA)
The West Australian

March 29, 2019

By Gabrielle Knowles

Angry supporters of suspected paedophile priest Father Joseph Tran have been urged to stop a witch-hunt for the alleged child victim and her family.

A “number” of mothers and daughters have allegedly been accused by other Catholics of being the ones who made the sex abuse complaint about the hugely popular priest.

The 49-year-old is suspected of taking his own life last Thursday after being confronted by the mother of his alleged victim.

Father Ted Miller said yesterday no one should “hound” a person or their mother for making a complaint to police and pleaded for anyone who was angry to stay calm.

A parishioner, in a post on a Facebook page created as a tribute to Father Tran, said it was understandable people were angry, upset, defensive and wanted “clarification”.

But she also urged people to respect the privacy of the family involved and said the confrontations were “traumatising” for people being falsely accused.

Police are continuing to investigate allegations that Father Tran sexually abused a girl, now aged 13, over several years.

Inquiries include searching the 49-year-old’s parish home at Armadale’s St Francis Xavier, checking his electronic devices and interviewing the alleged victim and any witnesses.

Police are keen to talk to anyone who has information that can assist their investigation.

They have refused to say if anyone else has come forward with allegations of abuse at the hands of the priest, who moved to Armadale a year ago after 15 years at Whitfords parish.

The findings of the child abuse squad investigation will form part of the report being prepared for the Coroner into Father Tran’s death and will be revealed only through an inquest.

It is believed Father Tran, who worked as a chaplain at several Catholic Perth schools, died of a self-inflicted wound.

His death came the same day the police investigation was launched.

Former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory may lead diocese in Washington, D.C., report says

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News Democrat

March 29, 2019

By Lexi Cortes

Former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory could soon become one of the most influential Churchmen in the nation, according to a report from a Catholic news outlet.

The Catholic News Agency reported Thursday that Gregory, 71, has been asked to serve as the next archbishop of Washington, D.C.

It wasn’t clear whether he accepted Pope Francis’ appointment as of Friday. Gregory did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Belleville News-Democrat or CNA.

Gregory came to the Diocese of Belleville from his hometown of Chicago in 1994. He served as Belleville’s bishop until 2005, when he became the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Salina Diocese releases names of clergy in sex abuse investigation

SALINA (KS)
KWCH TV

March 29, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Salina says an investigation has found 14 clergy members with "substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor."

Last September, Bishop Gerald Vincke hired the independent outside counsel of Cottonwood Law LLC. of Hillsboro to conduct a thorough review of clergy personnel files and identify any potential cases of clergy misconduct with minors.

The report found 14 cases of diocesan clergy abuse of a minor. None of the 14 priests are in active ministry today.

At this time, the Diocese of Salina is only releasing the names of clerics with substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor. Any cleric with an allegation of abuse of a minor that is unsubstantiated has been excluded from the list.

The KBI began it's own investigation into reports of clergy sexual abuse at the beginning of February. The Catholic Diocese of Salina is one of four dioceses in Kansas that the special KBI task force is investigating.

The names of the 14 priests were released on the Diocese website.

Former Manhattan priest one of 14 in diocese who church says sexually abused children

MANHATTAN (KS)
The Mercury

March 29, 2019

By Megan Moser

Three men have alleged that the Catholic priest who was superintendent of Seven Dolors Grade School and Luckey High School in the 1950s and 1960s sexually abused them while they were students there.

In an anonymous account, the three men wrote that Monsignor William Merchant, who died in 1975, molested and sexually assaulted them and other boys at the school.

The Catholic Diocese of Salina on Friday released a list of 14 clergy members within the diocese against whom there have been substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The report listed Merchant and two other priests (more information below) who had served in Manhattan since the 1950s, and several more who served at other area churches.

The account by the men Merchant abused while they were students and altar boys was included with the report.

“Merchant was a pedophile and sexual predator who ruthlessly exploited grade school and high school children over an extended period of time,” they wrote. “In our collective opinion, Msgr. Merchant’s avocation was masquerading as a Catholic priest while pursuing his true vocation as an aggressive sexual predator. His position as the superintendent of schools offered him a replenishable supply of victims to satisfy his perversity.”

Pa. religious orders targeted in New Mexico clergy abuse case

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

March 29, 2019

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Religious orders once associated with a now-shuttered Catholic boarding school for Native Americans are being accused of failing to protect students from sexual abuse by clergy and faculty.

An Ohio-based order of Franciscan Friars and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, headquartered in Pennsylvania, are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed this week in a New Mexico court by a team of lawyers that has represented dozens of abuse survivors over the years.

The accusations center on a student who attended St. Catherine’s Indian School in Santa Fe during the 1980s, but attorneys for the unnamed plaintiff say the case speaks to broader issues.

The case comes as the Catholic church wrestles with a sex abuse and cover-up scandal that has spanned the globe. New Mexico’s largest diocese is among the religious organizations seeking bankruptcy protection as a result, having spending more than $50 million over the years to settle hundreds of lawsuits.

The latest case surfaced as the plaintiff’s legal team was preparing a claim against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe as part of the bankruptcy case. While the archdiocese is currently immune from separate claims outside the bankruptcy proceedings, lawyers say civil cases can be brought against other religious organizations that might be accused of bearing some responsibility.

Catholic News Agency: Gregory to be named archbishop of Washington

ATLANTA (GA)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

March 29, 2019

By Shelia Poole

The Catholic News Agency is reporting that Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, 71, will be named the new archbishop of Washington, D.C.

According to the CNA, Pope Francis is expected to make an announcement as early as next week. The pontiff is facing a church crisis over the sexual abuse scandals in the United States and overseas.The Archdiocese of Atlanta could not be reached for comment. Gregory is the sixth Archbishop of Atlanta.Related: Atlanta archdiocese releases names of those “credibly” accused of abuse He would succeed Cardinal Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington, D.C. Pope Francis accepted Wuerl’s resignation last year. He is the former bishop of Pittsburgh.

Austin man accused former minister of molesting him

AUSTIN (TX)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Then, ex-pastor sued him for defamation

However, the suit was dropped before the initial court hearing

SNAP tells victims “If you were assaulted, speak out, don’t be intimidated”

Group also calls on church officials to help reform abuser friendly laws

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos at a State Capitol news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that an Austin man
--accused a best-selling author, ex-Evangelical/Baptist pastor and Christian literary agent of molesting him as a child,
--was sued by the alleged abuser for defamation, but
--has found other victims of the same alleged perpetrator.

They will also call on local church officials to join with victims in pushing for real legislative reform, like inclusion of victims in shield laws and repealing Texas' "abuser-friendly statutes of limitations" so survivors can have their day in court.

WHEN
Friday, March 29th at 8:30 a.m.

Pope Francis issues new law requiring Vatican officials to report sexual abuse allegations 'without delay'

ROME (ITALY)
Fox News

March 29, 2019

By Danielle Wallace

Pope Francis announced Friday a new mandatory reporting provision in the Vatican that requires all personnel and Holy See diplomats to report allegations of abuse “without delay” or risk facing fines or jail time.

Francis also implemented child protection measures for Vatican City State and its youth seminary in order to protect minors from predatory priests. The new legislation for the first time explicitly defines “vulnerable people” who would receive the same protections from the church as children.

Vatican public officials must report allegations of abuse to Vatican prosecutors in a timely manner to avoid being fined up to $5,615. Members of the Vatican police and security force who don’t report sex crimes could serve a jail sentence.

The Vatican defines a “vulnerable person” as an individual impaired by a physical or psychiatric deficiency, unable to exercise personal freedom and unable to understand or resist the crime. The city state added protections for “vulnerable adults” in the past but never gave a legal definition of the term.

Bishop of Chester hands over safeguarding responsibilities after retired priest convicted

CHESHIRE (ENGLAND)
Cheshire Chronicle

March 29, 2019

The Bishop of Chester has handed over safeguarding responsibilities after he was criticised for how the case of retired priest Gordon Dickenson was handled.

Dickenson was jailed on Friday, March 15 at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a boy more than 40 years ago.

During a police investigation in 2017, a letter to the Diocese of Chester came to light.

The letter, dated 2009, had been sent by Dickenson to the Diocese and detailed the accusations against him.

Following its release, Bishop Peter Forster was heavily criticised for his lack of action at the time, and the Diocese of Chester issued an apology to the sexual abuse survivor .

Now, Bishop Forster has come forward to say he will no longer be in charge of safeguarding responsibilities following the incident.

Instead, the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair, will take the lead on decisions regarding safeguarding.

In a statement Bishop Peter Forster said: "I have asked the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair, to lead on all safeguarding arrangements in the Diocese of Chester and have formally delegated this responsibility to him with immediate effect.

"I have taken this decision in response to recent comment into my handling of the Gordon Dickenson case in 2009.

"An independent review will seek to identify where any failures in procedures arose, and what lessons can be learned and I look forward to contributing to the review and to giving a full account of my actions in relation to this matter.

Taking stock of the clergy sexual abuse crisis: Holding bishops accountable

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

March 29, 2019

By Thomas Reese

When people were first confronted with the extent of Catholic priests’ sexual abuse of children, they were angry. But when, in the early 2000s, they learned that their bishops knew about the abuse and did little to stop it, Catholics and even the wider public were outraged.

As the crisis has rolled on, the demand that the bishops be held accountable for not reporting the abuse to the police, for keeping these priests in ministry and for not protecting children has become the focus of state and church inquiries, from the Vatican to attorney general offices across the U.S.

As I explained in my previous column, thanks to the 2002 Dallas Charter and other reforms, the bishops are much better at protecting children today than they were in the past, but what about the bishops who did not do the right thing in the past, and what about bishops who fail in the future?

Many people, including myself and many survivors, would like to see these bishops thrown in jail.

The problem is that until recently, state and federal law did not require a bishop to report such crimes to the police. It is a general principle of common law that people are not required to report a crime of which they are aware.

Today, most states do make clergy mandatory reporters of child abuse, but that was not true when most of the abuse took place. As a result, it is difficult to prosecute bishops who governed prior to the mandatory reporting laws.

SNAP Disappointed in New Archbishop for Washington, D.C.

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

March 28, 2019

According to a new report, Pope Francis is set to tap Archbishop Wilton Gregory to lead the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

The current Archbishop at the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Gregory enjoys somewhat of a reputation as a “reformer,” largely because he led the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) 2002 Dallas meeting in which church officials adopted their abuse charter. In truth, his track record on abuse is poor.

For example, in 2004 and while serving as USCCB president, he was found in contempt of court for refusing to turn over abuse records.

In another example, Archbishop Gregory was previously accused of keeping abuse records secret and for failing to inform the public about credibly accused priests while he was in charge of the Diocese of Belleville, IL.

Given the months of scandal that has wracked the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., it is critical that church officials install a new leader there who will take up Pope Francis’ call to wage an “all-out battle” against abuse. Based on his track record, we’re not confident that Archbishop Gregory is the right choice.

GUEST COLUMN: Catholic Church needs an abrupt 180

ST. AUGUSTINE (FL)
St. Augustine Record

March 10, 2019

By Diana Milesko

Carl Hiassen’s March 2 column was right; the pope must confront the pain of Catholic congregants. The survival of the human race depends on morality and religion must be its guardian.

That’s why it’s unacceptable for the Catholic Church’s Meeting on Sexual Abuse (Feb. 24, 2019) to end without a plan. Five strategies have been proposed for years to address these problems. It’s time they were enacted.

1. Abolish celibacy: In 1139, the Church proclaimed clergy must be celibate because clergy were giving their inheritances to their children. With celibacy, and no legitimate heirs, inheritances went to the Church, which became fabulously wealthy. Celibacy is not normal. Pretending to enforce it created massive problems of sexual child abuse and badly damaged the Church.

2. Abolish absolute power: A Pope is infallible in matters of doctrine, (Infallibility Doctrine, 1869). But if a Pope is never wrong on doctrine, when he changes one, he was not infallible when he made it. Yet dogma changes often. It no longer says slavery is moral, coeducation is against natural law, the sun revolves around the earth, anyone not Catholic goes to hell or religious freedom is wrong.

Furthermore, infallibility contradicts St. Paul, who says not only is it wrong, but the Church should not have a Pope at all, who “sits in the Temple of God and gives himself out as if he were God.” (Thess. 2:3-4)

3. Establish sex education for seminarians: Clergy have positions of staggering trust and must be held to the highest ethical standards. Yet, in Catholic seminaries, the rational is that sex education courses create occasions of sin. Yet forbidding them permits clergy to commit atrocious evils then hide behind a plea of ignorance. Clergy must be taught about sexuality; about what is, and what is not, moral.

Pope demands sex abuse claims be reported in Vatican City

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

March 29, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis on Friday issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope, marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Francis also issued child protection guidelines for Vatican City State and its youth seminary, acting after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.

While the new norms only cover Vatican City State, affiliated institutions and the diplomatic corps, they were still symbolically significant and were welcomed by a former seminarian whose case helped spark the reform.

“I see this as something positive,” Kamil Jarzembowski told the AP.

The law for the first time provides an explicit Vatican definition for “vulnerable people” who are entitled to the same protections as minors under church law. The Vatican amended its canon law covering sex abuse to include “vulnerable adults” in 2010, but never defined it.

According to the new Vatican definition, a vulnerable person is anyone who is sick or suffering from a physical or psychiatric deficiency, isn’t able to exercise personal freedom even on occasion and has a limited capacity to understand or resist the crime.

Stunning reversal: Judge vacates former youth minister’s sex convictions

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
The Christian Chronicle

March 28, 2019

By Bobby Ross Jr.

Charges against Clyde E. Brothers Jr. fell outside Pennsylvania's statute of limitations, new ruling asserts.

A highly publicized Pennsylvania grand jury report last year identified more than 300 predator Catholic priests who had sexually abused over 1,000 children going back decades.

But because the crimes were hidden by the church hierarchy, “almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted,” the statewide investigating body reported.

Dozens more institutions join redress scheme for abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
SBS News

March 28, 2019

Another 30 institutions have joined the national redress scheme for institutional child abuse victims, ahead of a rally calling for changes to the system.

Another 30 institutions have joined the national redress scheme for institutional child abuse victims.

Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher said the groups joining included 22 Anglican institutions, five Baptist organisations, Scouts Queensland, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Uniting Church in Australia.

"I continue to emphasise the urgency of giving survivors access to redress as soon as they are able," Mr Fletcher said in a statement on Friday.

‘I continue to be optimistic,’ Attorney General Josh Shapiro says as Pa. House kick-starts reforms on child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Capital-Star

March 29, 2019

By John L. Micek

Eight months after his office released a landmark grand jury report that detailed decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests and a subsequent cover-up, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is still searching for justice for the victims.

“I continue to be optimistic,” Shapiro said Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview with the Capital-Star in his Harrisburg office. “And I know that this has to get done.”

The “this” that Shapiro is talking about are the four recommendations included in the 884-page grand jury report that lays out, in graphic detail, the abuse committed against thousands of children by priests who were shuttled from diocese to diocese, where they were allowed to abuse again.

Denver-based Catholic order identifies 13 friars with credible sex abuse allegations

DENVER (CO)
KDVR

March 28, 2019

By Eric Ruble

A Denver-based Catholic order identified 13 friars with credible sexual abuse allegations against them Thursday.

The Capuchin Province of St. Conrad is based in Denver and covers Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. It also includes the diocese of Belleville, Peoria and Springfield in Illinois as well as two houses in San Antonio, Texas.

All of the allegations involve either a minor or a vulnerable adult.

Of the 13 friars accused, three are dead and four have left the order. One of the deceased left the order prior to his death. According to the order, none are in active ministry.

Catholic Archbishop's refusal to comply with sexual abuse reporting laws 'disgusting', child victim says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

March 29, 2019

By Tom Maddocks

The head of a leading child safety organisation has condemned comments made by Canberra's Catholic Archbishop, who indicated the church would not comply with new laws forcing priests to break the seal of confessional by reporting child sex abuse claims.

Speaking to ABC Radio Canberra, Archbishop for Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse said it was not the church's role to report crimes, adding that he did not expect the issue of child abuse to be raised in the confessional.

He was responding to reforms passed by the ACT Government last week that would make it an offence for any adult not to report suspected child sexual abuse to police.

The law extends to the Catholic Church confessional.

"All these reportable things, deal with them please before you come into the confessional so that we don't have to deal with crime punishment, when we're really there as experts on the merciful picture of the lord in our midst today," Archbishop Prowse said.

In a statement the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn said sexual abuse was "both a crime and a sin", but said the church's role was not to deal with crime.

Background checks? Culture shift? Some therapists, members argue Latter-day Saints need to do more to vet their leaders

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

March 29, 2019

By Paighten Harkins

Knowing what he knows now, Richard Ostler said he would have taken a more involved role in his children’s upbringing within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ostler, who is now 58, said that 20 years ago, when he had six children at home, he didn’t meddle much in their interactions with church leaders as they grew older and started having one-on-one conversations with bishops as part of so-called worthiness interviews. Ostler said he didn’t ask any questions about those meetings because it never occurred to him that he should. He trusted his church leaders and his children never said anything was amiss.

The Abuse Summit: Before, After, and on the Sidelines…

PLATTE CITY (MO)
FSSPX.NEWS

March 28, 2019

A summit for the protection of minors was held in Rome on February 21 – 24, 2019. On its eve, Cardinals Walter Brandmüller and Raymond L. Burke wrote an open letter to all the presidents of the bishops’ conferences, present for the summit.

Before the Summit

They renewed the doubts (dubia) that they expressed at the publication of Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016). In 2019 as in 2016, the existence of an absolute moral law “that is without exceptions” is called into question in the name of relativist pastoralism:

Archbishop Aymond moves to boot priest suspected of child abuse out St. Dominic living quarters

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

March 28, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Catholic Church officials asked the Dominican order Thursday to move an elderly priest out of his living quarters at St. Dominic’s Priory in Lakeview, a day after a victim-advocacy group exposed his presence on a list of Dominican religious order members who have been credibly accused of child molestation.

The news about Richard Raphael Archer, 89, a retired priest, was contained in a letter that New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond sent to the parents of children at St. Dominic School on Memphis Street. The school serves students in pre-K through 7th grade and is attached to a church and priory on Harrison Avenue.

Archer in December was among those listed in a 24-name roster of Dominican order members in the eastern and southern United States who were suspected child sex abusers, both living and dead. A board reviewing personnel files deemed “an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor” against Archer as credible. He was removed from public ministry in 2002, when he was assigned to a Metairie-based Dominican province, his order said.

Nine Colorado-based Capuchin Catholic friars with credible sex assault allegations identified

DENVER (CO)
Denver7ABC

March 28, 2019

By Blair Miller

Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad audit released

The Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad, an order of the Catholic Church based in Denver, on Thursday released an audit report that identifies 13 current or former friars – nine of whom worked in Colorado – who were found to have credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors or vulnerable adults levied against them.

The province said in a news release that two of the friars are dead, five have left the order and the remaining six are not active ministers in the church.

The St. Conrad province was established in 1977 and includes Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, the Dioceses of Belleville, Peoria and Springfield (Illinois), and two houses in San Antonio, Texas in its territory.

Australian archbishop says priests won’t break confession seal, despite new law

AUSTRALIA
Crux

March 28, 2019

An archbishop in Australia has said priests will not report crimes if that involved breaching the seal of confession, after a new mandatory reporting law was passed in the Australian Capital Territory.

Starting Monday, all people in the territory will have to report allegations of child abuse, including religious ministers who hear the allegation in a confessional. If convicted, those that fail to report face up to two years in jail.

Church law forbids the revelation of any sin admitted in confession under the penalty of excommunication.

Chilean cardinal goes before prosecutors in sex abuse probe

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press

March 29, 2019

Chilean Cardinal Javier Errazuriz has gone before a local prosecutor to testify as a defendant as part of an investigation into the country’s sprawling sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Pope Francis removed Errazuriz last year from his informal Cabinet after he became embroiled in the Catholic Church’s scandal. Errazuriz is accused of covering up clerical abuse in at least 10 cases.

The 85-year old cardinal walked into the prosecutor’s office in Santiago on Thursday with the help of a cane. He looked visibly upset and declined to speak to reporters.

Bishop Paprocki responds to sexual abuse allegations

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
WICS/WRSP

March 28, 2019

By Nikki McGee

The bishop of the Diocese of Springfield is now speaking out for the first time after a report accused 23 clergymen of sexual abuse.

The report was released last week and included the names and histories of hundreds of clergy accused of sexual abuse within the Catholic church.

"We've chosen to reveal this information because the Catholic bishops and the religious orders who are in charge and have this information and hold it secret have chosen to conceal it," Author Jeff Anderson said.

The Diocese of Springfield calls the report "highly misleading" and "irresponsible" and said the information is not new, as those on the list have already been publicly accused.

Sexually abusive priest sent to Diocese of Metuchen under McCarrick's watch

WOODBRIDGE (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News

March 28, 2019

By Nick Muscavage

A priest who was known by the Catholic Church to have allegedly sexually abused boys was sent from New York to a Diocese of Metuchen church under the watch of then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick.

Clergy abuse victim advocates and an attorney representing victims of the Rev. Romano Ferraro's alleged abuse met Thursday outside St. John Vianney Church in the Colonia section to share documents depicting how Ferraro was transferred from Brooklyn to the Metuchen Diocese.

Church documents and letters shared by attorney Patrick Noaker show how church officials with the Diocese of Brooklyn handled abuse allegations against Ferraro, and how they transferred him to the Diocese of Metuchen with McCarrick's approval.

RU to host ‘Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church’ program

ROCKFORD (IL)
rrstar.com

March 28, 2019

The “Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church” program will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 2 at 6:30 p.m. April 2 at Fisher Memorial Chapel at Rockford University, 5050 E. State St.

The Rev. David Beauvais, long time priest and retired pastor from St. James Catholic Church, will lead the discussion; and Register Star Metro Editor Kevin Haas will moderate.

Battling Catholic corruption: Local priest reflects on abuse in the church

OXFORD (MI)
The Daily Mississippian

March 28, 2019

By Makayla Steede

Accusations of sexual abuse have rocked the Catholic church since 2002. In August 2018, the scandal intensified following an investigation in Pennsylvania that found more than 300 priests accused of child sexual abuse — leaving at least 1,000 survivors.

This report led to further investigations in Illinois, West Virginia, Texas and Mississippi. On March 19, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson released a list of 37 Mississippi clergy members accused of child sexual abuse. Bernard Haddican, one of the 17 priests accused, was a pastor at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, which neighbors the University of Mississippi campus.

Pope Francis demands sex abuse claims be reported in Vatican City

VATICAN CITY
ABC13

March 29, 2019

Pope Francis on Friday issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

The mandatory reporting provision marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Francis also issued child protection guidelines for Vatican City State and its youth seminary, acting after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.

Chile court opens door for more Church sex abuse victims to seek damages

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

March 28, 2019

By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda

Chile’s Catholic Church should prepare itself for an onslaught of new civil suits from victims seeking compensation for past cases of sexual abuse, a lawyer who successfully sued the Archdiocese of Santiago said on Thursday.

Juan Pablo Hermosilla said a Chilean court’s decision on Wednesday to force Chile’s most influential archdiocese to pay his clients more than $400,000 in damages has opened the door for other “victims of abuse in church settings,” to seek financial compensation.

The appeals court decision is the first to require Chile’s powerful Roman Catholic Church to pay damages related to an ongoing sex abuse scandal that last year prompted Pope Francis to apologize to the church’s community worldwide.

Nun accused in new sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
KUAM News

March 27, 2019

Two separate sex abuse lawsuits were filed in court against the island's Catholic Church and others, with one allegation against a nun.

A.B.C. alleges that around 1958 or 1959 when he was around 12 or 13 years old he was sexually molested and abused by a Catholic Nun. A.B.C., who now lives in Washington state, alleges that when he was a student at Santa Barbara Catholic School, D.E. a nun with the Sisters of Mercy and a teacher would sexually abuse him. He is seeking monetary damages of up to $5 million and a trial by jury. The case was filed in the District Court. A.B.C. is being represented by attorney David Lujan.

March 28, 2019

Heart of Illinois ABC questions Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky on priest sex abuse allegations

PEORIA (IL)
Heart of Illinois ABC

March 28, 2019

Bishops from across Illinois joined together in Springfield Thursday to voice their concerns about potential changes to state abortion laws. The Catholic bishops held a press conference about the issue, which marks the first media event Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky was present since new allegations of priest sex abuse came to light in the Peoria Diocese.

After numerous requests for interviews via phone, e-mail, and in person about sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church. Again, this is the first time there has been a press event where Bishop Daniel Jenky was present, and available for questioning.

The most recent time we reached out about this issue was March 20th, when we asked his office for an interview three times, only to receive a written statement with no quote from the bishop himself.

In Thursday’s press conference, our reporter Kaitlin Pearson, asked for transparency about this issue within the Peoria Diocese.

Kaitlin Pearson, Heart of Illinois ABC: “Bishop Jenky, do you believe you’ve been transparent when it comes to alleged priest sex abuse within the Peoria Diocese?”

Bob Gilligan, Executive Dir. Catholic Conference of Illinois: “We’re going to try to stick to the issue at hand. Bishop Jenky as you can see it’s a little hard to get the mic so we’re going to try and stick to this particular question, so if we could take anything else?”

Pearson tried asking another question later in the press conference, directed at Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago.

Monsignor resigns from North Carolina diocese amid sex allegation

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Associated Press

March 28, 2019

A North Carolina Catholic diocese official stepped down after what the diocese called a “credible allegation” of sexual misconduct, officials said Thursday.

The Diocese of Charlotte announced in a news release that Monsignor Mauricio West stepped down effective March 25. The allegation involves multiple instances of unwanted overtures during the mid-1980s toward an adult student at Belmont Abbey College, where West was vice president of student affairs, the diocese said.

West has denied the allegation. He had served as the diocese’s vicar general and chancellor.

Bishop Peter J. Jugis said that in February, the individual met with the lay review board to discuss the allegation.

“While the alleged behavior did not constitute sexual abuse and did not involve a minor, it is the strict policy of the Diocese of Charlotte to refer all allegations by known accusers of potential sexual misconduct to the Lay Review Board for investigation,” Jugis said. “Misconduct includes boundary violations and improper behavior by clergy, lay people and church volunteers involving children and adults.”

N.J. priests molested us, and we want more of their names released, survivors’ group demands

NEWARK (NJ)
Star Ledger

March 28, 2019

By Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Six weeks after N.J. Catholic dioceses released the names of 188 priests and deacons accused of sexually abusing children, survivors of the abuse are calling for the church to release more names, including a priest brought under the watch of disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Mark Crawford, director of the N.J. chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood in front of St. John Vianney church in Colonia and demanded New Jersey bishops take accountability to release all the names of accused priests.

The Catholic church came under massive pressure to identify the clergy accused of sexual misconduct following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report identifying 300 credibly accused clergy members, leading to N.J.'s five Catholic dioceses to release the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse against children.

But Crawford said there are several priests who ministered at St. John Vianney, even though they had known records of molesting young children, including Fathers John R. Butler, Edward M. DePaoli and Romano Ferraro.

The church has taken advantage of opportunities to release limited information, Crawford said, but “more important than what they have told us, is what they have decided not to reveal.”

“Father Ferraro, although he is listed as having been at the staff at this parish, he is not one of the names the Diocese of Metuchen has put on this list,” said attorney Patrick Noaker, who represents eight of Ferraro’s victims. “When you look at these documents, you might understand why they might be scared to admit they welcomed him into this diocese.”

Ferraro had one of the most egregious records on being sent to different dioceses following sexual abuse allegations, said Noaker, a Minnesota-based attorney.

“Nobody in the parishes were told anything about Father Ferraro’s background so they could protect their kids from him. They unleashed him on a whole 'nother group of kids. An entire diocese of children," he said.

Ferraro was brought to the Diocese of Metuchen in 1984 under the watch of then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick.

‘Fading memories’ are not the issue when it comes to sexual abuse

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

March 28, 2019

This is regarding the article, “Legislators looking to help older victims of priest abuse get settlements,” (March 17).

Christopher Healy, executive director of The Connecticut Catholic Conference and lobbyist for the Archdiocese of Hartford is quoted. Healy states the archdiocese feels the current law is "fair and just to handle all claims" and adds that "fading memories and lack of evidence are part of the archdiocese's position."

As a reporter who has interviewed many survivors of church related sexual abuse for an ongoing television documentary project, all the survivors I've interviewed have precise, vivid, painful memories and documented evidence of their decades-old sexual abuse at the hands of priests.

Don’t Blame the Patriarchy

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

March 28, 2019

By Rita Ferrone

I’ve never been much enamored of the idea of a “women’s supplement” to L’Osservatore Romano. What does that say about the main publication? That it’s a men’s newspaper—and intends to stay that way?

In 2012, out of a desire to promote women, Pope Benedict XVI asked the newspaper’s then-editor Giovanni Maria Vian to make room for Lucetta Scaraffia, a historian and self-identified feminist, to write about women’s issues at L’Osservatore Romano. With Vian’s blessing, she went on to develop the monthly supplement, Donne Chiesa Mondo (Women Church World), which is now distributed in Italian, Spanish, and French (with English online only) and has a print circulation of about 12,000.

Scaraffia and her entire editorial board resigned yesterday in protest over being subjected to “male control” in the form of a new editor who came on board in December to replace Vian, another experienced journalist by the name of Andrea Monda. Tensions emerged as early as January when Monda had the temerity to come to one of Donne Chiesa Mondo’s editorial meetings and make some suggestions. At once, they threatened to quit.

Monda backed off and everyone stayed in place. But then he published some articles by and about women in the main paper, L’Osservatore Romano—articles Scaraffia had not previewed or endorsed. I read a few of them; they were well written and showed no markedly different approach to those found in Donne Chiesa Mondo. But that was perhaps why they were perceived as a threat.

Capuchin Provincial Minister’s statement: ‘Apologies are not enough’

HAYS (KS)
Hays Post

March 28, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Many are shedding tears these days, including myself, because of the great harm caused to minors and vulnerable adults by priests, deacons and religious brothers. On behalf of the Capuchin Franciscans I must beg your forgiveness for the trust betrayed by our abusive friars.

The knowledge has caused me personal grief. I am good friends with one of the victims, a student of mine who I taught at TMP-Marian. It took the individual many years to come forward and let me know what had happened. Sometimes victims are filled with shame and guilt. These feelings though, should not be theirs. The shame and guilt rightly belongs with the friars, especially those who caused the harm.

Chilean court orders church to pay compensation to abuse survivors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

March 28, 2019

By Junno Arocho Esteves

A Chilean appeals court ruled in favor of three survivors of abuse by former priest Fernando Karadima and ordered the Catholic Church to pay damages.

In a decision announced March 27, the court ordered the church to pay 100 million pesos (about US$147,000) for "moral damages" to each of the survivors: Juan Carlos Cruz, José Andrés Murillo and James Hamilton.

According the ruling, the appeals court said that "the omissions and the errors of the leadership of the Catholic Church" in Chile proved the church had been "negligent in its conduct in terms that can be qualified as a cover-up that gave way to the configuration of a civil offense."

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Known as an influential and charismatic priest, Karadima founded a Catholic Action group in a wealthy Santiago parish and drew hundreds of young men to the priesthood.

However, several former seminarians from the parish revealed in 2010 that the former Chilean priest sexually abused them and other members of the parish community for years. One year later, Karadima was sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance after he was found guilty of sexual abuse.

Pope Francis expelled Karadima from the priesthood in late September.

The court pointed to documents that confirmed that both former archbishops of Santiago, Cardinals Francisco Javier Errázuriz and Ricardo Ezzati, were aware of and did not properly investigate the allegations against Karadima.

Citing the definition of the word "cover-up" as being "responsible for concealing a crime," the court ruled that the definition applies to "the behavior of Cardinals Errázuriz and Ezzatti and other ecclesiastical authorities."

13 Denver-based Catholic friars with credible sexual-abuse allegations identified

DENVER (CO)
Denver Post

March 28, 2019

By Noelle Phillips

A Catholic order of Franciscans based in Denver released Thursday the names of 13 friars or former friars who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult.

The Capuchin Franciscans – Province of St. Conrad said two of the 13 are dead and five have left the order. Ten men on the list spent time serving in Colorado, according to a news release from the Province of St. Conrad.

None of the living are in active ministry, according to the news release.

The order’s territory includes Colorado, Kansas and Missouri and the Diocese of Belleville, Peoria and Springfield in Illinois and two houses in San Antonio, Texas.

The province used an outside group to audit 226 personnel files and other records that had been retained in its offices.

The auditors also reviewed five safety plans that provide guidance for how the province monitors its members who are under supervision for credible allegations of abuse, the news release said. No significant issues were found with supervision of those who remain in the province, the release said.

An allegation is deemed credible when an investigators determine that abuse more likely than not has occurred, the news release said. But the release noted that inclusion on the list does not imply the allegations are true or that the accused has been found guilty of a crime or is liable for civil claims.

“Every effort has been made to ensure the list is accurate,” the news release said. “In most instances, the claims were made many years after the alleged abuse, making it difficult to conduct a complete investigation.

Sexually abusive priest sent to Woodbridge church under McCarrick's watch

BRIDGEWATER (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News

March 28, 2019

By Nick Muscavage

A priest who was known by the Catholic church to have allegedly sexually abused boys was sent from Brooklyn to a Diocese of Metuchen church under the watch of then Bishop Theodore McCarrick.

On Thursday, clergy abuse advocates and an attorney representing victims of the Rev. Romano Ferraro's alleged abuse in New York met outside St. John Vianney Church in the Colonia section to share documents depicting how Ferraro was transferred from Brooklyn to the Metuchen Diocese.

Church documents and letters shared by attorney Patrick Noaker show how church officials with the Diocese of Brooklyn handled abuse allegations against Ferraro, and how they then transferred him to the Diocese of Metuchen with McCarrick's approval.

"Our bishops knew well before that time that this man was an abuser," said Mark Crawford, the New Jersey director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

"Pedophiles surround themselves with people who will keep secrets," Noaker said. "We're here today to talk about secrets that are being kept by the Diocese of Metuchen by not acknowledging pedophile priests who have been welcome into their diocese over the years, and also bishops who have invited pedophiles into this diocese."

Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference

CHERRY HILL (NJ)
Catholic Star Herald

March 28, 2019

By Carl Peters

An adult survivor of child sexual abuse was scheduled to be a presenter on the first day of the conference, but notice came at the last minute that he would be unable to speak.

But, although it was not the topic of his talk, the next presenter on the schedule, Dr. Robert Crawford, acknowledged that he too had been a victim of abuse as a child. He also pointed out that, based on statistics, abuse victims were in the audience.

Not that anyone in the audience needed to be convinced of the prevalence — or the trauma — of childhood sexual abuse. Or the damage it has done to the institutional church. This was the 14th annual Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference, held March 24-27 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill.

In attendance were 210 representatives from archdioceses and dioceses throughout the United States. The large majority of the group were women, but their professional backgrounds varied. They included social workers, psychotherapists, educators and others.

Like most professional conventions, the three-day conference was designed to let participants update and sharpen their skills, enjoy camaraderie with their peers, and boost morale. But the title of the first day’s last presentation was an indication of the difficult challenge these workers face: “Keeping Our Faith When Exposed to the Worst Things That Happen in Our Church.”

House may act soon to reform child sex abuse laws, but some victims are angry over change in strategy

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patroit News

March 28, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus and Jan Murphy

After years of failed efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s child sex crime laws, a pair of House lawmakers this week served up the latest attempt at addressing remedies for thousands of adults who were sexually abused as children – and are looking for quick action on it.

Historically, victims of abuse have been among the most strident supporters of such efforts. This time, however, proposals are engendering mixed reactions among victims, including outrage.

On Wednesday afternoon, state House Representatives Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) and Jim Gregory, (R-Blair) introduced House bills 962 and 963 respectively, ushering them swiftly into committee without co-sponsoring or press conferences.

Denunciantes de Karadima afirman que el fallo de la Corte marcará un precedente: "Es histórico"

[Whistleblowers say court ruling will set precedent: "It is historic"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 27, 2019

By Ignacio Guerra

"Ahora la víctima, si es que la Iglesia llegase a actuar con encubrimiento, tendrá el derecho a demandar", señalaron James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo en una declaración conjunta.

"Conformes", pero "no felices". Así se manifestaron los tres denunciantes de Fernando Karadima luego de que la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago ordenara al Arzobispado el pago de $100 millones a cada uno como indemnización por el encubrimiento de abusos sexuales.

La trayectoria de "Keno" Valenzuela, el ex provincial de los jesuitas que dejará de ser sacerdote

[The trajectory of "Keno" Valenzuela, the former provincial of the Jesuits who will stop being a priest]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 27, 2019

By B. Osses and F. Fernández

A través de un comunicado, la Compañía de Jesús informó que el religioso solicitó al Superior General de la congregación su salida de la Orden en medio de acusaciones de abuso.

"El padre Eugenio Valenzuela ha solicitado formalmente al Superior General de la Compañía de Jesús su salida de la Orden y al Papa Francisco la dimisión del estado clerical". Así informó este martes la Compañía de Jesús le decisión del ex provincial Eugenio Valenzuela, quien, en medio de acusaciones por abusos sexuales determinó alejarse de la congregación en la que tuvo un rol importante, marcado por la renovación de los jesuitas y la formación de 30 novicios.

"La Iglesia actuó con desidia": Los 11 hechos que la Corte de Santiago acreditó en caso Karadima

["The Church acted with apathy:" 11 facts underpinning Court of Santiago's ruling in Karadima case]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 27, 2019

By Tamara Cerna

De manera unánime, la 9° Sala del tribunal de alzada reconoció actos negligentes "que pueden ser calificados como propios de un encubrimiento" por parte del Arzobispado capitalino, ordenando el pago de $300 millones.

En 28 páginas, la 9° Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago argumentó las razones de por qué ordenó al Arzobispado capitalino pagar $300 millones a los denunciantes de Fernando Karadima. El fallo es duro. Y apunta a las responsabilidades de distintas autoridades religiosas del país. Una de las principales conclusiones dice así: "La Iglesia conocía de las denuncias, al menos desde el año 2003 (...) que decidió mantener el libre ejercicio sacerdotal de Karadima y finalmente, que no prestó amparo y auxilio alguno a los demandantes, sino una vez que los hechos se hicieron públicos y notorios".

Tras su salida del Arzobispado: Ezzati pide declarar ante la fiscalía en indagatoria por encubrimiento

[After his departure from archdiocese: Ezzati asks to testify before prosecution about concealment]

CHILE
Emol

March 28, 2019

By Tamara Cerna

El persecutor regional de O'Higginis, Emiliano Arias, dijo que solicitud aún está siendo evaluada. Además se refirió a la importancia del fallo civil en el caso Karadima en sus indagatorias.

El 3 de octubre de 2018, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati llegó hasta la Fiscalía de Rancagua tras ser citado a declarar en el marco de las investigaciones por presunto encubrimiento de casos de abusos sexuales al interior de la Iglesia católica.

Hamilton: “Se acabó el último enclave de impunidad”

[Hamilton: "the last enclave of impunity in this country is over"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 28, 2019

By M.J. Navarrete and A. Chechilnitzky

“El objetivo de esto, que ha sido un juicio de siete años, con un desgaste personal y humano, es haber dejado la herencia de este surco en la legislación chilena, y demostrar que hubo encubrimiento. Si no hubiésemos demostrado eso, todo habría sido un trabajo perdido”, afirmó este miércoles Hamilton.

Un fallo “histórico” y que marca un “precedente”. Así calificaron las víctimas del expárroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, la resolución de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago. James Hamilton, José Andrés Murillo y Juan Carlos Cruz serán indemnizados, luego de que se determinara civilmente que el Arzobispado de Santiago actuó con “desidia” y “negligencia” para tratar sus denuncias de abusos.

Aós: “Espero reunirme pronto con las víctimas”

[Aós: "I hope to meet with victims soon"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 28, 2019

By M. J. Navarrete and A. Chechilnitzky

Arzobispado de Santiago no apelará al fallo. “Esta sentencia contribuye al proceso de reparación del dolor”, se informó.

“Todo el proceso de revisión y de purificación que estamos viviendo es posible gracias al esfuerzo y perseverancia de personas concretas, que incluso contra toda esperanza o teñidas de descrédito no se cansaron de buscar la verdad. Me refiero a las víctimas de los abusos sexuales, de poder y de autoridad, y aquellos que en su momento les creyeron y acompañaron”. Esta fue la cita del Papa Francisco que ayer leyó el obispo Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico de Santiago, para referirse al fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones sobre la demanda en el caso Karadima.

Ricardo Ezzati: “El Papa Francisco no está enojado con los obispos chilenos”

[Ricardo Ezzati: "Pope Francis is not angry with the Chilean bishops"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 28, 2019

By Sergio Rodríguez G.

El prelado, actualmente investigado por la fiscalía por presunto encubrimiento, repasa su rol en el arzobispado y los casos de denuncias de abuso. Asegura que el Pontífice tiene una buena relación con el Episcopado y reconoce que unos 40 sacerdotes de la diócesis “han vivido al alero” de Karadima.

“Soy respetuoso de los dictámenes de la justicia. He leído el comunicado del Arzobispado de Santiago y me sumo a la esperanza allí expresada”. Así se manifestó ayer por la tarde el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati respecto del fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, que acogió la demanda civil que tres víctimas de Fernando Karadima presentaron contra el Arzobispado de Santiago y que condenó a la entidad religiosa a pagar una indemnización de $ 300 millones.

El gesto del nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago: se reunirá con sacerdotes víctimas de Karadima en su exparroquia de El Bosque

[Santiago's new apostolic administrator will meet priest-victims of Karadima in El Bosque]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 28, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

Monseñor Celestino Aós tiene programado dar declaraciones a la prensa la tarde de este jueves en la que fuera la emblemática sede del exsacerdote, para luego celebrar una misa en el lugar.

Será una reunión, pero también un gesto con un sentido más allá del encuentro. La tarde de este jueves, el recién designado administrador apostólico de Santiago, monseñor Celestino Aós, sostendrá un encuentro con sacerdotes que fueron víctimas de Fernando Karadima en la parroquia de El Bosque, la que fuera la emblemática sede del exprelado denunciado por abusos sexuales y de conciencia.

“Saldrá de otros recursos, no del 1%”: Cuánto es el patrimonio del Arzobispado de Santiago

["It will come from other resources, not 1%:" How will Archdiocese of Santiago compensate victims?]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 27, 2019

By Andrés Muñoz

La Corte obligó al Arzobispado de Santiago a pagar $100 millones a cada una de las tres víctimas del caso Karadima. Sin embargo, no se ha especificado de dónde saldrán esos recursos y solo son públicos los ingresos y gastos de 2017.

“El dinero con el que se va a pagar es indudable que va a salir de la Iglesia Católica. Ahora, no sale del 1%, no sale del dinero que entregan los fieles directamente para otras cosas, sino que en la Iglesia las finanzas son también transparentes y cuando se entrega un dinero para una causa. (…) no se va a sacar ni un cinco para poder pagar a las víctimas y tampoco se va a pagar del 1%. Saldrá de otros recursos”.

La intervención del Vaticano en Chile: un caso inédito a nivel mundial

[Vatican's intervention in Chile is unprecedented worldwide]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 26, 2019

By S. Rodríguez, G. Peñafiel, M. J. Navarrete, J. Ojeda and J.P. Iglesias

En los últimos 10 meses, un tercio de las diócesis del país quedaron “vacantes”, a cargo de un administrador apostólico, quien ejerce su potestad en nombre del Papa Francisco.

“Inédita”, “intervenida” y “compleja”. Así definen distintos expertos en temas vaticanos la situación actual de la Iglesia chilena. Con el reciente nombramiento -el más esperado- de Celestino Aós como administrador apostólico del Arzobispado de Santiago, el número de diócesis con esta figura en el país se elevó a nueve. Ocho de ellos, designados durante los últimos diez meses (desde el 11 de junio del año pasado), después de la crisis reconocida por el Papa Francisco. Valdivia ya tenía el mismo estatus antes del Informe Scicluna y ahora Copiapó, de donde llegó Aós, también quedó como “sede vacante”.

Un exalumno de los salesianos de Madrid denuncia a un cura por abusos en los noventa

[Former student of Madrid Salesians accuses priest of abuse in 1990's]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

March 27, 2019

By Julio Núñez

La madre del denunciante asegura que en 1998 fue a hablar con el director pero que este "no hizo nada"

Un exalumno del colegio salesiano San Miguel Arcángel, en el Paseo de Extremadura de Madrid, ha denunciado ante la policía al antiguo profesor y sacerdote Marcelino Antón por abusos sexuales en 1993. Por entonces, el denunciante tenía 10 años, pero no relató lo sucedido hasta que tuvo 15, mientras cursaba segundo de BUP, en 1998. Su madre cuenta que fue a hablar con el director del centro. "Le pregunté qué estaba pasando y no me negó los hechos. Se quedó callado. Tampoco apartó a Marcelino", relata la madre. Durante años, cuenta, se ha arrepentido de no haber ido a denunciar a la justicia civil, pero "la presión y el miedo" a hacer más daño a su hijo pudieron con ella. Con el tiempo han pensado en sacar su caso a la luz y ahora, con los casos que los medios están publicando, se han animado a dar un paso adelante.

37 clergy named as accused sex abusers by Jackson Diocese. Who are they?

JACKSON (MS)
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

March 19, 2019

By Sarah Fowler

From the retired superintendent of Catholic education in Mississippi to a priest on the lam in Peru, more than three dozen clergy have been named as potential abusers.

According to a list released by Jackson Diocese officials Tuesday, March 19, there have been 35 priests and two religious brothers accused of assault with Mississippi ties. The allegations date back decades, with the most recent allegations coming in the early 2000s.

List of 37 clergy members accused of sexual abuse released by Catholic Diocese of Jackson

JACKSON (MS)
WLBT

March 19, 2019

By Mary Grace Eppes

This investigation examined the files dating back to 1924

The Catholic Diocese of Jackson has released the names of clergy members it says have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

SEE LIST HERE

Diocesan Priests:

Perth Catholic school teacher jailed for secret abuse of three vulnerable boys

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

March 25, 2019

By Shannon Hampton

A former teacher at Perth Catholic schools who sexually abused three vulnerable boys during his decades-long career has been jailed for five years over the “extremely damaging” breach of trust.

Arthur Frank Mowle, 72, preyed on the teenage boys when he was a teacher, nurse and counsellor at the then St Marks College in Bedford in the late 1970s, Servite College in Tuart Hill in the 1980s and Kolbe Catholic College in Rockingham between 2004 and 2005.

District Court Judge Stephen Scott said Mowle — who pleaded guilty to five charges stemming from the royal commission into child sex abuse — stole his victims’ innocence.

$2M settlement to victim who priest made confess after abuse

ERIE (PA)
Associated Press

March 26, 2019

A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $2 million to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest who made him say confession after the assaults.

The settlement with the Diocese of Erie was announced Tuesday by the victim's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

The defrocked priest, David Poulson, was sentenced this year to 2 1/2 to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of one boy and attempted sexual assault of another. Garabedian confirmed at a press conference Tuesday that his client who is identified as John Doe in documents was one of the two boys abused by Poulson in his criminal case.

"This settlement is significant because it shows that the Diocese of Erie is responsible for the wholesale sexual abuse of children post, after 2002," when the church put revised policies for handling abuse into effect, Garabedian said.

During a news conference Tuesday, Garabedian alleged that the diocese was aware of allegations of abuse against Poulson earlier than the 2018 report by a military chaplain that his client had disclosed significant abuse.

$2M Settlement to Victim Who Priest Made Confess After Abuse

ERIE (PA)
The Associated Press

March 26, 2019

A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $2 million to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest who made him say confession after the assaults.

The settlement with the Diocese of Erie was announced Tuesday by the victim's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

The defrocked priest, David Poulson, was sentenced this year to 2 1/2 to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of one boy and attempted sexual assault of another. Garabedian confirmed at a press conference Tuesday that his client who is identified as John Doe in documents was one of the two boys abused by Poulson in his criminal case.

"This settlement is significant because it shows that the Diocese of Erie is responsible for the wholesale sexual abuse of children post, after 2002," when the church put revised policies for handling abuse into effect, Garabedian said.

Pa. priest abuse: Erie diocese to pay $2 million sexual abuse settlement to victim

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

March 26, 2019

By Sam Ruland

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie has reached a $2 million settlement with a man who was allegedly sexually abused as a minor by a former priest in the diocese for nearly eight years.

The victim, who is being referred to as "John Doe," was allegedly assaulted while Poulson was assigned to St. Michael’s Church in Fryburg and St. Anthony of Padua Church in Cambridge Springs from 2002 to 2010.

The male, now in his 20s, has only been been identified as "Victim No. 1" in the criminal case, but details of his abuse allege that Poulson made Doe say confession after the assaults.

$2M to victim of sex abuse by priest who made him confess

ERIE (PA)
MSN

March 27, 2019

A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $2 million to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest who made him say confession after the assaults.

The settlement with the Diocese of Erie was announced Tuesday by the victim's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

The defrocked priest, David Poulson, was sentenced this year to 2 1/2 to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of one boy and attempted sexual assault of another.

Statute of limitations aids victim in Erie diocese case

ERIE (PA)
Go Erie

March 26, 2019

By Ed Palattella

Catholic Diocese of Erie agrees to $2 million settlement with victim of former Rev. David Poulson, who is in state prison. Case falls within statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, a situation that spurred deal.

Ever since the clergy sexual abuse crisis exploded nationwide in the early 2000s, Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations has insulated the Catholic Diocese of Erie from facing abuse-related lawsuits and large payouts to victims.

The abuse cases were too old to lead to civil actions.

Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference

CHERRY HILL (NJ)
Catholic Star Herald

March 28, 2019

By Carl Peters

An adult survivor of child sexual abuse was scheduled to be a presenter on the first day of the conference, but notice came at the last minute that he would be unable to speak.

But, although it was not the topic of his talk, the next presenter on the schedule, Dr. Robert Crawford, acknowledged that he too had been a victim of abuse as a child. He also pointed out that, based on statistics, abuse victims were in the audience.

Not that anyone in the audience needed to be convinced of the prevalence — or the trauma — of childhood sexual abuse. Or the damage it has done to the institutional church. This was the 14th annual Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference, held March 24-27 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill.

In attendance were 210 representatives from archdioceses and dioceses throughout the United States. The large majority of the group were women, but their professional backgrounds varied. They included social workers, psychotherapists, educators and others.

Like most professional conventions, the three-day conference was designed to let participants update and sharpen their skills, enjoy camaraderie with their peers, and boost morale. But the title of the first day’s last presentation was an indication of the difficult challenge these workers face: “Keeping Our Faith When Exposed to the Worst Things That Happen in Our Church.”

$2M settlement to victim who priest made confess after abuse

ERIE (PA)
Associated Press

March 27, 2019

A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $2 million to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest who made him say confession after the assaults.

The settlement with the Diocese of Erie was announced Tuesday by the victim’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

The defrocked priest, David Poulson, was sentenced this year to 2 1/2 to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of one boy and attempted sexual assault of another.

Garabedian confirmed at a press conference Tuesday that his client who is identified as John Doe in documents was one of the two boys abused by Poulson in his criminal case.

$2 million clergy sexual abuse settlement not taken from new 'Victim Compensation Fund'

ERIE (PA)
Your Erie

March 26, 2019

By Samiar Nefzi

The Catholic Diocese of Erie has reached a $2 million settlement with a victim who was sexually abused by Father David Poulson.

Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian appearing via Skype at a news conference in Erie, telling us this settlement was negotiated outside of the courts with lawyers from the Diocese.

The victim, referred to by his attorney as 'John Doe,' is in his 20's. He came forward with claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Father Poulson. He alleges the abuse took place over the course of eight years, from 2002-2010.

Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian says Bishop Donald Trautman allowed Father Poulson to continue to interact with the victim while fully knowing his past record as a pedophile.

One of Bransfield's employees files lawsuit, claims former bishop sexually molested him

WHEELING (WV)
West Virginia Record

March 26, 2019

By Chris Dickerson

A former altar server and secretary to resigned Catholic Bishop Michael J. Bransfield has filed a lawsuit claiming the bishop sexually molested him.

The plaintiff, only identified as J.E., filed his complaint March 22 in Ohio Circuit Court against Bransfield, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and up to 20 unidentified defendants.

“The complaint is very specific and lays out the details,” attorney Bobby Warner of Warner Law Offices in Charleston told The West Virginia Record. “I find it troubling that while we continue to hear Bishop Bransfield’s name and alleged allegations, no one has stepped forward as an individual.

“I believe our client is the first individual who has had the strength and courage to step forward. It’s very troubling to me that while they’ve released names of individuals within the church in the press, Bishop Bransfield’s name wasn’t on the list. When, as you can see in our complaint, there have been prior allegations and investigations about him.”

Civil suit filed against former bishop Bransfield, alleging sexual abuse

OHIO COUNTY (WV)
WTOV9

March 26, 2019

By Anthony Conn

A lawsuit has been filed against former Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Bishop Michael Bransfield, accusing him of exposing himself and inappropriately touching a young boy several times during his time as a bishop in the Diocese.

The civil suit was filed with the Ohio County Circuit Court on March 22.

The lawsuit's plaintiff was a resident of St. Clairsville during the time period in question.

The complaint contains detailed accounts of Bransfield initiating unwanted sexual contact with a young male who was under his care.

It also alleges that Bransfield was known to be a heavy drinker who consumed one-half to one whole bottle of 80-proof liquor nightly and then engaged in grossly inappropriate behavior, including (but not limited to) making sexually-aggressive gestures, hugging, kissing, and fondling seminarians. According to the complaint, the Diocese covered the cost of the alcohol Bransfield consumed, which amounted to at least $20 per bottle.

Lawsuit: Former Bishop Michael Bransfield ‘Sexual Predator’ and ‘Binge Drinker’

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

March 27, 2019

By Joselyn King

A civil lawsuit filed in Ohio County Circuit Court alleges Bishop Michael Bransfield to be “a sexual predator” prone to binge drinking liquor, then molesting young men.

The suit filed Friday lists the complainant only as someone with the initials “J.E.,” described as having been a personal altar server and secretary to Bransfield, former bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The suit alleges the plaintiff was sexually assaulted by Bransfield in 2014 and was a victim of sexual harassment by him for years prior to that.

J.E. is listed as a current resident of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, but was a resident of St. Clairsville when the alleged incidents took place between 2008 and 2014.

The defendants named in the suit are Bransfield, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and numerous “John Does” associated with the diocese.

Tim Bishop, spokesman for the diocese, said the diocese does not comment on pending litigation.

Faithful pay final respects to Bishop Emeritus Joseph Adamec

ALTOONA (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

March 27, 2019

By Dave Sutor

Bishop Joseph V. Adamec was a gregarious extrovert, who, in retirement, was forced into the life of an introvert.

The conversion process was the central theme of a homily, given by the Rev. Jude Brady from Saint Benedict Roman Catholic Church in Carrolltown, during Adamec’s funeral Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesday.

Adamec retired as bishop in 2011, having served in the position since 1987.

After he stepped down, an increasing amount of child sexual abuse cases within the diocese began to become publicly known. Then, in 2016, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General issued a grand jury report that provided details about the diocese covering up child sexual abuse for decades, placing much of the responsibility on Adamec and his predecessor, Bishop James Hogan.

Attorney: Others knew about Bransfield’s behavior

CHARLESTON (WV)
WV Metro News

March 27, 2019

By Jeff Jenkins

The attorney representing a former alter server and secretary in West Virginia’s Catholic Church says his client came forward with allegations against retired Bishop Michael Bransfield to seek an avenue that would encourage others to come forward.

The man, identified only as J.E. in the lawsuit, claims he was a victim of sexual harassment for years at the hands of Bransfield and was the victim of an alleged sexual assault that took place five years ago.

Charleston attorney Bobby Warner, who represents J.E., said Wednesday on MetroNews “Talkline” the case is about “a typical culture of cover-up” by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

Organizer of Pope’s Anti-Abuse Summit Terms It ‘Partly A Success’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

March 28, 2019

By Christopher White

A member of the organizing committee for February’s Vatican sex abuse summit has dubbed the meeting “partly a success,” saying it achieved his main goal of bringing about “unity for the whole church leadership that was present.”

Father Hans Zollner, S.J., head of Rome’s Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, said that 2018 was a “year of change” in the Church’s understanding of the global sex abuse crisis and that “we are at another level of awareness.”

In reference to cardinals now under scrutiny for mishandling abuse cases, or for abuse itself, Father Zollner said “untouchables have become touchable and are facing prison sentences,” adding that the Church has been greatly influenced by the “Me Too” movement,” which has caused a cultural awakening on issues of abuse of power and sexual misconduct.

Father Zollner’s remarks were delivered March 26 during a discussion on “Reckoning and Reform: New Frontiers on the Clergy Abuse Crisis,” hosted by Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture, which also included a presentation by John Jay College researchers Karen Terry and Margaret Smith on new developments and data in their efforts to study the roots and extent of the abuse crisis.

The German Jesuit priest, appointed by Pope Francis as one of the organizers of the summit which brought together the heads of every bishops’ conference around the globe, said that in surveying the U.S. Catholic Church, the country is “in some state of what Saint Ignatius termed ‘spiritual desolation’ – a decrease of faith, hope, and love,” suffering a severe loss of trust in the Church over the issue of abuse.

Victims to write accused names on sidewalk

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

March 28, 2019

Victims ‘out’ five more publicly accused priests

“Bishop’s list is deceptive and incomplete,” they say

In surprising move, they praise prelate for his “more inclusive list”

Braxton, unlike most of his peers, exposes those who prey on adults

SNAP: “But alleged abusers’ photos & whereabouts should be added”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose – and write on the sidewalk with chalk - the names of five more publicly accused priests who are or were in the Belleville diocese but have essentially been ‘under the radar,’ attracting attention elsewhere but not in Illinois.

They will also praise Belleville’s bishop for including clerics who have assaulted adults on his ‘accused’ list-a move most bishops do not make.

And they’ll prod Belleville Catholic officials to
--reveal the names of ALL proven, admitted and ‘credibly accused’ predator priests,
--permanently and prominently post their photos, whereabouts and work histories on church websites, and
--‘aggressively reach out’ to anyone who may have been hurt by church staff.

WHEN
Thursday, March 28 at 11:15 a.m.

Is it time to leave the Church?

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Irish Catholic

March 28, 2019

By Colm Fitzpatrick

One of the most common reasons people decide to leave the Church is because of the internal corruption that runs to even the upper echelons of the hierarchy. The decision to leave for this particular reason is one that everybody can sympathise with, even the most ardent and devout believers.

All too often, we have or hear conversations about the Church’s financial corruption or the clerical abuse scandals, the latter of which has a particularly dark resonance in Ireland. These forms of exploitation have led to many Catholics leaving the Church, while still trying to practice their faith in a personal, albeit hampered way.

Indeed, the well-known Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson said recently that the levels of corruption in the Vatican are almost beyond corruption that “maybe believing Catholics should go on strike [and] stop attending Church”. While I’m a big fan of Dr Peterson, I think in this case, he’s off the mark.

It’s perfectly understandable, for example, to retract membership from a political party if one no longer supports it for moral reasons, but the difference between institutions like these, and the Church, is that Catholics believe that the visible Church was founded by Christ himself – and so is not man-made.

This includes a visible membership as well as a visible leadership structure, based on the idea of apostolic succession. In the Church, Catholics also receive the Sacraments – an outward sign of an invisible, inward grace – which provide spiritual sustenance. As a result, the Church is the place where God’s love is on full offer, and where Catholics can worship and pray together in communion. These visible aspects are fundamental to the Church, as well as indispensable.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that the divinely ordained Church is filled with perfect people that always operate with the best intentions. The Church – laity, priests and bishops – is composed of people who not only do great good, but also horrendous evils. Sin and grace percolate within it.

Down memory lane: A brief history of Catholic leaks that made news

Get Religion blong

March 28, 2019

By Richard Ostling

This is another of those religion beat nostalgia Memos, inspired by a pretty sensational March 22 scoop in America magazine from its Vatican correspondent, Gerard O’Connell. He reported the precise number of votes for all 22 candidates on the first ballot when the College of Cardinals elected Pope Francis in 2013.

The cardinals’ first round usually scatters votes across assorted friends and favorite sons, but a telltale pattern appeared immediately. The Italian favorite, Angelo Scola, got only 30 votes, with the eventual winner, Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, close behind at 26 and Canadian Marc Ouellet at 22. In a major surprise, Boston’s Sean O’Malley was fourth with 10 votes, and New York’s Timothy Dolan got two. Clearly, the electors would forsake not just Italy but the Old World entirely and choose the Western Hemisphere’s first pontiff .

As so often occurs, the Washington Post immediately grabbed an important religion story that other media missed, with Michelle Boorstein adding a beat specialist’s knowing perspective (behind pay wall).

O’Connell likewise demonstrates the virtues of specialization. He has worked the Vatican beat for various Catholic periodicals since 1985, a task that requires long-term cultivation of prelates who spill secrets. (Or did his wife, a Vatican correspondent from the pope’s homeland, acquire this leak?)

Adding to the intrigue, in papal elections each cardinal must take a solemn oath before God to maintain strict secrecy on everything that occurred, under pain of excommunication.

Yet O’Connell’s oath-busting leak appeared in a magazine of Francis’s own religious order, the Jesuits. The article was excerpted from “The Election of Pope Francis,” O’Connell’s fuller version to be published April 24 by another Catholic entity, the Maryknoll order’s Orbis Books.

There was less buzz over the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany — a powerful aide of Pope John Paul II — was the front-runner through all ballots. Significantly, Bergoglio was the runner-up. This time it took only five months for a cardinal’s diary to leak to an Italian journalist, followed by more detail six years later in the daily La Stampa.

A top Diocese of Charlotte official resigns after ‘credible’ sexual misconduct claim

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

March 28, 2019

By Bruce Henderson

The second in command of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has stepped down after a “credible allegation” of sexual misconduct involving a former adult student of Belmont Abbey College, the diocese’s newspaper reported Thursday.

Monsignor Mauricio West, the diocese’s vicar general and chancellor, has denied the allegation, the Catholic News Herald reported. Following a period of counseling and assessment, the diocese’s bishop said in a statement, West will be on a leave of absence from his ministerial duties.

The statement by Bishop Peter Jugis said West resigned Monday following a finding by the 46-county diocese’s Lay Review Board that the allegations were credible.

The events are alleged to have occurred in the mid-1980s, when West was vice president for student affairs at Belmont Abbey. They involved multiple incidents of unwanted overtures toward an adult student over a two-year period, the bishop’s statement said.

Vitale delivers justice for victims of sexual abuse

NEWARK (NJ)
Star-Ledger

Match 28, 2019

Contrary to legal doctrine, justice delayed is not justice denied – at least not in perpetuity – as long as you have a righteous cause and one indomitable lawmaker.

This instructive lesson in governance comes from a bill that extends the statute of limitations in civil actions for children who were victims of sexual abuse, which is now headed for the governor’s desk after passing the Assembly by a unanimous vote Monday.

The bill affirms that access to justice is a civil right, and that an arbitrary statute of limitations prevents it. It took 17 years for Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, to convince his colleagues that this was the moral calling of our age, and that it was inexcusable to look the other way while the Catholic Church shielded clergy who raped children.

Changing the statute was crucial. The existing window for civil action in New Jersey was ludicrously short, as victims had to bring a civil case before they turned 20, or within two years from the time they connected their trauma to the abuse.

The reality is that the vast majority of victims, if they disclose anything at all, do it during adulthood. The average age of such disclosure is 52. Roughly one-third of child sexual abuse cases are never reported at all.

Vitale’s bill, which Gov. Murphy endorses, allows child victims to sue until age 55, or from 7 years of the discovery of their abuse. It also gives those who have been time-barred another two-year window to pursue their civil case. And critically, it allows victims to hold both the abusers and the institutions who protected them accountable.

Battling Catholic corruption

OXFORD (MS)
Daily Mississippian

March 28, 2019

By Makayla Steede

Accusations of sexual abuse have rocked the Catholic church since 2002. In August 2018, the scandal intensified following an investigation in Pennsylvania that found more than 300 priests accused of child sexual abuse — leaving at least 1,000 survivors.

This report led to further investigations in Illinois, West Virginia, Texas and Mississippi. On March 19, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson released a list of 37 Mississippi clergy members accused of child sexual abuse. Bernard Haddican, one of the 17 priests accused, was a pastor at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, which neighbors the University of Mississippi campus.

In 1998 and 2002, the two accusations against Haddican, who died in 1996, came to light. The period of abuse is suspected to have taken place from 1964 to 1984.

The current St. John’s pastor, Joe Tonos, was only an infant when Haddican’s term as pastor at St. John’s began.

Haddican served as pastor of St. John’s in Oxford from 1965 to 1968, but Tonos did not become personally acquainted with him until college. From the start, Tonos said, he did not like the pastor.

“I knew him when I was in college because I went to Delta State (University) in Cleveland, and he was the pastor there at the time,” Tonos said. “I did not like him at all.”

While attending Delta State, Tonos was the cartoonist for his school paper, and Haddican expressed disdain at the satirical cartoons Tonos drew.

“He found, for whatever reason, the need to tell his parish that I was anti-Catholic because he did not like some of my satire, which I thought was distasteful,” Tonos said. “I just really didn’t care for him.”

March 27, 2019

Former deacon's $1 million lawsuit challenges Texas diocese's sex abuse claim

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

March 27, 2019

By Kevin J. Jones

A former Catholic deacon has charged that the Diocese of Lubbock wrongly named him on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors and has filed a lawsuit seeking $1 million.

Lubbock resident Jesus Guerrero has filed a lawsuit that rejected claims he had ever been accused of sex abuse or misconduct. The lawsuit described him as “a faithful servant of God in the Catholic Church his entire life,” the news site EverythingLubbock.com reports.

The plaintiff charged that the diocese committed libel and defamation against him. His lawsuit said his reputation was destroyed and he has become the object of contempt and ridicule.

Lucas Flores, the Diocese of Lubbock’s director for the office of communications, told CNA the diocese is not commenting on ongoing litigation.

In October 2018 all 15 dioceses in Texas pledged to release names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, dating as far back as the 1950s.

The Diocese of Lubbock released its list Jan. 31, saying Guerrero had been credibly accused of “sexual abuse of a minor.” It reported that he had been permanently removed from ministry in 2008.

For Catholics to heal, women need to be in hierarchy

JERSEY CITY (NJ)
Jersey Journal

March 27, 2019

For Catholics to heal, women need to be in hierarchy

As a former priest, I was asked to consider and comment on how healing can begin in the Catholic church after revelations that scores of New Jersey priests, many of them in the seminary with me, had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Our hearts are deeply troubled by the numbers of priests worldwide who have sexually abused children and minors. Especially shocking to me was the accusation of pedophilia against Theodore McCarrick, once archbishop of the Newark archdiocese, where I was ordained in May 1965. Once cardinal of Washington, D.C., he is now no longer a cardinal, but is a disgraced and defrocked priest.

How, I ask, as do many, can there be such a huge number of priests in the majority Catholic areas of the world guilty of sexual abuse of children and minors?

I seriously believe that the very structure of the church has much to do with pedophilia.

Governor signs bill requiring clergy to report child abuse

RICHMOND (VA)
Capital News Service

March 27, 2019

By Corrine Fizer

In response in part to the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, Virginia will have a new law on July 1 requiring priests, ministers, rabbis and other clergy members to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.

Gov. Ralph Northam has signed into law two bills — HB 1659, sponsored by Del. Karrie Delaney, D-Fairfax, and SB 1257, introduced by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier. The measures mandate that religious officials must report any suspected abuse to local law enforcement.

The bills passed unanimously in the House and Senate last month.

Existing state law lists 18 categories of people who must report information to local authorities if they “have reason to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected child.” They include health-care providers, police officers, athletic coaches and teachers.

The new law will add a 19th category to the list of “mandatory reporters”: “Any minister, priest, rabbi, imam, or duly accredited practitioner of any religious organization or denomination usually referred to as a church.”

However, the law will exempt clergy members from the reporting requirement when confidentiality is required by the religious organization, such as anything a priest hears during confession.

A minister who hears about possible child abuse while counseling a parishioner, for example, would not have to tell authorities.

Delaney said she filed her bill after a church in her Northern Virginia district failed to act on a case of child abuse. She said 27 other states have laws making clergy mandatory reporters.

Priest with "established" allegations of abuse in residence at a New Orleans parish

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

March 27, 2019

The Dominican Province of St. Joseph has posted a list of those friars "credibly accused" of the sexual abuse of a minor. This list included the name of a man with an allegation that was "deemed to be established by the lay Provincial Review Board." The friar is currently in residence at a New Orleans parish.

Fr. Richard Raphael Archer was removed from public ministry in 2002, according to the Dominicans. Yet the website of St. Dominic Parish in New Orleans, which has an attached school that serves children pre-K through 7th grade, shows that the priest is "in residence." In fact, in 2017 the New Orleans Archdiocese celebrated Fr. Archer's 65 years as a priest.

"The classic grooming situation": Plaintiff's attorney speaks out about Bransfield lawsuit

WHEELING (WV)
WTRF TV

March 27, 2019
By Kathryn Ghion

Attorney Robert Warner calls this a "classic grooming situation".

He claims Bishop Bransfield abused his power to get close to his client, who is referred to as J.E. in the lawsuit.

Warner also told us his client had planned to have a career within the church but left the faith after his experiences.

"It's a classic case of someone of power that's just using that position inappropriately in a sexual nature towards the young men that they're around," he said.

In this case, the suit alleges that Bishop Bransfield used that power to sexually assault the plaintiff, who was previously an altar server at the Cathedral of St. Joseph and interim secretary to the Bishop.

"It was multiple years," Warner explained. "It started in 2008 and it's kind of the classic grooming situation, which escalated to the point in 2014 of a sexual assault a true criminal sexual assault in my opinion."

Warner says this type of behavior allegedly occurred with other adolescent and adult males, describing Bransfield in the complaint as a "sexual predator."

"There were multiple allegations in the past," he continued. "It appears there were inadequate investigations and certainly nothing was ever done to the bishop. And according to my client what happened to him was observed by other senior members of the church and he observed the Bishop do things inappropriately to other young men."

It wasn't until the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston asked for people to come forward as part of its investigations Warner says his client reached out to tell his story.

"He had seen the church cover up other allegations before," Warner said. "He wasn't confident they would do anything."

The Diocese said that no criminal activity was found in its investigation into Bishop Bransfield, but Warner says they found his client's story to be credible.

"They released the names of all these individuals that have been known to have committed inappropriate acts and somehow the bishop's name is not included," he explained.

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Delays Releasing List of Abusive Clergy

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

March 27, 2019

Despite being a month behind their self-imposed deadline, church officials from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City still have no date in sight for when they will follow in the footsteps of more than 100 dioceses around the country and release a list of credibly accused priests, nuns, deacons and other church staff.

Every day that even one predator’s name is hidden, kids are put needlessly at risk. Rather than continuing to delay these disclosures, we believe that Archbishop Paul Coakley should instead release what he has now and make amendments later.

Nowhere is it etched in stone that all child molesting clerics must be revealed at exactly the same time, but we suspect that church officials prefer this approach because it means less publicity for predator priests.

Vatican editor defends coverage of sexual abuse after all-female magazine staff quit

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hill

March 27, 2019

By John Bowden

The editor of the Vatican's magazine for women denied that he attempted to exert control of the magazine's staff after the publication's founder and entire staff of female writers resigned en masse Wednesday.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Andrea Monda, editor of the magazine's parent newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said in a statement that he never demanded "obedience" from the magazine's writers on issues such as the Catholic Church's ongoing sexual abuse scandal after Women Church World founder Lucetta Scaraffia announced the mass resignation.

“In no way have I selected anyone, be it male or female, based on the criterion of obedience,” Monda said, according to the Post. “It is the opposite, avoiding any interference with the monthly magazine, I have supported truly free dialogue, not based on the mechanism of pitting one against the other, or of closed groups."

He also described Scaraffia's resignation as “free and autonomous" while not elaborating on the departure of the magazine's all-female staff.

Scaraffia told the Post in an interview that her entire staff had resigned due to Monda's decision to publish pieces that contradicted the magazine's editorial line in L’Osservatore Romano and rumors that Monda was set to take over the magazine as well.

"The whole newsroom has resigned," she told the Post.

“We couldn’t stay silent anymore; the trust that so many women had put in us would have been gravely wounded,” she added in an open letter to Pope Francis, according to the newspaper.

‘They’re all out to destroy me,’ Philly native Bishop Michael Bransfield says of abuse lawsuit

PHADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

March 27, 2019

By Jeremy Roebuck

In a new lawsuit, the former personal secretary for Roxborough native and ex-West Virginia Bishop Michael J. Bransfield described his former boss as a “sexual predator” prone to binge drinking orange liqueur and venting his lust on priests and seminarians.

The plaintiff, a onetime seminarian in his early 20s identified in court filings by the initials J.E., says that Bransfield exposed his penis and groped him while they were traveling together on church business in 2014.

His suit marks the first time any of the bishop’s accusers have publicly offered an account of the type of alleged misconduct that led the Vatican to oust Bransfield, 75, from his position last year.

But in an interview Wednesday, the retired prelate dismissed the man’s claims — and those of his other accusers — as nothing more than a money grab.

“They’re all out to destroy me,” said Bransfield, who has been living in Roxborough since he left Wheeling. “I wasn’t even that friendly with this person.”

Since his resignation in September, Bransfield has been beset by a growing list of legal problems, including a lawsuit filed last week by West Virginia’s attorney general alleging he and his predecessors within the Wheeling-Charleston diocese had knowingly harbored pedophiles.

He was previously accused of abusing a minor during his time as a priest in Philadelphia — a claim Bransfield denied. Both prosecutors and the archdiocese reviewed the allegation; neither ultimately took action against him.

But even amid the current scandal, J.E.’s claims paint a particularly unflattering portrait of the man reared by a devout family of Philadelphia priests only to be named in 2004 as the Catholic church’s top official in West Virginia.

Laughlin comments on state statute bill that stalled in Senate last year

ERIA (PA)
Erie Times News

March 27, 2019

Victims of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania can bring a lawsuit against their attackers until they're 50-years-old under the current statute of limitations.

Last year, a bill that would open a two-year window for victims over the age of 50 to bring civil suits for their abuse passed in the Pennsylvania House, but stalled late in the year in the Senate.

This, after the recommendations for just such a law from PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro after the release of the grand jury report on predator priests in Pennsylvania.

Second trial would have been 'foolish idea’ for priest accused of sex abuse, prosecutor says

SAGINAW (MI)
Saginaw News

March 27, 2019

By Cole Waterman

The day after a Catholic priest pleaded no contest to sexual assault and drug charges, prosecutors said it would have been foolish of him to have gone before a jury with the audio recordings they had.

The afternoon of Wednesday, March 27, Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark J. Gaertner and Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Hoover convened a press conference in the Saginaw County courthouse to address the prior day’s developments for the Rev. Robert J. “Father Bob” DeLand. He pleaded no contest March 26 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct, gross indecency between two males, and manufacturing or distributing an imitation controlled substance. The most serious charge is second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony.

“Rolling the dice against tape recordings that we had probably would have been a foolish idea,” Gaertner said. “The tapes, that’s Robert DeLand talking. That’s not somebody saying what he said; that’s him saying exactly what he said. That’s powerful evidence.”

The tapes were recorded by a teenager who filed a police report against DeLand in November 2017, then went undercover in other interactions with the priest, equipped with a recording device provided by investigators.

“I can’t get into the mind of Robert DeLand,” Gaertner continued, “but I think, finally, when he realized — and this is just my opinion — that those tapes were going to be played, when his feet were put to the fire, and he knew those tapes were going to be played in court, he decided to make his decision.”

Five Quebec dioceses to allow external audit of sex abuse cases

MONTREAL (CANADA)
Catholic News Service

March 27, 2019

By Francois Gloutnay

Five dioceses from the province of Quebec will allow an external audit of their files regarding sex abuse cases, the Archdiocese of Montreal announced March 27.

In September, retired Quebec Superior Court Judge Anne-Marie Trahan will be able to consult the regular and secret files of five Catholic dioceses in the greater Montreal area, confirmed Montreal Archbishop Christian Lepine.

Archbishop Lepine said Trahan will be able to count on the full cooperation of the authorities of the dioceses of Montreal, Joliette, Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Saint-Jerome and Valleyfield and that she will have “complete access” the records of priests and diocesan staff for the past 70 years.

As part of the review, abuse survivors will be invited to come forward and tell their stories.

Trahan will have to submit a report within two years that will indicate “the number and nature of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by members of the Roman Catholic clergy and their staff from 1950 to the present day,” Archbishop Lepine told journalists.

Phila. Archdiocese's Ownership of Jersey Shore Property Means Sex Abuse Suit Stays in NJ

PHIADELPHIA (PA)
Legal Intelligencer

March 26, 2019

By P.J. D'Annunzio

A lawsuit claiming the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is liable for alleged child molestation by one of its former priests in the 1970s will remain in New Jersey court, a state Superior Court judge in Atlantic County has ruled.

Atlantic County Judge Christine Smith held that New Jersey was the appropriate venue for the John Doe lawsuit against defrocked priest Craig Brugger because some of the instances of alleged abuse took place in state.

Brugger, who died in 2010, was laicized in 2002 after abuse allegations against him surfaced. At the time the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilaqua told Brugger’s former congregation that the archdiocese took the allegations seriously.

“Like other priests who have been accused, Father Brugger will be treated fairly and with great compassion,” he said, according to a CNN report from March 2002. “At the same time, I need to assure you that the archdiocese will not tolerate acts of abuse against minors.”

In the Doe lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged he was sexually assaulted several times by Brugger from 1972 to 1976 when he attended St. Anne’s Parish in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, ending when he was 12 years old. The lawsuit alleged that the assaults occurred in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where the plaintiff lived; at Doe’s parents’ beach house in Brigantine, Atlantic County; and other New Jersey locations, including a rectory and a hotel, according to Smith’s opinion.

At one point Doe reported the abuse to the head of his parish, “Father Griffin,” but Griffin told him “these things did not happen and that people should not speak of these types of matters,” according to Smith. After a nun intervened, Brugger was transferred to another parish.

Priest accused of sexual misconduct asks Diocese of Corpus Christi to support

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
Caller-Times

March 27, 2019

By Eleanor Dearman

A Corpus Christi priest accused of sexual misconduct wants to know how the Diocese of Corpus Christi is backing up its claims against him.

Attorneys for Msgr. Michael Heras and the diocese were in court Wednesday on a 2018 court filing by Heras' lawyer Andrew Greenwell.

In it, Heras asks for documents and possible depositions related to Heras' "alleged 'admission' to child abuse and sex with a minor." In another court filing from 2018, Hera asks for sanctions — the payment of related court fees — in response to allegations Heras admitted to the abuse.

Theologians examine role of power, clericalism in the sex abuse crisis

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

March 27, 2019

By Dennis Sadowski

Two systematic theologians examined how power and clericalism among Catholic clergy played a role in creating the sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the church anew since June during a daylong Catholic University of America conference.

While offering differing perspectives, Richard Gaillardetz of Boston College and Chad Pecknold of The Catholic University of America agreed March 26 that clericalism needed to be addressed if the church is to begin recovering from the scandal.

Pope Francis has described clericalism as an attitude embraced by priests and bishops in which they see themselves as special or superior to others.

Gaillardetz explained that clericalism manifests itself in “the maintenance of a distinct clerical identity” that often lacks solidarity with the people of God, a sense of being “exempt from criticism or accountability by those outside the clerical guild, and an instinct “to protect the good reputation of their guild at all costs.”

On the other hand, Pecknold theorized that clericalism stems from a willingness to turn away from God and the call to true priestly ministry as exercised by Jesus rather than solely the desire to maintain power and influence over others.

The theologians supported their arguments in presentations during the latest in the university’s ongoing “Healing the Breach of Trust” conferences.

Chile court orders Catholic Church to compensate victims in sex abuse cases

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

March 27, 2019

A Chilean appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the Catholic Church should pay compensation to three victims in a sex abuse case involving former Santiago parish priest Fernando Karadima, potentially opening the floodgates to similar civil lawsuits.

The unanimous decision requires the Church pay 100 million pesos($146,000) each for "moral damages" to Juan Carlos Cruz, Jose Andres Murillo and James Hamilton. The men accuse Karadima of having sexually abused them decades ago, and the Church of having covered up that abuse.

Church officials were not immediately available for comment.

The case could pave the way for a flood of civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages from the Latin American country's Catholic Church, and beyond.

The decision may still be appealed to Chile'sSupreme Court.

Chilean investigators have looked into about 120 allegations of sexual abuse or cover-ups involving 167 Church officials or workers.

The scandal last week prompted Pope Francis to accept the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago and the highest-ranking member of the Catholic Church in Chile.

Catholic women's group in France launches petition

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

March 27, 2019

Founded in 2009 by Anne Soupa and Christine Pedotti to promote male-female equality in the Church, the Skirt Committee (Comité de la Jupe) announced that "in view of various affairs in the Catholic Church" it had launched a new petition reaffirming "its opposition to the condition currently given to women in their own Church."

"Their exclusion from all responsibility is an aggravating cause of sex abuse since the male and celibate structure of the clergy leads to a closed world where impunity rules," says the press release accompanying the March 25 petition.

"Moreover, this exclusion is the major cause of the clericalism condemned by Pope Francis. Thus, the attached petition demands that equality of responsibilities and rights between men and women finally be recognized in the Catholic Church."

"Matters cannot go on as they are. Things must change!"

Former West Virginia Bishop Accused in Lawsuit of Being a “Sexual Predator”

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

March 27, 2019

A lawsuit was filed yesterday in West Virginia that names the former bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston as a “sexual predator.”

We hope that the filing of this lawsuit against Bishop Michael Bransfield will help J.E. along his healing journey. It is a brave thing to come forward with allegations and we commend him for doing so. We suspect that the announcement of this suit will encourage other victims who may be suffering in silence to come forward and report their own abuse. We hope that when they do, they contact independent law enforcement or the attorney general, not Church officials.

Leadership of Vatican Women’s Magazine Resign

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

March 26, 2019

The founder and editorial board of a women’s magazine published by the Vatican have resigned following “a campaign to discredit them” that they say increased after they wrote editorials critical of the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy.

In an era where many have called for an increase in women’s voices within the Catholic Church, it is disappointing that the women in charge of “Women Church World” have felt stifled and silenced by the very institution they sought to help improve.

It is also disappointing that, despite powerful rhetoric from Church officials about the need to combat sexual abuse, those who have pushed the Church to continue working on the issue are leaving feeling ostracized and punished.

I was sexually assaulted as a Boy Scout and won’t stay anonymous because I want to help others

NEWARK (NJ)
Star Ledger

March 27, 2019

By Michael Mautone

I am the first known victim of priest Kevin Gugliotta. I am no longer Mr. X. My name is Michael Mautone.

In the past I have come forward anonymously to report the assault by Gugliotta and speak out against the church’s failure to protect others from him. Today, I go public for many reasons. First and foremost I stand in support of all victims to encourage them to come forward … not necessarily go public as I am doing today … to come forward and report the crimes of your abusers.

I stand in support of change to systems and organizations that failed to address this issue and instead allowed perpetrators to repeat their offenses. I stand to hold accountable those in power who directly took action or inaction in a choice to protect abusers over a choice to protect children and young adults. And I stand to finally hold accountable Kevin Gugliotta for his crimes against me and others.

I am deeply pained and saddened by the recent news that another victim has come forward to report being assaulted by Kevin. In 2003, I filed a complaint with the Newark Archdiocese alleging that Gugliotta had abused me in the 1980s when he was a Boy Scout leader. He later became a priest.

Former St. Landry Parish priest accused of sexual abuse pleads guilty

LAFAYETTE (LOUISIANA)
KATC TV

March 27, 2019

By Wynce Nolley

Former priest Michael Guidry has pleaded guilty to sexual molestation of a juvenile.

KATC was in the courtroom when Judge Alonzo Harris accepted Guidry’s plea and set a sentencing date of April 30 when witness testimony will be heard.

Guidry now faces 5 – 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $5,000. As part of his plea deal, Guidry will have to stay in Acadia Parish until his sentencing, turn over his passport and be placed on the sex offender registry.

After the hearing, the victim’s father, Deacon Scott Peyton, released a statement to KATC’s Jim Hummel, which states, “We are one step closer to achieving justice for our son. We are deeply troubled by watching active members of St. Peter’s Parish Council show up to support Guidry.”

Guidry, 75, is the former pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Morrow who was arrested in June 2018 after a deacon’s son came forward to allege the priest had given him alcohol and molested him. In December 2018, Guidry was formally charged with molestation of a juvenile by the St. Landry Parish District Attorney.

The victim and his parents sued Guidry and the Diocese of Lafayette in August of 2018, claiming that a Diocesan official said they would discontinue therapy for the victim and his family should they file suit.

Gray Lady skips some icky details in obit for Cardinal Danneels, a key Pope Francis supporter

Get Religion blog

March 27, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

What would it take to force The New York Times to criticize the career of a liberal Catholic who backed the modernization of Catholic teachings on many topics close to the hearts of the Gray Lady’s editors?

To answer that question, take a look at the recent Times obituary for the highly influential Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium.

Readers can start, of course, with the headline: “Godfried Danneels, Liberal Cardinal Tainted by Sex Scandal, Dies at 85.” That pretty much sums up the obituary as a whole. This cardinal was a liberal, but he was also a liberal with a connection to The Scandal. That’s bad.

The key to this obituary — no surprise — is what it does not include, especially the voices of Catholics who criticized his efforts to liberalize church doctrines on sexuality. For example, they criticized church sex-education materials about children, sex and pedophilia. Hold that thought. Here is the Times overture:

Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium, a liberal supporter of Pope Francis and a former Vatican adviser whose long pastoral career was damaged in a sex-abuse scandal after his retirement, died on March 14 at his home in Mechelen, north of Brussels. He was 85. …

Cardinal Danneels, who spoke several languages, was considered a progressive in Roman Catholic leadership, supporting a greater role for women in the church and a less rigid policy against contraception. He believed that H.I.V.-positive people should be able to use condoms rather than risk transmitting the virus.

Years before Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by retiring in 2013, Cardinal Danneels had raised the possibility of popes retiring in advanced age or when their health deteriorated. He was a target of conservative critics in his 29 years as president of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference. They complained that he had not done enough to thwart growing secularization in Belgium, whose government has approved same-sex marriage, in vitro fertiliz

Missed Deadline, No Timeline For Report On OKC Catholic Church Abuse

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
News Channel 9

March 27, 2019

By Grant Hermes

Citing an influx of files and documents, the attorney in charge of the investigation into abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said the report detailing findings will not be finished by the end of the month, despite already being a month behind schedule.

The report was set to be released February 28th after allegations dating back to the 1960s were brought to light in the summer of 2018. The highest profile was the case of former priest Ben Zoeller who was credibly accused of abuse in August 2018, for an incident in the early 1970s according to a release from the Archdiocese.

“The archdiocese is currently reviewing Zoeller’s priest file as part of a comprehensive review by an independent firm,” Archdiocese spokeswoman Diane Clay said in a statement after the accusation was made.

Zoeller was removed as a priest in 2002 and was de-frocked by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011.

That firm was Oklahoma City’s McAfee and Taft, which has been amassing documents and files for the last seven months. The firm’s investigating Attorney Robin Croninger said the firm recently received more files, pushing the investigation past its deadline.

Croninger said she should could not comment on how many documents have been collected so far nor could she give a timeline for when the investigation may be complete.

Attempts for a comment from the Archdiocese were redirected to Croninger. Requests for comment from the local chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests were repeatedly unanswered.

Perth Catholic school teacher jailed for secret abuse of three vulnerable boys

PERTH (AUSTRALIA)
The West Australian

March 27, 2019

By Shannon Hampton

A former teacher at Perth Catholic schools who sexually abused three vulnerable boys during his decades-long career has been jailed for five years over the “extremely damaging” breach of trust.

Arthur Frank Mowle, 72, preyed on the teenage boys when he was a teacher, nurse and counsellor at the then St Marks College in Bedford in the late 1970s, Servite College in Tuart Hill in the 1980s and Kolbe Catholic College in Rockingham between 2004 and 2005.

District Court Judge Stephen Scott said Mowle — who pleaded guilty to five charges stemming from the royal commission into child sex abuse — stole his victims’ innocence.

Swept under the rug

LYNCHBURG (VIRGINIA)
News & Advance

March 23, 2019

By Richard Chumney

For five decades, James Sheehan kept his most painful memory a secret.

The horror of the abuse he remembers experiencing at that hands of his local parish priest haunted him into silence. And for half a century he felt alone — isolated and, at times, lost in his own memories.

But now, Sheehan is speaking publicly after Vatican officials refused to defrock the priest at the center of the allegation, despite the fact that the Diocese of Richmond found his claim credible and recommended he be dismissed from “the clerical state.” The decision to come forward follows a renewed national focus on clergy child abuse and prompted Lynchburg police to briefly reopen its investigation into the man Sheehan says physically and sexually assaulted him in the mid-1960s.

As a teenage altar boy at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Sheehan told The News & Advance in recent interviews he was serially abused by the Rev. Julian Goodman.

Sheehan, embarrassed and fearful of Goodman, told no one at the time.

Instead, he bottled up the pain and carried the burden alone for 50 years. The trauma destroyed the young boy’s innocence, forcing him to endlessly wrestle with his own self worth and faith. Even today, as a staff member at a Catholic church in Georgia, he struggles to attend Mass.

“I’ve always felt like I was somewhat tainted,” he said.

Sheehan, 66, is now left with the emotional scars of the abuse he remembers and lingering questions that may never be answered.

How could this priest, he remembers thinking, a man who pinned my body to the ground and violated me inside my own church, use those same hands to turn bread and wine into the body and the blood of Christ? Why did he choose me? Who was this man?

Catholic church says not to worry about our cover story on John Nienstedt

DETROIT (MI)
Metro Times

March 27, 2019

By Michael Betzold

The subject of Metro Times came up during Mass at St. Edward on the Lake Catholic Church.

One of the world's worst scandal-tainted bishops living in your parish? Not to worry, say local Catholic Church leaders.

By means of a letter signed by the pastor of St. Edward on the Lake, the Archdiocese of Detroit is assuring parishioners that it "is patently untrue" that Archbishop John Nienstedt could be a "potential threat" to their community north of Port Huron.

In a surprise announcement at the end of Mass on Saturday afternoon, Fr. Lee Acervo told his flock at St. Edward for the first time that Nienstedt is their neighbor. He emphasized that allegations against him are unproven — and added that the March 20 Metro Times cover story, in which his residence was revealed, is "not based on truth."

The church made copies of the letter from Acervo — which also provided "my absolute assurance" that any "insinuations" that Nienstedt could be a dangerous neighbor "are unfounded" — available to people leaving Mass.

But Acervo is apparently only the messenger of this "all clear" signal. In his remarks from the pulpit, Acervo said that even though it's in the first person and signed by him, he didn't compose the letter — "the archdiocese wrote it."

Priest molested homesick boy at Vic camp

VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA)
Associated Press

March 27, 2019

By Caroline Schelle

A boy was homesick and upset during a Victorian school camp when a priest molested him more than 40 years ago.

Notorious pedophile priest and teacher Frank Gerard Klep admitted abusing the boy at a Salesian College camp at Dromana in the 1970s.

It was the second night of the camp and the 12-year-old boy was upset and homesick when Klep came and sat on his bed.

The priest initially started to comfort the boy, but then molested him.

"The accused's actions left him (the victim) shocked and numb," prosecutor Stephen Devlin told the Victorian County Court on Wednesday.

Klep also ingratiated himself with the boy's family, helping his mother get a job at the college, Mr Devlin said.

Another victim was assaulted when he went to the school's sick bay.

"The anger inside me at times is overwhelming," the survivor said in a statement read out to the court.

Call for lay voices at lecture

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Catholic Outlook

March 26, 2019

The clergy sexual abuse crisis has been a “hell of a mess” and the answer lies in moving forward with faith, transparency and creativity, according to Father Tony Percy.

The academic, author and vicar general of the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn used his speech at the annual Bishop Manning Lecture on 21 March to make a call for the Church to “find its voice” at the national and local levels—which must include men’s and women’s voices.

During his speech at the Kirribilli Club in North Sydney, which was hosted by the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, Father Percy addressed the topic ‘The Catholic Community in the 21st Century’, and responded to the questions ‘Where have we been?’ ‘Where are we now?’ ‘Where are we going?’ and ‘Who’s going with us?’.

He said that the current crisis may have brought the Church to its “darkest hour”, while society is also experiencing chaos. But Father Percy said that this is not a time for the Church to retreat in shame.

He drew upon the work of “the most truly modern pope” Pope Leo XIII, Scripture, Census data and insights from prominent Catholics, including Hildegard of Bingen and Pope Francis to suggest ways the Australian Church could make use of three pillars research shows are needed for church renewal: community, teaching and preaching, and music.

But first it must be acknowledged that the Church has lost people’s trust and that “trust is everything”, he said.

“The rebuild will take grace and courage. The abuse of children, youth, and the vulnerable by clergy is ‘everything we don’t believe in’. Precisely because we believe human sexuality to be symbolic of love and life we sense the ‘gravity of the depravity’. The price exacted has been enormous.”

The roots of the problem lie in narcissism, an entitlement mentality and clericalism, he believes, including an “overplay of the clergy” and an “underplay of the laity”.

The answer lies in faith and reason, the “two lights in which we see what God is asking of us”.

Diocese of Erie responds to Garabedian news conference saying he misspoke...

ERIE (PA)
Erie Times

March 26, 2019

Following the news conference with alleged clergy victim Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, the Diocese of Erie has released a statement of their own, saying the attorney "misspoke regarding the conduct of the Diocese".

Their full statement is as follows:

As Attorney Mitchell Garabedian announced during a news conference this morning, the Diocese of Erie has settled all legal claims brought by a victim of David L. Poulson, the former priest who is now serving time for his crimes at SCI Camp Hill near Harrisburg. The Diocese of Erie stands behind the settlement in the interests of justice and recognizes the harms suffered by this victim. However, Mr. Garabedian repeatedly misspoke regarding the conduct of the diocese.

The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, has expressed his disappointment and surprise at the amount of misinformation in Mr. Garabedian’s comments. He failed to take into account much information that is publicly available. If what Mr. Garabedian alleges were true and complete, then Attorney General Shapiro would have prosecuted individuals beyond David Poulson.

Indeed, as publicly documented, both the district attorney and the attorney general involved in this case recognized the diocese’s full cooperation, noting that this victim’s report was handled properly, that the diocese’s efforts led to a successful prosecution and that the diocese’s “steps to prevent these horrors from happening again” are to be “commend[ed.]”

This case was thoroughly investigated under Pennsylvania law by trained law enforcement prosecutors and agents who subpoenaed documents and testimony. Per the settlement, signed by Mr. Garabedian, (attached), he was well aware that the Diocese of Erie:

1. had no knowledge of the case involving John Doe until Jan. 26, 2018;
2. immediately informed law enforcement and K&L Gates, its independent investigators; and
3. K&L Gates not only unearthed significant evidence corroborating the victim’s report but also communicated results of its investigation to both the diocese and law enforcement. As a direct result, the wrongdoer, Poulson, was convicted and is behind bars.

Mr. Garabedian emphasized that sorrow is not enough and that victims need to see action. Getting a sex offender put in prison is action. An immediate two-million-dollar pre-litigation settlement of the full amount requested by his client — and the dedication of millions more to a victims’ compensation fund currently underway — is action. Mr. Garabedian also appears to be inexplicably unaware of the following substantial measures taken by the diocese:

Time is ripe to make sex-abuse lawsuits easier in NJ

ATLANTIC CITY (NJ)
The Press of Atlantic City

March 27, 2019

Over the past decade, New Jersey legislators have considered easing the tight deadlines that victims of sexual abuse face in filing civil lawsuits for damages.

Twice the legislation got nowhere, but events of the past year or so have made an unstoppably strong case for the change.

After a Pennsylvania grand jury report identified 300 Catholic Church clergy members credibly accused of sexual assault, New Jersey in September launched its own investigation. In February, New Jersey’s Roman Catholic dioceses released a list of 188 priests and deacons credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

In 2017-18, USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 140 to 300 years in prison on multiple guilty pleas after accusations he molested at least 250 girls and young women.

This year a special committee of the Legislature has been investigating the handling by the campaign and administration of Gov. Phil Murphy of a sexual assault allegation by one campaign staffer against another. Katie Brennan, who has filed a civil suit against the state and alleged attacker Al Alvarez, was among the first to testify at a state Senate hearing on the bill to make it easier to file such lawsuits.

Catholic Church to investigate 50 years of child sex abuse allegations in Montreal

MONTREAL (CANADA)
Montreal Gazette

March 27, 2019

The Diocese of Montreal has assigned an independent committee to examine more than five decades of files related to allegations of sexual abuse committed on children by the clergy or church personnel in Montreal-area parishes.

Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine has asked retired Superior Court justice Anne-Marie Trahan to oversee the investigation, which will also examine files of the dioceses of St-Jérôme, Valleyfield, St-Jean-Longueuil and Joliette.

The committee’s work is scheduled to begin in September and it has been granted full access to church files.

Imbroglio over transfer of French priest accused of 'inappropriate behavior'

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

March 27, 2019

The former rector of the Paray-le-Monial shrines, Father Bernard Peyrous is a specialist in the history of spirituality and spiritual theology as well as the former postulator for the beatification of Marthe Robin. The priest is also a well known personality in the Emmanuel Community, a lay Catholic association. He has been a highly appreciated spiritual director of hundreds of people.

At least, this was the case until October 2017, when – to general surprise – the then-70-year-old priest resigned from all his duties. In consultation with leaders of the Emmanuel Community, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux instituted precautionary measures that placed restrictions on Fr. Peyrous for "gravely inappropriate behavior towards an adult woman."

Catholic universities push for debate on the clergy sex abuse crisis

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

March 27, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein

U.S. Catholics know they are in the thick of a clergy sexual abuse crisis, but that's where agreement ends. When the abuse topic exploded in the church in the early 2000s, everyone knew the focus was stopping the shuffling around and coverup of priests abusing children.

In 2019, there's a void. With that lack of consensus, many parish priests are saying little about the crisis.

Into that space, some Catholic universities are plunging with new abuse-related academic credentialing programs, million-dollar research grants and conferences - all related to exploring clergy abuse. Among the conferences was one this week at the Catholic University of America, which is run by U.S. bishops, about the "root causes" of the crisis. It featured something Catholics don't see often: Experts with totally different points of view on the topic sharing a stage at a prominent Catholic institution.

The University of Notre Dame will offer up to a $1 million for research related to abuse. Santa Clara University is asking if the West Coast has a particular perspective on abuse, with its large population of Latino Catholics and Catholics from other countries around the world.

March 26, 2019

Témoignage : Claire Maximova, ex-soeur carmélite violée par un prêtre

[Testimony: Claire Maximova, ex-Carmelite sister raped by a priest]

FRANCE
Marie Claire

March 22, 2019

By Morgane Giuliani

Cette ancienne soeur carmélite témoigne de l'abus spirituel et des viols qu'elle a subis de la part d'un prêtre, qui était son accompagnateur spirituel, dans "La Tyrannie du silence" (Cherche Midi). Elle décrit un système qui ne prend pas au sérieux la souffrance des femmes.

Lorsqu'elle arrive à la rédaction de Marie Claire, Claire Maximova est pile à l'heure, souriante. Elle a la répartie bien sentie, le mot qui fuse, la blague toujours prête. Malgré l'horreur de ce qu'elle vient raconter devant notre caméra. En janvier a été publié son livre, La Tyrannie du Silence (Cherche-Midi), dans lequel elle raconte l'abus spirituel, et les viols qu'elle a subis de la part d'un prêtre lorsqu'elle était soeur dans un carmel, il y a quelques années à peine.

Tahiti : un prêtre soupçonné d'attouchements sur mineurs, une première en Polynésie

[Tahiti priest investigated for touching minors, a first in Polynesia]

TAHITI (FRENCH POLYNESIA)
Europe 1

March 10, 2019

Le religieux a été placé sous statut de témoin assisté au terme d'une garde à vue de deux jours. Deux jeunes hommes assurent avoir été victimes d'attouchements sexuels de sa part lorsqu'ils étaient encore adolescents.

Un prêtre catholique, soupçonné d'attouchements sexuels sur mineurs, a été placé sous statut de témoin assisté, samedi à Papeete, une première en Polynésie, a indiqué une source proche de l'enquête. Deux jeunes majeurs, adolescents à l'époque des faits, lui reprochent des attouchements. Le parquet avait requis une mise en examen au terme de deux jours de garde à vue.

Church policy on funerals fits a long pattern of concealment

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

March 26, 2019

Was it sensitivity to the victims of sexual abuse or another slap in their faces? The history of the Catholic Church and the Buffalo Diocese practically shouts the latter. And if it wasn’t, then it’s at least a lesson in the price of holding terrible secrets.

The question is how the local church went about acknowledging the deaths of priests credibly accused of molesting children. The 2013 policy implemented by Bishop Richard J. Malone handled those deaths differently from those of other priests, denying the use of the title “Reverend” or “Father” in death notices – though allowing it on gravestones – and prohibiting a Mass of Christian Burial in the parishes where those priests had been assigned.

In a 2013 internal memo obtained by The Buffalo News, Malone explained that the new policy was to be more sensitive to survivors of clergy sex abuse. Events such as the death of an abuser could trigger survivors to suffer the trauma of their abuse all over again. In that regard, Malone’s policy makes sense. Indeed, if those priests had been afforded the usual funeral, critics would later have howled.

Nevertheless, the explanation would be more plausible if the church had already been acknowledging the abuses committed by many priests. It wasn’t. Instead, it was trying to keep its dirty secret.

Victims of priests certainly don’t see the policy as a kindness. Some of them see it as part of a continuing effort to shield the church from public accountability.

“This, it seems, is another method to keep it under cover. To me, it’s a consistent policy of the church, going back decades, of hiding and covering up,” said Tim Lennon, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “At all costs, the reputation of the church is more important than anything.”

Priest With Columbia Ties Put on Leave in Jefferson City

COLUMBIA (MO)
CoMo City Beat

March 25, 2019

A Catholic priest who served in Columbia was placed on administrative leave from his position in Jefferson City while the Diocese of Jefferson City investigates what it termed as “possible boundary violations.”

Father Geoffrey Brooke was placed on leave from his position as associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Jefferson City.

Brooke, who was ordained in 2015, has also served in Columbia. According to the Sedalia Democrat and a Google summary from his now offline personal website, he served as a priest at Sacred Heart Parish from 2015-2017. He was also listed as an alum of St. Thomas More Newman Center in a 2015 Facebook post from parish alumni, and according to reports also provided weekend fill-in work at various parishes throughout mid-Missouri.

In a statement to CoMo City Beat, Helen Osman, the Director of Diocesan Communications for the Diocese of Jefferson City, confirmed both Brooke’s leave and the purpose of the investigation.

“When the Diocese was informed of possible boundary violations, following diocesan policy, we notified the Missouri Children’s Division hotline. Father Brooke has been placed on administrative leave while these allegations are investigated,” Osman said. She said the diocese also contacted local police.

According to the Jefferson City News Tribune, families of Immaculate Conception School were notified of the leave on March 10th. The letter was shared with the newspaper, and it’s authenticity was then confirmed by the diocese.

David Clohessy of the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), took issue with how he felt Jefferson City Bishop Shawn McKnight handled the issue.

N.J. sexual-assault victims will soon have more time to sue abusers under bill that just passed

NEW JERSEY
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

March 25, 2019

By S.P. Sullivan

Despite fierce opposition from the Catholic Church, state legislators passed a bill today giving victims of sexual assault in New Jersey significantly more time to file lawsuits against their abusers.

Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign the bill, which had been stalled in the state Legislature for more than two decades.

The state Assembly voted 71-0 with five abstentions Monday to approve the measure (S477), which would vastly expand the current two-year statute of limitations for such civil suits to seven years in most cases.

MO Attorney General prodded to act soon

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

March 26, 2019

Dear Attorney General Schmitt:

It’s been seven months since your office began looking into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Missouri’s Catholic dioceses. Your Illinois colleague is conducting a similar probe. Let’s compare the two.

Early on, then-AG Lisa Madigan’s office set up a special “clergy sex abuse hotline.” (1-888-414-7678,clergyabuse@atg.state.il.us) Your office has not.

At this point in Madigan’s probe, the six month mark, all six Illinois diocese’s had posted proven, admitted and credibly accused clerics on their websites, thanks in large part to her prodding.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/diocesan_and_order_lists.htm

At this point in your probe, only two of Missouri’s dioceses have done so, and we’ve seen no evidence that you or your office has played any role in these disclosures or have tried to prod more of them. (The two are Missouri’s smallest dioceses: Jefferson City and Springfield-Cape Girardeau).

https://diojeffcity.org/wp-content/uploads/Clergy_Religious_removed_12.16.2018_v2.pdf

http://dioscg.org/wp-content/uploads/13DioPriestsAccusedR121118.pdf

At this point in her probe, Illinois citizens had learned the names of 185 credibly accused clerics. At this point in your probe, Missouri citizens have learned the names of 48 credibly accused clerics.

El obispo de Cartagena traslada a la Fiscalía un caso de pederastia

[Bishop of Cartagena moves pedophilia case to Prosecutor's Office]

SEVILLE (SPAIN)
El País

March 26, 2019

By Julio Núñez

El acusado cometió el supuesto delito en Argentina, aunque la diócesis no ha detallado cuándo

La diócesis de Cartagena-Murcia trasladó el pasado jueves a la Fiscalía de Menores un caso de abusos pederastia cometido por un religioso contra una menor en Argentina, según un comunicado del obispado de hoy. De momento, el episcopado no ha detallado el lugar exacto de los hechos y la fecha.

Los Mossos acusan a los Maristas de poner trabas para investigar los abusos

[Investigators accuse Marists of obstructing abuse investigation]

BARCELONA (SPAIN)
El País

March 26, 2019

By Grego Casanova

El profesor Joaquín Benítez, que reconoció haber abusado a menores, ha dicho que hubo más profesores implicados

“Los llamaba a un despacho reservado, y con el pretexto de corregir alguna lesión comenzaban los masajes que precedían a los abusos”. Así actuaba el profesor de los Maristas Joaquín Benítez según la descripción de dos agentes de los Mossos d’Esquadra que han declarado este lunes en el primer día del juicio por los presuntos abusos sexuales del profesor de gimnasia del colegio Sants-Les Corts. Los agentes han hablado de un “patrón” habitual y aseguraron que la escuela se resistió a facilitarles información del agresor tras la primera denuncia presentada contra él.

Laicos de Osorno valoran renuncia de Ezzati y acusan poca empatía del cardenal con víctimas de abuso

[Osorno laity group relieved at Ezzati's resignation but disappointed by his lack of empathy for victims]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 25, 2019

By Manuel Stuardo and Mauricio Molina

El Movimiento de Laicas y Laicos de Osorno se refirió a la renuncia del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, investigado por eventual encubrimiento en casos de abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia. El vocero del movimiento en la zona, Mario Vargas, señaló que en parte se sienten aliviados con la determinación.

Obispo Celestino Aós niega encubrimiento

[Bishop Celestino Aós denies concealment]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 25, 2019

By S. Rodríguez

"La verdad es tan fundamental como el aire para la convivencia", dijo sobre el eventual caso, ocurrido en Valparaíso, en 2012.

“Yo fui promotor de justicia. La verdad es tan fundamental como el aire para la convivencia (…) y en un tribunal cada uno tiene su papel (…). El promotor de justicia en aquel entonces tenía una delimitación bien marcada de funciones, yo las cumplí como mejor creí y el promotor de justicia no es el que tomaba las sentencias”.

Karadima: acusan demora en fallo por demanda

[Karadima case: accusers' lawyer criticizes delays]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 26, 2019

By J. M. Ojeda

El abogado de las víctimas ingresó escrito a la Corte criticando “dilaciones” en el proceso.

El abogado de las víctimas de abuso de Karadima, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, presentó un “téngase presente” en la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, pidiendo un pronunciamiento del tribunal de alzada, respecto de la demanda por presunto encubrimiento que sus representados mantienen contra el Arzobispado de Santiago.

Los cuatro casos de encubrimiento que se le imputan al cardenal Ricardo Ezzati

[Four alleged cover-up cases involving Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati]

CHILE
Publimetro

March 26, 2019

By Aton (news agency)

El sábado el Papa Francisco decidió aceptar la renuncia del arzobispo de Santiago Ricardo Ezzati y anunció a Celestino Aós Braco como el administrador apostólico de la sede vacante.

El ahora arzobispo emérito de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, es investigado por el eventual encubrimiento de cuatro casos de presuntos abusos sexuales cometidos por miembros de la iglesia católica de la capital. La información aparece hoy en El Mercurio, que también consigna que en la indagatoria de la Fiscalía Regional de O'Higgins han surgido nuevos antecedentes en los últimos seis meses de otras situaciones similares que complicarían al cardenal.

$2 million settlement reached with alleged victim of clergy assault

ERIE (PA)
Your Erie

March 26, 2019

Well-known Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents sexual abuse cases, holding a news conference in Erie to discuss his client's settlement. His client was allegedly abused by now-former Reverend David L. Poulson.

Mitchell Garabedian discussing the $2 million settlement his client reached with the Catholic Diocese of Erie for the abuse his client suffered as a minor.

Fresh allegations cloud pope's appointment of Chilean Church leader

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Santiago Times

March 26, 2019

Pope Francis's pick to replace Chile's top cardinal – who has been dismissed over allegations of covering up cases of clerical sexual abuse – was on Monday forced to deny that he himself had covered up the crimes of predator priests.

In a case that appears to cast doubt on Francis' judgement in appointing him to replace Chile's top prelate Ricardo Ezzati, Spanish bishop Celestino Aos was forced to deny allegations from two sex abuse victims that he covered up for their abuser.

One of the victims, former seminarian Mauricio Pulgar, publicly slammed Aos' appointment on Monday, saying he had dismissed his complaints in 2012.

"Naming a person who helped cover up sexual assault, I think this is the worst mistake that the pope could make this year," said Pulgar.

Aos, in an interview on Chile's Radio Cooperativa, denied "absolutely" any cover-up in the case.

The allegations against Aos date from when he was bishop in Valparaiso, where he acted as the Church's promoter of justice, a role akin to a prosecutor, investigating abuse cases.

He was accused by the abuse victims of denigrating their claims against a local priest, Jaime Da Fonseca, whom he cleared. Da Fonseca was found guilty in a subsequent investigation by the Vatican and expelled from the priesthood last year.

"The promoter of justice at that time had a well-defined delimitation of responsibilities. I fulfilled them as I thought best, and the promoter of justice does not decide the sentence," said Aos, who until his sudden elevation by Francis on Saturday, had been bishop of Copiapo in northern Chile.

Pulgar said that Aos had never given any credence to his allegations of abuse.

"During the investigation, he did not consider them likely, and he didn't inform me of his conclusions. He never gave me the opportunity to present evidence, or witnesses," Pulgar told Radio Cooperativo.

To date, 77-year-old Ezzati, who was the Catholic Church's highest official in Chile, has insisted he is innocent. He has promised to cooperate with the investigation into his activities – if the authorities first clear him.

What about dads?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Angelus

March 26, 2019

By Greg Erlandson

The Vatican’s February summit addressing the sexual abuse of children was a mind blower for many seasoned Vatican observers. It was a rare, if not unprecedented, gathering of the heads of all the world’s bishops’ conferences.

It was a bold effort to address the horror of child abuse across cultures and to get on the same page in terms of what needs to be done. Particularly striking for me was that three of the frankest and most challenging talks were delivered by two lay women and one woman religious.

The full fury of a mother’s scorn for both abusers and the protectors of abusers was captured by Valentina Alazraki, a Mexican journalist who had covered the pontificates of five popes. She laid down a challenge unlike any I have heard in such a Vatican-sponsored forum.

“If you are against those who commit or cover up abuse, then we are on the same side,” she told the bishops. “But if you do not decide in a radical way to be on the side of the children, mothers, families, civil society, you are right to be afraid of us, because we journalists, who seek the common good, will be your worst enemies.”

I only wish there had been a similar speech from a father who could articulate his sense of protectiveness for his children and righteous anger at anyone who would harm them, be they priest or bishop, teacher or relative. Where was the voice that represented me?

Of course, there were a few fathers present, Vatican lay officials who did not formally address the assembly. Cardinals and bishops spoke, moms and nuns, but no one specifically spoke to the gathering from the point of view of a father.

Catholic priest pleads no contest to sex assault charge, avoids second trial

SAGINAW (MI)
Saginaw News

March 26, 2019

By Cole Waterman

A Catholic priest in Saginaw County has pleaded no contest to a sexual assault charge and two other charges, avoiding a second trial scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 26.

The Rev. Robert J. “Father Bob” DeLand appeared Tuesday before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson and pleaded no contest to three charges - second-degree criminal sexual conduct, gross indecency between two males, and manufacturing or distributing an imitation controlled substance. The most serious charge is second-degree criminal sexual conduct, which is a 15-year felony.

During the court hearing, one of DeLand’s three accusers and his family sat in the courtroom gallery. The 18-year-old testified in the priest’s first trial the previous week and was to testify in his second trial.

Springfield Diocese sets services to show ‘solidarity’ with clergy abuse victims

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

March 26, 2019

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

A Prayer Service for Healing to show “solidarity” with victims of clergy sex abuse will be held Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m at St. Michael’s Cathedral, 254 State St.

The service is part of Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski’s efforts announced in February to hold dialogue and prayer sessions as a “sign of our collective commitment to victims that we are truly sorry for our church’s past failure and remain steadfast in our ongoing efforts to prevent any future abuse.”

A similar service will be held the same day and time at St. Joseph Church in Pittsfield.

Rozanski held four “listening and dialogue” sessions around the issue of clergy abuse of minors in the diocese with the first Feb. 6 at Mary, Mother of Hope Parish, and the three others at parishes in Pittsfield, Westfield and concluding March 24 in Northampton.

More than a dozen attorneys general around the country are said to be investigating or reviewing claims of clergy abuse in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in August that found “credible” allegations against more than 300 “predator priests” in Pennsylvania who were said to have sexually abused more than 1,000 children in cases going back to the 1940s.

Church abuse probe passes six month mark

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

SNAP: MO attorney general is moving too slowly
Group wants a preliminary report like the Illinois one
It also warns that a serial predator priest may be paroled
Self help organization wants archbishop to ‘sound the alarm’

WHAT
On the six month anniversary of the Missouri Attorney General’s (AG) probe into clergy sex abuse, victims and their supporters will prod the AG to
---give a ‘preliminary report on his work (like the IL AG did),
---push bishops to post accused clerics’ names (like the IL AG did),
---sit down with experts who are knowledgeable about the abuse crisis and
---work harder to bring victims, witnesses and whistleblowers forward, using his bully pulpit and public service announcements.

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, they will also:
--disclose that a notorious predator priest, who molested in St. Louis, is up for parole,
--beg his victims and their families to write authorities urging he be kept locked up, and
--urge St. Louis Catholic officials to tell their flock about the upcoming parole hearing

WHEN
Tuesday, March 26 at 1:45 p.m

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the AG’s office/Wainwright Bldg. in St. Louis at 111 N. 7th St.


Case of Ex-Priest Convicted of Altar Boy Abuse Back in Court

BOSTON (MA)
NBC 10 News

March 26, 2019

The case of a former Massachusetts priest who was convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy in Maine years ago is due to return to court later this week.

Ronald Paquin was found guilty of 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct in November and has been awaiting sentencing. The case is expected in York County Superior Court in Alfred on Friday.

Paquin's sentencing was delayed when his attorney filed a motion requesting a mental health evaluation. A judge granted the request.

A pair of men who testified during Paquin's trial said they were altar boys when the priest invited them on trips in the 1980s and assaulted them repeatedly. Paquin also spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for sexually abusing an altar boy there.

Despite confession, Mississippi priest can't be prosecuted for molesting boy

JACKSON (MS)
Clarion Ledger

March 26, 2019

By Sarah Fowler

While on the lam in Peru, a former Mississippi priest confessed — in writing — to abusing a child in the 1970s. Despite the confession, the priest cannot be prosecuted for his crime by Mississippi authorities.

Last week, the Rev. Paul Madden was on the list released by the Catholic Diocese of Jackson of clergy "credibly accused" of sexual abuse. Madden was accused of molesting a boy in Ireland in 1973.

In a 2002 letter to the boy's mother, Madden admitted to the molestation. He also said that when he was confronted by the bishop in 1994 that he admitted his guilt privately at that time.

Madden began working in Peru in the 1980s and was indoctrinated there in 2004, two years after the Jackson Diocese suspended his faculties.

He is currently retired and living in Peru, according to the diocese. He could could not be reached for comment.

Father Paul Madden was on the list released by the Catholic diocese of Jackson of clergy "credibly accused" of sexual abuse. Madden was accused of molesting a boy in Ireland in 1973. He is currently retired and living in Peru, according to the diocese.
Father Paul Madden was on the list released by the Catholic diocese of Jackson of clergy "credibly accused" of sexual abuse. Madden was accused of molesting a boy in Ireland in 1973. He is currently retired and living in Peru, according to the diocese. (Photo: Jimmy ChalkGlobalPost)

Last week, the mother of the victim provided the Clarion Ledger with letters — some copies, some originals — between her and Madden. The letters begin in 1995 and end in 2002.

In the last letter, Madden admitted to his crime and asked for forgiveness.

"Since 1973 I have been plagued with remorse and guilt for my molestation of your son," he wrote. "There is no excuse for my actions and I assume responsibility for them as a humble penitent."

Since the abuse happened overseas, Mississippi has no jurisdiction, according to Margaret Ann Morgan, spokesperson with the Attorney General's office.

Archdiocese of Hartford to hold Mass of Reparation in Harwinton

HARTFORD (CT)
WTNH TV

March 26, 2019

There is an effort Tuesday to ease the hurt caused by sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

Bishop Eamon Casey raped his niece (5) and assaulted other children

NEW YORK (NY)
Irish Central

March 26, 2019

Bishop Eamon Casey, whose 1970s affair with a young American woman produced a child and was the first major shockwave for the Irish Catholic Church, also abused three young girls, including his niece at the age of five it has been revealed.

His niece, Patricia Donovan, told the Irish Daily Mail that she was raped by Casey when she was just five years old and assaulted sexually for years by the Bishop.

Donovan, now 56, said, “It was rape, everything you imagine. It was the worst kind of abuse, it was horrific.

“I stopped being able long ago to find any words in the English language to describe what happened to me. It was one horrific thing after another.”

Donovan was one of three women who made allegations that they were abused as children and in two of the cases financial settlements were made. Casey admitted he had molested one of the girls when he was based in Britain.

he Irish Times reports that "In one of the cases, Bishop Casey, who died in March 2017 aged 89, admitted the abuse when he was serving as a priest up to 2005 in the south England diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Speaking then to the English diocese’s child protection officer Fr Kieran O’Brien, according to a diocesan document, Bishop Casey said “that there was another historical case dealt with by his solicitors in Dublin."

Former Our Lady of the Ridge Altar Boy Recalls 'Predator Priest'

CHICAGO (IL)
Patch

March 26, 2019

By Lorraine Swanson

As a boy growing up in Worth and attending Our Lady of the Ridge School, Robert Mergenthaler always felt there was something off about the parish priest Fr. Norbert Maday. He was overly friendly to the children, especially the boys, but he could just as quickly turn mean.

"Maday was weird. The other priests in the parish were stern, but they never tried to intimidate us," said Mergenthaler, now 47. "Around adults he would turn on the charm, but around us kids, he'd get mean."

Maday's name appears in the Anderson Report, a list containing the names of roughly 400 Illinois priests released last week by lawyers representing victims of sexual abuse by priests. Maday was ordained to the priesthood in 1964 when he was 26. Between 1964 and 1994, Maday was assigned to St. John of God and St. Leo in Chicago; St Louis de Montfort in Oak Lawn; Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge; and St. Jude the Apostle in South Holland. Maday also served stints in Catholic Scouting and the Archdiocese Council on Youth.

Catholic Diocese of Erie reaches settlement

ERIE (PA)
WJET TV

March 25, 2019

By Pat Hritz

There was a settlement by the Catholic Diocese of Erie in a sexual abuse allegation against former priest David Poulson.

The Diocese reaching a two million dollar settlement with a person listed only as "John Doe".

The allegations go back as far as when the former priest, and convicted pedophile, was assigned at Saint Michael's in Fryburg, and Saint Anthony of Padua in Cambridge Springs, between the years of 2002 and 2010.

The victim was a minor child at the time of the abuse.

All of this is according to a press release from Robert Hoatson, Co-Founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Catholic Diocese of Erie reaches settlement

ERIE (PA)
WJET TV

March 25, 2019

By Pat Hritz

There was a settlement by the Catholic Diocese of Erie in a sexual abuse allegation against former priest David Poulson.

The Diocese reaching a two million dollar settlement with a person listed only as "John Doe".

The allegations go back as far as when the former priest, and convicted pedophile, was assigned at Saint Michael's in Fryburg, and Saint Anthony of Padua in Cambridge Springs, between the years of 2002 and 2010.

The victim was a minor child at the time of the abuse.

All of this is according to a press release from Robert Hoatson, Co-Founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Cardinal Ezzati leaves Santiago with 'head held high'

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Catholic News Agency

March 25, 2019

Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, whose resignation as Archbishop of Santiago was accepted Saturday, said he is leaving office “very grateful” and with his “head held high” regarding the way the archdiocese dealt with cases of sexual abuse and cover-up.

Ezzati, 77, has faced accusations that he was involved in covering up the crimes of several abusive priests. His resignation was accepted March 23.

The current crisis of the Church in Chile is a consequence of the uncovering of a great number of cases of sexual abuse and the abuse of authority and conscience as well as cover-up by members of the clergy.

In that context Ezzati is facing the civil justice system, accused of allegedly covering up sexual abuse by the former chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Fr. Oscar Muñoz Toledo.

At a press conference Ezzati said that the crisis in the Church in Chile “without a doubt has been the greatest sorrow of this time.”

But he stated that “every complaint has been addressed and consequently we will have to wait for what the justice system will say about this. It's not enough for them to say that someone has covered up, it has to be proven, and I hold my head high, confident that that will not be shown."

He also said that the archdiocese has cooperated with the civil justice system, “has had open doors,” and “the prosecutor has requisitioned the documents he has wanted” in the different raids carried out in the context of the investigations.

Regarding the accusations against him, the cardinal explained that “all the complaints that have come to the OPADE (Pastoral Office for Complaints) have been investigated or are being investigated.”

West Virginia AG using consumer protection law in suit against diocese

DENVER (CO)
Crux

March 26, 2019

By Christopher White

Following last week’s lawsuit from West Virginia against the state’s only Catholic diocese and its former bishop for allegedly covering up for abusive priests, the state’s attorney general is calling on witnesses to come forward with any relevant information on the diocese.

Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, himself a Catholic, brought a lawsuit under the grounds of the Consumer Credit and Protection Act and alleges that the diocese and former bishop failed to meet or enforce the standards in which it advertised and claimed to operate safe environments for minors, and now he is soliciting further witnesses as the case makes its way through the circuit court of Wood County.

“A lot of times in instances like this it is the people who step forward who will provide us with additional details,” Morrisey told The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, in an interview over the weekend. “They are the ones who can make the real difference.”

“We want the folks to step up. We believe there are more that haven’t stepped forward yet,” he said. “We are trying to identify more victims and more witnesses.”

Bishop Michael Bransfield retired as bishop of the diocese in 2018, a post he held since 2005, and at the time the Holy See named Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore both to serve as interim administrator of the diocese and to conduct an investigation into Bransfield’s handling of abuse and financial misconduct.

Earlier this month, Lori announced that he, along with a team of 5 lay experts, had completed his investigation and sent the report to Rome for review, although its findings have not been made public.

Morrisey is now calling on that report to be made public, saying that there has been a lack of transparency from the diocese in its refusal to release certain requested records.

Priest accused of rape released pending trial

ALBUQERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

March 25th, 2019

By Katy Barnitz

A former priest facing child sex abuse accusations will await his trial out of custody, an Albuquerque judge ruled Monday.

Sabine Griego, 81, is accused of repeatedly raping a young altar server over a period of about two years beginning in the late 1980s, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

That altar server is now in her late 30s, and Griego’s defense attorney argued at a detention hearing Monday that her “ability to be truthful and honest is significantly in question.” He pointed out that she has been convicted of identity theft and health care fraud, and that treatment notes said she exhibited lying behavior, and enjoyed being outrageous and shocking.

Prosecutors say Griego violently raped the girl multiple times, beginning when she was a second-grade student at Queen of Heaven Catholic School.

Judge Charles Brown said the state offered no evidence that Griego had harmed anyone in the 27 years since the alleged abuse took place, and there was no sign that he is presently a danger.

What lessons can the clergy sex abuse crisis draw from a 4th-century church schism?

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

March 25, 2019

By Cavan 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.

Such scandals have led to widespread doubts about church officials and institutions. And this is not for the first time. As a scholar of early Christianity, I know that in the fourth century, Christian churches in North Africa faced a similar crisis of trust in their leaders.

Known as the Donatist controversy, it caused a schism that lasted for centuries and offers a parallel for thinking about the impact of these crises on contemporary Christian communities today.

The Church under pressure: Reform or counter-reform?

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCrois International

March 26, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

Bishop Charles Morerod, who is recognized as one the leading intellectuals among the Catholic hierarchy of Europe, recently told La Croix "the Church reforms itself under the influence of seemingly adverse forces."

The 57-year-old Swiss Dominican, head of the Diocese of Lausanne-Genève-Fribourg since 2011, was referring to the sexual abuse crisis and how it is putting pressure for change on the Catholic Church. Mounting pressure is a key factor to consider in the debates within the Church about the institutional reforms that are needed to address how bishops have failed in handling sex abuse cases.

But this pressure on the institutional Church is undeniably different today from that of the past. First, there is pressure from internal debate (within the Church), as well as from external forces (the media, society and culture, the state and the judiciary). This pressure is more visible and public than in the past. And it is also something much more difficult for the institutional Church to control, not by coercive measures, but in the sense of controlling the narrative.

Bishop Daly distances Spokane Diocese from group trying to dig up dirt on Cardinal Cupich

SPOKANE (WA)
The Inlander

March 25, 2019

By Daniel Walters

Bishop Thomas Daly may be conservative, but he isn't a fan of the right-wing group trying to take down his predecessor.

Even if you didn't read our cover story on the division within the Catholic Church earlier this month, you may have seen the advertisements that Stephen Brady, of the Roman Catholic Faithful, has run in the Inlander.

Brady has been going to the former dioceses that Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, formerly led. He's already been to Rapid City. He is coming to Spokane, where Cupich served as Bishop until 2014, this Saturday.

By design, the Inlander's advertising department is separated from the newsroom. Reporters don't get a say in which ads run.

In reporting our story on the Catholic Church, however, we did interview Brady, who is part of a far-right contingent trying to use the sex abuse scandal to unseat Cupich, who they believe is far too liberal.

Tellingly, Brady's advertisement doesn't mention anything about Cupich's handling of the sex abuse crisis, instead focusing on Cupich's alleged heresies, including locking Rapid City Latin-mass participants out of an Easter church service, expressing openness to gays and remarried Catholics getting Communion, and removing a priest who burned a rainbow flag from his parish.

Pope wants psych tests for incoming priests

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
ABC 4 News

March 25, 2019

By Andrew Reeser

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City said priests who serve in Utah generally have undergone thorough psychological evaluations before they begin their ministries; meanwhile, Pope Francis is calling on all Dioceses to implement the practice of having incoming seminarians undergo the same process.

The papal call comes as the Catholic Church deals with widespread allegations of sex abuse among priests. In the United States, this practice of psychological evaluations for incoming priests is already common.

But Judy Larson, a volunteer board member for the Utah chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said she fears these psychological evaluations are not doing enough to keep predators out of the priesthood.

More victims come forward with accusations of abuse by former Indiana priest

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Fox 59 TV

March 25, 2019

By Randy Spieth

Two new victims have come forward claiming they were sexually abused by Father James Grear. They said it happened while he was an English teacher and the dean of students at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.

The lawsuits, filed in Marion County, claim two adult men were sexually assaulted in 1974 and 1975 while they were between the ages of 12 and 13.

The two claim Grear would buy them gifts and took them on trips. He also took them to his apartment where sexual contact took place.

Brebeuf's president has issued a letter to families in the school's community. He said both USA Midwest Jesuit Province and the school have not been notified of any allegation against Grear while he was an employee. The president added the school has a zero-tolerance policy on the issue and even gave contact information to anyone who suspected their loved ones were abused.

The school was not named in the lawsuit, but The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Grear were all named as defendants.

The two accusers said the diocese knew about Grear and moved him to the church in Carmel to help cover it up.

Pope Francis picks replacement for Chile's top cardinal dismissed over sex abuse cover-up

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

March 26, 2019

By Miranda Aldersley

Pope Francis's pick to replace Chile's top cardinal - dismissed over allegations of covering up cases of clerical sexual abuse - has already been forced to deny that he himself had covered up the crimes of predatory priests.

The Pope appointed Spanish bishop Celestino Aos on Saturday to replace Chile's top prelate Ricardo Ezzati, but just two days later Aos was forced to deny allegations from two sex abuse victims that he covered up for their abuser.

The case now appears to cast doubt on the 82-year-old Pope's judgement.

One of the victims, former seminarian Mauricio Pulgar, publicly slammed Aos' appointment on Monday, saying he had dismissed his complaints in 2012.

APNewsBreak: Founder, board of Vatican women’s magazine quit

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

March 26, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

The founder and all-female editorial board of the Vatican’s women’s magazine have quit after what they say was a Vatican campaign to discredit them and put them “under the direct control of men,” that only increased after they denounced the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy.

The editorial committee of “Women Church World,” a monthly glossy published alongside the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, made the announcement in the planned April 1 editorial and in an open letter to Pope Francis that was provided Tuesday to The Associated Press.

“We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization,” founder Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in the editorial, which went to the printers last week but hasn’t been published.

Scaraffia told the AP that the decision was taken after the new editor of L’Osservatore, Andrea Monda, told her earlier this year he would take over as editor. She said he reconsidered after the editorial board threatened to resign and the Catholic weeklies that distribute translations of “Women Church World” in France, Spain and Latin America, told her they would stop distributing.

“After the attempts to put us under control, came the indirect attempts to delegitimize us,” she said, citing other women brought in to write for L’Osservatore “with an editorial line opposed to ours.”

The effect, she said, was to “obscure our words, delegitimizing us as a part of the Holy See’s communications.”

There was no immediate comment Tuesday from the Vatican.

Scaraffia launched the monthly insert in 2012 and oversaw its growth into a stand-alone Vatican magazine as a voice for women, by women and about issues of interest to the entire Catholic Church. “Women Church World” had enjoyed editorial independence from L’Osservatore, even while being published under its auspices.

In the final editorial, the editorial board said the “conditions no longer exist” to continue working with L’Osservatore, citing its initiatives with other women contributors.

March 25, 2019

Suspended priest's second sex abuse case to begin Tuesday

SAGINAW (MI)
WJRT TV

March 25, 2019

By Rebecca Trylch

The suspended Catholic priest who was recently acquitted of sexual assault charges involving two teenagers will face a new jury in a separate trial.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning in the second of three trials for suspended priest Robert DeLand.

The second case involves one of the two teenagers who testified against him last week.

In that case DeLand took the stand to deny any wrongdoing.

"No, I would not do that. I would never do that. I spent my life working with young people, and I would never do that," DeLand told the jury on Tuesday while on trial for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old at Freeland High School.

Victims group wants 2 more clergy added to Columbus diocese’s sex-abuse list

COLUMBUS (OH)
Columbus Dispatch

March 25, 2019

By Danae King

An advocacy group for survivors says two more names should be added to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus’ list of “credibly accused” clergy.

Judy Jones, Midwest regional director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said Monday that two Paulist Fathers who served in Columbus are on the religious order’s list but not the Columbus Diocese’s list, released on March 1. The diocese list includes 36 clergy members, including some who served in the Columbus diocese but were accused while serving elsewhere. Paulist Fathers are priests who are members of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle.

Last week, SNAP identified seven other clergy members who the group says should have been included on the Columbus list.

The two additional priests identified by SNAP — which it says brings the diocese’s omissions to nine — are:

• Stephan Leslie Johnson, who was ordained May 1981 and left the Paulist Fathers in July 1996. He served in the Columbus Diocese at the St. Thomas More Newman Center from 1991 to 1995, according to the Paulist Fathers’ list.

• Francis Michael Sweeney, who was ordained May 1961 and died in August 2013. He served in the Columbus Diocese at the St. Thomas More Newman Center from 1971 to 1972, according to the Paulist Fathers’ list.

“They need to be included on the diocese list because they could have sexually abused in Columbus while they were there,” SNAP’s Jones in an email.

Michigan Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Crisis

LAANSING (MI)
Legal Examiner blog

March 25, 2019

By Mick S. Grewal Sr.

Sexual assault attorney Mick Grewal discusses sexual abuse in Michigan Catholic churches and what Michigan officials are doing about it.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the global crisis of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. This crisis is now in our back yard. Archbishop John Nienstedt – listed as one of the Catholic Church’s top 5 offenders in the world who most deserves to be expelled from priesthood – is now living in Michigan after being forced to leave the archdiocese he ran in Minnesota. Nienstedt had to resign after the church he ran became bankrupt due to a legal settlement it had to pay because of its cover-up of sexual predator priests.

There are numerous allegations against Nienstedt that include sexually assaulting young boys and covering up suspected clergy sexual abuse. The reason watchdog group Bishop Accountability wants Nienstedt removed is because he has a long history of protecting priests who are sexual predators.

Here in Michigan, Nienstedt was appointed pastor in White Lake Township in the 1980s, and in 1988, he became rector at Sacred Heart. During his time there, he covered up a subculture of sexual abuse, and in the early 1990s, half the seminarians wrote the archdiocese a letter, asking that Nienstedt be removed. It was agreed that Nienstedt would take a sabbatical, but he was allowed to continue his clergy duties and was appointed pastor at Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak. Nienstedt was then made an auxiliary bishop (1996), and for 5 years, he served as director of the archdiocese’s “medical moral committee.” During the mid-1990s – 2000, Nienstedt carried the title of “assistant professor of moral theology” at Sacred Heart.

In 2001, Nienstedt was suddenly transferred to Minnesota to run a diocese, and in 2007, he was assigned to direct the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis – and this is where his most notorious role in a child sexual abuse scandal occurred. Anne Doyle of Bishop Accountability stated that here, Nienstedt “covered up for egregious offenders.” Furthermore, as a director of the archdiocese, Nienstedt was involved in making special cash payments to perpetrator priests, according to a Minnesota public radio investigation. When one of his priests was charged with molesting numerous children, Nienstedt asked the judge to dismiss the charges due to statute of limitations problems, and he also asked the judge to have the alleged victim pay $64,000.00 in legal costs.

It was 2015 when Nienstedt was forced to leave his Minnesota post with the archdiocese because he had played a large role in covering up clergy sexual abuse, and because the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy. In addition, Nienstedt has been banned from exercising public ministry in Minnesota until allegations surrounding him are resolved.

Bishop Eamonn Casey accused of sexually abusing three women as children

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

March 25, 2019

By Patsy McGarry

Three woman made allegations that they were sexually abused as children by former Bishop of Galway the late Eamonn Casey and two have received compensation as a result.

In one of the cases, Bishop Casey, who died in March 2017 aged 89, admitted the abuse when he was serving as a priest up to 2005 in the south England diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Speaking then to the English diocese’s child protection officer Fr Kieran O’Brien, according to a diocesan document, Bishop Casey said “that there was another historical case dealt with by his solicitors in Dublin.

“Name of alleged victim was (redacted). She made a claim through the Residential Institutions Redress Board and was awarded compensation,” according to a diocesan document.

Bishop Casey made the admission in the context of another allegation of child abuse made against him by his niece Patricia Donovan a short time beforehand in November 2005.

Catholic Cardinals Starting to Feel the Heat

PINELLAS PARK (FL)
Legal Examiner blog

March 25, 2019

By Joseph H. Saunders

In the wake of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin’s conviction for failing to report a known pedophile priest to police, the princes of the Catholic Church are under increasing scrutiny. Cardinal George Pell of Australia and the Vatican’s chief financial officer has been found guilty on charges that he molested children decades ago. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been kicked out of the priesthood.

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.

This isn’t the first time we’ve read stories about the misbehaviors of cardinals, especially concerning the child sex abuse scandal. We know Philadelphia Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua were unscathed by the Philadelphia Grand Jury Reports. Krol had been dead for decades when the Philly Grand Jury Reports were published and Bevilacqua was too ill to testify.

Cardinals are under increasing scrutiny concerning how they administered their archdioceses and how they handled allegations of priest abuse in their parishes. Some cardinals are under criminal investigation. The current and former archbishops of Santiago are under investigation by Chilean prosecutors for allegedly covering up for abusive priests.

Errazuriz, who retired as Santiago archbishop in 2010, was recently forced to resign from Francis’ kitchen cabinet after the depth of his cover-up was exposed last year.

Fixing the National Redress Scheme

AUSTRALIA
The Saturday Paper

March 23, 2019

By Judy Courtin

Although I have worked with victims of institutional abuse and their families for more than 12 years, initially through my doctoral research into sexual assault and the Catholic Church and more recently as a lawyer, I could never have imagined the fall of George Pell. He was always untouchable – as archbishop, as the architect of the Melbourne Response, then as a cardinal. That is, he was Australia’s most powerful Catholic, perhaps ever.

The toppling of a senior Catholic cardinal for child sexual assault no doubt deserves media attention. But we cannot let the news itself suck the oxygen from other critical issues facing survivors. Namely, the uphill battle they continue to face in seeking fair redress for the abuses perpetrated against them.

Of course, these lion-hearted victims and their families have fought and won before. Without them, we would not have had the Victorian parliamentary inquiry and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, from which vital legal and other reforms have flowed.

There are two pivotal issues that must be urgently addressed. First, the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional abuse, which was established in July 2018. It is reprehensible and must be changed.

Parsing Priest Sex Abuse and Offending Abuse Survivors

PINELLAS PARK (FL)
Legal Examiner blog

March 25, 2019

By Joseph H. Saunders

Cardinal George Pell’s lawyer made the unsuccessful and outrageous argument that one of Pell’s offenses was “plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating.”

Lawyer Robert Richter made the claim while pushing for a lower sentence in a Melbourne court on Wednesday morning, asserting that the 77-year-old former Vatican treasurer had “no aggravating circumstances” and was likely “seized by some irresistible impulse.”

The sexual penetration of any minor is an aggravating circumstance and the irresistible impulse is criminal.

Each of the five offences of which Pell was found guilty carries a maximum 10 years imprisonment, and the judge outlined they were serious charges.

“This offending warrants immediate imprisonment,” prosecutor Mark Gibson told a packed courtroom, which was crowded to overflowing with journalists, lawyers and members of the public. “It involved two vulnerable boys.”

Two victim impact statements were tendered in the hearing; one from the victim who testified in Pell’s trial and one from the father of the other victim who died in 2014, but they were not made public.

He ‘would be honored’ to be her first kiss. How coach ‘groomed’ his player for sex

SACRAMENTIO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

March 23, 2018

By Cynthia Hubert

She was a Catholic high school girl who had yet to have her first kiss.

When her softball coach began texting her late at night, showering her with compliments and telling her she was special, it was easy for Bailey Boone to forget that he was 54 years old and she was just 16.

“I thought we had a great love and the age didn’t matter, and no one could possibly understand,” Boone, now 21, said of the man she knew as Coach Mike.

In reality, Michael Martis was “grooming” her to become his sexual partner, according to a lawsuit Boone has filed against St. Francis Catholic High School and the Sacramento Catholic Diocese. The school and diocese, the lawsuit alleges, should have known that Martis was a predator, and failed to take steps to protect Boone and other students when he was a softball coach from 2010 through 2014.

St. Francis president Theresa Rodgers said Martis passed a background check and that his behavior raised no “red flags” among administrators, teachers or coaches. Martis was a trusted member of the community and did business with Boone’s mother. He had keys to St. Francis’ sports facilities and was allowed to communicate with students privately, give one-on-one lessons and drive students in his car to games away from the school’s East Sacramento campus.

Montreal priest who sexually abused boys gets 8 years in prison

ONTARIO (CANADA)
CBC News

March 25, 2019

By Steve Rukavina

A Montreal priest who sexually abused two boys has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Quebec court Judge Patricia Compagnone handed down the sentence to Brian Boucher Monday, based on a joint recommendation from the Crown and the defence.

Boucher was handcuffed in the courtroom and led away by a constable.

He pleaded guilty to abusing one of the boys in January, just a few weeks after he was found guilty of abusing the other one.

Boucher has worked at 10 churches in Montreal over the last two decades.

He was found guilty of taking the first victim to motels and sexually assaulting him while Boucher worked as a priest in LaSalle in the 1990s.

The victim was just 11 when the abuse began. It continued for two years.

He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting the second victim in the rectory of a church he worked at in the town of Mount Royal starting in 2008.

The End of an Era?

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

March 25, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

The relationship between papal power in the church and the political power of the state has been defined for centuries by diplomacy, foreign policy, revolutions, and parliaments. Now, because of the sexual-abuse crisis, it is being redefined by the criminal-justice system of the secular state.

The convictions of Cardinal George Pell by an Australian tribunal for crimes of sexual abuse against minors, and of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin by a French tribunal for failing to report an abusive priest, together mark a new chapter in the relations between church and state. Imagine there were to be a conclave in the near future. It could be the first conclave in modern history where at least one of the voting members of the College of Cardinals was unable to vote because he was behind bars (Barbarin remains free during the appeal process). The nearest precedent is the case of Cardinal József Mindszenty of Hungary, which was quite different: Mindszenty was unable to attend the conclaves of 1958 and 1963 because he had taken refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. Mindszenty had been arrested by the Hungarian Communist regime for political reasons, not common crimes. Other examples come to mind: Napoleon taking Pope Pius VII prisoner between 1809 and 1814; the archbishop of Cologne, Clemens August von Droste-Vischering, arrested by the Prussian government in 1837; the many bishops who spent years or decades in the prisons of Communist regimes, for example in Ukraine, China, and Vietnam. All these cases were obviously very different from those of Cardinals Pell and Barbarin, whatever one thinks of the verdicts against them.

With the moral standing of the Vatican deeply damaged, we may see the reopening of what was once called the “Roman question.”

These two cases have great symbolic significance in a church where symbols matter. The prospect of a cardinal missing a conclave because he’s been incarcerated for sexual abuse, or for covering up such abuse, is a fitting symbol of the way a whole system for protection of the institutional Catholic Church—a system built on status, immunities, and privileges—is falling away before our very eyes. What gives this symbol extra force is the prominence of both Pell and Barbarin. Pell is a high-profile representative of a particular Catholic culture in the English-speaking world that wants to rebuild a more assertive church that can stand up to secularism. Barbarin is archbishop of Lyon, home of the Jesuit college of Fourvière, one of the symbols of modern French Catholicism. One of the most important Jesuit theologians ever, Henri de Lubac, studied and taught at Fourvière.

These two legal cases (and the others that are likely to come) raise an important issue for the church concerning its ad extra relations. The clash between the Catholic Church and the revolutions of the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries reached a provisional settlement that lasted from around the time of Vatican I until quite recently. The shape of this settlement was determined by a long series of political-theological events. The first of these was the declaration of papal primacy at the Vatican Council in 1870, along with the rise of a “liberal ultramontanism” that accepted the distinction between the theological and political spheres, respected the sovereignty of the state, and aimed at the creation of an independent spiritual power in the papacy with its own territorial sovereignty. This was followed by the solution of the “Roman question” with the creation of the Vatican City State in 1929; the age of concordats in the twentieth century; the acceptance of democracy and the constitutional state at Vatican II; and the embrace by the post–Vatican II church of the fight against dictatorships in favor of human rights and freedom. The heart of this Vatican I–Vatican II dispensation was the assumption that in the future, there would be a tight, friendly, and collaborative relationship between church and state, each of which would respect the other’s sovereignty.

Montana diocese: Accusation against York Catholic priest not credible

YORK COUNTY (PA)
York Dispatch

March 25, 2019

By Christopher Dornblaser

The child sexual abuse allegation against a former York Catholic teacher and York County priest was deemed not credible, according to a Montana diocesan official.

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings Chancellor Darren Eultgen told The York Dispatch in February that there was an independent investigation into the allegations against Rev. William Cawley.

Cawley was a York Catholic teacher, and he served at St. Joseph’s Parish in Springettsbury Township from 1988 to 1991 and again from 1993 until 2004.

Eultgen said Cawley was listed in a set of lawsuits against the diocese that allege multiple cases of abuse by dozens of clergy members.

“He had one accusation against him, and that was investigated by an independent investigator, and they did not find anything particularly credible in that," he said.

Eultgen said Cawley is still with the diocese, but is not in active ministry at any parish. He said Cawley retired within the past five years.

The chancellor said the diocese offered to have the allegations independently investigated, and Cawley agreed to it.

The lawsuit, obtained by The York Dispatch on Friday, March 15, alleged Cawley and another priest physically, sexually, and emotionally abused a boy at the St. Pius X and Holy Rosary schools in Billings, Montana, from 1977 through 1982.

In August, York Catholic said the Diocese of Harrisburg received a report of the lawsuit in 2012, when it was filed, and that Cawley left the diocese that year as a result of the allegations.

Talking Heads in the Catholic Church

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

March 23, 2019

By Paul Collins

Two months from now Australia's Catholic bishops will make their quinquennial visit to Rome reporting on the state of the church. During this visit ad limina apostolorum ('to the threshold of the apostles Peter and Paul') bishops meet the pope and officials of the Vatican to discuss issues facing their local Catholic community.

Originating as pilgrimages to Rome, these five-yearly visits became obligatory during the over-centralization of the church in the nineteenth century. What follows is what the Australian bishops ought to tell Pope Francis and what he ought to tell them.

The bishops should begin by confessing that they are deeply divided among themselves, as revealed in the evenly split vote for bishops' conference president in May 2018 between Brisbane's Mark Coleridge and Sydney's Anthony Fisher, with Coleridge winning simply on seniority.

Essentially there are three groups in the conference: there is a sizeable minority who follow the uncompromising, Cardinal Pell, boots-and-all style of Catholicism, now led by Fisher. The majority are essentially 'neutral'.

Morrisey explains reasoning behind consumer protection suit against Wheeling-Charleston diocese

MORGANTOWN (WV)
WAJR Radio

March 24, 2019

By Aalex Wiederspiel

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the civil suit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, filed in the wake of a child sexual abuse scandal, is narrowly focused on consumer protection violations.

“When you’re offering up an item or a service and you are paying tuition for it, people expect that the promises that are getting made will actually get delivered,” Morrisey said on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town” with Dave Wilson and Sarah Giosi. “Our complaint pointed out for a very prolonged period of time — really going back many decades — that the services that were in fact offered weren’t delivered.”

“The students were effectively promised a safe environment,” he continued, “but when you knowingly employ pedophiles and fail to undertake background checks and you’re not being transparent, then that ultimately puts you in jeopardy of our consumer protection laws.”

The Dallas Charter of 2002 was meant to offer reforms and protection following the lengthy investigation into Boston-area sex abuse scandals by The Boston Globe. Morrisey claims the actions of the Diocese in response to reports of sexual abuse by priests and other Diocese employees represents a consumer protection violation — and a failure to uphold those reforms.

“In spite of the new practices that the church announced back in the early 2000’s, they didn’t follow through on those and that’s obviously a real concern,” he said.

Morrisey said the Diocese’s goals should be in line with his office’s — increased transparency, more effective and efficient background checks for teachers and employees, and equal treatment of all allegations against priests and bishops alike.

“If the church were to step forward and agree with the goals that we have, then obviously the sooner that happens the quicker we can bring a lot of this to an end,” Morrisey said.

Priests who had southwest suburban assignments named in new abuse allegations report

ORLAND PARK (IL)
The Frankfort Station

March 25, 2019

By Bill Jones

A report released by a Minnesota-based attorney who advocates for sexual abuse victims names 395 alleged abusers and others with accusations of misconduct who have served, past and present, in the Catholic Church in Illinois.

The 185-page report includes all six Illinois diocese, and publishes background information, photographs and assignment histories of Catholic clergy and laypersons accused of sexual misconduct. Among those named in the report were priests who over the years have had assignments in 22nd Century Media’s southwest suburban coverage area.

Some of the allegations previously have been reported by 22nd Century Media and other publications in some cases predating this company. Some of the allegations also have been publicly reported by various dioceses or archdioceses. In the cases with ties to the area included in the text following, assignments to towns 22nd Century Media coverage are noted, but many of the priests were assigned to other parishes, as well. More information is available in the full report at andersonadvocates.com.

In the wake of the report, both the Archdiocese of Chicago and Diocese of Joliet issued statements. The Archdiocese said it reports all allegations it receives to civil authorities and does not “police itself.”

“If the Archdiocese of Chicago receives an allegation that a religious priest has engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor, the archdiocese reports it to the civil authorities, publicly withdraws the priest’s faculties to work in the archdiocese, and refers the matter to his religious superior,” according to the statement.

The Archdiocese statement also took issue with how the report “conflates people who have been accused, but may be innocent, with those who have substantiated allegations against them,” and offers several examples, some of which have been noted in the text that follows. It also notes the differences that pertain to religious order priests.

The Diocese of Joliet similarly noted it reports “all allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement” and in cases that involve victims who are still minors DCFS. It said all allegations in the report previously were reported by the Diocese to authorities and has posted a list on its website since 2006.

“All credibly accused priests have been removed from ministry,” according to the Diocese statement.

The statement further noted the Anderson Report includes allegations that were “unsubstantiated or deemed not credible by the Diocese of Joliet Review Board, or the claim did not involve child abuse.” It also notes some priests were of visiting status, and in such cases or those involving allegations against members of a religious order the diocese has revoked their authority to minister in the Diocese of Joliet.

“The Diocese of Joliet continues to express its genuine regret and profound sympathy to any victims and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Joliet and elsewhere,” the statement added. “We are committed to promoting the healing and reconciliation of survivors, and the protection of our children today.”

Schoolyard bullies in the sacristy

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

March 25, 2019

By Father William Grimm

Half a century ago, the bishops' conference of the United States commissioned an interdisciplinary study of the priesthood in that country.

Key parts of it were led by two priests who at the time were celebrities in the Catholic community, Andrew Greeley the sociologist and Eugene Kennedy the psychologist. (Disclosure: as a seminarian I was office assistant to Kennedy in the early stages of the study.)

The results of their work, especially the psychological part, showed a large majority of American priests to be dissatisfied as well as emotionally underdeveloped and therefore unable to develop healthy relationships. Their training and insertion into the clerical culture, which in many cases started as young as age 13, froze them into a perpetual adolescence.

Salta está a la cabeza de la persecución penal contra sacerdotes abusadores

[Salta leads criminal prosecution against abusive priests]

ARGENTINA
Informatesalta

March 25, 2019

Aunque todavía no cosechó ninguna condena, en los últimos meses y de la mano de los fiscales de la Unidad de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual, Salta se convirtió en la provincia más peligrosa para los curas abusadores en todo el país, pues la mayoría de ellos no pudo evitar la cárcel.

Mientras la lista de sacerdotes de la Iglesia Católica denunciados por abuso sexual en Argentina crece, pues el número de 62 acusados, en el año 2017, aumentó a 66 al año siguiente, la mayoría de los procesos penales tienden a estancarse, ya sea por la inacción de la misma justicia o las maniobras dilatorias de las defensas.

Los abusos sexuales a alumnos de los Maristas llegan a juicio

[The trial of Marist sexual abuse case begins]

BARCELONA (SPAIN)
El País

March 25, 2019

By Jesús García

El profesor Joaquín Benítez afronta 22 años de cárcel por tocamientos a cuatro niños

El caso del profesor de gimnasia Joaquín Benítez, que destapó una oleada de denuncias por abusos sexuales en la escuela Maristas, llega a juicio. La Audiencia de Barcelona sienta desde este lunes en el banquillo a Benítez, pederasta confeso que afronta una petición de 22 años de cárcel por abusar de cuatro niños en los Maristas de Sants. La Fiscalía y la defensa están tratando de cerrar un acuerdo que evite el juicio: a cambio de reconocer los hechos, Benítez obtendría una rebaja de la pena de prisión.

La violenta reacción de un diácono en contra de una mujer que levantó pancarta durante primera misa de Celestino Aós

[Church apologizes for deacon's violent reaction to a woman holding a banner at Celestino Aós' first mass]

CHILE
El Mostrador

March 24, 2019

Al término de la ceremonia, el religioso golpeó el cartel que levantaba la mujer que protestaba de manera pacífica con el mensaje "exigimos pastores, no patrones de fundo".

No le gustó para nada. Una violenta reacción tuvo un diácono en contra de una mujer que se manifestaba pacificamente en la Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago, obligando al religioso a pedir disculpas en nombre de la Iglesia de Santiago. Esto durante la misa donde el obispo Celestino Aós asumió como administrador apostólico de la arquidiócesis de la capital.

Celestino Aós en su primera misa en Santiago: "Abusos en la Iglesia son intolerables, necesitamos reformas"

[Celestino Aós at his first Mass in Santiago: "Abuses in the Church are intolerable, we need reforms"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE
Emol

March 24, 2019

By Juan Undurraga

Además, el nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago aseguró que "tenemos que reconocer que no siempre hicimos las cosas bien y queremos hacerlas mejor".

Durante esta tarde, en una misa realizada en la Catedral Metropolitana, el ex obispo de Copiapó, Celestino Aós, asumió como el nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago, tras la renuncia de Ricardo Ezzati. Instancia en la que el español aprovechó de fijar su postura sobre los casos de abuso que se han denunciado al interior de la Iglesia. "De un modo especial, atenderemos y serviremos a los que sufren el atropello a su dignidad de persona, resultado de los abusos y delitos absolutamente injustificables y absolutamente intolerables por parte de clérigos", señaló Aós.

Ezzati pide perdón por sus "debilidades" y Aós asume como administrador apostólico en Santiago

[Ezzati apologizes for his "weaknesses" and Aós becomes apostolic administrator in Santiago]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 25, 2019

By Yerko Roa and Joaquín Aguilera

Ricardo Ezzati pidió disculpas por sus “debilidades” durante la misa de este domingo en la que monseñor Celestino Aós asumió como administrador apostólico de la Arquidiócesis de Santiago. “Pido perdón en mis debilidades y mis flaquezas, y estoy confiado en la misericordia”, manifestó Ezzati en la Catedral Metropolitana, en una liturgia en que el exobispo de Copiapó, Celestino Aós, asumió su nuevo cargo.

Popular Perth priest Father Joseph Tran takes own life after being confronted over child abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

March 22, 2019

By Gabrielle Knowles, Nick Butterly and Rourke Walsh

A Catholic priest under investigation for the sexual abuse of a young girl is suspected to have taken his own life after being confronted by the child’s mother.

Popular and well-known parish priest Father Joseph Tran, pictured, who worked as a chaplain at several Catholic Perth schools, was found dead by police on Thursday.

WA Police confirmed to The Weekend West that it was the same day police had launched an investigation into an allegation of child sexual abuse by a priest from a southern suburbs Catholic Church.

Defrocked N.J. priest convicted of molesting boys reportedly teaching children in Dominican Republic

NEW JERSEY
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

March 22, 2019

By Sophie Nieto-Munoz

A former New Jersey priest convicted of molesting two boys in 2004 and is now teaching children at a school in the resort town of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, according to a report.

Hadmels DeFrias, 47, is teaching English at the Colegio del Caribe in Punta Cana, according to NBC News. He told the reporter who tracked him down he is no longer a threat to minors, and “doesn’t see the children with those eyes anymore.”

Bishop says recovery from abuse scandals a ‘generational’ task

ANAHEIM (CA)
Crux

Mar 25, 2019

By Elise Harris and John L. Allen Jr.

In his debut at America’s largest annual Catholic gathering, one of the rising stars of the U.S. hierarchy warned that full recovery from the clerical abuse scandals, including a new style of leadership in the Church, will be a “generational” task.

“We’ll be at this for a while,” said Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who made a splash at last fall’s Synod of Bishops in Rome with his blunt, forceful language on the abuse crisis.

“We have become a society that sees everything in terms of power, as an authority or force over you, rather than a service in support of you, which is what the Lord defines authority and power,” Caggiano said in a March 22 interview with Crux.

“That’s going to be a generational amount of work to get to,” he said. “You’re going to need the few saints to lead the rest of us to figure out how to do it.”

Caggiano was speaking on the margins of the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, an annual gathering held at the Anaheim Convention Center that regularly attracts in excess of 30,000 youth, catechists, religion teachers and other leaders in the Church.

The Bridgeport prelate, who’s originally from Brooklyn, was on hand to deliver two talks on Friday, one to youth and another to catechists, before taking a red-eye flight back to his diocese on Saturday to preside over a confirmation ceremony.

In his conversation with Crux, Caggiano stressed the need not just for improved structures and procedures to combat clerical abuse, but also “spiritual conversion.”

Vatican summit must bring justice to sexually abused minors

ST. PAUL (MN)
Tommie Media

March 24, 2019

By Kayla Mayer

The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is a metaphorical Russian doll, as each investigation reveals more victims and corruption. In the midst of the report from Pennsylvania’s investigation and the defrocking of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, 190 bishops and clergy went to the Vatican for a summit.

The summit, which lasted four days and ended in late February, focused on sexual abuse of minors.

According to the Associated Press, summit organizer Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, who studied at the St. John Vianney Seminary at St. Thomas, said that while sexual abuse of adults needs attention, the summit had to focus on one purpose.

“Young people, minors don’t have a voice. They are kept in silence,” Cupich said. “This is about making sure their voice is heard.”

After years of covered-up abuse, it’s refreshing to see concrete efforts to end the misdeeds that hurt the victims and the universal church. Church leaders hold a lot of power; all laypeople, especially young people, should be able to trust the ones they confess their sins to, hear the Word of God from, and those from whom they seek spiritual guidance. Taking advantage of this trust is a betrayal.

When a priest celebrates Mass or hears confessions, he acts “in persona christi” — in the person of Christ. This duty is sacred, and church members expect their leaders to treat it with such importance.

The Vatican must acknowledge the suffering of the victims, bring justice to the abused, and ensure church members that this cycle of hurt and secrecy will never happen again.

Although ordained clergy act “in persona christi” during Mass and confession, they are not infallible in their daily lives. They sin, and the Vatican must recognize that they also commit crimes.

To not hold guilty clergy accountable for their actions continues the crime. Criminal authorities should be involved, and when a priest or bishop is found guilty, the church should act on its “zero-tolerance” policy and dismiss them.

Peru bishop wants excommunication for abuse scandals, not just defrocking

ANAHEIM (CA)
Crux

March 25, 2019

By Elise Harris

Bishop Kay Schmalhausen of Ayaviri, Peru believes current punishments for both the crime of clerical sexual abuse (usually expulsion from the clerical state) and the cover-up are ineffective, and suggested harsher penalties including excommunication.

As a former member of a group whose founder has been charged with abuses of conscience, power and sexuality, Schmalhausen told Crux that some key questions need to be asked.

“What has been done so far with the perpetrators of such crimes? How is the damage to the victims, along with the scandal caused to the faithful of the Church and in the eyes of the world, being repaired? Is there even a minimum of proportionality and justice in the measures implemented so far?” he asked.

“Clearly the answer today seems to be no. The result is the indignation of many Catholics and non-Catholics,” he said, adding that the Church needs to admit “that faced with these new problems uncovered inside the Church, our criminal law was not, nor is it currently, ready to act.”

Ordained a priest with the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV) in 1989, Schmalhausen was appointed bishop of Ayaviri in 2006. In 2015, abuses perpetrated by the SCV’s founder and other high-ranking members, including the sexual abuse of several minors, were made public with the publication of the bombshell book, Half Monks, Half Soldiers, by journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz.

Nearly 30 former North Shore clergy accused of sexual misconduct in new report

NORTHBROOK (IL)
Northbrook Tower

March 25, 2019

By Eric DeGrechie

Catholic clergy members from across Illinois, including Northbrook 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.

The former priests named with connections to Northbrook were: Rev. Robert Louis Kealy, Rev. Robert Joseph McDonald and Rev. Robert J. Lutz.

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

There were also priests from other North Shore communities in 22nd Century Media’s coverage area named including Highland Park, Lake Forest, Winnetka and Northfield.

In the wake of the release of the Anderson Report, the Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement.

It noted that the Archdiocese of Chicago does not “police itself” and reports all allegations to the civil authorities, “regardless of the date of the alleged abuse, whether the priest is a diocesan priest or religious order priest, and whether the priest is alive or dead.”

March 24, 2019

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Issues Call for Witnesses in Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

March 25, 2019

By Brett Dunlap

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is looking for witnesses and people who have information regarding sexual misconduct in the Catholic church in the state of West Virginia.

Morrisey was in Parkersburg on Sunday and spoke regarding his recently filed lawsuit against the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield over alleged sexual misconduct of clergy and employees with children within the Catholic church.

“We are working hard to identify as many witnesses as possible,” Morrisey said. “We are continuing to move to the next step.”

The civil suit alleges the diocese and Bransfield knowingly hired pedophiles and did not conduct background checks on employees for schools and camps operated by the diocese. The suit also accused the diocese of not disclosing these issues to parents purchasing the educational services, a violation of state consumer protection laws.

The attorney general’s office started its investigation of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese in September. Morrisey said the diocese has been forthcoming on some — but not all — things related to this matter.

Church officials have announced a preliminary investigation on Bransfield’s conduct while bishop was forwarded to the Vatican.

The findings included sexual harassment allegations and financial irregularities.

“We are still deeply troubled by the lack of transparency we’ve seen,” Morrisey said. “We are very hopeful they are going to step forward and be more transparent, provide us with the investigative report on Bishop Bransfield. They have yet to do that. If there is nothing to hide, then let the people know.”

The diocese has cooperated to some degree, but has resisted providing a number of additional documents and getting to the bottom of a number of things involving various people, he added.

“There are a lot of big unanswered questions that need to be addressed and we need to get to the bottom of it,” Morrisey said.

The attorney general is asking people to step forward, reach out to his office and provide information that can help with the investigations.

“A lot of times in instances like this it is the people who step forward who will provide us with additional details,” Morrisey said. “They are the ones who can make the real difference.”

They are looking for people who were in those environments, Catholic schools or camps, who saw something or experienced something to come forward and talk with their office.

Morrisey, who is Catholic, said his office has gotten some anonymous tips, but to help build a solid case he needs people who are willing to step forward and be put on the record.

“We want the folks to step up,” he said. “We believe there are more that haven’t stepped forward yet.

“We are trying to identify more victims and more witnesses.”

Morrisey said this is not limited to Catholics, but people in any environment where there has been abuse.

“People need to let us know,” he said.

Godfried Danneels, Liberal Cardinal Tainted by Sex Scandal, Dies at 85

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

March 24, 2019

By Gaia Pianigiani

Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium, a liberal supporter of Pope Francis and a former Vatican adviser whose long pastoral career was damaged in a sex-abuse scandal after his retirement, died on March 14 at his home in Mechelen, north of Brussels. He was 85.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Brussels-Mechelen, which Cardinal Danneels had led for three decades, confirmed the death. No specific cause was given.

Cardinal Danneels, who spoke several languages, was considered a progressive in Roman Catholic leadership, supporting a greater role for women in the church and a less rigid policy against contraception. He believed that H.I.V.-positive people should be able use condoms rather than risk transmitting the virus.

Years before Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by retiring in 2013, Cardinal Danneels had raised the possibility of popes retiring in advanced age or when their health deteriorated.

He was a target of conservative critics in his 29 years as president of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference. They complained that he had not done enough to thwart growing secularization in Belgium, whose government has approved same-sex marriage, in vitro fertilization, euthanasia and experiments on human embryos.

Ezzati defends his record as he steps down as Archbishop of Santiago

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

March 23, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Although a decision had been expected, it was still a surprise when the Vatican announced Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago, Chile, who faces allegations of having covered up cases of clerical sexual abuse.

However, Ezzati was defiant to the end, saying he wasn’t ashamed of anything.

“I leave with my head up high because every allegation that has arrived at the complaints office, that I opened myself in 2011, has been or is being investigated,” Ezzati told reporters after the announcement was made.

Regarding his willingness to cooperate with the Chilean justice system, the prelate said that the prosecutor had been allowed to examine any archdiocesan document he’d requested, and that he hasn’t testified yet because he’s appealing to his right to remain silent until the time to speak comes.

Comisión dictamina proyecto que daría más tiempo para denunciar delitos sexuales contra menores de edad

[Commission approves initiative to grant more time to report sexual crimes against minors]

COSTA RICA
La Nación

March 20, 2019

By Juan Diego Córdoba

Víctimas de abuso o violación durante la infancia o adolescencia tendrían hasta los 43 años para acudir a la vía judicial

Los diputados de la comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos dictaminaron, de forma unánime y en su primer día de discusión, el proyecto de ley denominado “Derecho al Tiempo”, iniciativa que pretende ampliar el plazo de prescripción de las causas penales en delitos sexuales contra menores de edad.

Arzobispo rechaza obligación de informar al MEP sobre expulsión de la Iglesia de sacerdote que dirigía colegio en Limón

[Archbishop rejects obligation to inform Education Ministry about expulsion of priest who ran Limón school]

COSTA RICA
La Nación

March 20, 2019

By Juan Diego Córdoba

José Rafael Quirós explicó al ministro Edgar Mora, que el cura sancionado pertenecía a una sociedad religiosa, cuya autoridad no es la arquidiócesis

La arquidiócesis de San José rechazó la existencia de alguna obligación de informar al Ministerio de Educación Público (MEP) sobre la expulsión del estado clerical del sacerdote Ricardo Reyes, a quien el proceso canónico lo halló responsable de abusos sexuales contra un menor de edad. Este es el contenido de una carta que el arzobispo José Rafael Quirós envió al ministro de Educación, Edgar Mora, luego de que este último pidiera explicaciones sobre el caso, la semana pasada.

Abusos: qué leyes tenemos y cuáles hacen falta

[Abuses: what laws do we have and what do we need?]

ARGENTINA
La Nación

March 22, 2019

By Violeta Galanternik

El 144 no da abasto desde el 11 de diciembre, la tarde en que Thelma Fardin, en el marco del colectivo de Actrices Argentinas, hizo pública la denuncia en la Justicia del abuso sexual sufrido en su adolescencia. Ya pasaron casi tres meses y la ola de denuncias y de pedidos de ayuda de otros miles de mujeres no cesa. La palabra de Thelma representó muchas cosas, pero sobre todo, sin lugar a dudas, fue un canal de apertura a que se estime el derecho de la mujer a contar la situación que vivió. Fue lo que destapó una olla con miles de Thelmas silenciadas que se encontraron reflejadas para tomar la fuerza y el apoyo para decir "basta".

Hace 19 años que denuncia abuso de un cura y ahora la Iglesia le da la razón

[For 19 years, she reported clergy abuse and now the Church acknowledges it]

ARGENTINA
Puntal

March 23, 2019

Carolina Ferreyra es la denunciante. Dice que su victimario es un sacerdote que actualmente se desempeña como intendente. Días pasados recibió una carta del Obispado de Río Cuarto con la resolución de la Santa Sede que da validez a los hechos por ella narrados calificándolos de “creíbles y graves”.

"Se informa a la señorita Carolina Ferreyra que se ha concluido la investigación previa sobre la denuncia por ella presentada contra el presbítero (...) La misma fue enviada a la Congregación del Clero. Posteriormente este Dicasterio ha respondido que la Santa Sede considera inconveniente que un presbítero preste un servicio político como el de intendente municipal, y por otra parte, considera que las denuncias que pesan sobre él son creíbles y graves”.

Abusos en la Iglesia: "La cadena de encubrimiento llega hasta el Papa"

[Abuses in the Church: "The chain of cover-up reaches the Pope"]

ARGENTINA
Ahora

March 22, 2019

Así lo señaló una integrante de la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico. "Esto es un plan sistemático de la Iglesia para ocultar lo que pasó" indicó

"La cadena de encubrimiento llega hasta el Papa. Esto es un plan sistemático de la Iglesia para ocultar lo que pasó. Cuando se conoce el abuso, el cura es trasladado a otro lado, donde seguirá abusando" señaló la especialista en contacto con el Canal 20 de la UNER.

Abusos en la Iglesia: Detuvieron al capellán de la Universidad Católica

[Abuses in the Church: Catholic University chaplain arrested]

ARGENTINA
Cuarto Salta a Diario

March 22, 2019

Fue denunciado por dos hombres que habrían sido abusados hace quince años.

El capellán de la Universidad Católica de Salta, José Carlos Aguilera, fue detenido este viernes tras haber sido denunciado de abuso sexual por dos personas que habrían sido abusadas hace quince y veinte años. Aguilera fue llevado a la alcaidia, donde permanece encerrado.

Why didn’t Columbus diocese include parish, school assignments of priests ‘credibly accused’ of child sex abuse?

COLUMBUS (OH)
Columbus Dispatch

March 24, 2019

BtyDanae King

After being criticized for taking months longer than the other five Ohio dioceses to release its list of priests accused of sexually abusing children, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus said it didn't include information on where and when each priest worked in the diocese because it would have further delayed the list and might have exposed victims.

Yet the diocese releases that information when it receives an allegation against an individual priest and has done so in recent years ­ and doesn't express the ssame concerns in that process.

When asked why the processes for reporting the abuse of a single priest versus releasing a list of all 'credibly accused' clergymen are different, the Rev. Monsignor Stephan Moloney, vicar general and victims assistance coordinator for the Diocese of Columbus, said "it just is."

"It was just a decision that was made," he said.

Advocates for survivors say that a priest's history within a diocese could help trigger victims' memories of their abuse and prompt them to report it.

"They need to have the assignment history in there because there's still victims out there suffering in silence and shame," said Judy Jones, Midwest regional director for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Yet Moloney said seeing "the names will give those victims courage to come forward."

Columbus is one of many dioceses across the country that have released lists in the wake of a July Pennsylvania grand jury review that revealed allegations of more than 1,000 children being sexually abused by more than 300 priests.

The level of detail provided on other dioceses' lists vary widely, but some do include the assignment history of the priests, said Terence McKiernan, co-president of Bishop Accountability, a national group that works to track allegations of abuse by Catholic officials and publishes that information on its website.

Mississippi Catholics offer full confession

NATCHEZ (MISSISSIPPI)
Natchez Democrat

March 24, 2019

By Kevin Cooper

Mississippi Catholics finally did something they’ve been asking parishioners to do for centuries — a full confession.

Last week the Jackson Diocese released a list of 37 priests and others affiliated with the church in Mississippi that had been credibly accused of sexual abuse against children.

Of those 37, 30 were accused of abuse during their time in Mississippi and seven were accused of committing abuse elsewhere.

Six names on the list had served in the Natchez community in the past. Nearly all of the alleged abuse had occurred decades ago, some as long as 80 years ago.

The church deemed a reported abuse as credible only after an internal, independent review board had completed an investigation.

After literally decades of denial that a problem with sexual abuse at the hands of priests existed at all, the Catholic Church has come a long way to opening up, letting some light be shed on the problem and beginning the healing process.

In making things public the church did the right thing. Further, they went above and beyond by providing the complete history of abusers dating back so many years.

Beyond that, though, the church did something churches typically don’t like to do — it apologized.

In what likely came as surprise to many, Bishop Joseph Kopacz, who leads the Jackson Diocese, publicly apologized for the church’s secretive way of handling these things in the past.

Swiss church bringing more abuse cases before judiciary

ZURICH (SWITZERLAND)
Swiss Broadcasting Corporation

March 24, 2019

More than 300 victims have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against priests in Switzerland since 2010, according to the SonntagZeitung newspaper, which on Sunday devoted an article to how the Catholic Church handles the alleged perpetrators.

In 2017, a record number of cases – 65 incidents – were reported in Switzerland, according to the German-language newspaper. Of these, only ten were serious enough for the judiciary to act. Eight cases were reported by the church itself and the other two were investigated by prosecutors.

The church declined to give details of the attacks, but one case reportedly concerns the rape of a woman.

Only three clerics have been convicted over allegations of abuse since 2010, according to an internal document of the Swiss Bishops' Conference (SBC) cited by the newspaper.

The same paper reportedly notes that 111 of the accused are already dead, three perpetrators are “untraceable” or “unknown,” and in 10% of the cases the information is partial or “insufficient.”

Such figures are partial at best. For example, the community of the Pius Brothers does not provide any information. Two priests of that order were convicted of sexual buses in 2018.

Diocese says child sex abuse claim against Ellicottville priest is credible

OLEAN (NY)
Olean Times Herald

March 24, 2019

By Tom Dinki

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has substantiated an allegation of child sexual abuse against a suspended Ellicottville priest.

The diocese announced Thursday the Rev. Ronald Mierzwa, pastor of Holy Name of Mary Church in Ellicottville, will remain on leave while the results of its investigation are reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican in Rome, which will make the final determination.

The diocese said Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone determined the claim against Mierzwa was credible after considering the advice of the Independent Diocesan Review Board, which met Wednesday and reviewed the reports of Scott F. Riordan and Steven L. Halter.

Mierzwa, who was ordained in 1976 and had been pastor of Holy Name of Mary since 1994, was placed on administrative leave in September for what the diocese then called an allegation of abuse.

While the diocese has not provided any details on the child sex abuse allegation, Meirzwa’s suspension came just two weeks after WKBW-TV reported Sept. 12 that a woman accused him more than 15 years ago of making her sons “parade around in their underwear.”

WKBW did not name Mierzwa in that original report about the allegation, but the news station reports Mierzwa turned himself in to Malone a few days later, leading to his suspension.

Man claims priest slept with his wife to be, calls off their wedding

LAGOS (NIGERIA)
Herald Nigeria

March 24, 2019

By Demola

A man has reportedly canceled his wedding plans after he learned that his wife-to-be has had sexual intercourse with her priest.

Sharing his plight with The Chronicle, the pained lover, McDonald Maijaya, stated that he got to know about his fiancee’s romantic relationship with the priest after he went through her WhatsApp chats with him.

He explained that the priest, Father Itai Mangenda, and Rutendo Mudzingwa, his lover, had been seeing each other since February 2018.

While giving the account of how he found out, the 32-year-old man said, “I discovered that the two were in a relationship since last year and we have been having misunderstandings with my girlfriend over the issue. This is unacceptable, how can a priest who vowed not to marry interfere with my relationship?

“I don’t know what to do because right now, I’m really hurt. This is disturbing especially considering that l was putting my all into the relationship and was thinking of paying something (bride price) in April.”

McDonald further mentioned that the priest’s brother reached out to him to not expose the matter to the public and made attempts to bribe him.

Lawsuits claim sex abuse by priest at Brebeuf, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel schools

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

March 24, 2019

By John Tuohy

Three men have filed lawsuits alleging that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette covered up sexual abuse by a priest at Brebeuf high school in Indianapolis and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the 1970s and 1980s, and clerical abuse watchdogs fear there could be many more victims.

The accusers, identified in court papers as John Does 1, 2 and 3, were 12 or 13 years old at the time and said they met Father James Grear at Mount Carmel, where he celebrated Mass.

One of the men claims he was violently assaulted in the gym at Mount Carmel during a youth rally. When he told a bishop in his home parish, he was cautioned not to report it and to ask for God’s forgiveness, the lawsuit said. The two other men said Grear while dean of students at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School took them on trips, gave them gifts and molested them in his apartment across the street from the high school on 86th Street.

In scrubbing dead priests' bios, victims say Buffalo Diocese obscured depth of crisis

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

March 24, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Monsignor J. Grant Higgins was a Catholic priest for 60 years, but when he died in 2016 at age 90, the Buffalo Diocese tried to make it seem as if he wasn't a priest.

A paid death notice for Higgins omitted the honorific title of "Reverend" that is standard in priest death notices and obituaries. The Mass of Christian Burial for Higgins was held at a church in North Buffalo, more than 25 miles away from his last parish assignment in the Village of Angola, where he was well-known and had served for 14 years. The diocese did not publish an obituary on Higgins in its own Western New York Catholic, a monthly newspaper that assiduously chronicles the deaths of area priests, deacons and nuns. Nor did the diocese send The Buffalo News the priest’s assignment history, as it usually does when a priest dies, so that The News could write an obituary.

When Higgins died, diocese officials gave area Catholics no explanation as to why they were obscuring his life as a priest.

They did it because Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone decided in 2013 that funeral arrangements for priests credibly accused of molesting children needed to be handled differently.

But for nearly five years after that, the bishop was unwilling to publicly identify priests, living or dead, who were accused of sexually abusing minors. Malone didn’t name names until 2018, after a clergy abuse scandal erupted.

That's the first time parishioners found out about Higgins.

Malone explained in a 2013 internal memo obtained by The Buffalo News that the new funeral policy was to be more sensitive to survivors of clergy sex abuse.

But now some abuse survivors and their advocates said the guidelines helped shield clergy abuse cases from the public, even in the aftermath of reforms that called for bishops to be more transparent about abusive priests.

"This, it seems, is another method to keep it under cover. To me, it's a consistent policy of the church, going back decades, of hiding and covering up," said Tim Lennon, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national organization. "At all costs, the reputation of the church is more important than anything.

Muñoz, Laplagne y Rivera: Las causas judiciales que arrastra Ricardo Ezzati

[Muñoz, Laplagne and Rivera: legal cases that involve Ricardo Ezzati]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 23, 2019

By Consuelo Ferrer

El Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia del ahora ex arzobispo de Santiago este sábado, un día después de que la justicia rechazara la solicitud de sobreseimiento de su defensa en los casos de abuso sexual que investiga el Ministerio Público.

"Hoy día, al terminar mi servicio, con la conciencia muy tranquila y muy serena, les puedo decir que he sido fiel a esa promesa". Fueron las palabras que emitió este sábado el ahora obispo emérito Ricardo Ezzati, al comunicar que se sentía "agradecido" por la decisión del Papa Francisco de aceptar su renuncia, presentada junto a la de toda la Conferencia Episcopal hace ya diez meses.

Conferencia Episcopal: La decisión del Papa "no tiene fundamento en la situación jurídica" de Ezzati

[Episcopal Conference: The Pope's decision is not related to Ezzati's legal situation]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 23, 2019

By Camila Díaz S.

Ahora, el cardenal se retirará a una congregación salesiana y podría seguir prestando servicios pastorales.

Ante la decisión del Papa Francisco de aceptar la renuncia del arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, comunicada esta mañana por la Nunciatura Apostólica en Chile, el vocero de la Conferencia Episcopal, Jaime Coiro, aseguró que se trata de una medida tomada que "no tiene fundamento en la situación jurídica que ocurrió ayer", cuando la 8° Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago rechazó el cierre de la investigación por supuesto encubrimiento en casos de abusos sexuales a menores de edad.

Experto canónico: Pese a salida de Ezzati "la Iglesia Católica va a seguir viviendo entre las luces y las sombras"

[Canonical expert: Despite Ezzati's departure "the Catholic Church will continue to live between the light and the shadows"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 24, 2019

By Juan Undurraga

Así lo anunció Marcial Sánchez, quien si bien comentó que la llegada de Celestino Aós a la arquidiócesis de Santiago traería "esperanza".

Durante esta mañana se anunció que el obispo de Copiapó, Celestino Aós, asumirá el cargo de administrador apostólico de la sede vacante de la arquidiócesis de Santiago. Esto luego de que el Papa aceptara la renuncia de Ricardo Ezzati.

Víctimas de Karadima destacan salida de Ezzati: “Representa todo aquello contra lo que hemos luchado durante años”

[Karadima survivors react to Ezzati's departure: "It represents everything we have fought against for years"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 23, 2019

By Angélica Vera

Los sobrevivientes señalaron que esperan que su reemplazante "tenga la valentía y fuerza para traer una cultura centrada en las víctimas, en las personas vulnerables, y ya no más en el abuso y menos el encubrimiento".

Las víctimas de abusos del párroco del Bosque Fernando Karadima; Juan Carlos Cruz, Juan Andrés Murillo y James Hamilton se refirieron a la salida del arzobispo emérito de Santiago, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati luego que de que el Papa Francisco aceptada su renuncia durante este sábado en la mañana.

Aós, el psicólogo capuchino que aterriza en Santiago

[Aós, the Capuchin psychologist who lands in Santiago]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 24, 2019

By C. Palma, S. Rodríguez, F. Massone, M.J. Navarrete, and Fernando Fuentes

El Papa aceptó la renuncia del cardenal Ezzati y designó como administrador apostólico al español, de 73 años y 35 en Chile.

“Mejor corrámonos a la sombra, mire que aquí se me quema la pelá”, pidió ayer el obispo Celestino Aós, en Copiapó, cerca de las 11.30 horas, al pequeño enjambre de periodistas que lo rodeaba. Era su primer punto de prensa, luego de que la Nunciatura Apostólica informara, de madrugada, que el Papa Francisco lo había designado como nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago. En rigor, no es el sucesor del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, arzobispo con todas las de la ley, sino más bien su reemplazante a tiempo indefinido, en espera del definitivo.

Ezzati: “Estoy con la frente muy en alto, seguro de que se probará mi inocencia”

[Ezzati: "I hold my head high, sure that my innocence will be proven"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 24, 2019

By M.J. Navarrete

A sus 77 años, el cardenal deja la conducción de la Iglesia de Santiago. En su homilía dijo que los “pecados y crímenes” del clero “nos solicitan pedir perdón una y mil veces”.

“Les puedo decir que tengo la conciencia absolutamente tranquila y serena”, afirmó ayer el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, en su homilía para el inicio del año pastoral 2019 de la Iglesia de Santiago. Al mediodía de Roma, y a las 8 horas de Santiago, el Vaticano hizo el anuncio oficial: el Papa Francisco aceptaba su renuncia como arzobispo y, en su lugar, como administrador apostólico, nombraba al obispo de Copiapó, Celestino Aós.

March 23, 2019

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

BALLARAT (AUSTRALIA)
CNN

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

BOULDER (CO)
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

ULTIMO (AUSTRALIA)
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

MILWAUKEE (WI)
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

BRITICH COLUMBIA (CANADA)
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 (PA)
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 (IL)
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

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
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.

Vocero Red de Laicos de Santiago por designación de Aós: “Tomamos con cautela este nombramiento”

[Spokesman for Lay Network of Santiago on Aós appointment: "We take this appointment with caution"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 23, 2019

By Daniela Silva

Según indicó Osvaldo Aravena, vocero de la organización, el actual administrador apostólico recién nombrado por el Papa Francisco ha sido parte del episcopado chileno, por lo tanto también tiene un grado de responsabilidad en las omisiones y en los errores que ha cometido la iglesia jerarquía en no colaborar con la justicia.

“Creemos que las graves crisis de la iglesia católica no se van a resolver con el cambio de una persona dentro de la jerarquía”, expresó esta mañana Osvaldo Aravena, vocero de Red de laicos de Santiago a 24Horas, luego de que desde la Nunciatura Apostólica en Chile se diera la noticia que el Papa Francisco había aceptado la renuncia del cardenal Ezzati, nombrando como administrador apostólico sede vacante de la arquidiócesis de Santiago de Chile al obispo Celestino Aós Braco.

Jesuitas sancionan a cura con prohibición por 10 años de acompañamiento espiritual de personas por “transgresiones de naturaleza sexual”

[Jesuits sanction priest for ten years for "transgressions of a sexual nature"]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 22, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

Esto tras la investigación de dos denuncias de dos mujeres, por hechos acontecidos a comienzo de los años noventa y otro a mediados de la década pasada.

Mediante un comunicado de prensa, el padre provincial de los Jesuitas, Cristián del Campo, informó que se determinó el castigo de prohibición por diez años de acompañamiento espiritual de personas y dirección de retiros espirituales en contra del sacerdote Juan Pablo Cárcamo.

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"]

CHILE
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"]

CHILE
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]

CHILE
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]

CHILE
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 (CANADA)
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"]

CHILE
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]

CHILE
Emol

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 (TX)
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]

CHILE
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

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
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

MELBOUNRE (AUSTRALIA)
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 (IL)
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

ROME (ITALY)
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

QUINCY (IL)
Herald-Whig

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

DENVER (CO)
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

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

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 (MS)
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 (BELGIUM)
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 (NM)
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

FT. WAYNE (IN)
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

WHEELING (WV)
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

KANSAS CITY (MO)
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?

ALTOONA (PA)
WJAC TV

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

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
KELO TV

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 (TX)
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

ONTARIO (CANADA)
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?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
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?

NEW YORK (NY)
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

TORNOTO (CANADA)
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

ST. LOUIS (MO)
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

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/diocesan_lists/St_Paul_and_Minneapolis/2014_10_23_Disclosures/2014_10_23_Potocki_Downloaded_2014_10_27.pdf

http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-P.html

--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.

https://www.andersonadvocates.com/PriestList/382/Father-Robert-B.McGovern.aspx

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2007/07_08/2007_08_17_Abbott_PriestContinues.htm

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/complaints/2006_01_10_Hoatson_v_Egan_Amended_Complaint.htm

http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-M.html

--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.

https://www.andersonadvocates.com/Documents/priest_files/BRIGHAM.pdf

https://www.andersonadvocates.com/Documents/timelines/Brigham%20Kenneth%20final.pdf

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

WASHINGTON (DC)
WTOP TV

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

WHEELING (WV)
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

LEXINGTON (KY)
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]

CHILE
BioBioChile

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"]

MADRID (SPAIN)
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]

MADRID (SPAIN)
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

PUNTA CANA (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

WEST VIRGINIA
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

JACKSON (MS)
WLBT TV

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 (DC)
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

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
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

WHEELING (WV)
WTRF TV

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 (NY)
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

DUPAGE COUNTY (IL)
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 (MI)
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

JAMESTOWN (NY)
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

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
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

TORONTO (CANADA)
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

PUNTA CANA (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

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
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

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

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

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WTAE TV

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

JACKSON (MS)
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

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

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

VIRGINIA
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

HUNTINGTON (WV)
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

PITTSBURGH (PA)
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]

ARGENTINA
GrupoLaProvincia.com

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 (MO)
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]

CHILE
BioBioChile

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]

CHILE
BioBioChile

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]

CHILE
BioBioChile

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"]

CHILE
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]

CHILE
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]

GUADALAJARA (SPAIN)
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]

MADRID (SPAIN)
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]

MADRID (SPAIN)
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

COSTA RICO
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

COSTA RICO
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

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
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"

WHAT
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.

WHEN
Thursday, March 21, at 11-am

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

PARIS (FRANCE)
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

ALLENTOWN (PA)
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

WASHINGTON (DC)
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

WASHINGTON (DC)
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

NEW YORK (NY)
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

BERKELEY (CA)
Deadspin

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’

IRELAND
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

IRELAND
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

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
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

CHAMPAIGN (IL)
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”

NEW YORK (NY)
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

KANSAS CITY (KS)
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

WHAT
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.

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

Victims applaud WV attorney general

WHEELING (WV)
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

WHAT

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.

WHEN

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

Catholic Priest Accused Of Groping Texas Woman During Last Rites

AUSTIN (TX)
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

BROWNSVILLE (TX)
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 (DC)
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

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun-Times

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

ST. LOUIS (MO)
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

WHAT
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

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
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

WHAT
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

SAGINAW (MI)
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

COLUMBUS (OH)
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

NEW YORK (NY)
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

AUSTIN (TX)
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

ROCKFORD (IL)
WREX TV

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

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
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

COLUMBUS (OH)
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'

WEST VIRGINIA
CNN

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

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Missourinet

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

CHICAGO (IL)
USA TODAY

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

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS TV

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

RAPID CITY (SD)
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

NEW YORK (NY)
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

CINCINNATI (OH)
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

HARRISBURG (PA)
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

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
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

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS TV

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

WHEELING (WV)
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

DETROIT (MI)
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

BECKLEY (WV)
Register-Herald

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

NEW YORK (NY)
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

PHILADEPHIA (PA)
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

COLUMBIA (MO)
KOMU TV 8

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 (MO)
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

MILWAUKEE (WI)
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

ROME (ITALY)
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

BOSTON (MA)
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

ROME (ITALY)
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

NEW YORK (NY)
Patch

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

ARLINGTON (VA)
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

WHEELING (WV)
Reuters

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 (TX)
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.

JACKSON (MS)
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 (WI)
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

LONDON (ENGLAND)
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

STARKVILLE (MS)
Starkville

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 (MO)
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'

NARACOORTA (AUSTRALIA)
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

NEW SOUTH WALES (AUSTRALIA)
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

ROME (ITALY)
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

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
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 (VA)
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

ST. LOUIS (MO)
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

WHAT

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.

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

Today in history

WASHINGTON ( DC)
WTOP TV

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

KANSAS CITY (MO)
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.

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

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

NEW JERSEY
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

SANTA ANA (CA)
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

JACKSON (MI)
WAPT TV

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

ROME (ITALY)
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

JACKSON (MS)
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 (MD)
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

ST. LOUIS (MO)
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

SAN MATEO (CA)
Patch

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 (ENGLAND)
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

WASHINGTON (DC)
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 (MI)
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

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
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

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
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"]

MEXICO
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]

CHILE
BioBioChile

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

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

March 15, 2019

Length: 18:45

Description
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

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
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

LEXINGTON (KY)
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

LOUISVILLE (KY)
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

AUSTRALIA
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

KALAMAZOO (MI)
FOX17

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 (PA)
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 (PA)
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

AUSTRALIA
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

WASHINGTON (DC)
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 (PA)
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

EAST LANSING (MI)
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

WASHINGTON (DC)
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’

UNITED STATES
TowleRoad

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 (IL)
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?

OWOSSO (MI)
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.

CALIFORNIA THREATENS THE SEAL OF CONFESSION

NEW YORK (NY)
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

CHICAGO (IL)
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

DENVER (CO)
Crux

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'

LONDON (ENGLAND)
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

GERMANY
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

DENVER (CO)
Crux

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

HOMESTEAD (FL)
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 (DC)
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 (DC)
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

DU BOIS (PA)
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

MIAMI (FL)
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

NORWICH (CT)
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

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

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 a