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April 19, 2019

Phoenix Diocese still trying to right the wrongs of decades of coverup

PHOENIX (AZ)
3TV

Apr 15, 2019

By Nicole Crites

With the #MeToo movement sparking a social awakening, empowering more victims to seek help and justice the Phoenix Catholic Diocese is still trying to right the wrongs of decades of secrecy and cover-up as they investigate new allegations.

Mary O'Day sent a letter to the Pope in October 2017 detailing claims of being sexually abused in her parish as a child, saying nuns were involved.

"My memories are very clear,” O’Day said.

She implored the pontiff to read what happened to her as a tangible act to help with her healing.

Less than a month later, St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix sent her a response, saying her story was a "crime of terrible proportions," they hope it was "reported to law enforcement," offering "sorrow and support” and prayers.

Anne Vargas-Leveriza, also read O'Day's letter.

She runs the Office of Child and Youth Protection at the Phoenix Diocese and met with O'Day in November 2017 as well.

"I've been in counseling for more than 10 years and they picked up paying for it after my discussion with them,” O’Day said.

So, what happens next with these types of claims, when an adult says they were sexually abused as a child and comes forward decades later asking for help?

“If an allegation comes forward, we address it right away. It doesn't matter if the statute of limitations has expired," Vargas-Leveriza explained in an earlier interview.

Poll: Church membership in U.S. plummets during past 20 years

HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON (WV)
WSAZ TV

April 18, 2019

By Leanne Shinkle

According to a new poll, the number of people attending church is on a serious decline across the United States.

The percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50 percent last year. That's according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.

WSAZ spoke to a pastor in Charleston, Jesse Waggoner, who has seen several churches close their doors over the past 30 years.

Waggoner is the senior pastor at Mount Calvary Baptist Church. He started there seven years ago. At that time, the church had about 100 members.

Now in 2019, that number has gone up to 350.

Waggoner says there is no secret formula to building up a church and keeping members, but there are a few key things that help.

He says it is important to preach the same consistent message, but change the way you present the message as times change.

"We have two different styles of worship," Waggoner said. "We have an early service that is contemporary and informal, we have a traditional service that is more of what many people my age grew up with. And so whatever your choice of style, you're going to get the same message just delivered in a slightly different package."

Former Norfolk Catholic school teacher arrested after child sexual abuse allegations

NORFOLK (VA)
WAVY TV

Apr 18, 2019

A former teacher at Norfolk Catholic High School was recently arrested for allegations dating back decades.

According to a statement on the Catholic Diocese of Richmond's website, they received a complaint from an adult alleging sexual abuse by Daniel Wolfe when he was employed in the diocese as a teacher.

The alleged incident took place between 1978 and 1979 when the victim was a student at Norfolk Catholic High School. Wolfe was arrested on March 29 and charged with four counts of crimes against nature. A trial date of June 17 has been set.

The diocese says they encouraged the adult to report the allegation to Norfolk Police.

WAVY's working to find out the exact charges Wolfe's facing, and more details of the circumstances in the case.

Wolfe most recently taught Latin at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach during the 2017-2018 school year.

Wolfe's arrest comes after the Richmond Diocese and the Diocese of Arlington released a list of dozens of priests facing child sex abuse allegations. At least nine of the priests on that list had confirmed ties to Hampton Roads.

April 18, 2019

Accused priest’s records show effort by the church to conceal scandal

LAFAYETTE (LA)
KATC TV

April 18, 2019

By Jim Hummel

When the Diocese of Lafayette released its list of accused priests last week, 11 of the 37 members of clergy had never been publicly accused. Among them is the Rev. John de Leeuw, who made arrangements to defend himself in death.

Shortly after publishing the church’s list, KATC was contacted by a friend of de Leeuw, who shared with us more than 100 pages of documents the late priest kept about his case. The documents feature his personnel file, correspondence from the diocese, and notes about the accusations his friend says were handwritten by de Leeuw.

The documents provide de Leeuw’s side of the story, but they also show how the diocese was concerned about “scandal” and tried to minimize publicity on cases of clergy sex abuse as recently as 2013.

The accusations
In 2011, more than 20 years after his retirement, de Leeuw was removed from active ministry by the diocese following accusations of sexual abuse involving minors. His removal was only made public last week, when the diocese released its list of credibly accused clergy.

In January, concerned about diminishing transparency and openness from the diocese, KATC published its own list of accused priests. De Leeuw was not on our list because up until now, there was no public record of a complaint. Concerned about his absence from our list, Nancy Mouton reached out to tell her family’s story.

“Father John de Leeuw, past pastor of St. Leo the Great, sexually abused me and most of my six siblings in our home for many years,” said Mouton. “He was a regular visitor and dinner guest at our home. It was a very large home where the abuse went undetected.”

Documents provided by de Leeuw’s friend indicate one of Mouton’s older sisters, who is now deceased, was his initial accuser.

Stockton diocese urged to add more names to ‘credibly accused’ list

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

April 18, 2019

By Wes Bowers

A national support network for survivors of abuse is urging the Catholic Diocese of Stockton to add more names to its list of “credibly accused” clergy.

David Clohessy, former executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood outside the Stockton diocese’s offices at 212 N. San Joaquin St. Tuesday afternoon, holding a sign with a list of seven clergymen who spent parts of their careers in the area, and have been publicly accused of abuse in other regions.

“This is the same self-serving pattern we’ve seen for decades,” Clohessy said. “It’s when bishops under pressure claim to be coming clean, when they’re not.”

In 2017, the diocese was required to post the names of 14 clergy members accused of abuse on its website.

However, Clohessy said he was able to find seven more priests accused of abuse who spent time in Stockton, but aren’t listed on the diocese’s list of accused.

He said it makes some think there are many more priests associated with the Stockton diocese that have not been named.

“If the goal is to protect kids and heal victims and help the church, then be truly honest,” he said. “It endangers the kids, hurts victims and alienates Catholics.”

The former priests Clohessy was able to find include the Rev. Mario Cimmarrusti, who spent time at St. Mary of the Assumption in Stockton between 1982 and 1985; the Rev. Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa, who was working at St. Anne’s Church in Lodi in 2013; the Rev. William S. Myers, who was at our Lady of Fatima parish in Stockton from 1988 to 1991; the Rev. Raymond A. Devlin, who was at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton from 1995 to 1997; the Rev. Lynn Richard Caffoe, who was working at the United States Mission in Modesto from 1998-2001; the Rev. James Cairns, who has been a part of several churches in Fresno and Los Angeles, and may be living in Modesto now; and the Rev. Theodore Feely, who was at St. George’s Parish in Stockton in 1982.

He said while some of the seven men were not accused in Stockton, they have all been accused and named on other dioceses’ lists of predators.

Clohessy has been traveling throughout Northern California not only urging other dioceses to do the same, but to urge victims of abuse to come forward to get help, protect other victims and expose predators, he said.

Fifty new reports filed against abusive priest

OAKLAND (CA)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Group also ‘outs’ three publicly accused clerics

Victims urge others to contact Attorney General

What:
Holding signs and childhood pictures at a sidewalk news conference, clergy abuse victims and an attorney will disclose
--that more than 50 women have now reported being molested by an Oakland priest, and
--the names of – and details about - at least three publicly and credibly accused abusive clerics who have been left off the diocese’s official ‘accused clerics.

They will also
--urge others who may be “suffering in silence, to also step forward, and
--push Oakland Catholic officials to do “aggressive outreach” to those who may have be hurt by clerics to report to law enforcement, and
--launch a special outside investigation into who in the church knew of or suspected and ignored or hid Fr. Breen’s crimes.

When:
Thursday, April 18 at 1:00pm

Sexual abuse laws poised for massive changes in Washington state

SEATTLE (WA)
KUOW Radio

April 11, 2019

By Sydney Brownstone and Paige Browning

There will be no statute of limitations for people who survived sexual abuse when they were under 16.

The same bill extends the statute of limitations for adult survivors to 10 or 20 years, depending on the severity of the crime. It also makes a significant change to how rape in the third degree is prosecuted — removing a small but crucial piece of language that advocates say ignored trauma research and prevented cases from being tried in court.

Speaking after the passage of the original Senate bill in February, Mary Ellen Stone, executive director of King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, said the bill was the organization's biggest win in at least five years.

"I think we all realize attitudes are changing — the culture is changing on this issue." Stone said. "Everybody knows so many more people who've been impacted by sexual assault. And there was a collective recognition that it's time to make this change."

Andrea Piper-Wentland of Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs said this means that survivors will have more time to process what happened to them.

She said the law would allow survivors "to get out of a situation that they were in, that was prohibitive for them to report."

"There's a myriad of reasons survivors have for delayed reporting," she said.

Before the bill is signed into law, Washington state's statute of limitations dictates that childhood survivors of sexual abuse have until their 30th birthdays to pursue a case. Adult survivors of rape must report their rapes to police within a year, after which they have 10 years to prosecute their cases. If adult survivors of rape don't report the crime to police, they have just a three-year window to bring a case forward.

As of last summer, 15 states had removed statutes of limitations for child sex crimes.

Mary Dispenza of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said she was excited for a change she and fellow survivors had been fighting for since the 1990s.

That said, the bill, once signed into law is not retroactive; it doesn't apply to cases in which the statute of limitations has already expired.

"Going forward, it will indeed and help survivors of childhood priest abuse," Dispenza said. "But it won't do much to allow the thousands in the past who have been harmed by sexual violence on the part of clergy to to have their day in court."

Abusive former Henderson priest was beaten to death in 2003

EVANSVILLE (IN)
Evansville Courier & Press

April 18, 2019

By Jon Webb

No list of predatory priests can tell the whole story.

Both the Evansville and Owensboro dioceses have unveiled inventories in the last two months of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors. The lists contain names, where the priests served and the number of allegations against them.

But they could never convey the hurt these men unleashed, nor the twisted secrecy that allowed the abuse to metastasize.

A lot of information is left unsaid. And in the case of the list Owensboro released last week, that includes a murder.

Joseph Pilger served as a pastor in slews of parishes across several Kentucky dioceses, including at St. Ann in Morganfield from 1964-65 and at Holy Name in Henderson from 1967-69.

Owensboro lists 13 substantiated allegations against him. At one point, he was wanted on 84 felony counts of sexually abusing minors, stemming from a 1993 case where he abused four children in Union County in the 1960s, the Associated Press reported.

He eventually pleaded guilty. He could have served 30 years in prison, but because of a plea deal, he only got probation.

And on Dec. 5, 2003, at his apartment on the southeast side of Lexington, he was found beaten to death with a pickax.

Police eventually arrested then-26-year-old Jason Anthony Russell – a former Henderson man who at one point had been living with Pilger. He pleaded guilty and was handed 30 years in prison.

Catholic Church lobbying in Pa. spiked after damaging investigations

YORK (PA)
York Dispatch

April 17, 2019

By Logan Hullinger

The Catholic Church has spent millions influencing Pennsylvania politics, but the funds perhaps have been the most useful amid reports uncovering widespread child sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up.

That money is again coming into play as two bills raising the statute of limitations on child sexual crimes and opening a two-year retroactive window for victims to file lawsuits once again head to the state Senate.

“(The expenditures) speak to the very issue of protecting their institutional reputation, which is one of the significant causes of this sex abuse crisis to begin with," said Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

There have been three grand jury investigations in the past decade that have revealed thousands of child sexual abuse cases by Pennsylvanian Catholic priests and attempts to hide them, all of which were welcomed by significant increases in spending on lobbying by the church.

Former Norfolk Catholic High School teacher arrested after report of sexual abuse

NORFOLK (VA)
News 3

April 17, 2019

By Julia Varnier

A former Norfolk Catholic High School teacher has been arrested after reports of sexual abuse of a minor were made to the Diocese of Richmond.

In respects to diocesan policy, the adult individual was encouraged to report the allegation to the Norfolk Police Department. The Diocese of Richmond recently was informed that the accused was arrested and charged by Norfolk Police.

The former employee, Daniel M. Wolfe, worked for the Diocese of Richmond for 11 years as a teacher in the 70s to early 80s. He has been charged with four counts of crimes against nature.

The alleged incident(s) was reported to have occurred between 1978-1979, which was when the victim was a student at what was previously known as Norfolk Catholic High School.

Sovereign Grace Churches Will Not Seek an Independent Investigation Into Abuse Allegations

ORLANDO (FL)
Relevant Magazine.

April 16, 2019

"The demand that we subject our entire denomination to an investigation is neither just nor practically possible."

Sovereign Grace Churches (formerly “Sovereign Grace Ministries”) has responded to calls for an independent investigation into allegations of decades of sexual abuse and harassment, writing in a statement that such a third party review would be “inappropriate and impractical for a number of important reasons.” SGC leaders wrote that while they “want the truth to be known about these allegations,” they will “not recommend a third-party independent investigation of our denomination.”

The story of the allegations made against the church planting network Sovereign Grace is lengthy and involves numerous accusations of mishandling claims of sexual abuse. Former members of SGC say they were discouraged from telling the authorities about instances of sexual abuse at the hands of church leaders and observed leaders scuttling allegations and declining to warn churches about known predators. This, accusers say, was all a matter of standard church policy. You can find a thorough summary of the accusations here.

Archdiocese Of Los Angeles Agrees To $8 Million Settlement In Sex Abuse Case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Public Radio

April 17, 2019

By Francesca Paris

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a teenager who was sexually abused and kidnapped by a teacher at her Catholic high school.

The teenager's attorney, David Ring, said that the settlement — finalized by a court last week — is the largest that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has ever paid to a single victim, The Associated Press reports. Over the past 15 years, the archdiocese has paid more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements.

Juan Ivan Barajas, then-athletic director and health teacher at San Gabriel Mission High School in San Gabriel, Calif., repeatedly sexually abused the student when she was 15 years old, according to a lawsuit filed in 2017. Barajas then kidnapped her and took her to Las Vegas, according to court documents reported by The Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Archdiocese to pay $8 million to sexually abused, kidnapped teen

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

April 17, 2019

Juan Ivan Barajas, a health teacher and athletic director at San Gabriel Mission High School, eventually kidnapped her, according to court documents.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a teenager who was sexually abused by the athletic director at her Catholic high school who had continued to work despite prior allegations of misconduct, it was announced Tuesday.

A court finalized the settlement last week of a negligence lawsuit, said David Ring, an attorney for the teenager.

The archdiocese has paid out more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements over the past 15 years. Ring said the $8 million is the largest payment to a single individual in any of the cases.

Girl molested by Catholic school teacher paid $8 million from Los Angeles archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
USA TODAY

April 17, 2019

By Ashley May

A teenage girl who was sexually abused by the athletic director of her Catholic high school will be paid $8 million by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, according to a Tuesday announcement.

The archdiocese has paid more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements over the past 15 years. David Ring, an attorney for the girl, said the $8 million is the largest payment to a single person in any of the cases.

“The archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”

Havre de Grace Police, SARC host training on human, sex trafficking awareness April 18

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

April 17, 2019

By David Anderson

The Havre de Grace Police Department and SARC of Harford County are hosting a training session this week for members of the community to learn more about human and sex trafficking and how they can be “active bystanders” to recognize the signs and help prevent it.

The training session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the Havre de Grace Community Center at 100 Lagaret Lane. The class was initially going to be at police headquarters, but it was moved to the community center because an “overwhelming number of people” have said they plan to attend, Police Chief Teresa Walter said during a City Council meeting Monday evening.

Parish roundup: Building a team; lay advisory board; Guam's finances

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 17, 2019

By Peter Feuerherd

An author points to the Cincinnati Reds for lessons on building successful parish teams. Hint: Maybe he should have chosen the Boston Red Sox?

The Catholic bishops remind Congress that many of those fearing deportation are vital members of parishes across the country.

A Wisconsin parish twins with a counterpart in Haiti.

The New York Archdiocese Catholic Charities transforms closed Bronx parish properties into much-needed low-income housing.

A parish in a gentrifying Philadelphia neighborhood remembers the poor in its midst.

Why Sex Scenes on The Magicians Look Different Than Those on the Rest of TV

UNITED STATES
Paste

April 17, 2019

By Rae Nudson

The Magicians is a sexy show. It has been since its pilot episode, which featured levitating sex between Kady (Jade Tailor) and Penny (Arjun Gupta), two students at the magical school of Brakebills. It’s gone on to feature sex magic, sex with magical creatures, threesomes, and more. In a particularly sexy scene in this season of The Magicians, a different version of Penny (it’s a long story) must anoint his friend and former goddess, Julia (Stella Maeve), with oil to perform a ritual that will help her discover why she currently can’t do magic. Penny slowly rubs Julia’s naked body with oil, starting with her face, moving over her shoulders, and down her back. It’s extremely intimate, and Penny takes delicate care while he touches Julia, asking permission before he touches her breasts and warming up the oil so it’s not too cold for her skin.

But before they start the ritual, as Julia stands naked in front of Penny waiting for him to touch her, Penny asks Julia, a rape survivor, if there’s a less painful way to go about this ritual. She tells him that people heal and she’s not broken. Penny says that he’s still not comfortable with how things are going down. “Well, this isn’t really about you,” Julia replies.
And on The Magicians, she’s right.

Australian government says abuse claim monk should face trial in Scotland

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
BBC

April 16, 2019

By Mark Daly

The Australian government has said a former monk accused of sexually abusing children at a Catholic boarding school in the Scottish Highlands should be surrendered to face trial.

Fr Denis "Chrysostom" Alexander has been contesting his extradition back to Scotland on the grounds of ill health.

He denies the claims and is seeking a judicial review of the latest decision.

The BBC revealed allegations against Fr Alexander and other monks from the Fort Augustus Abbey School six years ago.

The latest development was cautiously welcomed by former Fort Augustus pupil Hugh Kennedy, one of Fr Alexander's accusers.

Bishop ‘dismayed’ over university president’s call for his resignation

BUFFALO (NY)
Catholic News Service

April 16, 2019

A Buffalo diocesan spokeswoman said April 12 that Bishop Richard J. Malone is “disappointed and dismayed” over the president of St. Bonaventure University’s call for his resignation as head of the diocese.

Dennis DePerro, in several interviews, said he admired the bishop’s “unflinching desire to repair the damage” the abuse crisis has caused. “But sometimes, the most courageous thing a man can do is to step aside and recognize that his voice is no longer being heard and that he stands in the way of creating true resolution.”

“We suspect that Dr. DePerro has not fully studied the carefully developed and well-publicized protocols of the Diocese of Buffalo,” said diocesan spokeswoman Kathy Spangler.

Un cura se declaró culpable de abusar a tres catequistas en San Isidro

ARGENTINA
El Diario 24

April 18, 2019

[A priest pleaded guilty to abusing three catechists in San Isidro]

Mario Koessler, de 63 años, fue imputado por abusar de tres mujeres catequistas entre 2014 y 2015 y se declaró culpable.

El cura Mario Koessler, de 63 años, imputado por abuso sexual agravado a tres mujeres catequistas de 75, 63 y 40 años por hechos ocurridos entre 2014 y 2015 en la Parroquia San José, del municipio bonaerense de San Isidro, se declaró culpable en un juicio abreviado que le fijó una pena de tres años en suspenso.

"El juicio oral que iba a comenzar el lunes 22 de abril en el Tribunal Oral Criminal 2 se suspendió por un acuerdo de juicio abreviado al que llegaron la Fiscalía y la defensa, que fijó a Koessler 3 años de pena en suspenso", dijo hoy a Télam Andrés Bonicalzzi, abogado de las víctimas.

Buenos Aires: “A Jesús se le dice que sí”, dijo un cura antes de cometer abusos

ARGENTINA
Diario San Rafael

April 18, 2019

[Buenos Aires: "Jesus is told yes," said a priest before committing abuse]

Tres catequistas fueron abusadas por un cura. El acusado es Mario Koessler de la Parroquia San José de San Isidro en Buenos Aires. Antes de ir a juicio oral, el culpable admitió los hechos y finalmente su pena se definirá en un juicio abreviado.

Las tres mujeres lo denunciaron penalmente en la Unidad Fiscal y el juzgado de Violencia de Género número 1 a cargo del doctor Ricardo Costa, por abuso sexual agravado. Los ataques se dieron entre 2014 y 2015.

Uriona manifestó que los casos de abuso han afectado la fe

ARGENTINA
PUNTAL

April 18, 2019

Por Redacción PUNTAL

[Uriona said that cases of abuse have affected the faith]

El obispo diocesano estuvo en Buen Día Río Cuarto y aseguró que episodios como el de Carnerillo marcan la nueva línea dipuesta desde el Vaticano. Instó a los políticos a presentar propuestas para salir de la pobreza.

En el marco de la Semana Santa, el obispo Adolfo Uriona estuvo en Buen Día Río Cuarto donde aseguró que los casos de abuso en la Iglesia han afectado a la fe.

Durante la entrevista en vísperas de Pascua, también se refirió a la crisis y la situación de pobreza en medio de la puja electoral prevista para este año.

Mario Koessler imputado por abuso sexual agravado

ARGENTINA
EXTRADATA

April 17, 2019

[Mario Koessler charged with aggravated sexual abuse]

El cura, de 63 años, fue sentenciado por somter sexualmente a tres mujeres catequistas de 75, 63 y 40 años durente el 2014 y 2015 en la Parroquia San José, del municipio bonaerense de San Isidro. Se declaró culpable en un juicio abreviado que le fijó una pena de tres años en suspenso.

"El juicio oral que iba a comenzar el lunes 22 de abril en el Tribunal Oral Criminal 2 se suspendió por un acuerdo de juicio abreviado al que llegaron la Fiscalía y la defensa, que fijó a Koessler 3 años de pena en suspenso", dijo Andrés Bonicalzzi, abogado de las víctimas.

Ex-children's home priest accused of sexual abuse in Illinois dies

DECATUR (IL)
Associated Press via Herald Review

April 17, 2019

Chicago - A prominent Chicago area Catholic priest who led a suburban home for troubled youths for decades but was removed from ministry this year amid allegations that he sexually abused minors has died.

The Archdiocese of Chicago on Wednesday confirmed that the Rev. John Smyth died late Tuesday, but didn't immediately provide details.

Smyth became superintendent of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines in 1970 and during more than three decades as its leader he helped turn what was a failing orphanage into a widely praised residential care facility.

But late in his tenure, a state investigation found widespread violence and inadequate supervision and treatment at Maryville and this year the archdiocese said it was removing the by-then retired Smyth from ministry during its investigation of sexual abuse allegations.

Mother and Baby Homes: Fifth Interim Report

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation

Released April 17, 2019

Summary of Findings

1. The major issues about burials arise in the cases of Bessborough and Tuam. It is not known where the vast majority of the children who died in Bessborough are buried. There is a small burial ground in the grounds of Bessborough. This was opened in 1956 for members of the congregation. It seems to have been assumed by former residents and advocacy groups that this is also where the children who died in Bessborough are buried as there are occasional meetings and commemoration ceremonies held there. The vast majority of children who died in Bessborough are not buried there; it seems that only one child is buried there. More than 900 children died in Bessborough or in hospital after being transferred from Bessborough. Despite very extensive inquiries and searches, the Commission has been able to establish the burial place of only 64 children. The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who owned and ran Bessborough do not know where the other children are buried.

Sacred Heart Homes

2. The burials of children who died in the three Sacred Heart Homes (Bessborough, Castlepollard and Sean Ross) are not recorded at all. More importantly, there is no certainty about where they are buried.

3. The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who owned and ran these institutions provided the Commission with an affidavit about burials generally and specifically about the Castlepollard and Sean Ross child burials but very little evidence was provided to support the statements in it. The affidavit was, in many respects, speculative, inaccurate and misleading.

4. The children who died in Castlepollard are likely to be buried in the burial ground there. However, there is no documentary evidence to confirm this.

Bessborough

5. As already stated, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary do not know where the children who died in Bessborough are buried. The Commission finds this very difficult to comprehend as Bessborough was a mother and baby home for the duration of the period covered by the Commission (1922 – 1998) and the congregation was involved with it for all of this time. The Commission finds it very difficult to understand that no member of the congregation was able to say where the children who died in Bessborough are buried.

Alleged priest abuse victims speak out in Sonoma County

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KRON

April 17, 2019

By Sanaz Tahernia

Santa Rosa - The Santa Rosa Dioceses is under fire again after two men filed reports of child sexual abuse out of a social services center in Sonoma.

They say it happened at the St. Francis Solano Roman Catholic Church.

Attorney Joseph George represents two men, David Anthony Ortega and a John Doe, in sexual abuse claims against Father John Crews of the Santa Rosa Dioceses.

In their report to the California Attorney General's Office, both men allege Father Crews sexually abused them years ago while at the Hanna Boys Center, a residential treatment center for at-risk teens -- Crews was the Executive Director there at the time.

John Crews is one of 39 priests identified in a report by the Santa Rosa Dioceses as having committed or were credibly accused of committing child sexual abuse.

SNAP criticizes Missouri AG for slow pace of priest abuse investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

April 17, 2019

By Micheal Mahoney

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt says investigation still active

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests doubt the 6-month-old priest abuse investigation is going forward.

"It's gone nowhere and that's unacceptable," said Jim McConnell, who heads up the Kansas City chapter of SNAP.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt's statement said the investigation is active. They are gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and hope to finish it in a timely fashion.

“Well, that timely manner should not take six months to get at least some information out,” McConnell said.

McConnell said the attorney general’s office has not answered the group’s offer to help.

Gonzaga to create commission on priest sex abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
Associated Press via KOMO News

April 16, 2019

Spokane, Wash. - Gonzaga University in Spokane will create a commission to study the Jesuit school's handling of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh announced the commission on Monday.

McCulloh noted recent revelations that have thrust the crisis back into the news.

The Spokesman-Review says McCulloh is seeking application letters from those who want to join the commission.

Ireland’s Church Homes Gave Children’s Bodies to Medical Schools for Dissection

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

By Ed O’Loughlin

April 17, 2019

Dublin - For decades, some of Ireland’s church-run “mother and baby homes” gave the bodies of many of the children who died in their care to medical schools for dissection, a government inquiry reported on Wednesday, indicating that the scale of the abuses at the homes for single mothers was greater than previously known.

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation, created in 2015 by the Irish government, revealed that in Dublin alone, several of the homes run by the Roman Catholic Church had sent the bodies of 950 children, almost all born to single mothers, to medical schools as anatomical subjects. The practice continued until 1977.

Some other homes also kept few, if any, records of what had been done with the bodies of the children who died in their care, the report found.

At just one of the 13 homes examined, the Bessborough Home in Cork, the inquiry said it could find no information about the burial places of more than 800 children who had died there. It also said that it had received limited cooperation from the religious orders who had run the home.

The Bessborough Home in Cork, where the inquiry could find no information about the burial places of more than 800 children who died there.

The nuns of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who ran three of the homes in Cork, did not record the burials of any of the children who died in their keeping, and it was unclear what happened to many of the bodies.

Fr. Gary Hayes, abuse survivor and victim advocate, 66, dies

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 17, 2019

by Patricia Lefevere

First priest ever to sue church officials over sex abuse charges remembered as 'holy disturbance'

In a week when Christians recall Jesus' passion and death, the homilist at a funeral for Fr. Gary Hayes, a victim of clergy abuse, declared that "Jesus himself was a victim of sexual abuse."

Fr. John Bambrick was referring to theologian Rocío Figueroa's recently published study that followed a research project she did with theologian David Tombs called "When Did I See you Naked"?, a work that Hayes would have loved, said the homilist. Hayes died of cancer April 4. He was 66.

Bambrick told assembled mourners that Figueroa had proven in her writing that Jesus had been sexually humiliated during his passion and crucifixion. He noted that three times in Gospel accounts of his ordeal, Jesus is forced to strip naked in front of cohorts of soldiers. Figueroa "makes the point that there are different forms of sexual abuse including sexual humiliation in the form of forced nudity, mockery, stripping, touching, sexual assault and other physical acts."

April 17, 2019

Editorial: 'We owe forgotten babies the dignity of memory'

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

April 18, 2019

One of the many lessons we have learned historically concerning scandals and the Catholic Church is that the cruellest lies are often told in silence. But what was kept secret or suppressed has repeatedly returned to hound and to haunt.

So it was devastating to hear once more a Government having to plead with religious orders to reveal where babies who died in their care are buried.

L.A. archdiocese pays abuse victim of layman $8 million

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

April 17, 2019

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a female teenager who was sexually abused and abducted by a teacher at her high school in 2016.

The victim attended San Gabriel Mission High School, an all-girls school in San Gabriel, Calif., about 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The then-15-year-old student was abused over numerous months by Juan Ivan Barajas, her volleyball coach and health teacher.

“The Archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese stated. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The Archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”

The plaintiff’s main attorney, David Ring, said April 16 that the amount is the largest the archdiocese has paid a single victim.

According to the New York Times, Barajas, 39, had sent her sexually explicit messages and images through his phone. He had abused her in several locations on school grounds beginning in April 2016.

After Barajas' wife found out about the abuse, he kidnapped the teenager in July, and took her to Las Vegas. The police found the pair living in his car in Henderson, Nev., and Barajas was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty.

Fr. Gary Hayes, abuse survivor and victim advocate, 66

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 17, 2019

By Patricia Lefevere

In a week when Christians recall Jesus' passion and death, the homilist at a funeral for Fr. Gary Hayes, a victim of clergy abuse, declared that "Jesus himself was a victim of sexual abuse."

Fr. John Bambrick was referring to theologian Rocío Figueroa's recently published study that followed a research project she did with theologian David Tombs called "When Did I See you Naked"?, a work that Hayes would have loved, said the homilist. Hayes died of cancer April 4. He was 66.

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Bambrick told assembled mourners that Figueroa had proven in her writing that Jesus had been sexually humiliated during his passion and crucifixion. He noted that three times in Gospel accounts of his ordeal, Jesus is forced to strip naked in front of cohorts of soldiers. Figueroa "makes the point that there are different forms of sexual abuse including sexual humiliation in the form of forced nudity, mockery, stripping, touching, sexual assault and other physical acts."

The reality is that the Romans crucified people naked, including Jesus. "The problem is that the Church has never faced the reality of sexuality in a healthy way and if they are not able to also see the sexuality of Jesus, the sexuality of human beings, they are not able to see the perversion that is sexual abuse," the homilist said, quoting Figuerosa.

Bambrick knew this kind of humiliation for a fact. He and Hayes had endured sexual assault as adolescents. The two men shared an unusual bond over decades. Both were priests who had been sexually abused by priests when they were teenagers. They confided to each other the details of their painful past. "My abuse was bad, but Gary's was horrendous," Bambrick told his family and friends. The fact that he survived it is a testament to his resiliency and the miracle of his life," said Bambrick, who is pastor of St. Aloysius Church in Jackson, New Jersey. He is a member of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and is a founding member of both Jordon's Crossing and Catholic Whistleblowers. He is a board member of New Jersey Child Assault Prevention, and, in 2002, he testified before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

When asked years before by reporters how he could become and remain a priest after he had been violated by two Catholic priests, Hayes replied: "God didn't do this; man did." Understanding the difference, Bambrick said, helped Hayes become a compassionate listener for the abused and troubled, a whistleblower and advocate for ridding the church of its abusive priests and a founder of support groups for priests who were abused as children by priests. Jordan's Crossing and Victims of Clergy Abuse Linkup were two of the support networks Hayes and Bambrick worked on together.

Accused Priest John Smyth Has Died

MAYWOOD (IL)
Patch

April17, 2019

By Jonah Meadows

A retired Catholic priest removed from the ministry earlier this year in response to allegations sexual abuse of minors has died. John P. Smyth passed away Tuesday night at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Chicago Archdiocese. He was 84.

Before his retirement in 2014, Smyth spend more than 30 years as the superintendent of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, an archdiocese-run home for troubled youth. After stepping down 15 years ago amid state and federal investigations into the facility, he became president of a Catholic high school.

Smyth was a star basketball player at DePaul Academy and the University of Notre Dame. He was drafted into the NBA in 1957 but turned down a career as a professional athlete and instead entered the priesthood. He was ordained and began his career at Maryville Academy in 1962, becoming superintendent in 1970.

Video: Sonoma press conference announcing new allegations against Father Crews at Hanna Boys Center

SONOMA (CA)
Index-Tribune

April 17, 2019

A Sacramento attorney who represents the two accusers and a Missouri man who was assaulted by a priest and is the former long time head of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, hold a press conference holding signs and childhood photos at St. Francis Solano Catholic church in Sonoma.

April 17, 2019, 1:41PM
Press Conference:

Two former residents of the Hanna Boys Center residential treatment program near Sonoma have come forward as sexual abuse survivors, saying they were repeatedly molested by one-time Executive Director John S. Crews.

Crews was named on a diocese list of clergy accused of child sex abuse. However, the two men said the diocese claimed Crews never molested kids at Hanna.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest (SNAP) held a news conference at 11:30 a.m. today in front of St. Francis Solano Catholic Church.

At the press conference was a Sacramento attorney who represents the two accusers and a Missouri man who was assaulted by a priest and is the former long time head of the support group, SNAP.

What happens when a priest is falsely accused of sexual abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 17, 2019

By Michael J. O’Loughlin

Until last year, online search results for the Rev. Gary Graf would include stories about his liver donation to a parishioner, his scaling a border wall so he could understand more intimately the experiences of his immigrant parishioners and a hunger strike he staged to draw attention to the plight of Dreamers.

Today, however, the top results relate to Father Graf’s removal from ministry last August following an accusation that he inappropriately touched a minor. That allegation prompted the Archdiocese of Chicago to remove Father Graf from ministry and contact civil authorities, setting off multiple rounds of investigations—including a criminal trial—that ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing.

As Holy Week begins, Father Graf is back ministering, but his story illustrates the challenges facing priests who are falsely accused at a time when hundreds of true stories of horrific abuse dominate the news.

Monk accused of sex abuse at Highland school faces being surrendered to Scotland for trial

SCOTLAND
The Press and Journal

April 17, 2019

By Alistair Munro

A monk accused of sexually abusing children at a Catholic school in the Highlands could soon face trial in Scotland.

Father Denis Alexander, 83, has been facing extradition from Australia since the allegations against him and other monks who worked at the Fort Augustus boarding school came to light several years ago.

A Crown Office spokeswoman confirmed that a decision has been taken by the Australian Government that he should be surrendered for trial in Scotland.

He has however applied for a judicial review.

Father Alexander denies the claims and has been contesting his extradition back to Scotland on the grounds of ill health.

The allegations of child abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey were made in a BBC documentary six years ago years ago.

Suffolk DA won't investigate priest molestation allegation

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

April 17, 2019

By Bart Jones

Diocesan policies call for the allegation against the Rev. Steven J. Peterson to be reported to civil authorities, which the diocese did, a spokesman said.

Suffolk County law enforcement will not investigate an allegation that a parish priest molested a minor more than 40 years ago because the statute of limitations has expired, officials said.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, 71, a pastor in Nassau County, agreed to step down from ministry while the allegation is investigated, the Diocese of Rockville Centre said this week.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office was informed of the allegation on Saturday, but will not pursue an investigation because the allegation is four decades old, Sheila Kelly, a spokeswoman for the office, said Tuesday.

Under policies adopted nationwide by the Roman Catholic Church and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, "an investigation is begun when an accusation is made," said diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan. Diocesan policies call for the allegation to be reported to civil authorities, which the diocese did, he said.

Caso Maristas: denunciantes interpondrán demanda civil contra la congregación y el Instituto Alonso Ercilla

[Marists case: plaintiffs to file civil suit against Marists and Alonso Ercilla Institute]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 15, 2019

By María José Navarrete and Sergio Rodríguez

Otras agrupaciones de víctimas evalúan, en conjunto con estudios de abogados, interponer acciones legales respecto de sus casos. Se trata de las primeras acciones tras el fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, que condenó a la Iglesia capitalina a pagar $ 300 millones a las víctimas de Fernando Karadima
.

Los denunciantes del denominado caso Maristas interpondrán durante los próximos días una demanda civil en contra de la congregación del mismo nombre y el colegio perteneciente a ella, el Instituto Alonso Ercilla, donde habrían ocurrido los eventuales abusos. Esta semana se darán a conocer los detalles de la acción judicial.

¿Y dónde está Karadima? Ex sacerdote dejó el hogar donde vivía en Lo Barnechea

[And where is Karadima? Former priest left home where he lived in Lo Barnechea]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 16, 2019

By María José Navarrete and Sergio Rodríguez

El traslado a otro recinto para adultos mayores en Santiago ocurrió a fines de marzo. Sus cercanos no quieren comentar dónde está para evitar funas y presencia mediática. "Sé que él reza mucho", cuenta su médico, Santiago Soto, quien lo visita cada tres semanas. Se especula sobre un problema económico del exsacerdote, expulsado del estado clerical por el Papa Francisco el 27 de septiembre del año pasado.

En silencio, sin que nadie supiera. Hace poco menos de un mes, a fines del marzo reciente, el exsacerdote Fernando Karadima, de 88 años, dejó el Hogar de Ancianos San José de las Hermanitas de los Ancianos Desamparados, donde vivía desde mayo de 2017. Allí, el sacerdote, quizás el mayor símbolo de la crisis que actualmente vive la Iglesia católica en Chile, estuvo recluido poco menos de dos años, una vez que fue trasladado desde el Convento de las Siervas de Jesús de la Caridad, de Providencia.

Celestino Aós desmintió polémica frase en entrevista en el extranjero: "Nunca lo he dicho"

[Celestino Aós denies controversial statement in interview abroad: "I've never said it"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 16, 2019

By Valentina González and Nicole Martínez

El administrador Apostólico de Santiago, Celestino Aós, se refirió al encuentro que sostuvo este martes con el presidente Sebastián Piñera en La Moneda. A la salida del encuentro, Aós negó que en la cita se haya hablado sobre la colaboración que podría prestar la Iglesia Católica con las investigaciones de abusos por parte de sacerdotes, calificando de “impensable” tocar esos temas en un saludo protocolar.

Denunciantes de Karadima revelan que Celestino Aós les pidió "perdón por las faltas cometidas por la iglesia"

[Karadima survivors say Celestino Aós asked them "forgiveness for the faults committed by the church"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

April 12, 2019

By Fernanda Villalobos D.

Tras llegar de su encuentro con el Papa en Roma, el administrador apostólico de Santiago se dirigió a la Fundación para la Confianza donde se reunió con José Andrés Murillo, Juan Carlos Cruz y James Hamilton.

El administrador apostólico de Santiago, Celestino Aós, se reunió este viernes con los denunciantes de Fernando Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton y José Andrés Murillo en la sede de la Fundación para la Confianza, luego de aterrizar en Chile tras su encuentro con el Papa Francisco en Roma para abordar la crisis al interior de la iglesia católica chilena.

Aós lamenta que Chile y la Iglesia tienen "heridas de abuso, de corrupción, de violencia"

[Aós regrets that Chile and the Church have "wounds of abuse, corruption, violence"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

April 14, 2019

By Leonardo Vallejos

El administrador apostólico de Santiago celebró misa por Domingo de Ramos y reveló que el papa "me dijo que hacia delante con esperanza y tratando de dar cada uno de nosotros lo mejor".

Celestino Aós, el administrador apostólico de Santiago, celebró este domingo misa para conmemorar Domingo de Ramos en la Catedral Metropolitana. "La liturgia nos hace pensar hoy en este Chile, en esta Iglesia nuestra con tantas heridas de abuso, de corrupción, de violencia, en definitiva, de pasión y muerte", comenzó diciendo.

El arzobispo de Santiago pide a los curas “denunciar radicalmente la lacra” de los abusos sexuales

[Archbishop of Santiago asks the priests "radically denounce the scourge" of sexual abuse]

SANTIAGO (SPAIN)
El País

April 17, 2019

Julián Barrio advierte a los sacerdotes de la archidiócesis de que estos casos causan "tristeza y dolor" y generan "perdida de confianza" en el clero

“¡Qué tristeza y dolor están causando los abusos sexuales en la Iglesia, que tanta pérdida de confianza han generado!", ha clamado esta mañana el arzobispo de Santiago, jefe de la Iglesia gallega, ante las decenas de curas de la archidiócesis congregados para la misa crismal. En la iglesia de San Martiño Pinario, escenario de las grandes celebraciones ahora que la catedral compostelana está sumida en obras, Julián Barrio ha hablado con más claridad que nunca, a sus propios sacerdotes, sobre el escándalo que reiteradamente sale a flote en el seno del catolicismo: Los abusos sexuales "son un pecado ante Dios que hiere profundamente a la persona y contamina la vida eclesial", ha defendido en su homilía.

Bishop wins court order in child sex case

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

He can now seek $7,300 from 22 year old woman

She told police Catholic coach was molesting her

Based on her report & testimony, he ended up in prison

SNAP: But church officials ‘exploit technicalities” & “play hardball”

Their goal, group says, is to “scare other victims into staying silent”

Victims deplore “this mean-spirited tactic” and write to Pope Francis

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos, a 22 year old woman who was repeatedly abused as a youngster will

--disclose that Catholic officials are trying to force her to pay $7,300 in costs related to her sexual abuse and cover up lawsuit against them, and

--blast Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto for “trying to shut up victims like me.”

WHEN
Wednesday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE

On the sidewalk outside the Sacramento Catholic diocese headquarters (‘chancery’), 2110 Broadway, (corner of 21st St.) in Sacramento

WHO

The young victim, her Sacramento attorney, perhaps one other local victim and a Missouri man who is also an abuse victim.

WHY

In what’s being called “an outrageous move to silence abuse victims,” lawyers for Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto have won a court order that means they can get $7,300 from a 22 year old woman who was molested by a Catholic school employee when she was 15 years old. The rationale: Her civil abuse lawsuit against school and church officials was voluntarily withdrawn.

But there’s no doubt she was victimized and her one-time coach at a Catholic school is responsible, SNAP says, because it was her report and testimony that landed the perpetrator in prison.

Starting in 2013, Bailey Boone was sexually abused as a sophomore by St. Francis school softball coach Michael Martis. He was 54. She was 15.

In 2016, he was charged with six felonies. The following year, he pled guilty to abusing Bailey and a 15 year old girl. He’s in jail now.

A month later, Bailey filed a civil case against the diocese and St. Francis High School for that abuse and their recklessness.

In January 2019, Bailey dismissed her civil complaint, for technical reasons, though state law entitles her to re-file it any time before she turns 26.

Lawsuit Alleges “Systemic” Abuse at D.C. Synagogue

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

April 16, 2019

To ignore warnings and expressions of concern about a child care worker brought forward by one person is bad enough, but for an educator to disregard repeated reports by both parents and teachers is unconscionable.

We have no first hand knowledge about the allegations of “systemic” child sexual abuse at the Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center. However, we know that false allegations of child sexual abuse are extremely rare, so our hearts ache for the children and their families who have filed police reports and are suing the Center. We hope that the boys and girls involved are getting the therapy and support they need.

Los Angeles Archdiocese Pays $8 Million to Teen Girl Abused and Kidnapped by Coach

NEW YORK (NY)
Ne York Times

April 16, 2019

By Liam Stack

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has paid $8 million to a teenager who was sexually abused and later kidnapped by a teacher at her Catholic high school in 2016, her lawyer said Tuesday. The case has drawn attention to the problem of sex abuse at Catholic institutions that is committed by church employees who are not clergy members.

Dave Ring, a lawyer for the victim, and advocates for abuse survivors said the settlement was believed to be the largest amount paid to a single victim by the archdiocese, which has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to abuse survivors in recent years.

“I think the archdiocese has tended to settle cases for larger amounts when priests are involved,” Mr. Ring said on Tuesday. “In this particular case, the fact that it is a lay person and a coach and an athletic director, I think they are starting to realize that even lay people who may not hold a super important position in the church can still wreak havoc on a young person’s life, just as much as a priest can.”

Adrian M. Alarcon, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, declined Tuesday to confirm the price of the settlement. But she said that a $660 million settlement reached in 2007 with 508 abuse victims included sizable awards to “certain individuals,” although the church did not decide how that money was distributed.

“The Archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The Archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”

The victim has not been publicly identified. She was 15 years old when she was sexually abused by Ivan Barajas, the athletic director and health teacher at San Gabriel Mission High School in San Gabriel, Calif., a parish school owned and operated by the archdiocese, according to court documents in a lawsuit filed in 2017. He was also her volleyball coach.

Priest in leaked document not an abuser, Buffalo Diocese confirms

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

April 16, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

A Buffalo Diocese priest and high-ranking administrator whose name emerged last week in a confidential diocese document of cases of alleged misconduct was accused of mishandling an alleged abuse case involving a Boy Scout leader – not of sexually abusing anyone.

Diocese attorney Lawlor F. Quinlan III declined to specify what prompted the inclusion of Monsignor Albert Rung on a June 27, 2018, agenda of the Diocesan Review Board along with about 100 other priests, most of whom the diocese has publicly identified as abusers.

But Robert Rung, the monsignor’s great-nephew, said Quinlan told him that Rung’s name surfaced in a complaint alleging that the monsignor didn’t do enough to address an abuse accusation against a scoutmaster.

“He said there were no accusations naming Monsignor Rung for any sexual impropriety at all,” said Robert Rung, whose grandfather was the monsignor’s brother. As for whether Monsignor Rung more than 50 years ago overlooked a case of alleged abuse when he served as vicar general for the diocese, Robert Rung said Quinlan did not have an answer.

“He said there was nothing substantiated,” said Rung.

In a statement to The Buffalo News, Quinlan confirmed that the diocese received no complaints of abuse against Monsignor Rung.

“The diocese would not be mentioning Msgr. Rung or anything about the complaint lodged against him nearly 50 years after he died if it were not for the publicity he unfortunately has received recently,” said Quinlan. “Because of those circumstances, the diocese will confirm only that the complaint received did not involve a claim that Msgr. Rung abused anyone, and the diocese has never received a complaint that he did.”

The review board primarily examines cases of alleged child sex abuse, although diocese officials sometimes ask the board to give recommendations in cases involving other kinds of misconduct or impropriety.

Bishop Richard J. Malone has publicly identified most of the priests on the June agenda as having been credibly accused of sexual abusing children. But the bishop has been silent on 27 of the priests listed on the agenda in connection with some type of complaint, including Rung.

The agenda was leaked to WKBW-TV, which ran a report connecting at least 13 of the priests to complaints involving sex abuse of minors and questioning why Malone hadn’t included the priests on a diocese list of clergy with substantiated claims of abuse. The diocese declined to clarify to WKBW-TV which of the 27 priests were the subject of sex abuse accusations and which were not, other than to say several were not accused of abuse. Quinlan told The News last week that the diocese received no complaint of abuse about another priest whose name appeared on the agenda, the Rev. Carlton J. Westfield. But Quinlan declined to discuss details about why other priests' names were on the agenda.

Livermore Priest Accused Of Sexual Assault Had Prior Accusations

OAKLAND (CA)
KPIX 5

April 16, 2019

A Catholic priest accused of sexual assault in the East Bay also has some serious allegations from his past.

A young former seminarian who does not want to be identified says he was sexually assaulted by a priest he considered a mentor, Father Michael Van Dinh. He says it happened inside the rectory of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Livermore where he says Van Dinh lured him with the promise of helping him find a job.

“When I got there something didn’t feel right,” said the former seminarian. He says Van Dinh led him into a candlelit room and gave him a gift bag. “In those gifts he had oils and underwear thongs and a shirt and chocolate,” said the former seminarian.

Then he says Van Dinh forced him down onto a mattress. “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t react. And he abused me,” he said. Police later recovered the underwear along with a blindfold, a meth pipe and five rubber rings from Van Dinh’s room.

What the former seminarian didn’t know was that Van Dinh was accused of engaging in inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact in the past, even though charges were never filed against him.

“What it shows is the lack of accountability of the church,” said his attorney, Sandra Ribera. She has now filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Oakland and Bishop Michael Barber, alleging they knew about prior allegations against Van Dinh.

“It’s our argument that the diocese had knowledge of these previous allegations and they kept him as a priest in the church and allowed this rape of my client to happen,” said Ribera.

Connecting the Catholic Community

FAIRFIELD (CT)
Fairfield Mirror

April 17, 2019

By Sabina Dirienzo

Throughout the 13th annual Commonweal lecture, speaker Dominic Preziosi reminded the audience that a people is known by the story it tells. Preziosi is the editor of Commonweal, a Catholic opinion magazine run by laypeople. The lecture, titled “The Last Catholic Boyhood?” was held in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business dining room on April 10.

The Commonweal lecture was introduced by Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. chair in Catholic studies and professor of religious studies, and Preziosi was then introduced by his predecessor, Paul Baumann.

Preziosi began by telling the audience the story of his first communion day. He asked his mother to play kickball in his white communion pants, and said to the audience, “maybe you can guess what happened.”

He explained that he used this anecdote as a starting point to empathize with fellow Catholic people, and introduced the preceding quote: “a people is known by the stories it tells.” He described his own upbringing as “a wonderful and wonderfully Catholic upbringing.”

Preziosi has two children; while both were raised Catholic, “now neither shows any particular interest in what they dismissively refer to as ‘church.’” Preziosi focused his talk on this idea of his own era of childhood as that last Catholic boyhood; what’s changed?

In his own experience at Fordham University, he found that there were two things which made Catholic religiosity difficult for him: witnessing performative piety, and witnessing the things that are done in the name of Catholicism. Preziosi also read the book “Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children,” regarding clerical sexual abuse in Louisiana. This book was released, and Preziosi read it, before the Boston Globe Spotlight reports on the sexual abuse scandal in Massachusetts.

Woman says Lafayette priest on diocese list of accused sexual abusers assaulted her

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

April 17, 2019

By Ashley White

More than 50 years after she was first abused as a little girl in Lafayette by a priest, Nancy told the diocese her story.

She and her six siblings all gave sworn statements to church leaders. Father John deLeeuw, her parish priest, had assaulted her in her family home on Moss Street near St. Leo the Great, she told them. It started when she was in third grade, at about age 7. It didn’t stop until she was in the sixth.

Then, nothing happened. The diocese had promised money, but none came. The church leaders said deLeeuw would be defrocked. She never heard anything.

That was in 2011.

On Friday, Nancy's younger brother sent her a text. He captured a photo of the list released by the Diocese of Lafayette of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, and deLeeuw’s name was on it.

She saw his name and she felt finally vindicated.

“When I first saw the text, I said 'they finally caught the (SOB).'”

Nancy, an accuser of Father John deLeeuw
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this all to come out,” Nancy, now 69, said. "When I first saw the text, I said 'they finally caught the (SOB).' "

Nancy, who asked that her family's name not be revealed to protect their identity, said it's unclear if her accusations or others led to deLeeuw being identified by the diocese. The diocese released names of 33 priests and four deacons, but withheld other significant information, like the nature of abuse allegations, when they were accused and how long they served after they were accused.

Benedict is pouring salt in old wounds rather than helping the church move forward

NEW YORK (NY)
Daily News

April 17, 2019

By John Gehring

t’s a strange and unhelpful business having more than one pope living at the same time. When Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down in 2013, the first pontiff in six centuries to abdicate his position pledged to "remain hidden to the world.” The humility and grace Benedict showed in making that revolutionary decision to renounce power is now overshadowed by a tone-deaf insistence to weigh in with his opinions, even when those conclusions can be used to undermine Pope Francis.

The “pope emeritus” who still wears white — a title and color that Benedict should stop using to avoid the perception of competing papacies, much as a former police chief or general would take off the uniform when commenting from the sidelines — set off a whirlwind of media coverage and theological head-spinning last week when he weighed in about the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

In a lengthy essay for a German church magazine, published in the United States by conservative Catholic web sites that frequently criticize Francis, Benedict points to the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the absence of God in public life, and even moral theologians who challenged aspects of the church’s teachings as contributing to clerical abuse.

A culture of sexual permissiveness in the 1960s, he argues, accepted pedophilia as “allowed and appropriate.” Sexual education of children and nudity in advertising created a “propensity for violence.” This is why, in one of his more bizarre claims, “sex films were no longer allowed on airplanes” because “violence would break out among the small community of passengers.”

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In Benedict’s narrative, the mix of social protest and changing sexual mores left the church itself a victim. “Homosexual cliques” corrupted seminaries, he writes, an argument taken to its pernicious extreme by some conservative bishops today who continue to blame gay clergy for the abuse crisis despite evidence to the contrary.

[More Opinion] Face it: Recognition technology isn’t close to ready for prime-time »
It’s much easier to point accusing fingers at the secular forces supposedly conspiring against the church or to scapegoat gay clergy than to take a hard look at your own house. In fact, this hunkered-down style of fortress Catholicism — defensive and reactionary — helped shape a mentality that led church leaders to become isolated, privileged and comfortable. Priests and bishops, viewed as a heroic class set apart, were less servants than those who expected to be served, protectors of an institution rather than protectors of children.

Francis, in contrast, has correctly diagnosed the systemic and cultural problems at the heart of clericalism that too often led to abuses of power. “To say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to all forms of clericalism,” the pope wrote in a letter to the Catholic faithful last summer.

Benedict is a kind, gentle man with a deep spirituality. He is also hurting the church he loves. It’s sad to watch him unwittingly give credibility to a small but vocal contingent of reactionary Catholic bishops and right-wing Catholic activists who view the reformist Francis papacy as a threat. At a time when transparency, accountability and decisive action are needed to prevent future abuse, the Catholic Church is not well served by a former pope whose vision is blurred by theological and cultural nostalgia.

#NunsToo: How the Catholic Church has worked to silence women challenging abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 17, 2019

By Lila Rice Goldenberg

On March 26, the eight editors of Women Church World, the monthly Vatican women’s magazine, resigned. They left in protest over the church’s attempts to silence the all-female staff’s reports of clerical abuse of nuns.

The controversy began in February, when the magazine’s writers claim that they were told not to discuss Pope Francis’s revelations about rampant clerical misconduct toward nuns. The authors refused to give in to Vatican pressure. In response, the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, started to run articles that contradicted stories in Women Church World. In a statement to the Associated Press, founder Lucetta Scaraffia said, “After the attempts to put us under control, came the indirect attempts to delegitimize us.”

In the #MeToo era, the Vatican’s attempts to discredit those women who speak out against sexual abuse and harassment by members of the clergy may seem like a desperate ploy to preserve its own fast-eroding moral authority. But this pattern of behavior has been the standard for the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages. For more than a thousand years, the church has denigrated religious women when they challenged clerical abusers.

Historically, the church has opposed groups of religious women who have acted against or outside church control, even if they were acting out of religious conviction. In the Middle Ages, the church used similar tactics with the Beguines, a lay religious movement for women popular throughout medieval cities in the Low Countries, France and Germany.

These women lived semi-monastic lives of prayer and work. Inside their houses, called “beguinages,” they prayed and meditated. They also maintained ties with the outside world. They cared for the sick, taught school for girls and young women, and made textiles and other handicrafts to support themselves. They were prayerful, chaste, charitable and industrious.

In other words, beguines were paradigms of female religiosity.

Catholic Diocese Agrees To Changes In Handling Sex Abuse Cases

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO TV

April 17, 2019

By Marian Hetherlhy

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust have formed a Joint Implementation Team, facilitated by Leadership Roundtable, to address the clergy sex abuse scandal. Among the first orders of business was to agree to changes in how the diocese handles abuse cases.

Bishop Richard Malone said the team held its first meeting on April 11 and quickly reached agreement on the following initiatives:

Malone will hold Diocesan-wide listening sessions. The first two dates and locations will be announced by the end of April and the first session could be held as early as May.
New Initiatives to Handle Sex Abuse Cases:
Malone will continue meeting with victims and also reserve regular hours on his schedule for individual meetings.
The Diocese’s approach to releasing the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse will be reviewed. The MRT has suggested a more detailed approach, based upon best practices from other U.S. dioceses.
The Diocese’s intake processes for sex abuse claims will be reviewed to insure victims are treated with dignity.
Malone will establish a new process for allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct made against a bishop, modeled after other dioceses, whereby complaints would automatically be referred to the Metropolitan Archdiocesan Review Board. This new process would remain in place until the Vatican or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops develops a procedure applicable to all dioceses.

April 16, 2019

Former Baptist preachers face abuse charges in Vermont, Mississippi and Guam

NASHVILLE (TN)
Baptist News Global

April 16, 2019

By Bob Allen

Two months after a series of investigative newspaper stories reported widespread sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention and while denominational leaders ponder solutions, the numbers of Southern Baptist clergy in the criminal system for alleged sex offenses continues to grow.

Last Friday Michael McNeil, former youth pastor at Christ Memorial Church in Wilton, Vermont, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.

McNeil, 29, served as youth pastor at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, before moving to Vermont in 2016 to intern at The New England Training and Sending Center for Church Planting and Revitalization, a group of congregations affiliated with groups including the Southern Baptist Convention, Sovereign Grace Ministries, The Gospel Coalition, 9Marks and ACTS 29.

McNeil admitted to the crime in exchange for a sentence with no jail time that keeps his name off the sex offender registry if he stays out of trouble for five years.

According to the Burlington Free Press, the unnamed girl was older than the age of consent, but Vermont has a law making it a crime for someone at least four years older acting “in a position of power, authority, or supervision” to engage in a sexual act with a minor. If convicted of abusing his position of power to entice the girl McNeil could have received up to five years in prison.

“The breach of trust is unbelievable,” Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Kevin Griffin told McNeil after accepting his guilty plea. “The dignity and the compassion that [the girl’s] parents have shown you far exceeded what you did to them.”

Also on Friday, Jonathan Michael Bailey, 37, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in 2015 during a trip to the Sea Shore United Methodist Retreat Center in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Bailey, former minister of youth at First Baptist Church in New Orleans, was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison for molestation that occurred in Louisiana.

A graduate of Louisiana College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Bailey reportedly passed a criminal background check before joining the staff at First Baptist in about 2013, but after his arrest a previous church reported to police he had been fired there about a decade earlier over an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile.

D.C. synagogue accused in lawsuit of enabling 'systemic, regular' sexual abuse at preschool

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA TODAY

April 16, 2019

By Joey Garrison

Eight families say a teacher at a Jewish preschool in Washington, D.C., repeatedly sexually abused their children over the past two years – and they contend the school's top leader and a prominent synagogue did nothing about it despite warnings.

Disturbing claims of sexual abuse against children, between the ages of two and four at the time of the alleged crimes, are outlined in a new civil lawsuit filed late Monday against the Washington Hebrew Congregation, which operates the Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center, and its head of schools, Deborah "DJ" Schneider Jensen.

The suit, filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, alleges the defendants enabled sexual abuse of children from the same man – Jordan Silverman, an assistant teacher who arrived at the preschool in 2016 after a long career as a photographer in Vermont.

Attorneys for the parents and children say the abuse, which spanned from March 2016 to August 2018 on the preschool's campus, included the "most grievous, demeaning and damaging forms of sexual abuse," and was "systemic and regular." The victims include both girls and boys, they say.

More child sex abuse bills advance in Pennsylvania House

HARRISBURG (PA)
KYW Newsradio

April 16, 2019

By Tony Romeo

Two more bills crafted on recommendations from the grand jury that investigated clergy child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania has advanced in the state House.

Legislation intended to reform the statute of limitations on child sex abuse passed the House last week.

Now the House Children and Youth Committee has advanced a bill, sponsored by Montgomery County Republican Todd Stephens, based on a grand jury recommendation to clarify and strengthen penalties for someone who is required to report suspected abuse and fails to do so.

Philippine villagers struggle with priest sex abuse shock

BILIRAN (THE PHILIPPINES)
UCA News

April 15, 2019

By Ronald O. Reyes

Parishioners of accused American priest say scandal came out of the blue

People in a central Philippine village, where a 77-year-old American priest allegedly molested young boys, are clinging to their faith to overcome the stigma the abuse scandal has brought.

Residents said news about the abuse, which surfaced last year, was "extremely difficult" for the estimated 1,000 people in the sleepy coastal village of Talustosan to come to terms with.

"We’re all hurt," said 38-year-old Nito Olaguer, a father of four and a former acolyte of accused Father Kenneth Hendricks.

Franciscan University president resigns after Church Militant pressure

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 16, 2019

By Jenn Morson

After months of pressure from the right-wing media organization Church Militant and its supporters, many of them parents of current students at Franciscan University of Steubenville as well as alumni of the Ohio school, Franciscan Fr. Sean Sheridan tendered to the Board of Trustees his resignation as president.

His resignation comes in the wake of a challenging academic year for Sheridan and the university. At a Mass opening the academic year, Sheridan delivered a homily that addressed the sexual abuse crisis in the church at large as well as at Franciscan University, where several incidents of abuse were mishandled and where it was revealed later in the year that credible allegations had been made against a well-known friar at the school.

The final straw, however, may have been controversy over assignment of a novel to a high-level literature seminar that conservatives found objectionable and that Church Militant picked up as a cause against Sheridan.

Committees advance bills related to sex abuse scandal

HARRISBURG (PA)
Altoona Mirror

April 16, 2019

By Robert Swift

Two House committees advanced bills Monday to implement some of the lesser-known recommendations of last year’s state grand jury report on child sex abuse.

The grand jury, which identified more than 300 priests accused of sexually abusing thousands of children over the course of decades, made four recommendations for legislative action. The two proposals concerning Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases have gotten the most public attention so far.

The committees on Monday tackled the jury recommendations dealing with confidentiality agreements for child sex abuse victims and reporting requirements for suspicions of child sex abuse.

The Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to approve House Bill 1171, sponsored by Rep. Tarah Toohill, R-Luzerne, to specify that civil confidentiality agreements with abuse victims that include bans on communicating with law enforcement are “void and unenforceable.” The bill would apply to past and present confidentiality agreements.

The bill is a response to a jury finding that Catholic dioceses used these non-disclosure agreements to silence abuse victims from speaking publicly or cooperating with law enforcement, said Toohill.

Passing the bill will enable law enforcement inform to inform victims that they can speak out, she added.

Abuse crisis rooted in ‘egregious’ social changes, retired pope says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

April 15, 2019

By Carol Glatz

The clerical sexual abuse crisis is rooted in the “egregious event” of the cultural and sexual revolution in the Western world in the 1960s and a collapse of the existence and authority of absolute truth and God, retired Pope Benedict XVI writes in an article outlining his thoughts on what must be done now.

The retired pope said the primary task at hand is to reassert the joyful truth of God’s existence and of the church as holding the true deposit of faith.

“When thinking about what action is required first and foremost, it is rather obvious that we do not need another church of our own design. Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the faith in the reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament,” he wrote.

Australian media challenge 'unprecedented' contempt charges over sex abuse reporting

AUSTRALIA
Mail & Guardian

April 15, 2019

The lawyer defending Australia’s biggest news organisations against contempt charges for their reporting of Cardinal George Pell’s sex crimes conviction denounced on Monday what he called an unprecedented attack on press freedom in the country.

Twenty-three journalists and 13 media companies face fines and prison terms for allegedly breaching a gag order not to report on last year’s trial of Pell for child sex abuse.

Pell, 77, the most senior Catholic cleric convicted of sex crimes, was found guilty in December of abusing two choirboys and is serving a six-year prison term. He has appealed the conviction.
The court had banned all reporting of the case pending a second trial scheduled for this month, but the gag order was lifted in February when that trial was cancelled.

Some foreign media, including The New York Times and the Washington Post, reported Pell’s conviction in December, while local media ran cryptic articles complaining that they were being prevented from reporting a story of major public interest.

Catholic Diocese agrees to changes in handling of sex abuse cases

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO

April 16, 2019

By Marian Hetherly

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust have formed a Joint Implementation Team, facilitated by Leadership Roundtable, to address the clergy sex abuse scandal. Among the first orders of business was to agree to changes in how the diocese handles abuse cases.

Bishop Richard Malone said the team held its first meeting on April 11 and quickly reached agreement on the following initiatives:

Lawsuit alleges child sex abuse at Washington synagogue

WASHINGTON (DC)
CNN

April 16, 2019

By Daniel Burke

The families of eight young children have filed suit against a prominent Washington synagogue and one of its leaders, alleging they ignored warnings that a teacher at the congregation's preschool was sexually abusing the children for more than two years.

The families, who are filing the suit anonymously, to protect the children's identities, say the alleged abuse occurred at Washington Hebrew Congregation's Early Childhood Center, a Reform Jewish synagogue founded in the 1850s.

The lawsuit names Jordan Silverman, a teacher at Washington Hebrew Congregation's preschool, as the abuser. Silverman, who was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, could not be immediately reached for comment.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia confirmed to CNN on Monday evening that an investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children at the school is currently ongoing. Police wouldn't confirm or deny that Silverman is a suspect.

Buffalo Diocese, lay people reveal plans to help restore trust in Catholic church

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

April 15, 2019

By Shannon Smith

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone is working to restore trust in the Catholic Church. A group of lay people hope their suggestions will help after the sex abuse scandal rocked the Buffalo Diocese.


The Movement to Restore Trust and the Buffalo Diocese met Thursday to give suggestions for the Diocese aimed at restoring faith in Catholic leaders.


John Hurley, president of Canisius College and a member of the Movement to Restore Trust talked about those suggestion on WBEN radio Monday afternoon.


"We put nine, basic, kind of foundational, recommendations in front of the Bishop and we said this is what needs to happen to begin the process of restoring trust in the diocese and he said, I can do those," said John Hurley.

Kentucky diocese IDs priests 'credibly' accused of abuse

OWENSBORO (KY)
The Associated Press

April 16, 2019

The diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, has released a list of priests it says have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors.

The Paducah Sun reports the bishop of the diocese, The Most Rev. William Medley, released the list of 15 priests Friday.

Bishop Malone apologizes in Buffalo diocese, says he was part of no cover-ups

BUFFALO (NY)
CNA

April 12, 2019

The Bishop of Buffalo said in a statement Thursday that despite media reports to the contrary, he has not been part of any cover-up of clerical sexual abuse, though he does intend to be more transparent about clerical sexual abuse and its financial impact on his diocese.

“For all the progress the Church and this diocese have made in preventing child sexual abuse today and in addressing abuse in the past, I recognize that more needs to be done. Of course, I am acutely aware of the times when I personally have fallen short,” Bishop Richard Malone said in his April 11 statement.

Quiet ex-pope emerges at exactly the wrong time

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

April 16, 2019

Emeritus Pope Benedict picked a strange moment and an unfortunate topic to return to the public eye — just before Holy Week, writing about the scandal of sex abuse in the Catholic Church and choosing to blame the 1960s for the sins of the church.

The Catholic Church, as with any human institution, has a history of misdeeds that dates back to its very founding, well before the swinging ’60s. Among those — and we can never forget the Inquisition — are abuse of children, the faithful, nuns and others by priests in holy orders. Over the years, such sins were covered up by bishops and the hierarchy because, sadly, institutions seem more intent on protecting themselves than caring for people. That is just a fact of human nature and human history.

What makes abuse by priests and subsequent cover-ups so horrific, of course, is that the institution hiding the sin is supposed to represent Jesus on this Earth, showcasing the gospel through its actions. The Catholic Church seeks to teach, to set an example and to show humanity how good Christians are supposed to live.

Former St. Mary's Pastor Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor

MANORHAVEN (NY)
Patch National

April 15, 2019

By Ryan Bonner

The alleged abuse occurred more than 40 years ago, but it was only recently reported, diocese officials say.

A former pastor at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in East Islip has been accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, the current pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, "has voluntarily agreed to step down immediately from all ministry" while an investigation takes place, said Sean Dolan, the director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The alleged abuse was only recently reported through the diocese's Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), Dolan said.

Franciscan releases name of another priest accused of sex abuse

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTRF

April 16, 2019

Franciscan University of Steubenville has released another name of a priest accused of sex abuse.

Father Joseph Moore was there from 1986 to 1989.

After moving to another Diocese in Connecticut back in 1997, he was removed from the ministry for reports of abuse.

They did not involve his time in Steubenville however.

Former St. Joseph's Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor

MANORHAVEN (NY)
Patch National

April 15, 2019

By Ryan Bonner

The alleged abuse occurred more than 40 years ago, but it was only recently reported, diocese officials say.

A former priest at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Babylon has been accused of sexually
abusing a minor more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, the current pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, "has voluntarily agreed to step down immediately from all ministry" while an investigation takes place, said Sean Dolan, the director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The alleged abuse was only recently reported through the diocese's Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), Dolan said.

'I did as I was told': $1 million lawsuit against Knox for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Sydney Morning Herald

April 14, 2019

By Peter FitzSimons and Rick Feneley

Greg Dubler was just 10 years old when he was sent to board at Knox, the prestigious private school on Sydney’s upper north shore.

His parents were having marriage troubles and wanted to travel to Europe together to try to work things out. Their three sons, Martin, Robert and Greg, who had been Knox day boys, were sent to board at the school for three months in 1975.

BUFFALO BISHOP FAILS IN ATTEMPT AT COVER-UP

BUFFALO (NY)
Church Militant

April 15, 2019

NBC News preparing to release huge story on Bishop Malone

With the white heat from the media spotlight intensifying, Buffalo, New York's Bp. Richard Malone is once again rejecting mounting calls for his resignation and proclaiming his innocence — although he grudgingly admits he failed in some aspects.

"I deeply regret and apologize for having signed those letters in support of Fr. Art Smith," Malone said in an April 11 statement, referring to a predator priest Malone promoted. "I also regret not being more transparent about claims involving abuse against adults."

His sudden confession may be the result of getting word of an upcoming NBC News piece on him and his failures. NBC reporter Anne Thompson was in Buffalo last week doing extensive interviews with victims of priests Malone continues to leave in service.

Christians and allegations of sexual misconduct, part two: the Catholic Church

HUNTINGTON (IN)
The Huntingtonian

April 15, 2019

By Juliet Wilson

Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination in the world, reporting 1.285 billion members in 2014. In the same year, a study showed that 20.8 percent of Americans identify as Catholic — this makes Catholicism the single-largest denomination in America as well.

Without a doubt, Catholicism has become a prominent presence in America and worldwide. Despite the Catholic emphasis on sanctification, this denomination has fallen prey to the disaster of sexual misconduct within the church. Devastatingly, the history of sexual abuse between Catholic priests and young boys has become common knowledge.

Recently, the problem of sexual abuse within the Catholic church has resurfaced in the media. On March 14, the Roman Catholic Church in Poland released a study concerning the abuse reports church officials received. This study was commissioned by the Episcopal Conference of Poland and covered the time period between 1990 and mid-2018.

Women Sexually Abused By Catholic Nuns Speak Up: She Told Me It Was ‘God’s Love’

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

April 11, 2019

By Carol Kuruvilla and Jessica Blank

Two survivors share stories of grooming, emotional manipulation and sexual abuse by nuns in the Catholic Church.

The predator nun walked into Trish Cahill’s life straight out of the blue, on a busy summer day in the late 1960s.

Cahill was a teenager back then, wire thin with long, chestnut brown hair framing her face. She was babysitting her cousins in Glen Rock, New Jersey, and there were eight of them to look after ― a big Catholic family, much like her own.

One cousin was playing outside that day and Cahill had another little one in a high chair in the kitchen. It was quite a common child care tactic at the time, she said ― stick a kid in a playpen in the yard and watch through the window while doing chores and taking care of the others inside.

Diocese: Priest in Manorhaven steps aside after abuse allegation

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

April 15, 2019

By Bart Jones

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson most recently served at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church. The allegation stems from decades ago, the diocese said.

A parish priest in Manorhaven has stepped down while law enforcement authorities investigate an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago when he served in Suffolk County, the Diocese of Rockville Centre and officials said Monday.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, 71, has been serving as pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in the village of Manorhaven. Diocese officials announced the move Sunday during Masses at the church, parishioners said.

Peterson could not be reached for comment.

Michigan lawmaker cries foul against AG’s 'anti-Catholicism'

LANSING (MI)
Catholic News Agency

April 15, 2019

By Jonah McKeown

A Michigan state representative is considering opening articles of impeachment against the state’s attorney general over comments that he says demonstrate an anti-Catholic bias.

State Rep. Beau LaFave told CNA in an interview that he had been worried about various public statements made by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

But the final straw was when Nessel publicly suggested that she thinks retired Judge Michael Talbot, a Catholic who has previously worked with the Diocese of Saginaw, is unfit to help Michigan State University overhaul its Title IX hearing procedures.

“There's a clear pattern of anti-Catholic religious bigotry coming out of our attorney general, and somebody needs to do something about it,” LaFave told CNA.

Our Lady of Hope plants pinwheels at Epiphany Church in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
South Philly Review

April 15, 2019

By Grace Maiorano

For the first time since its inception, the Archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection included students during its annual pinwheel planting ceremony, known as “Pinwheels for Prevention.”

Swirling in the wind, a sea of glistening blue and silver pinwheels have graced the gardens of Epiphany of Our Lord Church at 11th and Jackson streets.

But the site serves as more than a springtime decoration, striving to represent the happiness, healthiness and safety of our community’s children.

For the first time since its inception, the Archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection included students during its annual pinwheel planting ceremony, known as “Pinwheels for Prevention,” a movement that takes place across the country every April in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Las Vegas Catholic Diocese reveals list of 33 ‘credibly accused’ of child sexual abuse

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Los Angeles Times

April 12, 2019

By David Montero

The Las Vegas Catholic Diocese on Friday released the names of 32 clergy members and one volunteer it said were credibly accused of child sexual abuse and who had served in Nevada within the last several decades.

Bishop George Leo Thomas, who opened the broad investigation after becoming head of the diocese in 2018, said the “church has been in secrecy and denial for a very long time.”

The Las Vegas Diocese said of the 33 people listed, 21 are dead and the remainder had been removed from their positions, most before the investigation began.

A volunteer on the list was removed from his post just this year. The former priest had been accused multiple times of abuse in dioceses in other states, and the Diocese of Gary, Ind., showed he'd been removed from the clerical ranks in July 2006.

Thomas said all the information gathered on the accused had been turned over to law enforcement.

Abuse in the Church, how priests are living through the storm

FRANCE
La Croix International

April 16, 2019

By Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner and Marie Malzac

Even when they have not been targeted personally by any disparaging remarks, priests are conscious of the climate of 'suspicion' that has developed

While they will gather around their bishops for the Chrism Mass, a key moment in Holy Week, French priests share with La Croix their distress at the wave of revelations of sexual abuse, but also their need to talk and strengthen the brotherhood amongst them.

Shock, sadness, anger, disillusionment … many priests realized only in the past few months the "scope" of the crisis of abuses in the Church, which is not limited to "individual cases" as first thought, but takes on a "systemic" dimension in their eyes.

As a member of the monitoring organisation in his Diocese of Nanterre, Father Hugues de Woillemont knows the "depth of the trauma" experienced by the victims in all areas of their personal and spiritual lives. But a documentary aired in early March by Arte TV on the rape of nuns by clerics was the final blow for him.

Benedict’s unfortunate letter ignores the facts on the Catholic sex abuse crisis

COLUMBIA (MO)
Religion News Service

April 15, 2019

By Thomas Reese

The recent essay on clergy sexual abuse by Benedict XVI shows why it was such a good idea for him to resign as pope. In the letter released last week, he shows how out of touch he is with the causes of the abuse crisis.

Fundamentally, Benedict lives in a Platonic world of ideas where facts don’t matter.

Most of the media attention since a German Catholic magazine published Benedict’s 6,000-word statement has been focused on Benedict blaming the sex abuse crisis on the collapse of sexual standards in the 1960s.

Actually, he may have a point. Data presented by the 2004 John Jay report on clerical abuse showed that, both in the church and in America as a whole, the number of abuse cases began increasing in the mid-1960s and peaked in the 1970s. Something was happening, not just in the church but in the world.

On the other hand, sexual abuse was occurring prior to the 1960s. The church and America were just better at covering it up.

'A Spiritual Rape': Female Survivors Say Sex Abuse by Nuns Has Been Overlooked by Public

UNITED STATES
People

April 11, 2019

By Jeff Truesdell

Female victims says nuns may also be predators whose sexual abuse of minors has been overshadowed by scandals focused on priests

Two women who have been sexually abused by nuns are speaking out, saying that amidst the well-documented scandal of widespread abuse of boys by priests, their traumas have been overlooked.

“It’s a spiritual rape, it really is,” survivor Anne Gleeson tells HuffPost in an exclusive video interview. “It steals your faith. I envy people who have faith.” (A 4-minute clip of the interview is shown above.)

Another survivor, Patricia Cahill, tells the outlet, “The boys thought they were the only ones for a hundred years. The girls [who were abused] think they’re the only ones. They don’t have any other survivors to see.”

Priest’s trial for violating confessional to protect abuser postponed

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

A long-awaited ecclesiastical trial for a priest who allegedly broke the seal of confession to inform members of a controversial lay group in Italy of a police investigation of their leader for sexual abuse of minors has been postponed indefinitely.

The decision has not played well with alleged victims of the group and their families.

“They are playing with our lives,” said the mother of one of the victims to Crux April 4.

The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect her underage daughter’s identity, claims to have gone to confession with Father Orazio Caputo in the fall of 2017 where she spoke of her concerns for her daughter within the lay-led “Catholic Culture and Environment Association” (ACCA) in the southern Italian town of Acireale.

Former Vatican Doctrine Czar says rift between Benedict XVI and Francis is impossible

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

In a new interview, the former top doctrinal official at the Vatican praised Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s recent statement on the clerical sexual abuse scandals and rebuked criticism that the pope did not write it himself or should not speak his mind.

Benedict XVI “has his style, he was helped by a secretary but intellectually he does not need help, because he has great experience and he remembers all those responsible for the fall of moral theology, which is one of the causes behind these abuses,” said German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwing Müller, former Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in an April 14 interview with Italian news outlet Tgcom24.

Despite his 92-years of age, Benedict XVI “is lucid in his thought and in his reasoning, which as seen in that document, is very elaborate and profound,” the cardinal said.

New Vatican constitution will resist centralization in Rome, drafter says

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

Inés San Martín

It took 29 meetings, but the pope’s “C-9” council of cardinal advisers, which is now functionally more akin to a “C-6”, has a new constitution for the Vatican in the form of a draft presentable to all the bishops’ conferences around the world, the heads of the various departments of the Holy See, theologians and canonists.

According to a principal drafter of that document, one core aim, reflecting the electoral mandate given Pope Francis six years ago, is to combat centralization of power in Rome.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias from Bombay, India, a member of the council, was responsible for drafting parts of Praedicate evangelium, which will now be reviewed by bishops around the world who have to send their thoughts in late May, before the council’s next meeting in June.

Gracias spoke with Crux last week at the end of a meeting of the prelates, and he said fighting “centralization” was a principal goal of the drafters. The issue was discussed by the cardinals who elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio to succeed Benedict XVI, “so Francis was elected on a mandate to do this,” Gracias said.

The problem with Benedict’s essay

UNITED STATES
Catholic World Report

April 13, 2019

By Christopher R. Altieri

Right or wrong, Benedict told us very little—practically nothing—we did not already know.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory for the creation of new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in this Feb. 22, 2014, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI’s release of his letter on “The Church and the Crisis of Sexual Abuse” took most of the world—including Rome, by all accounts—quite by surprise. In the English-speaking world, the Catholic News Agency led the way with the full text, in a well-prepared—even elegant—translation from the original German. The New York Post anticipated the letter’s release in English, with an editorial take that described Benedict’s foray into the public debate over the great matter as, “a post-retirement encyclical.”

Reaction in the press was swift and hot.

The portion of the commentariat usually well-disposed to Francis was quick to decry the intervention of the Pope emeritus as temerarious. Writing for Commonweal, Massimo Faggioli of Villanova University opined, “The publication of Benedict’s essay has already damaged his reputation and sown confusion.”

Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter said the letter seemed a “caricature of both Joseph Ratzinger’s once powerful intellect and of conservative explanations for the sex abuse crisis.”

Opinion: From the Ashes of Notre-Dame

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

April 15, 2019

By Ross Douthat

How a burning cathedral rebukes a divided Catholic Church.

A first draft of this column was written before flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, before its spire fell in one of the most dreadful live images since Sept. 11, 2001, before a blazing fire went further than any of France’s anticlerical revolutionaries ever dared.

My original subject was the latest controversy in Catholicism’s now-years-long Lent, in which conflicts over theology and sex abuse have merged into one festering, suppurating mess. The instigator of controversy, this time, was the former pope, the 92-year-old Benedict XVI, who late last week surprised the Catholic intelligentsia with a 6,000-word reflection on the sex abuse crisis.

Portions of the document were edifying, but there was little edifying in its reception. It was passed first to conservative Catholic outlets, whose palpable Benedict nostalgia was soon matched by fierce criticism from Francis partisans, plus sneers from the secular press at the retired pope’s insistence that the sex abuse epidemic was linked to the cultural revolution of the 1960s and the 1970s.

April 15, 2019

Manorhaven Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor

MANORHAVEN (NY)
Patch

April 15, 2019
.
By Ryan Bonner

A local priest has been accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, the pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, "has voluntarily agreed to step down immediately from all ministry" while an investigation takes place, said Sean Dolan, the director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The alleged abuse was only recently reported through the diocese's Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), Dolan said.

The allegation against Peterson has been reported to civil authorities. Newsday reported that the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office is investigating.

Peterson was a priest in Suffolk County for 35 years – including lengthy stints at St. Joseph's in Babylon and St. Mary's in East Islip, according to his bio posted online. He left St. Mary's in 2008 for Our Lady of Fatima .

Local priests deny sexual abuse allegations

ANDOVER (MA)
Andover Townsman

April 15, 2019

By Jessica Valeriani

Two priests who served at the former St. Augustine’s in Lawrence say allegations of the sexual abuse of a boy decades ago are false.

The Rev. Peter Gori, currently pastor of St. Augustine’s Church in Andover, and the Rev. William Waters, who served as pastor at several Merrimack Valley parishes and is now a pastor in Philadelphia, have both been accused by a man in his 40s of sexual abuse some 30 years ago.

Both priests have been placed on leave pending the outcome of investigations.

The alleged victim says Waters abused him from 1987 to 1990 when he was eight to 10 years old, according to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is known for representing sexual abuse victims in the Boston area during the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal. The man says Gori sexually abused him repeatedly in the 1990s when he was 10 years old, according to Garabedian.

Terrence Donilon, secretary for communications and public affairs at the Archdiocese of Boston, said the abuse is alleged to have happened at St. Augustine’s in Lawrence. At the time, the victim attended St. Augustine’s School in Lawrence, according to Garabedian.

Gori denied the allegations in a letter sent to St. Augustine’s parishioners Tuesday.

In the letter, Gori writes he was informed of the allegation by the provincial of his Augustinian order last Friday.

“I assure you, as I assured the Provincial, that the accusation is false,” Gori wrote.

Gori goes on to tell parishioners he will not be living in the rectory nor conducting Mass while the investigation is underway.

Waters has also denied the allegation against him, according to a written statement from Kenneth Gavin, chief communications officer at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Waters has “voluntarily stepped aside as pastor” pending the outcome of the matter, according to the statement from Gavin. He was placed on administrative leave in his role as pastor at St. Augustine’s in Philadelphia, and the archdiocese has restricted his faculties to function as a priest, pending the outcome of the matter, the statement said.

While on administrative leave, the statement said Waters will not be able to function publicly as a priest and will have no access to parish or school facilities.

Gavin said in the statement the Augustinians received an allegation through a third party that “Waters sexually abused a minor approximately 30 years ago while serving as a priest outside the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

“Archdiocesan administration had no knowledge of this allegation until it was shared by the Augustinians,” the statement read. “No allegations of this kind have been lodged against Father Waters previously.”

The statement said the Augustinians reported the allegation to law enforcement.

According to Gavin’s statement, Waters completed mandatory Safe Environment Training programs and obtained appropriate child abuse clearances and criminal background checks, which are standard measures in parishes, schools and ministries throughout the archdiocese.

Waters has served as the pastor at St. Augustine’s in Philadelphia since August 2014. He was previously assigned to St. Augustine’s in Lawrence.

Pa. House committees advance more grand jury recommendations on Catholic clergy abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Pennsylvania Capital-Star

April 15, 2019

By Stephen Caruso

House committees advanced legislation Monday that addresses recommendations from last year’s grand jury report on hundreds of “predator” Catholic priests, less than a week after the full chamber gave the OK to a civil window for older sex abuse victims.

Without any dissenting votes, the House Children & Youth Committee advanced a bill to increase penalties for failing to report child abuse, while the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that affirms the right of child abuse victims to break non-disclosure agreements to cooperate with law enforcement.

The penalties bill makes it a felony to knowingly not report child abuse to authorities. As for the NDA bill, those bound to silence by a legal settlement already can break it for a police investigation, according to sponsor Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Luzerne.

“Currently the silencing agreements are void, and continue to be void, but victims out there don’t believe it to be the case,” she said following the vote.

Her bill clarifies the provision in state law.

Benedict’s unfortunate letter ignores the facts in the Catholic sex abuse crisis

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

April 15, 2019

By Thomas Reese

The recent essay on clergy sexual abuse by Benedict XVI shows why it was such a good idea for him to resign as pope. In the letter released last week, he shows how out of touch he is with the causes of the abuse crisis.

Fundamentally, Benedict lives in a Platonic world of ideas where facts don’t matter.

Most of the media attention since a German Catholic magazine published Benedict’s 6,000-word statement has been focused on Benedict blaming the sex abuse crisis on the collapse of sexual standards in the 1960s.

Actually, he may have a point. Data presented by the 2004 John Jay report on clerical abuse showed that, both in the church and in America as a whole, the number of abuse cases began increasing in the mid-1960s and peaked in the ’70s. Something was happening, not just in the church but in the world.

On the other hand, sexual abuse was occurring before the 1960s. The church and America were just better at covering it up.

But Benedict also wants to blame sex abuse on contemporary moral theologians who challenged the church’s traditional, natural law ethics, especially as it applied to sexual ethics. Contemporary moral theology is less rule-based and, rather, takes a more personalistic and relational approach. Challenging the church’s opposition to birth control, as did most theologians, opened the floodgates to all sorts of sexual sins, including child abuse, in his view.

Church wants 80-plus clergy sex abuse cases moved from local to federal court

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

April 15, 2019

By Haidee V. Eugenio

The Archdiocese of Agana seeks the transfer of more than 80 clergy sex abuse cases from local court to federal court which it says has jurisdiction over the archdiocese's reorganization bankruptcy filing.

Attorneys for the archdiocese filed notices of removal over the last few days, citing a provision in the U.S. Code that authorizes the removal of claims or causes of action in a civil action that are "related to" bankruptcy cases.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 16 to help settle clergy sex abuse cases and compensate the plaintiffs.

Buffalo Diocese announces reforms in handling sex abuse cases

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

April 15, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone has agreed to review the diocese’s approach to releasing names of clergy accused of sex abuse and to hold a series of “listening sessions” on the abuse scandal.

Those are among several reform initiatives announced Monday morning in cooperation with a group of lay Catholics called the Movement to Restore Trust.

Other initiatives include:

Diocese: Priest in Port Washington steps aside after abuse allegation

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

April 15, 2019

By Bart Jones

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson most recently served at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church. The allegation stems from decades ago, the diocese said.

A parish priest in Manorhaven Port Washington has stepped down while law enforcement authorities investigate an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago, the Diocese of Rockville Centre said Monday.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson has been serving as pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in the village of Manorhaven. Diocese officials announced the move Sunday during Masses at the church, parishioners said.

Peterson could not be reached immediately for comment.

The diocese has notified law enforcement authorities of the allegation, diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said. The diocese is not aware of any other allegations against Peterson, Dolan said.

The Suffolk County district attorney's office learned of the allegation Saturday, said spokeswoman Sheila Kelly.

Ex-Baptist pastor on trial in Guam for sexual abuse of minor

GUAM
INQUIRER.net US Bureau

April 15, 2019

A jury in Guam Superior Court will decide the fate of former Baptist pastor Renato Capili Bosi, who is accused of inappropriately touching a then-14-year-old girl’s private parts and sending her sexually suggestive emails.

Bosi’s trial started Thursday, April 11 for second-degree criminal sexual conduct and child abuse. Also known as Pastor Raye or Ray, Bosi was the pastor for the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Guam. The Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention told the Pacific Daily News in December 2017 that Bosi had resigned.

Breaking down some key distinctions in Benedict's abuse crisis diagnosis

ROME
Crux Now

April 15, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

After remaining notable mostly for his invisibility the last six years, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made up for it in a big way April 10 by publishing a 6,000-word analysis of the clerical sexual abuse scandals in an obscure magazine for clergy in his native German region of Bavaria.

The retired pope’s analysis is typically multilayered, and his main focus is why the path to recovery from the crisis has to run through stronger faith in God and a deeper personal encounter with Christ.

His diagnosis is that only a Church rooted in Christ, including his real presence in the Eucharist, will have the spiritual wherewithal to begin putting the pieces back together.

Priest Named as 2nd in Charge of Charlotte Diocese

CHARLOTTE (NC)
The Associated Press

April 14, 2019

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte says a priest who helps investigate claims of sexual abuse and misconduct by fellow clergy has been named second in command of the 46-county diocese.

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte says a priest who helps investigate claims of sexual abuse and misconduct by fellow clergy has been named second in command of the 46-county diocese.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Bishop Peter Jugis announced the appointment of Father Patrick Winslow on the diocesan website Friday. Winslow is pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte, a position he'll maintain.

Official marks retired pope’s birthday, commenting on his latest letter

ROME
Catholic News Service

April 15, 2019

By Cindy Wooden

Marking retired Pope Benedict XVI’s 92nd birthday, the editorial director of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication insisted what the retired pope wrote about facing the clerical sexual abuse crisis is essentially what Pope Francis has said, too.

“Celebrating Joseph Ratzinger’s birthday, it can be useful to underline the approach that both Benedict XVI and his successor, Francis, have maintained in the face of the scandals and the abuse of minors,” Andrea Tornielli, the editorial director, wrote.

The approach of the two popes, he said in an April 15 article, cannot be “reduced to a slogan.”

The retired pope’s birthday is April 16 and just five days earlier, several media outlets published what Benedict described as “some notes” that could help Catholics understand and address the abuse crisis.

How the Catholic Church Is Compensating Victims

NEW YORK (NY)
WNYC: The Brian Lehrer Show

April 15, 2019

Paul Elie, The New Yorker contributor, talks about how the Catholic Church is compensating victims of abuse, whether it can ever be enough and reckons with his own faith amid the ongoing scandal.

Louisiana bishop celebrates special Way of Cross to ‘heal this wound’ of abuse

BATON ROUGE (LA)
Catholic News Service

April 15, 2019

Where there is darkness, light shines; where there is despair, hope.

Bishop Michael G. Duca celebrated a special Way of the Cross for reparation for the sin of sexual abuse within the church April 5 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge, offering grace to survivors and asking the church to accompany them on their journey of healing.

“(Praying the Way of the Cross) was important because we need to heal this wound in the church in many different ways; through our policies. But also we need to always remember our deepest healing comes from our faith in Jesus Christ,” the bishop said immediately following the service.

“And the faith on the road to the resurrection is the road to the passion of Jesus, and we can see that in the passion he teaches us how to walk with suffering in the hope of the resurrection.”

He added, “I thought it was important to add this to our many ways we will grow and hopefully heal as a church.”

Group plans rally, wants answers on Catholic Church abuse scandal

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ

April 14, 2019

Road to Recovery will be outside while Bishop Richard Malone leads Mass on steps of St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

The group Road to Recovery is holding a rally on the steps of St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

It begins at 10 a.m. Sunday.

At that same time, Bishop Richard Malone will be inside the church leading Mass.

The group wants answers for the current clergy abuse scandal.

OPINION: How Catholic Church used treatment centers to protect priests accused of child abuse

UNITED STATES
WHYY

April 15, 2019

By Ian Nawalinski

In 1995, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned an internal church study on child abuse. The two-volume study surveyed bishops in more than 100 dioceses nationwide about their use of treatment centers to assess and care for priests believed to be sexually abusing children.

The result: 87% of bishops (127 out of 145 dioceses surveyed) reported using treatment centers for clergy accused of child abuse.

Two decades later, following the August release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Church — one of three released by the state attorney general since early 2000  — dioceses in multiple states and at least one state attorney general have disclosed their own lists of credibly accused priests.

Principal knew about student sex abuse 35 years before teacher was convicted, letter reveals

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

April 15, 2019

By Henry Zwartz

Senior staff at a Catholic school in Tasmania, including the then principal and his boss, were aware of allegations a teacher was sexually abusing multiple children as far back as 1971, and sought to move the teacher to a different parish, a letter obtained by the ABC reveals.

The teacher, Greg Ferguson, was convicted of historical child sex offences against two students in 2007 relating to his time at Burnie's Marist College in the early 1970s.

A letter written by then Marist College principal, Father Bernard Hosie, to his boss Marist provincial Peter Guiren in November 1971 sought advice on whether Ferguson should be moved on after reports he was "fooling around" with young boys at the school.

"I have reports of about 8 boys that Greg Ferguson (they claim) has been fooling around with in his room ... it would ... be very easy to move him if it had to be done overnight," the letter states.

India cardinal mounts strong defense of ‘zero tolerance’ on abuse

ROME
Crux

April 13, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, a member of Pope Francis’s council of cardinals which advises him on Vatican reform and one of four figures tapped to organize a recent summit on the fight against clerical sexual abuse, says Catholic parents have the right to know the Church is genuinely committed to “zero tolerance.”

The comment takes on special significance in the wake of the Feb. 21-24 summit, where reservations about “zero tolerance” were heard from senior churchmen from the developing world, and where the pope himself didn’t use the phrase.

Some observers detected a creeping redefinition of “zero tolerance” away from what it’s come to mean in the United States and certain other parts of the world, which is near-certain expulsion from the priesthood for abusing a minor, to permanent removal from ministry but not necessarily the priesthood.

The Guardian view on the Catholic church: trouble ahead

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

April 15, 2019

Jesus entered Jerusalem a week before his death as if he were the messiah, pushing through adoring crowds who sang and waved palm fronds – at least that’s what the story says. By this criterion at least, Pope Francis is further from Jesus than most popes have been. He entered Holy Week this year battered by assaults from the right wing of the American church, the Italian government, and even his immediate predecessor, the former pope Benedict XVI, who published a dense, eccentric reflection on the causes of the sexual abuse crisis: he believes, apparently, that airlines had to stop showing films with sex scenes in them because they provoked outbreaks of violence among passengers.

Old age may have eroded the 92-year-old former pontiff’s faculties, but this makes the bedrock of his deep convictions stand out more clearly: he believes that without an independent source of good, or God, human relationships are only about power; that God can only be truly known through the Christian tradition; and that this knowledge is preserved in his church. This means the church’s most important task is to guard this revelation – and Benedict was for many years the chief doctrinal enforcer of the church. But now he seems to conflate the legal and bureaucratic protection given to academic theologians with those who enabled paedophile priests to avoid expulsion from the church. To be clear, he thinks that child abuse is an absolute moral evil which nothing can ever justify – but also believes that certain styles of theological liberalism are themselves evils which nothing can justify.

Benedict, who blames the abuse crisis on unfettered sexuality, was a weak administrator; Francis, who blames the crisis on unfettered clerical power, has been much more determined in the exercise of his office. He has, as a result, made many more powerful enemies. His advocacy for refugees has upset politically conservative Catholics. His advocacy for the environment – a subject on which he writes with extraordinary passion and urgency – has further alienated the American right for whom it is an article of faith to disbelieve in global warming. While his behaviour over the abuse scandal, and over the church’s teaching on sexuality, has been more equivocal and marked by many false steps, there is nonetheless a significant difference in temperament and style from his predecessor’s approach to morality. Benedict is interested in whether particular acts are evil. For Francis, the more important question seems to be whether they can be forgiven.

The Atlantic’s Commentary on Pope Benedict’s Letter Is Not Its Best Work

NEW YORK (NY)
National Review

April 15, 2019

By Nicholas Frankovich

Rachel Donadio at The Atlantic weighs in on the long letter that Benedict, the pope emeritus, recently published on the sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. “Benedict said the crisis became most acute in the second half of the 1980s,” she writes. “This is not quite the case.”

Why? Because, she reasons, the public record includes allegations of sexual abuse that occurred both before and after the 1980s.

Either Donadio is not a careful thinker or she is and she’s trying to steal second base. “Became most acute in” doesn’t mean “is unknown to have existed before or after.” Here’s what Benedict wrote:

The question of pedophilia, as I recall, did not become acute until the second half of the 1980s. In the meantime, it had already become a public issue in the U.S., such that the bishops in Rome sought help, since canon law, as it is written in the new (1983) Code, did not seem sufficient for taking the necessary measures.

That sounds about right.

According to CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), a unit of Georgetown University, cases of clerical sexual abuse alleged to have occurred in 1960–64 were nearly double the number for the preceding five-year period, 1955–59. The numbers continued to rise through the mid 1970s, at which point they plateaued before falling significantly in the period 1980–84. Then they began to plummet. The numbers for the period since 2000 are about 5 percent of what they were at the height of the crisis, in 1970–74.

Benedict’s account is consistent with that data. The National Catholic Reporter began covering the issue in the early 1980s, and in 1985 the case of a Louisiana priest who pleaded guilty to eleven counts of molestation became national news. Just as the problem in the United States was being exposed by the press, the number of allegations here began to decline. Whether that decline can be attributed to the media coverage or was mere coincidence, who can say. In any case, as Benedict notes, the problem had become “a public issue in the U.S.” earlier than elsewhere. It’s plausible that it took the Church elsewhere a few years longer, until the later 1980s, for the scale of the scandals to sink in.

Steve Bannon's Advice Is the Last Thing Pope Francis Needs Right Now

NEW YORK (NY)
Esquire Magazine

April 15, 2019

By Charles P. Pierce

I think they've hired some new blood in the 2019 writer's room because, I have to admit, this new story arc in which Steve Bannon, lost heir to House Harkonnen, overthrows the pope caught me by surprise. From NBC News:

The populist political consultant has a new target in his crusade against “globalism” — Pope Francis. “He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician,” said Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump. “This is the problem. ... He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.”

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has expressed a consistent message on the type of “America First” nationalism championed by Bannon. Two years ago, the pope cautioned against growing populism in Europe, warning it could lead to the election of leaders like Hitler. He has called for compassion toward migrants, saying that fearing them "makes us crazy," as well as other marginalized groups including the poor and gay people. He has also defended diversity. Bannon alleges that Francis has mismanaged numerous sex abuse scandals roiling the church, and says the pope is not treating the issue seriously enough.

I have my own problems with how Papa Francesco has handled the latter crisis, and especially how he has dealt with its more recent iterations. (Of course, I have many of the same problems with every one of his predecessors, largely because too few of their solutions contained the words "full extent of the law.") But the idea that the Church needs the tender ministrations of this vandal is the worst idea to hit Catholicism since the Cadaver Synod, of which Bannon looks like the perfect person to assay the role of the unfortunate Pope Formosus.

But Bannon is not alone in criticizing the pontiff. A raft of conservative Catholics, from bishops to lay theologians to firebrand pundits, have attacked Francis. They were supporters of Francis’s traditionalist predecessor, Benedict XVI, who unexpectedly resigned in 2013. On Thursday, Benedict published a letter outlining his views on the sex abuse crisis. "The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign," he wrote. Bannon has found an ideological ally in conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former archbishop of St. Louis who was demoted by Francis and has supported calls for the pope's resignation.

Buffalo Diocese and Canisius group agree to 'reforms,' but survivor groups call it a 'whitewash'

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

April 15, 2019

By Charlie Specht

The Diocese of Buffalo and a group led by Canisius College President John J. Hurley have announced a series of 'reforms' to the diocese, but critics are unimpressed and wonder whether it is a whitewash of abuse.

The diocese and the Movement to Restore Trust described the ideas in four major categories:
A commitment by Bishop Malone to hold Diocesan-wide listening sessions.
New Initiatives in the Handling of Sex Abuse Cases.
Expanding the Diocesan Finance Council.
Expanding the Use of the Ethics Reporting Service.

Diocese of Buffalo - Movement to Restore Trust announcement (Text)

“We are pleased with the progress made over the past month,” Hurley, the Canisius president, said in a prepared statement. “From the start, Bishop Malone has embraced the reform recommendations developed by approximately 150 Catholic lay people who have been working on MRT workgroups since early December. We are working in an active partnership with the Diocese to bring hope and healing to the Church in Buffalo.”

Referring to the "joint implementation team," embattled Bishop Richard J. Malone said in the same prepared statement, “The work of the JIT, bringing together representatives of the MRT and the Diocese of Buffalo, is an excellent example of the call for “co-responsibility” in the church. I am encouraged and energized by the work accomplished by the members of the JIT at their first meeting and pledge to continue to collaborate together."

But advocates for survivors of sexual abuse were unimpressed.

"What's new?" asked Zach Hiner, executive director of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "They use a lot of weasel language in here, that doesn't make it seem new at all."

Hiner said the document included more calls "to review" and "to continue" processes that were already in place, and which led the diocese to become a national embarrassment on news programs like "60 Minutes" and the subject of a federal grand jury probe.

It makes no mention of concrete changes that could be made immediately, he said, such as listing the assignment histories and photos of accused priests and more information about when the allegations were received and how the diocese responded.

"I try not to be this cynical, but it does just seem like a PR move to [counter] the stories that have been in the media," Hiner said. "It gives them an out there, because they're going to review the policies. They could just say, 'Oh yeah, we're good...we like what we've done."

Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a national nonprofit that has advocated for many sexual abuse victims in Buffalo, said he was dismayed by how cozy Hurley -- as the leader of a reform group -- has been in recent days with Malone, the bishop who is accused of making dozens of errors in the handling of sexual abuse .

The diocese released a photograph with Hurley and Malone smiling, laughing and engaging in some sort of embrace with their hands.

"I’m very disappointed in President Hurley’s recent comments defending Bishop Malone, and I’m afraid that the report that this commission to restore trust is going to whitewash much of what has gone on here," Hoatson said.

Boston University professor fired for violating sexual harassment policy

BOSTON (MA)
WCVB

April 14, 2019

Boston University has fired a tenured geology professor accused of violating the school's sexual harassment policies during research trips to Antarctica in 1997 and from 1999 to 2000.

BU President Robert A. Brown sent a letter to faculty Friday saying he reviewed the case and concluded Dr. David Marchant's employment should be terminated.

A 13-month investigation conducted by the university's Equal Opportunity Office concluded Marchant created a hostile working and living environment for a female graduate student at the Antarctica camp.

Michigan State basketball rape accuser comes forward: 'I know that there are others'

EAST LANSING (MI)
Yahoo Sports

April 12, 2019

By Jack Baer

A Michigan State student has come forward after alleging in an anonymous Title IX lawsuit last year that three unnamed Michigan State basketball players raped her and that the school’s counseling center discouraged her from reporting it, according to ESPN.

Bailey Kowalski, 22, revealed her identity Wednesday to The New York Times and spoke to a room full of reporters on Thursday. Four years after the alleged rape, Kowalski is nearing graduation and trying to send a message of support to other victims:

"I'm about to graduate in May, and for most of my college career, this has been a heavy burden on me and my family. ... I am no longer afraid. I'm empowered to do this," she said Thursday. "I know that there are others who exist and they too are afraid. I want to be an example for them. The silent survivors matter and are worth fighting for."

In her Title IX lawsuit, Kowalski alleges that she, then a freshman sports journalism major, met members of the Michigan State basketball team at a bar on April 11, 2015, was invited to a party back at one of their apartments, began feeling discombobulated despite not having much to drink, was taken to a bedroom and thrown onto a bed where she was raped by three players.

Missbrauchsopfer: Benedikt-Text geht "völlig an der Sache vorbei"

BONN (GERMANY)
Katholisch.de

April 12, 2019

[Abuse victims: Benedict text goes "completely over the thing"]

Ein "entlarvender Text", ein Rückblick "im Zorn", eine "absurde" Beschuldigung der 68er-Bewegung: Die ersten Reaktionen auf die Analyse von Benedikt XVI. zur Kirchenkrise fallen überwiegend negativ aus.

Die Analyse des früheren Papstes Benedikt XVI. zum Missbrauchsskandal sorgt für Kritik. Der Sprecher der Opfer-Initiative "Eckiger Tisch", Matthias Katsch, hält den Aufsatz für einen "entlarvenden Text". Die Analyse gehe "völlig an der Sache vorbei", weshalb man sie "jetzt aber auch nicht zu wichtig nehmen sollte", sagte Katsch am Donnerstag im Bayerischen Rundfunk.

Das ehemalige Kirchenoberhaupt blende die "strukturellen Ursachen für die Übergriffe" aus. "Stattdessen ist am Ende der Teufel Schuld dafür, dass das Böse in die Kirche eingedrungen ist", sagte Katsch. Das sei eine "vormoderne Sicht, die aber zur Lösung des Problems nichts beiträgt". Eigene Fehler und die "Verantwortung der Institution" Kirche benenne Benedikt XVI. nicht. Dafür mache er die Generation der 68er und deren liberale Lebenshaltung für den Missbrauch hinter Kirchenmauern verantwortlich.

Der "Papst emeritus" fördert die Spaltung seiner Kirche

BONN (GERMANY)
Katholisch.de

April 12, 2019

Von Tilmann Kleinjung

[The "pope emeritus" promotes the division of his church]

Der Aufsatz von Benedikt XVI. zur aktuellen Kirchen- und Missbrauchskrise klingt wie ein Echo längst vergangener Zeiten, kommentiert Tilmann Kleinjung. Der Text des emeritierten Kirchenoberhaupts sei eine Kampfschrift gegen Papst Franziskus.

Nach dem Anti-Missbrauchsgipfel im Februar in Rom sind wir Berichterstatter hart mit Papst Franziskus ins Gericht gegangen. Weil die konkreten Ergebnisse dieses Bischofstreffens eher mager waren, weil sich die katholische Kirche nach wie vor schwer tut mit einer radikalen Null-Toleranz-Politik gegenüber Tätern und Vertuschern, weil irgendwie alles zu langsam geht bei der Aufarbeitung dieses monströsen Skandals.

Die Gesellschaft ist nicht schuld an der Missbrauchskrise!

FREIBURG (GERMANY)
Katholisch.de

April 11, 2019

Von Magnus Striet

[The society is not to blame for the abuse crisis!]

Benedikt XVI. macht die "Abwesenheit Gottes" in der Gesellschaft für den Missbrauchsskandal in der Kirche mitverantwortlich. Der Fundamentaltheologe Magnus Striet findet das absurd. In seinen Augen sollte sich der emeritierte Papst eher für etwas Anderes stark machen.

Für eine Überraschung ist er immer wieder gut, seither er vom Papstamt zurücktrat und ankündigte, künftig im Gebet zu verweilen und ansonsten schweigen zu wollen. Nun hat Benedikt XVI. sich zum Missbrauchsskandal geäußert, und führt das gesellschaftliche "Ausmaß" der Pädophilie auf die "Abwesenheit Gottes" zurück. Daraus muss man wohl schließen, dass Missbrauchstäter im Klerus sich im Gefolge der 68er-Bewegung haben verweltlichen lassen. So erinnert sich Benedikt XVI. an "Sexkoffer", die die österreichische Regierung habe austeilen lassen. Diesen Begriff habe ich bei ihm noch nicht gelesen. Inhaltlich Neues auch nicht.

Police: Minneapolis sex trafficking sting during Final Four ensnares 58, rescues 28

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Yahoo Sports

April 11, 2019

By Jason Owens

A sting in the Twin Cities during the Final Four in Minneapolis resulted in the arrest of 58 people while rescuing 28 victims of sex trafficking, law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced that 47 people were arrested on probable cause of felony solicitation of a minor or solicitation of prostitution under 16 years of age, and 11 people were booked on probable cause for sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution.

The sting took place from April 4-8.

France sees upsurge in 'debaptism' demand as Lyon abuse scandal festers

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

April 14, 2019

By Tom Heneghan

Demand in France for “debaptism” is rising as Catholics ask to be struck from Church records in protest against the festering sexual abuse scandal in Lyon.

The Church says baptism cannot be undone and keeps no central record of these departures, but scattered reports from several dioceses show an upsurge. Parishes often simply note in their registers that the person asked to be removed.

About 1,000 French Catholics are estimated to ask for “debaptism” every year, with totals jumping at times of crisis. The latest spike is linked to Lyon, where Cardinal Philippe Barbarin received a suspended sentence last month of covering up for a predator priest but remains in office because Pope Francis refused his resignation letter.

Media inquiries in some of France’s 93 dioceses reported Lyon received about two requests a day last month, which was 10 times the normal rate, while the 15 received in Paris were four times as many as normal.

Reims saw requests jump to 17 in 2018 and already 21 this year. In Soissons, north of Paris, the diocese has 11 requests already compared to 15 for all of last year. Coutances-Avranches in Normandy already had 25 requests by early April after 30 for 2018.

“The two reasons cited are mostly related to paedophile crimes in the Church and, for some, lingering issues linked to the legalisation of same-sex marriage,” Fr Thierry Anquetil, vicar general in the Normandy diocese, told local television. Strong Church opposition to same-sex marriage in 2013 alienated many Catholics.

Advocates for sex abuse victims seeking explanation from Bishop Malone

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB News 4

April 15, 2019

On Palm Sunday to kick off Holy Week, including Bishop Richard Malone, who was presiding over the service at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

But not everyone at the church came to worship; A group standing outside was hoping Malone would hear their plea.

Dr. Robert Hoatson is a former priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He founded "Road to Recovery," which has helped more than 5,000 survivors of sexual abuse. Most of them are clergy victims.

Hoatson is in Buffalo waiting on an explanation from Bishop Malone following recent reports of even more clergymen involved in the church's sex abuse crisis.

"Bishop Malone told us there were approximately 42 priests who had credible allegations of sexual abuse against them. Well, we know know that that number is well over 100," Hoatson said.

The Diocese released a statement, saying it "disclosed the complete scope of the crisis."

Archbishop insists his legal actions don’t ‘gag’ free press

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Elise Harris

In response to criticisms in recent days that his two criminal complaints against investigative journalists is an assault on the free expression of the press, Peruvian Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi has said that while free press is important, it is not an absolute value.

“It is falsely stated that the complaint made by [Eguren Anselmi] is a threat to the freedom of expression,” reads an April 14 statement from the Archdiocese of Piura, which Eguren Anselmi oversees.

“Freedom of expression, although it is a great value to promote in our democratic society, is not an absolute value and it has limits: Respect for the honor and good name of people,” the statement said, adding that in this sense, the recent guilty verdict and sentencing of journalist Pedro Salinas “does not constitute a gag of freedom of expression.”

Salinas, who has been battling criminal charges of aggravated defamation by Eguren Anselmi since last summer, lost his legal fight on April 8 and was sentenced to a 1-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of $24,000.

Salinas and fellow journalist Paola Ugaz, also charged with criminal defamation by Eguren Anselmi, co-authored the 2015 book Half Monks, Half Soldiers, detailing years of sexual, psychological and physical abuse inside the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a prestigious Catholic order born in Peru and whose founder, layman Luis Fernando Figari, was prohibited by the Vatican in 2017 of having further contact with members of the group after being accused of physical, psychological and sexual abuses inside the community.

Eguren Anselmi’s complaint against Salinas was made in relation to a series of articles and interviews he published in early 2018 comparing Eguren Anselmi, who is a member of the SCV, to Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who resigned from his post in the diocese of Osorno after facing accusations that he helped cover up the abuse of his longtime friend and Chile’s most notorious abuser, ex-priest Fernando Karadima.

Brazil bishops issue handbook on dealing with clergy sex abuse

SÃO PAULO (BRAZIL)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Eduardo Campos Lima

After securing approval from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Brazilian Conference of National Bishops (BCNB), responsible for the single largest Catholic country in the world, has adopted a new handbook containing measures dioceses must take to deal with sex abuse cases.

Published in March, the document is part of a broad effort by the Brazilian Church to deal with the growing social concerns over the sexual abuse of minors.

According to the BCNB, the first version of the text - which is titled The Pastoral Care of the Victims of Sexual Abuse - had been sent to the Vatican in 2012. In the end of 2018, after several changes were made, the document was finally approved.

Future modifications may be applied, depending on possible new canonical and civil legislation.

“The Brazilian Conference of National Bishops, with this document, reaffirms its unconditional adherence to a zero-tolerance stance regarding cases of sexual abuse of minors, according to what Pope Francis has affirmed: ‘There is no place in the Church’s ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not,’” says the document in its introductory chapter.

Although the title refers to the victims, most of the text offers recommendations for dealing with a priest - or other person working with the Church - who has been accused of abusing a child.

Buffalo priest who advised U.S. presidents about youth was alleged child molester

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

April 15, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

In the 1950s and '60s, he was arguably Buffalo's most renowned Catholic priest, writing books on youth and their concerns and regularly traveling the country and abroad to speak at youth conferences. The president of Italy even awarded Schieder a "Star of Solidarity," one of that nation's highest honors for noncitizens.

But behind his accomplishments, Schieder hid a dark secret.

The secret wasn’t revealed until 2018 – more than two decades after Schieder’s death at age 87 – when his name was included on a Buffalo Diocese list of priests with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse against them.

The Buffalo News has learned at least five men have complained to the diocese that Schieder abused them when they were minors, and the alleged abuses spanned several decades.

One of the complainants recently accepted a $340,000 settlement offer through a diocese program to compensate victims, according to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who said his client was between 11 and 13 when Schieder allegedly abused him more than 100 times between 1960 and 1964.

Another complainant accused Schieder in a Fort Lauderdale police report of sexually abusing him, starting in 1987. The same man who went to Fort Lauderdale police filed a pro se lawsuit in 1993 against Schieder in federal court in Florida. Police didn’t charge Schieder, and the federal court case was dismissed. When the man notified the Buffalo Diocese in 2002, then-Bishop Henry J. Mansell wrote a letter back stating that the diocese had received no other complaints about Schieder.

'Prey': A documentary by Windsor director shines a light on sexual abuse by priests

TORONTO (CANADA)
CBC News

April 15, 2019

Director Matt Gallagher says it was an 'emotional' experience taking on this documentary. (CBC)
It's a documentary that Windsorite director Matt Gallagher has been aspiring to create for about 15 years — and now, his film Prey about sexual abuse by Catholic priests will premiere at Hot Docs, Canada's largest documentary film festival later this month.

The film focuses on one perpetrator in particular, Father William Hodgson "Hod" Marshall, a retired priest and teacher, who several years ago pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 16 boys and one girl at schools in Toronto, Sudbury and Windsor.

Featured in the film is Windsorite Patrick McMahon who, as a boy, fell victim to Marshall.

McMahon has been using his voice to speak out and protest in an effort to hold those within the church accountable.

"It's something I feel passionately about....I will continue to speak out until people who cover this up are brought to justice," he said.

He stressed he hopes the documentary will help make people aware these are not just crimes of the past.

"There are priests today who are still doing this. There are priests being investigated now. There are enablers covering this up," he said.

"We all together have an obligation to make that stop."

McMahon has been represented by Rob Talach, a lawyer based in London, Ont. — known as "the priest hunter" — and he too is a prominent figure in the film.

How a sexual assault victim's lawsuit set a precedent that alarmed the Catholic Church
Gallagher reached out to Talach in an effort to focus the documentary on a case that was unfolding in the present, and so they were able to identify one of Talach's clients who was taking his case to trial, and that's where the documentary begins.

'White knight work'
Having tackled more than 400 cases in his career so far, Talach says after 17 years of representing individuals who have been abused by Roman Catholic clergy, he's become a "six foot tall callus" emotionally.

April 14, 2019

SNAP responds to Franciscan's release of five priests accused of sexual misconduct

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTRF TV

April 15, 2019

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has responded to Franciscan University releasing a list of names of five priests accused of sexual misconduct.

According to SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, "14 potential cases of unwelcome sexual contact against students by clergy were found."

"Yet the names of only five offenders were belatedly released to the public. What gives?," questioned Jones.

SNAP responded, saying, "It’s possible these five wrongdoers committed all of the 14 of the instances of ‘unwelcome sexual contact. That seems unlikely. It’s possible that the school knows, but is still hiding the names of more offenders."

"University officials must clear this up immediately. And they must disclose the names of all who committed or concealed crimes or harassment, whether ordained or not, whether still on the school’s payroll or not," Jones added.

The organization went on, saying, "The report claims there were no instances found after 2013, which we find hard to believe. If true, that’s likely because victims of sexual violence and harassment usually take years to understand, acknowledge and act on their suffering. No one should assume that this centuries-old abusive behavior has somehow magically been ended in one year."

Who is Wilton Gregory, Pope Francis’s pick to be Washington’s next archbishop?

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 14, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey

When the first Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted in the early 2000s, Wilton Gregory led hundreds of defensive and divided bishops in passing the most aggressive action on abuse in U.S. church history.

But Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke remembers something else about Gregory, who was selected this month by Pope Francis to head the prestigious D.C. archdiocese.

As one of the laypeople Gregory appointed to serve on an advisory board to the bishops, Burke was struck by an inquiry he made to her one night when they found themselves alone after a meeting. He wanted to know how she’d been able to visit Vatican officials for her research on abuse.

She’d Googled “Vatican,” she told him, selected several offices she thought were related to the abuse issue, then faxed letters asking to visit.

“His face was ashen. ‘You what?’ ” she recalls him saying. At 55, that was, she believed, Gregory’s first experience with lay­people who went outside the chain of command.

His shock at her ability to get around protocol startled her, she said, and told her something important — that it was nearly impossible for Gregory to see things from an outside-the-church perspective. “His whole life has been devoted to this institution that’s a bureaucracy — to the point where he doesn’t know how infiltrated he is in that fabric.”

That tendency not to push the boundaries too far was on display in his role at the time as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in which he presided over the groundbreaking zero-tolerance policy enacted in what was called the Dallas Charter. The bishops decided to include only priests in the oversight efforts, after considering and then rejecting even an attempt to include any accountability for themselves — an omission that is now a target of criticism.

EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Colleen Marshall's one-on-one with Columbus' new Catholic bishop

COLUMBUS (OH)
WCMH NBC4

April 14, 2019

Christians around the world are observing Palm Sunday today. The day marks the beginning of the holiest week of the year.

For the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, it is also a time of new beginnings. Bishop Robert Brennan came to central Ohio after spending his entire life in Long Island, New York. Right now, he is getting to know his flock and they are getting to know him.

When Bishop Brennan introduced himself to parishioners at Our Lady Of Guadalupe Center, he did so in Spanish and to a warm reception. Brennan is easy to like and he is committed to connecting to the 2.5 million Catholics in the 23 central and southern Ohio counties in his diocese.

“What a rich variety of parish experiences — here in the city, in the suburbs around us, I was down over the weekend in Portsmouth and the southern part of the diocese along the Ohio River and some of our agricultural areas,” Brennan said. “It’s been just a really rich experience.”

Brennan is on the road frequently, traveling to parishes for confirmation, the sacrament that initiates young people into the Church. He is doing so at a time when membership is dwindling, especially among the younger generations.

“It is true for young people, I say this a lot at confirmations, that young people sometimes you sort of feel isolated, but when we are together, we fell a strength and vibrancy in our faith,” Brennan said. “I would like to build upon it. I think we do have some very, very fine young people.”

The young people in central Ohio have so far surprised Brennan however. He said they are showing a commitment to the Church he did not expect.

"Young people are talking about it. I know that is not going to translate into huge numbers, but it is going to make a difference. And I have to say I am a little bit impressed with the ones who step forward, you know the culture is a little tougher, and to me the ones who step forward are heroic," said Brennan.

One of the challenges Brennan is facing is the inescapable child abuse scandal involving priests. The scandal has many Catholics questioning their church, if not their entire faith.

Palm Sunday Protest: The plea group has for Bishop Malone

BUFFALO (NY)
WEBW TV

April 14, 2019

By Kelsey Anderson

Today is the start of Holy Week, commemorating Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and many headed to Palm Sunday Mass this morning. Buffalo Catholic Diocese Bishop Richard Malone was presiding over the service at St. Joseph Cathedral, in Buffalo, and started the morning by blessing the palms. But not everyone there came to worship. A group outside the church was there to get their pleas to Malone heard.

"We're here today to demand that he come 100 percent clean about all that he knows," Dr. Robert Hoatson said.

Dr. Robert Hoatson is a former priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He founded Road to Recovery, which has helped more than 5,000 survivors of sexual abuse, many clergy victims. He's in Buffalo wanting an explanation from Bishop Malone after recent reports of even more clergymen involved in the church's sex abuse crisis.


"I want folks of Buffalo to go back to February of 2018, when Michael Whalen went public and created a tsunami of cases of sexual abuse by clergy," he said. "At that time, Bishop Malone told us there were approximately 42 priests who had credible allegations of sexual abuse against them. Well we know know that that number is well over 100, and more recently 25 new names... at least."

Still not on any list released by the Buffalo Diocese is the priest James Faluszczak claims abused him.

"I can't even begin to tell you the fear that I still have... the anxiety that i still have," Faluszczak said. "And even if I've got the presence of mind to talk to you folks, once I go home, the rest of the day I'm pretty miserable. "

Faluszczak came forward, publicly, on St. Patrick's Day of last year. He said in the past year he hasn't seen much change in the church, and Malone.

Some blunt Leon Podles comments on Benedict XVI's statement on sex-abuse crisis

Get Religion

April 14, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

It isn’t everyday that you get to point readers toward a think piece written by a pope, even if we are talking about a retired pope, in this case.

It also helps that retired Pope Benedict XVI wrote about the hottest of hot-button topics in Catholic life — the ongoing scandal of Catholic priests sexually abusing children, with the vast majority of the victims being teen-aged males. That has created all kinds of hot topics to debate or to attempt to avoid debating.

Reactions to the letter have been predictable, to say the least, renewing discussions of the church of Pope Francis and the church of Pope Benedict XVI. The same has been true in the press, with this New York Times story being so predictable that, at times, it verges on self-parody. This Washington Post story hows evidence that reporters tried to gather cheers and boos that were linked to the crucial passages in the retired pope’s text. Here’s the Post overture:

ROME — Breaking years of silence on major church affairs, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written a lengthy letter devoted to clerical sex abuse in which he attributes the crisis to a breakdown of church and societal moral teaching and says he felt compelled to assist “in this difficult hour.”

The 6,000-word letter, written for a small German Catholic publication and published in translation by other outlets Thursday, laments the secularization of the West, decries the 1960s sexual revolution and describes seminaries that became filled during that period with “homosexual cliques.”

It helps, of course, to read the actual text of “The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse.” Click here for an English translation, care of Catholic News Agency.

The key is that Benedict — returning to a theme voiced throughout his long public life — warns believers that they are living in an age in which the basics of Christian faith are under attack (even in seminaries). Thus, Christians in a smaller, embattled, church must be prepared to get back to the basics of doctrine and sacraments. Just going to Mass will not be enough. Note this passage:

Faith is a journey and a way of life. In the old Church, the catechumenate was created as a habitat against an increasingly demoralized culture, in which the distinctive and fresh aspects of the Christian way of life were practiced and at the same time protected from the common way of life. I think that even today something like catechumenal communities are necessary so that Christian life can assert itself in its own way.

Oh my, that’s a quotation that could be featured on the next edition of “The Benedict Option,” by my friend Rod Dreher.

Like I said earlier, it’s easy to find cheers and boos for this remarkable intervention by Benedict in the church’s current discussions of topics such as clergy sexual abuse, seminary life, worship, homosexuality and life in post-Christian cultures.

In this think-piece slot, I would like to point readers to a critique of the former pope’s articles by a Catholic conservative — but one whose work on the sexual-abuse crisis has made insiders on the right nervous, as well as the left. I am talking about Leon Podles, author of the blistering, brutal, relentlessly researched book, “Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church.” He often cooperated, in his research, with the late Richard Sipe — an important voice on the Catholic left.

In his online look at the Benedict article, Podles opens with this summary, which includes an important correction:

In retirement Pope Benedict has written an article for a Bavarian journal for priests on the causes of the sexual abuse crisis. I largely agree, and the article is not an exhaustive catalogue, but there are still some serious omissions. The causes that Benedict identifies are:

'No way he would do this’

ZEELAND (ND)
Forum News Service

April 13, 2019

By April Baumgarten

When the Rev. Wenceslaus Katanga didn’t show up April 7 for Mass at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Zeeland, parishioners thought he was sick.

Then a statement was read to the congregation, explaining that Katanga was under investigation for alleged misconduct involving a child when he was a priest at Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo.

Hearing the news during Mass that day was heartbreaking, said Vivian Schaffner, who has been a member of the Zeeland church for more than 40 years. People in attendance cried, she said, adding that they couldn’t believe the news.

“There is no way he would do this,” she said. “When you see him with our kids, he is not like that. He looks at a kid as a gift from God.”

Not including Katanga, eight clergymen connected to the Fargo Diocese are known to have been accused of sexual misconduct, according to Bishop Accountability, a group that tracks abuse cases involving clergy.

The probe into the allegations against Katanga is still in its early stages, said Fargo police spokeswoman Jessica Schindeldecker. There is no timeline for when the case could be forwarded to the Cass County State's Attorney's Office for review. Criminal charges had not been filed as of Friday.

“After consulting with our investigations division, we are releasing minimal information regarding an allegation of misconduct involving Father Katanga from several years ago since this case is still under investigation,” Schindeldecker said.

It’s unclear whether the child was a member of Sts. Anne and Joachim Church. Police did not divulge when the alleged misconduct occurred, when it was reported or who reported it. Schindeldecker also declined to say whether the allegations were sexual in nature.

Fargo Diocese Bishop John Folda said in a statement that his administration is taking the allegations very seriously.

Victim hopes conviction of Perrault leads to healing

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

April 14, 2019

By Colleen Heild

Elaine Montoya was a teenager when she thought she loved the parish priest, the now-convicted child molester Arthur Perrault.

It took years for her realize she was sexually abused, and to discover that her older brother also had been molested.

As young adults living in Denver, the brother and sister decided in 1984 to travel to Albuquerque to try to put a stop to Perrault’s access to kids. But first they had to tell their parents, including their mother, a devout Catholic and former nun.

“Unlike some of the other victims, our parents didn’t question our claim. Instead, they said if we told the archbishop, they never wanted to see us again. Needless to say, that hurt. We left our parents and the home we grew up in – and stayed at a hotel.”

The Montoya siblings, who got nowhere with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, were among the first of Perrault’s alleged victims to go public in October 1992 after they filed a civil lawsuit.

That same month, Perrault skipped town, putting himself a continent away from the mounting child sexual assault allegations against him by settling in north Africa. He taught at an American language school in Tangier, Morocco, where the FBI arrested him last September to face federal sexual assault charges in New Mexico.

Montoya, 59, was in the audience when a jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe convicted Perrault last week of the repeated sexual abuse of an altar boy who was befriended by the charismatic priest nearly 20 years after the Montoya siblings.

The unusual federal prosecution hinged on the testimony of a home-schooled boy named Ken Wolter who served daily Mass at St. Bernadette Parish in the early 1990s.

Wolter, now 38, testified that as a boy he was sad when Perrault, whom he considered his “best friend,” abruptly resigned from St. Bernadette to go on “sabbatical” in October 1992.

Priest who investigates sex abuse claims will help lead Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

April 13, 2019

By Joe Marusak

A priest who helps investigate claims of sexual abuse and misconduct by fellow clergy has been named second in command of the 46-county Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, Bishop Peter Jugis announced on the diocesan website Friday.

Father Patrick Winslow, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte, replaces Monsignor Mauricio West, who resigned March 25 after a “credible allegation” of sexual misconduct, the diocese’s newspaper reported.

West has denied the allegation, which involved a former adult student of Belmont Abbey College, the diocesan newspaper previously reported.

West stepped down as the diocese’s longtime vicar general and chancellor after the diocese’s Lay Review Board found the allegation of sexual misconduct credible, according to the Catholic News Herald.

Winslow joined the Charlotte diocese in 2002 from the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., the newspaper reported in an article on the Charlotte diocese’s website Friday.

Juicy reminders of ‘be careful what you wish for, for you will surely get it’

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

Apr 14, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

ROME - Catholic life is almost always chock full of illustrations of the old wisdom, “Be careful what you wish for, for you will surely get it.” Even so, the last week gave us a couple of especially juicy cases in point.

One of those object lessons came in Peru, the other in Rome.

In Peru, Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi of Piura prevailed in his battle against journalist Pedro Salinas, seeing a local court convict Salinas of defamation and sentence him to a one-year suspended jail term and a fine of $24,000.

RELATED: Peruvian journalist accused by archbishop of defamation found guilty

Eguren had filed defamation charges after Salinas, known for his reporting on abuse scandals involving Peru’s controversial movement Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), accused Eguren of covering up for the group (the archbishop himself is a member) and compared him to a bishop in Chile linked to abuse scandals there.

The thing is, however, Eguren’s win may well turn out to be the most Pyrrhic victory since King Pyrrhus himself won the battle but lost the war against the Romans in the third century BCE.

After the sentence against Salinas was announced, the bishops’ conference in Peru released an extraordinary statement essentially cutting Eguren loose and praising journalists who uncover abuse scandals. Moreover, the conference more or less said Pope Francis is on Salinas’s side.

“The Holy Father has praised and thanked the world of journalists who, through their investigations, contribute to denouncing abuses, punishing the perpetrators and assisting victims. The pope underlined that the Church needs their help in the difficult task of fighting against this evil,” the conference said in an April 10 statement.

He prosecuted sex abuse at N.J.’s women’s prison. Now he’s working for the Catholic Church.

NEWARK (NJ)
Star Ledger

April 14, 2019

By S.P. Sullivan

Anthony Kearns spent nine years as the top law enforcement official in Hunterdon County, a place that has for several years seen the lowest overall crime rate in the state.

But the problems that plague society do not abide county lines, Kearns says.

“Anything that happens anywhere else can happen here, and we have to be ready for it and have the skillset to address it,” he said.

Murders and suspicious deaths require expert investigations. The opioid crisis is increasing taking lives in every corner of the state.

And then there’s New Jersey’s only women’s prison, which sits on a rolling swath of land in Clinton and Union Townships. Over the last three years, Kearns’ office has been investigating claims of sexual abuse of inmates by staff at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.

The inquiry has led to criminal charges against eight staff members. Five were convicted and one acquitted so far. The other two await trials.

Kearns, who stepped down from his post on Friday, told NJ Advance Media he considers the ongoing investigation into sex abuse at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women “unfinished business.”

Transparency on sex abuse requires more than just clerics

CHARLESTON (WV)
Gazette-Mail

April 11, 2019

By Vincent DeGeorge

While Baltimore’s Archbishop William Lori and the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (DWC) invoke “transparency” and “accountability” regularly regarding clerical sex abuse, they struggle to put these concepts into action.

Disconnects between Lori and DWC higher-ups versus our secular authorities and West Virginia Catholics seem almost insurmountable, as Catholic leaders continue evading actual transparency, accountability and too many significant questions.

In October, Lori and the local diocese invoked transparency when releasing a list of West Virginia Catholic clergy accused of abuse that omits former diocese bishop Michael J. Bransfield, even as we hear his name and detailed abuse allegations in lawsuits from our attorney general and former seminarians.

What’s more, they continue to keep hidden the now-completed report of Archbishop Lori’s investigation into Bransfield, despite calls to release it. Both the attorney general and the diocese’s current highest-ranking official, their day-to-day administrator, layman Bryan Minor, have called for its release. “Yes, my recommendation will be, that I will speak up and ask that that [report] be released ... And if it doesn’t come out, call me,” Minor said in a meeting in Bridgeport in December. Transparency requires this report be released.

As the Catholic Church repeatedly shows it cannot police itself, actions like that from the attorney general continue to prove necessary. In response to Attorney General Patrick Morrissey’s lawsuit, the diocese referred to the 2002 Dallas Charter policy protecting children, which Lori helped draft. They did not mention, however, that neither Bransfield, nor Archbishop Lori, nor any other bishop is bound to that policy document. Lori explained the exemption of bishops saying that the committee, “would limit it to priests and deacons, as the disciplining of bishops is beyond the purview of this document.” And this is the problem.

April 13, 2019

How Pope Francis became a hate figure for the far right

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Open Democracy

April 13, 2019

Leigh Baldwin, Marcus Lerous, Claudia Torrisi And Stefano Vergine

In April 2016, at a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a grinning Matteo Salvini – now deputy prime minister of Italy, and the leader of its far-right Lega party – photobombed another then-rising star of the populist right, Donald Trump.

For the social media-savvy Salvini, it was a brilliant piece of publicity. It also caught the eye of Steve Bannon. Within 48 hours, the Italian politician was in Washington DC, meeting with the head of the attack-dog Breitbart news network who soon took over Trump’s campaign.

Both Bannon and Salvini are now at the helm of grand plans to unite the right across Europe ahead of the European Parliament’s elections next month. Much of the conversation they had in 2016, before either had tasted triumph at the polls, remains a mystery.

But a senior Lega party insider with knowledge of the events that day, who spoke to investigative journalists at SourceMaterial on condition of anonymity, said that Salvini emerged from his meeting with Bannon with a key piece of advice: attack the pope.

Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting five kids

NEW SOUTH WALES (AUSTRALIA)
Hot Tomato Publishing

April 13, 2019

By Jaydan Duck

A CATHOLIC priest has been arrested and charged with nine historical child sex offences in New South Wales.

The 77-year-old man is accused of indecently assaulting five children aged between 12 and 15 at a boarding school at Burradoo, in the state’s Southern Highlands between 1982 and 1988.

The priest was also a dormitory manager, a rugby coach and a band teacher at the college at the time

Detectives were first made aware of the allegations in July last year and, following extensive investigations, arrested the 77-year-old man at a home in the Sydney suburb of Kensington on Friday morning.

The man has since been charged with nine offences including six counts of sexual assault – assault and act of indecency with a person aged under 16 and two counts of gross indecency by a male with a male aged under 18.

He was granted strict conditional bail and due to appear before Waverley Local Court on Wednesday, May 22.

The NSW Police Force encourage anyone who has been victim to, or have information about incidents of child abuse to come forward, and are reminded all information provided is treated with the strictest of confidence.

33 priests, four deacons accused of sex abuse in Catholic Diocese of Lafayette

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Associated Press

April 12, 2019

The Roman Catholic diocese in Louisiana where the first widely reported case of U.S. clergy sex abuse became public in the 1980s has released a list of 33 priests and four deacons credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor or vulnerable adult. Lafayette Bishop Douglas Deshotels’ list identifies three priests who were convicted or pleaded guilty but does not indicate where any of the 37 was accused, let alone give details of the accusations.

Released Friday (April 12), the list gives each man’s birth and ordination year, assignments and his status, such as whether he was removed from the clergy, resigned or both. Three were removed last year.

Unlike bishops in some other dioceses, Deshotels did not release the names of people who were in affiliated religious orders and were accused while working in his diocese. He wrote in a pastoral letter that any such disclosures are up to the orders.

Peru journo wins appeal to have case moved out of archbishop’s city

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 13, 2019

By Elise Harris

Peruvian journalist Paola Ugaz has won a second appeal to transfer a legal defamation case related to her reporting on sex abuse scandals from the Peruvian city of Piura to Lima, after the Archbishop of Piura filed charges against her last year.

Ugaz’s victory comes days after her colleague Pedro Salinas, who was also facing criminal aggravated defamation charges by Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, lost his legal battle and was sentenced to a 1-year suspended prison term and a fine of close to $24,000. Like Ugaz, Salinas had sought to transfer his case from Piura to Lima, but his request and subsequent appeals were rejected.

Both argued it would be impossible to get a fair trial in the same city where the complaining archbishop serves, and where the deck is arguably stacked in his favor.

Salinas and Ugaz co-authored the 2015 bombshell book Half Monks, Half Soldiers exposing years of sexual, psychological and physical abuse inside the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a prominent Catholic lay group born in Peru whose founder, layman Luis Fernando Figari, was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2017 and forbidden to contact members of the group.

Both Salinas and Ugaz in 2018 were served with criminal charges of aggravated defamation by Eguren Anselmi, who is a member of the SCV, for articles, interviews and tweets they had put out alleging that he had been aware of Figari’s abuses but did nothing; that he himself had perpetrated physical and psychological abuse; and that he was linked to a land trafficking scandal in Piura.

Is Pope Francis being upstaged by his opinionated predecessor?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

April 13, 2019

By Michaael McGough

In 2005, as the College of Cardinals was preparing to elect a successor to the recently deceased Pope John Paul II, I wrote a column titled “Should the Papacy be Downsized?”

It was inspired by an intriguing book written by John R. Quinn, a retired archbishop of San Francisco. In “The Reform of the Papacy,” Quinn had proposed a lower-profile papal office and a more collegial relationship between the pope and bishops around the world.

I wrote in the column that “a re-imagined papacy also would not have to be a lifetime office, sparing John Paul's successors the anguish he experienced in recent years, which, however edifying, is not an ordeal imposed on other aged bishops.”

The pope elected in 2005, Benedict XVI, did in fact resign in 2013, the first pope do so in almost 600 years. But Benedict, now called the “pope emeritus,” hasn’t abided by any vow of silence in his retirement.

That was clear this week when Benedict published an eyebrow-raising essay about the church’s sexual abuse crisis, the subject of a recent meeting of bishops and other church leaders convened by Pope Francis. NPR reported accurately that Benedict’s analysis of the crisis “differs significantly from that of his successor.”

St. Bonaventure, Archbishop Walsh say they don’t know anything about dead priests’ abuse allegations

ST. BONAVENTURE (NY)
Olean Times Herald

April 11, 2019

By Tom Dinki

St. Bonaventure University and Archbishop Walsh Academy officials said Thursday they’re in the dark just like the public when it comes to abuse allegations against two now-deceased friars who once held high-level positions at their institutions.

The Rev. Gervase White — a prominent St. Bonaventure University friar who died in 2002 — and the Rev. James Cairnan Haggerty —a principal of then-Archbishop Walsh High School who died in 1991 — are among more than accused 20 priests whose names were never released by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, according to a report by WKBW Wednesday evening.

Franciscan University names five priests accused of sexual misconduct

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTOV TV

April 12, 2019

By Paul Giannamore

Franciscan University of Steubenville has released the names of five priests accused credibly of unwanted sexual advances. The release came as part of a report by an independent consultant hired to review university records amid the ongoing clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The review of university records from the late 1960s to the present was done by the Husch Blackwell Legal Firm. It found 14 potential cases of unwelcome sexual contact against students by clergy, all reported no later than 2013.

The report found no instances after 2013, when the university undertook reforms and reporting procedures.

The names of five priests with at least one substantiated claim were released.

They include:

Franciscan Friar Sam Tiesi, who died in 2001; Friar John McGuire, formerly Father Conrad McGuire, who lost his clerical state in 1988; and Friar Simeon Daniel Mulkern, who died in 2016.

Additionally, John Bertolucci, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, New York, who died in 2015 and Vincent Inghilterra, a Trenton, New Jersey priest who was removed from ministry in 2013, were listed. Bertolucci and Inghilterra both were named as having substantiated allegations against them in their dioceses or other institutions, not while at the university.

The university said the disclosure is not a finding of guilt or civil liability, nor are there clerics with substantiated reports of unwelcome sexual contact currently ministering or working at Franciscan.

The Lists: Differences between KATC’s list and the Diocese list

LAFAYETTE (LA)
KATC News

April 12, 2019

Today, 15 years after acknowledging it exists and more than five months after promising its release, the Lafayette Diocese released a list of priests and deacons the church admits have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

The Diocese list was limited to abuse of children or vulnerable adults. To read the church’s exact criteria in placing someone on the list, click here.

In January, KATC released a list of accused priests who had served in the Diocese of Lafayette. Our producers and reporters scoured thousands of pages of documents – all public records – to find support for these accusations in the form of criminal charges, civil suit settlements, diocese statements, and court case evidence. Some of those records are recent, some decades old.

We’ve compared the list released by the Diocese and “The List” created by KATC and found the following differences, as well as probable explanations for the differences.

List of priests and deacons on the Diocese list and not on KATC’s list:

Michael Benedict: The Diocese’s list indicate he was allowed to retire and never removed from ministry. KATC found no mention of Benedict in public records of civil or criminal cases.
David Anderson Coupar: KATC found no mention of Coupar in public records of civil or criminal cases.
Herbert de Launay: KATC found no mention of de Launey in public records of civil or criminal cases.
John deLeeuw: The Diocese’s list indicates he was allowed to retire. KATC was contacted by a victim about this priest, but we found no mention of deLeeuw in public records of civil or criminal cases.
Michael DesJardins: KATC found no mention of DesJardins in public records of civil or criminal cases.
Keith Anthony Potier: KATC found no mention of Potier in public records of civil or criminal cases.
Richard Rieboldt: KATC received calls from victims about this priest, but was unable to find any mention of him in public records of civil or criminal cases.
Jean Toussaint: KATC found no mention of Toussaint in public records of civil or criminal cases.
Adrian Van Hal: KATC found no mention of Van Hal in public records of civil or criminal cases.
Cornelius Van Merrianboer: KATC found no mention of Van Merrianboer in public records of civil or criminal cases.

Lafayette accused clergy: Details the diocese didn't report

LAFAYEYYE (LA0
Acadiana Advocate

April 12, 2019

The Diocese of Lafayette on Friday released limited information on priests against whom credible accusations have been made regarding sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult. This information includes: the year they were born; the year they were ordained; church assignments; and current status. They did not include any accusations or when or where the credible accusations occurred.

However, through previous reporting, research and other media reports, The Advocate has added details to many of the named clergy. We will continue to update this list as more details become available.

See names, more about 38 Lafayette-area clergy member's on diocese's official sex abuse list

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Acadiana Advocate

April 12, 2019

The Lafayette Diocese on Friday released the names of 38 clergy members who have been credibly accused of child abuse.

The diocese release follows similar ones from four other Louisiana dioceses, including the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Archdiocese of New Orleans, prompted by new pressure on church officials to disclose the identities of all offenders.

The Lafayette Diocese disclosure is particularly remarkable, as it is often considered “ground zero” for the decades-long Catholic Church sex abuse crisis, since it was the home of the first widely known abuser, Gilbert Gauthe, in the 1980s.

The list below, in alphabetical order, includes biographical information provided by the diocese or found in media reports, court documents and interviews.

Joseph Alexander

Age: Born 1933

Position: Priest

Served: St. Anthony of Padua, Eunice; Our Lady of Wisdom, Lafayette; Holy Rosary Institute; Lafayette; St. Thomas More High School, Lafayette; St. Mary Priory, Union, Kentucky.

Ordained: 1973

Estimated time of abuse: 1963 in Kentucky

Removed from ministry: Removed in 2002

Details: Acknowledged in 2002 that, when a Benedictine Brother in Owensboro, Kentucky, he molested a boy.

Jules Arceneaux

Age: Born in 1953

Position: Priest

Served: Our Lady of Sacred Heart, Church Point; St. Thomas More, Eunice; St. Joseph, Rayne; St. Francis Regis and St. Catherine, Arnaudville.

Ordained: 1990

Estimated time of abuse:

Allegation received: 2004

Removed from ministry: Removed in 2004

Details: Acting on a tip, federal agents in July 2004 raided the rectory at St. Francis Regis in Arnaudville and found what appeared to be child porn on his computer. The charges were dropped because of uncertainty those pictured were children.

April 12, 2019

Questions from survivors group after Diocese releases names

OWENSBORO (KY)
Tri-State Home Page

April 12, 3019

By Amanda Mueller

The Diocese of Owensboro released names of priests on Friday with credible sexual abuse allegations.

Bishop William Medley made a statement and took questions around 2 P.M.

There were 15 names on that list.

One name not among them : Father Joseph Edward Bradley.

He was suspended last month from Owensboro Catholic High School after allegations of sexual abuse.

"There is no question that people have lost faith over this. I hope this is a step toward restoring that," Medley said during the conference,

15 priests have what the Diocese calls a "substantiated allegation" of sexual abuse against them.

"For all the times when Church leaders failed to live out Christ's call to holiness and did not do what was needed to keep you and all children safe, I am sorry," Bishop Medley read from a statement.

Only six of the priests on the list are still alive. They have all been removed from public ministry. A leader with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, in Kentucky says that is not enough.

"Do they report in weekly? Monthly? Are they assigned someone to keep track of their travels? What is the follow-up?" said SNAP Louisville leader Cal Pfeiffer.

Inclusion on the list does not mean that the priest has been found guilty of a crime.

"When we receive an allegation, we report that to authorities. Sometimes we pursue that, sometimes they will not," Medley explained.

The announcement was made ahead of the holiest week of the year for the Catholic Church.

"I found it appropriate to do it during the season of Lent, but frankly, we did it as soon as the committe that was reviewing these files completed their work," said Medley.

Pfeiffer questions the timing.

Anger and confusion over concealed list of 25 accused priests in the Diocese of Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

Apr 12, 2019

By Charlie Specht and Ed Reilly

Reaction to a 7 Eyewitness News I-Team investigation that found the Diocese of Buffalo was concealing the names of 25 priests accused of sexual misconduct or abuse is generating some strong reactions from priest abuse victims and the president of Saint Bonaventure University, Dr. Dennis DePerro, who is calling for Bishop Richard Malone to step aside so the diocese can begin to heal and move forward.

The Diocese of Buffalo responded with the following statement:

“Bishop Malone is disappointed and dismayed with the comments of Dr. DePerro. We suspect that Dr. DePerro has not fully studied the carefully developed and well-publicized protocols of the Diocese of Buffalo. For example, the name of Fr. Gervase White, OFM, a beloved member of the St. Bonaventure community, was improperly revealed on television even though the allegation against him does not involve child abuse and cannot be investigated because Fr. Gervase died 17 years ago. Following established protocols, the diocese intentionally did not publicize that allegation. The bishop has received helpful input from others, including the President of Canisius College and other members of the Movement to Restore Trust, on how diocesan procedures might be improved. The bishop would have welcomed and still would accept such input from Dr. DePerro, but to criticize the bishop for following established protocols is unjust.”

Internal church records obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team show the scope of abuse is much larger than the public has been led to believe -- even with 121 members of the clergy already accused of sex abuse or misconduct.

Perhaps most shocking: the names and allegations against 25 accused priests – including one recently active in the diocese – are still being shielded from the public.

The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has spent the last six months using the June 27, 2018 review board agenda -- and other documents -- for verification in our reporting. When it became clear that the diocese had no intention of investigating many of the claims made by victims – because the priests were dead or because the diocese was excluding the victims from its compensation program – we began to investigate the claims on our own.

We were able to reach most of the victims who called to report the abuse and to verify many of the basic details of their stories through assignment histories or other documents . In the cases of deceased priests, we reached out to the diocese or the religious order and gave them the opportunity to describe the nature of the allegation and why they felt the name should or should not be reported to the public.

This is what the I-Team found:

(Note: The diocese declined to say whether any of these cases were substantiated or not substantiated. Spokeswoman Kathy Spangler denied that all cases related to sexual abuse, but would not specify which cases to which she was referring. Click here to read the diocese’s full explanation . Also, 7 Eyewitness News does not identify sex crime victims without their permission, and only identified abuse victims when they wanted to be identified publicly.)

Fr. Carlton (CJ) Westfield - A diocesan document in Bishop Malone's "black binder" of diocesan secrets shows that in 2012, Westfield was discussed by Bishop Malone and members of the diocesan review board.

In May 2012, a secretary at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School in Dunkirk reported that Westfield “was discussing inappropriate topics with the sixth and seventh grade boys in religious education class,” a confidential memo to Bishop Malone stated. The memo also said Westfield “had taken pictures of small groups of the boys and girls” and was giving “private lessons” on Catholicism to a seventh grade boy.

During a meeting with Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, Westfield “admitted discussing...pornography and masturbation with the boys” and admitted taking pictures of the children. Westfield stopped teaching at the school, the memo states , and the diocese “arranged for a forensic review of Father Westfield’s computer by the Diocese computer services office.” Nowhere in the memo does it mention calling the police, and the allegations have never been made public.

Diocese of Buffalo - Fr. Carlton J. Westfield (Text)
Kathy Spangler, a diocesan spokeswoman, said, “Although the 2012 matter regarding Fr. Westfield did not involve an accusation of abuse, it was thoroughly investigated and presented to the Review Board.”

In addition, the diocese reviewed an allegation about Westfield from a man in 2018, a different diocesan document confirms. But diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler said in an email, “The person who made the allegation in 2018 initially thought that his abuser might be Fr. Westfield and later, after reviewing information and photographs, withdrew the allegation against him. All the information was presented to the Review Board.”

Ordained in 1971, Westfield was pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Falconer and Our Lady of Victory Parish in Frewsburg. He became pastor of St. Anthony Church in Fredonia in 1999. He is retired and is listed as pastor emeritus of St. Anthony in Fredonia. Westfield did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment.

Fr. James Bartnik – Florida man Thomas Bunk told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against Bartnik in 2018 to the diocese. Bunk said roughly 40 years ago, Bartnik had inappropriate sexual contact with him under the guide of “wrestling.” Bunk said he reported the contact almost immediately, and his family was ostracized from St. John Cantius in Buffalo.

Bunk also described his frustration with trying to report the abuse to the Diocese of Buffalo last summer. He said he called seven times before receiving a call back, and diocesan representatives told him it was “too late for anything to be done,” he said. Bartnik also worked at St. Teresa in South Buffalo. He died in 2013.

Msgr. Ted Berg – When questioned by 7 Eyewitness News, Marc Pasquale of Buffalo said -- and multiple diocesan documents confirm -- that he called the diocese in 2018 to inquire why a priest reported to him years earlier was not on the diocese’s list. Pasquale said he did so because those involved had questioned him about why the 2018 Buffalo Diocese list did not include Berg, and they were concerned there was a cover-up.

Pasquale, while serving as parish administrator of St. Teresa’s in South Buffalo in 1987, said he was told by parish employees that they found child pornography in Msgr. Berg’s room during routine maintenance. Pasquale said he immediately reported the incident to multiple people and Bishop Head was notified.

But records show the diocese allowed Berg to remain pastor of St. Teresa’s until his 2003 retirement. Even after the retirement, he was appointed canonical administrator to three Catholic grammar schools in South Buffalo. He died in 2009.

Fr. Gerald Collins & Fr. Joseph Garin – A Buffalo man told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against both priests in 2018 to the diocese. He did not want to be identified and would not go into details of the allegations.

Collins served in churches in the Southern Tier and in Buffalo’s Old First Ward from the 1950s through the 1970s, newspaper archives show. He was also assigned to All Saints Church in Buffalo and the Newman Center at Alfred University. Garin served in churches in Buffalo and Niagara Falls before dying in a fire in the Prince of Peace Church rectory in 1965, according to the Niagara Falls Gazette.

Fr. George Cotter – The diocese reviewed an allegation against Cotter from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document shows. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan record shows that in 2018, she alleged abuse by Cotter in the 1950s and 1960s, when she was between 7 and 19 years old. Cotter was pastor of Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church in the Town of Tonawanda. He is believed to be deceased.

Msgr. Joseph F. Coughlin – A woman told 7 Eyewitness News -- and a diocesan document confirms -- that she reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. The woman said it was the fourth time she or her husband reported the alleged sexual assault (she talked with three bishops and senior administrators of the diocese previously), she said.

The woman said Coughlin, the founding pastor of Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church in Depew (he served from 1965 to 1995), sexually assaulted her under the guise of teaching her how to be a Eucharistic minister. She said she was 36 years old in the early 1990s when Coughlin groped her and pinned her down. Years later, Coughlin exhibited “stalking” behavior to her when she moved to another parish, she said.

She was denied compensation from the diocese this year, she said, even though in the late 1990s an auxiliary bishop told her Coughlin had a file that was “two inches thick” with complaints. She said she never reported the incident to police because Coughlin was chaplain of the Erie County Captains and Lieutenants Police Association, the Erie County Police Chiefs Association, the Depew Police Department, and the Cheektowaga Police Department. He died in 2005.

Msgr. Edmund Dietzel - The diocese reviewed an inquiry about Dietzel from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan document, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” also confirms the allegation and states the accuser said she was between 3 and 12 at the time of the incident.

Dietzel served as an assistant pastor of St. Rose of Lima, St. Agnes, St. Matthew, Blessed Trinity, St. Nicholas and St. Anthony, all in Buffalo. He was the founding pastor of St. John Vianney of Orchard Park, where he served for 31 years. Dietzel died in 1989.

Fr. John Donnelly – A 57-year-old Buffalo man told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. The man said Donnelly abused him in the early 1970s when he was a 12-year-old altar boy at St. Monica’s church in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood. The man did not want to be identified. Donnelly is believed to be deceased.

Fr. John Doyle – A woman told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that she reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. She said Doyle abused her in the 1960s, when she was a fifth-grade student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Orchard Park.

She did not want to be identified but she said she was disappointed with how the diocese handled her claim.

“What a nightmare,” she said. “The whole thing is just a huge nightmare.”

She said she was excluded from the diocese’s settlement program because she didn’t report the abuse years earlier. Until now, Fr. Doyle’s name has remained secret because of the bishop’s policy.

“And now, I feel totally slapped in the face,” she said, holding back tears. “I think if they weren’t gonna follow through with this, then I think they should have not said anything at all. Because for me, it was reliving it. And it’s not fair...it’s not fair to all the people who got kicked out because it was only one person who said this priest did this.”

She added, “It's important that people know that it is my faith in God and not the church that carried me through. His peace and healing has helped me survive.”

Doyle is believed to be deceased.

Accused bishops must be held accountable

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

April 12, 2019

By Patti Koo

It is important to publicize names of credibly accused priests who were in San Antonio, even if their alleged abuses took place in other regions. Although no claims of abuse were made locally, it is naïve to conclude there were no incidents. Statistics show that 1 in 10 victims of sexual abuse will report their abuse, and studies confirm that most sex offenders have more than one victim.

The attorney general of Pennsylvania put it best when he said, “We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished. We are going to name their names, and describe what they did ... because that is what the victims deserve.”

In the case of a priest on January’s list, Galeb Mokarzel, who was credibly accused of sexual abuse and housed near two schools in San Antonio, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller replied that he had no power over religious orders.

In the perversion of the eucharistic body: the pornographic society in Benedict XVI’s letter on sex abuse

Patheos blog

April 12, 2019

By Justin Tse

It goes without saying that Benedict XVI’s recently published letter on sex abuse is terrible. I will also leave an obligatory note here about how I have liked Ratzinger’s writings (even as a Protestant), have tweeted my amazement at them, and have read enough people couching their critique of the former pontiff as loving fanboys disappointed in their master that I will do nothing of the sort here.

The letter stands or falls on its merits alone, and there are few to recommend it. The whole thing is about how the student movements of the 1968 were about atheism because they were Marxist (the joke was Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho), and that the absence of God from society led to a sexual revolution, and that that sexual revolution became manifested in the normalization of pornography, and in this way, clergy in the church were influenced by a pornographic society to give in to their basest desires. It’s a facile argument, one that probably most would think belongs more in Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option than in the writings of Benedict XVI.

The counterargument is, of course, that clergy sex abuse was happening before 1968 too, and so were pornography and prostitution. So much for that, then, unless one wants to try their hand at saying that the distinction Ratzinger is making is between the private nature of pornography before the sixties and its public proliferation afterwards. But there are all sorts of problems with that too, not just in terms of Foucault’s reminder that a sexually repressed society does its disciplinary work by talking more about sex (not less), but also because Augustine’s comments on the theatre and the coliseum in the fourth century bespeak a kind of public bloodlust akin to the pornographic and his Confessions, far from relegating those desires to a private sphere, openly channels them to their chaste fulfillment in God.

Benedict’s Untimely Meditation

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

April 12, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

Retired Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory for the creation of new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in this Feb. 22, 2014, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
On the evening of April 10, six weeks after the conclusion of the Vatican’s summit on the sex-abuse crisis, the “pope emeritus,” Benedict XVI, made known his thoughts on the genesis of that crisis in a five-thousand-plus-word essay sent to a periodical for Bavarian priests, quickly translated into English, and then diffused online by Catholic websites known for their hostility to Pope Francis.

The essay is divided into two parts. The second, theological part is a reflection on the spiritual nature of the church, and mirrors Pope Francis’s own approach to the sex-abuse crisis: the pope and pope emeritus agree that the crisis cannot be resolved with only bureaucratic and juridical reforms. Both believe that the crisis involves a spiritual evil that must be confronted in spiritual terms. Benedict writes: “Indeed, the Church today is widely regarded as just some kind of political apparatus. One speaks of it almost exclusively in political categories, and this applies even to bishops, who formulate their conception of the church of tomorrow almost exclusively in political terms. The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the Church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign. But a self-made Church cannot constitute hope.” All this is in keeping with what Francis has said and written on the subject.

The rest of Benedict’s essay, however, departs not only from the current pope’s analysis of the sex-abuse crisis, but also from that of almost everyone else who has studied it. Ratzinger’s core argument starts from an historical-theological analysis of the post-conciliar period—from 1968 onward—and focuses on the negative effects of the sexual revolution on the church. In his view, these effects were twofold: a moral decay in behaviors and the rise of the relativism in moral theology.

This is a problematic analysis to say the least. It puts the Second Vatican Council at the origin of moral decadence in the church. This contrasts starkly with the way Francis has always spoken about the council. Even worse, Benedict’s claim that the phenomenon of sexual abuse was mainly a product of the sixties is contradicted by all the available studies on the topic, as is his suggestion of a connection between sexual abuse and homosexuality (more on this later).

There is no question that the Catholic Church was hit hard by the Sexual Revolution—not only lay people, but also the clergy and the seminaries. But the history of sexual abuse in the church begins well before the turmoil of the ’60s: one can find evidence of it in the writings of the Fathers of the Church, who coined terms for it that are not found in classical Greek (cf. the studies by John Martens). There is a vast literature on the phenomenon and on the tools developed by the church, between the middle ages and the twentieth century, to combat it.

New diocesan abuse task force is for ‘whole family of our church to heal’

ALBANY (NY)
Catholic News Service

April 12, 2019

Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger is calling for comprehensive church reform through an abuse task force focused on accompanying and supporting survivors of clergy sex abuse.

The newly developed task force will establish protocols for greater accountability and increased transparency at all levels of the diocese integrating the healing journey of survivors of clergy sex abuse and their families in the church.


“Most importantly, I want to offer ways for the whole family of our church to heal, because all of us have been incomplete as long as survivors and their family members have suffered in silence and isolation,” Bishop Scharfenberger said April 11 in announcing the new task force. “I know from experience that survivors can be ‘wounded healers’ offering wisdom and grace to the church and to the world.”

The task force will be comprised of diverse points of view and expertise, including survivors, parents, professionals, and community and parish leaders. The independent advisory group will be tasked with assessing and recommending upgrades to existing diocesan protocols and processes and to programs that support development of a trauma-informed pastoral outreach to survivors of clergy abuse and/or family members.

The goal of this advisory group is to evaluate past and present practices and to devise a path forward with regard to a holistic approach to survivor ministry and to the overall well-being of Catholics in the diocese.

Owensboro Diocese releases names of priests accused of sexual abuse

OWENSBORO (KY)
Eyewitness News

April 12, 2019

By Amanda Mueller

On Friday, the Diocese of Owensboro released a list of priests with substantiated allegations of sexually abusing a minor.

The press conference began with an apology from Bishop William F. Medley on behalf of the diocese and the church.

Bishop Medley said inclusion on the list does not necessarily indicate guilt, but it does indicate a finding on behalf of the diocese that there is adequate reason to believe the abuse did occur.

For second time in a week, a new, decades-old claim of New Orleans clergy molestation emerges

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

April 12, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

For the second time in a week, a man has come forward with new claims that he was molested decades ago by a New Orleans-area Catholic priest who was only publicly identified as a suspected child abuser last year.

A lawsuit filed Thursday by an unnamed plaintiff in Orleans Parish Civil District Court accused Lawrence Hecker, 87, of fondling a group of boys who were attending St. Joseph School in Gretna in 1968, 10 years after his ordination.

The suit against Hecker joins a string of other civil court cases – mostly ongoing – that have been filed against Catholic Church officials in New Orleans following Archbishop Gregory Aymond’s disclosure on Nov. 2 of a list of clerics who had been faced with credible allegations of sexually abusing children.

Hecker appeared on that list and joins other still-living, defrocked clerics on that roster to be confronted by accusers who had not come forward before the release.

According to the new 19-page suit, the plaintiff was in middle school at St. Joseph when Hecker took him and other boys at the school behind the altar at the church. The lawsuit accused Hecker of lining the boys up shoulder-to-shoulder, ordering them to drop their pants and showing them “what it was like to get a hernia exam” by groping the children’s genitals.

Leader of US bishops set for Rome trip to talk bishops’ accountability

DENVER (CO)
Crux

April 11, 2019

By Christopher White

Archbishop José Gómez, the de facto head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as the body’s president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, faces health issues, will travel to Rome the week after Easter to meet Vatican officials to discuss new measures for U.S. bishop accountability.

Crux has confirmed with multiple sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to comment on the matter, that a USCCB delegation, originally intended to be led by DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, will discuss proposals for accountability that the U.S. bishops hope to adopt when they meet again in June.

Monsignor Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the USCCB, along with other senior officials, will join Gómez, the archbishop of Los Angeles, for the visit.

Last month DiNardo was briefly hospitalized for what was termed a “mild stroke.” Gomez is currently responsible for day-to-day operations of the USCCB while the Texas cardinal is recovering.

Buffalo statements assert more transparency, urge privacy for victims

BUFFALO (NY)
Catholic News Service

April 12, 2019

In a pair of statements issued April 11, the Diocese of Buffalo both asserted greater
transparency in its handling of clergy sex abuse claims and urged respect for the privacy of abuse victims.

The former statement, from Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, was issued to “correct some of those errors” about the diocese’s response to the crisis that had cropped up from the “intense media coverage.”

But he also used the statement to address “the times when I personally have fallen short. I deeply regret and apologize for having signed those letters in support of Father Art Smith,” a diocesan priest whom Bishop Malone had endorsed for a job as a cruise ship chaplain despite complaints by three young men to the diocese in 2011 and 2013 about inappropriate touching and unwanted attention and Facebook messages from the priest.

“I also regret not being more transparent about claims involving abuse against adults,” Bishop Malone added. “As you know from the manner in which we have been addressing more recent claims involving conduct between adults, we are handling those matters differently now. Lessons have been learned.”

Bishop Malone said of the 191 abuse complaints received in “the last audit year” — each U.S. diocese undergoes an annual audit to monitor its compliance with the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” — “not a single one of those new allegations involved an incident that occurred after 2000,” and that “there have been no substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse against any diocesan priest ordained in the past 30 years.”

The charter has worked, he added, “demonstrated by the fact that there have been very few actual cases of child sexual abuse in our diocese since 2002.”

Moreover, the independent review board process outlined in the charter works, Bishop Malone said. “When adequate information has been obtained, the board will make a recommendation to me about whether or not the claim has been substantiated. No priest with a substantiated claim of child sexual abuse can remain in ministry,” he added.

“My decisions about whether a priest is removed from or returned to ministry are often criticized in the media. Of course, the process needs to be confidential to protect the privacy of all the parties involved, and, as a result, the public may not hear all that went into each decision.”

Diocese of Kansas City Finally Begins Work on List of Accused Clerics

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

April 12, 2019

Only now is KC MO Bishop James Johnston starting a months-long process to supposedly create a list of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests.

Yet we see no reason why this process must take months. Bishop Johnston should immediately post the names of and details about the dozens of child molesting clerics he knows to be guilty or 'credibly accused.'

Then, if need be, he can add more later after this review is complete. But every day even one predator is kept hidden, kids are needlessly at risk. And they're given even more time to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers and even flee the country.

Out of about 170 bishops in the US, 113 have completed this process and have posted predators' names on their websites, some as long as 17 years ago. It's incredibly irresponsible that Johnston is just starting to do so now.

Las Vegas diocese IDs 33 priests ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Review-Journal

April 12, 2019

By Rachel Crosby

The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas released a list on Friday of 33 priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse who at some point served in the Las Vegas Valley.

The announcement came a week after the Catholic Diocese of Reno named 12 “credibly abused” priests, eight of whom at some point had served in the Las Vegas area. All of those priests were included in the new Las Vegas list.

Reno’s list included Monsignor Robert Anderson, who died in 1978 but in 1993 was accused of sexually abusing a Henderson boy between 1965 and 1969, according to a lawsuit the victim filed when he was 41. The man said the abuse began when he was about 13.

“The sexual abuse was accomplished, in part, because Monsignor Anderson, a Roman Catholic priest, befriended the minor plaintiff as a parishioner and altar boy and provided him with counseling and guidance,” the lawsuit said at the time. “Monsignor repeatedly assured the minor plaintiff that the sexual contact was appropriate activity.”

Anderson served in churches all over Nevada, including in Reno, Sparks, Ely, Fallon and Zephyr Cove, among other communities, according to the Reno list. But he circled back to the Las Vegas area often.

He first served in Las Vegas at St. Joan of Arc in 1944, then in Boulder City at St. Andrews from 1944 to 1947 before traveling north.

Anderson returned to Southern Nevada in 1962, serving at St. Christopher in North Las Vegas until 1963 and St. Peter the Apostle in Henderson between 1963 and 1969.

The only living priest named in the Reno list was Eugene Braun, who also served in Las Vegas off and on but was removed from the ministry in 1974. He is accused of molesting teenage girls in Northern Nevada, and in the early 2000s, at least one woman settled with the Reno diocese in connection with her decades-old allegations, according to a 2007 story in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Journalist surprised by bishops' support after controversial lawsuit

ROME (ITALY)
Catholic News Service

Apr 11, 2019

By Junno Arocho Esteves

After a court ruled in favor of an archbishop's defamation lawsuit against him, Peruvian journalist Pedro Salinas said he was "pleasantly surprised" by a message of support from the country's bishops.

Peruvian Archbishop José Eguren Anselmi of Piura won the case against Salinas April 8, but bishops in the country distanced themselves from the lawsuit and said the church needs the help of journalists and survivors of clergy sex abuse to overcome the current crisis.

"The Holy Father has praised and thanked the world of journalists who, through their investigations, contribute to denouncing abuses, punishing the perpetrators and assisting victims. The pope underlined that the church needs their help in the difficult task of fighting against this evil," the Peruvian bishops' conference said in a statement April 10.

In a message to Catholic News Service April 11, Salinas said he was surprised by the bishops' message "because it is unprecedented."

"We now know that someone (Eguren) is going against the current guidelines established by Pope Francis," Salinas told CNS. "In soccer terms, we could say that the Sodalitium Archbishop José Antonio Eguren of Piura was discovered in an offside position," he added. "An unforgivable offside, if you ask me."

Salinas and fellow journalist Paola Ugaz co-authored a book titled, "Mitad Monjes, Mitad Soldados" ("Half Monks, Half Soldiers"), which detailed the psychological and sexual abuse, as well as corporal punishment and extreme exercises that young members of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae were forced to endure.

The Peruvian journalist suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Luis Fernando Figari, who founded Sodalitium, a Catholic movement, in 1971.

Recognising Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse

OTAGO (NEW ZEALAND)
Centre for Theology and Public Issues

April 5, 2019

By Rocio Figeuroa and David Tombs

The sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church compels a reassessment of topics within
both pastoral theology and Christology. The possible connection between the Passion
narratives and the reality of sexual abuse is an obvious, but so far neglected, resource for this
work.

The research project ‘When Did We See You Naked?’ at the University of Otago
(2018-20) investigates three related areas.

1. The historical question: ‘Did the torture and crucifixion of Jesus involve some form of
sexual abuse?’

2. The pastoral question: ‘What difference should this make for the Church today?’

3. The theological question: ‘What consequences does this have for a theological
understanding of God’s gracious and healing presence in the world?’

Diocese where clergy abuse 1st made public to release list

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Associated Press

April 12, 2019

The U.S. Catholic diocese where the first widely reported case of clergy sex abuse became public in the 1980s is releasing a list of clery who face credible accusations of sexual abuse.

Bishop Douglas Deshotel (DEZ-oh-tel) of the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana has said he’ll release the list Friday. The names of 33 priests and four deacons are on the list.

Other Louisiana dioceses have reported about 150 priests, deacons and other clerics. There may be some overlap, since the Lake Charles diocese was carved out of the Lafayette diocese in 1980.

The Lafayette Diocese employed the first widely known abuser, Gilbert Gauthe (goh-THAY). He pleaded guilty in 1985 to abusing 11 boys and testified that he’d abused dozens while serving at four churches in the diocese.

‘Credibly accused’ priest worked at St. Joseph, St. Mary’s in Norwalk

NORWALK (CT)
Laredo Morning Times

April 12, 2019

By Pat Tomlinson

A priest who once served at a South Norwalk parish were added to the list of “credibly accused” clergy for sexual abuse of minors in the Bridgeport Diocese.

Bishop Frank Caggiano, in a March 22 statement, added 10 names to a list of nearly 30 priests, living and dead, who are accused of sexual abuse and at some point served in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

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“It is with much regret and concern for all those who are survivors of sexual abuse that I must announce that the following ten clergy who served in the Diocese of Bridgeport have been added to our list of Credibly Accused Clergy,” Caggiano wrote.

The Rev. James McCormick is among those added to the list. He served at St. Joseph Parish, 85 South Main St., and St. Mary’s, 669 West Ave., according to Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney, a Bridgeport law firm that has represented dozens of abuse victims in lawsuits against the diocese since 1993.

McCormick served at St. Joseph Parish from 1951 to 1954, during which time he was twice accused of soliciting young men, once in 1953 and another in 1954. Both are believed to have been minors at the time, according to Caggiano’s statement.

One of these incidents was reported to the diocese by the police in 1953, according to Caggiano, but no further action was taken. His ministry was reportedly restricted in 1954 by Bishop Lawrence Shehan.

A full review of McCormick, who was ordained in 1916, was conducted in 2019 — more 50 years after McCormick’s death — and the allegation “deemed credible.”

The Chilean church has lost its credibility. Bishop Aos is hopeful he can change that.

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 12, 2019

By Gerard O’Connell

On March 23, Pope Francis appointed the Spanish-born Capuchin friar, Bishop Celestino Aos Braco as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese of Santiago, Chile. On the same day, he also accepted the resignation of the much-criticized Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati.

Trained as a psychologist in Spain, Bishop Aos arrived in Chile in 1983 and was surprised when Pope Francis called him four and a half years ago to be bishop of Copiapo. “I didn’t even know where Copiapo was,” he said in an interview with America on April 9. “I didn’t know what it was to live in the desert. But I said I will go there and do my service.”

He was once again surprised on the eve of his 74th birthday when the pope appointed him as the apostolic administrator in the archdiocese of Santiago, where the two former archbishops, Javier Errázuriz Ossa and Ezzati are accused of covering up the abuse of minors by priests.

Vatican imposes 10-year suspension on Irish priest for abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Irish Central

April 12, 2019

Vatican imposes 10-year suspension on Irish priest for abuse Fr John O’Reilly
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has banned an Irish-born Legionaries of Christ priest from publicly exercising his priestly ministry for 10 years after he was convicted in Chile of sexually abusing a young girl.

Fr John O’Reilly was convicted in Chile in 2014 and sentenced to four years of ‘supervised liberty.’ When the four years was up in December, he was told to leave the country or face deportation. He moved to Rome, where he still lives, according to the Legionaries.

In accordance with Church law, he also underwent a trial by a tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which also found him guilty of child sexual abuse, the Legionaries of Christ press office said in a statement on Thursday.

In addition to suspending him from ministry, the Legionaries said, the doctrinal congregation imposed “the perpetual obligation to establish residency outside Latin America and the perpetual prohibition of voluntary contact with minors,” as well as recommending he seek “psychological and spiritual accompaniment.”

“The sentence concludes with the mention of the right to appeal,” the Legionaries said.

Fr O’Reilly “is reviewing with his lawyer the sentence, which he received today with faith and with confidence in the authorities of the Church,” the statement said.

KC-St. Joseph Diocese hires ex-FBI agents to compile list of credibly accused priests

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

April 12, 2019

By Judy L. Thomas

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has hired an investigative and consulting firm run by three former FBI agents to compile a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

The St.-Louis based firm, Fidelity Consultants, comprises three investigators who each spent more than two decades with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before founding the company, Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. announced this week in The Catholic Key, the diocesan newspaper.

The action comes after many other dioceses across the country — including the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas — have released lists in recent months of priests with substantiated abuse allegations.

“It is my desire to do so as well,” Johnston wrote in his column in The Catholic Key this week. “This process, by its very nature, is painstakingly deliberate. I intend for an eventual report to be thorough, accurate, and as complete as possible.

“Like most other dioceses, the review is being accomplished by a highly respected and independent third party. It is my hope that our review will be complete and a list available in the coming months.”

The diocese said the firm would conduct “a thorough review of diocesan files” then write a report that includes the names of priests who have served in the diocese and have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The priest sex abuse issue erupted last August when a grand jury in Pennsylvania released a report finding that church leaders had covered up sexual abuse by hundreds of priests over seven decades. Since then, bishops across the country have been under pressure to release the names of their credibly accused priests.

Sexual assault victim pushes for new 'Time's Up' bill

NEW CAANAN (CT)
News 12 Connecticut

April 11, 2019

A New Canaan man who is a victim of sex abuse is urging lawmakers to push a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for child sex crimes.

Mark Fuller, of New Canaan, says he was a 19-year-old student at Notre Dame University when a priest sexually abused him. Fuller's case was detailed in the massive Pennsylvania grand jury report in 2018.

He says when victims of sexual abuse come forward, they often hit road blocks.

"If it's been past the statute of limitations, it's no longer a crime. No harm, no foul. And so, what it does is, bring more depression. Not only was I abused then; I'm getting it again now," Fuller says.

Victims like Fuller would also get more time to sue their attacker under the Time's Up Act. It would give child sex abuse victims unlimited time to prosecute, and they can sue until they're 56 years old.

However, not everyone is supporting the bill. Connecticut's chief public defender says this "will make it impossible for (the) accused to receive due process and a fair trial."

The bill is now headed to the full state Senate.

Imagen que tienen los ticos de la Iglesia decae por escándalos sexuales

[Sexual abuse scandal damages public opinion of Church in Costa Rica]

COSTA RICA
La Nación

April 10, 2019

By Daniela Cerdas E.

Investigación del Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP) de la Universidad de Costa Rica señala diferencias con respecto a noviembre

La ola de denuncias contra sacerdotes por presuntos abusos sexuales pareciera haber golpeado la imagen que los costarricenses tienen de la Iglesia católica. De acuerdo con la investigación que publicó este miércoles el Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP) de la Universidad de Costa Rica, la calificación promedio obtenida por esa institución bajó un punto en marzo del 2019.

Caso Serre: “Sería muy ingenuo pensar que solo abusó de una persona”

[Serre case: "It would be very naive to think he only abused one person"]

ARGENTINA
El Marplatense

April 11, 2019

Así lo aseguró Patricia Gordon, titular de la ONG En Red, luego de que el Obispo de Mar del Plata, Gabriel Mestre, decidió apartar al sacerdote que se desempeñaba en Necochea y que fue acusado de abusar sexualmente de un menor. “Es hora de terminar con ciertos encubrimientos y ocuparse realmente de las víctimas”, destacó.

Luego de que este lunes el Obispo de Mar del Plata, Gabriel Mestre, comunicó que apartó al sacerdote José Luis Serre tras ser acusado de abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad, la psicóloga Patricia Gordon -quien trabaja hace décadas en la ciudad con las víctimas de abuso sexual desde la ONG En Red- expresó que espera que esta decisión “sirva para que otras personas puedan hablar, porque sería muy ingenuo pensar que solo se abuso de una persona“.

Cristo Orante: el arzobispo de Mendoza dijo que no se ocultaron denuncias de abusos

[Cristo Orante: the archbishop of Mendoza said abuse allegations were not hidden]

ARGENTINA
Unidiversidad

April 11, 2019

By Télam (news agency)

"Lo que yo puedo decir es que eclesiásticamente estamos a disposición de lo que determine la justicia", señaló Marcelo Colombo. Tocó el tema luego de que Nicolás Bustos saliera a contar públicamente cómo fue abusado en el Monasterio ubicado en Tupungato.

El arzobispo de Mendoza, Marcelo Colombo, aseguró este miércoles que la Iglesia no ocultó las denuncias de abuso sexual sobre dos sacerdotes del Monasterio del Cristo Orante, en la localidad de Tupungato, radicadas por un exseminarista.

Steve Bannon and U.S. ultra-conservatives take aim at Pope Francis

ROME (ITALY)
NBC News

April 12, 2019

By Richard Engel and Kennett Werner

Strolling through St. Peter’s Square, the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, Steve Bannon surveyed the enemy camp.

The populist political consultant has a new target in his crusade against “globalism” — Pope Francis.

“He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician,” said Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump. “This is the problem. ... He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.”

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has expressed a consistent message on the type of “America First” nationalism championed by Bannon.

Two years ago, the pope cautioned against growing populism in Europe, warning it could lead to the election of leaders like Hitler.

He has called for compassion toward migrants, saying that fearing them "makes us crazy," as well as other marginalized groups including the poor and gay people. He has also defended diversity.

Bannon alleges that Francis has mismanaged numerous sex abuse scandals roiling the church, and says the pope is not treating the issue seriously enough.

"The Catholic Church is heading to a financial crisis that will lead to a bankruptcy," he said. "It could actually bring down, not the theology, not the teachings, not the community of the Catholic Church, but the physical and financial apparatus of this church."

Sacerdote John O’Reilly es condenado por El Vaticano por abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad

[Vatican condemns priest John O'Reilly for sexually abusing a minor]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 12, 2019

By Alberto González and Nicole Martínez

Los Legionarios de Cristo pidieron perdón por los abusos sexuales cometidos por John O’Reilly, quien fue suspendido del ministerio sacerdotal y condenado a alejarse de por vida de menores de edad. El Vaticano prohibió al sacerdote John O’Reilly ejercer el sacerdocio por 10 años y además le ordenó permanecer para siempre fuera de América Latina, luego de ser declarado culpable de abuso sexual a menores.

“Se mintió para preservar el buen nombre de la Iglesia”

["He lied to preserve the good name of the Church"]

ROME (ITALY)
El País (Spain)

April 12, 2019

By Daniel Verdú

El español Celestino Aós, obispo a quien el Papa ha confiado la reestructuración de la Iglesia chilena, cree que se deberán pagar los errores hasta las últimas consecuencias

La crisis que azota a la Iglesia católica causada por los abusos a menores podría llegar a sintetizarse en el caso de Chile. El ocultamiento masivo de las agresiones sexuales del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, el maltrato a las víctimas o la negligencia del nuncio apostólico en su misión de informar a Roma desembocaron en la renuncia en pleno de todos los obispos y la imputación de parte de la cúpula, empezando por el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, Santiago Silva. También en la toma de conciencia definitiva del problema por parte del Papa, que ya ha aceptado cinco de esas dimisiones y ha nombrado como administrador apostólico en Santiago al obispo navarro Celestino Aós (Unciti, 1945). Un capuchino austero y directo llamado a ser la referencia moral de la Iglesia en Chile. La difícil reconstrucción, creen en Roma, girará en torno a él.

Top Vatican cardinal says Benedict is only trying to help Francis

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 12, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

A cardinal who once held one of the highest-ranking positions in the Vatican said Thursday that Benedict XVI’s controversial comments on the clergy abuse crisis were motivated by a desire to help Pope Francis, and that it would be “the greatest suffering” for Benedict to be perceived as contradicting his successor.

“I interpret [the letter] as the reflections of a man who, before this terrible scourge of pedophilia in the Church, attempts to help Pope Francis and all of us to emerge from it,” said Italian Cardinal Giovanni Becciu.

“It doesn’t go against Pope Francis, because he does not suggest legislation,” Becciu said. “It would be the greatest suffering for Benedict to be perceived as in contradiction with Pope Francis.”

Last Sunday, Becciu also said gay people should not become priests and suggested financial penalties for whistleblowers who betray Vatican secrets.

“Those with homosexual tendencies would do well not to remain in the seminary and become a priest,” said Becciu, a former sostituto, or deputy, of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, in a lengthy interview with journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona that aired April 8.

Becciu said priests live in close contact with men, especially in religious communities, which puts a strain on their vow of chastity. How can he “easily live out the promised chastity,” the cardinal asked, if he is constantly sharing “time and space” with people of the same sex?

“Isn’t that asking too much of him?” he added.

For those with homosexual tendencies who are already priests, bishops or cardinals, Becciu suggests the same “severity” adopted in cases concerning heterosexual clergy.

“One will have to demand that he observe the priestly promises and, if he were not able, or furthermore brought scandal, it will be necessary for the good of the Church that he retire to private life,” he said.

Becciu, who was the sostituto under Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis from 2011 to 2018, closely experienced the two Vatileaks cycles, which he described as “dark days” where suspicion was rampant and “a world was collapsing.”

Sexual abuse, a troubling text by Benedict XV

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 12, 2019

A German magazine has published a long essay by the former pope who seems to take the opposite position of Pope Francis on the issue of sexual abuse.

Benedict XVI has linked the 1960s sexual revolution and cliques of homosexuals in seminaries to the ongoing crisis within the Catholic Church over sexual abuse of children.The retired pope, who in 2013 became the first pope in more than 700 years to voluntarily step down, argued that the sexual revolution had led some to believe pedophilia and...

Ex-Hammonton priest added to list of accused in New Mexico

ATLANTIC CITY (NJ)
The Press of Atlantic City

April 12, 2019

The Diocese of Gallup in New Mexico has added the name of a New Jersey priest to its list of credibly accused sex abusers.

The Gallup Independent reports the diocese said this week it was adding Thomas M. Harkins, who served three months at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Page, Arizona from October 1981 to January 1982.

The Diocese of Camden removed Harkins from the priesthood in 2002 following allegations of child sexual abuse.

Harkins already appeared on the Dioceses of Camden's listed of 57 credibly accused clergy released in January. He once served at St. Anthony of Padua in Hammonton, according to the list. It does not say how long he served in Hammonton.

The list stated that Harkins had been removed from the ministry, but did not identify what year.

Church officials in Gallup say they are not aware of any complaints or allegations regarding Harkins during his brief time in Arizona.

April 11, 2019

Priest abuse survivors, advocates laud Perrault conviction

SANTA FE (NM)
New Mexican

Apr 11, 2019

By Rebecca Moss

The verdict issued Wednesday against former Roman Catholic priest Arthur Perrault marked the first time a jury in New Mexico has found a member of the clergy guilty of sex crimes against children.

Legal experts and victims advocates say Perrault’s conviction could mark a new era in how prosecutors try such cases.

While hundreds of civil cases alleging child sexual abuse have been brought against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe over the past several decades — and the archdiocese has admitted at least 78 priests and brothers have been “credibly accused” of abuse — those lawsuits largely have been settled out of court for undisclosed sums, and rarely have priests faced criminal investigations.

“It shows prosecutors that this can be done,” Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall said of Wednesday’s landmark verdict. Hall, who has handled dozens of civil cases alleging child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the state, said, “This case shows you can prosecute a pedophile for childhood sexual abuse decades ago — successfully.”

A 12-member federal jury in Santa Fe found Perrault, 81, guilty of seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact with a 10-year-old altar boy between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Charges were brought by federal prosecutors because of the location of the crimes.

A sentencing hearing for Perrault, who is in federal custody, has yet to be scheduled, but he could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

While the criminal case focused on one boy, Perrault was accused of sexual abuse by at least 38 people during his nearly three decades working as a priest in New Mexico. He fled the country in 1992, just days before a lawsuit was filed accusing him of abusing children, and he lived freely for years. He was finally found in 2016 in Morocco, where he was teaching English as a second language at a boys school.

His location became public in a lawsuit brought by Kenneth Wolter, a man in his mid-30s who was awarded $16 million in damages by a New Mexico judge.

Leaked diocese document reveals names of more accused priests

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

April 11, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

The names of an additional 27 Catholic priests accused of misconduct emerged this week in leaked Buffalo Diocese documents showing that a review board examined allegations against the priests.

A copy of the June 27, 2018 meeting agenda of the Diocesan Review Board, obtained by WKBW-TV, included the names of nearly 100 priests whose cases were being reviewed by the board.

Bishop Richard J. Malone in 2018 publicly identified most of the priests on that agenda as having been credibly accused of sexually abusing children. But Malone has remained silent on 27 of those priests, including a former superintendent of Catholic schools, Monsignor Ted Berg, and a former high-ranking diocesan administrator, Monsignor Albert Rung.

The Diocesan Review Board’s primary purpose is to examine cases of alleged child sex abuse, but it's not clear how many of the 27 priests were accused of sexual abuse of minors or if the complaints were found to be credible.

The 27 priests listed on the Buffalo Diocesan Review Board agenda in connection with misconduct complaints are:

The Rev. James Bartnik, Monsignor Ted Berg, the Rev. Gerald Collins, the Rev. George Cotter, Monsignor Joseph Coughlin, Monsignor Edmund Dietzel, the Rev. John Donnelly, the Rev. John Doyle, the Rev. John J. Fox, the Rev. Ralph Frederico, the Rev. Joseph Garin, Monsignor Francis Growney, the Rev. Kiernan Haggerty, the Rev. Francis Hannah, the Rev. James H. Kasprzyk, the Rev. Francis Kealy, the Rev. Nelson Kimmartin, the Rev. William Lanphear, the Rev. Joseph M. McPherson, Monsignor Richard O'Brien, the Rev. Joseph Penkaul, Monsignor Albert Rung, the Rev. Paul Salemi, the Rev. Maurus Schenk, the Rev. CJ Westfield, the Rev. Gervase F. White and the Rev. Maurice Woulfe.

Pedophile priests belong behind bars

FARMERS BRANCH (TX)
The Brookhaven Courier

April 8, 2019

In 2015, the movie “Spotlight” redirected media attention to the decades-long controversy of sexual abuse taking place in the Roman Catholic Church. Many abuse cases have surfaced over the past few decades, but did not get enough attention from the public to make news.

This is no longer a local or even a national issue. There have been reports of child sexual abuse in Catholic churches in many countries. Child abuse is a crime and should be dealt with in criminal justice systems.

Incidents of child sex abuse by Catholic priests around the world have forced the public to consider whether or not churches are a safe place for children.

In February, Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, was charged with child sex abuse in Australia for molesting two choirboys in the ’80s, according to USA Today. Pell faces up to a 50-year prison sentence. Pell’s charges came a few weeks after a summit in the Vatican at which Pope Francis called for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors.

The Vatican also announced Theodore McCarrick, former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, D.C., would be defrocked, or stripped of his priesthood, for sexual abuse of minors and adults, according to USA Today. McCarrick is unlikely to face criminal prosecution for the alleged abuse because it is beyond its statute of limitations, according to The New York Times.

These statutes of limitations are common across the U.S. and directly correlate with data on clergy abuse in any given state, Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of bishopaccountability.org, a site that tracks cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, said, according to The New York Times.

Nuns sexually abusing minors could become next Catholic Church scandal, experts say

NEW YORK (NY)
Fox News

April 9, 2019

By Hollie McKay

It wasn’t until Rev. Cait Finnegan gave birth to a baby girl more than three decades ago that the full trauma of all she had withstood was fully unleashed.

“It was my protective instinct, I just didn’t want my daughter to be alone. I stayed with her from the day she was born,” Finnegan, 67, a Catholic school student in 1960s New York and once an aspiring nun, told Fox News. “Because I had been abused in many places to many degrees. This was every day in school, weekends, she would come to my home.”

Starting at just 15, Finnegan alleged that she was repeatedly raped by a Catholic nun and for years, after finally escaping, lived a life on the edge of falling apart. She said she spent much of her life trapped in a state of rage, depression, and agoraphobia, unable to leave the house or be away from her daughter, now 36.

They lived in poverty as Finnegan said she was only able to take on odd jobs at night, as her marriage strained under the emotional weight.

“When my daughter was 12, we thought it would be good to register her at a Catholic School,” Finnegan recalled. “But then the nun opened the door, I had a flashback, I grabbed her and ran.”

Finnegan said her abuser died more than four years ago. But the deep, dark memories she has carried since adolescence remain.

How a past and (maybe) future pope are providing crucial leadership in age of Francis

Get Religion blog

April 11, 2019

By Clemente Lisi

The events of the past few days have truly been monumental for the Roman Catholic church.

You may not have noticed — unless you’ve bothered to read the ever-growing list of Catholic news websites on both the right and left. While liberals and conservatives within the church continue to wage a very public war over everything from the future of Christendom in the West to the ongoing clerical abuse crisis, two prominent voices have led the charge when it comes to these two issues.

Again, it was conservative Catholic media that proved to be the preferred mouthpiece for Cardinal Robert Sarah and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. Both men — with help from right-leaning news organizations — have been very vocal about the problems plaguing the modern church in our ever-secular world.

It is fitting that these two men — one considered a potential future pope, the other already a pope — are the ones leading the charge as the church continues to become polarized. Under Francis’ papacy, the ideological split has become more pronounced. As the curia continues to polarize itself in public on issues like immigration and homosexuality, church leaders like Sarah and Benedict refuse to be silenced. Once again, it’s those Catholic media voices on the right that are helping to spread their message.

Case in point: this past week. At a time when Christians around the world continue on their Lenten journey, Sarah and Benedict are making a statement about the direction of Catholicism, the legacy of Vatican II and where the church is going. Sarah, who hails from the majority-Muslim nation of Guinea in Africa, contrasted Pope Francis’ statements in telling Christian nations they should open their borders to Islamic refugees.

Sexual abuse laws poised for massive changes in Washington state

SEATTLE (WA)
KUOW Radio

April 11, 2019

By Sydney Brownstone and Paige Browning

There will be no statute of limitations for people who survived sexual abuse when they were under 16.

The same bill extends the statute of limitations for adult survivors to 10 or 20 years, depending on the severity of the crime. It also makes a significant change to how rape in the third degree is prosecuted — removing a small but crucial piece of language that advocates say ignored trauma research and prevented cases from being tried in court.

Speaking after the passage of the original Senate bill in February, Mary Ellen Stone, executive director of King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, said the bill was the organization's biggest win in at least five years.

"I think we all realize attitudes are changing — the culture is changing on this issue." Stone said. "Everybody knows so many more people who've been impacted by sexual assault. And there was a collective recognition that it's time to make this change."

Andrea Piper-Wentland of Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs said this means that survivors will have more time to process what happened to them.

She said the law would allow survivors "to get out of a situation that they were in, that was prohibitive for them to report."

"There's a myriad of reasons survivors have for delayed reporting," she said.

Diocese of Lake Charles list of credibly accused clergy

LAKE CHARLES (LA)
KPLC TV

April 11, 2019

The Diocese of Lake Charles has released a list of clergy credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Clerics of the Diocese of Lake Charles

Juan Alers, Diocesan Priest

Born: 1943
Ordained: 1969 for the Archdiocese of San Juan in Puerto Rico
First Affiliated with the Diocese of Lake Charles: 1987
Assignments in the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Accusation: Sexual Misconduct with minors
Location of Misconduct: Puerto Rico
Date of Misconduct: 1980-1985
Date Allegations Received by the Diocese of Lake Charles: 1997
Number of Victims: More than one
Response from the Diocese of Lake Charles: Removal from Ministry in 2002
Current Status: Deceased (2011)
Mark Broussard, Diocesan Priest

Born: 1956
Ordained: 1986 for the Diocese of Lake Charles
Assignments in the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Accusation: Sexual Misconduct with Minors
Locations of Misconduct:
Date of Misconduct: ca. 1980-1991
Date Allegations received by the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Number of Victims: More than one
Response from the Diocese of Lake Charles: Removal from Ministry in 1994
Current Status:
Gerard (Gerald) Smit, Diocesan Priest

Date of Birth: 1924
Date of Ordination: 1950 for the Diocese of Nijmejen, Holland
First Affiliated with the Diocese of Lafayette beginning in 1958 and then with the Diocese of Lake Charles in 1980
Assignments in the Diocese of Lake Charles (and Lafayette):
Accusation: Sexual Misconduct with Minors
Locations of Misconduct:
Date of Misconduct: 1950s, 1960s
Date Allegations received by the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Number of Victims: More than one
Response from the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Current Status: Sentenced to a Life of Prayer and Penance in 2013, and residing in Pennsylvania

Vatican bans Irish priest from public ministry due to abuse

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press

April 11, 2019

The Legion of Christ religious order said Thursday that the Vatican has banned an Irish priest from public ministry for 10 years for sexually abusing a minor in Chile.

The order said in a statement that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also banned the Rev. John O’Reilly from any contact with minors for life and ordered him to live outside of Latin America. O’Reilly can appeal.

“As a congregation, these acts cause us great pain and we again ask forgiveness for the suffering caused,” the order said.

O’Reilly had worked in Chile since the mid-1980s. He was convicted in a civil court in 2014 of sexually abusing a minor while he was a chaplain at a school operated by the legion in the Chilean capital. The court also banned him from any job near children and included him in a database for registered abusers. Congress had revoked the honorary Chilean citizenship it gave O’Reilly in 2008.

Chile’s government had said that O’Reilly would have to leave after serving his sentence. He obeyed orders in 2018 after finishing a four-year sentence and has been living in Rome since then. He has denied any wrongdoing.

A Homily for Fr. Gary Hayes

VINELAND (NJ)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 11, 2019

By Fr. John Bambrick, former director of New Jersey SNAP

Fr. Gary Hayes has gone home to the Lord. I wish to express to his family sincere condolences on his passing. While suffering with Cancer is extraordinarily painful, debilitating and frustrating, it brought Gary home to you because family is where we look for comfort. Your brother once said, “What is most meaningful often comes from your worst suffering”. In his last suffering with cancer he found the most meaningful relationships, you his family. He confided in me just a few weeks ago how incredibly happy he was to have rebuilt and strengthened his ties with each of you and how important those bonds were to his heart and to his healing. He was eternally grateful for your love and incredible care.

Your brother was deeply wounded early in life and that wound festered throughout his life but I truly believe, with all my heart, the wound healed completely because of your love for him. Because of that he died in Peace.

I have spoken, e-mailed or texted many of our friends across the country and each of them said to me, “He is finally at Peace”. Every one of them said exactly the same thing, “He has finally at Peace”.

My decades long friendship with Gary came about because we were both survivors of clergy sexual abuse and Catholic Priests. Two things that are not normally put together, it was our long lasting and common bond. So my reflections are based on that reality.

Ex-Pope Benedict contradicts Pope Francis in unusual intervention on sexual abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Washington Post

April 11, 2019

By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli

Breaking years of silence on major church affairs, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written a lengthy letter devoted to clerical sex abuse in which he attributes the crisis to a breakdown of church and societal moral teaching and says he felt compelled to assist “in this difficult hour.”

The 6,000-word letter, written for a small German Catholic publication and published in translation by other outlets on Thursday, laments the secularization of the West, decries the 1960s sexual revolution and describes seminaries that became filled during that period with “homosexual cliques.”

The pope emeritus, in emphasizing the retreat of religious belief and firm church teaching, provides a markedly different explanation for the abuse crisis than that offered by Pope Francis, who has often said abuse results from the corrupted power of clergy.

“Why did pedophilia reach such proportions?” Benedict wrote, according to the Catholic News Agency, which published the full text in English. “Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God.”

Since abdicating the papacy six years ago, Benedict — living in a monastery inside the Vatican City walls — had remained nearly silent on issues facing the church, in part to yield full authority to his successor. But Benedict’s decision to speak out shows the unprecedented and awkward position facing the ideologically divided Roman Catholic Church, which has — for the first time in six centuries — two potential authority figures who hold sometimes-differing views.

In his intervention, Benedict did not assess his own role in the crisis, during which he held power for decades, first behind the scenes and then for eight years as pontiff. But the letter bears his hallmark: in particular, a conviction that Catholic teaching can show the way out of a crisis.

“He speaks only a little about victims,” said Vito Mancuso, an author who has written books about Catholic theology and philosophy. “It’s almost an excuse for the one thing that he is truly interested in: the traditionalist restoration inside the church.”

SNAP Grateful to Jurors in New Mexico Abuse Case

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

April 11, 2019

We are relieved that Fr. Arthur Perrault, accused of molesting more than 30 children, has been found guilty. We are grateful to the jurors for listening to the painful testimony heard in this case and for reaching a just verdict.​

We hope this decision will encourage others who were abused by clergy to report to police, regardless of when the crimes occurred. We also hope this process deters other child molesters from fleeing abroad, as Fr. Perrault and so many accused priests have done and still do.

This case sends a message that “where there is a will, there is a way” and we are grateful to the police and prosecutors who were able to bring Fr. Perrault back to the United States to face justice.

Finally, we hope Fr. Perrault is given the longest prison term possible so that he will never be able to devastate one more young life.

Pope Benedict Shifts the Blame for Clergy Sex Abuse

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

April 11, 2019

Pope Benedict is again rubbing salt into the wounds of victims and trying to burnish his own deservedly-tarred reputation by blaming others for the church's decades-old abuse and cover up crisis.

The number one cause of the crisis in Benedict's eyes is the 1960s. Again. And the church's role in all of this, he claims, was just not having the right policies in place to oust the child molesting clerics. By blaming the sexual abuse crisis on the “moral laxity that swept the west in the 1960’s,” Benedict attempts to hand-wave away the serious crimes committed against children and vulnerable adults with the laziest kind of whataboutism.

This attempt, of course, fails to explain why church officials then continued to shield abusers beyond the 60s, 70s, and 80s and well into today. It also says nothing about why Benedict himself was involved in covering up cases of abuse, such as that of Fr. Lawrency Murphy who abused deaf children in Wisconsin. Are we to assume that Benedict himself also fell victim to this moral laxity? How convenient for him.

BENEDICT AND THE SCANDAL

NEW YORK (NY)
First Things

April 11, 2019

by Charles J. Chaput

Writing nearly half a century ago (1970), the Italian Catholic philosopher Augusto Del Noce noted that "I often find myself envying unbelievers: Does not contemporary history provide abundant evidence that Catholics are a mentally inferior species? Their rush to conform to the opinion about Catholicism held by rationalist secularists is stunning.

Those words from his essay “The Ascendance of Eroticism” open Del Noce’s brilliant reflections—part analysis, part prophecy—on Europe’s then-current sexual revolution. At a time when a young priest named Joseph Ratzinger was predicting a smaller, more hard-pressed, but purer Church of the future in his 1969–70 German and Vatican radio interviews, Del Noce was explaining how it would happen. He foresaw that “the decisive battle against Christianity [can] be fought only at the level of the sexual revolution. And therefore the problem of sexuality and eroticism is today the fundamental problem from the moral point of view.”

History has proven him right, and for obvious reasons. Sex is both a powerful bond and a fierce corrosive, which is why, historically, nearly all human cultures have surrounded it with taboos that order its harmonious integration into daily life. The naive eagerness—“stupidity” would not be too strong a word for Del Noce's purposes—of many mid-century Church progressives in accepting, or at least accommodating, sexual license as a form of human liberation, spearheaded the intellectual collapse of an entire generation of Catholic moral theology. Since the 1960s, license has morphed into widespread sexual and social dysfunction, conflict, and suffering—also foreseen by Del Noce.

Bishops: In public, humility; in private, arrogance

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Tribune Democrat

April 7, 2019

By Richard Serbin

Few records so clearly show how arrogant and callous bishops can be.

I’d never seen the document before, despite representing victims of clergy child sexual abuse for over 30 years, and despite having scoured thousands of pages of church records, purposely hidden away in the “secret archives” of the church.

The document was generated because of the first-ever trial against a Pennsylvania child predator priest, bishop and diocese. I represented the victim. That case was the first and only one in state history to result in a jury verdict in favor of the victim. It was also the longest such case ever, having been dragged out by Catholic officials for more than 20 years.

So maybe I shouldn’t have reacted so strongly when I stumbled across the document only months ago in the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealing decades of clergy sex crimes and the complicity and enabling by the church.

Seeing it revealed publicly, 25 years after it was written, still was disturbing.

Bill overhauling Connecticut’s sexual harassment, assault laws advances

HARTFORD (CT)
Connecticut Mirror

April 10. 2019

By Jenna Carlesso

Proponents of legislation that would toughen Connecticut’s sexual assault and harassment laws won a victory Wednesday with the Judiciary Committee’s passage of the so-called Time’s Up bill.

The measure would broaden the mandate for sexual harassment training, requiring all workplaces with three or more employees to provide the instruction to every worker.

Currently, employers with 50 or more workers must offer sexual harassment training, and the edict only applies to supervisors. The state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities would create a video and other online material to satisfy the new training requirement.

Sen. Dennis Bradley, D-Bridgeport, said he watched his mother, who worked as a secretary when he was a child, fend off unwanted advances.

“Those days where I had to go to work with her, to see how she was harassed as a woman in the workplace — I think this is not only progressive legislation in protecting women, but it also doesn’t put much of an incumbent on an employer to make sure that people have the sensitivity and the knowledge as to what’s acceptable in the workplace these days,” he said.

Some Republicans took issue with the bill’s stringent training requirements for businesses, especially small companies. They also expressed concern over what they described as a lack of due process for people accused of harassment.

The bill would extend or eliminate the statute of limitations for serious sexual crimes, including rape by force or drugs, sex with an unconscious person, forced sexual contact, sex by false medical pretense and unwanted sexual contact. It would wipe out the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children, such as statutory rape and sexual contact with a student younger than 16.

“We are among the lowest in terms of the period of time we allow victims of sexual assault access to justice in the country,” said Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, a key backer of the legislation. “This bill will move Connecticut in line with many other states.”

Twenty states have a longer statute of limitations for rape, officials said, and 25 have no statute of limitations for the crime.

Vatican to investigate 1983 disappearance of teenage girl

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

April 10, 2019

The Vatican has launched an internal investigation into the disappearance of a teenage girl in 1983, in what could be a breakthrough for police investigating one of the country’s darkest mysteries.

Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican police officer, was 15 when she was last seen leaving a music class on 22 June 1983.

On Wednesday, the Orlandi family’s lawyer said the Vatican had authorised a new investigation.

“The time has finally come to reach the truth and give justice to this girl after decades of silence,’’ Laura Sgrò told the Guardian.

The Vatican said last month that it was considering opening a tomb within its grounds after Sgrò received an anonymous tip-off telling her to look inside the marble-topped grave.

Sgrò was told to “look where the angel is pointing”, prompting her to ask for the opening of the tomb, which lies close to a statue of an angel holding a sheet bearing the words “Rest in peace”.

The lawyer said the family had requested an investigation of the tomb after Pope Francis announced the opening of Vatican archives on Pope Pius XII, the controversial wartime pontiff accused of failing to condemn the Holocaust.

“Seeing as the pope decided to open the Vatican archives for the pontificate of Pius XII in 2020, we made an appeal to the pontiff,” Sgrò said.

The Vatican tribunal’s promoter of justice, Gian Piero Milano, confirmed to the Ansa press agency that an investigation had been launched.

Priest Named on San Diego’s List Must be Added to Pittsburgh’s List

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

April 9, 2019

According to a recently published list, a priest who had been removed from his duties for abusing children also has connections to Pittsburgh.

The Rev. Peter Covas, who was named as an abuser on the list released by the Diocese of San Diego, also spent time in Pittsburgh. He worked at Duquense University as a history teacher in 1957.

We call on Bishop David Zubik to add this information to his list and to urge anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes – at the hands of Rev. Covas or any other priest – to come forward and make a report to law enforcement.

Benedict's letter about sex abuse crisis is a regrettable text

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 11, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

When a friend first sent me Pope Emeritus Benedict's article about the root causes of clergy sex abuse, I thought the text was a hoax. Here, it seemed, was a caricature of both Joseph Ratzinger's once powerful intellect and of conservative explanations for the sex abuse crisis. Apparently the text is authentic, so we must search for other reasons why it gets so much wrong — and so much that the retired pope would know is wrong. Let us examine the difficulties with this text.

First and foremost, Benedict knows as few others do, that the crisis is a double affliction: There is the fact of the abuse and the fact of that abuse being covered up. Nowhere in this text does he explore the second affliction. Yet he knows that when, as Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he completed his investigation into the evil deeds of Fr. Marcial Maciel, no action was taken against this most horrible of perpetrators. He would have known about the allegations leveled against then-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick before his promotion to the Archdiocese of Washington and to the cardinalate, and that those allegations were unanswered or ignored. He knew the circumstances that forced Cardinal Bernard Law to resign his see and spend the rest of his life occupying a sinecure in Rome. Why no mention of any of this?

Second, the former pope is undoubtedly correct that something happened in the 1960s, that there really was a sexual revolution. Pop culture announced the fact incessantly. As Benedict stipulates, of course that sexual revolution had an effect on preparing men for the priesthood and life in seminaries.

If you look at this chart of when perpetrators were ordained, you will see that the decade that produced the largest number of sexual abusers was indeed the 1960s, but that has no correlation to Benedict's claim that seminary reform created the problem The seminary reforms did not really start until the close of the Second Vatican Council and, in some places, not until the 1970s. What is more, the decade that produced the second highest number of perpetrators was the 1950s, not the 1970s. The former pope would have been more accurate if he had said that pre-Vatican II seminary formation did not prepare men for serving in a post-Vatican II culture. That, I think, we can all agree is the case. And a certain percentage of those men were psycho-sexually immature. It is the post-Vatican II seminary with its emphasis on human formation that began to weed out the immature and to graduate mostly healthy and well-adjusted men.

Third, one of the reasons I have long admired Ratzinger's theology is that he is so systematic, so thorough and careful, with arguments that go only as far as they can and no further. Yet here we get a series of anecdotes about sex education and naughty movies. He states, "The mental collapse was also linked to a propensity for violence. That is why sex films were no longer allowed on airplanes because violence would break out among the small community of passengers." I have a hard time believing the "no longer" in that second sentence — was there really ever a time when airlines showed dirty movies?

Fourth, Benedict is always described as a gentle soul, yet he seems to take pleasure in the fact that a German moral theologian, Franz Böckle, who challenged the ideas we all knew would be dominant in the 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor, died before the encyclical was published. Is the pope emeritus settling scores? That is not what one would expect of a holy man in advanced years, preparing to meet his maker.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI publishes article on sexual abuse crisis

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 11, 2019

By Carol Glatz

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, acknowledging his role in helping the Catholic Church come to terms with the clerical sexual abuse crisis beginning in the 1980s, wrote an article outlining his thoughts about what must be done now.

Seeing the crisis as rooted in the "egregious event" of the cultural and sexual revolution in the Western world in the 1960s and a collapse of the existence and authority of absolute truth and God, the retired pope said the primary task at hand is to reassert the joyful truth of God's existence and of the church as holding the true deposit of faith.

"When thinking about what action is required first and foremost, it is rather obvious that we do not need another church of our own design. Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the faith in the reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament," he wrote.

The pope's remarks, presented as a compilation of "some notes," were to be published in Klerusblatt, a German-language Catholic monthly journal for clergy in Bavaria. Several news outlets released their translations of the text early April 11.

Given the February Vatican gathering of presidents of the world's bishops' conferences "to discuss the current crisis of faith and of the church," and given his role as pope during "the public outbreak of the crisis," the retired pope felt it appropriate he also help contribute "to a new beginning," he said.

Pope Benedict added that he contacted Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, before releasing the article.

Diocese of Green Bay holding prayer services following sexual abuse allegations

GREEN BAY (WI)
WFRV TV

April 11, 2019

By Benjamin Burns

The Diocese of Green Bay is holding two prayer services for those in need of healing following the church's sexual abuse allegations.

The Catholic Church has been under fire for accusations around the world of priests sexually abusing minors. The Diocese of Green Bay has also released the names of 47 of its priests with confirmed allegations against them.

According to the Diocese, the healing prayer services are intended for all those in need of healing from the Church and for others to come together as members of the Church to pray for those in need of healing. All are invited, including survivors of sexual abuse, friends and family members of survivors, and other caring persons.

Spain's Supreme Court confirms jail for pedophile priest

PARIS (FRANCE)
Agence France Presse

April 11, 2019

Spain's Supreme Court has confirmed a jail sentence of more than 17 years for a priest who sexually abused two boys, one of whose parents consented.

The news comes as a trickle of accusations of sexual abuse against priests in schools and seminaries over the past few years has started to erode the wall of silence surrounding abuse in Catholic Spain.

In its verdict made public Wedneday, the Supreme Court confirmed a November 2017 sentence against Jose Donoso Fernandez, a former priest in the southwestern village of Mengabril, whom a provincial court sent to prison for 17 years and seven months.

It also confirmed a jail term of four years for the parents of one of the underage boys for committing sexual abuse "via omission, as they knew about and consented to the priest's sexual relations with their son."

The court said Donoso housed the Romanian couple and their children in 2013 and 2014 in the priest's parish house.

Fight over sexual abuse victims’ lawsuits returns to Senate

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

April 10, 2019

Pennsylvania's battle over giving now-adult victims of child sexual abuse another chance to sue their perpetrators or institutions that may have covered it up returned to the Senate on Wednesday, as competing bills landed in the chamber.

The movement comes six months after wider legislation to lift criminal and civil limitations on child sexual abuse cases collapsed in the Senate in the wake of a fresh Roman Catholic church scandal that spurred victims to lobby in the Capitol's corridors.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation to relax criminal and civil limitations and to amend the state constitution to create a two-year window for victims to file civil lawsuits if they'd lost that right because they passed Pennsylvania's legal age limit.

Peru bishops rebuke one of their own, back journalist convicted of defamation

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 11, 2019

By Elise Harris

On Wednesday the Peruvian bishops’ conference came out against one of their own after an archbishop won a criminal defamation case against journalist Pedro Salinas, known for revealing various scandals inside a prominent Catholic movement operating in the country.

On April 9, Salinas was sentenced to a 1-year suspended prison term and a $24,000 fine after Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi of Piura, in northwestern Peru, launched a criminal case of aggravated defamation against the journalist last year.

After the sentencing, the leadership of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference and the new Archbishop of Lima, Carlos Gustavo Castilla Mattasoglio, issued a statement April 10 backing Salinas and indicating that Pope Francis is also supportive of his efforts to uncover abuse.

In their statement, the bishops’ conference said Salinas “sought to clarify the truth” about scandals happening within the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), and that in the wake of his guilty verdict, Francis had asked them “to prioritize the compensation and attention to the victims of every type of abuse, condemning any form of complicity.”

Francis, they said, “has praised and thanked the work of the journalists who, through their investigations, contribute to denouncing the abuses, punishing the perpetrators and assisting the victims.”

“The pope underlines that the Church needs their help in this difficult task of fighting against evil,” and that the climate of mercy and conversion in Lent “moves everyone to the maximum transparency so that the crimes are recognized, and a just reparation is possible,” they said.

Deceased St. Bonaventure friar, former Archbishop Walsh principal accused of abuse

OLEAN (NY)
Olean Times Herald

Aprtil 11, 2019

By Tom Dinki

Two now-deceased friars, who both served in administrative positions in the Olean area’s two most prominent Catholic educational institutions, were reportedly accused of abuse.

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo reviewed allegations last year against the Rev. Gervase White, a prominent St. Bonaventure University friar, and the Rev. James Cairnan Haggerty, a principal of Archbishop Walsh High School, according to diocesan documents reported by WKBW Wednesday evening. Both were accused by a different man.

White and Haggerty, according to the report, are among more than 20 accused priests whose names were never released by the diocese despite allegations against them being reviewed last June by the Diocesan Review Board, which reviews abuse claims for the diocese.

White, a Franciscan priest, worked at St. Bonaventure for nearly 50 years before his death in 2002. He served several roles at the university, according to Olean Times Herald archives, including vice president of student affairs, chair of the theology department, dean of men, director of the Third Order of St. Francis and and guardian of the on-campus friary.

St. Bonaventure officials released a statement late Wednesday that, according to their records, no instances of abuse had ever been reported against White during his 47 years at the university. However, they said Franciscans Friars of Holy Name Province, White’s sponsoring province, has informed them an allegation against White is being investigated.

“Until we know with certainty if this allegation is credible, we believe it’s not appropriate to comment further on the case at this time,” said St. Bonaventure President Dr. Dennis DePerro in the statement. “That said, St. Bonaventure University remains steadfastly committed to zero tolerance for any form of sexual abuse or harassment — from students, faculty, staff or friars — and we will provide any support service necessary to those who have been victimized.”

The statement did not mention Haggerty, a Franciscan priest who served as a campus minister at St. Bonaventure for two years in the 1980s prior to his death in 1991.

A native of Jessup, Pa., and a World War II veteran, White entered the Franciscan Order at Callicoon in 1948, earned his bachelor’s degree in theology from St. Bonaventure in 1951 and was ordained in 1954.

White is still prominent at the university, as his name is attached to multiple honors bestowed by the institution and often recalled by older alumni in positive testimonials.

The Fr. Gervase F. White, O.F.M. Endowed Scholarship is listed on St. Bonaventure’s website. Additionally, the Fr. Gervase White, O.F.M., Staff Person of the Year award is presented to a St. Bonaventure employee who have “gone out of his or her way, especially in aiding students and enhancing student life on campus,” according to a 2015 St. Bonaventure awards program.

White’s name was also included on the Reilly Center’s video board, installed in the fall of 2016. The display was funded by donations from board of trustee member Albert C. Horton, Class of 1966, who has multiple times credited White as one of three university employees to whom Horton owes his success in life.

El "mapa del horror" de la Iglesia chilena: lanzan registro al detalle de los abusos sexuales de sacerdotes en el país

["Horror map" of Chilean Church records details of clergy sexual abuse, 230 cases]

CHILE
Publimetro

April 7, 2019

By Gabriel Arce

Se tratan de 230 crímenes sexuales que registra la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico. El mapa incluye geolocalización de los delitos, el acusado y año de las denuncias.

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile lanzó este fin de semana el "mapa del horror de la iglesia". Se trata de una iniciativa que registra los 230 crímenes sexuales que la agrupación contabiliza en todo el país, y que desde ahora estará disponible al detalle y geolocalizada en línea.

Bishop Malone wants Buffalo to ‘move on.

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

April 10, 2019

By Charlie Specht

Bishop Richard J. Malone in a recent interview called for Catholics “to see where we've failed, turn to God for forgiveness and mercy, and move on.”

But a group of influential Catholics at Canisius College say there’s no moving on until the diocese comes clean about the true scope of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo.

“We’re in some senses maybe dying a death of a thousand cuts,” said Canisius College President John J. Hurley. “And wouldn’t it be better if we could just flush this all out in the open and we would know what we’re dealing with?”

Hurley’s group -- the Movement to Restore Trust -- has good reason to be concerned, documents show.

That’s because internal church records obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team show the scope of abuse is much larger than the public has been led to believe -- even with 121 members of the clergy already accused of sex abuse or misconduct.

Diocese of Buffalo - 6.27.2018 Review Board Agenda (Text)
The June 27, 2018 agenda of the Diocesan Review Board – a group of clergy and lay people who review abuse claims for the church -- is jam-packed with allegations reported to the diocese by 138 victims.

Perhaps most shocking: the names and allegations against 25 accused priests – including one recently active in the diocese – are still being shielded from the public.

“People are... they’re shell-shocked and weary from this, saying, ‘Enough is enough,’” Hurley said. “Let’s know that we’ve got complete disclosure here and that we’re not going to see another round of this.”

That’s why Hurley’s group is pushing the diocese for a fuller accounting of accused priests. Currently, the diocese does not list any priests who were accused by one victim after their deaths, whereas the Archdiocese of Boston, for example, lists those priest names but is clear with the public about what it does and does not know about the allegations.

Arzobispado de Concepción investiga a sacerdote que cometió abuso en la década de los 80's

[Archbishop of Concepción investigates priest for abuse claims from 1980s]

CHILE
El Mostrador

April 8, 2019

La víctima recién denunció al sacerdote José Urrutia Tapia, de acuerdo a un comunicado difundido por la iglesia penquista.

El arzobispado de Concepción anunció, a través de un comunicado, que se inició el proceso canónico contra el sacerdote José Urrutia Tapia, acusado de cometer abuso sexual en la década de los 80's, hecho que fue recientemente denunciado por la víctima.

Mapa de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico: 22 casos han sido denunciados en región de Valparaíso

[Map of Ecclesiastical Sexual Abuse: 22 cases reported in Valparaíso region]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 8, 2019

By Manuel Cabrera and Gonzalo Olguín

El Mapa del Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico, publicado por la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile contabiliza 22 casos de denuncias individuales y colectivas en la región de Valparaíso, concentrados en Valparaíso, Quilpué, Quillota y en la zona cordillerana de San Felipe y Los Andes.

Condenaron a 17 años de prisión al cura Marcelino Moya por abuso de menores

[Priest Marcelino Moya sentenced to 17 years in prison for child abuse]

ARGENTINA
La Nación

April 5, 2019

El Tribunal de Juicios y Apelaciones de Concepción del Uruguay, en Entre Ríos, condenó hoy a la pena de 17 años de prisión de cumplimiento efectivo al sacerdote Marcelino Ricardo Moya por considerarlo autor de los delitos de promoción de la corrupción agravada y abuso sexual simple agravado en concurso real entre sí.

Expulsaron de la Iglesia un sacerdote acusado de haber abusado de un menor

[Church expels priest accused of abusing a minor]

MAR DE PLATA (ARGENTINA)
La Nación

April 8, 2019

By Darío Palavecino

El obispo de Mar del Plata, monseñor Gabriel Mestre, confirmó que la Iglesia excluyó de manera definitiva al sacerdote José Luis Serre, que desde enero del año pasado afronta un proceso penal por abuso sexual de un menor de edad. El acusado se desempeñaba al frente de la parroquia Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, en Necochea, pero el prelado se encargó de aclarar que el hecho que se le imputa ocurrió fuera de los límites de esta diócesis.

Obispo Aós no descarta venta de propiedades para pagar indemnizaciones

[Bishop Aós does not rule out sale of property to pay compensation]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 8, 2019

By S. Palma

El administrador apostólico de Santiago además dijo que le solicitó al Papa Francisco que nombre prontamente obispos auxiliares en la diócesis.

En un punto de prensa en Roma, el obispo Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico de Santiago, se refirió al trabajo que ha desplegado en el Vaticano, incluyendo su encuentro con el Papa Francisco, el pasado viernes.

Una víctima de pederastia denuncia a siete sacerdotes y a un obispo por encubrimiento

[Survivor accuses seven priests and a bishop of covering up abuse]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

April 4, 2019

By Julio Núñez

Los abusos, cometidos por el sacerdote José Manuel Ramos a finales de los ochenta, fueron instruidos canónicamente en 2017

Javier, víctima de pederastia en el seminario menor de La Bañeza (León) a finales de los ochenta, ha denunciando ante la policía que la diócesis de Astorga y el centro donde sucedieron los hechos encubrieron al cura José Manuel Ramos Gordón después de que, junto con su hermano y otro compañero, comunicaron lo sucedido a la dirección del colegio. Primero acudieron al director del seminario, Gregorio Rodríguez (fallecido) y luego al tutor de sexto curso, Francisco Javier Redondo (hoy vicario de Ponferrada). Pero no pasó nada, los abusos continuaron. Años después, entre 1994 y 1995, su padre habló con varios sacerdotes de la provincia leonesa para pedirle ayuda. "Todos lo sabían. Un cura le dijo que tuviese cuidado con lo que decía y otro que tenía que saber perdonar". Javier ha incluido todos los nombres en la denuncia. En total siete sacerdotes y un obispo: el del antiguo director, el actual vicario de Ponferrada, el del por entonces obispo Antonio Briva (fallecido) y el de los sacerdotes Prudencio Álvarez, Juan Herminio Rodríguez, Santiago Cadierno (párroco de Castrocontrigo, León), Bernardo y Hortensio Velado (ambos hermanos y también fallecidos).

El Supremo condena a 17 años y siete meses de cárcel a un cura de Badajoz por pederastia

[Supreme Court sentences Badajoz priest to 17+ years in prison for pedophilia]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

April 11, 2019

By Julio Núñez

El juez sentencia a cuatro años de prisión a los padres de una víctima por consentir los abusos

El Tribunal Supremo ha condenado al sacerdote José Donoso Fernández, expárroco de Mengabril (Badajoz), a 17 años y siete meses de cárcel por abusar en 2014 de dos menores de edad, uno de ellos monaguillo de la iglesia donde oficiaba el clérigo. El cura también ha sido sentenciado por falsificar informes de asistencia al colegio de uno de los niños por enfermedad para justificar los días que no iba a clase. El fallo también le condena por enviar mensajes por WhatsApp al menor después de que le impusieran una orden de alejamiento cuando fue imputado en 2015. El sacerdote deberá pagar una indemnización de 10.000 euros a uno de los menores y 50.000 al otro. El juez ha condenado a cuatro años de prisión a los padres de una de las víctimas por "un delito de abuso sexual en la modalidad de comisión por omisión", ya que conocieron los hechos y consintieron que el clérigo continuara abusando de su hijo. También se les ha retirado la patria potestad.

Jesuitas respaldan decisión del Minvu de renombrar el Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete: el nombre "sólo genera división"

[Jesuits support decision to rename Renato Poblete River Park: the name "only generates division"]

CHILE
El Mostrador

April 9, 2019

A través de un comunicado, recordaron que existe una investigación canónica en contra del fallecido religioso.

A través de un comunicado, los Jesuitas se refirieron a la decisión del ministerio de Vivienda y Urbanismo que renombrará el Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete, debido a las denuncias de abuso sexual en contra del fallecido sacerdote. El recinto pasará a llamarse Parque de la
Familia.

Orden de los Salesianos lidera lista de denuncias de abuso sexual eclesiástico en Chile

[Salesians lead list of clergy sexual abuse reports in Chile]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 8, 2019

By Alberto González, Nicole Martínez, and Agence France-Presse

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abusos Eclesiásticos de Chile publicó un mapa de abusos por parte de religiosos, que incluye a acusados de abuso sexual y encubrimiento, registrando más de 230 casos. La orden de los Salesianos lidera la lista con la mayor cantidad de denuncias, seguidos por los Maristas y los Jesuitas.

Aós detalla contenidos de reunión con el Papa en el Vaticano y comparte mensaje a fieles chilenos

[Aós details meeting with Pope at Vatican and shares message to Chilean faithful]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 9, 2019

By Emilio Lara and Agence France-Presse

El papa Francisco instó al arzobispo español Celestino Aós, nuevo administrador apostólico de la Arquidiócesis de Santiago, a “construir un futuro diferente” para la Iglesia en el país, azotada por los escándalos de abusos sexuales perpetrados por curas.

Aós justificó entrega parcial del informe Scicluna en medio de críticas de víctimas y laicos

[Aós justified partial release of Scicluna report amid criticism by victims and laity]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 10, 2019

By Alberto González, Nicole Martínez, and Agence France-Presse

Víctimas de abusos sexuales y laicos lamentaron que la Iglesia Católica aún no concrete una colaboración efectiva con la Justicia chilena, y cuestionaron las declaraciones del administrador apostólico de Santiago, Celestino Aós, quien reiteró que la entrega del informe Scicluna sólo será caso a caso, porque el documento puede contener información no relacionada con delitos.

April 10, 2019

La religión pierde influencia al desplomarse los ritos y la fe

[Religion loses influence as rites and faith collapse]

BARCELONA (SPAIN)
El País

April 10, 2019

By Alfondo L. Congostrina and Julio Núñez

Las bodas por la Iglesia caen por debajo del 20%. La mitad de los jóvenes no cree en Dios. España se aproxima a Francia en el aumento de la secularización

Francesc Romeu se ordenó sacerdote hace 34 años. Actualmente, es el párroco de Santa Maria del Taulat en el barrio barcelonés de Poblenou. “El domingo es la celebración de Ramos. Ya le he preguntado a la florista que vende las palmas y me dice que tendré un lleno absoluto. La plaza estará a rebosar. El Jueves Santo volveré a la realidad y oficiaré para unos pocos”, ironiza. La percepción del sacerdote coincide con los resultados del informe Laicidad en Cifras, 2018, de la Fundación Ferrer i Guàrdia, que constata que el 27% de los españoles son “ateos, agnósticos o no creyentes”. Un porcentaje “histórico”, según Sílvia Luque, directora de la fundación.

El Opus Dei aparta e investiga a un cura por abusar de un estudiante en un colegio mayor en Sevilla

[Opus Dei investigates priest for abusing student at a Seville college]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

April 10, 2019

By Julio Núñez

La víctima asegura que trasladaron al sacerdote en 2010 tras comunicar los hechos a un superior

El Opus Dei investiga al sacerdote numerario Manuel Cociña por abusar supuestamente de un estudiante de 18 años en el Colegio Mayor Almonte (Sevilla) entre 2002 y 2003. Tras recibir la denuncia contra el clérigo en agosto de 2018, la prelatura apartó a Cociña a un centro del Opus en Granada, donde tiene restringidas las actividades pastorales y prohibido el contacto con menores de 30 años. La institución ha destacado que no se trata de un delito de pederastia, sino contra un mayor de edad, "razón por la que es la víctima la que tiene que acudir a denunciar ante la justicia", ha explicado un portavoz.

Former Pope blames 1960s for clerical sex abuse

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

April 11, 2019

By Ruth Gledhill

The former Pope has blamed the 1960s as an "egregrious" decade that is at the roots of the clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

In an essay today, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes: "In the 1960s an egregious event occurred, on a scale unprecedented in history. It could be said that in the 20 years from 1960 to 1980, the previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely, and a new normalcy arose that has by now been the subject of laborious attempts at disruption."

He published the essay in the Klerusblatt, a monthly periodical for clergy in mostly Bavarian dioceses, after running it past the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Pope Francis himself, it seemed appropriate to publish this text in

Outlining the effects of the 1960s on Catholic priests and seminarians, he says he wrote the essay in an attempt to respond to the Vatican Meeting on the Protection of Minors, where in February the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church.

Competing bills broaden and complicate efforts to reform child sex crime laws in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patriot News

April 10, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus

Pennsylvania on Wednesday further advanced the debate over the reform of child sex crime laws as House lawmakers approved two key reform measures even as counterparts in the Senate introduced a third counter bill aimed at similar purposes.

The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved two companion bills that respectively call for the elimination of criminal statute of limitations involving child sex crimes; and call for a constitutional amendment that would lead to a revival of expired statute of limitations.

House Bill 962, sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, would also remove sovereign immunity in civil claims, meaning that if an institution has known about child sex crimes, it would be held responsible.

Meanwhile, a cadre of freshmen Democratic Senators on Wednesday introduced a bill that seemed to compete with the House bills. Senate Bill 540 would lift the statute of limitations for adults who were sexually abused at any age.

Earlier in the morning, ahead of introducing the bill in his chamber, Sen. Tim Kearney, D-Chester, laid out the key points of the Senate bill at a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda attended by state officials and survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Senate bill, which is being co-sponsored by the five freshmen Democratic senators, including Kearney, follows the recommended guidelines outlined in the findings of the 2018 grand jury investigation into clergy sex abuse across the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

The Senate bill calls for the abolishment of criminal statute of limitations and a two-year revival window of expired statute of limitations. The proposal also calls for a six-month delay to allow for the completion of compensation funds already being processed.

Put needs of survivors first, not strictly the law, panelists urge Church

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

April 10, 2019

By Dennis Sadowski

Amid the legal wrangling surrounding the long-standing clergy sexual abuse crisis, Barbara Thorp, a social worker who formerly led the Archdiocese of Boston’s office that supports and cares for abuse survivors, wants Catholic leaders to know that healing among survivors is a far more important path to pursue.

Greater transparency related to church procedures and changes in canon law to focus on the needs of victims will demonstrate that the Church truly cares about survivors, Thorp said during an April 9 panel discussion on the role of civil law and the action of lawyers in hiding and uncovering the abuse crisis sponsored by Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.

Right now, Thorp told an audience at the Georgetown University Law Center, many survivors feel abandoned by the church, especially since new revelations of the Church’s response to alleged abuse and the actions of some prelates emerged in 2018.

When the abuse crisis exploded in 2002, abuse survivors felt a sense of betrayal, Thorp said. As church actions since then in many cases have failed to fully address the needs of survivors, the survivors realize that canon law is preventing strict action to address wayward clergy, she said.

Thorp credited changes in civil law and even some actions among church leaders that have led to greater transparency and steps to support the spiritual needs of abuse survivors. But she charged that canon law “is lagging far behind in terms of seeing itself as another opportunity to bring real healing and real confidence that the Church understands the depth of the harm in the damage that was done.”

Pointing to the upcoming Holy Week in which Jesus felt betrayed and abandoned, Thorp called on church leaders from Rome to local dioceses to remember that abuse survivors carry Christ’s passion “in our midst.”

“Now, if we can have that sense of urgency, not to let this moment pass, not to let Jesus be alone in the garden, not to let him walk the path without attending to those that feel a deep sense of betrayal and abandonment,” she said.

Two attorneys on the panel reviewed the legal side of the Church’s response to the crisis.

Buffalo Diocese names new financial officer

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

April 10, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Bishop Richard J. Malone has appointed Charles Mendolera, a veteran employee of the Buffalo Diocese, as executive director of financial administration.

Mendolera has been serving as interim director for the past few weeks. He succeeds Steven D. Timmel, who resigned in March after 31 years with the diocese.

Mendolera will oversee a sprawling, multimillion-dollar operation that includes dozens of facilities, hundreds of diocesan employees and more than $47 million in diocesan investments. He assumes the top financial position as the diocese is offering millions of dollars in compensation to childhood victims of clergy sex abuse and bracing for the prospect of potentially expensive lawsuits stemming from the state's recently adopted Child Victims Act, which includes a one-year window for abuse victims from decades ago to file civil legal claims.

Mendolera started with the diocese as director of accounting from 2004 to 2008. He has been controller of financial administration since 2008.

St. Augustine's priest denies sexual abuse allegations in letter to parishioners

ANDOVER (MA)
Eagle Tribune

April 10, 2019

By Jessica Valeriani

The Rev. Peter Gori of St. Augustine's Church in Andover, one of two Catholic priests accused this week of sexually abusing a boy decades ago, has denied the allegations in a letter to parishioners.

Gori sexually abused the boy repeatedly in the 1990s when the alleged victim was 10 years old, according to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has handled several sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests.

The Rev. William Waters, who was previously assigned to the former St. Augustine’s Church in Lawrence, sexually abused the same boy from 1987 to 1990 when the alleged victim was eight to 10 years old, according to Garabedian.

Terrence Donilon, secretary for communications and public affairs at the Archdiocese of Boston, said the abuse is alleged to have happened at St. Augustine’s in Lawrence. He said Catholic church officials are investigating, and that Gori has been placed on administrative leave.

Gori's letter to parishioners denying the allegations reads:

Dear Parishioners,

On a Monday morning it is quite normal to ask or reply to the friendly question, "How was your weekend?"

Parish priests usually respond with a chuckle or a smirk for obvious reasons. Our "weekend," understood as personal, free time for rest and recreation, is not on Saturday-Sunday. It is scheduled during the week, as regularly as possible.

My "weekend" is supposed to be Thursday-Friday. I need to tell you about what happened to me this past Friday, April 5th. I received a phone call from our Augustinian Provincial informing me that an allegation has been made against me concerning the sexual abuse of a minor from 30 years ago.

Lafayette diocese to name priests accused of sexual abuse Friday including 33 priests, 4 deacons

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

April 10, 2019

By Ashley White

A list of priests accused of sexual abuse while serving in the Lafayette area will be released Friday and includes 33 priests and four deacons, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette said.

The diocese said ahead of the release of names that more than 300,000 pages of materials from the 100-year history of the Diocese of Lafayette were inspected by the diocese's lay review board and local attorneys. The documents included 802 clerics' files, 623 priests' files, and 179 deacons' files, Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel said in a letter. It took more than 700 hours of labor.

In the letter, Deshotel said his will be an "ongoing process of accountability" and will change in attitude and approach.

"In other words, the future receipt and subsequent determination of any new credible allegation against a priest or deacon, living or deceased, will result in adding his name to the disclosure list," he wrote. "In fact, we have reasonable hope that the disclosure list will be a catalyst for continued reporting of past or future instances of abuse."

The names on the list may come as a shock to some family and friends, he added. And the opposite may happen. Victims who reported sexual abuse by a priest or deacon may not see his name on a list because "the standard for establishing credibility may not yet have been met," the letter said.

"I sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the courage f those who have already come forward with accusations," Deshotel wrote. "Receiving each individual report was essential to ensuring the safety of others and to helping the Church publicly acknowledge its sins and errors."

Federal jury finds former priest Perrault guilty of child sex abuse

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

April 10, 2019

A federal jury has found former Roman Catholic priest Arthur Perrault guilty on federal child sexual abuse charges after an eight-day trial in Santa Fe before U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico announced Wednesday in a news release that the jury convicted Perrault, 81, who had served as a priest in New Mexico under the Archdiocese of Santa Fe from 1973 to 1992, of six counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact with a minor under the age of 12.

The former priest, who faced allegations of abuse by several accusers who testified at trial, was found guilty of repeatedly sexually abusing an altar boy in 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Perrault will remain in federal custody until his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, according to the news release. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison on the aggravated sexual abuse charges, and a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment on the abusive sexual contact charge.

Former Pope Benedict blames church’s scandals partly on the ‘60s

NEW YORK(NY)
New York Post

April 10, 2019

By Sohrab Ahmari

When Pope Benedict XVI resigned the papacy in 2013, he vowed to live the rest of his days in seclusion, to serve the Catholic Church “through a life dedicated to prayer.” But the church’s spiraling abuse crisis prompted him this week to ­return to the limelight.

The retired pontiff has drafted a 6,000-word document in his native German and aims to publish it in a monthly periodical for clergy in his home region of Bavaria. Benedict says the document, an English translation of which I’ve reviewed, is meant to assist the Church in seeking “a new beginning” and making her “again truly credible as a light among peoples and as a force in service against the powers of ­destruction.”

In the preface, he makes it clear that he is “no longer directly responsible” for the church and that he consulted Pope Francis before ­resolving to make the document public.

Nevertheless, Benedict’s “The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse” has the unmistakable ring of a papal document. You might even call it a post-retirement encyclical.

It’s written with his signature precision and clarity of insight and offers a piercing account of the origins of the crisis and a ­vision of the way forward.

The church’s still-radiating crisis, Benedict suggests, was a product of the moral laxity that swept the West, and not just the church, in the 1960s. The young rebels of 1968, Benedict writes, fought for “all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer conceded any norms.”

Senate Democrats want to give older clergy abuse victims the chance to sue — without changing the Constitution

HARRISBURG (PA)
Pennsylvania Capital-Star

April 10, 2019

By Elizabeth Hardison

From Jerry Sandusky and Bill Cosby to clergy in the Catholic church, Pennsylvania is “ground zero” in a nationwide reckoning over how to support victims of sexual abuse.

That’s according to the state’s Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm, who appeared with a cadre of Senate Democrats and sexual assault survivors Wednesday to renew calls to reform Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for sex crimes.

A bill Senate Democrats introduced Wednesday would eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitations for sexual assault, abuse, and misconduct, and a create a two-year window for victims to bring civil suits in cases where the statute of limitations has passed.

The bill, which backers say is informed by a proposal that died in the Senate last year, is lawmakers’ latest attempt to implement a key recommendation of a 2018 grand jury report that detailed decades of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and a subsequent cover-up in six Pennsylvania dioceses.

Survivors network calls on bishop to update clergy sex abuse list with 5 more names

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News Democrat

April 10, 2019

By Lexi Cortes

As recently as February, accusations of sexual abuse have come to light about five priests who have ties to Southern Illinois, according to a victims group.

Members of the group, called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and other advocates wrote those priests’ names in chalk on the sidewalk outside the Belleville Diocese at the end of March.

They want Belleville Bishop Edward K. Braxton to add those five names to the Belleville Diocese’s public list of priests, which now includes 17 men who were “removed from ministry after credibly substantiated allegations” of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct.

The group, known as S.N.A.P., said the five priests’ names should be included because they have been accused of abuse, too, and have lived or worked in the Belleville Diocese.

The names include Paul Joseph Bruening, Gavin O’Connor, Donald Dummer, Joseph P. Lessard and Ronald E. Brassard.

Braxton and Monsignor John Myler, a spokesman for the Diocese, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Bruening was named most recently on a list of priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children released two months ago in a Catholic diocese more than 500 miles from Belleville.

Bruening went on to work in the Diocese of Belleville in 1962, five years after he was accused of abusing a girl in Iowa, according to the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa’s list, which included all of his assignments.

Fight Over Sexual Abuse Victims’ Lawsuits Returns To Senate

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

April 10, 2019

By Marc Levy

Democratic lawmakers are attempting anew to give now-adult victims of child sexual abuse a reprieve from time limits in Pennsylvania law that prohibit them from suing perpetrators and institutions that may have covered it up.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday they're introducing legislation that's been propelled by child sexual abuse scandals, including in Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses. The state House was scheduled later Wednesday to vote on similar legislation.

Last October, Senate Republicans blocked a House bill that sought to provide the victims a two-year window to sue. It's still not clear whether the legislation can pass the Senate, and it's opposed by Catholic bishops.

A years-long fight over the two-year window, however, has held up passage of legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes.

Feit court transcripts lost; appeal delayed

McALLEN (TX)
The Monitor

April 10, 2019

By Molly Smith

The 13th Court of Appeals halted former Catholic priest John Feit’s appeal of his murder case last week after learning the court reporter lost all transcripts of 2016 court proceedings as a result of a damaged hard drive.

The appellate court ordered District Judge Luis Singleterry to schedule a hearing within the next 30 days to determine whether the lost records are necessary for the appeal and whether they can be recreated.

Based on the findings of that hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, Justices Gina M. Benavides, Leticia Hinojosa and Gregory T. Perkes will decide whether they will have a sufficient record of all the proceedings in Feit’s case to move forward.

Feit, 86, was indicted for the 1960 murder of his parishioner, Irene Garza, in February 2016 after the case had gone cold for more than five decades. He was extradited to Texas from Arizona, and a Hidalgo County jury found him guilty in December 2017 of the first-degree murder charge and sentenced him to life in prison.

Attorney O. Rene Flores, who’s representing Feit, filed a notice of appeal with the 13th Court of Appeals in January 2018 and has been granted four extensions to file a brief detailing why Feit’s conviction should be reversed.

One of the factors contributing to the appeal’s delay is that the written record of all court proceedings relating to the case was only partially filed, according to Flores’ recent extension request.

A damaged hard drive is the reason for the partial filing, according to the appellate court’s April 4 order of abatement, which noted court reporter Julian Alderette filed an affidavit at the start of the month “stating his hard drive containing stenographic notes was dropped and damaged. He cannot provide a transcript of any hearings requested from 2016 because the files cannot be retrieved.”

Church Withheld Allegations from Former Parents & Minimized Severity of Child Sexual Abuse

Patheos blog

April 10, 2019

By Katie Joy

Last week authorities arrested church daycare teacher Alyson Saunders for child sexual abuse. Following her arrest Fellowship Presbyterian Church claimed through media releases they have been transparent with families of the church. However, emails, text messages, and social media communication between church officials and parents indicate the church attempted to cover-up and minimize the abuse allegations to protect the reputation of their school.

Shortly after the news broke about Alyson’s arrest, a parent of a child reached out to Without A Crystal Ball. The parent “Sarah” told me that she had dozens of emails and messages from the church that concerned her.

As we sorted through the dozens of documents, a picture of a cover-up, lack of transparency, minimizing of the abuse, and the interference of a family member of Alyson to stifle questions and silence discussion with the broader community about the crimes was revealed.

According to Sarah, the entire ordeal started on March 8, 2019. Up until this point in time, Sarah’s child had been attending Fellowship Presbyterian’s day school for several years. She loved the teachers, and Sarah believed the staff and administrators adored her daughter.

Everything changed with a single email from the school on March 8. In an abrupt message, school director Melissa Mitchell notified parents about an “all parent meeting” at 5 pm.

Editorial: In DC Archdiocese, the truth is a good starting point

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Apr 10, 2019

"I will always tell you the truth," said Wilton Gregory during his introductory news conference as newly appointed archbishop of Washington, D.C. "I believe the only way I can serve the local archdiocese is by telling you the truth."

The repetition of that promise, twice more in the form of an instruction to himself, is a telling indication of the state of things in the U.S. Catholic church today. "I always have to tell you the truth," he said. "I have to tell you the truth. And I will."

Telling the truth would seem a minimum requirement for the leader of one of the most important archdioceses in the world. But Gregory seemed to be admitting that he had to place that marker clearly before his new flock, emphatically, because Catholics have come to associate the episcopal culture with deceit and cover-up.

The 71-year-old Gregory, who will be the first African American to head the Washington Archdiocese and likely the first to be named a cardinal, has already had a distinguished career. He knows he will go down in church history as the young president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who cajoled, reasoned and otherwise managed to guide his colleagues in 2002 to their first meaningful measure of accountability for their complicity in covering up decades of horrendous crimes by thousands of priests against untold thousands of the Catholic community's children.

He is highly regarded in Atlanta, the archdiocese he's led since 2005. Most bishops his age would be looking to cement their legacy and toward submitting the retirement letter required of all bishops when they reach 75.

Facing the crisis: What needs to be done

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

April 10, 2019

By Russell Shaw

When the U.S. bishops gather in plenary assembly in Baltimore two months from now, their immediate task will be putting in place a new system of episcopal accountability in dealing with sex abuse. Its elements will likely include a code of conduct for themselves, a hotline for receiving complaints, and a framework for judging bishops who commit abuse or cover it up when committed by others.

The bishops were preparing to vote on just such a system at their general meeting last November when Pope Francis told them to put off acting until after his "summit" on sex abuse in February. Now the bishops should find it relatively easy to adopt a plan for accountability at their June 11-13 gathering, and the Vatican, one assumes, should find it easy to say yes.

And then the bishops will have put the crisis in the Church arising from the abuse scandal behind them, and everything will get back to normal.

Except, of course, that it won't. And arguably shouldn't.

As time has passed, it has become increasingly clear that the crisis, although obviously involving the abuse scandal and the bishops' response, is a far larger matter that raises profound issues of authority, accountability, and participatory decision-making. In Baltimore the bishops would do well to take preliminary steps toward addressing these matters by authorizing a feasibility study of a plenary council or regional synod for the United States.

Here we can learn from the Church in Australia.

Australian Catholics have suffered their own dark night lately. Morale has taken a beating from clergy sex abuse and the conviction of Cardinal George Pell on charges of abusing two boys years ago. (The Cardinal is appealing the decision.) But, nothing daunted, the Church is pressing ahead with plans for a two-session plenary council in October 2020 and May 2021. Over 20,000 suggestions have come from 75,000 Catholics in "listening and dialogue" sessions hoping for a turn-around.

The idea of doing something similar here is by no means new.

The Case for Breaking the Seal of the Confessional

Patheos blog

April 10, 2019

By Michael F. Bird

Over at The Spectator (Oz), I have an article entitled: It’s time to end the seal of the confessional: the religious case

I argue that Catholic clergy should be required to lift the seal of the confessional and to engage in mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse:

It is after much reflection that I wish to declare my support for the mandatory reporting of child sex abuse even if it requires Catholic clergy to break the seal of the confessional.

Politics in naming of new archbishop

DUNEDIN (NEW ZEALAND)
The Otago Daily Times

April 10, 2019

By Michael McGough

You don't have to be Catholic to take an interest in the announcement last week that Pope Francis has chosen the Most Rev Wilton D. Gregory, the longtime archbishop of Atlanta, as the new head of the archdiocese of Washington, DC.

Gregory's appointment is interesting from several vantage points: He will be the first African American archbishop of the nation's capital and he also was a leader in the American church's early response to sexual abuse by clergy - an issue that tripped up his immediate predecessor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. (Wuerl was preceded as archbishop by Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal who was defrocked this year after being found guilty by a church tribunal of sexual misconduct with children and adults.)

Gregory's appointment is notable for another reason: He was born on December 7, 1947, meaning that he is 71. It might seem odd that the Pope would appoint a septuagenarian to this important post in the American church, especially in light of the fact that bishops must submit their resignations at age 75.

But at least one commentator thinks that the choice of an older archbishop is part of a pattern. Writing in the Catholic publication La Croix International, Robert Mickens notes that Francis has often tapped older prelates for important assignments because of their "wealth of experience" and because they "share his vision for church reform and his interpretation of the Second Vatican Council".

It's also true that, in the church as in politics, leaders are living longer. If Joe Biden (76) and Bernie Sanders (77) can contemplate running for president, why can't a 71-year-old cleric assume spiritual authority in Washington?

Former professors named in Jesuit abuse report

DETROIT (MI)
Varsity News

April 9, 2019

By Gannon Pacioni

At least six Jesuit priests who formerly worked at the university have been accused of sexual abuse.

None of them are currently affiliated with Detroit Mercy, and none of their known incidents involved university students, according to an investigation by The Varsity News.

Some of the alleged assaults occurred before the men arrived on campus; some after. All of the accused are either deceased or have been dismissed by the order.

They include a dean, professors and members of campus ministry.

The accused are James F. Gates, Phillip T. Mooney, Michael E. Dorrler, Mark A. Finan, David C. Bayne and Charles E. Sullivan.

All were identified by the Midwest Jesuit province in a December report naming 50 clergy members in abuse cases that have been closed.

Other claims remain open. The targets of those ongoing investigations were not named.

Since the early 2000s, the Catholic faith has been roiled by charges of sexual abuse of children by hundreds of priests – and of coverups of those crimes by higher-ups.

Releasing lists of the accused is one of several steps church organizations have taken recently to attempt to be more transparent about their past.

“Most of the Jesuits on our list entered religious life from the 1930s through the early 1960s,” the Rev. Brian Paulson noted in a public letter accompanying the December release. “In retrospect, our evaluation of candidates, as well as the training, formation, and supervision of Jesuits, was not adequate. We have learned from this painful history and our formation today strives to promote the healthy affective and psychological development of Jesuits.”

The University of Detroit Mercy is sponsored by two religious orders, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy.

It was created in 1990 with the consolidation of the Jesuits’ University of Detroit and the sisters’ Mercy College.

All but one of the accused worked at the University of Detroit prior to the consolidation.

Here are details about the six individuals:

James F. Gates

Gates, a Jesuit brother, was accused of abusing 15 girls and one boy while assigned to a boarding school on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state from 1969 to 1972.

Those crimes, which resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement, followed his two years at University of Detroit, where beginning at age 26 he worked in campus ministry.

Gates also served in Montana, Missouri, Ohio and Nepal. He was at Holy Rosary-St. John’s Parish in Columbus, Ohio, from 1994 to 2002, where he faced an additional claim of abuse.

He lived at Vianney Renewal Center, a church-run supervised living center, from 2010 to 2012, when he was dismissed from the order.

Child abuse is the serpent coiled around the roots of Christianity

NORTH CORK (IRELAND)
The Avondhue News

April 10, 2019

By Donal O'Keeffe

‘The Devil works through children abused by priests’, former President Mary McAleese was told by senior Vatican officials.

In a new RTÉ documentary, Rome v Republic, to be aired this Thursday, former President McAleese says the then Vatican secretary of state Angelo Sodano, attempted in 2003 to secure an agreement with Ireland that it would not access church documents.

“I asked him why,” says Ms McAleese, “and it was very clear it was because he wanted to protect Vatican and diocesan archives. I have to say that I immediately said the conversation had to stop.”

Ms McAleese says the encounter with Cardinal Sodano left her ‘really quite shattered, that this was the number two (in the Vatican, after Pope John Paul II) in the church I belonged to’.

“There was nothing about him that was holy. There was nothing about him that was godly. There was nothing about him that was admirable. Everything about him I found horrifying.”

Rome v Republic is presented by Michael McDowell, and it traces the history of the Catholic Church in Ireland from the 18th century to the present day. McDowell was attorney general when Michael Woods, then minister for education, agreed the 2002 indemnity deal with 18 religious congregations which had run orphanages, reformatories and industrial schools. The deal saw the congregations pay €128 million in return for a State indemnity against all future legal actions by people who had been in institutions run by the Orders.

“The simple fact of the matter is that the result was that the State effectively signed a blank cheque which cost us €1.4 billion in the end, in exchange for a promise of a contribution of €128 million from the religious orders,” McDowell says.

17 years on, the 18 religious organisations have still not fulfilled the terms of the deal, and the terms of later offers made to the State. Of the €128 million the Orders agreed to pay, €4.21 million is still outstanding. Negotiations over the handover of remaining properties continue.

In the wake of the publication of the 2009 Ryan report, the18 congregations were called in by the then government and asked to increase their contributions to redress costs, the total cost of which came to €1.5 billion. Mr Justice Ryan had recommended the congregations pay half the cost of redress, with the taxpayer footing the rest.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory discusses moving to Washington, D.C.

ATLANTA (GA)
FOX 5 Atlanta

April 9, 2019

By Russ Spencer

The leader of Atlanta’s 1.2 million Catholics is heading to the nation's capital. Pope Francis chose Archbishop Wilton Gregory for the high profile position at a time of crisis in the church there.

Archbishop Gregory sat down with FOX 5 Senior Anchor Russ Spencer Tuesday afternoon to discuss the challenges ahead.

The archbishop was very open about how surprised he was to get the call to Washington. The Chicago native said he fully expected to retire someday as the Archbishop of Atlanta, a place he said he's come to consider home.

'Is God really only calling single, celibate men to the priesthood?'

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

April 10, 2019

By Kate Thayer

Just a year after becoming a Catholic priest, Doug Langner said the loneliness started to creep in.

“You would go through times of (thinking), wouldn’t it be nice to just share your day with someone else?” said Langner, who was ordained in 2008 after graduating from Mundelein Seminary, and started to work in a Kansas City, Mo.-area parish. Soon he was the only priest assigned to his church, living alone in the rectory, which isn’t uncommon as the Catholic Church faces a priest shortage that has forced many churches to shut down or merge.

Then, Langner met someone.

She worked at the church and was going through a divorce. The two had a connection, Langner said, though they didn’t act on it.

But it helped him address doubts that had been there all along. It made him ask himself, “Are you really going to spend the next 50 years … of your life without someone to share it with?”

It turns out, he wasn’t. Langner left the priesthood about two years after his ordination. He said the vow of celibacy and the isolation it breeds weren’t for him, but his resolve as a Catholic remains intact.

Former altar boy sexually abused by priest tells why he's raising his kids in the Catholic Church »

“I think there is a place in the church for people who are called to celibacy. They live it out in a beautiful way,” he said. “But I also don’t think they’re the only people called. Is God really only calling single, celibate men to the priesthood?”

Young priests leaving the pastorate is another blow to the struggling Catholic Church, which faces widespread sex abuse allegations, a less devout population and a priest shortage that’s forcing church closures and consolidation.

“In the midst of this storm, (prospective priests are thinking), do I get in the boat? Do I stay in the boat? That has to be a discernment. I think that’s one of the causes,” said Bishop Ronald Hicks, vicar general at the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Due in part to the priest shortage, the archdiocese has closed schools and churches as part of an ongoing restructuring plan. Since 1975, the Chicago Archdiocese has shuttered more than 100 parishes and more than 250 schools, according to its annual report. During that time, the number of total priests shrank from 1,261 in 1975 to 746 in 2018, according to the diocese.

“Here in Chicago, what we're looking at is, with less priests, how do we continue to make sure our people are served and our parishes are thriving?” Hicks said. In addition to relying on deacons and involved parishioners to do the work of the church, Hicks said, “we’re actively promoting priesthood.”

Part of that includes a visible presence of seminary students working in local churches, said the Rev. John Kartje, rector of Mundelein Seminary — the largest seminary in the country, located at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. This allows parishioners to see firsthand that young men are still entering the clergy, he said.

Though nationwide seminary enrollment has sliced nearly in half since 1970, to about 3,400 students in 2017, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Kartje points out that Mundelein’s enrollment has remained steady in the past several years, hovering at around 200 students.

Once a man enters the seminary — a graduate degree program that takes between four and six years to complete — leaders at Mundelein try to address student concerns about church life, which can be isolating, Kartje said. Each student is offered professional counseling and a spiritual adviser, a priest who can offer guidance.

“The whole idea behind seminary is that it’s a discernment process. There’s no presumption on day one he’ll be ordained a priest,” he said, adding that 10 to 20 percent of students leave each year before reaching ordination. “It’s a complete altering of who you are.”

Bishop in India Charged with Rape, SNAP Reacts

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

April 9, 2019

We are deeply grateful that Indian law enforcement are formally charging a bishop with raping a nun. It is rare that a top Catholic official faces criminal charges, so this is a significant step forward towards a safer church and society for all. We hope Bishop Franco Mullakkal faces trial soon.

We also hope that these charges provide a moment of vindication for the brave nun who reported the rape and for her brave colleagues who have rallied around her. We are also hopeful that this news will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered his wrongdoing to come forward.

According to one news source “There were many attempts to silence witnesses in the case, and some nuns who deposed against him were threatened with expulsion. Later, the High Court had ordered protection to main witnesses. One of the witnesses in the case, Sister Lucy said she was confined to illegal custody and threatened to be locked up in a mental asylum.”

Intimidation of witnesses and secrecy are major reasons that abuse is able to thrive in the shadows. This horrific behavior serves no one but the abuser and ought to be met with reprimand and punishment, by both secular and church authorities.

Nine months after Ted McCarrick sex-abuse crisis explodes, The New Yorker gives it some ink

Get Religion blog

April 10, 2019

By Julia Duin

It’s been more than nine months since the explosive news about former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick hit and only now has The New Yorker done a definitive piece on it all.

We at GetReligion felt that McCarrick’s fall from grace was last year’s top religion story, along with the culpability of the Catholic Church’s highest officials in knowing about the cardinal’s sexual predilections for other men. They did nothing about it until finally it was revealed that he’d gone after boys as well.

While reporters all over the country were going into overdrive all summer reporting on l’affaire McCarrick and related stories, The New Yorker team did nothing. I still have an August 1 email to one of the editors there offering my services on that subject. Usually they’re atop the newest trend in seconds, but there was this strange silence –- and no response to my email -– on this story.

As time went on, there was a mention here and there, like this short news piece about Pope Francis that mentioned McCarrick in passing. It was written by James Carroll, a prolific author and a former Catholic seminarian.

Otherwise, radio silence on this blockbuster.

Peruvian journalist threatened with second criminal defamation charge

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 10, 2019

By Elise Harris

Peruvian investigative journalist Paola Ugaz, currently embattled in a criminal defamation case triggered by a complaint from an archbishop, now is being threatened with another defamation charge by representatives of two Catholic schools who say her reporting on the institutions is false.

On March 25 Ugaz published an article in Peruvian paper La Republica asserting a former head of the prestigious San Pedro Catholic boys’ school in Lima was not only guilty of physical abuse in the lay community to which he belonged, but he also failed to act when concerns about possibly inappropriate conduct at the school were raised.

Alfredo Draxl García Rossell, who formerly led San Pedro, was recently asked to step down as director of the Liceo Naval School following accusations from journalist José Enrique Escardó that Draxl had abused him physically and psychologically while both were members of the same religious community in 1987.

Both Draxl and Escardó are ex-members of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a controversial Catholic organization that originated in Peru and whose founder, layman Luis Fernando Figari, has been accused of physical, psychological and sexual abuses and was prohibited by the Vatican in 2017 of having further contact with members of the group. Escardó left the SCV nearly 20 years ago, while Draxl left in 2018.

In her article, Ugaz noted that shortly after he left, Escardó published an article in Gente magazine saying that while he was in community, Draxl would force him to endure various abuses, one of which was to put a Swiss army knife to his neck and tell him to push against it. If he refused, he said Draxl would insist, yelling, “Push, faggot!” and then make him walk on his knees and kiss the feet of a statue of the Virgin Mary to ask for forgiveness.

When asked about the incident before a commission investigating institutional cases of abuse in Peru, Draxl said it was part of a game they played in which both men held knives and only lasted seconds. He called it a “stupid” mistake, but said he never intended to do violence.

Before leaving the Liceo Naval school, Draxl was director of San Pedro from 1997-2015. Both San Pedro and the girls school associated with it, Villa Caritas, are projects of the SCV and its women’s branch, the Marian Community of Reconciliation (MCR).

Defrocked former North Bergen priest found fatally shot

HUDSON COUNTY (NJ)
Hudson Reporter

April 10, 2019

By Mike Montemarano

Reports of a homicide investigation surrounding Capparelli's death broke on March 12.
Just over a month after the Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey released the names of 188 Catholic priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse, one of those names on the list appeared again in national headlines.

According to media reports from Henderson, Nevada, 70-year-old John Capparelli, who served as a priest in Our Lady of Fatima Church in North Bergen, was found fatally shot on March 12. His death is being investigated as a homicide.

Capparelli served in several other New Jersey parishes as well during a 12-year span, which also included a stint as a hospital chaplain and Catholic prep school teacher, according to the Archdiocese.

It was widely reported that the Clark County Coroner’s office found the cause of death to be a single gunshot wound to the neck. Caparelli lived in Nevada for a few years prior to his death.

Defrocked after allegations of abuse

After first being ordained in 1980, he was removed from the ministry in New Jersey after accusations surfaced that he allegedly abused multiple teenage boys in the 1970s and ‘80s.

A flood of allegations from over 30 people claiming that Capparelli victimized them opened up, placing Capparelli at the center of multiple lawsuits. Like many other “credibly accused” priests on the archdiocese’s list, Capparelli was protected by New Jersey’s statute of limitations in every single case, and he was never convicted of a single charge.

Rich Fitter’s suit against Capparelli made dozens of headlines in 2011. Fitter alleged that Capparelli would sexually abuse teenage boys while running a wrestling club as part of an after-school program for Oratory Prep School in Summit.

Shortly after leaving the priesthood, it was widely reported that Capparelli became a public school teacher in Newark. Then, a series of Star-Ledger stories about his past as a priest were published. Those stories, which included interviews with his alleged victims, preceded action by the state to remove Capparelli’s teaching certification.

Sexual misconduct investigation continues for former Newman Center priest

LINCOLN (NE)
The Daily Nebraskan

April 10, 2019

By David Bartle and Libby Seline

Back in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, the Lincoln Catholic community viewed University of Nebraska-Lincoln Newman Center priest Leonard Kalin as a charismatic, respected and trusted individual.

But in August 2018, the Diocese of Lincoln announced that Kalin, along with other priests, had been accused of sexual misconduct.

Current Newman Center priest Robert Matya said he was shocked.

“[Kalin] was kind of charismatic, which has made [the investigation] surprising in a lot of ways,” Matya said of the time he spent with Kalin at the Newman Center. “We never had any thought of anything like that about him.”

Kalin served at the Newman Center from 1970 to 1998 and died in 2008, according to the diocese’s director of communications, Nicholas Kipper. The diocese and Bishop James Conley formed a task force on child sexual abuse in August 2018 to investigate accusations, including those against Kalin. In March2019, the diocese asked private detective Tom Gorgen to conduct an investigation based on the accusations.

Kipper said Kalin had been accused of emotional and physical boundary violations. Kalin was active in the community, so Kipper said it’s important to the diocese that Kalin’s behavior is investigated even though he is deceased.

Jury in Santa Fe to start deliberations in sex abuse case involving ex-priest

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

April 8, 2019

By Phaedra Haywood

Jurors are scheduled to begin deliberations Wednesday in the child sex abuse case against Arthur Perrault, a former Roman Catholic priest who was extradited from Morocco to stand trial in New Mexico.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe on Tuesday heard closing arguments in the case, in which Perrault is accused of raping a 10-year-old altar boy between 1991 and 1992 while working as a priest at St. Bernadette’s parish in Albuquerque.

Perrault has been accused of similar behavior by dozens of others over the years and was ordered by a federal judge in 2017 to pay $16 million in a civil case.

According to testimony during the trial, Perrault moved to Morocco in 1992, where he was located last year by FBI agents.

The FBI became involved in the case because Perrault’s alleged abuse of the boy took place at Kirtland Air Force Base and at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, both federal properties.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Sean J. Sullivan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized Perrault’s reputation as a known child molester.

Sullivan reminded jurors that Perrault admitted to the FBI agent who transported him back to the United States — and who testified during the trial — that he had sexually abused at least one other boy and had written a letter to the King of Morcco admitting to abusing teenagers in the past.

He also mentioned that seven other witnesses who testified at Perrault’s trial said they had been abused by the former priest and noted similarities between their stories and the one told by the accuser in the case.

‘Invisible’ victims: Survivors of sexual abuse by nuns demand to be counted

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WHYY

April 10, 2019

By Laura Benshoff

When Trish Cahill was 15, a nun who taught at a nearby Catholic high school invited her to perform at a hootenanny mass.

“This was the 60s, you know, Peter Paul and Mary and all that,” said Cahill, now 67. “I didn’t really play guitar, but a nun — a nun! — asked me to come to mass and play guitar.”

Cahill, who lives in Lancaster, Pa., grew up in an Irish Catholic family in Ridgewood, New Jersey that revered clergy.

One invitation from Sister Eileen Shaw led to another. Cahill, who felt alienated from her family, came to see the nun as her mentor. The two became close.

Then, one day at the convent, Cahill says the nun slipped something in her tea.

“She took me into the bedroom and I passed out,” said Cahill. “I was not conscious. I was not able to make a decision.” She said this was the first of many sexual assaults.

Archdiocese puts Andover priest on leave over sexual abuse allegation

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

April 9, 2019

By Lisa Kashinsky

An Andover priest has been placed on leave by the Archdiocese of Boston following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor said to have taken place 28 years ago, the archdiocese said Tuesday.

The Rev. Peter Gori, a pastor at St. Augustine’s Church, was put on administrative leave after the alleged misconduct came to light, the church said. The archdiocese said it “immediately informed law enforcement” and forwarded the matter to the Augustinian Province to investigate.

“The Archdiocese of Boston is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions,” it said in a statement.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse by priests, said he is representing the person who claims “he was sexually abused as a minor” by Gori “in 1990 when he was approximately 10 years old.” Garabedian said his client also alleges he was sexually abused as a minor by the Rev. William F. Waters between 1987 and 1990, when he was 8 to 10 years old. During the alleged abuse, both priests were assigned to either St. Augustine’s Church in Lawrence or Andover, Garabedian said.

Indian Bishop Formally Charged with Rape

JALANDHAR (INDIA)
Catholic News Agency

April 11, 2019

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India has been charged with raping a nun nine times over a two-year period and faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, local authorities announced today.

The charge sheet against Mulakkal included statements from more than 80 witnesses including a cardinal, three bishops, 11 priests and 25 nuns, according to Indian Catholic group Save our Sisters.

Mulakkal has also been charged under laws against intimidation, illegal confinement and unnatural intercourse, the New York Times reports, and he faces at least 10 years in prison if found guilty.

In June 2018, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus religious congregation accused Mulukkal of sexually assaulting her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. In a 72-page complaint to police, filed June 29, the nun alleged that the bishop sexually abused her more than a dozen times over two years.

Police in the Indian state of Kerala had announced yesterday that they had gathered enough evidence to formally charge Mulakkal and that they would file a charging document in criminal court this week.

The bishop maintains his innocence. He was arrested Sept. 21, 2018 amid protests calling for a police investigation of the allegation. He was subsequently released on bail.

More doubts about controversial Pell guilty verdict

NEW SOUTH WALES (AUSTRALIA)
Mercator.net

April 10, 2019

By Michael Cook

The resolution of the case of Cardinal George Pell, now in jail after his conviction for sexually abusing two 13-year-old choristers in 1996, must wait until an appeals court hands down its judgement.

But in the meantime, commentary is being published which raises further doubts about the controversial verdict.

In the latest Quadrant, its editor, historian Keith Windschuttle, describes, thanks to an alert subscriber to his magazine, an American case with intriguing parallels.

I don’t want to rehearse the details of the crimes of which Cardinal Pell is accused. They are too lurid and they are readily available elsewhere. Suffice it to say that it is alleged – and the jury obviously believed this story – that he found two choristers swigging altar wine in the sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral after Mass on a Sunday in December 1996. He was very angry and forced both of them to perform sex acts. Later on, he encountered one of them in a corridor in the Cathedral and abused him again. Two boys were involved, but one died of a drug overdose in 2014.

What Windschuttle stumbled upon is an article in the September 2011 issue of Rolling Stone magazine by journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely. It described a very similar incident involving a priest in Philadelphia. Fr Charles Engelhardt allegedly caught a boy named “Billy Doe” swigging altar wine in his sacristy. He encouraged him to drink more and showed him pornographic magazines. A week later he performed sex acts on him. A few months later, another priest allegedly abused him.

As Windschuttle points out, that issue of Rolling Stone was readily available in Australia in 2011. In 2013, Victorian Police commenced a trawling operation to find people who were willing to testify that they had been abused by Cardinal Pell. In 2015, the complainant came forward with his story.

Prosecutor calls ex-priest ‘serial molester’ in closing arguments

SANTA FE (NM)
Associated Press

April 10, 2019

A federal prosecutor late Tuesday described a former priest and Air Force chaplain standing trial on sex abuse charges as a “serial molester” who during his final years in New Mexico exploited one young altar boy’s interests in the military and priesthood to spend more time with him.

Prosecutor Sean Sullivan’s harsh illustration of Arthur Perrault came as attorneys for both sides delivered closing arguments. Jurors now must decide whether Perrault abused the boy in the early 1990s at Santa Fe National Cemetery and Kirtland Air Force Base.

Perrault, who is 81, was returned by authorities to the United States from Morocco in September to face charges of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.

Once the pastor of St. Bernadette’s, one of New Mexico’s largest Roman Catholic parishes, Perrault is accused of vanishing from the state in 1992 just as an attorney prepared to file two lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging he had sexually assaulted seven children.

“He fled to escape justice,” Sullivan said.

While Perrault had multiple victims in New Mexico, according to authorities, the federal charges against him stem only from the abuse of the one boy at the two military properties, which fall under federal jurisdiction.

Perrault has pleaded not guilty to charges, and his attorney questioned Tuesday why the former altar boy did not tell his mother when he was still a child about being abused.

Saskatchewan priest might be extradited on decades-old sex abuse charges

REGINA (CANADA)
Regina Leader-Post

April 9, 2019

By Arthur White-Crummey

A Catholic priest who served for decades in Saskatchewan could be facing extradition on sexual abuse charges relating to his time as a Benedictine monk in Scottish boys’ schools.

The allegations against Father Robert MacKenzie span roughly 30 years — from the 1950s to the 1980s — and involve several complainants who attended two boarding schools in Scotland. That was confirmed by MacKenzie’s lawyer, who stressed that his client maintains his innocence.

“Father Robert MacKenzie categorically denies now, and he has denied under oath to the minister of justice, that he was involved in any sexual impropriety,” said lawyer Alan McIntyre.

The Archdiocese of Regina sent a letter to its pastors and parishes on Monday, advising them that Scottish authorities have charged MacKenzie, now in his mid-80s, with offences relating to sexual and physical abuse. It said the authorities obtained a surrender order last month from Canada’s minister of justice. That is an important step in clearing the way for extradition to Scotland.

But McIntyre said his client will fight extradition. He plans to ask for judicial review of the minister’s decision at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

Key School to create therapy fund for survivors of sexual abuse

ANNAPOLIS (MD)
Capital Gazette

April 10, 2019

By Lauren Lumpkin

Carolyn Surrick has asked three things of Key School, her alma mater: publicly acknowledge years of sexual abuse of students by teachers, ensure the safety of current students and help survivors pay for therapy.

In January, the Annapolis private school satisfied two out of three of those requests. School leaders released a 45-page report describing decades of unchecked sexual abuse. Independent investigators retained by the school did not find evidence of current abuse at the school.

Now, the school is creating a therapy fund to provide support for alumni as they continue to heal “from the abuse inflicted by former faculty members,” officials said in a letter Monday. Backing for the fund will come from the school.

Survivors of abuse at the exclusive private school have requested this kind of support for years. The measure also comes under the guidance of RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

'Invisible' victims: Survivors of abuse by nuns demand to be counted

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WHYY

April 10, 2019

By Laura Benshoff

When Trish Cahill was 15, a nun who taught at a nearby Catholic high school invited her to perform at a hootenanny mass.

"This was the 60s, you know, Peter Paul and Mary and all that," said Cahill, now 67. "I didn't really play guitar, but a nun -- a nun! -- asked me to come to mass and play guitar."

Cahill, who lives in Lancaster, Pa., grew up in an Irish Catholic family in Ridgewood, New Jersey that revered clergy.

One invitation from Sister Eileen Shaw led to another. Cahill, who felt alienated from her family, came to see the nun as her mentor. The two became close.

Then, one day at the convent, Cahill says the nun slipped something in her tea.

"She took me into the bedroom and I passed out," said Cahill. "I was not conscious. I was not able to make a decision." She said this was the first of many sexual assaults.

Cahill says Shaw, who was more than 20 years older, was a part of her life for the next decade, a tumultuous time that fueled bouts of drug and alcohol addiction.

Today, she's sober and living in a friend's guest room in a quiet Lancaster subdivision. Nestled in the cushions of the living room couch, she went through bags of photos and slides that she's kept, reminders of a toxic adolescence she still can't shake.

"See how long my hair is?" Cahill said, picking up a photo. "[It's] because she wanted me to wear my hair long. 'Cut your hair this way, don't hang around with this person'...She controlled my life."

Jesuits quietly sent abusive Alaska priests to retire with others on a Washington college campus

Clarksburg Caller

April 10, 2019

By Marisa Monroe

This article was provided to The Associated Press by the nonprofit news outlet Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

This Oct. 22, 2018 photo shows the marker for where the remains of Rev. James Poole are interned at Mount St. Michael in , Wash. Over the course of his life, Poole was accused of sexually abusing at least 20 women. (Emily Swing/Reveal via AP)

On the surface, Father James Poole seemed like the cool priest in Nome. He founded a Catholic mission radio station that broadcast his Jesuit sermons alongside contemporary pop hits. A 1978 story in People magazine called Poole “Western Alaska’s Hippest DJ . Comin‘ at Ya with Rock’n’Roll ‘n‘ Religion.”

Behind the radio station‘s closed doors, Poole was a serial sexual predator. He abused at least 20 women and girls, according to court documents. At least one was 6 years old. One Alaska Native woman says he impregnated her when she was 16, then forced her to get an abortion and blame her father for raping her. Her father went to prison.

Like so many other Catholic priests around the country, Poole’s inappropriate conduct with young girls was well-known to his superiors. A Jesuit supervisor once warned a church official that Poole “has a fixation on sex; an obsession; some sort of mental aberration that makes him see sex everywhere.”

But the last chapter in his story reveals a new twist in the Catholic abuse scandal: Poole was sent to live out his retirement years on Gonzaga University‘s campus in , Washington.

For more than three decades, Cardinal Bea House on Gonzaga’s campus served as a retirement repository for at least 20 Jesuit priests accused of sexual misconduct that predominantly took place in small, isolated Alaska Native villages and on Indian reservations across the Northwest, an investigation by the Northwest News Network and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

Bishops' summit on sex abuse: An Asian perspective

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 10, 2019

By Virginia Saldanha

The voices of survivors and advocates rallying against clerical sex abuse echoed around newsrooms and living rooms the world over when bishops met in Rome from Feb. 18-26, making it a hallowed ground of the wounded. The 190 bishops at the summit heard the testimonies of a few survivors, live-streamed into the hall.

The organizing committee had a face-to-face meeting with 12 survivors in Rome a day before the summit. Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich (also a member of Pope Francis' council of cardinal advisors) accepted the invitation of the survivors' group Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) to interact with victims and advocates from all over the world. At the group's invitation, I joined the ECA in Rome from Feb. 17-25, representing India and Asia where the voices of abuse survivors are muzzled, muffled and sporadic. At a press briefing on the first day of the summit, not surprisingly, it was reported that the bishops of Asia and Africa stated that sex abuse was not their problem!

This came despite considerable evidence to the contrary. At the outset, the pope handed the participants a list of 21 points for consideration and implementation. The summit focused on the abuse of minors.

Vulnerable adults were implicitly included but the definition was ambiguous. In Asia, the abuse of nuns and vulnerable women, who routinely approach priests in times of trouble, is a big issue, especially for nuns in diocesan congregations.

April 9, 2019

Former Conroe priest sued over allegation he flashed teen during confession

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

April 9, 2019

By Nicole Hensley and Massarah Mikati

A former Conroe priest already charged with molesting two teens is accused in a new lawsuit of exposing himself in a church confessional booth to another teen parishioner who was trying to come out as gay.

The man, who lives in Conroe and is identified only by his initials, said he was 15 in 2000 when he entered the confessional to speak to Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, who peppered him with “vulgar questions” about his sexuality, according to the suit.

“Do you fantasize about men?” La Rosa-Lopez asked, according to court documents.

The priest then made lewd remarks to the teen in Spanish before he opened the partition window to show his exposed genitals, the suit says.

The teen bolted from the booth and stopped attending Mass at the church soon after, his lawyer David Matthews of Houston said this week. The incident caused him to experience anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence and shame about his sexual orientation, according to court documents.

The accuser — now an adult studying to be a mental health counselor — kept the incident secret until 2017 when he told his therapist what happened, Matthews said. The man has since spoken to the Conroe Police Department about the allegation, Matthews said.

Pastors Who Hide Behind the Pulpit

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Is It Enough? (blog)

April 9, 2019

By Doug Lay

The pulpit, as a symbol of a theological reformation, stands as a representation of the Bible’s power and uniqueness of that reformation. The pastor, as a symbol of the church’s leadership, stands behind that pulpit to publicly proclaim the Bible’s power and uniqueness of the crucified Christ.

Yet, the pastor can hide behind that pulpit. He can hide behind the pulpit when speaking out about controversial social topics. A recent report finds that “when asked if they felt limited by their congregation to speak out about social issues, 64 percent of pastors said yes, FaithWire reports.”

One particular and relevant social issue today is the sexual exploitation of children by church leaders, the cover-up by those same churches, and then the silence of other churches concerning the cover-ups.

Remember the millstone—Jesus’ harsh and condemning picture of judgment for anyone who would exploit, abuse, or despise the least of these. The pulpit should be the pinnacle of such preaching, but it is easy for the pastor to hide behind the pulpit when preaching about sexual and physical abuse victims and how the church should address abuse.

How do pastors hide behind the pulpit?

First, the pastor sets the focus of the preaching, choosing not only what to preach, but also what not to preach. Topics involving sexual abuse of minors, marital physical abuse, infidelity, rape, and church cover-ups can simply be ignored. The pastor controls the narrative.

"I am not alone": House member’s wife seeks more time for sexual abuse victims to sue offenders

AUSTIN (TX)
Texas Tribune

April 8, 2019

By Cassandra Pollock

As Becky Leach took her seat Monday afternoon, preparing to testify for the first time before a committee at the Texas Capitol, her husband watched as he sat behind his name plate with the word “Chair” engraved underneath.

“I am a victim — and I am not alone,” Becky Leach announced to the room as she began her remarks. “From 12 to 18, I was repeatedly and systematically molested. And I refused to acknowledge it.”

Becky Leach, wife to state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, spoke in support of a bill that would double the amount of time people have to pursue a lawsuit against someone who sexually abused them as a child. The measure, authored by state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, would lengthen the statute of limitations from 15 to 30 years for a person seeking a civil suit over certain types of sexual abuse.

As she delivered her testimony before the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee on Monday, Becky Leach said she didn’t acknowledge her own abuse until the age of 35 — almost 17 years after it allegedly occurred — and explained that Goldman’s bill would help give victims more time that is often needed to come forward.

“It’s not a denial. It’s a refusal to admit that this person who you most likely loved … is actually doing this thing to harm you,” Becky Leach said as her husband, a state lawmaker who first entered office in 2013, looked on with tears in his eyes. “I truly believe that it’s my great responsibility to be a voice on behalf of those who don’t know they’ve yet been silenced.”

Pa. lawmakers to child-sex-abuse survivors: Take a number, have a seat

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

April 8, 2019

By John Baer

The Pennsylvania legislature, once again, is poised to turn its back on who knows how many survivors of child sex abuse.

Promises of action? Pledges to victims? Repeated assurances that those who were violated (and long-voiceless) might find some measure of justice?

You tell me.

The state is among the nation’s worst in terms of legal recourse for victims. Ironic, given state findings of abuse that last year lit up the issue.

Our legislature, of course, swung into action, embraced survivors and proceeded to pose and preach. Then failed to do anything.

Now, the issue is back with new legislation expected to be taken up this week. But it’s really only for future victims. For past victims? The waiting room.

It’s a two-bill package with bipartisan sponsorship from Reps. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks) and Jim Gregory (R., Blair).

One bill eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for abuse, which, if enacted, catches us up to 40 other states. Hey, better late than never.

It also gives future victims the option up to age 55 to sue their abusers. Current law allows such lawsuits up to age 30.

But gone is the will to open a “window” of time during which past victims – for whom statutes expired – can sue.

Instead, while other states move in that direction (New York now has a window; New Jersey just passed one that Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign), we’re keeping that window shut.

Oh, the second bill addresses a window. But it calls for amending the state constitution to allow it, a clear and drastic shift in approach that can’t sit well with survivors.

A constitutional amendment needs to pass two successive legislative sessions before going to voters as a statewide ballot question, a long, often dead-end process.

At a minimum, we’re talking three years. And the legislature can get tricky with constitutional amendments, passing them in one session, forgetting them in the next.

So, the best we’re offering past victims is take a number, have a seat. We’ll be with you in a few years.

Pedophile principal’s tally of victims now 32

NEW SOUTH WALES (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

April 10, 2019

By Tessa Akerman

Former Catholic priest and school principal Frank Klep has emerged as one of Australia’s most prolific pedophiles, with a staggering 32 victims.

County Court judge Gabriele Cannon yesterday said his assault against a four-year-old boy was offending in the “most repulsive way” as she lengthened Klep’s current jail term by two years.

Klep had pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault of a male and one count of indecent assault. Judge Cannon said while Klep last offended in 1984, his ­offending over 11 years was “prolific”. She said some of his victims were abused in the Salesian College, Rupertswood, infirmary and one was abused while he was homesick at a school camp: “He was especially vulnerable, which you knew.

“They were young and living away from home. Further in the case of some complainants, they were ill when you offended against them.”

Judge Cannon said Klep exploited his power over the boys in order to offend. “You used your position of authority to lord it over the complainants, apparently safe in the knowledge that they were unlikely to tell anyone or if they did they would not be believed,” she said.

“You were a prominent member of your institution that was supposed to be about love, compassion and kindness, especially when it came to children and the vulnerable, but under its cover you perpetrated evil.”

Fate of two child sex crime bills tied to each other

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patriot News

April 9, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus

The future of the reform of child sex crime laws in Pennsylvania hinges on two companion bills now intricately tied to each other under an amendment approved by the House on Tuesday.

The state House of Representatives cleared the way for the two pieces of legislation to go for a full chamber vote, but linked the future of the bill seeking to eliminate criminal statutes for child sex crimes to the bill that would revive expired statutes of limitations.

By a unanimous vote of 197-0, the House approved an amendment changing the effective date of House bills 962 (which would prospectively eliminate the criminal statute of limitations) to passage in the Senate of its companion piece. That bill - House Bill 963 - calls for a constitutional amendment that would establish a two-year “window” during which adult victims timed-out of the legal system could file lawsuits against predators.

The bills now advance to a full vote in the House, which can happen as early as Wednesday.

“House Bill 962 only passes when the House and Senate pass 963,” said Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, sponsor of the former bill. The other bill is sponsored by Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Blair.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday advanced to the full chamber two measures that would broadly reform the statute of limitations, eliminating criminal statutes and potentially reviving expired legal recourses.

Lori: Church has many reasons to get right response to child sex abuse

WASHINGTON —(DC)
Catholic News Service

April 9, 2019

By Christopher Gunty

A week into National Child Abuse Protection Month, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori visited the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops chapel April 8 to celebrate midday Mass for conference employees and reflect on the church's work to develop policies and procedures to prevent child abuse by those within the church.

He recognized that those who work at U.S. bishops' conference headquarters have a keen desire "to do everything possible to address on an ongoing basis the sexual abuse crisis that has roiled the Catholic Church for such a very long time."

The "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and the related "Essential Norms" implementing the charter legislatively passed by the U.S. bishops in 2002 were "a major step forward," the archbishop said. "Nevertheless, all of us admit that much more still needs to be done, especially in the areas of episcopal transparency and accountability."

"There are many motivations for wanting to get this right," he said at the Mass.

First of those are the desire to see that all children and young people are safe.

Second, he said that as a bishop, he naturally wants to see confidence in the church restored in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and globally.

The church was hit by revelations last summer that included allegations against Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal and retired archbishop of Washington, and the release of a report from the Pennsylvania attorney general detailing hundreds of allegations of abuse over a 70-year period beginning in 1947.

Such revelations call into question the church's essential mission of evangelization, the archbishop said.

"More than anything else, however, our hearts should be broken, humbled, contrite, by the horrific experiences of those who have been sexually abused by clergy or by other representatives of the church," Lori said. "Even if such abuse was committed many years ago, the wounds inflicted upon innocent children and young people are often lifelong wounds. Far too many do not find justice and healing; far too few have their peace."

Andover pastor placed on leave over sex abuse allegation

ANDOVER (MA)
WCVB TV

April 9, 2019

An Andover priest is on administrative leave after being accused of sexual abuse of a minor, the Archdiocese of Boston announced Tuesday.

Rev. Peter Gori was accused of sexually abusing a minor 28 years ago, the archdiocese said.

Gori's accuser is represented by Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented numerous other victims of clergy abuse. Garabedian said his client was approximately 10 years old at the time of the abuse.

Additionally, Garabedian's client also accused Fr. William F. Waters, O.S.A., of inflicting abuse between 1987 and 1990.

"By coming forward my client is trying to heal, empower other victims and make the world a safer place for children," Garabedian said.

Gori is the pastor of St. Augustine's Parish in Andover and previously a canon lawyer in the Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston. He is a member of the Augustinian Order of St. Thomas of Villanova. The Archdiocese said that order will be responsible for investigating the allegations.

"The Archdiocese of Boston is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions," the archdiocese wrote in a statement. "Through its Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, the Archdiocese continues to make counseling and other services available to survivors, their families and parishes impacted by clergy sexual abuse and by allegations of abuse by members of the clergy."

Nuns sexually abusing minors could become next Catholic Church scandal, experts say

WASHINGTON (DC)
Fox News

April 9, 2019

By Hollie McKay

It wasn’t until Rev. Cait Finnegan gave birth to a baby girl more than three decades ago that the full trauma of all she had withstood was fully unleashed.

“It was my protective instinct, I just didn’t want my daughter to be alone. I stayed with her from the day she was born,” Finnegan, 67, a Catholic school student in 1960s New York and once an aspiring nun, told Fox News. “Because I had been abused in many places to many degrees. This was every day in school, weekends, she would come to my home.”

Starting at just 15, Finnegan alleged that she was repeatedly raped by a Catholic nun and for years, after finally escaping, lived a life on the edge of falling apart. She said she spent much of her life trapped in a state of rage, depression, and agoraphobia, unable to leave the house or be away from her daughter, now 36.

They lived in poverty as Finnegan said she was only able to take on odd jobs at night, as her marriage strained under the emotional weight.

“When my daughter was 12, we thought it would be good to register her at a Catholic School,” Finnegan recalled. “But then the nun opened the door, I had a flashback, I grabbed her and ran.”

Finnegan said her abuser died more than four years ago. But the deep, dark memories she has carried since adolescence remain.

Oakland Diocese releases information on sexual abuse, but victim advocates are skeptical

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Chronicle (blog)

April 9, 2019

Fifteen years ago, Dan McNevin and two other men sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, alleging that a priest at a church in Niles had abused them as children. At first, McNevin felt validated. It seemed like he might finally get justice and hold the diocese accountable. As he told the press at the time, going public and confronting what had happened seemed like the only way to move forward. Then the backlash followed.

“I was ridiculed. I was attacked. People wrote letters to editors where they talked about how lovely this priest was and how impossible it was that he had done what I claimed. One letter accused me of just wanting money,” he recalls. Then another victim came forward in his support, making McNevin’s story harder to dismiss.

Today—many years and many clergy abuse scandals later—McNevin feels that some things have changed. “By now, the public no longer reflexively takes the side of the church or of the priests,” McNevin said. Personally, he feels very different, too. “I’m in a very good place now compared to where I used to be. I think it’s a journey, it’s a process and I’m at a point where I feel relieved,” he said. McNevin is now an advocate for abuse victims and an Oakland area leader for the Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Helping others get to a point where they feel better is one reason why he went into this line of work.

But he still feels that some things haven’t changed, and that church leaders have not done enough to address the past wrongdoings of abusive clergy members. In February, the Oakland Diocese published a list of 45 religious leaders, including McNevin’s abuser, who have had “credible accusations” of sexual abuse of minors. The list includes the names of 20 diocesan priests, 22 religious order priests, deacons and brothers, and three priests from other dioceses who have worked in the Diocese of Oakland—which covers Alameda and Contra Costa Counties—and have had accusations of sexual abuse of minors that the church deemed credible.

Peruvian journalist accused by archbishop of defamation found guilty

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 9, 2019

By Elise Harris

On Monday night Peruvian journalist Pedro Salinas, who had been accused by an archbishop with the crime of aggravated defamation related to an ongoing abuse scandal, was found guilty and slapped with a hefty fee and one-year suspended prison sentence.

Judge Judith Cueva Calle of the First Unipersonal Criminal Court in Piura, Peru, ruled April 8 that Salinas was guilty of aggravated defamation of Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, who runs the Piura archdiocese, and ordered him to pay roughly $24,000 in addition to his suspended jail sentence.

Carlos Rivera Paz, Salinas’ lawyer, said they’re planning to appeal the decision during an April 22 hearing when the full sentence is read.

“We are going to reject the arguments, and we hope that the appeals court has a little more sense and makes a better evaluation of the evidence,” he said.

Salinas and fellow journalist Paola Ugaz, also being sued by Eguren Anselmi, co-authored the 2015 bombshell book Half Monks, Half Soldiers, detailing years of sexual, psychological and physical abuse inside the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a controversial Catholic organization that originated in Peru and whose founder, layman Luis Fernando Figari, has been accused of physical, psychological and sexual abuses and was prohibited by the Vatican in 2017 of having further contact with members of the group.

First Lay Advisory Board meeting opens new dialogue for archdiocese

ST. PAUL (MN)

The Catholic Spirit

April 9, 2019

By Matthew Davis

Mary Brady hopes a new Lay Advisory Board to assist Archbishop Bernard Hebda will usher in a new era of listening in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“I was really active in several archdiocesan commissions when I was in my 20s. They’re no longer around,” said Brady, 71, citing as one example a former urban Catholic coalition that promoted inner city parishes. “I’m hoping that it’s a sign … that the diocese is being more open to a variety of input from people around the entire diocese,” said Brady.

Representing Deanery 14, Brady, a member of St. Frances Cabrini in Minneapolis, is one of 19 members of the newly formed board, which met for the first time with the archbishop April 3 at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center in St. Paul.

Ranging in age from their 20s to 70s, some retired but others working for parishes or in professions such as business management, project management and insurance, board members were asked by the archbishop to offer advice, to listen and to be a conduit for information with people throughout the archdiocese about opportunities and challenges in the local Church.

Announced as an initiative in November, the board consists of representative members of parish pastoral councils across the archdiocese. Each was chosen by their peers to represent one of 15 deaneries, or geographic regions of the archdiocese. Some traveled as far as 40 miles to get to the Catholic Center.

Among other roles, the board will be key to finding ways to promote healing from the clergy sexual abuse scandal, Archbishop Hebda said.

Paedophile priest Frank Klep jailed for another two years

VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA)
Herald Sun

April 8, 2019

By Shannon Deery

Frank Klep today had two years added to his current jail term after admitting some of his most shocking crimes, including the heinous abuse of a four-year-old boy.

In total the disgraced former priest has now been convicted of the vile sexual abuse of 33 children.

INSIDE THE HOLY HOUSE OF HORRORS

ARRESTS MADE AFTER REBELS BIKIE RAIDS

MOKBEL ‘CARTEL’ MEMBER DENIED FREEDOM

The 75-year-old predator priest abused most of them at notorious Salesian College, Rupertswood, in Sunbury, including while he was the school’s principal.

Former students have dubbed the school a “house of horrors” because a sickening club of Salesian paedophiles roamed its grand halls and manned its dormitories.

Klep’s known offending spanned more than a decade between 1973 and 1984.

In that time he was principal at Rupertswood and earlier at Salesian College in Brooklyn Park, Adelaide.

Frank Klep today had two years added to his current jail term after admitting some of his most shocking crimes, including the heinous abuse of a four-year-old boy.

He was first convicted of child sexual offences in 1994, but nothing was done to stop his continued involvement with schoolchildren.

In 2005 he was handed a partially suspended sentence for the abuse of 11 victims, but it was later increased on appeal.

Chargesheet filed against rape-accused Franco Mullakal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (INDIA)
Hindustan Times

April 9, 2019

When the police failed to arrest him, five other nuns staged a sit-in protest in Kochi. Later a special investigation team was set up and it arrested the influential bishop in September after several rounds of questioning.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing rape charges against former bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mullakkal on Tuesday filed a charge-sheet in the case, almost a year after he was accused of sexually assaulting the nun.

This is the first time in the country where a former bishop is facing the trial based on a complaint filed by a nun. “After months of struggle we are happy the case is coming to a logical conclusion. We have won the case almost half. This is the happiest moment for us. God is with us, truth will prevail finally,” said Sister Anupama, one of the nuns who sat on dharna in Kochi demanding action against Mullakkal.

In last June, a 43-year-old nun, also a mother superior, had complained to the Kerala police that Mullakkal had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. Initially there were many attempts to hush up the complaint against the powerful priest.

When police failed to arrest him, five nuns had staged a sit-in protest in Kochi. Later an SIT was floated and it arrested Mullakkal in September last year after several rounds of questioning. He was later removed from the post. After spending three weeks in judicial custody he was granted bail.

There were many attempts to silence witnesses in the case, and some nuns who deposed against him were threatened with expulsion. Later, the High Court had ordered protection to main witnesses. One of the witnesses in the case, Sister Lucy said she was confined to illegal custody and threatened to be locked up in a mental asylum.

The charge-sheet was submitted after the agitating nuns threatened to hit the street again. They met the Kottayam police superintendent a number of times and wrote to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to expedite the case.

Indian bishop charged with raping nun

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (INDIA)
Agence France Presse

April 9, 2019

Police on Tuesday charged an Indian bishop with repeatedly raping a nun at a convent in Kerala state in a case that puts a new spotlight on sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church.

Franco Mulakkal was charged with raping the nun several times between 2014 and 2016, police deputy superintendent of Vaikom district, K. Subash, told AFP.

The bishop faces other charges including unlawful detention, unnatural sex and abuse of authority. Facing a maximum punishment of life imprisonment, Mulakkal has denied the allegations.
Vatican suspends Indian bishop accused of raping nun

Local media said the report backing the charges ran into more than 100 pages and contained testimonies from priests, bishops and nuns.

The victim filed a formal complaint in June last year, but police only started formal questioning in September after fury over the case mounted.

Megachurches, Megapastors, and Megalomaniacs

Pathos blog

April 9, 2019

By Libby Anne

I grew up in a megachurch. There were so many members the church had to form “small groups” to foster a sense of community; around 2000, the church built a new sanctuary, large enough to accommodate thousands of people. There were Easter pageants with live donkeys and real doves; the children’s ministry was huge and glitzy.

The church’s founding pastor was modest and unassuming. He didn’t bask in attention, or seek it. His clothing was conservative, as was his home. I may not be evangelical—or religious—today, but I still have a lot of respect for the man who pastored my childhood church. He was the real deal. I didn’t realize at the time how odd this was.

I bring all this up for a reason. See, I recently discovered the Instagram “preacherssneakers.” I was hooked. And horrified. And somehow, underneath it all, completely unsurprised. The account features pictures of preachers—typical megachurch pastors—wearing designer clothing, alongside screenshots showing these items’ prices.

French Church on defensive as films fuel sexual abuse fury

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

April 9, 2019

By Tom Heneghan

French Church leaders are on the defensive after two films about clerical sexual abuse and a book about homosexuals at the Vatican dramatised to Catholics the extent of the challenge to the institution’s authority.

Criticism and frustration are mounting among the faithful after Pope Francis rejected the resignation of Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin following his suspended sentence from a civil court for covering up an abuse scandal that has rocked his archdiocese.

A film about the Lyon scandal, an Arte television broadcast about nuns abused by priests, and the book “In the Closet of the Vatican” by a French journalist have added to what the outgoing head of the bishops’ conference called the “profound distress” felt by clergy and laity alike. The documentary “Abused Sisters: The Other Scandal of the Church”, was shown by the Franco-German public TV channel ARTE on 5 March.

Gregory vows to serve the truth

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

By Michael Sean Winters

“I believe that the only way I can serve the local archdiocese is by telling you the truth,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory told his new flock at a press conference last weekend where he was introduced as the next Archbishop of Washington, DC.

He said this was “a moment fraught with challenges,” mindful that his immediate predecessor Cardinal Donald Wuerl resigned amidst controversy over his handling of clergy sex abuse allegations in the 1990s and the previous archbishop was the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, now removed from the clerical state.

Speaking of the unique challenges of leading a church in the nation’s capital, but in which some neighbourhoods remain mired in poverty, Gregory said, “The Archdiocese of Washington is home to the poor and the powerful, neither of which realises they are both.”

The next day, Gregory toured various ministries of the archdiocese, starting at Catholic Charities downtown where he toured the chapel and visited with volunteers who serve the poor. The archbishop then went to a Catholic elementary school where a second grader asked what his favourite movie is. “I love the ‘Wizard of Oz,’” Gregory replied. Almost half the 228 students at the school benefit from a voucher programme that provides tuition assistance to poor families to attend Catholic and other private schools.

Punishment for pedophile priests

NEWTON (NJ)
New Jersey Herald

April 9, 2019

The Roman Catholic Church has been a tremendous force for good in the past and present. The good they have done outweighs the bad. They have a problem with pedophile priests because they are following Church tradition rather than the Bible. They believe "once a priest, always a priest."

The qualifications for church leaders are listed in I Timothy 3:1--13 and Titus 1:5--9.

Guilty pedophile priests should be defrocked and excommunicated. They should be arrested, given a fair trial, and then executed by the government.

Life imprisonment would be acceptable, but any lesser punishment would be showing compassion to the criminal instead of the victim.

What if a guilty pedophile priest repents? He should still be defrocked, but not excommunicated. Repentance will not affect his government trial. He must still pay for his crimes against children.

Dave Salmon, Sparta

Catholic universities not doing enough to address sex abuse crisis

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 9, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

The separation between Church management (the hierarchy) and its research and development department (theologians) is one of the most serious problems facing the Catholic Church. Thomas Reese, the former editor-in-chief (1998-2005) of the Jesuit magazine America, identified this problem back in 1996 in his book, Inside the Vatican. And although the book was published two pontificates ago, Reese's premise remains true.

In fact, the situation is even worse now than it was nearly 25 years ago.One of the effects of the latest phase of the Catholic abuse crisis, which started in 2018, is that it has offered us some historical perspective on the Church's management-research dichotomy. The sexual abuse crisis has been long in the making.

It became public in the mid-1980s and its turning point was 2001-2002 in the United States. This opened the eyes of many to what had happened in that North American country and what was bound to happen in other countries as well.

A Church That Kills

GERMANY
Feinschwarz

April 8, 2019

By Daniel Bogner

The revelations of abuse never cease. These are not only isolated incidents, but a whole system of failure, including organized trafficking in women, right in the heart of the institution. Whether it be the “Child Protection Summit” held in Rome, the “Synodal Process” in Germany, or a convicted French cardinal who may not resign – the Church leadership continues to run on sight. “However, our analysis needs to be more decisive,” says Daniel Bogner.

Just how dark is the place to where abuse has led the Church? Revelations, confessions and reports about the unspeakable are never-ending. Even now, bishops speak of “systematic abuse condition”. A recent ARTE documentary report (Nuns Abused by God) shows how fluid the transition is from the clergyman’s spiritual leadership to sexual abuse.

Patterns of Evil
There are evident patterns of evil in the Church and by virtue of the Church. Take for example the Philippe family’s brothers, Marie-Dominique Philippe and Thomas Philippe from northern France; both from classically good Catholic origin. However, what yesterday was considered to be a model Christian family (seven of twelve children chose religious professions), is revealed today as a system of religious over-identification. Both brothers have made careers in the Church. They both joined the Dominicans; one became a theology professor in Fribourg, Switzerland, as well as the Spiritus rector to the Community of Saint John, founded by some of his students in the late 1970s. The other brother was a spiritual guide to the international Arche Community, founded by Jean Vanier, where disabled and non-disabled people live together.

Later, both have been accused of abuse. When one of the abused women suffered a breakdown following abuse from Marie-Dominique, she was then led by him to the his brother Thomas, who put her through similar turmoil. These are events that leave one speechless, precisely because this is not something that happened out on the fringes of the Church, but instead in the midst of a European Catholicism believed to be in step with the times and with a highly developed spiritual and social consciousness.

Church names 12 Nevada priests ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Review-Journal

April 8, 2019

By Rachel Crosby

Twelve Nevada priests have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse, and eight of them at one point served in the Las Vegas Valley, according to the Catholic Diocese of Reno.

The Reno diocese published the list Friday as a “measure of transparency and accountability,” the Rev. Randolph Calvo, the bishop of Reno, said in an open letter to parishioners.

Eleven of the 12 named Nevada priests are now dead. But the list was one of many that dioceses around the country have recently released in the wake of national reports on the sexual abuse of minors in the church.

The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas is working on its own list of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, according to a statement provided to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A review committee hopes to finalize it for publication by the end of the week.

Ending abuse means changing hearts, not just decrees, Chile leader says

ROME(ITALY)
Crux

April 9, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Acting as the interim replacement for a cardinal subpoenaed by civil prosecutors for alleged sex abuse cover-ups, and facing questions about his own record in responding to abuse charges, the new man in Santiago, Chile, says he’s got only one “pastoral proposal,” and it’s expressed in his motto as a bishop: “To serve and to love.”

“What worries us is not the money [that the archdiocese will have to pay to survivors of clerical abuse], but how can we help those victims heal, and above all, we want to guarantee that they, and everyone else, helps us build a different future where these things don’t happen again,” said Bishop Celestino Aos, named March 23 as the apostolic administrator of Santiago following the resignation of Cardinal Riccardo Ezzati.

“How could we let these things happen… things I didn’t even dream could happen, and that do,” Aos told reporters. “What can we do to guarantee that they don’t happen again?”

Aos’s nomination amounts to the latest twist in a long-running attempted cleanup of Church leadership in Chile, which Francis set in motion in May, when he summoned all the bishops to Rome.

April 8, 2019

Requests denied for mistrial of priest accused of sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
KRQE TV

April 9, 2019

Closing arguments are scheduled Tuesday for an Albuquerque priest facing federal sex abuse charges.

Arthur Perrault is accused of assaulting an 11-year-old boy at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery in the early 1990s.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Perrault's attorney asked for a mistrial Monday but U.S. District Judge Martha Vásquez denied it.

The 80-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

St. Bonaventure University cancels conference on Catholic Church sex abuse crisis

OLEAN (NY)
Olean Times Herald

April 8, 2019

By Tom Dinki

A St. Bonaventure University conference on the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis has been canceled amid concerns the event would not feature abuse victims.

The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure decided to cancel the academic conference set for Friday and Saturday after being challenged by local victims who felt it was wrong to hold such an event if victims were not permitted to speak, the university announced Monday.

Specifically, the university said in a press release, an abuse survivor and advocate for victims claimed that a conference on abuse without victims speaking would essentially be a waste of time.

“I listened to the victim. I heard his deep concerns and decided to follow his advice that the conference we had designed was not helpful here in this diocese at this time,” said Father David Couturier, executive director of the Franciscan Institute, in a statement released by the university. “So, I decided to cancel the event.”

Couturier added he wanted to rearrange the schedule and find new speakers to fit the “new direction being advocated,” but with less than a week before the conference, “it just wasn’t possible.”

A call to Couturier’s office was not immediately returned Monday.

The conference, titled “Franciscan Reform and the Abuse Crises in the Catholic Church,” was intended for Franciscan scholars to discuss the tradition of reform and renewal in the long history of Franciscanism, according to the university.

Publicly announced March 26, the two-day conference was to feature a keynote address from a Catholic Church historian and talks by a lawyer, a nun and the chair of the university's Theological and Franciscan Studies Department.

State House moving bills to help clerical abuse victims

HARRISBURG (PA)
Daily Item

April 8, 2019

By John Finnerty

The state House is moving two bills that would help victims of clerical abuse — one changing the statute of limitations moving forward and another calling for a Constitutional amendment to allow for civil lawsuits in cases that have passed the existing statute of limitations.

Both measures were approved by the House judiciary committee Monday afternoon.

House Bill 962 would change the statute of limitations moving forward by eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for serious sex crimes against children and giving victims until the age of 55 to sue. The current criminal statute of limitations for child sex crimes is when the victim turns 50 and the civil statute of limitations expires when the victim turns 30.

The bill was authored by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks County, who’s been the leading legislative champion for enacting reforms to held adult victims of childhood sex abuse.

Rozzi said he decided to author separate legislation to help future victims so that new victims are provided a path to justice as the state debates how to help past victims.

In addition to Rozzi’s legislation, the judiciary committee also approved HB 963, authored by state Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Blair County, that would ask voters whether there should be a Constitutional amendment to create a two-year window for victims to sue the Catholic Church or other organizations that covered up for child predators.

Legislative leaders in the state House have dubbed the two-bill package “The Pennsylvania Hidden Predator Act.” With Monday’s committee vote, the measures are on schedule for final passage in the state House as soon as Wednesday. Both would go to the Senate for consideration.

The Senate, in February 2017, unanimously passed legislation similar to the measure now proposed by Rozzi. That legislation was later amended to included retroactive provisions and didn't become law when the House and Senate couldn't agree on the final form of the bill.

But it's unclear whether the Rozzi legislation or Gregory's constitutional will gain traction in the Senate, Rozzi said.

"This is the first step in the process," he said.

And as a resolution for a possible Constitutional amendment, even if Gregory’s bill passes both chambers this year, it must be approved in a second legislative session before it goes before voters in a statewide referendum.

The issue of changing the law to help victims has become a lightning rod topic at the Capitol in the wake of revelations in a statewide grand jury report released last August that 300 priests had abused 1,000 victims over decades. The state House in September voted 171-23 to pass legislation that would have allowed victims of old child sex crimes to file lawsuits, but the measure died in the Senate.

Senate Republican leaders and church officials have questioned whether the state Constitution would allow the change. Most advocates for changing the law agree that it would be illegal to change the criminal statute of limitations retroactively, but say that changing the civil law to allow for lawsuits should be OK.

Rozzi said that after the Supreme Court ruled in December that 11 names of priests redacted when the grand jury report was released to the public, it left him more uncertain of how the state’s top court would rule if asked to decide the Constitutionality of a civil window.

“I think we’re better off in the hands of the voters of Pennsylvania than in the hands of the Supreme Court,” he adding that if the court were to decide that the civil window was unconstitutional, it would be “devastating” to victims.

The only lawmaker to oppose the measures in the judiciary committee was state Rep. Paul Schemel, R-Franklin County.

He said that the move to change the statute of limitations seems to echo the kinds of “overreach” from the 1980s and 1990s that the state is now trying to correct through criminal justice reforms.

He added that even though the grand jury had called for a two-year window, it didn’t ask for the civil statute of limitations to be changed to 55 for new victims.

Rozzi said the changes are necessary because of how long it takes victims to come forward. The average age at which a victim of childhood sex abuse will come forward is 52, Rozzi said.

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Man sues N.O. archdiocese over 1969 Jesuit High sexual assault allegations

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL TV

April 8, 2019

A 64-year-old man in the state of Washington has filed suit against the New Orleans Archdiocese over previously undisclosed claims of sexual assault by a priest at Jesuit High School when he was a teenager.

The lawsuit comes four months after the release of a list of six clergy members tied to the school with credible claims of sexual abuse against them.

The plaintiff, who, as a victim of sexual assault, was not identified in court documents, alleged Friday in a court filing that he was sexually abused as a student in 1969 by Fr. Edward DeRussy, an English and Latin teacher at the school from 1969-1978.

DeRussy was named in December as one of the six priests with ties to the school who had been credibly accused of sexual assault. The six were among 19 priests tied to New Orleans with credible accusations against them.

The court documents allege that DeRussy put his hand down the plaintiff’s pants and touched his genitals multiple times during extracurricular Latin lessons.

The plaintiff reported that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression following the events.

Remembering Gary Hayes, a Catholic priest who held his church to account on abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

April 8, 2019

By David Clohessy

When I told my wife that the Rev. Gary Hayes had passed away, she quickly walked across the room, hugged me and quietly said, “I remembered him holding our babies. So much love.”

Gary, the first Catholic priest to speak openly about the sexual abuse he had suffered as a young person, passed away last week at age 66 from cancer. He will be remembered as a dogged advocate for other survivors, but those who knew him will have memories of a man who, though wounded, was more giving than most people who had been through less.

In 1993, with the help of attorney Steve Rubino, Gary filed the first-ever lawsuit charging Catholic officials with racketeering. The Rev. Joseph McGarvey and the Rev. William O’Connell repeatedly molested Gary and two other boys, “conspiring to create a sex ring of children that could be sexually abused by the two priests and other priests,” often taking the kids across state lines “for the express purpose of having forcible sexual contact” with them, the suit said.

Though we were basically neophytes at talking to the media, Gary and I organized news conferences in Camden, N.J., where he had grown up, and in Philadelphia to address the case. Facing dozens and dozens of reporters, Gary stood between his mother and me and softly uttered a line that still brings goosebumps to my skin today.

“I am here seeking justice in the courts because I could find no justice in my church,” he said.

From that day forward, Gary was a dedicated survivor-activist. With every new mean-spirited comment or move Gary endured, I remember being shocked and thinking, “If they treat one of their own so viciously, imagine how they’ll treat a survivor who is not ordained.” Long after he had settled his case, he continued to be shunned by other clergy, but he persevered with grace and determination.

At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Texas in 2002, Gary was a much-sought-after interviewee. He was blunt and biting, with no airs, affectations or posturing — just straightforward and prophetic insights that made all of the victims who attended proud to know him.

Public responds to Fargo priest going on administrative leave

FARGO (ND)
Valley News Live

April 7, 2019

By Cali Hubbard

A statement released today by the Diocese revealed that a priest in Fargo was put on administrative leave due to an ongoing investigation with a minor.

"Anything can happen anywhere", said Fargo resident Melissa Bachmeier. "I mean everyone just kind of has to watch themselves and their kids and just know that anything can happen at any moment in time."

Melissa Bachmeier is from Fargo and she grew up going to church.

"It's fun to get involved with other members of the church, to know that you feel like you belong with a group," said Bachmeier.

And like Bachmeier, Carl Selvig can relate to her. He says the church has always been a part of him.

"Loving him and loving each other and I think it's important for us all to learn how to love our neighbor," said Selvig.

Many carried out their weekly tradition of going to church on Sunday.

It wasn't that way for a few North Dakota churches including Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo, where a priest was put on administrative leave last Thursday.

Father Wenceslaus Katanga was removed from his priestly duties due to an interaction he had with a minor at the Catholic church in Fargo.

The priest had a big impact on the community as he was also a part of other churches in North Dakota.

Some members from these churches say Father Katanga isn't like this.

One Wishek woman who did not want to her name to be mentioned said, "he's a very sweet kind man. You could be having the worst day and he would go out of his way to ask how you were doing. He even helped a few in our community come out of a dark place. I've known him for at least 12 years.

Indian bishop accused of rape could face charges this week

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

April 8, 2019

The bishop accused of serially raping a nun could face criminal charges this week, as Indian police say they will ask a court to charge him with rape, evidence tampering, and menacing his accuser.

In June 2018, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus religious congregation accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandharr of sexually assaulting her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. In a 72-page complaint to police, filed June 29, the nun alleged that the bishop sexually abused her more than a dozen times over two years.

The bishop maintains his innocence. He was arrested Sept. 21, 2018 amid protests calling for a police investigation of the allegation. He was subsequently released on bail.

Police in the Indian state of Kerala now say they have enough evidence to formally charge Mulakkal, and that they will file a charging document in criminal court this week, the Wall Street Journal reported April 8.

A judge will determine whether the bishop will face formal criminal charges.

“After our extensive investigation we have come to a conclusion that what the nun alleged seems to be truthful,” police inspector general Vijay Sakhare told the Wall Street Journal.

“We have strong evidence to get the bishop prosecuted.”

Mulakkal, 55, was temporarily removed from the administration of his diocese shortly before he was arrested. The bishop claims that the nun accused him of rape as retaliation, because he had ordered an investigation into a claim that she was having an affair with a relative.

On Oct. 22, 2018, Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara, a key police witness in the case, was found dead in his room. The priest’s family alleged foul play.

Ex-Lourdes priest admits to receiving child porn, sentencing date set

GREAT FALLS (MT)
Great Falls Tribune

April 8, 2019

By Traci Rosenbaum

A former Our Lady of Lourdes priest changed his plea to guilty Monday morning on one count of receipt of child pornography.

Lothar Konrad Krauth, 81, voluntarily changed his plea to guilty without a plea agreement in place.

Krauth was first accused in November 2018 after Homeland Security Investigations Great Falls received a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip identifying a Great Falls IP address as uploading an image of a nude prepubescent male child.

United States District Judge Brian Morris questioned Krauth at Monday’s hearing to establish that Krauth understood the rights he was giving up by changing his plea and verifying that Krauth’s decision was not a result of coercion, drugs or alcohol.

“I’m here to change my plea from not guilty to guilty,” Krauth told the judge.

How are grassroots Catholics responding to the sex abuse crisis?

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 8, 2019

By Sean Reynolds and Dobie Moser

These are among the words we are hearing over and over as we facilitate “four courageous conversations” with parishioners, priests, diocesan leaders and parish staff on their reactions to the recent revelations in the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis.

When the Pennsylvania grand-jury report was published, we knew we had to fashion a way for Catholics to speak their truth aloud and to one another, in the context of reflection, community and prayer. Further, we knew we needed to find a way for these voices to reach the ears of church leaders. We developed these “courageous conversations” to provide safe forums where Catholics could come together to speak freely about the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis and to have their thoughts recorded and available for church leaders. Reflection, listening and conversation about the crisis aim to turn experience into insight, and insight into discerned, compassionate action.

In the 90-to-120 minute conversations framework we use in our work at Mustard Seed Consultants, participants first express their feelings about the crisis; then their thoughts on its roots and causes; then what they wish to see church leaders do about it; and finally, their conclusions based on what they heard in the conversations. Notes from these conversations are recorded anonymously to guarantee candor and relieve any fear of reprisal when they are shared with church leadership.

Priest Admits Sexually Abusing Girl, First Conviction For NJ Clergy Abuse Task Force

HACKENSACK (NJ)
Daily Voice

April 8 , 2019

By Jerry DeMarco

A massive investigation by New Jersey authorities into the sexual abuse of young boys by Roman Catholic priests has produced its first conviction -- by a priest who admitted abusing a young girl.

Fr. Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg admitted abusing the girl from 1990 through 1994, -- from when she was 14 until she was 17 -- while he was a priest at St. Cecelia Church in the Iselin section of Woodbridge.

The charges were the first brought by the New Jersey Clergy Abuse Task Force, which state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal created last September to investigate allegations of clergy abuse.

Ganley, in turn, pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of four years in state prison.

He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be prohibited from having any contact with the victim, as well as from having unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18, grewal said.

Ganley was assigned to Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg when he was arrested in January -- just two days after the victim called the Clergy Abuse Task Force Hotline to report him, the attorney general said.

Sentencing was scheduled for July 2.

Ganley was investigated and prosecuted by members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office assigned to the New Jersey Clergy Abuse Task Force: Assistant Prosecutor Allysa Gambarella, Detective Paul Kelley, and Detective Julissa Alvarado, Grewal said.

The attorney general formed the task force in response to the publication of a report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania outlining allegations of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests against more than 1,000 victims uncovered in a multi-year investigation there.

Task force members investigate allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy within the Catholic dioceses of New Jersey, as well as any attempted coverups.

Detectives and prosecutors from all 21 New Jersey county prosecutors’ offices and the state Division of Criminal Justice participate – using documents and subpoenas to compel testimony before grand juries, among other measures.

“Our message today is that we will move swiftly and decisively to secure justice for survivors,” Grewal said.

St. Joseph's Training School abuse: Why papal apology matters to survivor, 60 years later

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Ottawa Citizen

April 7, 2019

By Bruce Deachman

The dimly lit conference room looked like so many others — a long table with nameplates and microphones, surrounded by drab olive drapes and beige carpet.

On this particular Thursday, however, two things stood out: a painting of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus on the wall behind the head table, and the speaker whose back they appeared to be looking at: Pope Francis.

Wearing his white cassock, the Pope faced the tiered rows of cardinals, archbishops, bishops and other clergy in their respective plumage, and in under two minutes read his opening address, delivering his words in a dry monotone and barely lifting his eyes to look at his audience.

The occasion was the Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church, a four-day summit held at the Vatican in February for Roman Catholic officials to address the issue of the abuse of minors by church clergy.

“In the face of the scourge of sexual abuse by churchmen to the detriment of minors,” the Pope said, “I have decided to meet you, patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, religious superiors and leaders, so that together we might listen to the Holy Spirit and, with docility, with its guidance, hear the cry of the little ones who plead for justice.”

Can We Ever Fairly Compensate Victims of the Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal?

Patheos blog

April 8, 2019

By Hemant Mehta

In an article appearing in the latest issue of the New Yorker, Paul Elie takes a look at how victims of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal are obtaining justice. Is it enough that a priest is sent to prison? How much money is fair compensation? What happens if the abuse occurred so long ago that the statute of limitations has long passed?

He specifically looks at the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), independent of the Church, that has been tasked to dole out money to victims on behalf of various dioceses. Victims accept any money with the understanding that they will not be able to sue the Church in the future, even if the laws change (and, say, the statute of limitations is repealed).

Before going into the specifics, though, Elie talks about just how serious this scandal has become for Catholics.

Like many Catholics, I wonder whether this story will ever be over and whether things will ever be set right. Often called a crisis, the problem is more enduring and more comprehensive than that. Social scientists report that the gravest period of priestly sexual abuse was the sixties and seventies, and the problem has been in public view for the past three and a half decades. For most American Catholics, then, the fact of sexual abuse by priests and its coverup by bishops has long been an everyday reality. Priestly sexual abuse has directly harmed thousands of Catholics, spoiling their sense of sexuality, of intimacy, of trust, of faith. Indirectly, the pattern of abuse and coverup has made Catholics leery of priests and disdainful of the idea that the bishops are our “shepherds.” It has muddled questions about Church doctrine concerning sexual orientation, the nature of the priesthood, and the role of women; it has hastened the decline of Catholic schooling and the shuttering of churches…

The victims of clergy sexual abuse have had enough

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 8, 2019

The appalling current situation has driven us to speak out.

How can we keep quiet when the papal nuncio of France is the subject of three complaints of sexual assault and yet he calmly continues living his life at the nunciature? How can we keep quiet when nuns are abused or raped by priests, including within the Vatican itself, with the passive complicity of some of their superiors?

How can we keep quiet when an old priest explains on television that it is children who "spontaneously… seek affection" and says, "You have all seen a how a child comes and kisses you on the mouth…" ?

Allison Mack of Smallville Pleads Guilty in Nxivm Sex Trafficking Case

BROOKLYN (NY)
People

April 8, 2019

By KC Baker

Prosecutors have accused Mack of recruiting sex slaves for Keith Raniere, co-founder of Nxivm

Smallville actress Allison Mack has pleaded guilty to charges related to her involvement with a controversial self-help group described as having a secret society of “masters” and sexually subservient “slaves” within it, PEOPLE confirms. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York tells PEOPLE that Mack was scheduled to appear in court at 11:30 a.m. to plead guilty. The spokesman says she is pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering.

Prosecutors have accused her of recruiting sex slaves for Keith Raniere, who co-founded the controversial self-help group Nxivm and its subgroup, DOS, described as an all-female secret society in which women allegedly were forced to be sexually subservient to Raniere.

On Monday, Mack, 36, appeared in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where jury selection in her trial was set to begin.

Best known for her years-long role as a young Superman’s friend, Chloe Sullivan, on The WB’s Smallville, Mack was charged last spring with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy.

One of the group’s most prominent members, Mack faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Allison Mack pleads guilty in Nxivm sex cult case: 'I was wrong'

NEW YORK (NY)
Yahoo

April 8, 2019

By Taryn Ryder

Allison Mack, the Smallville star who has made headlines for her role in an alleged sex cult, has now pleaded guilty ahead of trial. Mack previously pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.

It appears Mack worked out a deal with prosecutors, weeks after the judge denied her attorney’s request to delay the trial so they could have more time to negotiate a plea deal. Exact details are unknown at this time; however, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment that Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering.

PRESIDENT OF FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY OF STEUBENVILLE RESIGNS

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
ChurchMilitant

April 8, 2019

By Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

Fr. Sean Sheridan steps down after months of public controversy

The embattled president of Franciscan University of Steubenville is resigning.

In an email to students sent Monday morning, Fr. Sean Sheridan announced that the university has accepted his resignation, which he submitted "[n]ot too long ago."

"As you can imagine, this was a difficult letter for me to write and deliver to you as I have great affection for the entire Franciscan Family," Sheridan wrote.

Sheridan came under fire after Church Militant reported the university's initial support for Dr. Stephen Lewis, who assigned a blasphemous and pornographic book in a graduate course during spring 2018.

Diocese responds to suit, 'steadfastly' affirms child protection policy

WHEELING (WV)
Catholic News Service

April 8, 2019

By Colleen Rowan

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is addressing a lawsuit filed by the state "with utmost seriousness," while "steadfastly affirming" the diocese's rigorous child protection standards, said the diocese's apostolic administrator, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey announced March 19 a civil suit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and Bishop Michael Bransfield, the diocese's former bishop.

He alleges the defendants violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act by failing "to disclose to consumers of its educational and recreational services that it employed priests and laity who have sexually abused children."

Pointing to 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 Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in a statement reacting to the suit said it "strongly and unconditionally rejects" Morrissey's assertion that it is not wholly committed to the protection of children.

On March 29, Lori addressed the issue in a letter to the priests, religious and laity of the statewide diocese.

"We are addressing this lawsuit appropriately and with the utmost seriousness while steadfastly affirming our ongoing commitment to the rigorous policies and practices in place to ensure the absolute protection of those young people entrusted to our care," the archbishop said.

The faithful also received a letter from the diocese March 22 stating that the diocese's Safe Environment Program employs mandatory screening, background checks and training for all employees and volunteers who work with children.

'St. Peter is where we can encounter Christ'

GENEVA (IL)
Kane County Chronicle

April 8, 2019

Fifteen years ago, Rev. Mark Campobello pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse of two girls, age 14 and 15, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva and at Aurora Central Catholic High School.

The revelations caused an uproar.

Last month, 395 Catholic members of clergy, publicly accused of childhood sexual abuse, were named in a report that highlights their Illinois service histories, allegations of abuse, history of their subsequent transfers and disciplinary by both church and authorities.

The list included 13 priests who served in Kane County, including Campobello.

In the meantime, St. Peter has worked to rebuilt trust among its parishioners.

Rev. Jonathan Bakkelund, who is now the pastor of St. Peter, said when he arrived in 2016, people spoke to him about the pain of the Campobello era.

“Folks wanted to ... share with me the hurt that the parish had gone through – and the healing,” Bakkelund said. “There had been several years of prayers and moving forward and staying together. It did cause some folks to leave.”

The list included 13 priests who served in Kane County, including Campobello. In the meantime, St. Peter has worked to rebuilt trust among its parishioners.

Rev. Jonathan Bakkelund, who is now the pastor of St. Peter, said when he arrived in 2016, people spoke to him about the pain of the Campobello era.

“Folks wanted to ... share with me the hurt that the parish had gone through – and the healing,” Bakkelund said. “There had been several years of prayers and moving forward and staying together. It did cause some folks to leave.”

Brazil begins pilot advisory project for the protection of minors

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 8, 2019

By Filipe Domingues

Brazil bishops are officially assuming a “zero tolerance” stance on sexual abuse. The church here has instituted an abuse policy that has been finalized and approved by the Vatican, and Brazil is one of three nations hosting a new pilot project for the protection of minors. Brazil’s project includes the creation of local survivor advisory panels, as recommended by the Vatican commission working on guidelines for the prevention of child sexual abuse. The goal is to assist bishops and develop church policy and best practices from the perspective of victims.

Currently the only Brazilian member of the Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors, Nelson Giovanelli Rosendo dos Santos is coordinating the project with leaders of Brazil’s national bishops’ conference. He is a consecrated layperson and one of the founders of an internationally known not-for-profit organization working on the rehabilitation of drug addicts, Fazenda da Esperança (“The Farm of Hope”). Pope Benedict XVI visited one of the organization’s 140 farms in 2007.

Speaking from his home in Guaratinguetá, in the state of São Paulo, Mr. dos Santos told America that at least half of the chemically dependent people who arrive at the program’s farms suffer from traumas related to sexual abuse, either during childhood or in adult situations of vulnerability.

Pope is close to wounded survivors, faithful in Chile, bishop says

ROME (ITALY)
Catholic News Service

April 8, 2019

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Pope Francis is aware of the suffering that abuse survivors and all Catholics in Chile have endured following the revelations of abuse and cover-up and is doing everything possible to accompany them, said the new apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Santiago.

Bishop Celestino Aos Braco of Copiapo, Chile, told journalists at the Vatican April 8 that the pope conveyed a message to the faithful in the country.

“Tell them that I am close to the Chilean people,” Bishop Aos quoted the pope as saying. The pope wants people to know that “he is working hard to give the faithful of Chile the best governance, the best possible pastoral assistance. He realizes that he is the shepherd of all the shepherds in the world and he wants the church in Chile to know that they are not only living through a difficult time, a very painful time, but also a time of action.”

Pope Francis, who chose Bishop Aos in March to lead the archdiocese temporarily after accepting the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, met with the bishop April 5 “for more than an hour.”

During the private meeting, the Spain-born bishop told journalists, he discussed the situation in the archdiocese, including the fallout of the abuse crisis.

Although there are several auxiliary bishops in Santiago, Bishop Aos said he asked the pope to name new auxiliary bishops who can help him with the governance of the archdiocese.

“The (auxiliary bishops) who are there are involved in other committees and tasks,” he explained. “That is why I find myself not only new there, but alone as well.”

Bishop Aos also met April 8 with Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston who, like Bishop Aos, is a member of the Capuchins.

As a fellow bishop who was brought in to lead a archdiocese dealing with the scandal of clergy sex abuse, Bishop Aos said he valued the U.S. cardinal’s advice and experience.

Cardinal O’Malley “told me the things he did in Boston” and the solutions they implemented, the bishop said.

Cops and Clergy

Vanishing Predators blog

April 8, 2019

Police officers and priests have a great deal in common.

Each, for example, has chosen to work in a career field imbued with enormous power and authority, with the understanding that these tools be used responsibly and always for the accomplishment of good. Practitioners in both lines of work are, generally, treated with a modicum of respect and, whether “on duty” or “off duty,” are expected to behave in a manner above reproach. And as we have witnessed far too frequently, malfeasance in either of these two professional arenas can cause incalculable harm in the community.

As a forty year member of the law enforcement profession (now retired) and a life-long Catholic, these two entities have often provided great joy and satisfaction over the course of my seventy plus years while, at other times, leaving me outraged and filled with despair. Both institutions are, of course, composed of human beings, and despite what individuals swear, affirm, vow or promise, we know they sometimes fall short.

It is at this juncture that the two professions diverge.

In cases where police officers break the law or misbehave, law enforcement leaders act swiftly and with purpose. They understand, after all, that they are guardians of a public trust, and that in order to be effective a police agency must have the confidence and cooperation of the community. A bad cop found to have violated law or policy will be terminated; he could face criminal charges; the circumstances of the event leading to his dismissal will be public; and he will never be able to work as a police officer again.

When a priest is accused of sexual abuse, though, church leaders run for cover. Yes, a fallen clergyman could be removed from his position and, depending on the recency of his offense, be criminally charged. Absent external pressure, though, the circumstances will likely remain secret and at the end of the day … unbelievably … he remains a priest. According to Canon Law, the sacrament of Holy Orders cannot be revoked and in some emergency circumstances, a laicized priest can even be called upon to perform certain priestly duties.

With specific regard to Catholic Church hierarchy, though, their response to the devastating scandal that has harmed so many innocents can only be described as shameful. In one especially egregious case in the New York Archdiocese, a diocesan priest whose despicable behavior was well known (including a secret settlement with a victim) was simply moved from parish to parish. In one case, his assignment lasted only two weeks; parishioners there, having learned of the damage he had caused, threatened to withhold donations if he was not removed.

Church Abuse Scandal Continues Unabated

NORTH ANDOVER (MA)
Valley Patriot

April 7, 2019

By Joe D’Amore

“We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low” Desmond Tutu.

God’s mercy is uniform, constant and unwaveringly applied to all who seek it. Justice, however, is a flawed mimicry of it because it is a human invention and therefore subject to discretion.
The fabric of the catholic church is torn and there’s no repair in progress. Once again after a cacophony of recent news of abuse by high ranking clergy, at the conclusion of a summit of bishops in Rome to address the issue, the Pope disappoints.

In a faux response the church announced through the Associated Press that it would issue a “ new law” creating a child protection policy that covers the internal bureaucracy at Vatican City. Perhaps, the Pope and the hierarchy missed the proverbial memo. Criminal sexual abuse of children has become institutionalized throughout the world for decades by the church as well as its coverup.

There is neither nothing new about this condition, nor are the crimes localized within the walls of Vatican City. Certainly, the application of the law directed at “ bureaucracy” provides a “ line-in-the-sand” whereby high-ranking officials are now finally at risk of being held materially accountable . Certainly, this is a novel approach.

But criminal conviction remains still the exclusive purview of civil authorities. The church’s internal authority is devoid of a genuine will to initiate comprehensive justice in its most basic forms:

State diocese names 47th priest accused of sex abuse

GREEN BAY (WI)
Associated Press

April 7, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has named another priest who it says sexually abused a minor, bringing the total to 47 priests with confirmed allegations against them.

The diocese in January disclosed 46 priests with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor over the past 112 years in its 157 parishes. Only 15 of the priests are still alive.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that the priest the diocese named on Thursday died in 2000. The diocese substantiated that he abused a minor in 1964.

Diocese leaders say they're committed to being more transparent about addressing abuse. The diocese also has set up programs to assist victims of priest abuse.

Franciscan University president resigns

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
CNA

April 8, 2019

By Ed Condon

Fr. Sean Sheridan, TOR, has resigned as president of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Fr. Sheridan informed the university’s trustees of his decision during a regular meeting of the board on Friday.

The unexpected decision comes almost exactly six years since his appointment to the role in April 2013. Although he informed the university board of trustees of his decision on April 5, he has agreed to remain in the post until a successor is found.

Fr. Sheridan said in a statement that he had made the decision “after a great deal of prayer.”

“Any university president would readily admit that all the days are long; many are great days, and some are difficult. Being a Franciscan Friar has taught me to recognize that all those long days—the great days, and even the difficult days—are blessed days and all the more so when I am among my Franciscan Family.”

Victims ‘out’ five more accused Spgfld priests

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

They are not on diocese’s alleged offenders’ list

Group blasts central IL Catholic officials on abuse

But in a twist, SNAP backs Paprocki’s plan for accused bishops

"But the real answer," group insists, "is prosecution & legal reform"

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that five more publicly accused priests were left off the Springfield diocese’s ‘accused’ list. Each spent time in central Illinois but has attracted little or no media or public attention before in the state.

In an unusual move, the group will also announce that it backs a proposal by Springfield’s bishop to set up a new national church panel that would investigate abuse allegations made against bishops. It contradicts a plan being pushed by Illinois’ top Catholic official, Cardinal Blasé Cupich ofChicago.

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

WHEN
Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 524 E. Lawrence in Springfield IL

Holy Cross leaders, Catholic community members consider effectiveness of lay review boards in combating sexual assault

SOUTH BEND (IN)
The Observer

April 8, 2019

By Claire Rafford

In January of 2002, when the Boston Globe Spotlight team released an article exposing the sexual abuse crisis in Boston parishes, the Catholic Church entered a state of deadlock. In response to the mass allegations, Church leaders met in Dallas that June and created the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The charter established several stipulations, including a key way for lay communities to check their clergies’ power: the creation of review boards.

“Article II of the charter asked that every dioceses and group form a review board, and that the majority of its members are to be laypersons not in the employment of the diocese or the religious order,” Fr. Peter Jarret, assistant provincial and vicar of the Congregation of Holy Cross, said. “So pretty much every entity — all the dioceses, religious communities which are broken up into provinces — formed review boards.”

The lay review board lives on in the Congregation of Holy Cross to this day. Its current purpose is to review allegations of sexual assault made against Holy Cross priests and brothers.

The board is mainly made up of lay people who have some expertise in law or psychology, Jarret said. The board includes a psychologist, two attorneys, one former prosecutor, an education [worker] and a mother and Holy Cross parishioner, among others.

“It’s a consultative body to the bishop — or in our case, to the provincial of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers of Holy Cross,” Jarret said. “If one of our members were to receive an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor about one of our members, we would of course inform the authorities right away and remove that person from ministry. But we would use the board to help us investigate, or they would be kind of our sounding board in terms of how to proceed.”

The board members are appointed, not elected, and serve for a six-year term. Jarret said the Holy Cross provincial, or head of the order, is also elected for a six-year term, and another three-year term if he is re-elected, so leadership often tries to coincide board member terms with the term of the provincial.

Jarret said the congregation has very specific procedures to follow when a person comes forward with an accusation against a Holy Cross clergy member.

“We would respond immediately and remove the person from active ministry,” he said. “And then if the person is currently a minor, or it happened when the person was a minor, we would notify the police, the authorities and then work with them to do an investigation. We would usually meet with the person making the allegation and listen to their story, and all that would get written up, and if there’s other people that were involved in terms of someone who witnessed it or had knowledge of it … we write all that up and we would call the review board together and we would present all that to them and they would help us think through it.”

Defrocked priest claims his problem isn’t bunga-bunga but Rosmini

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 8, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest accused of sexual liaisons with young but over-age girls reminiscent of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s infamous “bunga-bunga” parties, though the priest insists he’s innocent and claims he’s being targeted for his theological views inspired by the 19th century philosopher and spiritual writer Antonio Rosmini.

The Diocese of Modena in northern Italy, just north of Bologna, issued a statement Friday indicating that ex-Father Fernando Bellelli, 42, had been informed of the decision that day. His dismissal from the clerical state was decided, the statement said, by the pope following an investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, and “cannot be appealed and does not allow for any form of recourse.”

The statement did not provide any details of the charges against Bellelli, other than indicating “it does not include criminal charges, either canonical or civil, regarding minor persons, but fundamental aspects of the priestly life.”

“A Church penalty is always imposed in view of a greater good, both for the affected party and for the entire Christian community,” the diocese said. “Fernando Bellelli is not excommunicated; he remains in communion with the Church as a baptized brother in Christ.”

Bellelli had been the pastor in Portile, a small town of roughly 2,000 people about 40 minutes from Bologna.

According to local media reports, sometime before 2015 a group of local parents and parishioners had reported Bellelli to the police, accusing him of inappropriate relationships with young girls who were, nevertheless, adults, including what they described as “psychological submission.”

A police investigation, according to those reports, was closed without any charges being filed.

Nevertheless, in 2014 Bellelli was forced to resign as the pastor when banners began appearing around his church saying, “This is the parish of bunga-bunga and of love.”

In Italian context, the term bunga-bunga evokes memories of a scandal that exploded around Berlusconi in 2010, when a 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer and alleged prostitute named Karima El Mahroug - known among her Italian friends as Ruby Rubacouri, or “Ruby the Heartstealer” - claimed she had been paid $10,000 by Berlusconi, a real estate and media tycoon in addition to his political career, to give private parties at his villas.

Among other things, El Mahroug claimed that she and other young girls would perform traditional African dances in the nude known as bunga-bunga with Berlusconi, who was 74 at the time.

Victims of child sexual abuse lose again

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

April 8, 2019

In state after state, the Catholic Church has fought a rearguard action to shield itself from lawsuits by adults abused as children at the hands of priests who were protected from repercussions by the church hierarchy over the course of decades. That effort has been more successful in some states than others.

In Maryland, it has worked splendidly, thanks to lawmakers so inattentive that they failed to notice a provision in their own legislation proffered by slick lobbyists working for the Church.

A Bill enacted two years ago allowed adults who were childhood victims of sexual abuse to file lawsuits seeking restitution, and a measure of justice, until the age of 38; previously, the cut-off was age 25. That seemed like progress, although it applied prospectively, meaning only for people victimised after the law took effect on October 1, 2017.

However, the Bill’s own sponsors apparently failed to realise that, at the very end of the four-page Bill, legalistic language would bar any further extensions — including one that may open a brief time window in the future allowing victims of any age to sue their abusers or those who protected their abusers.

Now legislators in Annapolis are shocked to see that the Church’s lobbyists were so effective in doing what lobbyists do: limiting risk and advancing their clients’ interests.

“I was working with [the Church and its representatives] in good faith,” the Bill’s sponsor, delegate C.T. Wilson, told The Washington Post. “They were behind the scenes, crafting language that protects them for ever.”

Wilson, who was abused as a child by an adoptive father, sounds aggrieved. But how could he have failed to check the meaning of the “statute of repose” — an ironclad bar to future changes — added to legislation offered in his own name?

In fairness, it is possible that even without the Church’s fancy legal footwork, Maryland courts would disallow any such “look-back” windows that would enable victims to file suits for abuse they suffered many years or decades earlier.

Courts in quite a few states prohibit retroactive changes to statutes of limitations.

And although about a dozen states have enacted such measures, usually in response to the continuing scandal involving the Church, in several cases they have done so with asterisks — for example, by allowing lawsuits targeting abusers themselves, but not organisations such as the Catholic Church or the Boy Scouts of America, which has had its own similar problems, that supervised or even shielded abusers.

The Attorney-General’s office in Maryland has said the 2017 law, in addition to the state’s own constitution, probably means lawmakers are barred from enacting any “look-back” window for abuse victims.

Undeterred, the House of Delegates in Annapolis passed just such a Bill last month; the state Senate killed it.

All criminal law applies only going forward, as a matter of constitutional fairness and logic.

Victims blast Joliet bishop on abuse

JOLIET (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Two more accused clerics missing from his list, group says

They’re also not in recent “Anderson Report” on abuse in Illinois

SNAP urges the inclusion of those who prey on ‘vulnerable adults’

It begs those who “saw, suspected or suffered abuse” to speak up

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will disclose the names of and information about two publicly accused Joliet area predator priests who allegedly assaulted others but are not on
--the official Joliet diocese list of ‘’credibly accused’ clerics, nor in
--the recently-issued “Anderson Report” on clergy abuse in Illinois.

They will also prod northern Illinois Catholic officials to
--add these two and other names to their list of “credibly accused” priests,
--expand their lists to include clerics who hurt ‘vulnerable adults,’ and
--blast them for their secrecy about abuse and cover ups.

They’ll also urge those who “saw suspected or suffered” abuse to “call police and get help.”

WHEN
Monday, April 8 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the Joliet Catholic diocese HQ/chancery office, 16555 Weber Rd, (corner of Division St.) in Crest Hill, IL

Where is Father McGrath?

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

April 8, 2019

By Anna Kim, Elyssa Cherney and Alicia Fabbre

In the 15 months since the Rev. Richard McGrath abruptly retired from Providence Catholic High School amid a probe into “potentially inappropriate material” on his phone, the priest was the subject of two criminal investigations, accused in a lawsuit by a former student of sexual abuse and deemed AWOL from his religious order.

Authorities have now closed both investigations without filing any criminal charges against McGrath, who led the New Lenox school for three decades until a student reported that she saw what she thought was an image of a naked boy on the priest’s phone.

Yet McGrath is still considered “illegitimately absent” from his order, its leaders said, and his current whereabouts are unclear.

New Lenox police said they ended the cellphone investigation after McGrath “steadfastly refused” to turn over the device. In the other criminal probe, involving the sexual abuse claims by a former student, Will County prosecutors said there was “insufficient evidence to bring charges.” But a civil case stemming from the same claim is still pending.

Catholic Leaders in Japan to Conduct Survey on Sexual Abuse

TOKYO (JAPAN)
The New York Times

April 8, 2019

By Makiko Inoue and Mike Ives

Catholic bishops in Japan plan to conduct a nationwide survey on sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy, church officials said Monday.

Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, the leader of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, shared the plan on Sunday during a gathering in Tokyo where a man spoke of being abused as a young boy at the hands of a German priest.

“Japan’s Catholic Church is small, and we are not sure what we can do” about child sexual abuse, Archbishop Takami said by telephone on Monday. “But we think we have to pay attention to this issue.”

According to The Mainichi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, bishops from around the country agreed last week to carry out the survey in all 16 dioceses. The survey method has not yet been decided.

What Do the Church’s Victims Deserve?

NEW YORK (NY)
The New Yorker

April 8, 2019

By Paul Elie

Some time before Brooklyn was incorporated into New York City, in 1898, it was dubbed the City of Churches. Houses of worship remain thick on the ground in the borough. In the part of Brooklyn where I live, churches outnumber grocery stores, pet shops, and nail salons together. There’s the Institutional Church of God in Christ (red brick, stained glass) and the Revelation Church of God in Christ (a converted movie theatre); the French-Speaking Baptist Church, founded by Haitian immigrants; the Zion Shiloh Baptist Church, whose members come from all over the metropolitan area, parking their cars in a long row; and the Ileri Oluwa Parish, where congregants of Nigerian descent worship shoeless and in long white robes. And there are the Catholic places. Queen of All Saints Church and Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School face each other across Lafayette Avenue. Up the hill is the walled-in motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy; down the hill is the old church of St. Boniface, now the home of a community called the Brooklyn Oratory, where I go to Mass on Sundays.

A few blocks away is St. Lucy–​St. Patrick Church, on Willoughby Avenue. Over six years, beginning in 2003, Angelo Serrano, a religious educator at the church, sexually abused four boys. He raped or molested them in the church’s offices and at his apartment, in a brick schoolhouse converted to low-cost housing by Catholic Charities. Eventually, one of the boys told his mother, who told the police. In 2011, Serrano was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. The victims then sued the Diocese of Brooklyn; in a settlement reached last September, they were awarded $27.5 million.

My wife and I have been raising three sons in this part of Brooklyn, and the morning that the news about the settlement broke I cycled up Willoughby Avenue toward the church. St. Lucy–St. Patrick’s is one of the oldest Catholic churches in the borough, dating from 1843, and it has a haunted, left-behind aspect. On the edge of a row of restored brownstones, it is notably unkempt: pink paint is peeling from the doors, and the iron fence along the sidewalk is broken in places.

When I arrived, a correspondent from “Noticias Univision 41,” a Spanish-language news program, was standing nearby. A white car rolled up, the flag of Puerto Rico dangling from the rearview mirror, and a large middle-aged man stepped out, wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. “If I had my way,” the man hollered, “he would get raped every night at that prison where he is, for what he done.”

I cycled on, unsure how to respond. The situation was straight out of a college course on justice. A legal settlement had expressed an idea of justice as financial restitution; my neighbor had expressed an idea of justice as physical retribution. Neither felt like a way forward.

McHenry County church, diocesan officials weigh in on Catholic Church clergy abuse

CRYSTAL LAKE (IL)
Northwest Herald

April 5, 2019

By Katie Smith

Local, diocesan officials weigh in on Catholic Church clergy abuse

Parishioners at St. Mary Catholic Church in McHenry are looking forward to celebrating the church’s 125th anniversary later this year.

Hanging over their festivities, however, is a reminder that their church, and several others in McHenry County, once housed leaders who faced accusations of abuse.

In the wake of a sweeping report that revealed the names of 395 Catholic church members accused of child sexual abuse, some Catholic leaders and residents in McHenry County are wrestling with the importance of airing out the Catholic Church’s past and moving beyond decades-old allegations. Included in the report where clergy members who worked at St. Mary Catholic Church in McHenry, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodstock, St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, St. John the Baptist in Johnsburg and Marion Central Catholic High School in Woodstock. The majority of accusations occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. In two of the six cases tied to McHenry County, allegations did not surface until years after the accused clergy members died.

Aly Raisman's New Aerie Collection Will Benefit the Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Elle

April 4, 2019

By Nerisha Penrose

On January 19, 2018, Aly Raisman's life changed forever. She came face to face with disgraced former gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, to testify as one of the many women who endured sexual abuse from Nassar for years. Raisman has since become an #AerieReal Role Model, using her platform to continue the fight against child sexual abuse.

Man who told Catholic Church he was sexually abused says he was brushed aside

NEW JERSEY
North Jersey Record

April 4, 2019

By Deena Yellin

When Johnrocco Sibilia finally broke a 29-year silence about the priest who he said sexually abused him when he was a teenager, he said he hoped to ease his pain and extinguish the demons that tortured him for years.

Instead, he said he was thrown into a labyrinth of frustration that left him wondering if opening up about his past was a mistake.

At first, he said he was hopeful, moved by Cardinal Joseph Tobin's impassioned speeches apologizing for the sins of the church, and urging victims to step forward.

But when he approached the Archdiocese of Newark, he said, each person to whom he revealed his terrible secret sent him to someone else or brushed him aside.

April 7, 2019

Accused priest cleared of sex abuse, returns to Northwest Side parish

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun-Times

A[ril 7, 2019

By Mitch Dudek

A Catholic priest who was investigated for sexual misconduct against a minor but ultimately cleared of wrongdoing returned to ministry this weekend at his Northwest Side parish after a full-throated endorsement from Cardinal Blase Cupich.

“The important thing is that they know it was a false accusation, that nothing inappropriate occurred,” Pastor Gary Graf said Sunday before visiting the three churches that make up his North Side San Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio Parish.

The parish consists of St. Philomena and Maternity BVM in the Hermosa neighborhood and St. Francis Assisi in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

In a letter to parishioners that was also posted on the Chicago Archdiocese website, Cupich said while church policy calls for allegations to be shared with police, it also calls for church officials to restore a priest’s name when allegations are determined to be unfounded.

“This, too, is a matter of justice. Therefore, both out of regard for Father Graf and all our priests, I am resolved to see that Father Graf’s good name is restored,” Cupich said in the letter.

Graf said he was eager to return to the job after being sidelined for nearly eight months.

“I’m thrilled that we’re at this moment in the history of the church — I think other good priests are also — and it means there are going to be some false accusations. It’s going to happen. But when a priest is found not responsible of any wrongdoing he’ll be returned back to ministry like I am today and those who are not, they need to be removed from ministry and they need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he said.

“It took much more time than I ever imagined, but it’s important that these investigations happen,” Graf said.

Graf was removed in August from the ministry — just weeks after taking over the parish — while authorities investigated an allegation that a 17-year-old boy received a phone call from a church secretary stating that Graf found him attractive. The boy told investigators Graf had previously touched his shoulders and back.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services found the allegations “unfounded,” Associated Press reported.

An Archdiocese investigation found “there was insufficient reason to suspect that Father Graf had committed sexual abuse of a minor.”

And in January Graf was found not guilty by a Cook County judge in a criminal bench trial stemming from the allegations.

Five more Catholic priests with ties to Springfield diocese accused by SNAP

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Journal Register

April 7, 2019

By Steven Spearie

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) disclosed the names of five more publicly accused abusive priests who spent time in the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese but are not on the official diocesan ‘accused’ list Sunday.

Members of SNAP protested outside of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception urging Bishop Thomas Paprocki to add the names.

Rev. Noel Shaughnessy, Rev. Thomas Gardner and Rev. Thomas McShane all ministered in the diocese, which covers 28 counties in central Illinois.

Another priest, Rev. Scott Kallal, is a Jerseyville native and a member of the Rome-based Apostles of the Interior Life order.

Kallal didn’t officially serve in the Springfield diocese. Kallal was sent to go to trial this month on two felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, but it has been delayed.

Rev. Francis Benham, who served in the Columbus, Ohio diocese, lived in Lincoln, which is in the Peoria diocese.

Questions on conflict of interest in abuse inquiry 'shut down'

AUCKLAND (NZ)
Radio New Zealand

April 7, 2019

By Michael Hall

The government's historical abuse inquiry has been accused of shutting down questions on potential conflicts of interest and condemned as unsafe for survivors, with one senior official being described as "entirely unfit for purpose".

Dr Christopher Longhurst, an abuse survivor, made his comments after being invited to a meeting in Wellington to give expert input into the work of Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions.

The 11 March meeting was attended by the inquiry's chairman, Sir Anand Satyanand, and its four commissioners, as well as another abuse survivor and survivor advocates.

However, Dr Longhurst said he was abruptly "shut down" when he asked questions about a potential conflict of interest of commissioners who had religious affiliations.

Dr Longhurst said when Sir Anand and commissioner Andrew Erueti disclosed they were Catholic, Sir Anand was further asked if he had personal relationships with senior Catholic clergy and if he had talked to church officials about the commission's work.

He said commissioner Judge Coral Shaw then intervened and accused Dr Longhurst of "personalising" the discussion.

"This is not the time to make this into an interrogation, if you don't mind," she told him.

Dr Erueti then said he felt "uncomfortable" with the questions.

Dr Longhurst, a survivor of clerical sex abuse suffered in Hastings as a schoolboy, told RNZ he had attempted to ask legitimate questions and raise concerns about how the commission intended to deal with what seemed like a clear conflict of interest.

A Secret Database of Child Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
The Atlantic

March 25, 2019

By Douglas Quenqua

In March 1997, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses, sent a letter to each of its 10,883 U.S. congregations, and to many more congregations worldwide. The organization was concerned about the legal risk posed by possible child molesters within its ranks. The letter laid out instructions on how to deal with a known predator: Write a detailed report answering 12 questions—Was this a onetime occurrence, or did the accused have a history of child molestation? How is the accused viewed within the community? Does anyone else know about the abuse?—and mail it to Watchtower’s headquarters in a special blue envelope. Keep a copy of the report in your congregation’s confidential file, the instructions continued, and do not share it with anyone.

Thus did the Jehovah’s Witnesses build what might be the world’s largest database of undocumented child molesters: at least two decades’ worth of names and addresses—likely numbering in the tens of thousands—and detailed acts of alleged abuse, most of which have never been shared with law enforcement, all scanned and searchable in a Microsoft SharePoint file. In recent decades, much of the world’s attention to allegations of abuse has focused on the Catholic Church and other religious groups. Less notice has been paid to the abuse among the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian sect with more than 8.5 million members. Yet all this time, Watchtower has refused to comply with multiple court orders to release the information contained in its database and has paid millions of dollars over the years to keep it secret, even from the survivors whose stories are contained within.

That effort has been remarkably successful—until recently.

A white Priority Mail box filled with manila envelopes sits on the floor of Mark O’Donnell’s wood-paneled home office, on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. Mark, 51, is the owner of an exercise-equipment repair business and a longtime Jehovah’s Witness who quietly left the religion in late 2013. Soon after, he became known to ex–Jehovah’s Witnesses as John Redwood, an activist and a blogger who reports on the various controversies, including cases of child abuse, surrounding Watchtower. (Recently, he has begun using his own name.)

When I first met Mark, in May of last year, he appeared at the front door of his modest home in the same outfit he nearly always wears: khaki cargo shorts, a short-sleeved shirt, white sneakers, and sweat socks pulled up over his calves. He invited me into his densely furnished office, where a fan barely dispelled the wafting smell of cat food. He pulled an envelope from the Priority Mail box and passed me its contents, a mixture of typed and handwritten letters discussing various sins allegedly committed by members of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Massachusetts. All the letters in the box had been stolen by an anonymous source inside the religion and shared with Mark. The sins described in the letters ranged from the mundane—smoking pot, marital infidelity, drunkenness—to the horrifying. Slowly, over the past couple of years, Mark has been leaking the most damning contents of the box, much of which is still secret.

Mark’s eyebrows are permanently arched, and when he makes an important point, he peers out above his rimless glasses, eyes widened, which lends him a conspiratorial air.

“Start with these,” he said.

Historical child sex abuse: ’If my mum knew what happened to me, she wouldn’t believe Pell’

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
News.com.AU

April 7, 2019

The sentencing of Cardinal George Pell garnered mixed reactions last month, as the convicted child sex offender was handed a six-year prison sentence for his horrific child sex crimes.

Some celebrated. Others were outraged.

But for one man, who wishes to remain anonymous, the case hit much too close to home.

In a news.com.au exclusive, he shares his harrowing story.

***
It’s been a tough few months for those of us sexually abused as kids.

The final dark moments of George Pell’s life as a free man were unmissable; plastered across newspapers, computer screens and TVs.

Watching Pell’s sentencing was quite something.

The way he abused those boys was similar to my own experiences. It was molestation betrothed with power.

Paedophilia is a funny word because in the minds of the public it can be both a verb and a noun. An act as well as the name of a desire. I believe Pell’s lust — like my own abuser’s — was for power, not little boys.

In short, Pell is a paedophile in that he sexually abused children, but I doubt he is a paedophile in the sense of maintaining sexual desire for children.

Locals welcome new Washington archbishop as much-needed ‘new face’

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

April 7, 2019

By Rhina Guidos

There were no smokestacks, nor surprises in Washington with the appointment of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory as the new head of the Archdiocese of Washington, an announcement that had been leaked days before it became official April 4.

Rumors about his appointment made it to the local pages of the city’s main newspaper, The Washington Post, March 31 and though it was no secret, it was still welcome news in a region looking for a new path forward after months of revelations of decades-old sex abuse allegations involving its past archbishop, former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, and questions about what Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, his successor, knew about them.

“There are a lot of wounded and angry Catholics here who are looking for episcopal leadership that is honest and humble. Archbishop Gregory is known for being a pastor, someone who can build bridges,” said John Gehring, Catholic program director for the Washington-based nonprofit Faith in Public Life.

“That’s a good combination for a person expected to come and navigate an archdiocese that, under the best of circumstances, is challenging but is really filled with a lot of raw emotions right now, given everything that’s happened here.”

Washington Catholics like Gehring have been reeling since last year when the archdiocese made public past accusations that McCarrick, who was archbishop of Washington from 2000 until 2006, had molested minors and possibly abused seminarians at various times and places during his 60 years as a priest. He has always proclaimed his innocence. The Vatican stripped McCarrick of his clerical status Feb. 16.

“Those of us who knew (then) Cardinal McCarrick, for example, or were involved with him in social justice efforts … I was just gut-punched finding that out then,” said Gehring, recalling the developments of the past few months. “This is an archdiocese in real need of healing after the abuse crisis hit here in a very personal way.”

Chile: Presentan mapa de abuso sexual eclesiástico

[Chile: Survivors network presents map of clergy sexual abuse]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
AP

April 6, 2019

By Patricia Luna

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile presentó el sábado un mapa que detalla, ubica, contextualiza, sistematiza y caracteriza la lacra de los abusos sexuales y de conciencia que se vive en el seno de la Iglesia católica chilena. La iniciativa, a título totalmente privado por parte de la organización y financiado por las propias víctima en un servidor seguro contra posibles hackeos, recoge hasta el momento 230 casos de víctimas y jerarquiza a las personas implicadas, facilitando y concentrado el goteo de información que se encontraba disperso hasta ahora. El mapa será actualizado cada semana.

Víctimas de abuso eclesiástico presentarán "Mapa chileno de los delitos" cometidos por religiosos

[Survivors to present map of Chilean clergy abuse cases]

CHILE
El Mostrador

April 5, 2019

La presentación se realizará el sábado 6 de abril a las 18:30 en el auditorio del Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos.

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico presentará este sábado el Mapa Chileno de los delitos de abuso sexual y de conciencia cometidos por integrantes de la iglesia católica chilena. El mapa es, según sus creadores, una "muestra pequeña e imperfecta de la enorme cantidad de crímenes que siguen silenciados por parte de las autoridades" de la iglesia en el país.

Scicluna por abusos: Mayoría de víctimas son hombres y muchos de los últimos casos son de Chile

[Scicluna talks about his abuse inquiry: Most victims are men and many of the latter cases are from Chile]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 5, 2019

By Sebastián Asencio

El secretario adjunto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe y arzobispo de Malta, Charles Scicluna, se refirió este viernes a la actual situación de los casos de abusos por parte de la Iglesia en Chile, haciendo un llamado a mantener la valentía y esperanza para erradicar dichas irregularidades de la institución.

Violación en La Catedral: Tito Rivera asegura que demanda por 350 millones es una "suma exagerada"

[Rape in the Cathedral: Tito Rivera says that demand for 350 million pesos is an "exaggerated sum"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 6, 2019

By Jorge Molina Sanhueza

Patrocinado por el exauditor del Ejército durante la dictadura militar, Samuel Correa Meléndez, el exsacerdote acusado de violar a un hombre en una de las habitaciones del principal templo religioso, respondió al libelo civil que incluye al Arzobispado, presentado por la víctima. En su escrito ante la ministra de fuero Maritza Villadangos, asegura que la cifra solicitada como indemnización "excede con creces cualquiera otra otorgada por daño moral por cualquier tribunal en casos en los que incluso existen víctimas fatales.

El sacerdote Tito Rivera, acusado de drogar y violar a un hombre en una de las habitaciones de La Catedral, en 2015, reapareció. Lo hizo a través de un escrito presentado por su abogado Samuel Correa Meléndez, contestando así la demanda por indemnización de perjuicios de 350 millones de pesos, ingresada en su contra por la víctima y que incluye como responsable solidario al Arzobispado de Santiago.

Sacerdote penquista denuncia que hombre le pidió dinero a cambio de no revelar abusos en la Iglesia

[Penquista priest accuses man of asking for money to keep abuse claims quiet]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 4, 2019

By Nicolás Parra and Fabián Polanco

Una denuncia por extorsión o chantaje investiga la Fiscalía de Concepción tras la denuncia de un sacerdote quien asegura que un hombre se le acercó, exigiéndole dinero a cambio de no entregar a la justicia y a la Iglesia antecedentes sobre los abusos sexuales de que habría sido víctima hace 37 años.

Scicluna asegura que su informe no será entregado a la fiscalía

[Scicluna says he does not think Pope will share Chilean testimonies with prosecutors]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 4, 2019

By S. Rodríguez and MJ Navarrete

El arzobispo de Malta explicó que los testimonios fueron dirigidos al Papa y cree que él respetará esa voluntad.

“La documentación y testimonios que yo recibí de tantas personas que me entregaron su confianza en Chile -en la segunda misión en particular- respondía a que la información iba a ser dirigida directamente al Santo Padre. Esta era la intención y deseo de las personas con las que nosotros nos encontramos en Chile. Yo consigné toda la información al Papa y estoy convencido de que él respetará la voluntad de estas personas, que tuvieron fe en él”, afirmó Charles Scicluna, arzobispo de Malta, en una entrevista con el periódico Encuentro, del Arzobispado de Santiago.

Administrador apostólico de Santiago tras encuentro con el Papa Francisco: “Me pidió que les manifestara su cariño y cercanía a ustedes”

[Apostolic Administrator of Santiago after meeting with Pope Francis: "He asked me to show his affection and closeness to you"]

Sebastián Rivas

CHILE
La Tercera

April 6, 2019

By Sebastián Rivas

Celestino Aós grabó un video desde Asís, donde visitó la tumba de San Francisco, y aseguró que "queremos vivir este tiempo imitando el estilo" del santo italiano.

“Paz y bien desde Asís, junto a la tumba de San Francisco”. Así comienza la declaración del administrador apostólico de Santiago, monseñor Celestino Aós, enviada este sábado desde Asís, donde se encontraba visitando el lugar donde descansan los restos del santo italiano, luego de haberse reunido ayer viernes con el Papa Francisco.

ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF SPRINGFIELD-CAPE GIRARDEAU RELEASES SEXUAL ABUSE FINANCIAL REPORT

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
KTTS Radio

April 6, 2019

By Nathaniel Polley

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cape Girardeau and Springfield has announced in a letter that details the financial expenditure’s of the diocese in connection to sexual abuse over its 64 year history.

The Church has spent a total of 700,000 dollars over the last 30 years in connection to sex abuse claims. Of that, 70,000 has gone to victim support, 450,000 to settlement, and 189,000 to legal fees. None of the money spent came from local churches.

The letter names 16 diocesan priests who were accused of abusing minors over the 64 years of the diocese’s existence.

According to the bishop’s letter, none of these abuses involve anyone in current ministry and all but three occurred before 1990. The internal investigation was launched by the diocese less than a month after the Pennsylvania scandal.

Diocese has policy to protect children

FLORENCE (SC)
Morning News

April 7, 2019

On March 29, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston released its list of priests with credible allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse of minors. Now, I would like to address what the diocese has been doing for 25 years to protect children.

The diocese has had a policy on how to address allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse against children by church personnel since 1994. We were one of the first dioceses in the country to have such a policy. That policy was updated in 2003, after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued its original Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and its Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons (revised in 2011 and most recently in 2018). We updated our policy again in 2012.

According to our policy, when the diocese receives an allegation, we direct the claimant to report to civil authorities immediately and then we, too, make a report to law enforcement. We offer access to pastoral resources, including a counseling referral, via our victim assistance coordinator.

When a priest, deacon, religious or layperson is accused of sexual misconduct against a minor, he/she is immediately placed on temporary administrative leave. If the accused is a priest, he cannot function as a priest. An investigation commences by law enforcement authorities, and to the extent it can be done without violating the prohibition against interfering with a law enforcement investigation, an independent investigator is engaged by the diocese.

After the investigation is completed, the case goes before the independent Sexual Abuse Advisory Board. The Board makes a recommendation to me as to the credibility of the allegation. If the allegation is deemed not credible, the religious or lay person can return to ministry. If the allegation is deemed credible, I will move to permanently remove the person from his/her ministry/position and apply any additional sanctions I deem appropriate.

Reno diocese identifies 12 ‘credibly accused’ former priests

RENO (NV)
Associated Press

April 7, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Reno has released the names of 12 former priests it has determined have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of minors.

The diocese on Friday released a statement listing 11 individuals who are now dead and one still living former priest who was removed from the ministry 45 years ago for abusing minors.

Bishop Randolph Calvo called for a review of clergy to help identify the abusive former priests.

The diocese said anyone who has been abused by clergy, a church employee or volunteer is encouraged to call the police and that the diocese offers assistance to abuse victims.

According to the diocese, a review board determined the credibility of the accusations by weighing corroborating evidence, criminal prosecution or an admission of guilt.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin reveals paedophile priests cannot identify new victims because they abused so many

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Mirror

April 7, 2019

By Lynne Kelleher

The Archbishop of Dublin has told of his shock at finding serial paedophile priests are unable to conclusively identify new cases – because they had so many victims.

Dr Diarmuid Martin said some serial offenders could not recall the names of all their victims which in some instances numbered more than 100.

He makes the disturbing revelation in an RTE documentary detailing how the Vatican came to exert control over almost every aspect of Irish life since the foundation of the state.

Former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell looks at how the Catholic Church wielded so much power over the State for more than a century.

Dr Martin talks frankly about the scale of abuse expressing his deep concern that paedophile priests can often be unsure if they abused a victim or not when a new case comes to light.

He said: “Any organisation has to ask how is it that at a particular time there was large number of serial paedophiles.

Former Glouster priest appeals conviction on sexual battery charges

ATHENS (GA)
Athens Messenger

April 7, 2019

By Steve Robb

A former Glouster priest is claiming he was coerced into pleading guilty to three counts of sexual battery and argues that the 12-year sentence he received is excessive.

Henry Foxhoven, 45, who was a priest of Holy Cross Church in Glouster, filed notice this week that he is appealing his conviction to the 4th District Court of Appeals. He missed the normal 30-day deadline for filing an appeal, but has asked the court to allow him to file a delayed appeal, claiming his trial attorney failed to file a timely notice of appeal.

Foxhoven pleaded guilty last November in Athens County Common Pleas Court to three counts of sexual battery. He was accused of being sexually involved with an underaged parishioner who became pregnant. Foxhoven pleaded guilty to a bill of information, rather than have the case go to a grand jury for indictment.

As part of the appeal, Foxhaven claims he had ineffective assistance of counsel.

“...Defense counsel coerced and induced a guilty plea from Mr. Foxhoven by threatening him with 20 years if he goes to trial for a 3rd degree felony of sexual battery that only carries 1 to 5 years maximum penalty,” the appeal brief argues.

Although he pleaded guilty to three counts which resolved the case, Foxhoven had initially been charged in Athens County Municipal Court with eight counts of sexual battery involving the same girl. If the case had been taken to a grand jury, it’s conceivable he could have been indicted on more than three counts.

Foxhoven was sentenced to four years in prison on each of the three counts, and Common Pleas Judge Patrick Lang ordered the sentences be served consecutively for a total of 12 years.

Chicago priest reinstated after being cleared after sexual wrongdoing investigation

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN TV News

April 7, 2019

By Dina Bair

A Chicago priest who was accused of sexual wrongdoing was reinstated at his parish after being cleared of the allegations. In the wake of the sex abuse scandal, the Catholic Church acted swiftly, but this time, the accused was an innocent man.

It was a happy homecoming Saturday for the Rev. Gary Graf at San Jose Luis Sanchez Del Rio Parish in the Hermosa neighborhood. His parishioners believed in him all along, but he believed in the process of protecting children, and for him, that meant being removed from ministry for nine months.

A church employee, who was a minor, accused him of inappropriate behavior in July.

The teenager said he once received a phone call from the church secretary saying Graf was attracted to him. He said Graf would also rub his shoulders and once offered him a free car. The teen said he immediately told his parents.

According to a policy for the protection of minors, Cardinal Blase Cupich removed Graf from his pastoral duties, and immediately reported to local authorities. The Department of Children and Family Services investigated and found the allegation was not credible.

Chicago police launched their own investigation and the case went to trial where a judge ruled Graf not guilty. Then, the church conducted its own independent review which revealed no evidence of sexual abuse of a minor.

The season of Lent is a time of sacrifice for 40 days in the Catholic Church, but Graf has spent the last nine months in silence.

"It's a new day, and these kinds of investigations have to take place. If a priest or minister is found not guilty, then he goes back to ministry. And if not, then the priest needs not to go back and be confronted by the law, and to the full extent of the law to be prosecuted," Graf said. "We have to route out anyone who is going to do any harm to the most significant important members of the church which are our children."

Erie Catholic diocese will open files to priest sex abuse victims

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

April 7, 2019

By Deb Erdley

The Catholic Diocese of Erie, which recently settled a $2 million clergy sexual abuse complaint, is making “relevant” internal files available to abuse survivors for the asking, church officials said.

The policy has been in effect since the diocese launched its compensation fund for abuse survivors in February, said Pittsburgh attorney Mark Rush of K&L Gates, legal counsel to the Erie diocese.

“They can simply request to review the file, and it will be made available to them. Bishop (Lawrence) Persico has been fully on board in asking us to be as transparent as possible,” Rush said.

Survivors need not be participating in the diocese compensation fund program to access files regarding their abuser, he said. Those files will include any other complaints against the alleged abuser, but will stop short of identifying victims.

“We want to be mindful of the privacy rights of other victims,” Rush said.

The so-called secret archives, church personnel files that detail abuse allegations and the church’s response to them, were kept under lock and key for decades. Subpoenas that compelled Pennsylvania bishops to release the files were a critical factor in building the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that ultimately detailed allegations of abuse against 301 priests spanning seven decades.

Such files can be key to launching discovery in civil lawsuits, something church leaders across the state hoped to head off when they announced the launch of compensation funds for abuse survivors last fall. Those who accept compensation must sign away their right to sue.

Richard Serbin, an Altoona lawyer who has represented survivors in legal actions against every Pennsylvania diocese, said he was surprised when he received a letter notifying him of the offer to access the Erie diocese records.

“They are the first diocese to my knowledge to do this,” Serbin said. “I give Bishop Persico credit for taking this step to be more transparent.”

At least one person skeptical of the offer is Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston lawyer who settled the $2 million abuse case with the Erie diocese in late March and represented multiple survivors in the 2002 Boston Archdiocese abuse scandal.

“History has proven the Catholic Church cannot practice transparency and appropriate self-policing, so one has to be skeptical of their completeness with regard to the release of files. What the dioceses should be doing is releasing all files, including those of the priests and those complicit in covering up for them. Otherwise, there is serious concern files will be sanitized,” Garabedian said.

April 6, 2019

Why this woman is going public for the first time about how a Nashville priest abused her 60 years ago

NASHVILLE (TN)
The Tennessean

April 6, 2019

By Holly Meyer and Anita Wadhwani

Kathleen Lisle cannot forget the summer day a priest at Christ the King Catholic Church called her childhood home, asking her to help fold bulletins for Mass.

She hesitated to go.

Lisle was 12. She did not want to be alone with the Rev. James Arthur Rudisill, but, in the 1950s, explaining that to her mother seemed impossible. A frequent guest at the Nashville home where she grew up with 10 brothers and five sisters, Rudisill sometimes sat next to Lisle, rubbing her leg while playing chess.

At her mother’s urging, Lisle walked the few blocks to the parish church.

"He was kind of touchy while we were doing that and then afterwards he said, 'I need to go over to the school,' " said Lisle, who asked to be identified by her maiden name. "I was afraid to go, but you heard back then, 'Do whatever father tells you to do.' So I went.

"He took me over to the gym and up on the stage to the closet on the right hand side and that’s where he molested me."

It would take Lisle about 40 years to find the courage to report the sexual abuse to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville. Nearly a quarter of a century would pass before the diocese would make the allegation against Rudisill public.

The Nashville diocese is one of about 60 across the nation to release the names of accused priests they have long kept secret — in some cases for decades.

The names have rolled out in news releases and newsletters since a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation in August laid out in detail the "horrifying scale" of sexual abuse perpetrated by 300 priests on more than 1,000 identified victims spanning nearly eight decades.

Rudisill, who died in 2006, is among the 21 clergy the Nashville diocese has named since November.

Father Gary Hayes Obituary

MILLVILLE (NJ)
Daily Journal

April 6, 2019

Father Gary Hayes, 66, of Millville, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 4, 2019, surrounded by his loving family.

Gary was a graduate of Sacred Heart High School, class of 1971. After high school, Gary attended St. Bernard's Seminary School in Rochester, NY where he obtained his Master's Degree in Theology. Gary was ordained a priest in 1990 and worked for the Diocese of Owensboro, KY for many years.

In his spare time, Gary loved cooking, reading, Survivor, game shows, traveling and spending time with his family and friends as well as working within numerous church groups. Gary is also a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus.

Gary was predeceased by his father, Rutherford B. Hayes and his mother, Alfia M. Hayes.

He is survived by his brother; Russell (Kathleen), brother; Bruce (Toni), brother; Robert, sister; Patricia (Paul) and brother; Richard (Dee), his Aunt; Josephine Lolli, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

Family and friends will be received on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, from 6pm to 8pm, with a service at 7:30pm, at the DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home, 2755 S. Lincoln Ave., Vineland, NJ 08361. Memories, thoughts and prayers may be extended to the family by visiting dlfuneral.com.

The abuse crisis as prophecy and pascha Flavor of the Gospel

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 6, 2019

By Rita Ferrone

When Pope Francis wrote to the American bishops concerning the abuse crisis, he observed that "many actions can be helpful, good and necessary, and may even seem correct, but not all of them have the 'flavor' of the Gospel."

By recommending a return to the Gospel as an essential reference point, Francis is on to something. The horror of the abuse cases, the sheer numbers of victims, the longevity of the crisis, its scope, and the fact that it has proved so hard to change the institutional patterns and habits that abet it—all this has been, for many of the faithful, a profoundly shocking and disorienting experience.

It has eroded the trust we used to give to our church leaders and structures. It has shamed us in the eyes of the world. We do not taste the Gospel here.

Yet we long for it, even when that longing goes unnamed.

More church excuses

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY (MD)
Prince George Citizen

April 5, 2019

Re: Praying for the sinners and the victims, March 30.

Another excuse for concentrating on the Catholic Church and not those victimized by the church.

Such as being concerned about "that damned Catholic," which is irrelevant to those who have been abused.

"... Their very nature altered by their vocation." Altered negatively so that they can abuse others? Is that it?

" ... Shackled to our vocation." Again what does this have to do with the victims except more flannel to avoid what happened to those sexually abused?

" ... Cover up scandals" "... the person is "part of the faith." Do the abused get comfort from this? They need more than prayers.

There is a concern to prevent future abuses by the church. The present victims of the Roman Catholic Church have to live with their abuse for the rest of their lives. The Vatican should continue to audit itself? Who audits the Vatican? Whether sexual crimes are far higher in the wider population we do not know. The church covers up its sexual crimes.

"Keep watch and pray." What satisfaction do the sexually abused of the Catholic Church get from this?

M. Warr, Prince George

Baton Rouge Diocese holds reparation service for sex abuse scandal

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WBRZ TV

April 5, 2019

By Mark Armstrong

A few dozen faithful filled St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown to pray for forgiveness in the aftermath of the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal.

In February, the diocese released a list of 41 clergyman accused of a litany of sexual abuse across several decades. The list, like Friday's service, are similar to actions taken by other dioceses across the country.

At Friday's service, Baton Rouge Bishop Michael Duca called on Catholics to be patient friends to abuse victims who are still healing. He said he hopes victims and others disheartened by the scandal will one day regain trust in the church.

"I understand why they left, I understand the hurt and the difficulty they have. And then I pray they may one day see the church is responding in a way that might restore their hope," said Duca.

Rebuilding trust in the Southern Baptist Church

KNOXVILLE (TN)
Knoxville News

April 6, 2019

By Curtis Freeman

The Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, the two largest religious bodies in the United States, are both embroiled in a crisis of trust.

For years the public has learned in horrific detail the abuses by Catholic priests who preyed on parishioners and bishops who covered it up.

It is now clear that for decades, the Southern Baptist denominational leadership has systematically ignored, suppressed and denied the right of sexual abuse survivors to be heard. Rather than addressing this problem, church leaders hid behind the excuse that congregational autonomy precludes denominational oversight.

While plenty of new details, based on court documents, published accounts and public records, have been unearthed recently, this sordid tale has been an open secret for decades. Southern Baptist leaders disregarded warnings and dismissed reports.

Even more troubling is that the more than 300 ministers and lay leaders identified in recent news accounts are only the tip of the iceberg. That’s because many survivors of abuse have never felt free to tell their stories, and the church’s power structure shielded countless abusers from facing the truth of their actions.

Southern Baptist clergy, like other Baptist and non-denominational ministers, lack accountability beyond the local congregation that ordains. Clergy are poorly vetted before being ordained, and are rarely evaluated after ordination. Sometimes when an abusive minister is forced by a congregation to resign, he is not prevented from serving in another congregation because unlike many other professions, there is no cumulative list of abusive ministers. It is a structure easy to exploit and abuse.

But Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists have something else in common. Each are controlled by all-male leadership and power structures that exclude women from decision-making and oversight. Only men can be Roman Catholic priests and bishops. And only men can be Southern Baptist pastors. It should not be surprising, then, that men dominate the oversight processes that could demand accountability and honesty.

Child sexual abuse in the institutional Church

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Times

April 7, 2019

By Fr. Shay Cullen

There are serious and profound changes taking place in the Catholic Church to acknowledge and prevent child sexual abuse by clerics and lay people, prosecute the perpetrators and help the victims in their healing process. It is the belated result of generations of historical clerical child sexual abuse and the denial and cover-up of their crimes by some bishops and cardinals around the world. It has become a crisis for the Church as an institution.

Pope Francis approved recently a new law to protect child victims and prosecute any clerical suspects accused in the Vatican State. Before this, there was no such law protecting children in the Vatican. But the new law is a model for others and is a zero-tolerance law. Every complaint of child abuse must be reported and investigated immediately.

Priest molesters need prison time

SALINA (KS)
Salina Journal

April 5, 2019

I read the article in The Salina Journal: “Salina Diocese releases list of substantiated abusers” (March 29 issue).

As a youth, I knew former Rev. Robert Reif who served at Saints Philip and James in Phillipsburg. My late grandmother Dora Marples’ home was at Agra 10 miles away and my late mom and I would go to Mass there.

The other name I know from my adulthood, the former Rev. Allen Scheer who served at Esbon (only 3 houses south of our home) as well as simultaneously serving at Smith Center with main parish being at Mankato.

When mom and I first moved to Esbon, Father Scheer saw me on the front porch sweeping and my mom hand sewing pillowcases. He introduced himself, although we had been to Mass many times.

In 2002, the media nationwide broke the news of the clergy-sex scandal (although it has existed for centuries). With the scandal in the news, I was horrified how he spoke of his days at seminary fairly graphically.

I was appalled with that talk from a clergyman, especially within earshot of my then 80-year-old mother. As I say, I was sweeping the porch and gradually swept near his feet. He backed up and off my porch. He left in peace.

I motioned for Mom to come in the house. I told her: “I will take you anywhere to Mass but not to a priest I have no confidence in.”

I ended up taking her to Mass in Beloit and to Superior and Nelson, Nebraska. Gut instinct was right. Priests convicted of heinous crimes should be imprisoned, not merely laicized. I wasn’t a victim but feel vulnerable potential victims need protection.

James Marples, Salina

Lafayette diocese 'getting close' to naming priests accused of sexual abuse

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Daily Advertiser

April 6, 2019

By Andrew J. Yawn

The list of priests accused of sexual abuse while serving in the Lafayette diocese is expected to be released soon, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette said Friday.

The diocese received a report from the committee in charge of assembling the list last week, said spokeswoman Blue Rolfes.

“Getting close to releasing it,” Rolfes said in a brief phone interview last week, although she offered no specific timeline.

The Lafayette diocese is one of two in the state that have not yet released a comprehensive list of priests who had credible complaints of sexual abuse made against them. The Diocese of Lake Charles is the other. The state's four other dioceses have released their information.

Members of the Lafayette diocese's lay review board and local attorneys have spent months searching for accusations against clergy by combing through 50 years of personnel records for the hundreds of priests who have served in the diocese, Rolfes has said.

But this is not the first time Rolfes has said the list would be released in short order. In a Daily Advertiser story first published on Feb. 11, Rolfes said they hoped "within the next week or two to release the list,” a timeline that has long since passed.

April 5, 2019

Investigation Unearths Hundreds Of Abuse Allegations In Independent Baptist Churches

HERSHEY (PA)
Herdon Gazette

April 5, 2019

An investigation has uncovered hundreds of abuse allegations against leaders of a conservative, loosely affiliated network of evangelical Christian churches.

The report, identified 412 abuse allegations in 187 independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches and institutions across 40 states and Canada, with some cases reaching as far back as the 1970s.

The Star-Telegram spoke to more than 200 current or former IFB church members who shared stories about “rape, assault, humiliation and fear.” Many of the stories have already been made public through, and news reports. However, the newspaper said its reporters 21 new abuse allegations in the course of its eight-month investigation.

In total, the newspaper said it found that 168 IFB church leaders were accused or have been convicted of sexually abusing children.

Some of the women interviewed suggested that the patriarchal theology preached in IFB churches protects its male pastors from criticism and helps create a pattern of abuse and cover-up.

Interviewees that pastors in IFB churches were treated as if they were chosen by God and beyond reproach. Abusers used their power and position to psychologically manipulate and silence their victims, the women said. And often, even when victims spoke up, the accused pastors would manage to avoid criminal charges and use informal pastoral networks to relocate to another church.

Diocese of Reno Releases Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors

RENO (NV)
Channel 2 News

April 5, 2019

Bishop Randolph Calvo has released the names of priests and religious credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Bishop Calvo called for a review of policies and procedures as well as a review of clergy files extending back over 80 years, after recent national reports of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy.

The reviews were conducted independently by the Diocesan Review Board.

The following is a list of names on that list:
Diocesan priests who formally belonged to the Diocese of Reno:
Robert Anderson
Edmund Boyle
Eugene Braun
Robert Despars
William Duff
Florence Flahive
Harold Vieages

Diocesan priests incardinated in another diocese who worked on a temporary basis in the Diocese of Reno:
Carmelo Baltazar
Timothy Ryan

Persico comments following new names added to Diocese list of 'credibly accused' sexual offenders

ERIE (PA)
WFXP TV

April 5, 2019

The Erie Diocese releasing its fifth update of the public disclosure list in the wake of the church's sex abuse scandal.

Two priests and one layperson, all deceased, have been added to the list for the first time. The others changed classification, mostly from 'under investigation,' to 'credibly accused'. Of those, two are from this corner of the Diocese, both lay people.

They are Jonathan Borkowski of Fairview and Robert Viszeki of Erie.

Bishop Lawrence Persico of the Diocese of Erie tells us, "I feel it's very important, especially with people who are living, is the fact that it alerts the public some of these people are living in the community."

See the full release below:

The Diocese of Erie has updated its Public Disclosure List, which contains the names of persons who have been “credibly accused of actions that, in the diocese’s judgment, disqualify them from working with children.” In addition, it has added an explanation of the investigative process to its website to clarify what occurs when a person is under investigation. The explanation has been included in this release.

Woman abused by priest shares message with survivors in Iowa

WEST DES MOINES (IA)
KCCI TV

April 5, 2019

By Hannah Hilyard

A West Des Moines woman who survived priest sexual abuse called the Diocese of Des Moines decision to release a list of credibly accused priests a trigger.

The Diocese of Des Moines named nine priests Thursday with credible allegations against them of abusing children.

Theresa Arlaud said she saw the announcement on the news and was instantly taken back to when she was sexually abused by a priest in Ohio.

"It lives with you your whole life," Arlaud said. "You know, I don't try to live in the past or anything, but when I saw that on TV, it triggered it."

Man claims abuse by Catholic priests in the 1970s and ‘80s

YAKIMA (WA)
Herald-Republic

April 2, 2019

By Tammy Ayer

A man who grew up in Ellensburg is suing the Catholic Diocese of Yakima, alleging he was sexually abused as a boy by four priests. One of the four has served at multiple churches in North Central Washington.

The civil lawsuit filed in Kittitas County alleges that priests Richard Scully, Peter Hagel and Seamus Kerr, who lives at Holy Apostles Church in East Wenatchee, along with another unnamed Yakima Diocese priest, repeatedly sexually abused the boy in the 1970s and 1980s. The abuse allegedly took place at St. Andrews Church in Ellensburg and a YMCA building that the diocese previously used for church services.

Kerr denied the allegations against him through a diocese spokesman.

“Father Kerr has served faithfully as a priest in our diocese for 59 years and we have no evidence or reason to believe that he has abused anyone, much less a minor,” Monsignor Robert Siler, chancellor with the Diocese of Yakima, said Monday.

Kerr retired out of Ephrata several years ago and has since resided at Holy Apostles. At the request of Bishop Joseph Tyson, Kerr has stepped aside from the ministry while the Diocese’s advisory board reviews the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday, Siler said.

At least one of the priests — Scully — has been laicized, or defrocked, according to a list of clergy and other church personnel accused of sexually abusing children the Seattle Archdiocese published on its website in January 2016.

Scully’s name is one of three on that list of priests who were associated with Seattle and Yakima. Previously, in Yakima records, Scully was listed as retired, but after leaving Yakima, he moved to Texas and a diocese there laicized him.

“Given what we have learned about the sexual abuse that went on in the Church in Ellensburg, we would not be surprised if other abuse victims came forward,” Seattle attorney Daniel T.L. Fasy said in a news release.

Fasy and Spokane attorney Joseph A. Blumel are representing the victim, referred to in court papers as John Doe. The lawsuit seeks to recover unspecified damages and attorney’s fees from the diocese.

Along with alleging that Doe was abused by the priests, the suit alleges that he was forced to engage in sex acts with other boys.

The abuse began when Doe was 10 years old and attending services at the YMCA building in Ellensburg, first by the unknown priest and then Kerr, the suit alleges. Doe was introduced to Scully and Hagel approximately two years later and their abuse began then, also at the YMCA building, according to court documents.

It continued when Doe began attending services at St. Andrews Church in approximately 1980 or 1981, when it was new, court documents state. Kerr was a pastor or co-pastor at the church from 1966-1980, according to Siler.

Diocese response

Siler said while the plaintiff’s name is not listed, given the description, it appears to be a man who previously made a report to the diocese, which has investigated it.

“Our investigation so far is inconclusive,” Siler said. “We have been providing him counseling for probably more than a year now. We have been looking into it.”

There are some concerns, he said. When the plaintiff was interviewed by the diocese’s investigator, he did say he had been abused by more than one priest, Siler noted. “But he was unable to name a single person as an abuser, including one priest with whom he had gotten reacquainted that year,” he said in an email.

“Also, there are inconsistencies in the dates given by the plaintiff in regard to when at least two of the priests were assigned to the parish and when he says he was abused,” Siler added.

Clarification: Catholic Sex Abuse story

CAPE GIRARDEAU (MO)
Associated Press

Apr 5, 2019

In a story April 3, The Associated Press reported that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau spent more than $700,000 settling claims with clergy abuse victims. Nearly $126,000 of that amount was spent on a related investigation of church files going back decades.

Sex abuse survivors await Murphy’s signature on N.J. statute of limitations bill

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WHYY Radio

April 5, 2019

By Joe Hernandez

On a recent afternoon, Todd Kostrub was looking at a photo of himself at seven years old, back when he attended a Catholic school in Roebling, N.J.

“Just got into second grade when those pictures were taken,” Kostrub said in his living room in Surf City.

That year — 1974 — was also when a Franciscan brother in the Kostrub’s parish began sexually abusing him. The abuse lasted until 1986.

It took Kostrub years to accept that he was abused and disclose it to close friends and family members.

And when he finally decided he wanted to sue his abuser in civil court, Kostrub learned that the state’s two-year statute of limitations had already run out.

“You don’t have a voice as a child,” he said. “And then to be an adult and be told I don’t have a voice was extremely painful.”

Many victims in the Garden State may get their voices back if a bill passed by both houses of the state Legislature is signed into law.

The legislation would dramatically expand the statute of limitations on sexual abuse.

It would give child victims until age 55 or within seven years of realizing they were abused to file a civil lawsuit. It would also give survivors who were previously blocked from suing their perpetrators a two-year window to bring cases.

“It’s been introduced every voting session that we’ve had over the past 17 or 18 years,” said state Sen. Joe Vitale, D-Middlesex, the lead sponsor of the bill.

There had never been enough support for the idea, Vitale said, because of opposition from the Catholic church. Now, he believes politicians have had enough.

“To a person, they all knew that it was happening, not just in the church but in the Boy Scouts and other institutions, and individual homes for that matter,” he said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has said he supports extending the state’s statute of limitations, but he has not yet signed the bill.

Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau releases list of accused priests

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
Springfield News-Leader

April 5, 2019

By Harrison Keegan

The bishop said in a letter this week the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has spent more than $700,000 over the last 30 years in connection with sex abuse claims.

Bishop Edward Rice said this week's letter is the culmination of a review the diocese launched in August to get an accurate accounting of clergy sexual abuse over the diocese's 63-year history.

The leader of a statewide support group said, however, the bishop should be doing more.

This week's letter names 16 diocesan priests who were accused of abusing minors in cases that "have a semblance of truth," along with several other religious order priests who have ties to the area.

All but three of those instances of abuse occurred before the 1990s, and none involve anyone in active ministry, according to the bishop's letter. Many of the accused priests are deceased.

The letter also breaks down the costs associated with clergy sexual abuse in southern Missouri.

Hays friar who sexually abused TMP student in mid-90s sent to treatment instead of jail

HAYES (KS)
Hays Post

April 5, 2019

By Cristina Janney

In 2001, Friar Ron Gilardi pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent liberties with a 14-year-old student at Thomas More Prep-Marian school.

However, Gilardi was not sent to prison. He ended up at a private treatment facility in Missouri along with other priests and friars who had been removed from the ministry based on sexual abuse charges.

Gilardi’s case was groundbreaking at the time, said Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees, who is also a Catholic and TMP graduate.

Gilardi was prosecuted before the Boston Globe investigated and revealed widespread sexual abuse in the Boston dioceses and the systemic coverup by the church of sexual abuse by clergy.

Gilardi was accused of sexually abusing a male student from Texas in 1993 and 1994. The student was 14 and 15 years old at the time. The young man recovered repressed memories of the abuse in 1999 during a counseling session, Drees said.

Under the sentencing guidelines at the time, Gilardi, as a first-time offender, would have been facing a prison sentence of 32 months. With good behavior, he could have been released in 27 months, Drees said.

Asheville priest, convicted of abuse, suffered from ‘boyology’ bishop wrote

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WBTV

April 4, 2019

By Nick Ochsner

Records obtained by WBTV show Catholic Church leaders in Raleigh, Charlotte and Springfield, Mass. Allowed a priest to continue working in a parish for decades after he was first reported to have abused children.

The revelation is the latest in a string of new information that is unfolding about how local Catholic leaders have handled reports of abuse for decades.

Last week, Monsignor Mauricio West—who, as Chancellor of the Charlotte Diocese, was the second-in-command for a quarter century—abruptly resigned after a lay review board found allegations of sexual misconduct against him to be credible.

The nine pages of new records obtained by WBTV show Catholic leaders in North Carolina—first in the Diocese of Raleigh and, later, the Diocese of Charlotte, after it was created—allowed Father Andre Corbin to continue working as a priest decades after first receiving complaints that Corbin had sexually abused boys.

Eventually, Corbin was reported to police in 1988, when he was charged with two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor in Buncombe County.

He pleaded guilty to one of those counts, was sentenced to five years in jail but served just two months of his sentence before being released on probation, court records show.

According to court records, the criminal charges and conviction stems from an incident in 1966.

But a letter obtained by WBTV from then-Bishop of Raleigh Vincent Waters to Bishop Christopher Weldon, who presided at the time over the Bishop of Springfield, Mass. shows church leaders were aware of Corbin’s behavior as early as 1963.

It was sometime after the summer of 1963 that Waters, in Raleigh, wrote to Weldon, in Springfield.

“Last summer not too long after the new priests were ordained I had a difficulty with the young priest who has written me the enclosed letter,” Waters’ missive about Corbin began.

“I found that he needed psychiatric treatment,” Waters wrote. “The difficulty was boyology.”

Former Belleville Bishop picked to be Archbishop of Washington D.C.

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX Radio

April 5, 2019

By Fred Bodimer

Pope Francis has named the former Bishop of Belleville -- Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta -- to become the new Archbishop of Washington D.C.

Archbishop Gregory is replacing Cardinal Donald Wuerl who resigned last year after he was implicated in covering up sexual abuse in the Church.

"This is obviously a moment fraught with challenges throughout our entire Catholic Church, certainly, but nowhere more so than in this local faith community," Archbishop Gregory said at a Thursday news conference in Washington D.C. "And as in any family, challenges can only be overcome by a firmly articulated resolve and commitment to do better, to know Christ better, to serve Christ better. I would be naive not to acknowledge the unique task that awaits us."

Archbishop Gregory was born in Chicago and was consecrated a bishop there in 1983 by the late Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. He served as bishop of the Belleville Diocese from 1994 to 2005 before being elevated to Archbishop of Atlanta.

Archbishop Gregory has spoken out about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church on a number of occasions, including at a US Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting back in 2002 when he was the Bishop of Belleville and president of the USCCB.

"He's going to be a great Archbishop for Washington," said Father Thomas Reese, a senior analyst with Religion News Service and an expert on the Catholic Church. "He's very pastoral. He's smart. And he's got a good record dealing with sex abuse, which is important today in the Catholic Church in terms of healing the kinds of wounds that the church has self-inflicted."

But the leader of the St. Louis branch of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests -- David Clohessy -- isn't so sure.

"Well there were certainly worse bishops to pick but Archbishop Gregory enjoys a better reputation on abuse than he should frankly," Clohessy told KMOX. "His record is pretty mixed to be honest. On the one hand he did help shepherd the one strike policy and help it get adopted by America's bishops. But on the other hand, he's done very little to make sure that policy is enforced."

Plus, Clohessy says Archbishop Gregory has benefitted from good timing.

Byrnes considering Apuron’s return for trial

GUAM
Pacific News Center

April 5, 2019

By Julius Santos

Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes of the Archdiocese of Hagåtña, during a press conference Friday, April 5, said he is willing to request Vatican leadership to allow former Guam archbishop Anthony Apuron to come back to Guam and stand trial.

“I’ll see what they say,” Byrnes said.

The Vatican has officially removed Apuron from his post and upheld its initial guilty ruling announced in March 2018. Apuron appealed the ruling asserting his innocence, which he still clings to, to this day.

During the press conference, the focus of Byrnes is on the healing of those who were directly affected by this case, as well as Guam’s faithful. The matter of providing closure to the victims and their families also came up.

Since the first case on child abuse was unearthed more than two decades ago, certain sectors of the community criticized the church.

When asked how he can defend the church after the discovery of past clergy abuse cases, Byrnes said, “The church is more than its priests. It’s more than its bishops. It’s the place where Jesus Christ is consecrated in the Eucharist.”

Lead Response to Clerical Abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hoya

April 5, 2019

In 2009, Georgetown University and Fordham University were both notified of a sexual predator who had taught at both institutions. While Fordham immediately banned the predator, Fr. Daniel O’Connell, S.J., from campus, Georgetown failed to take substantial action until just weeks ago.

Georgetown’s delayed response to credible allegations of sexual assault against O’Connell follows a trend of unreasonably long delays in responding to university-connected clerical abuse: at every opportunity, the university has fallen short in condemning perpetrators.

Despite a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report documenting former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s abuse and Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s complicity in these crimes, Georgetown only rescinded McCarrick’s honorary degree after he was laicized in February — seven months after the report was released — and has not revoked Wuerl’s honorary degree.

Georgetown’s woefully underwhelming response to the clerical abuse crisis casts considerable doubt on the institution’s moral compass and ability to lead the Catholic community. To re-establish its credibility among Jesuit universities, Georgetown must immediately revoke Wuerl’s honorary degree and condemn the 14 university-affiliated Catholic religious leaders credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Church Sex Abuse Victim Urges Others to Come Forward

DES MOINES (IA)
WHO 13 TV

April 4, 2019

By Ben Oldach

John Chambers claimed he was abused in the 1960s while at Dowling high school by Leonard Kenkel who was teaching there at the time. His claim was found to be unsubstantiated in the early 2000s. On Thursday he found out that another alleged victim's 2018 claim against Kenkel had been substantiated this year.

Chambers says it took him nearly 40 years and countless visits to therapy to come forward with his allegations of abuse.

“The ultimate threat is you'll be excommunicated, and for a catholic that was the kiss of death…I was raised that you have several missions as a catholic. One is to lead a Christ-like life, and another is that the church has to survive, and if children are abused it’s collateral damage” said Chambers.

While the 2018 claim against Kenkel was substantiated by the church's allegation review committee, two claims in the early 2000s were not, including his own allegation.

“It's been a significant number of years, but the flavor of the meeting was 'how dare you, how dare you do this, make this allegation’” said Chambers.

Survivor: Catholic sex abuse was ‘a test from God’

BURLINGTON (NC)
The Times-News

April 5, 2019

Joan Sullivan raises her hand.

“Excuse me,” she says. “I’m very well into years and I have found, this last 10 years in my life, I have lost my faith and it’s been based on this.”

The “this” she refers to is sexual abuse by clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church, and she’s addressing Robert Orsi, a prominent historian of U.S. Catholicism who’s just delivered a lecture titled, “Violence, Memory and Religion among Survivors of Clerical Sexual Abuse” in Elon University’s LaRose Digital Theatre Wednesday, April 3.

“I for so long tried to put it aside,” Sullivan continues, “because it’s not all priests, it’s not all nuns, but it is so prevalent and it’s been kept under wraps and ignored to the extent that people with whom I was going to church said, ‘Why are people bringing this up? It’s 30 years old.’ I mean how could they think these things? I am disappointed in the congregation. I am disappointed in those who are supposed to be keeping my faith.”

Orsi says, “I understand when you say you have lost your faith. I think I’m in a similar situation, to tell you the truth. And so, this is part of the incredible damage that those men did to the world of Catholicism. There’s no doubt about that.”

Another accuser recounts encounters in New Mexico priest’s abuse trial

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

April 4, 2019

By Morgan Lee

A New Mexico man counted scores of instances Thursday of sexual abuse by a former Roman Catholic priest in the early 1990s, testifying that the then-pastor inappropriately touched him at an amusement park, church rectory, military base and veterans’ cemetery when he was as young as 10 years old.

The testimony came during a federal jury trial in Santa Fe for Arthur Perrault, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.

He was accused in court of abusing the witness at each of the locations in New Mexico. However, the federal charges only stem from abuse that authorities say occurred at Santa Fe National Cemetery and Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque — two military sites that fall under federal jurisdiction.

Now 81, Perrault entered and left the courtroom with the aid of a walker, and used a hearing device to listen to his accuser’s testimony. He returned six months ago to the United States from Tangier, Morocco — where authorities say he had been teaching for more than a decade at an English-language school for children before he was arrested.

Merrica Heaton, a consular official for the U.S. State Department, told jurors she had visited Perrault in January 2018 inside a Moroccan jail. She was checking on Perrault’s well-being after his detention by local authorities in response to an Interpol warrant.

She testified that Perrault volunteered to tell her without being asked that he was surprised and unhappy to learn the U.S. government still was pursuing him for transgressions decades ago. A defense attorney for Perrault pressed Heaton on whether “transgressions” referred to any specific allegations of sexual abuse against Perrault or specific victims.

“He admitted to — I don’t know what specific acts — but misconduct involving young boys,” responded Heaton, who said that the conversation left a lasting impression because of her own Roman Catholic upbringing. “You can’t un-hear that.”

In response to a civil case filed against him, Perrault said in a 2016 letter to a New Mexico judge that he denied abuse allegations.

Bishop calls for vigilance, releases list of accused priests

LINCOLN (NE)
News Press

April 5, 2019

By Andy Raun

Calling for vigilance on the part of all church members to prevent future instances of child sexual abuse, Bishop James Conley of the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln has released a list of 12 men who have worked in priestly ministry in the diocese and have been the subject of allegations involving minors or young adults.

The list released Tuesday includes the names of nine priests or former priests who have served in the diocese — including four who held positions at one time in Tribland communities — who have been the subject of “substantiated” allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse involving minors or young adults through the years, by the reckoning of an independent task force advising Conley on child abuse, sexual misconduct and related matters.

Three other priests, including a deceased former longtime diocesan vocations director, were identified as being under investigation for alleged misconduct involving minors or young adults.

The Diocese of Lincoln encompasses all of Nebraska south of the Platte River and includes all of the Nebraska portion of Tribland.

Conley, who has led the diocese since 2012, released the list of accused priests or former priests in a special statement alongside a newly revised, comprehensive diocesan policy for the protection of youth.

The policy revisions, which take effect June 1, cover everything from protocol for clergy and seminarians participating in youth outings, to procedures church personnel must follow in reporting suspected child abuse or neglect to civil and ecclesiastical authorities.

Key witness testifies in priest sex abuse case

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

April 5, 2019

By Colleen Heild

Locked in a Moroccan prison in January 2018, Arthur Perrault told a U.S. State Department employee that he was “unhappy and surprised” that his transgressions from the 1980s and 1990s had resurfaced, noting that the Catholic Church had dealt with them years earlier.

To Merrica Heaton, a State Department employee assigned then to Casablanca’s consular office, Perrault’s statement was “admitting to sexual misconduct involving young boys,” she told a jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe on Thursday.

Heaton, who said she is a Catholic, added, “This is a huge issue that’s in the church. You can’t un-hear that.”

At the time, Perrault, now 81, had been arrested and was being held by Moroccan authorities on an Interpol warrant, said Heaton, who testified by video from Missoula, Mont.

As an American Citizens Services officer with the State Department, Heaton said, she met Perrault as part of her job to ensure the welfare of U.S. citizens being held in foreign custody.

Perrault’s warrant stemmed from a sealed grand jury indictment issued in 2017 in Albuquerque, charging the former pastor of St. Bernadette’s Parish with seven federal counts of sexual misconduct on federal property involving an 11-year-old altar boy from 1991 to 1992.

His trial on the charges began Tuesday. He has pleaded not guilty.

In Memory of a Giant: David Clohessy's Eulogy for Gary Hayes

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

April 5, 2019

Our movement is filled with brave, eloquent survivors who have uttered lines at news conferences that fill me with pride and amazement. One of them is Fr. Gary Hayes. Or I should say “was.” Gary has passed away.

He was the first priest to have been molested by a priest to file a lawsuit and hold a news conference. One of the proudest moments of my life came in the early 1990s. Along with Steve Rubino, I had the honor of helping Gary organize the event. I stood next to him, and his mom, when he issued an opening line that still brings goosebumps to my skin today when I recall it:

“I am here seeking justice in the courts because I could find no justice in my church,” Gary said before a crowded hotel conference room and a dozen or more reporters in Philadelphia.

Fr. John Bambrick, another SNAP pioneer and priest who was abused by a priest, sent us this email:

“Gary Hayes, a SNAP pioneer and former president of Link-Up died this week after a long battle with cancer. Gary was one of 50 survivors who testified at Dallas in 2002 and was instrumental in the changes that occurred. He was a true heroic figure in our movement.

Gary will be waked at DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home 2755 S. Lincoln Ave in Vineland, NJ on Wednesday April 10, 2019 from 6pm to8pm. There will be a service at 7:30pm. Cremation will be private and burial in the family plot at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in Gary's memory.”

In the early days of our movement, Catholic officials played “divide and conquer.” They’d toss a bone to Link UP, hoping they’d undercut or criticize or distance themselves from SNAP, the group perceived to be the more unreasonable by the bishops. To his credit, Gary never took the bait or played this game. He was the ultimate ‘priest of integrity.’

Proposed state law would require priests report sex abuse discussed in confession

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Fox 5 News

April 4, 2019

California lawmakers are hoping to reverse hundreds of years of tradition in the Catholic church and mandate that priests who hear of child sexual abuses in confession report it to law enforcement.

"The victims are told to be quiet, abusers are let go, free. Nothing happens to them and the cycle repeats and repeats," Kameron Torres said.

It was just two years ago Torres, as he puts it, woke up to the brainwashing of being a Jehovah's Witness. He says at 6 years old he was sexually abused by a person of authority within the church and nothing was done about it.

"You go to meetup groups, that’s what happened to me, and I started hearing the same stories," Torres said. "I realized very quickly it wasn't just me."

Torres said abuses happen in many religious denominations, and too often the abuser gets away with it. He’s now helping lawmakers push Senate Bill 360 to end the silence around abuse.

"SB 360 requires clergy to report suspected child abuse or neglect," said Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo.

But many people are wondering if the bill goes too far.

It would challenge centuries of church tradition in which priests are sworn not to violate their promise to God to keep what’s said in confession private.

"It would undermine the entire sacrament of confession for something that’s not likely to happen," said Steve Pehanich with the California Catholic Conference of Bishops.

Pehanich said SB 360 would essentially put clergy in an impossible position and violate California laws or violate their oath to God.

Rev. Gary Hayes RIP

BishopAccountability.org
April 4, 2019

Survivor activist Rev. Gary Hayes died yesterday, April 4, 2019, after a battle with cancer. Gary was a major figure in the survivor movement and a spiritual force. He served as a director, advisory board member, and president of the Linkup, the groundbreaking survivor organization. Gary’s own landmark case was described in an early issue of Linkup’s newsletter Missing Link:

Black Collar Crimes, Missing Link, Volume 1, Number 4 (Fall 1993)

These articles from Gary’s own archive give some sense of the man and his significance:

Ex-Millville Priest Named in Suit Alleging Child Sex Abuse, Cover-Up, by Jean Jones and Gary Miller, Bridgeton Evening News (6/11/93)

Restoring Faith: Priest Who Was Sexually Abused As a Teen Wants to Aid Others in Recovery, by Karen Owen, Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (3/6/94)

Victims Then, Priests Later, by Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune (6/3/02)

Dozens Pray to Heal Church's Wounds, by Brandy Warren, Courier-Journal (6/11/02)

4 Cardinals + Archbishop H. Flynn Meet 25 Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse, transcribed by Helen Daly, healingtogether.org (6/12/02)

Once a Victim, A Priest Wants Zero Tolerance, by Sara Rimer, New York Times (6/12/02)

Gary Hayes will be waked at DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home 2755 S. Lincoln Ave in Vineland NJ on Wednesday April 10, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. There will be a service at 7:30 pm. Cremation will be private and burial in the family plot at a later date.

Washington’s New Archbishop Has A History Of Fighting Child Sexual Abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
WAMU Radio

April 5, 2019

By Esther Ciammachilli

Archbishop Wilton Gregory has been working to combat child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church since the early 1990s – long before the church was forced to reckon with decades-old allegations and cover-ups.

“This is obviously a moment fraught with challenges,” Gregory said at a press conference Thursday at the Archdiocese of Washington after he was appointed the new archbishop. “Throughout our entire Catholic Church, certainly, but nowhere more so than in this local faith community.”

The challenges Gregory references are those left by his predecessors.

The former archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, became the first U.S. cardinal to resign last fall after a Pennsylvania grand jury criticized him over his handling of child sex abuse cases when he was bishop of Pittsburgh. Another blow came in February when Wuerl’s predecessor, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was defrocked after the church found him guilty of sexually abusing children and adults for decades. Gregory says his job will consist of helping the community to heal and cope with the church’s past.

“As in any family, challenges can only be overcome by a firmly articulated resolve and commitment to do better,” Gregory said. “I want to offer you hope. I will rebuild your trust.”

Gregory found Catholicism as a teenager growing up in Chicago. He was ordained a priest at age 25 and became an auxiliary bishop under the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

Federal subpoena seeks records from Buffalo Diocese's clergy abuse compensation program

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

April 5, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Federal authorities have sought more records as they investigate the handling of clergy sex abuse cases in the Buffalo Diocese.

Two retired judges who are overseeing a diocese program to compensate abuse victims were served in March with a federal grand jury subpoena for records they reviewed to determine who should be paid and how much they should get.

The law firm of Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP — where one of the retired judges is senior counsel — mentioned the subpoena to at least three lawyers of people who applied to the diocese's Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

The two IRCP administrators, former state Surrogate’s Court Judge Barbara Howe and former Appellate Division Justice Jerome C. Gorski, declined to comment on the subpoena.

“It would be totally improper for us as IRCP administrators to speak with anyone about any subpoenas issued or other confidential inquiries made to us by any law enforcement officials,” the former judges said in an email.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York would not confirm or deny the subpoena.

But three people told The News that Brian D. Gwitt, a partner and general counsel at Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, called lawyers as a professional courtesy to let them know that a subpoena had been served on his office seeking records related to their clients. Gwitt declined to comment.

Lawyer Barry N. Covert said Gwitt contacted him on March 7 to tell him that a subpoena sought records related to one of Covert’s clients, Stephanie McIntyre, and for six other people who applied to the diocese’s compensation program.

McIntyre, 50, alleged that the Rev. Fabian J. Maryanski repeatedly sexually abused her when she was a teenager in the 1980s. She agreed in December to accept a $400,000 offer from the diocese in exchange for signing away her right to sue over the alleged abuse.

LDS Church dumps its controversial LGBTQ policy, cites ‘continuing revelation’ from God

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

April 4, 2019

By Peggy Fletcher Stack
·
For LGBTQ Latter-day Saints and their allies, it’s been a long 3½ years.

In November 2015, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instituted a policy deeming same-sex married couples “apostates” and generally barring their children from baby blessings and baptisms.

Such harsh and restrictive rules triggered widespread protests and soul-searching. Hundreds, maybe more, resigned their church membership. Even believers felt wounded and betrayed. Families were torn. Tensions erupted. Some were disciplined by the church. Some died by suicide.

On Thursday, the Utah-based faith walked back all the hotly disputed elements. Church rituals for children now are OK, and LGBTQ couples are not labeled apostates. The shift comes after 41 months — by Mormon historical standards, an astonishingly rapid reversal.

Behind Closed Doors: Abuse In Northern Kentucky University Women's Basketball Program

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS (KY)
Odyssey

March 25, 2019

By Taryn M. Taugher

The emotional abuse by current head coach has lasting effects on its players. But, it ends here.

There is a deep, dark, hidden secret that lies within the women's basketball program at Northern Kentucky University which has been swept under the rug by the athletic department for three years.

"The mission of NKU Athletics is to advance the University's vision while focusing on the wellbeing of our student-athletes as we prepare and empower each of them for academic and competitive success at NKU and beyond." This is quoted right from the NKU Athletic Department's Mission Statement, but apparently, this doesn't apply to the student athlete's mental well-being.

Emotional abuse is defined as any abusive behavior that isn't physical, which may include verbal aggression, intimidation, manipulation, and humiliation, which most often unfolds as a pattern of behavior over time that aims to diminish another person's identity, dignity, and self-worth, and which often results in anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors (Crisistextline.org).

Northern Kentucky University's athletic department seems to be willing to do anything to silence the multiple emotional abuse allegations against current women's basketball coach, Camryn Whitaker.

April 4, 2019

Whitmer requests $2 million for Catholic clergy abuse investigations

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

April 5, 2019

By Niraj Warikoo

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is requesting $2 million in her budget for state investigations into abuse by Catholic clergy in Michigan as an advocacy group calls upon Catholic officials in Detroit to include more priests on the list of clergy accused of sexual abuse.

The money Whitmer is asking for would be used by the Michigan Attorney General's Office for an investigation launched last year into abuse by Catholic clergy in Michigan.

"The appropriation will be used to hire investigators and victims’ advocates to continue the detailed investigative work necessary to review and pursue the information we have gathered from all seven Michigan dioceses," Kelly Rossman-McKinney, spokesperson for Attorney General Dana Nessel, told the Free Press this week.

The $2 million would designate money that the Attorney General's Office "has already received in settlement monies for the investigation," Rossman-McKinney said.

The Attorney General has received about 400 tips and complaints so far of abuse allegations against Catholic clergy, Rossman-McKinney said.

In February, Nessel said Catholic Church leaders were not fully cooperating with law enforcement on the abuse investigations, claims the Archdiocese of Detroit denied.

Diocese of Des Moines Posts List of Clergy Accused of Abuse, SNAP Urges Further Outreach

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

April 4, 2019

We are grateful that the Diocese of Des Moines has published a list of clergy accused of abuse. This move is the first step that church officials in Des Moines can take towards protecting children in their diocese and helping survivors heal.

Now that they have taken this first step, we call on Bishop Richard Pates to take several more in order to demonstrate his commitment to transparency, accountability, and prevention.

First, Bishop Pates should include on his list the names of not only diocesan priests, but also those of religious order priests and nuns who have been accused of abuse – whether in Des Moines or elsewhere – and spent time in his diocese.

Second, Bishop Pates should also update his list to include information regarding when church officials at the Diocese of Des Moines first received the allegations against each named person and what actions they took in response to those allegations. Only by knowing what went wrong in the past can we know how to improve for the future and prevent future cases of child sexual abuse.

Third, now that this list has been published, Bishop Pates should personally visit each parish where these accused priests served, notify parishioners about the list, and urge victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to come forward and make a report to police and prosecutors.

“Healing Our Church” Will Not Heal the Church

Patheos blog

April 4, 2019

By Mary Pezzulo

I want to open by mentioning that I asked one of my friends who was raped by a priest if she wanted to write this article for me as a guest post, and she asked me to write it instead. That’s why I’m presuming to talk about it. I’ve taken my own medicine.

I’ve just been shown a sample chapter from a book called “Healing Our Church.” The author of this book doesn’t seem to be listed in the sample or the website, but it comes from the “Renew International” organization, with which I’m not familiar. This book is really a set of readings and instructions for the “Healing our Church” program, which is apparently a series of seminars being practiced in some parishes across the country and marketed to many more. The seminars are meant to “minister to hurting parishioners,” so that they might “start on the path to healing and renewed discipleship.”

The sample session provided is Chapter Three, “Rebuilding Our Church.” And if it’s an indicator of the thinking behind the whole of the book and the whole of the program, then I can safely say that both are worse than useless.

Let me walk you through the session as it’s written in the sample chapter. I’ll point out my objections as I go along.

It starts out with a hymn that sounds unbelievably sketchy in context. “O Jesus Healer of Wounded Souls” contains a line asking Jesus to “touch us” which I would leave out of any discussion of sexual abuse at all costs. There are better, non-triggering ways to say the same thing.

Then there’s a prayer, the Prayer of Saint Francis, which includes the line “O Divine Master, grant that I may never seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.” This is an excellent prayer for many occasions. I like to pray it myself. But as far as a meeting addressing sexual abuse, it’s toxic. Abuse survivors very often find themselves in an agonizing vortex of self-blame. What they need is consolation, love and understanding, but they have been denied it and told that they don’t need it– indeed, oftentimes they’re told by their abusers that their natural longing for understanding is the victim being selfish. I have known emotionally abusive priests to quote prayers by Saint Francis in order to paint victims demanding redress as self-centered, in fact, and I don’t think I’m the only one. This particular prayer is a shockingly imprudent choice in any context to do with abuse.

Former priest with ties to Simpson part of list alleging clergy abuse

INDIANOLA (IA)
The Simpsonian

April 4, 2019

By Alex Kirkpatrick

A former Indianola priest who served as a liaison between St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and Simpson College was part of a list issued Thursday by the Des Moines Diocese identifying nine priests “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children, according to a KCCI report published Thursday.

The diocese said The Rev. Howard Fitzgerald, who served in Indianola from 2013-14, is one of only two living priests facing sexual abuse allegations. The other living priest, The Rev. Leonard Kenkel, lives at a senior care facility within the diocese.

The Simpsonian reported in June 2014 that Fitzgerald was placed on indefinite administrative leave after allegations of a “decades-old” incident of sexual abuse were found credible.

Fitzgerald provided personal counsel and spiritual guidance to Simpson students. He was removed from ministry in 2014 and laicized in 2015.

Alex Kirkpatrick is a 2018 Simpson College graduate and former Managing Editor for The Simpsonian. He who now works full time as the Digital Editor for KCCI News in Des Moines.

Former Catholic priest to plead guilty in child porn case

GREAT FALLS (MT)
Associated Press

April 4, 2019

A former Roman Catholic priest in northern Montana accused of possessing child pornography plans to plead guilty.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that a motion filed in federal court last month says 80-year-old Lothar Konrad Krauth will plead guilty to receipt of child pornography at a hearing on Monday.

He was accused in November of having about 400 images of child pornography, including children as young as 2 or 3 years old, on his computer.

According to the motion, Krauth will plead guilty without an agreement with prosecutors on his punishment. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Krauth worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Great Falls from 1989 to 2014

Pennsylvania House to again consider clergy child sex abuse bills

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

April 4, 2019

By Mark Scolforo

Two bills that could make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits, an issue that roiled the General Assembly last year, are expected to get votes next week in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

House Judiciary Chairman Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin, said Thursday he supports the pair of proposals scheduled for committee votes Monday.

“It's not perfect and everybody's not going to like it,” said Kauffman. “But getting something done is really the key here, getting something accomplished.”

One bill would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes entirely and give victims of future abuse until age 55 to file lawsuits. Current law gives victims until age 30 to pursue criminal charges and until age 50 to sue.

The other proposal would begin the process of amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow a two-year retroactive window for lawsuits over past abuse.

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory promises transparency as he accepts D.C. job

ATLANTA (GA)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

April 4, 2019

By Shelia Poole

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, in his first press conference since being named to lead the Washington Archdiocese, promised transparency and said he would rebuild trust in the church and “reclaim the future.”

“This is obviously a moment fraught with challenges throughout our entire Catholic church certainly, but nowhere more so than in this local faith community,” said Gregory, who becomes the seventh and first African-American archbishop for Washington. “And, as in any family, challenges can only be overcome by a firmly articulated resolve and commitment to do better, to know Christ better, to love Christ better, to serve Christ better.

“I would be naive not to acknowledge the unique task that awaits us. Yet, I know as I have always known that I can, and will, rely upon the grace of God and on the goodness of the people of this local church to help me fulfill those new responsibilities.”

He was introduced by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Washington, who is Gregory’s immediate predecessor. Wuerl resigned last year amid criticism of his handling of sex abuse scandals.

David Joseph Perrett committed for trial on New England historical child sex abuse offences

TAMWORTH (AUSTRALIA)
Northern Daily Leader

April 5, 2019

By Breanna Chillingworth

A FORMER priest will stand trial on close to 130 historical abuse charges, after prosecutors laid more child sex offences that carry life behind bars, if found guilty.

David Joseph Perrett appeared via video link in Armidale Local Court on Wednesday from prison where he was being held on more than 140 historical abuse allegations.

In court, prosecutors laid eight new counts of adult maintain unlawful relationship with a child - a charge that carries life imprisonment, if convicted.

The child abuse allegations stem from when Perrett was a serving Catholic priest in the Armidale, Walcha, Guyra and wider New England area, in the 1970s, '80s and '90s.

Magistrate Michael Holmes formally committed Perrett for trial to the district court on 130 separate charges.

Former priest on sex offender registry while he awaits sentencing

LAFAYETTE (LA)
KATC News

April 4, 2019

Former priest Michael Guidry is now listed on the sex offender registry as he awaits sentencing.

Guidry, 76, pleaded guilty last month to sexual molestation of a juvenile, admitting that he molested a child who was the son of one of his church deacons.

KATC was in the courtroom when Judge Alonzo Harris accepted Guidry’s plea and set a sentencing date of April 30; to read that story click here. To read KATC’s continuing coverage about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, click here.

During that hearing, Harris ordered that Guidry be placed on the sex offender registry and turn over his passport.

He’s now listed in both Acadia Parish, where he lives, and St. Landry Parish, where his church was located, as a sex offender.

Gregory's promise: 'I will always tell you the truth'

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Catholic Reporter

April 4, 2019

By Tom Roberts

In what he termed "a moment fraught with challenges," the new leader of the Archdiocese of Washington, in his first public appearance here April 4, repeatedly pledged to be honest with his flock.

"I believe that the only way I can serve the local archdiocese is by telling you the truth," said Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who will become the seventh archbishop of Washington. He repeated the claim several times during a 45-minute news conference in which he also answered questions about the effects of clericalism, the need for transparency in the church, the need to address mistakes of his predecessors, and how he intends to relate to the city's political scene.

Gregory, 71, currently the archbishop of Atlanta, will be installed in Washington, D.C., on May 21.

"This is obviously a moment fraught with challenges throughout our entire Catholic Church, but nowhere more so than in this local faith community," he said in prepared remarks, making a reference to the turmoil that has roiled the archdiocese during the past year.

His immediate predecessor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who introduced Gregory, resigned in October after a Pennsylvania grand jury report raised questions about his handling of abusive priests in the 1990s while bishop of Pittsburgh. Wuerl's predecessor in Washington, Theodore McCarrick, was removed from the priesthood after revelations he sexually abused a youngster and sexually harassed seminarians.

"I would be naive not to acknowledge the unique task that awaits us," Gregory said in his remarks. He spoke of his confidence in the grace of God and the goodness of the people of the church as aids in facing his new responsibilities. "I want to come to know you, to hear your stories, to listen to the emotions and experiences and expectations that have shaped your precious Catholic faith, for better or for worse. I want to offer you hope."

He characterized his new archdiocese, its ethnic and social diversity. In a compact line that spoke of both the material and spiritual richness and poverty of its people, he said: "The Archdiocese of Washington is home to the poor and the powerful, neither of which realizes they are both."

Des Moines Diocese names 9 priests accused of abusing children

DES MOINES (IA)
Radio Iowa

April 4, 2019

By O. Kay Henderson

The Des Moines Catholic Diocese released the names of nine priests with “substantiated allegations” that they had abused children while serving at parishes in the diocese.

The list includes the names of two priests who had not previously been made public. Both have died. Bishop Richard Pates today said victims and church members deserve a “full accounting” and Pates said he’s tried to be “a bulldog” on the issue.

“The behavior by some clerics and church leaders is a source of shame,” Pate said during a news conference late this morning.

Pates said the Des Moines Diocese established a child protection policy in 1988 and has had a zero tolerance policy when it comes to child sexual abuse for nearly two decades.

“Any priest who has been established he committed an act of sexual abuse against a minor is permanently removed from church ministry,” Pates said. “One strike and you’re out.”

Pates told reporters society, the medical community, law enforcement and the church did not fully understand the issue of child sexual abuse in the 1960s and ’70s.

“At that time, it was thought that clerical sexual abuse of children was a moral disorder, a sin. We now know it is more than a sin,” Pates said. “It’s a compulsion. It’s a crime.”

Pates estimates about two-thirds of the Catholic Dioceses in the country have released similar lists. Pates, who announced his retirement recently, said he wanted this list released before the pope names his replacement.

Q & A with Sr. Véronique Margron, leader of religious addressing abuse in church

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 2, 2019

by Elisabeth Auvillain

Sr. Véronique Margron is a Dominican sister from and provincial prior of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A theologian and specialist in moral theology, she is the former dean of the Catholic University of the West in Angers, France, and now is president of CORREF (Conférence des Religieux et Religieuses de France). CORREF aims to further ties between communities, hoping to reach a deeper communion between different institutions; encourage members to listen and pay attention to challenges and questions of the 21st century; and bring support between generations of religious men and women.

According to CORREF, there are 20,584 apostolic women religious in France, including 2,411 foreign nuns, in 315 communities, and 5,989 men religious, including 681 foreigners. Also members of CORREF are 1,079 monks and 3,038 women in contemplative orders.

Margron has written several books. Her latest, Un moment de verité (A Time of Truth), deals with the crisis of abuse in the Catholic Church.

GSR: Recent revelations of spiritual and sexual abuse of nuns by priests have shocked with their magnitude. The documentary "Abused Sisters: The Other Scandal of the Church," shown by the Franco-German public TV channel ARTE on March 5, was a shock for many viewers, including Catholics. Were you aware of these abuses?

Kathleen Holscher on Lack of Attention to Colonialism and White Supremacy in Accounts of Catholic Abuse Crisis

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
Bilgrimage blog

April 4, 2019

In today's Tablet, a valuable reminder from historian Kathleen Holscher of the University of New Mexico that how we view the abuse story in the Catholic church depends on how we frame it — and on who is doing the framing: Holscher writes,

There have been two side-effects of the Boston and Pennsylvania reports' ascendance in the US. One is the absence of non-white victims from coverage of abuse, and subsequently from scholarly conversations and – importantly – ecclesial responses to it. The other is the inattention to colonialism and white supremacy as interlocking structures that formed Catholic sexual violence in many parts of the United States, and created the distinctive and historically pervasive Catholic phenomenon of sexual abuse against Indigenous young people.

To read (or read about) the Boston and Pennsylvania accounts is to learn about a pattern of behaviour by Catholic priests that plagued white ethnic, urban, suburban and semi-urban Catholic communities in many parts of the US during the twentieth century.

This has led many Catholics, both laity and members of the hierarchy, to imagine that the abuse of children by priests has been a scourge of tightly knit Irish-American, Polish-American or Italian-American parishes that pepper East Coast cities, and of Catholic communities in the industrial towns of what now gets called the Rust Belt. They have fed the assumption that perpetrators and victims of sex abuse in the United States were white, and that almost everyone involved was Catholic.

Places such as Pittsburgh or Scranton, Pennsylvania, are a big part of the history of sex abuse in the Church. Today there are thousands of people living in those and similar places who are the survivors of predator priests. Their stories are important. But these places and communities are not the history.

Ex-priest convicted of altar boy abuse awaits new court date

ALFRED (ME)
Associated Press

April 4, 2019

A former Massachusetts priest who was convicted of sexually abusing an altar boy is awaiting a new court date in Maine.

Ronald Paquin was slated for sentencing, but that was delayed when his attorney filed a motion
requesting a mental health evaluation. Officials at York County Superior Court in Alfred say Paquin’s most recent court appearance, scheduled for March 29, was continued and a new date has not yet been selected. They say it’s unclear when his case will return to court.

Paquin was found guilty of 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct in November. 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.

Baton Rouge bishop hopes to ask God for forgiveness, healing at prayer service for sexual abuse crisis

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

April 4, 2019

By Andrea Gallo

Baton Rouge Bishop Michael Duca said Thursday that he hopes the “Way of the Cross” ceremony he will host April 5 in reparation for sexual abuse by Catholic clergymen will add a more spiritual aspect to the church's response to the crisis, a dimension he hopes will acknowledge the pain of abuse and lead toward healing.

Duca will pray the “Way of the Cross” at 7 p.m. April 5 at St. Joseph Cathedral, a service that marks Jesus’s walk toward crucifixion. Each of the 14 stations of the cross will include specific prayers about sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and healing for those who have been hurt by it.

“Hopefully, the prayer will be a way for me to become more aware of the sin of the church, more sorrowful, more a need to ask God for forgiveness and love,” Duca said Thursday in an interview with The Advocate. “What it’ll do for the people there — that’s all grace.”

Not long after becoming bishop of Baton Rouge, Duca in late January released a list of 37 clerics who served in Baton Rouge at some point in their careers and who were credibly accused of sexual abuse. The list has since grown to 41. Since releasing the names, Duca said he has spoken to multiple people who have also wanted to share their stories of betrayal and abuse by trusted priests.

Diocese of Des Moines, following Sioux City's lead, names 9 priests accused of abusing minors

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

April 4, 2019

By Shelby Fleig

The Diocese of Des Moines on Thursday publicly named nine priests it said are credibly accused of sexually abusing minors while serving the diocese.

The Allegation Review Committee, made up of of local clergy, a judge, a lawyer, a police chief and a retired teacher, substantiated allegations of abuse occurring between 1940 and 1997.

"I share the anger and frustration of recent reports of clerical abuse of minors and young people," Bishop Richard Pates wrote in a letter to parishioners Wednesday. "It is my sincere hope the release of this list facilitates healing, encourages additional victims who have faced abuse to come forward and begins to restore trust."

Two of the nine names had not been previously tied to abuse of minors by the diocese. Both are deceased. The diocese has previously confirmed abuse allegations against Albert Wilwerding, John Ryan, Richard Wagner, Phillip Hobt and Howard Fitzgerald.

In 2003, Albert Wilwerding, John Ryan, and former Dowling president Richard Wagner were defrocked after the review committee said they were credibly accused of abusing children.

SNAP Supports the Passage of Vermont Bill H.330

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

April 4, 2019

A proposed change to Vermont law that would help protect children and support survivors of child sexual abuse, H.330, has passed in the House and is now with the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

This important bill would eliminate the civil statute of limitations (SOL) for child sexual abuse going forward, and also allow a “look back window” for survivors whose cases are beyond the SOL.

These changes would reflect the realities of sexual violence against children. Survivors often take decades to come forward about their abuse – the average age of a survivor coming forward is 52 – and when they do speak out they are often barred from seeking justice by statutes like those that H.330 seeks to amend.

Rejecting appeal, Vatican hands down final ruling against Guam bishop

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

April 4, 2019

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has rejected an appeal by the now-former Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana, Guam, upholding its judgment of finding him guilty of abuse against minors.

The doctrinal tribunal's decision is final and no further appeals are possible, it said in a communique published April 4.

"The penalties imposed are as follows: the privation of office; the perpetual prohibition from dwelling, even temporarily, in the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Agana, and the perpetual prohibition from using the insignia attached to the rank of bishop," it said.

Dos curas y tres profesionales integran nueva comisión de la Iglesia católica para proteger de abusos a menores

[Two priests and three professionals form new Catholic Church commission to protect minors from abuse]

COSTA RICA
La Nación

April 3, 2019

By Juan Diego Córdoba

Abogada en derecho de la familia y exdiputada de Restauración Nacional, Alexandra Loría, es una de los miembros

La Iglesia católica de Costa Rica tiene desde este martes una comisión para proteger a menores contra abusos sexuales. Con ese fin, los obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal reunieron a dos curas y tres profesionales en distintas áreas. Los miembros son los sacerdotes Alejandro Jiménez, del Tribunal Eclesiástico, y Mauricio Solano, de la Comisión Nacional del Clero; la comunicadora Lis Chaves, el psicólogo Juan Carlos Oviedo y la abogada en derecho de familia Alexandra Loría, quien también fue diputada de Restauración Nacional en la legislatura anterior.

El intendente Cuenca dijo que la detención del cura Aguilera “no sorprendió a nadie”

[Mayor Cuenca says the arrest of priest Aguilera "did not surprise anyone"]

ARGENTINA
Cuarto Poder Salta

March 28, 2019

El capellán de la Universidad Católica está acusado por abusar de dos personas, cuando estaba a cargo de una iglesia en Campo Santo. Al parecer todos sabían ahí qué pasaba.

Desde hace más de siete días que el capellán de la Universidad Católica, José Carlos Aguilera, está tras las rejas. Está acusado por abuso sexual a dos personas, cuando estaba a cargo de una iglesia en Campo Santo. Una de las víctimas era menor de edad.

Abusos: Ojea se comprometió a colaborar más con la justicia civil

[Argentina's bishops promise more cooperation with civil justice]

ARGENTINA
Valores Religiosos

April 3, 2019

El presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal aseguró que la Iglesia en Argentina y en todo el mundo se propuso "no creer que solo con un proceso canónico puede alcanzar". También procurarán escuchar más y dar acompañamiento a las víctimas.

El presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal Argentina (CEA), monseñor Oscar Ojea, afirmó que, tras la cumbre antiabusos que convocó Francisco en el Vaticano, la Iglesia católica en Argentina y en el mundo, "se comprometió a estar cerca de las víctimas" y ofrecer "mayor colaboración a la justicia civil cuando se producen denuncias de este tipo".

Además de abusar de menores, al capellán Lorenzo lo acusan de encubrir otros casos

[In addition to abusing minors, Lorenzo is accused of covering up other cases]

ARGENTINA
La Izquierda Diario

April 1, 2019

By Daniel Satur and Estefanía Velo

A mediados de los 90 un joven le relató al capellán penitenciario y de los grupos scouts el abuso que habría sufrido por parte del cura Rubén Marchioni, actual titular de la Pastoral Social de La Plata. Pero Lorenzo no hizo nada. Años después se lo acusó de conseguir impunidad para un capellán de Olmos. Asustado o preocupado, el cura habló sobre el tema en su misa dominical: “son todos una manga de mentirosos. No voy a hablar con ningún medio”, les dijo a sus fieles.

¿Cómo puede Eduardo Lorenzo mantenerse incólume como capellán del Servicio Penitenciario Bonaerense y párroco de diversas iglesias de la región, desde hace más de veinte años, encubriendo casos de abusos sexuales y siendo él mismo acusado desde hace más de una década? ¿Tan normal es esto dentro de la Iglesia?

The reform seminaries need

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 4, 2019

By C. Colt Anderson and Christopher M. Bellitto

As former seminary professors, we have looked upon the last several months of revelations about clergy sex abuse, cover-ups, and institutional infighting with the same disgust and sadness as our sisters and brothers—but we are not surprised.

Though we honor and support the many good people who work and study in seminaries, we know that seminaries have played a significant role in the church's current crisis. It is essential to understand how priests and thus, ultimately, bishops are formed, especially the way they are enculturated into clericalism from their first days in seminary.

It is the air they breathe there.Clericalism in seminary formation is explicitly singled out as a problem in the Synod on Youth's final document, approved in late October 2018, and it affects everyone in the church—it is a systemic and widespread problem.

Victim of pedophile priest seeks to sue Montreal archdiocese

MONTREAL (CANADA)
The Canadian Press

April 3, 2019

One of the victims of a Montreal priest recently sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually abusing boys under his supervision is suing the archdiocese of Montreal.

A class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Montreal archdiocese between 1940 and the present.

A 33-year-old victim of Rev. Brian Boucher is acting on behalf of the entire class as lead plaintiff and is seeking a total of $600,000 in damages in his name. A judge must authorize the action for it to move forward.

Boucher was sentenced last week to a federal prison term for assaulting two boys.

The filing alleges the lead plaintiff knows of at least two other victims of Boucher, who worked in 10 Montreal-area churches between 1985 and 2015.

The law firm spearheading the action says it covers anyone assaulted by an agent of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal, or as it was known before 1950, the Corporation archiepiscopale catholique romaine de Montreal.

The archdiocese of Montreal said in a statement that it had received notice of the class action. It would not comment further but noted the Quebec Superior Court filing is limited to facts arising from the criminal proceedings against Boucher.

Accusers details encounters with Albuquerque priest in abuse trial

SANTA FE (NM)
Associated Press

April 3, 2019

Four men who say they were sexually abused by the same Roman Catholic priest decades ago have been recounting the details of their experiences as children before federal jurors this week in a Santa Fe courtroom.

One of the accusers, identified as John Doe No. 8, testified, while wiping tears from his face, that he still sometimes thinks about dying, but he couldn’t take his own life because he cares for a son who is a quadriplegic.

The trial of 81-year-old Arthur Perrault before a federal judge in Santa Fe began Tuesday and is expected to last another two weeks.

Perrault’s case marks an unusual federal criminal prosecution of a former priest in a state where dozens of clergy abuse victims have won more than $50 million in settlements from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The archdiocese also is in the midst of bankruptcy proceeding as a result of the church-wide scandal, which has tarnished parishes across the globe.

Testimony earlier this week by one of the unnamed men revealed that the archdiocese in 1992 had denied that he had been sexually abused by the priest, but the claims were settled out of court at the time with the promise that Perrault would get therapy to prevent another boy from being harmed.

John Doe No. 8, told jurors the first assault occurred when he was 12. Perrault was driving the altar boy to the mountains outside of Albuquerque, he said, and the priest had told the boy’s parents they would be doing “church business.”

Man who told Catholic church about past sexual abuse says he was brushed aside

NEWARK (NJ)
North Jersey Record

April 4, 2019

By Deena Yellin

When Johnrocco Sibilia finally broke a 29-year silence about the priest who sexually abused him when he was a teenager, he said he hoped to ease his pain and extinguish the demons that tortured him for years.

Instead, he said he was thrown into a labyrinth of frustration that left him wondering if opening up about his past was a mistake.

At first, he said he was hopeful, moved by Cardinal Joseph Tobin's impassioned speeches apologizing for the sins of the church, and urging victims to step forward.

But when he approached the Archdiocese of Newark, he said, each person to whom he revealed his terrible secret either sent him to someone else or brushed him aside.

One reason could be that his alleged abuser, the Rev. Rene Lima, was a member of the Society of Divine Vocations (SDV), also known as the Vocationist Fathers, a Roman Catholic congregation of priests founded by the Rev. Justin Russolilo in 1920.

The dioceses do not consider it their responsibility to investigate claims against religious orders, even if their priests work in diocese churches.

As a result, the victims of religious order priests have fallen through the bureaucratic cracks, experts say. Their abusers are excluded from lists of credibly accused priests, and the victims are not generally compensated through the diocese funds, experts say.

There are about 11,424 Catholic religious order priests in the United States, including the Vocationist Order, Jesuits, Benedictines, Franciscans and Dominicans, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, based in Washington, D.C.

Vatican upholds sex abuse conviction against Guam archbishop

GUAM/VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

April 4, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican has upheld its conviction of Guam's ousted archbishop for sexually abusing minors and has added an additional penalty on appeal

The Vatican has upheld its conviction of Guam's ousted archbishop for sexually abusing minors and has added a further penalty on appeal that effectively prevents him from presenting himself as a bishop.

The Vatican announced the definitive decision against Archbishop Anthony Apuron on Thursday. In doing so, it revealed for the first time that he had been originally convicted of sexually abusing youths in the remote U.S. Pacific territory.

Apuron has strongly denied the charges and said he is a victim of slander. His replacement hailed the verdict as necessary closure to a "long and painful period for our church."

"The victims, survivors and their families who have suffered greatly can have some measure of solace that justice has been rendered in the church's tribunal process," Agana Archbishop Michael Byrnes said in a statement.

Votación unánime: Senado aprueba imprescriptibilidad de delitos sexuales a menores

[Unanimous vote: Senate approves imprescriptibility of sexual crimes against minors]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 4, 2019

By Jonathan Flores and Gonzalo Cifuentes

Como “un momento histórico para las víctimas, para la sociedad civil y para la propia legislación”, calificaron los senadores el respaldo unánime que entregaron ayer miércoles al proyecto de ley “derecho al tiempo”, que declarará imprescriptible los delitos sexuales contra menores. Siguieron atentamente el debate y la votación desde las tribunas, los representantes de la organización Derecho al Tiempo, quienes tuvieron que esperar nueve años para ver a la iniciativa superar su primer trámite en el Congreso.

LatAm church grapples with abuse, politics — and welcomes the Virgin

ROME
Crux

April 3, 2019

By Inés San Martín

You can take the pope out of Latin America, but, as it turns out, it’s much harder to take the Latin America out of the pope.

Once again over recent days, there have been several noteworthy developments in and around the church in Latin America, at least some which involve history’s first pontiff from the region either directly or indirectly.

A week after being appointed to replace a prelate being investigated by civil prosecutors for allegedly covering up sexual abuse, the apostolic administrator (interim leader) of Santiago, Chile, is in Rome to meet with the pope.

Survivors of sexual abuse in Montreal's Catholic Church file request for class-action lawsuit

MONTREAL (CANADA)
CTV Montreal

April 3, 2019

Victims of sexual abuse in Montreal’s Catholic Church are requesting to file a class-action lawsuit against the diocese.

The request for class action was filed Wednesday on behalf of sexual assault survivors who endured abuse by members of the clergy in Montreal from 1940 to today.

The application was filed against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Montreal and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal.

As Pennsylvania lawmakers stall, child sex abuse victims suffer | Opinion

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

April 3, 2019

By Marci A. Hamilton and Sarah G. Klein

Legend has it that the Roman emperor Nero “fiddled while Rome burned.” Today, Pennsylvania legislators are fiddling while victims are denied legal access to justice by outdated and unfair statutes of limitations (SOLs) for child sex abuse.

Pennsylvania allows victims of child sex abuse to come forth with civil claims until they are 30, and pursue criminal prosecution until age 50. Both age caps fall short of most states and the estimated average age of victim disclosure, 52.

Instead of passing the urgently needed statutory reform that would give victims from the past a “window” in which to seek justice against their abusers, legislators are making empty promises. A window permits those with expired civil statutes of limitation to bring lawsuits within a given period of years. As neighboring states, such as New York and New Jersey, lead the way on SOL reform with swift passage in 2019, Pennsylvania has taken a step backward.

April 3, 2019

Maryland panel votes down effort to give more rights to childhood sex abuse victims

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 3, 2019

By Erin Cox

A Senate panel on Wednesday voted down a bill that would have let childhood sex abuse victims of any age sue institutions that harbored their attackers.

The legislation, proposed amid a global clergy sex abuse scandal, had passed the House of Delegates overwhelmingly last month. But the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee declined to advance it, with one Democrat joining the committee’s four Republicans in voting it down.

The bill had become a heightened source of controversy in Annapolis after its lead sponsor accused the Catholic Church of swindling him into deal that may have granted the organization irreversible immunity from sex abuse cases that happened decades ago.

That deal, part of a 2017 law extending the civil statute of limitations, was a key reason cited by a senator who voted against this year’s proposal.

“It wiped out the compromise from two years ago,” Sen. Michael Hough (R-Frederick) said after the vote. The 2017 law raised the statute of limitations for civil sex abuse cases, increasing the age victims can file from 25 to 38 years old. It also included language some legal experts say makes it unconstitutional by increasing the statute of limitations again.

As Pennsylvania lawmakers stall, child sex abuse victims suffer

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

April 3, 2019

By Marci A. Hamilton and Sarah G. Klein

Legend has it that the Roman emperor Nero “fiddled while Rome burned.” Today, Pennsylvania legislators are fiddling while victims are denied legal access to justice by outdated and unfair statutes of limitations (SOLs) for child sex abuse.

Pennsylvania allows victims of child sex abuse to come forth with civil claims until they are 30, and pursue criminal prosecution until age 50. Both age caps fall short of most states and the estimated average age of victim disclosure, 52.

Instead of passing the urgently needed statutory reform that would give victims from the past a “window” in which to seek justice against their abusers, legislators are making empty promises. A window permits those with expired civil statutes of limitation to bring lawsuits within a given period of years. As neighboring states, such as New York and New Jersey, lead the way on SOL reform with swift passage in 2019, Pennsylvania has taken a step backward.

Even though state Attorney General Josh Shapiro and a nationally recognized organization led by one of us (Marci Hamilton) have separately argued that reviving an expired civil SOL is constitutional under Pennsylvania law, the Republican leadership has decided that a window cannot happen without a constitutional amendment. Of course it can: It would simply require a majority vote from both houses of the legislature, like any other statute. The preference for a constitutional amendment is just that, a preference.

Report on Catholic priests sad, disappointing for the faithful

MANHATTAN (KS)
Manhattan Mercury

April 3, 2019

Most of the incidents of sexual abuse happened years ago, and most of the priests who committed the abuse are dead now. Those who aren’t are no longer members of the clergy.

But the Salina Catholic Diocese’s report last week naming 14 priests who, according to substantiated reports, abused children while serving in positions of power in churches and schools, is still tragic and deeply disturbing.

The Salina Diocese oversees Manhattan’s Catholic churches. Of the 14 people named, three of the accused priests had served in Manhattan.

One of them, Monsignor William Merchant, was the superintendent of the Catholic schools here in the mid-1950s to late 1960s. According to a firsthand account from three men who were students at that time, Merchant molested and sexually assaulted them and others while he was overseeing the schools.

“In our collective opinion, Msgr. Merchant’s avocation was masquerading as a Catholic priest while pursuing his true vocation as an aggressive sexual predator,” they wrote, as part of the report.

To learn of such incidents even all these years later is heart-wrenching for our community and especially for the faithful. Parishioners put their trust in these men, and that trust imbues them with power. Some abuse that power.

Over the last decade or so, we’ve learned that across the country, sexual abuse among the clergy is not just a rare anomaly; it’s a disease, an epidemic. The cases now number in the thousands over the last 50 years. That’s appalling.

Des Moines Diocese will identify 9 priests accused of abusing minors

DES MOINES (IA)
KCCI TV

April 3, 2019

A spokesperson for the diocese said the names will be released at a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Catholic Pastoral Center in downtown Des Moines.

Bishop Richard Pates wrote in a letter to parishioners that he apologizes “for the pain experienced by those abused by our priests, as well as the pain this has caused to all the faithful and those in our broader society."

“I share the anger and frustration of recent reports of clerical abuse of minors and young people, he continued. "It is my sincere hope the release of this list facilitates healing, encourages additional victims who have faced abuse to come forward and begins to restore trust.”

In February, at least 28 priests were credibly accused of having sexually abused more than 100 boys and girls while working for the Diocese of Sioux City.

Sex-abuse trial of fugitive priest tests federal reach

SANTA FE (NM)
Associated Press

April 3, 2019

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Four men who say they were sexually abused by the same Roman Catholic priest decades ago have recounted the details of their experiences as children as federal jurors prepared Wednesday to hear more about the alleged patterns of abuse.

The trial of 81-year-old Arthur Perrault before a federal judge in Santa Fe began Tuesday and is expected to last another two weeks.

Perrault's case marks an unusual federal criminal prosecution of a former priest in a state where dozens of clergy abuse victims have won more than $50 million in settlements from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The archdiocese also is in the midst of bankruptcy proceeding as a result of the church-wide scandal, which has tarnished parishes across the globe.

Testimony on Tuesday by one of the unnamed men revealed that the archdiocese in 1992 had denied that he had been sexually abused by the priest but the claims were settled out of court at the time with the promise that Perrault would get therapy to prevent another boy from being harmed.

That man, identified only as John Doe #8, told jurors the first assault occurred when he was 12. Perrault was driving the altar boy to the mountains outside of Albuquerque. He told the boy's parents they would be doing "church business."

Diocese of Lincoln priests against whom substantiated allegations of childhood sexual abuse have been reported

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Diocese

April 2, 2019

The Diocese of Lincoln developed this list with the assistance of Bishop Conley’s Task Force on Child Sexual Abuse, which reviewed the diocese’s records related to allegations of sexual misconduct. The Task Force specifically recommended that the diocese publish the names of any diocesan clergy with substantiated allegations.

A “substantiated allegation” is an allegation that, after review of available information, appeared more likely true than not in the judgment of the independent Task Force.

There are no time limitations on this list and it will be treated by the diocese as a living document that will be updated and supplemented from time to time. The information available to the Task Force and the diocese with respect to historic allegations of abuse is largely limited to what exists in the diocesan records. However, if the diocese receives new allegations or new information about existing allegations, it will revisit adding names to this list. The diocese continues to cooperate with the Attorney General’s statewide investigation of clergy sexual abuse and, if that investigation yields more allegations or information about existing allegations, the diocese will add names to the list if warranted.

Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese releases letter regarding sex abuse settlements

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
Ozarks First

April 3, 2019

By Beth Finello

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has released a letter regarding sex abuse settlements.

Bishop Edward Rice detailed in the letter how much was spent on settlements and legal fees.

In August of 2018, Bishop Rice wrote a letter to members of the church expressing his sorrow for the hurt inflicted upon anyone in the Diocese by the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

In the 2018 letter, Bishop Rice also stated, "in the spirit of accuracy, transparency, and truthfulness, I directed an independent review of diocesan personnel files of all clergy, diocesan and religious, so that we could have an accurate accounting for the 63-year history of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau."

Poll: Catholics Question Loyalty to Church Amid Sex Abuse Scandal

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Newsmax

April 3, 2019

By Cathy Burke

More than one in three Catholics question if they want to remain Catholic — a sign of their deep “frustration” with church leadership amid reports of widespread sexual abuse, according to one expert.

In a Gallup poll last month, 37% of U.S. Catholics said news of the abuse caused them to doubt their loyalty to the church — up from 22% in 2002.

In a Gallup podcast Wednesday examining the results, lawyer and Catholic activist Sister Simone Campbell said Roman Catholic leaders need to pay attention to those findings.

She said the remark she most often hears about Catholics is “‘when will they ever learn, when will they stop this?’” adding that the Pennsylvania attorney general report on decades of abuse was “shocking and horrifying.”

“Folks are really frustrated by that,” she said.

“My neighbor told me he quit going to church,” she recounted, but said more of “what I hear [from Catholics] is [they’re] shopping around more, looking for leadership they can trust.”

“When there are broader groups involved in managing the diocese… then there’s a whole different change,” she added, saying what’s important for the church leadership to do is “being willing to talk about the sin of our church.”

Trial Begins Against Ex-Connecticut Priest Accused of Abuse

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

April 2, 2019

A criminal trial against a former Connecticut priest accused of abusing nearly 30 children starts Monday in New Mexico.

According to Bishop Accountability, Fr. Arthur Perrault worked in Hartford, East Hartford, Naugatuck and on the Yale campus in the 1960s.

It’s not too late for people with knowledge or suspicions about Fr. Perrault’s crimes to help law enforcement convict him. We hope that Fr. Perrault will be found guilty and kept away from kids for the rest of his life. And we hope anyone who may have been hurt by Fr. Perrault will come forward, make a report to law enforcement, and find help and healing from independent therapists and support groups.

Diocese of Lincoln Posts Partial List of Clergy Accused of Abuse

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

April 3, 2019

The list published today by the Diocese of Lincoln is a small step forward for transparency on clergy sex crimes in Nebraska. We call on Church officials to take additional steps to keep children in Nebraska safe and to help victims heal.

First, the Diocese should include the names of not only Diocesan priests, but also those of religious order priests, brothers, nuns and lay employees who have been accused of abuse and spent time in Lincoln.

Second, the Diocese should include information about when it first received the allegations against each named person and what actions it took in response to those allegations. Only by knowing what went wrong in the past can we learn how to improve for the future and prevent additional cases of child sexual abuse.

On Religion: Sister rises from Africa to confront Catholic abuses

GREENVILLE (NC)
Reflector

April 3, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

At the end of the movie "Spotlight," the screen went black before a message appeared noting that in 2002 alone, The Boston Globe's investigative reporting team published nearly 600 stories about sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

The next screen noted, "249 priests and brothers were publicly accused of sexual abuse within the Boston Archdiocese."

But there was more. The first time Sister Veronica Openibo of Nigeria saw this film — which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2016 — she was stunned to see four screens packed with the names of 223 American dioceses and nations in which major abuse scandals had been uncovered.

"Tears of sorrow flowed," she said, speaking at the Vatican's global summit on clergy sexual abuse. "How could the clerical church have kept silent, covering these atrocities? The silence, the carrying of the secrets in the hearts of the perpetrators, the length of the abuses and the constant transfers of perpetrators are unimaginable."

Correction: Priest Trial Delayed story

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Associated Press

April 3, 2019

In a story April 2 about a delay in the trial of a Kansas priest accused of molesting a child, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was on a list of 22 priests that the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas identified as facing substantiated claims of abuse. He appeared on a separate list of priests facing public allegations that the diocese wasn't able to substantiate.


Diocese of Charleston names priests accused of sexual abuse; some had ties to Georgetown, Pawleys Island

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Associated Press

April 3, 2019

By David Purtell

The Catholic diocese in South Carolina on March 29 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.

Locally, three of the priests on the list had ties to St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church in Georgetown. In addition, at least one each at Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church in Pawleys Island and St. Michael's Catholic Church in Garden City.

Priests who were assigned to St. Mary’s in Georgetown who are on the list include:

Frederick Suggs, who was assigned to Georgetown two times: from 1945-1947 and 1962-1968; died in 1998

John Bench, Georgetown, from 1985-1991, died in 2009

Gerald Ryfinski, Georgetown, from 2000-2001. Ryfinski was laicized (removed from the clerical state) in April 2007. A note on the list states “Unlike others on the list, this case involved possession of child pornography.”

Others who were assigned to nearby parishes include:

Thomas Evatt, Precious Blood of Christ, Pawleys Island, 1986-1988. He died in 2003. He was also with St. Cyprian's Catholic Church in Georgetown.
Hayden Vavarek, St. Michael's, 1999-2000. Vavarek was laicized in May 2016

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.

York Region mental health centre speaks out months after explosive report on abusive priests

TORONTO (CANADA)
Toronto Star

April 1, 2019

By Lisa Queen

The Southdown Institute mental health treatment centre missed a chance to explain what its mission is when it didn’t respond to accusations that priests who had sexually assaulted children were sent there as part of a coverup scheme by the Catholic Church, says the institute’s new president.

Attention last August focused on the 53-year-old centre, which operated in Aurora before moving in 2013 to Holland Landing just north of Newmarket, after the release of an explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Of 300-plus priests who had sexually abused boys and girls in that state over decades, the grand jury identified seven predators sent to Southdown for treatment rather than facing criminal charges.

A Southdown spokesperson declined to discuss the revelation then.

Report details how hundreds of priests abused children in Pennsylvania, and the church covered it up

However, on Feb. 1, the centre welcomed new president and chief psychologist, Father Stephan Kappler, who believes Southdown missed an opportunity to respond to the accusations and explain its mission to the community.

The priest and Dr. Eran Talitman, a psychologist with Southdown for 20 years, sat down for a far-ranging interview, including accusations the centre “laundered” offending priests before the church reassigned them to unsuspecting parishes and concerns abusive clergy were tested out in local churches before going on to unknowing congregations.

Both men said they are upset thinking the community might fear Southdown and its clients.

Still no pedophile-enabler street change nearly a year after issue raised with council

WARRNAMBOOL (AUSTRALIA)
Warrnambool Standard

April 3, 2019

Victims of sexual abuse are mounting a renewed push to rename a Warrnambool street which honours a senior priest who knew about abuse but failed to act.

Warrnambool mayor Tony Herbert previously told a victim that Fiscalini Drive's name would be changed - but it hasn't happened despite the issue being first raised mid-last year.

The Standard has contacted Cr Herbert for comment but he has not responded yet.

Monsignor Leo Fiscalini was told by a victim she was being sexually abused in 1972 and he accused her of "telling lies" and left her in the care of her abuser.

The county court has since jailed her abuser.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuses acknowledged Fiscalini and former Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns knew of complaints relating to pedophile Gerald Ridsdale in the 1970s but permitted him to continue working in the region.

The sex assault victim, who revealed her abuse to Monsignor Fiscalini in a confessional, has previously received support from Cr Herbert.

"I received a very empathetic email," she said.

"On July 12 last year I first wrote to Tony Herbert seeking support for the name of the street being changed after the story in The Standard.

"He said he was supportive of the removal of names from all public recognition of both those responsible for committing crimes and those who concealed crimes.

El reservado primer día de Aós en el Vaticano

[Aós' first day at the Vatican]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 2, 2019

By M. J. Navarrete

Religioso confirmó que le pedirá al Papa Francisco levantar el secreto pontificio de algunas de las investigaciones por abusos a menores de la Arquidiócesis de Santiago.

El nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago, Celestino Aós, arribó hoy, cerca de las 6.30 de la madrugada (hora de Chile), al aeropuerto de Fiumicino, en Roma. Allí, se refirió a las expectativas de su viaje, que se extenderá por 10 días, donde confirmó que le pedirá al Papa Francisco levantar el secreto pontificio de algunas de las investigaciones por abusos a menores de la Arquidiócesis de Santiago.

La mujer clave en el caso Karadima

[The key woman in the Karadima case]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 3, 2019

By Erik López

“En tiempos en que hablamos de empoderamiento de las mujeres, es inevitable destacar el rol de una mujer en el caso Karadima. Lo que hoy presenciamos, el inédito fallo que responsabiliza a la Iglesia Católica por los abusos sexuales cometidos por un cura, tiene su origen en el trabajo profesional y sin miedo de una mujer”. “Se trata de la ministra de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, Jessica González, quien en noviembre del 2011 dictó un fallo que sería el cimiento firme de la resolución que