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September 30, 2019

Summary of Findings and Recommendations

NEW YORK (NY)
Archdiocese of New York

September 30, 2019

By Honorable Barbara S. Jones (ret.),
Independent Reviewer and Special Counsel for the Archdiocese of New York

[Also contains statement by Cardinal Dolan and video of the press conference.]

Last September, Cardinal Dolan asked me to review the Archdiocese of New York’s policies and procedures for responding to allegations of sexual abuse and to make recommendations for improvements. My review has focused on current practices and on the Archdiocese’s compliance with its obligations under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002. I have received the Archdiocese’s total cooperation, including complete access to all records. I have conducted dozens of interviews, performed an exhaustive review of documents, and assessed many different aspects of the Archdiocese’s practices.

The Cardinal asked for my honest, objective assessment, and I have reported my findings and recommendations to him on an ongoing basis. Overall, I have found that the Archdiocese has complied with the Charter in all material respects. It has faithfully followed its policies and procedures and responded appropriately to abuse complaints, and is committed to supporting victims-survivors of abuse. I have recommended some enhancements to current practices. A summary of my findings and recommendations is set forth below.

Findings:

• The Archdiocese follows strict protocols any time that it receives an allegation that a cleric has sexually abused a minor. The District Attorney for the appropriate county is promptly notified of the allegation. When an allegation is made against a cleric in ministry, regardless of whether criminal charges are brought, the Archdiocese initiates an independent investigation of the allegation. The results of that investigation are presented to a Lay Review Board, which decides whether the allegation is substantiated. If the allegation is substantiated, the Board recommends to the Cardinal that the cleric be permanently removed from ministry. Cardinal Dolan accepts the Board’s recommendation and has never returned a cleric to ministry against whom there has been a substantiated complaint.

Catholic Archdiocese of New York removes all priests accused of sex abuse, report says

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

September 30, 2019

By Frank Esposito

New York - Every priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York who has a substantial sex-abuse accusation against him has been removed from ministry, according to a report released today.

That finding was revealed in a report by former federal judge and prosecutor Barbara Jones, who was tasked by Cardinal Timothy Dolan with studying the archdiocese's handling of sex-abuse complaints.

Her findings show a near stop to all abuse in the archdiocese since the early 2000s.

"Almost all the complainants received over the last several years are not complaints of current conduct, but rather they are complaints about conduct which occurred sometimes decades ago," Jones said.

Independent Investigator recommends Catholic Church's Archdiocese of New York hire sex abuse czar to vet complaints

NEW YORK (NY)
NBC News

September 30, 2019

By Corky Siemaszko

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/independent-investigator-recommends-catholic-church-s-archdiocese-new-york-hire-n1060356

Advocate for victims said the church should not be involved in hiring the person who polices its priests.

An independent investigator tasked with reviewing how the Archdiocese of New York has been dealing with the predator priest scandal in the Catholic Church urged Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Monday to hire a sex abuse czar to oversee these kinds of complaints.

"I have recommended that the Archdiocese hire a person whose sole responsibility is to oversee its response to sexual abuse complaints," Barbara Jones wrote in her report.

Jones, a retired federal judge, was commissioned by the Archdiocese of New York in 2018 to conduct the review of the church’s handling of abuse allegations.

Southern Baptists ready to put spotlight on sex-abuse crisis

COLUMBIA (MO)
Associated Press via Religion News Service

September 30, 2019

By David Crary

Entangled in a multifaceted sex-abuse crisis, the Southern Baptist Convention is preparing to host a high-profile conference on the topic that has kindled skepticism even among some of the scheduled speakers.

The three-day Caring Well conference opens Thursday at a resort hotel near Dallas, drawing hundreds of pastors and church officials from the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. for a program featuring victim advocates, attorneys, therapists and at least 10 survivors of sexual abuse.

Several of those survivors told The Associated Press they had mixed feelings about the conference — hoping it represents a genuine desire for change but concerned it might come across as a public relations exercise.

The first survivor scheduled to speak is Susan Codone, a professor at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, who says she was abused as a teenager by the youth minister and pastor at her SBC church in Alabama.

Diocese of Lansing, MI Releases List of Accused Priests

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP

September 27, 2019

The Diocese of Lansing, MI today released their list of priests that have been accused of abuse. We hope that this release will bring hope and healing to survivors and will help protect more children from being victimized in the future.

The list released by church officials in Lansing is a long-overdue and belated move, a step that we believe Bishop Earl Boyea should have more than ten years ago when he was first appointed to his post. Dioceses first began releasing these lists in 2002 and today’s release likely only occurred because of pressure from parishioners and the public in Michigan.

SNAP Responds to Passing of Cardinal William Levada

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP

September 27, 2019

Cardinal William Levada has passed away. In his wake, he leaves behind a legacy of obfuscation, cover-up, and minimization of cases of clergy abuse.

As the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Cardinal Levada ignored reports of abuse from the Antonio Provolo School in Verona, Italy, for almost a year, until the allegations became public.

While the leader of the the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Cardinal Levada allowed priests who were accused of abuse to stay in ministry even while facing lawsuits. He has the notorious distinction of seeing the head of his hand-picked abuse review panel resign in protest after seeing that church “investigations” of abusers under the cardinal were little more than PR stunts.

East Haven man wants Bridgeport diocese to help him heal from abuse

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

September 29, 2019

By Ed Stannard

East Haven - John Seymour turned 55 on Saturday, but there are times when he feels like a 6-year-old bundle of pain.

That’s when the abuse started. That’s when he said the Rev. Joseph Malloy anally raped him in St. James Roman Catholic Church in Stratford, in the sacristy, where the priests prepare themselves to celebrate Mass and lead the people in worshiping Jesus Christ.

The flashbacks come without warning, causing Seymour to clench his jaw so hard he has broken seven teeth. “A year ago I was suicidal. … I found myself three times in the process of committing suicide,” he said.

He has spent thousands in therapy and all he wants is for the Diocese of Bridgeport to pay for his treatment. But all he’s been offered is $5,000. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which he believes was exacerbated by his service in the Middle East during the Gulf War era as an Air Force staff sergeant, though he did not see combat.

Seymour receives $1,403.71 per month in disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs. His claim for higher benefits was denied because, according to the VA, his disability is not service related.

Malloy, a cousin of former Gov. Dannel Malloy, died in 2016. While he denied the accusations of sexual abuse, the Diocese of Bridgeport named him in a $12 million settlement in 2001 along with five other priests. However, the diocese lists Joseph Malloy among those priests who its review committee did not determine was credibly accused.

Statute of limitations bill to get aired before state Senate committee

MEADVILLE (PA)
Meadville Tribune

September 28, 2019

By John Finnerty

Harrisburg - A Wednesday hearing will give adult survivors of child sex abuse their first chance in years to publicly confront members of the Senate and call for action on legislation that would open a window for civil lawsuits in cases where the existing statute of limitations has expired. The judiciary committee is expected to hear testimony from a small number of adult survivors, as well as from the state’s Victim Advocate, and other testifiers.

The Senate judiciary committee has not disclosed the slate of testifiers expected to appear at the hearing. But Pennsylvania’s Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm said she is scheduled to appear and she invited victims to contact her office to help her articulate the views of those affected by the state’s statute of limitations law.

Storm said she was contacted by more than 35 victims as she prepared her testimony. She said the group of victims was “highly diverse” and includes not just victims of priest abuse, but also those victimized by ministers from other denominations and faiths, scouting organizations, school teachers and relatives.

At deadline, Pittsburgh Diocese priest abuse fund at 232 claims and growing

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

September 30, 2019

By Peter Smith

With Monday’s deadline for applying for compensation for sexual abuse by priests of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, at least 232 people have filed claims, with many more potentially submitting last-minute claims.

Pittsburgh attorney Alan Perer, who represents many victims of abuse, said last week he had five staff members working on claims before the final deadline.

As of Friday, 40 claims had been approved for about $4.5 million and seven others were denied, according to Amy Weiss, a spokeswoman representing Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, the Washington-based legal team overseeing the fund.

The diocese launched the fund early this year, with Sept. 30 set as the deadline, in the wake of a 2018 grand jury report into Pittsburgh’s and five other dioceses. It cited accusations against more than 90 Pittsburgh priests, and 300 statewide, dating back seven decades. Most of the abuse occurred before 1990, but many abuses were never previously known to the public. Six other Pennsylvania dioceses also created such funds.

New report shows over half of children in Cameroon face abuse

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 30, 2019

Yaoundé, Cameroon - A new report on child abuse in Cameroon shows that over 50 percent of Cameroon’s children have suffered various forms of abuse, with children with disabilities suffering proportionally far worse.

The study was carried over a three-year period by the Cameroon Baptist Hospital Services in partnership with the Netherlands-based Liliane Foundation, using a variety of methods including focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.

While previous studies focused primarily on identifying the prevalence of violence and abuse against children, the latest study sought to “identify the factors contributing to the abuse of children with disability, and to determine appropriate measures and strategies to reduce such abuse so as to improve on the wellbeing for children with disabilities,” according to Glory Agho who presented the results of the study on Sep. 25.

Cardinal Levada took U.S. experience with him to the Vatican

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via Crux

September 27, 2019

U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, who died Sept. 26 in Rome, is well-known as the retired head of the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation, but his experience leading major U.S. dioceses prepared him for this role.

“I firmly believe that what I have experienced in my ministry among God’s people here in the Archdiocese of San Francisco has been a great grace for me and has enriched me for the new service to the universal church to which our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, has called me now,” he said during a Mass attended by more than 3,000 people at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, just before he left the archdiocese in 2005.

He also told the congregation that his 10 years as archbishop there had been “a significant part of my life as a man, a priest and a bishop.”

When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, he named Levada to replace him as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican agency charged with protecting and promoting the church’s teachings on faith and morals. It was the first time a U.S. prelate had led the congregation.

Notre Dame panel asks about clerical crisis: ‘Where are we now?’

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 26, 2019

By Christopher White

South Bend, Indiana - Some of the leading figures in the U.S. Catholic Church in charge of the response to the clerical sex abuse crisis convened on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday with a consensus that while the Church has been slow to reform, that change is underway.

The event was an initiative of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, who opened the forum by summoning the famous words of Saint Francis of Assisi, “rebuild my church,” as inspiration for the event dubbed “The Church Crisis: Where are we now?”

John L. Allen, Jr., editor of Crux, served as the moderator for the evening panel, which included Chilean abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz; former FBI agent Kathleen McChesney, who helped lead the U.S. bishops’ response to the crisis after 2002; Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore who, most recently, oversaw the investigation into Bishop Michael Bransfield of the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston; and Peter Steinfels, a long-time religion reporter for the New York Times.

“Most of us, myself very much included, know much less about this painful, stomach churning scandal than we think we know,” said Steinfels who kicked-off the panel discussion.

Cambridge conference tackles clericalism and sexuality

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 30, 2019

By Christopher White

A three day conference held at Cambridge University earlier this month set out to explore the relationship between clericalism and sexuality. Sponsored by the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry, the gathering brought together a range of participants from historians to psychologists, from Dominicans and Opus Dei members to agnostics.

The workshop’s organizer, Luigi Gioia, spoke to Crux about how the conference sought to understand the current crisis in the Church and its multifaceted dimensions.

Crux: What was the inspiration for this conference and how did you decide who would participate?

Gioia: The main inspiration for the workshop was Pope Francis’s singling out of clericalism as one of the main causes of the present crisis in the life of the Church. In the past, the accusation of clericalism used to come from people hostile to the Church. Now, on the contrary, its use is promoted internally and from the very top, that is from the pope himself.

Trial for Holt teacher charged with assaulting students set to begin

LANSING (MI)
WILX 10 NBC

September 30, 2019

The trial of a former Holt teacher accused of sexually assaulting several of his students is set to begin Monday morning.

Patrick Daley is facing over two dozen criminal sexual conduct charges.

He's accused of abusing at least eight boys when he was a fifth-grade teacher at Washington Woods Elementary School in Holt.

The Ingham County Sheriff's Office started an investigation in May of 2018 after four students told the principal Daley touched them inappropriately.

He faces at least 15 years in prison if convicted.

Daley's trial is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 30 in Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Clinton Canady III's court room at 8:30 a.m.

Former Portland bishop, scrutinized during sex abuse scandals, has died

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

September 26, 2019

By Jayati Ramakrishnan

A former Portland bishop who later became a cardinal died Wednesday at age 83.

William Levada was the archbishop of Portland from 1986 to 2006 and was the head of the Portland archdiocese during the sex abuse scandals that rocked the church in the mid-2000s. According to Catholic News Agency, Levada was appointed cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.

According to The New York Times, Levada was put in charge of adjudicating sexual abuse cases involving priests all over the world. He came under scrutiny for not being as tough as he could have on abuse cases, often giving priests the benefit of the doubt and being hesitant to remove them from their positions.

The Portland archdiocese became the first in the country to declare bankruptcy to compensate victims who were sexually abused by clergy members.

Archdiocese to announce sex abuse crisis response recommendations today

WHITE PLAINS (NY)
Journal News

September 30, 2019

By Isabel Keane

Findings and recommendations for how the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York should respond to the sexual abuse crisis will be shared this morning.

Some 290 lawsuits were filed against the eight dioceses of the Catholic Church in New York state, 110 of which were filed against the archdiocese on the first day that suits could be filed, The Journal News/lohud previously reported.

Former federal judge and prosecutor Barbara S. Jones, who is serving as special counsel and independent investigator for the archdiocese, will share her findings at a news conference 9 a.m. at the Catholic Center in New York.

Cardinal Levada, former Archbishop of Portland embroiled in priest abuse cases, has died at 83

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW8 NBC

September 29, 2019

By Michael Rollins

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/cardinal-levada-former-archbishop-of-portland-embroiled-in-priest-abuse-cases-has-died-at-83/283-d20395dc-874e-4a24-b845-0117b9b360b4

[With video from Associated Press]

Cardinal William J. Levada, who oversaw the Archdiocese of Portland during turbulent years that eventually brought to light, child abuse by priests, has died at age 83, according to the Catholic News Agency.

Levada died September 25, according to the story with a Vatican City dateline. He served as the Portland archbishop from 1986 to 1995, when he became archbishop of San Francisco. Levada was named a cardinal in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

"I was very saddened to learn of the death of my predecessor as Archbishop of Portland, Cardinal Levada. We are sincerely grateful to God for his years of service here as our shepherd. He is fondly remembered. May God grant him the reward of a good and faithful servant," current Archbishop of Portland Alexander K. Sample said in a Facebook post.

In 2004, the archdiocese declared bankruptcy, paying out over previous years about $53 million to over 100 victims who claimed child abuse by priests, which Levada reportedly learned of after he came to Portland. It was the first bankruptcy of an American diocese to deal with the financial fallout of priest abuse.

Cardinal William Levada strove to honor all the church's teachings

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 27, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

Cardinal William Levada died peacefully this week in Rome. He was 83 years old. I remember the day in 2005 when Pope Benedict XVI announced he was naming then-Archbishop Levada of San Francisco to lead the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). "I didn't see that one coming," was the universal reaction.

The new pope had been a renowned academic theologian before his surprise appointment as Archbishop of Freising and Munich in 1977. Since 1981, he had presided over the CDF for 24 years and he knew its challenges, especially as it became the office through which clergy sex abuse cases were handled. If anyone knew what was needed in the post, it was him, and he had chosen Levada, who had helped Ratzinger acclimate to the CDF all those many years before. As the shock wore off, the appointment made more and more sense. As prefect, Levada earned a reputation for managing well the far flung responsibilities of the office.

The more I learned about Levada, the more I admired him. It was not always so. I recall hearing him called "Darth Levada" when he was appointed to San Francisco. Certainly, he was seen, and was, more conservative than his predecessor Archbishop John R. Quinn. But, the nickname was unfair: He was not a culture warrior.

Complicated and flawed, Levada was a churchman to the core

CONGERS (NY)
Angelus

September 30, 2019

John L. Allen Jr.

If there’s one thing 20-plus years of covering the Catholic Church has taught, it’s that people and situations are rarely as simple as they seem. Few churchmen in my experience brought that point home quite as much as Cardinal William J. Levada, who died in Rome Sept. 26 at the age of 83.

Born in Long Beach, Levada was one of three alumni of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo who would go on to become cardinals of the Catholic Church (the other two are Cardinal Roger Mahony, retired archbishop of Los Angeles and Cardinal Justin Rigali, retired archbishop of Philadelphia).

During his life, some saw Levada as a stereotypical conservative, a sort of culture warrior in sync with the ethos of the John Paul II and Benedict XVI years.

For many, that reputation was set in cement when Levada was the prime mover behind the decision to launch a Vatican doctrinal investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main umbrella group for the leadership of American nuns, in 2009.

*

To take a different example, critics have faulted Levada’s record on the clerical sexual abuse scandals.

When Levada was the archbishop of Portland in 1992, for example, he removed an accused priest from ministry but then allowed him to return after counseling and under supervision two years later, defending it at the time as proof that rehabilitation is possible.

Levada moved to San Francisco in 1995, and a decade later the Archdiocese of Portland would become the first U.S. diocese to declare bankruptcy due to abuse claims.

Who is Bishop McCarrick and what are his crimes?

NEW YORK (NY) and DUBLIN (IRELAND)
IrishCentral

September 30, 2019

On February 13, 2019, Theodore E. McCarrick became the first bishop in modern times to be laicized (defrocked) from the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican trial launched in 2018. McCarrick, 88 at the time, was dismissed from the clergy after being found guilty of decades of sexual abuse of minors and adult seminarians.

This was an especially significant moment because of McCarrick's status within the church. He had been a key fundraiser, international representative for the Vatican in delicate political situations, presided over high profile funerals including those of Senator Ted Kennedy, journalist Tim Russert, and the Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden. He had also been a public-facing figure, even appearing on Meet the Press to discuss the child abuse scandal within the church in 2004.

What are McCarrick's crimes?

McCarrick was initially removed from public ministry by the Holy See on June 20, 2018, following an investigation into claims that he had sexually abused a 16-year-old altar boy 47 years ago while serving as a priest in New York. A review board of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York found the allegation that he had abused the altar boy on two occasions, once in 1971 and once in 1972, "reliable and credible."

In response, McCarrick claimed to be innocent and have "no recollection" of the events described. However, after the first public accusation came to light, numerous other allegations emerged. Eventually, he was accused of sexually abusing three men when they were minors. One, James Grien, who had been the first baby McCarrick baptized after becoming a priest, said he began abusing him when he was 11.

And, it turned out, there had been multiple complaints brought against him over the years by adult seminarians, of which the Catholic Church had been aware. The first documented complaint against McCarrick from an adult was made in 1994, when a priest wrote a letter to the Bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, where McCarrick had been Bishop from 1981-1986, accusing McCarrick of sexually and emotionally abusing him and his fellow seminarians. According to a New York Times report, the letter also stated that the abuse had led the priest to touch two teenage boys inappropriately. The church's response at the time was to send him to therapy and move him to another diocese.

State police announce hotline for victims of clergy abuse

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Associated Press via Crux

September 28, 2019

Rhode Island officials released a hotline dedicated to victims of clergy abuse from the Roman Catholic clergy in the state.

The hotline is a response to a list the Diocese of Providence released of 51 clerics, religious order priests and deacons that it deems have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, dating to the 1950s.

State officials say they are investigating the list and trying to prosecute as many cases as possible.

Officials are urging victims or anyone with information to call the new number with the Major Crimes Unit or contact Day One, an advocacy organization for victims of sexual abuse.

Maureen Philbin, the COO of Day One, says the organization saw a spike in calls the day after the list was released in July.

‘Survivors need us now’: Panelists gather to discuss Catholic Church sex abuse crisis in 2019 ND Forum keynote event

SOUTH BEND (IN)
The Observer

September 26, 2019

By Mary Steurer and Natalie Weber

https://ndsmcobserver.com/2019/09/survivors-need-us-now-panelists-gather-to-discuss-catholic-church-sex-abuse-crisis-in-2019-nd-forum-keynote-event/

Four major players in addressing the Catholic sex abuse crisis called for greater transparency, concrete reforms and a better understanding of Church scandals during the Notre Dame Forum’s panel Wednesday night, entitled “‘Rebuild My Church’: Crisis and Response.”

Featured guests included Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori; former FBI executive assistant director Kathleen McChesney; Juan Carlos Cruz, an advocate for clergy abuse survivors; and journalist Peter Steinfels, a previous editor at Commonweal and past New York Times columnist. John Allen, editor of the online Catholic newspaper, Crux, moderated the panel.

Each panelist was invited to reflect on where the Catholic Church stands in addressing the abuse crisis.

Neither the panelists’ commentary nor follow-up questions from the audience made any mention of the archbishop’s controversial history with Church reform. Over the years, Lori has earned a reputation as an opponent of transparency, drawing criticism as recently as this summer for his investigation of former bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Michael Bransfield.

Speaker: Abuse survivors can't wait for bishops to learn from crisis

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

September 30, 2019

By Heidi Schlumpf

Notre Dame panel addresses progress made in sexual abuse scandal

Sexual abuse by Catholic clergy continues to haunt not only its victims/survivors but also the entire church, as attention now turns to negligent bishops, abuse of vulnerable adults and related financial scandals, said speakers at a University of Notre Dame event that asked: "Where Are We Now?"

While some praised the progress made in past decades, including declining numbers of new cases and better pastoral support for victims, a survivor on the panel hit back about comments that church leaders have had to experience a "learning curve" on the issue.

"Raping a child has been wrong before Christ, after Christ, in the Middle Ages, and it will always be wrong," said Juan Carlos Cruz, who was abused as a teenager in Chile by a notorious priest who has since been laicized. "We can't wait for bishops to finish their learning curves. Survivors need us now."

Cruz, who met with Pope Francis in 2018 and is credited with helping the pontiff address the issue more strongly, agreed with fellow panelist Baltimore Archbishop William Lori about the need for more lay people to bring their expertise to the decision-making table on the issue.

"We need not only lay people, I would say we need more women in the church. … We need more women to break this men's club," he said, drawing applause.

Former Marquette Diocese priest on list of those credibly accused of abuse

MARQUETTE (MI)
WNMU-FM

September 29, 2019

By Nicole Walton

Lansing - The following was released by the Diocese of Marquette:

The Diocese of Lansing released a list today (Sept. 27, 2019) of clergy that it has determined to be credibly accused of abusing a minor. One of those listed, Terrence M. Healy, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Marquette in 1968. He served as a priest of the diocese until receiving a leave of absence in 1978. He applied for incardination into the Diocese of Lansing in 1982, which was granted in 1985 (making him a priest of that diocese).

Healy was removed from ministry by the Diocese of Lansing in 1987 and dismissed from the clerical state (laicized) in 1992. No instances of sexual abuse perpetrated by Healy during his tenure in Marquette were known to the Diocese of Marquette until 1996, four years after Healy’s dismissal from the clerical state. The incidents reported in 1996 allegedly occurred between 1968 and 1972, while Healy was assigned to Sacred Heart Church in L’Anse (1968-69) and to St. Joseph’s Church in Sault Ste. Marie (1969-1974).

September 29, 2019

One boy: How a Vermonter rose above priest abuse

VERMONT
VtDigger.org

September 29, 2019

By Kevin O'Connor

Editor’s note: This is the first story in a series on the Vermont Catholic Church’s hidden history of clergy abusing children. Part 1, “One boy,” offers the perspective of a survivor. Part 2, “One priest,” reveals how the state’s most problematic cleric stayed on the job. Part 3, “One diocese,” reports on the collective past and current attempts to acknowledge and atone for it.

Vermonter Dan Gilman was a 15-year-old free spirit when, climbing a tree lurching over a friend’s aboveground pool July 28, 1972, he leapt upward.

“I imagined I was one of those cliff divers they show on ‘Wide World of Sports,’” the Rutland resident recalls. “In that split second, everything was light and sparkling.”

Then it all came crashing down. Gilman felt his head snap into his chest upon hitting the shallow pool floor. Fracturing his spine, the teenager was paralyzed from just below the shoulders to the soles of his feet.

“This is bad, this is bad, this is bad,” Gilman thought as he lay in a hospital bed listening to doctors give him a less than 1% chance of recovery.

Feeling helpless, the boy accepted a priest’s invitation to receive a blessing. The stranger pulled a privacy curtain around the bed. A cleric’s hands hold healing powers, the adult said before placing a communion wafer on the boy’s tongue, followed by a kiss on his lips.

“You will be cured,” Gilman recalls hearing, “and you will be a normal kid again.”

The boy wanted to believe as the priest went on to undress him.

“I closed my eyes and hoped to God it was true,” Gilman recalls. “I prayed that putting my faith in his hands, literally in his hands, would lead to great things for me.”

Cardinal Levada, former Archbishop of Portland embroiled in priest abuse cases, has died at 83

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW8-TV

September 29, 2019

By Michael Rollins

Cardinal William J. Levada, who oversaw the Archdiocese of Portland during turbulent years that eventually brought to light, child abuse by priests, has died at age 83, according to the Catholic News Agency.

Levada died September 25, according to the story with a Vatican City dateline. He served as the Portland archbishop from 1986 to 1995, when he became archbishop of San Francisco. Levada was named a cardinal in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

"I was very saddened to learn of the death of my predecessor as Archbishop of Portland, Cardinal Levada. We are sincerely grateful to God for his years of service here as our shepherd. He is fondly remembered. May God grant him the reward of a good and faithful servant," current Archbishop of Portland Alexander K. Sample said in a Facebook post.

In 2004, the archdiocese declared bankruptcy, paying out over previous years about $53 million to over 100 victims who claimed child abuse by priests, which Levada reportedly learned of after he came to Portland. It was the first bankruptcy of an American diocese to deal with the financial fallout of priest abuse.

Diocese: Retired priest said he abused minor in 1980s

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Associated Press

September 28, 2019

The Diocese of Allentown says an 87-year-old priest recently said he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s.

Stephen J. Halabura has been barred from ministry.

Halabura was ordained in 1961 and retired in 2008. Since his retirement he had been serving as a substitute priest.

After he notified officials of the abuse in May, the diocese investigated and found the account to be credible. The matter has been referred to law enforcement.

In a news release Friday, the diocese said the abuse occurred at the former St. Anthony of Padua parish in Millmont, Berks County, where Halabura was assigned from 1971 to 1984. The parish later was merged into St. John Baptist de la Salle in Shillington.

Halabura had eight other assignments between 1961 and 2008.

Spotlight True Story: The Movie's Real Boston Scandal Explained

UNITED STATES
ScreenRant (blog)

September 29, 2019

By John Orquiola

Spotlight tackled a very difficult subject matter and, overall, told the true story accurately, though the film did make some changes to real-life events. Directed by Todd McCarthy from a script by McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight is about the Boston Globe investigative reporting team that exposed the widespread systemic sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Boston. Spotlight won the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

State Police create hotline to report clergy sexual abuse

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Associated Press via the Stamford Advocate

September 29, 2019

The Rhode Island State Police have created a new hotline for people to report allegations of clergy sexual abuse.

The State Police announced the new telephone line within the Major Crimes Unit.

Detectives are working with Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha to review of allegations of sexual abuse by clergy since 1950. Neronha, a Democrat, announced in July he had gained access to nearly 70 years of records from the Diocese of Providence for the review.

The Roman Catholic diocese has released a list of 50 clerics, religious order priests and deacons it deems to have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, dating to 1950.

Study: Up to 10% of Catholic seminarians are victims of sexual harassment, abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

September 29, 2019

By Danae King

A new study reveals that 10% of Catholic seminarians in the U.S. experienced or may have been subject to sexual misconduct. The study comes on the heels of last’s year’s scandal involving disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who was accused of abusing seminarians at a beach house.

After news emerged in 2018 that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had been accused of sexually abusing fellow students while studying to be a Catholic priest, John Cavadini came up with an idea.

“There were so many rumors about what’s going on in seminary culture and was what happened with McCarrick the norm,” said Cavadini, a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and director of its McGrath Institute for Church Life. “People were scared. I decided to try to find some objective data.”

Conference considers role of women, impact of abuse on Catholic imagination

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

September 27, 2019

by Zach Czaia

"There are as many ways to be a Catholic artist as there are Catholic artists."

So said poet and professor of Catholic Studies Angela Alaimo O'Donnell in her remarks opening the Catholic Imagination Conference at Loyola University here Sept. 19. The statement was verified by the content of the conference, with presentations by more than 80 artists, including poets, novelists, filmmakers, playwrights, composers, journalists, biographers, editors, publishers and critics. The event was sponsored by Loyola's Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.

A recurring theme made itself felt in the addresses, workshops and breakout sessions: the desire to address and speak to the challenges and crises facing the Catholic Church — especially the abuse of minors and subsequent cover-up, and the role of women in the church.

In her plenary address on Saturday, novelist Alice McDermott said, "This is an existential moment for the church."

Catholic Parish Hosts Conversion Therapy Group Accused of Abuse

UNITED STATES
The Advocate

September 29, 2019

By Trudy Ring

Desert Stream/Living Waters Ministries has been accused of sexual abuse as well as the other harms associated with conversion therapy.

Some LGBTQ activists are incensed that a Catholic church within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hosted a presentation by a conversion therapy group that has been accused of sexual abuse — and has admitted to it in at least one case.

Desert Stream/Living Waters Ministries, which claims to be able to turn LGBTQ people straight or cisgender, was part of a daylong conference on sexual and gender identity held at St. Katharine of Siena Parish in Wayne, Pa., in early September. While the Catholic faith considers same-sex relations a sin and gender immutable, it does not generally promote conversion therapy, which is more often associated with fundamentalist Protestant churches. But a few Catholic bodies in the U.S. have hosted conversion therapy groups.

The founder and director of Desert Stream/Living Waters is Andrew Comiskey, who created the group in 1980. He converted to Catholicism a few years ago. Comiskey wrote in a 2010 blog post, uncovered by the LGBTQ group Truth Wins Out, that “a longstanding staff person from Desert Stream had sexually abused at least one teenager who had sought help from us.” The teen’s family sought compensation from Desert Stream/Living Waters, and the group settled with the family after three years of investigations and negotiations, Comiskey wrote.

Bishop Burbidge addresses outcome of investigation regarding Fr. Ronald Escalante

ARLINGTON (VA)
Diocese of Arlington, Virginia

On Saturday, September 28, 2019, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington issued the following letter to parishioners of Saint Francis de Sales Parish in Purcellville, Virginia regarding the outcome of the investigation related to Father Ronald Escalante.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For many months, the Diocese of Arlington has investigated allegations of sexual misconduct and boundary violations brought against Father Ronald Escalante by adults and a minor, from both inside and outside St. Francis de Sales Parish. During our investigation, Father Escalante was placed on administrative leave and the allegations related to the minor were immediately reported to law enforcement officials, who elected not to pursue criminal charges.

I have taken seriously and investigated thoroughly the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been brought to my attention. In this investigation, I have been assisted by professionals with extensive experience in law enforcement and have benefitted from the counsel of psychological experts.

When confronted with the allegations against him, and in the presence of independent witnesses, Father Escalante freely admitted to conduct unbecoming and foreign to the clerical state involving two adults. In consultation with his canonical advocate and spiritual director, and after prayerful consideration, Father Escalante has freely offered his resignation of the office of Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church for the spiritual good of the parish. I have accepted his resignation and he is on a leave of absence at this time. It is my hope and Father Escalante’s that his resignation will allow the parish to heal and move forward.

Abuse victims push Memphis diocese to identify accused clergymen

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG-TV

September 26, 2019

By Quametra Wilborn

An organization is urging the Catholic diocese to release the names of clergymen accused of sexual assault.

Jane Wegner said at the age of 17 she was sexually abused by a priest in the Memphis area. Now, she joins other victims to not only share her story but to encourage others to speak out against sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

“Healing can’t happen unless the hidden secrets come out," Wegner said. “I’ve been hospitalized several times. I’ve taken two serious attempts on my life.”

The group known as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stood outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception calling for Bishop David Talley to identify and release the names and images of accused clerics to the public.

New York Sex-Abuse Law Brings Forth Hundreds of New Cases

NEW YORK
Wall Street Journal

By Corinne Ramey and Tom McGinty

September 29, 2019

Suits describing alleged childhood trauma emerge after state loosens restrictions on sex-abuse cases

One woman alleged that an elementary-school teacher repeatedly put his hand up her skirt while hidden behind a chalkboard, sometimes hitting her with a plastic bat. A man accused a social-service worker tasked with driving him to court of abusing him in a car. Another man claimed that while he was hospitalized at age 7, staffers sodomized him with a broomstick.

These are among the alleged victims in more than 700 lawsuits filed since Aug. 14, when the state of New York opened a one-year windowduring which people who say they were sexually abused as children can sue their alleged abusers no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. The law has already had financial impacts, with the Diocese of Rochester filing for bankruptcy earlier this month, citing legal costs and settlements.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of court records found 734 lawsuits filed through Sept. 23, many filled with graphic descriptions of childhood trauma. Defendants include hospitals, churches, summer camps, as well as Catholic, Jewish, Quaker and public schools throughout the state. There are also baseball leagues and music schools, after-school clubs and a martial-arts association.

Many lawsuits involve institutions that have previously been accused of abuse. About 550 lawsuits name one of the state’s Catholic dioceses, 40 name the Boy Scouts and 11 name Rockefeller University, which has said a former doctor, who died in 2007, abused patients.

The Catholic church has taken measures to address abuse, including setting up funds to compensate victims. Rockefeller University has apologized to victims of the former doctor. The Boy Scouts said that the organization encourages victims to come forward and that it has changed policy to safeguard against abuse.

Of New York’s 62 counties, the eighth most-populous, Erie, had the most cases filed—196. Those include 156 naming the Diocese of Buffalo as the defendant and 28 against the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District, where a former fifth-grade teacher has been accused of serial abuse.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Buffalo said new allegations would be investigated. The diocese has said that since 2003 it has taken many steps to protect children. A spokesman for the school district said it takes misconduct allegations seriously and has been in communication with appropriate state authorities.

The bulk of the suits are against institutions, which often have insurance or other funds to pay settlements. The outliers are 16 lawsuits in which people have sued only individuals, including fathers, an older brother and a grandfather. In one lawsuit, a man accused his parents of abusing him in their Staten Island home beginning at age 3. When the man reported it at school, his mother brutally beat him, the complaint says.

For some institutions named in lawsuits, the one-year window without statutes of limitations has proved hard to navigate. Many don’t deny abuse may have occurred, but say alleged perpetrators are gone and the organizations are under new leadership.

“As politically correct as it may seem on one side of the fence, once you are on the accused side of the fence, it’s debilitating,” said Arthur Aidala, a lawyer who works with the Diocese of Brooklyn, which has been named in 84 lawsuits.

He said most electronic records of modern life— Twitter , Facebook , cellphones, text messages—didn’t exist at the time of the alleged abuse in the suits. “That makes it difficult to figure out what the truth is,” Mr. Aidala said.

A spokeswoman said the Diocese of Brooklyn can’t comment on pending litigation but has worked tirelessly for nearly 20 years to ensure the protection of children.

Lawyers who represent victims say they have faced unexpected challenges because of their clients recounting deeply personal experiences, often for the first time. Paul Pennock, chair of the sex-abuse practice at Weitz & Luxenberg PC, said his firm uses social workers to vet cases and talk to alleged victims.

Many lawsuits, dating to the 1960s and ‘70s, are vague as to time and place. Others contain specific details.

“Plaintiff recalls the smell of [the defendant’s] aftershave,” says a complaint recounting alleged abuse at a New York City public school in 1983. A spokesman for the city Law Department declined to comment.

In another lawsuit, filed against a school district in Erie County, the plaintiff says a female teacher accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s “would lift up Plaintiff’s shirt to clean her glasses and pin her against the wall.”

The one-year window closes in August 2020.

Ex-deacon and Jesuit, Shaw high schools targeted by lawsuits alleging clergy abuse

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com

September 29, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Three new lawsuits filed last week in Orleans Parish Civil District Court allege separate cases of sexual abuse decades ago by a former deacon currently facing criminal charges, a priest at Jesuit High School and a priest and a religious brother who worked at Archbishop Shaw High School.

The suits that claim child molestation by ex-deacon George Brignac and the late Donald Pearce — a priest who was president of Jesuit during part of the 1960s — are largely under seal and do not identify the plaintiffs.

The suit alleging abuse at Shaw High by Salesian priest Ernest Fagione and James Hurley, a religious brother of the same order, is not under seal but also does not identify the plaintiff.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Attorney general’s ‘investigation’ wasn’t thorough enough

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post Dispatch

September 28, 2019

Regarding “Missouri AG to refer 12 cases of Catholic clergy sex abuse to local prosecutors” (Sept. 16): I was shocked to see that Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s probe into the Catholic Church’s sex abuse and cover-up crisis focused almost entirely on diocesan predator priests. The attorney general and his staff ignored the religious order priests and brothers who have sexually abused students in Catholic schools (run by Jesuits and Marianists). They didn’t name a single wrongdoer, even priests who had been convicted of child sex crimes. They didn’t disclose whether they spoke with a single expert on this topic. Worst of all, Schmitt said — without explanation — that the bishops, the church leaders who enabled and concealed the abuse, shuffled predators and deceived parishioners, were “outside the scope” of his examination.

No one from the attorney general’s office contacted me or my longtime law partner. Between the two of us, we represented more than 100 victims of sexual violence by Catholic priests, nuns and brothers. Thanks to our brave and persistent clients, we were able to obtain thousands of pages of long-hidden church abuse records (and some of those documents were incredibly damning). But not a single person in Schmitt’s office even called to ask about them. Instead, they trusted the same organizations that allowed this abuse to continue for decades, the same organizations that battled our clients in court to keep their records hidden, to provide complete access to their files.

How does he claim this was some sort of “investigation?”

Ken Chackes • St. Louis

Ahead of synod, alumni of Benedict XVI express concerns about married priesthood

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

September 28, 2019

Just days before the Amazon synod of bishops is to convene in Rome, a symposium of students of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI published a statement of concern regarding the possibility of married priests, a controversial topic of discussion at the upcoming synod.

“The vocation as well as the existence of the priest are solely dependent upon the will of Jesus Christ alone and are not derived from either human considerations or Church regulations. In Him and with Him the Priest becomes the ‘proclaimer of the Word and the servant of joy,’” the students said in a public statement September 28.

“As the priest only exists from his relationship with Christ, a participation in the lifestyle of Christ would seem to be appropriate for those who are to act his person,” the statements added.

Past Vatican practice suggests Buffalo's bishop won't be ousted soon

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

September 29, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

The saga of a disgraced Catholic bishop in Missouri reveals how unlikely it is that the pope would quickly force Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign over his handling of a clergy abuse scandal.

In 2012, Bishop Robert W. Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph became the first Catholic prelate in the country to be convicted of protecting from prosecution a priest who had child pornography. A judge found Finn guilty of a misdemeanor for failing to tell police that one of his priests collected lewd images of young girls on his computer.

The case prompted an uproar — including an online petition signed by 263,000 people calling for Finn’s resignation — and generated international media attention.

Striving to rebuild trust: This time around, SAR is much quicker to act

NEW YORK (NY)
Riverdale Press

September 29, 2019

By Heather J. Smith & Kirstyn Brendlen

News that the FBI accused a now former associate principal at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy with production of child pornography among other charges comes on the heels of new developments in an old case of alleged abuse at the school.

Jonathan Skolnick, an educator responsible for Judaic studies in SAR’s middle school, was arrested Sept. 14 on charges he solicited sexually explicit images from boys by posing online as teenaged girls. Investigators believe Skolnick may have communicated with as many as 25 boys, although authorities say the final number could be much higher.

Although not much is known about Skolnick’s alleged victims, investigators say some may also be students at SAR or Skolnick’s former employer, Yeshiva of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School in Brooklyn.

What’s Wrong With Priestly Celibacy?

UNITED STATES
Patheos (blog)

September 29, 2019

By René Albert

In the Evangelical congregation I was once a part of, there was a council of elders who led the church. Each individual elder had to meet specific biblical criteria in order to be fit for the position of leadership, such as display a virtuous Christlike demeanor, refrain from alcohol and recreational drug use or certain leisurely activities that might encourage ungodly behavior. When my former Evangelical church was in the process of looking for a new pastor, one of the factors that seemingly disqualified some candidates was being single and unmarried. The reasoning behind this was that some members of the congregation preferred a pastor who could relate better to married couples with children — which, to me, isn’t a bad reason.

Top African cardinal says pope’s anti-abuse rules should be ‘extended’

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

September 29, 2019

By Elise Harris

Africa’s top prelate has hit back against the notion that clerical sexual abuse is a purely western problem, saying it happens on his home turf, too.

Speaking to Crux, Cardinal Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo said: “Crimes of sexual abuse offend our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful.”

Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Ouédraogo was elected president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) in July.

A week that captured the bedeviling complexity of Catholic life

SOUTH BEND (IN)
Crux

September 29, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

Few things can be said about Catholicism with absolute certainty, but here’s one: Both people and situations in the Church are almost always more complicated than they may seem.

Two developments this week brought that point home anew, one related to the sexual abuse crisis and the other to the death of an American churchman.

On Wednesday, I moderated a panel on the crisis at the University of Notre Dame that included veteran Catholic journalist Peter Steinfels; Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI official and onetime director of the U.S. bishops’ Office of Child Protection; Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest who’s become a confidante of Pope Francis on the abuse issue; and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

September 28, 2019

New chapter opens in Pennsylvania in fight over suing church

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press via The State

September 28, 2019

By Marc Levy

When post offices close Monday, the last victim compensation funds at Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses will also close, hours before lawmakers plunge back into a years-old fight over whether to let long-ago victims of child sexual abuse sue perpetrators and institutions that may have covered it up.

It comes more than a year after last year's landmark grand jury report that accused senior Catholic Church officials of hushing up the abuse for decades.

In the report's wake, the Philadelphia archdiocese and six Pennsylvania dioceses opened victim compensation funds while state lawmakers fought to a standstill over giving now-adult victims of childhood sexual abuse a legal "window" to sue.

Many victims lost that right under Pennsylvania law by the time they turned 20, while victim advocates say the dioceses have deftly used the delay to limit their civil liability, aided in recent years by the Senate blocking House bills that sought to restore it.

On Monday, victim compensation funds in Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton and Pittsburgh will close to applications. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday, with testimony from victims of childhood sexual abuse, constitutional scholars and others.

The timing is coincidental, Senate officials say.

Based on partial information available from the dioceses so far, compensation fund administrators have offered or paid more than $35 million to roughly 240 people.

Gerald Risdale victim to receive more than $1m from Catholic church

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

September 27, 2019

By Naaman Zhou

Church reaches settlement with victim of one of Australia’s most notorious paedophile priests

The Catholic church will pay more than $1m to a victim of Gerald Ridsdale, one of the country’s most notorious paedophile priests, in a landmark settlement reached on Friday.

The man, who can only be identified by the pseudonym JCB, was raped by Ridsdale in April 1982. At the time, he was nine years old and Ridsdale was the parish priest at St Colman’s church in the town of Mortlake.

In February 2018, the man sued two former bishops in charge of the diocese of Ballarat, and later added the diocese as a defendant. On Friday, his lawyer revealed that the church had agreed to settle.

Ridsdale, who is currently in prison, has been convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse of 65 children, over 40 years as his career as a priest.

Schenectady priest accused of child sex abuse dead at 91

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union

September 25, 2019

By Cayla Harris

Francis P. Melfe, the former Schenectady priest targeted in multiple child sex abuse claims, died Friday. He was 91.

A private service was held Tuesday morning at Cannon Funeral Home, followed by a burial at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Albany. About a dozen people attended the interment, a brief Catholic ceremony held at the far end of the cemetery.

Melfe, who resigned from the priesthood in 1979, has been at the center of multiple accusations of child sex abuse lodged against the Albany Diocese in recent months, as New York's recently enacted Child Victims Act has allowed survivors of all ages to sue their alleged offenders.

Inside the Vatican

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

September 27, 2019

By Christopher Lamb

[Video not streamed in the United States]

Filmed over a year inside the Vatican, episode two charts a time of change as Pope Francis appoints 14 new cardinals and a sex abuse scandal erupts just as the Pope embarks on a historic visit to Ireland.

Pope Francis is a reformer and he is shaking up the clerical establishment. He is questioning attitudes to divorce and homosexuality, and he is not shy about confronting his opponents. Every year Pope Francis gives his annual address to the Curia Romana, the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the central governing body of the Church.

One of the most important tools of reform the Pope possesses is his power to appoint new cardinals. This is the closest he comes to succession planning because the college of cardinals will elect the new Pope at the next conclave. This year, Pope Francis is appointing 14 new cardinals and he is breaking with tradition by choosing men not only from the centres of power in Europe and North America, but also from countries such as Iraq, Madagascar and Pakistan. Not everyone is impressed. Sandro Magister, an influential journalist who has been reporting on the Catholic Church for over 50 years, is critical of the Pope’s choice of new cardinals.

Catholic priests claim they are 'living in a state of persecution' because of child abuse scandals - and argue the REAL crisis in the church is dwindling congregations

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

September 27, 2019

By Hayley Richardson

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7512031/Catholic-priests-claim-living-state-persecution-child-abuse-scandals.html

- Archbishop Paul Gallagher, from Liverpool, says things have changed radically
- Each year the Vatican processes hundreds of cases of priests accused of abuse
- Father Hans Zollner says Pope Francis, 82, has put scandal on the world agenda
- He said there is a sense among priests that they can do whatever they want

Catholic priests claim they are living in a 'state of persecution' amid ongoing investigations into sexual abuse allegations dating back decades.

In tonight's Inside the Vatican, the second part of a BBC 2 documentary, members of the clergy address the scandal which rocked the Catholic Church last summer and the resonating impact it's had.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Holy See Foreign Minister, claims things have changed 'very radically' due to dwindling trust in the establishment.

Don Luigi, a priest who has lived in the Vatican since he first arrived as a 12-year-old altar boy, claims he now feels members of the clergy live in a 'kind of persecution by the media'.

Priests in sex abuse scandal face court dates this fall

LANSING (MI)
WILX 10 NBC

September 27, 2019

On Friday, the Catholic Diocese of Lansing released the names of priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

There were 17 priests named, of which eight are dead, according to the Diocese of Lansing’s list.

Among the nine still alive, the State Attorney General’s Office confirmed on Friday that two on the list from the Lansing area have court dates scheduled this fall, they are Timothy Crowley and Vincent DeLorenzo.

The Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, said, “The Lansing Diocese has taken an important step today by publicly sharing information about priests who have been credibly accused of abusing minors. We welcome this transparency by the Diocese and will continue to work on our own efforts to pursue justice for the victims of clergy abuse.”

After the release of the names, Nessel's office released an update on each of the charged defendants.

• Timothy Crowley – A preliminary exam is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Washtenaw County District Court. Defendant is out on bond with a tether.

Clergy abuse scandal goes back decades

LANSING (MI)
WILX 10 NBC

September 27, 2019

The Catholic Church scandal has been making a lot of headlines in the last couple years but it goes back more than three decades.

It would be almost impossible to say when the first accusation of sexual abuse by clergy was made, but we know the church opened a treatment center for troubled priests in 1947.

The first major criminal case didn't come to light until almost 40-years later.
What's believed to be the first criminal case involving a pedophile priest happened in Louisiana.

Gilbert Gauthe was indicted on 34 counts of sex crimes against children. He pleaded guilty in 1986 and was sentenced to 20-years in prison.

Eleven years later, a jury in Dallas awarded 119-million dollars to 11-survivors of clergy sex abuse.

'May God have mercy on your soul': Victims speak as ex-priest gets maximum sentence for sexual assault

WAUSAU (WI)
Wausau Daily Herald

September 26, 2019

By Laura Schulte

https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/2019/09/26/wisconsin-catholic-priest-thomas-ericksen-sentenced-prison-sex-assault-boys/2417983001/

[Includes video from the court of victim statements, Ericksen's apology, and the judge's sentencing.]

Hayward - An audible sigh of relief was let loose in the Sawyer County Courthouse on Thursday as a former Wisconsin priest received a maximum prison sentence for sexually assaulting young boys in the 1980s.

Four men celebrated the moment in the Hayward courtroom after sharing stories of abuse perpetrated by a man they once trusted. One of the victims, a teacher from Merrill, went public with his identity for the first time Thursday.

Thomas Ericksen, 72, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on two charges of sexually assaulting boys while stationed at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Winter. He also will be registered as a sex offender for life.

Details from four other allegations also were considered in the sentencing: two from Sawyer County that were dismissed as part of a plea deal, and two from Lincoln County that never were filed in court but were investigated by the Merrill Police Department. The two reports in Merrill dated to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Ericksen was stationed at Holy Cross Hospital as a chaplain.

87-year-old Allentown priest ‘self reports’ sex abuse case, removed from ministry

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Morning Call

September 27, 2019

By Daniel Patrick Sheehan and Emily Opilo

An 87-year-old Catholic priest who retired 11 years ago was removed from ministry after telling superiors that he sexually abused a minor in the early 1980s, the Allentown Diocese said Friday.

Stephen J. Halabura — who was ordained in 1961 and had been serving as a substitute priest as needed — was removed from ministry in May when he reported the incident. Law enforcement was notified, the diocese said in a news release.

The incident occurred at the former St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Millmont, Berks County, which was later closed and merged into St. John Baptist de la Salle in Shillington.

List of Allentown Diocese priests named in grand jury report, by diocese or publicly accused »
An independent investigation concluded the report was credible. The Independent Review Board, a panel that advises the bishop on clergy abuse, “recently recommended Halabura was unsuitable for ministry” and his name was added to the list of accused priests on the diocese website, the release said.

An estimated 2.8% Diocese of Lansing priests credibly accused of abusing a minor since 1937

LANSING (MI)
Diocese of Lansing

September 27, 2019

An estimated 2.8% of priests belonging to the Diocese of Lansing have been subject to a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor since the foundation of the diocese in 1937 – over 90% of such allegations stem from a three-decade period beginning in the 1960’s. That’s according to new data published by the Michigan diocese listing the names of all those priests credibly accused -- all of whom are now dead or no longer in active ministry.

“The primary intended audience of this list are victims of abuse: to encourage presently unknown victims to come forward; to help victims expose their abusers; and to assist victims in finding healing – it is also hoped that this information will assist all to ensure that such abuse never happens again,” said Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, 27 September.

Since 1937, there have been an estimated 1,654 priests who served within the Diocese of Lansing, consisting of 471 diocesan priests, 518 religious priests, and 665 who were ordained for another diocese but who have resided, even temporarily, in the Diocese of Lansing.

The publication of today’s list is the result of an internal review of reports of sexual abuse of minors made to the diocese over the past 82 years. It reveals that a total of 17 priests have been subject to a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor during that time: 13 diocesan priests; three priests from religious orders; and one priest from another diocese. The list of names was compiled by diocesan staff with the assistance of the Diocese of Lansing’s Review Board for the Sexual Abuse of Minors, including past Review Board chairs.

List of clergy with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor

LANSING (MI)
Diocese of Lansing

September 27, 2019

This list of clergy who have served in the Diocese of Lansing (1937 until present) and were subject to a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is divided into four categories:

I. Diocese of Lansing clergy permanently removed from ministry;
II. Diocese of Lansing deceased clergy;
III. Extern clergy – clergy of other dioceses – that had a credible allegation of sexual abuse during their time in the Diocese of Lansing; and
IV. Religious Order clergy with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor during their time in the Diocese of Lansing.

For purposes of this list, the term “credible allegation” means that diocesan officials have determined, that regarding an allegation of clerical sexual abuse of a minor made to the Diocese, one or more of the following exists:

With the assistance of the Diocesan Review Board, the Bishop of Lansing determined that the allegation was credible, i.e., that the allegation appeared to be true;
• The accused admitted the allegation;
• The allegation resulted in a criminal conviction;
• The allegation resulted in the accused’s removal from ministry or laicization; or
• The allegation resulted in a civil settlement with either the accused or the Diocese.

Diocese releases accused priests' names

LANSING (MI)
WILX 10 NBC

September 27, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Lansing has released the names of priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

Bishop Earl Boyea commented on the list during a press conference on September 27.

"One priest is too many. One victim is too many," he said.

On Friday, Sept. 27, Bishop Earl Boyea published the names of priests who are credibly accused of abusing a minor since the foundation of the Diocese in 1937.

The Diocese says it's cooperating with the investigation, but that's not why it released the names on Friday.

"We view it as consistent with the Attorney General's investigation. When allegations come to the Diocese, we share them with the Attorney General. This release of names may lead to additional individuals coming forward either to us or the Attorney General," said Bloomfield.

Accusations of sexual abuse made against priest who used to serve in Spencer and Perry Counties

EVANSVILLE (IN)
WFIE 14 News

September 27, 2019

By Randy Moore

The Catholic Church in Spencer county has been notified of an allegation of sexual abuse against a priest who once served in the county.

St. John the Baptist Province in Cincinnati said in a statement that Fr. Thomas Richstatter has been suspended, even though he is now retired.

The alleged abuse reportedly happened in the Cincinnati area more than 30 years ago.

Richstatter served at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Spencer County and St. Paul Catholic Church in Perry County.

The Province says it is cooperating with law enforcement and has offered outside counseling to the person who made the allegation.

Pontifical University Takes up Sex Abuse of Nuns by Priests

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

September 26, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

A Togolese nun has successfully defended a first-ever dissertation at a Vatican-sanctioned university on the sexual abuse of nuns by priests in the latest evidence of a problem confronting the Catholic Church in the #MeToo era.

Sister Makamatine Lembo was awarded summa cum laude at her defense Thursday at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and was praised by her examiners for her courage in taking on such a taboo subject.

Lembo's dissertation explores the relational dynamics behind the sexual abuse of nuns by priests, focusing on nine victims in five sub-Saharan countries. It found that the abuses involved entrenched power imbalances that made consent impossible, a yearslong grooming process and often money given to poor sisters in exchange for sex.

Examiner Sister Brenda Dolphin thanked Lembo "on behalf of consecrated women all over the world," particularly for delving into issues of consent and the often complicit role played by religious superiors who fail to help sisters when they report abuse.

September 27, 2019

Attorney General calls out Diocese of Pittsburgh, bishop for lack of remorse and transparency

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI

September 26, 2019

By Rick Earle

It's been more than a year since a grand jury released a report on priest sex abuse, and now Attorney General Josh Shapiro is in Pittsburgh with new criticisms of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

On Thursday, Shapiro said the church continues to show a lack of transparency and remorse, calling out both the diocese and Bishop David Zubik.

"We continue to see the church throw up roadblocks when it comes to getting those people who were abused the support and assistance that they need," Shapiro said.

Shapiro claimed both the diocese and Zubik failed to adequately respond to the grand jury clergy sex abuse report in 2018

Another Jesuit Dallas graduate sues school and diocese, alleging priest sexually assaulted him

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas News

September 26, 2019

By Tom Steele

The accuser says he was 15 when the Rev. Patrick Koch abused him in a closet at the school.

Another graduate of Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas has sued the school, claiming that a priest sexually assaulted him while he was a student there in the 1980s.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Dallas County civil court, also names the Catholic Diocese of Dallas among the defendants.

The suit alleges the school and the diocese did not protect the student from being abused by the Rev. Patrick Koch and then covered up the abuse.

Neither the school nor the diocese commented on the specific allegations Thursday.

The defendants "knew that Koch's psychosexual disorder rendered him unfit for a position of trust and confidence to be assigned around minors such as those who attended Jesuit Dallas," the lawsuit says. "Despite this knowledge, defendants allowed Koch unsupervised and unfettered access to young boys."

The Catholic church rethinks seminary training after its child abuse scandal

AUSTRALIA
The Age

September 24, 2019

By Farrah Tomazin, Chris Vedelago and Debbie Cuthbertson

Australia’s Catholic Church is considering scrapping the centuries-old system of training priests in seminaries, which helped create some of the country’s worst paedophiles.

Two years after a royal commission exposed the scale of child abuse in the church, Catholic leaders are already quietly reshaping the way clergy are appointed, with new screening and monitoring protocols for seminary candidates and a revamped “national program of priestly formation” being developed.

Abuse victim receives multi-million-dollar payout from Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
The Sydney Morning Herald

September 27, 2019

By Andrew Thomson

The Catholic Church is expected to pay out as much as $3 million in a landmark legal settlement with a man who was raped in the confessional when he was a nine-year-old boy by notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.

The settlement in the first civil case in which the church admitted liability for the actions of a paedophile cleric is expected to have a massive impact on hundreds of other law suits filed in Victorian courts.

LOCAL DA LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO BUFFALO PRIEST

BUFFALO (NY)
ChurchMilitant

September 24, 2019

By Martina Moyski

Bp. Malone denies cover-up while calls for him to step down increase

BUFFALO, N.Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A New York district attorney is launching an investigation into allegations of sex abuse against a Buffalo priest.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn has opened an investigation into a former seminarian's complaints that a priest sexually harassed him and stole a letter from him in an effort to blackmail another priest.

Former seminarian Matthew Bojanowski, who attended scandal-ridden Christ the King Seminary, claims that Fr. Jeffrey Nowak violated the seal of confession several years ago when Bojanowski told Nowak during confession that he wanted to become a priest.

More lawsuits to be filed against WNY school districts under Child Victims Act on Friday

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

September 26, 2019

By Troy Licastro

Two sexual abuse survivors spoke publicly on Friday regarding four lawsuits under the Child Victims Act being filed against Kenmore West High School for alleged sexual abuse in the 1970s.

A retired union representative from the Kenmore Teachers Association was also on hand to discuss what she says the school district knew during the time of this alleged abuse.

Attorneys Steve Boyd and Jeff Anderson announced plans to also file Child Victims Act lawsuits against schools and districts, including:

In New Orleans, hope for justice seen in ex-deacon’s arrest

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Daily Journal

September 27, 2019

By Jim Mustian

A man who says he was raped by a Roman Catholic deacon four decades ago while serving as an altar boy in New Orleans says he hopes the deacon’s arrest will “send a message to other pedophiles in the church that this should never happen again.”

“There’s no closing the book on this for me and the other people who have been molested,” the man told The Associated Press. “But there would be some reparation, some justice, by him being found guilty.”

The man spoke Thursday as he prepared to meet with local prosecutors about the case of George F. Brignac, a longtime schoolteacher and deacon who has faced a series of sexual abuse allegations amid a scandal that has roiled the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The AP does not usually identify victims of sex crimes.

Harrisburg Diocese fights for dismissal of lawsuit by man who claims Catholic priests raped him in 1960s

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

September 25, 2019

By Matt Miller

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg is pressing hard for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims two priests repeatedly raped him when he was an altar boy nearly 60 years ago.

The attorneys for that man, Donald Asbee, who now lives in Missouri, are fighting just as hard to keep the case on track for a trial in Dauphin County Court.

The legal battle is one of the latest to erupt since a state grand jury last year released a scathing report on child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania.

That report has prompted apologies to victims from bishops and other church leaders all the way up to Pope Francis. It also led Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese to release the names of 71 people in the diocese, including priests, who were accused of sexual improprieties.

Former Jesuit student in Dallas sues for alleged sexual abuse by a priest

DALLAS (TX)
WBAP/KLIF

September 27, 2019

The Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas has been sued by another former student who claims he was sexually assaulted by a priest while attending the school in the 1980’s. The lawsuit alleges the unidentified former student was abused by the Rev. Patrick Koch. It also claims the Dallas diocese covered up the abuse. The diocese does have Koch on a list of clergy “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children. Koch was never charged with a crime, and died in 2006 at age 78.

Lawsuits to be Filed Against Multiple Western New York High Schools and School Districts

WILLIAMSVILLE (NY)
Anderson Adocates

September 2, 2019

Two survivors to speak publicly for the first time Friday

Four lawsuits to be filed against Kenmore West High School involving two sexual predators

Survivors Margaret George and Lorna Barrie
Western Public Schools Map

(Williamsville, New York) – At a news conference Friday, two Kenmore West sexual abuse survivors will speak publicly about their lawsuits against Kenmore West High School for the sexual abuse they endured in the 1970s. A retired Union Representative from the Kenmore Teachers Association will also be present to discuss what was known by the school district during the time of the abuse.

The law firms of Steve Boyd, PC and Jeff Anderson & Associates will also be filing suit against the following schools and their districts under the New York Child Victims Act:

Amherst High School
Buffalo Public Schools
Maryvale East Elementary School
Mount St. Joseph Academy
Niagara Falls High School
Hamburg High School

Attorney Leah Costanzo, a partner in the Law Offices of Steve Boyd and John V. Elmore, will be lead litigation counsel on the public-school cases.

“There was ‘look-the-other-way’ culture in these schools despite their legal obligation to report these predators and a moral obligation to protect these children,” Ms. Costanzo said.

“This was a culture. In some of these cases, everyone in the school knew was what going on and school leadership did nothing,” said Attorney Steve Boyd. “The Child Victims Act makes them accountable.”

Section 413 of the New York State Social Services Law requires all school officials from top administrators to the school nurse to report instances of suspected child abuse or maltreatment only when they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment in their professional roles. That law was passed in 1973.

In addition to these school cases, Jeff Anderson and Associates and Steve Boyd, PC have filed 100 clergy lawsuits naming the Diocese of Buffalo as defendants.

WHEN: Friday, September 27, 2019 at 11:00AM ET

WHERE: Law Offices of Steve Boyd and John V. Elmore
40 North Forest Road
Williamsville, NY 14221

Contact: Steve Boyd: Office: (716)400-0000; Cell: (716)856-7777
Leah Costanzo: Office: (716)400-0000
Jeff Anderson: Office: (646)759-2551; Cell: (646)499-3364

Sex abuse scandal leaves Australian Church, gov’t scrambling for solutions

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
CNA

September 25, 2019

In the wake of a major clergy sex abuse scandal and the high-profile, controversial trial and conviction of sex abuse of Cardinal George Pell, government and Church officials in Australia are scrambling for solutions.

Among these proposed or enacted interventions are those that would break with teachings or traditions of the Catholic Church.

One such oft-proposed intervention is the scrapping of the seal of confession, a proposed solution included in the Australian Royal Commission’s report on clergy abuse published last year.

Earlier this month, the Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania passed a law requiring priests to violate the seal of confession if anything in the confession indicated or implicated someone in a case of child sex abuse. The laws add religious leaders to the existing list of mandatory reporters, and failure to report abuse is punishable by time in prison.

Australian states pass law requiring priests to report abuse disclosed in confession

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Catholic News Service

September 26, 2019

By Michael Sainsbury

The Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania have become the latest in the country to pass legislation criminalizing priests who fail to report the abuse of children disclosed during confession. The country's six states and two territories are all expected have such laws in place in coming months.

But some clerics, including Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli, one of Australia's most senior and vocal bishops, have vowed to ignore the laws in an effort to uphold the seal of the confessional.

Archbishop Comensoli told Australian public radio that he would urge anyone who confessed to child sexual abuse to tell police. But he added that he, personally, would not break the seal, preferring to go to jail.

The laws broadly make it a crime if members of the clergy do report abuse or suspected abuse to police. Penalties for breaching the new laws range from fines to decades in prison, and the laws underscore the rollback of special concessions for the church in Australia following the country's landmark Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Priest with '70 adopted children in family’ is accused of raping girl in his care, denied bail

RUSSIA
rt.com

September 26, 2019

A Russian priest who is credited with heading the largest family in the country after fathering and adopting over 70 kids, has been arrested on a charge of sexually abusing his dependants.
A court in Orenburg, a city about 1,200 km southeast of Moscow, has ordered the pre-trial arrest of Nikolay Stremsky.

Stremsky, or father Nikolay as he is usually called, is a sort of local celebrity in the Orenburg region.

A veteran of the Afghan war who was ordained a Russian Orthodox priest, he and his wife run a Christian foster home, except the wards there are also his adopted children. Investigators say he is a sexual predator, who has abused at least seven children in his care.

Mental health records of alleged abuser

ROCKVILLE (MD)
The Sentinel

September 26, 2019

By Tom Ryan

There have been many civil lawsuits against churches in recent years, seeking damages as a result of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. One issue that may come up is whether in such a case mental health records of the alleged abuser can be obtained. This issue was addressed in a recent reported opinion in Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals in a case called St. Luke’s Institute v. Andre Jones.

The opinion indicates that Jones filed suit in Massachusetts against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, alleging that Jones was abused as a minor by a brother in the congregation. The abuse was alleged to have occurred from 1978-1992. During the discovery phase of the Massachusetts suit, it was learned that the brother had received mental health treatment in the early 1990s at St. Luke’s, which for many years had treated Catholic clergy.

The church defendants indicated they had destroyed two reports from St. Luke’s about that treatment, so Jones sought to subpoena them from St. Luke’s in Maryland. St. Luke’s objected, raising privacy issues under the Maryland Confidentiality of Medical Records Act, although the brother had died in 2011. The trial Court ordered that the entire mental health record be produced under seal to the court in Massachusetts, and St. Luke’s appealed.

September 26, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis is at work creating a list of clergy who are “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of children.

MEMPHIS (TN)
Memphis Commercial Appeal

September 4, 2019, Updated September 9, 2019

By Katherine Burgess

As Memphis' Catholic diocese works on list of clergy accused of sex abuse, many questions remain

Bishop Carroll Thomas Dozier’s body is entombed in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, watched over by two kneeling stone angels.

Memphis’ first bishop is remembered for his activism: For opposing the segregation of schools, advocating for women’s rights and offering absolution to estranged Catholics.

He’s also “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a child, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond announced in February.

Nonetheless, his body remains in the cathedral, and his portrait continued to hang in the chancery this spring
.
Faced with increasing pressure from victims and advocates, the Catholic Diocese of Memphis is at work compiling its own list of credibly accused clergy. This comes after more than 135 other U.S. dioceses have released their own lists.

However, diocesan officials in Memphis have refused to answer questions about the criteria being used to create the list, what information will be included or who, exactly, is doing the work.

“I assure the people of the Memphis Diocese that we are taking all of the necessary steps to address your concerns,” Bishop David Talley wrote to people in the diocese in May. “As your Bishop, I promise to do everything in my power to safeguard our children and youth and to help those who are victims of abuse. We must be transparent and bring to light any wrongdoings of the past so healing can take place.”

Talley has asked lay members of the diocesan review board — which the diocese says includes judges, former prosecutors, medical professionals and experts — to review the diocese’s files regarding priests, bringing information to the board. Then, the board will provide Talley with a list of names.

Critics say the diocesan review board is not without bias: It serves at the will of the bishop. They also say that the Diocese of Memphis has been historically reluctant to release information, although that could change under its new bishop, Talley, who was installed in April.

What one victim’s mother thinks of the review board

Glinda Rhodes remembers going before the diocesan review board after the death of her son, Ian Watts, at 30 years old.

Watts had been the happiest of children, Rhodes said, until he began his second year at St. Anne Catholic School in Memphis.

For the next 20-something years, her son’s life spiraled out of control, Rhodes said, and she always had the gnawing feeling that something wasn’t right. Finally, after the Catholic Church had been racked with public scandals over sex abuse, she asked her son whether something had happened to him in Catholic school.

After treatment for alcohol abuse, Watts began recovering memories and told his father that he had been raped. Later, he returned to St. Anne, attending a midnight Mass on Christmas of 2010. He began to have flashbacks, telling his father, “Dad, they took turns with me.” He named two priests and said there was a third whose name he didn’t remember.

It had happened when he was seven years old, he said.

In early February of 2011, Watts died in a car crash.

Later, the family filed a complaint with the Diocese of Memphis, which initiated a process of evaluation. The diocesan review board interviewed some members of the family separately. Rhodes said that at the time she could identify a financial tie between all but one member of the board and the Catholic Diocese.

It was like a courtroom, she said, with them picking apart everything the family members had to say.

“The character of the priests was never an issue, never brought up,” she said.

One of the priests named by her son had been in seminary at the time, which the priest used to defend himself, Rhodes said. However, seminarians were regularly at the church, she said.

Ultimately, the review board said that while Watts had likely been sexually assaulted, because he was deceased, they couldn’t call his accusation credible.

“They make the determination. It’s their call from beginning to end and they do not look at the character of the priest,” Rhodes said. “That is not even brought into play.”

As for the review board creating a list of credibly accused clergy now, the thought makes Rhodes laugh bitterly.

The Diocese is part of a larger church contending with sex abuse

The Catholic Church has been increasingly pressured to grapple with allegations of sex abuse since the early 2000s, when the Boston Globe’s investigation into cover-ups in the Catholic Church gained national attention. In 2018, a Pennsylvania grand jury released a scathing report into findings of child sex abuse committed by Catholic clergy, prompting more dioceses to create their own lists before law enforcement creates it for them.

“Full transparency is the expectation right now from law enforcement to Catholics in the pews. I think being up front about credible abuse allegations is quickly becoming a standard that every diocese really should meet,” said John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life. “Secrecy defined a culture of clericalism that created this context where abuse of power became the norm. I think those days are over.”

Although the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has urged Tennessee’s attorney general to investigate the state’s Catholic dioceses, the attorney general's office says it doesn’t have that jurisdiction.

Tennessee, and Memphis specifically, have their own histories of grappling with sex abuse allegations.

In November 2018, Nashville — which was the only diocese in the state until Memphis was created in 1970 and Knoxville in 1988 — released a list of 13 former priests who had been credibly accused. Knoxville then issued a statement saying they had only one other case involving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest.

David Brown, an abuse survivor who is involved with SNAP, said that when Nashville released its list, they left some names off. SNAP pushed back and they later added some names, he said.

Some names expected on Memphis list are already known

The Memphis Diocese hasn’t released its own list, but priests have been named in other ways, in lawsuits and on other lists.

In 2010, Memphians learned that 15 priests over four decades had been accused of sex abuse in the diocese after documents were released to The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Daily News regarding a “John Doe” lawsuit. Some names were redacted if the allegations had not been substantiated.

That release “stunned” Catholics in Memphis, Brown said.

That lawsuit focused on the Rev. Juan Carlos Duran, a former Dominican priest who abused a 14-year-old boy while serving at the Church of the Ascension in Raleigh. The Bolivian-born Duran had been expelled from the Franciscan Order in 1985 for sexually abusing a boy in Bolivia, but was nonetheless accepted by the Dominicans, who knew of his past.

The Dominicans moved Duran to assignments in Panama, Miami, St. Louis and Memphis with good references. He also faced allegations of sexual abuse of children in St. Louis, before being moved to Memphis and sexually abusing 14-year-old "John Doe." The diocese admitted to not doing a thorough background check, according to Commercial Appeal archives.

In some cases, lists released in other dioceses have included the names of clergy who served in Memphis.

The most shocking of those allegations was when the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, released its list that included Dozier, who was assigned to three parishes there before being appointed the first bishop of the Diocese of Memphis after it separated from the Diocese of Nashville. The allegation of abuse was made after his death, but other details were not given.

“Dozier’s a tough one. Dozier is very famous for being an enlightened bishop, being on the forefront of issues of racial justice and things like that. Nobody likes it when somebody like that is accused of child abuse. It complicates the narrative,” said Terence McKiernan, who leads BishopAccountability.org, an organization that tracks allegations against clergy. “If Richmond put him on their list, they put him on their list because he was credibly accused.”

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis said in a statement on Aug. 1 that Dozier’s inclusion on the Richmond list “will be one of the matters brought before the Review Board.”

“The Memphis Review Board is actively investigating the matter of Bishop Dozier, and Bishop Talley is assisting them in their efforts to collect whatever information from outside the Diocese might be available to them,” the statement read. “Since the Memphis Review Board has not yet completed their review, at this time the Diocese does not want to pre-judge their recommendation.”

Brown himself was abused at 15 years old while growing up in Nashville by the Rev. Paul Frederick Haas, who was dismissed in 1977 and died in 1979. He was later named on the Nashville list. Haas also spent time in Memphis, including on the faculty of Memphis Catholic High School.

“Release that list and do it now,” Brown said, as if speaking to the Diocese of Memphis. “Tomorrow’s too late.”

It's unclear how the review board will operate

Diocesan review boards were created to advise the diocesan or eparchial bishop “in his assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and in his determination of a cleric’s suitability for ministry,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

“Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the diocesan bishop/eparch, with the advice of a qualified review board, to determine the gravity of the alleged act,” the charter reads.

McKiernan said it’s important to remember that members of the board are usually selected by the bishop.

Just how much information the review board works with is also up to the bishop.

In 2011, the chair of the diocesan review board in Philadelphia wrote an article explaining that she and other members of the board had been shocked to discover that they had not reviewed all cases of allegations against priests, nor did they know if all relevant information had been given to them regarding the cases that were presented.

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis did not answer a question about what criteria would be used to determine who is included on its list. When asked, it did not provide The Commercial Appeal with a list of members of the diocesan review board. Although Talley has authorized “employing a professional investigator to assist” the review board, the Diocese did not release the name of that investigator.

Retired FBI agent Kathleen McChesney, who was hired by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to establish its Office of Child and Youth Protection in 2002, said it can be a best practice for a diocese to use their review board to look at information.

She said she didn’t want to conflate reluctance with taking a measured approach toward creating a list. In some cases, a diocese has all the information available to make its disclosures, whereas others have merged or have little information in electronic formats.

In Memphis, diocesan files on priests and deacons have already been comprehensively reviewed twice. Talley’s request for a third review is “out of an abundance of caution and because he has arrived in Memphis so recently,” according to the diocese.

And when a list is released, there are questions of which names and details will be included.

SNAP criticized Talley, Memphis’ new bishop, when he was bishop of Alexandria, Louisiana, for not including work histories on their list.

McKiernan said it is fairly common to include an assignment history.

It is also important to include dates of those assignments, he said, allowing people to track down any gaps — whether a priest had shorter assignments than usual or may have been sent away for a period of time. It also shows whether they were allowed to pursue positions in close proximity to children.

Details like these allow people to learn about the diocese and “the enabling behavior as well as the abuse itself,” he said.

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis did not answer a question about whether work histories or types of abuse would be included in their list of credibly accused clergy.

He Sued Over a Priest’s Abuse. Then the Diocese Filed for Bankruptcy.

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

September 26, 2019

By Corina Knoll

The Rochester diocese’s move has left many who were promised justice under New York’s Child Victims Act feeling betrayed.

Peter Saracino was in elementary school when, he said, a priest lured him away from a swimming pool and sexually abused him inside a seminary.

He kept the secret for decades, even as his life fell apart.

“We were raised to view the priest as another Christ,” Mr. Saracino said, “so when you get raped by a priest, it’s like being raped by God himself.”

Last month, at 67 years old, Mr. Saracino filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester under a new law in New York that allows victims to seek justice over sexual abuse from long ago.

Catholic church swamped with hundreds of new sex abuse claims after legal change

AUSTRALIA
The Age

September 25, 2019

By Chris Vedelago, Farrah Tomazin and Debbie Cuthbertson

The Catholic Church in Victoria is facing at least 800 new legal actions for child sexual abuse in the wake of landmark legislation allowing victims to sue the church and revisit unfair settlements made under in-house compensation schemes.

The state government’s decision to abolish the so-called “Ellis defence” ended the church’s long-standing immunity to lawsuits and opened a floodgate of new claims that is threatening the financial stability of religious organisations around the state.

Data collated by The Age and based on case files from eight law firms dealing in institutional abuse found an unprecedented number of legal claims are now before the courts or being drafted on behalf of victims of the clergy.

Case dismissed against New York priest accused of abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
CNA

September 25, 2019

A priest of the Archdiocese of New York has been cleared of accusations of sexual abuse after the judge dismissed the case at the request of District Attorney’s office.

“We were pleased today to learn that the charges against Father Thomas Kreiser have been dismissed,” said a statement from the Archdiocese of New York on Sept. 24. “Father Kreiser has steadfastly maintained his innocence, and it is good to see justice has been done.”

Fr. Kreiser had served as a priest in Bronxville, a village near Manhattan, until he was accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in October, 2018. Kreiser was indicted in March, 2019. He was facing three felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse as well as three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The archdiocese suspended him from public ministry while the case was being considered.

Archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said that Fr. Thomas Kreiser will meet soon with the archdiocese to determine his return to ministry and future assignment.

Another list of abusive priests reveals deep ties to St. Michael’s College

MONTPELIER (VT)
VT Digger

September 25 2019

By Colin Meyn

The Society of Saint Edmund, the Catholic order that founded St. Michael’s College, has released a list of 10 priests who worked in Vermont that have been accused of sexually abusing children, adding to the 40 priests named by the Burlington diocese.

Two of the accused priests, John Stankiewicz and Nelson Ziter, were prominent educators and administrators at St. Michael’s. And in both cases the congregation describes the allegations of abuse as being “substantiated.”

As with the list of priests released by the Burlington diocese, the Saint Edmund’s list is short on details. It names the accused priests, when they were ordained, when they died, and when the church became aware of the accusations against them.

Buffalo Diocese releases code of conduct for clergy, policies for responding to allegations

BUFFALO (NY)
Olean Times Herald

September 24, 2019

By Jim Eckstrom

The Diocese of Buffalo on Tuesday released two new documents addressing sexual misconduct and abuse by diocesan priests.

One document is a code of pastoral conduct for clergy, while the second is an adult sexual misconduct policy and procedures.

“Bishops, priests, and deacons must uphold Christian values and conduct,” the code of pastoral conduct document states. “The Code of Pastoral Conduct for Clergy provides a set of standards for conduct in certain pastoral situations. This Code of Conduct applies to all Clergy that live and serve in the Diocese of Buffalo. Seminarians, since they aspire to ordination, are also called to conduct themselves according to this Code of Conduct.”

The diocese released the documents as it is facing a flood of sexual misconduct lawsuits, resulting from claims of priest abuse. Many of the claims date back decades.

Man claims he was sexually abused by priest, considers lawsuit against Providence Diocese

PROVIDENCE (RI)
NBC 10 News

September 23, 2019

By Michelle San Miguel

Robert Houllahan was about 8 years old when he said a Roman Catholic priest sexually assaulted him in the late 1970s.

Houllahan, 50, is considering suing the Diocese of Providence after the statute of limitations was recently extended for victims of sexual abuse.

During a news conference Monday, Houllahan said he was in Sunday school at St. Joseph's Church in Providence around 1977-1978 when a nun took him out of class and took him upstairs to where Father Normand Demers lived.

“When I got upstairs, there was Normand Demers and another man there. They assaulted me. It was demeaning. It was terrible,” Houllahan said.

Madonna Manor, Catholic home for troubled youth in Marrero, at center of new abuse lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
nola.com

September 22, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

A 61-year-old man has filed a lawsuit alleging he was repeatedly abused during the 1960s and 1970s by a high-ranking Catholic priest, three nuns and a lay employee with ties to a church-run home for troubled youth in Marrero.

Eric Reynolds’ lawsuit, filed Thursday at Orleans Parish Civil District Court, accuses priest Raymond Hebert, civilian staffer Charlie Earhart and nuns Martin Marie, Alvin Marie and Gertrude Marie of either molesting or beating him over 10 years after his arrival at Madonna Manor in about 1965.

Reynolds’ suit is not the first time a former Madonna Manor resident has accused Hebert, once a facility supervisor, of molestation. Nearly 15 years ago, four men named Hebert as one of their many abusers while they lived at the Barataria Boulevard site.

Former pastor of St. Veronica Church in Howell arrested by clergy sex abuse task force

TRENTON (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

September 20, 2019

By Kathleen Hopkins and Andrew J. Goudsward

A retired, former pastor of St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in Howell has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl in the 1990s, authorities said.

The Rev. Brendan Williams, 78, who now resides in a retirement community for Catholic clergy in Lawrence, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree sexual assault related to criminal sexual contact on a victim who was younger than 13, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a news release.

Williams was pastor of St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in Howell when the alleged criminal acts occurred between 1997 and 1999, the news release said. He is alleged to have touched the victim’s intimate parts with his hands on at least three occasions during that time period – twice in Colts Neck and once at a location in Ocean County, the news release said.

Dead priests accused of abusing kids likely 'reside in hell,' lawsuits assert

BUFFALO(NY)
The Buffalo News

September 20, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Three new lawsuits alleging child sex abuse decades ago by Buffalo Diocese priests who are who now deceased assert that those priests likely live in hell as a result of their crimes.

The Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria law firm also cited Catholic Church doctrine in stating that its clients were unable to locate hell to serve the priests who molested them with a court summons and complaint.

The language, highly unusual for a legal document, was included in three lawsuits against the Buffalo Diocese filed this week .

Most of the more than 140 Child Victims Act lawsuits filed so far against the diocese don’t include much detail about the allegations of child sex abuse lodged against priests, and the complaints feature routine legal language in alleging the diocese was negligent in allowing abuse to occur.

SIX CALIFORNIA BISHOPS START COMPENSATION PROGRAMS FOR CLERGY SEX ABUSE VICTIMS

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Church Militant

September 17, 2019

By William Mahoney, Ph.D.

Participation waives a victim's right to sue

Six Catholic bishops in California announced Monday the establishment of compensation programs for victims of clergy sex abuse.

Victims of clergy sex abuse who register by Jan. 31, 2020, will be eligible for compensation in one archdiocese and five dioceses in California, including the archdiocese of Los Angeles and the dioceses of San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Fresno and Sacramento.

The bishops offering these compensation programs have established their own rules and requirements that prevent many victims of clergy sex abuse from participating.

Late Father John Smyth named in Chicago Archdiocese clergy abuse scandal; $80M awarded in settlements involving 48 Archdiocesans, 160 victims since 2001

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

September 17, 2019

A new lawsuit has been filed in the Archdiocese of Chicago clergy sexual abuse scandal. The latest allegation points to Maryville Academy's former head and priest, the late Father John Smyth on behalf of a man who said he was abused at the school when he was a boy.

Clarence George was 11-years-old when he arrived on campus at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines back in 2001. He had been a ward of the state since he was five.

"At first it was a very good situation," George said. "I kind of felt that this might actually be a placement that works for a while and to make friends, and actually finish a semester."

Now at the age of 29, George is the first Maryville alum to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago and naming Father John Smyth as his abuser. George is accusing the deceased priest of sexual abuse over the course of four years, which he said stated in 2001 and ended in 2004.

Bridgeport diocese sexual abuse report to be released soon

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
CT Post

September 25, 2019

By Daniel Tepfer

The release of retired judge Robert Holzberg’s report on sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport is expected next month and will include information on former Bishop Edward Egan’s handling of these cases during his time leading the diocese, according to sources.

A draft of the document has already been reviewed by present Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

Sources within the diocese said the report will include information about abuse cases already made public and take a closer look at the actions of Egan, who later became cardinal of New York, and was accused of hiding allegations of priest abuse while the head of the Bridgeport diocese.

Egan, who was Bridgeport bishop from 1988 to 2000, died in March 2015.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller review – memoir of a sexual assault

CALIFORNIA
The Guardian

September 25, 2019

By Rebecca Liu

Long known as ‘Emily Doe’, the survivor in the Brock Turner sexual assault case tells her powerful story, and offers hope

It could have been an entirely different story, one so ordinary in its violent diminishment of a woman. The script is well-worn. An assault at a student party; a disorienting walk through hospital clinics and police stations; panic attacks; a forensic examination of your character. How much did you drink? Why did you go to that party? Did you have a stable relationship with your boyfriend? You react by receding further into yourself. Perhaps you drop the charges; perhaps the judge is lenient. Your assailant soon gets on with his life, free to walk the halls of power. Trust the system, you were told.

But sometimes there are facts that bring you closer to something resembling justice. For a 22-year-old recent university graduate known to the world as “Emily Doe”, there were a few. Fact: Brock Turner, the man who assaults her behind a fraternity house skip in January 2015, is a Stanford University student and swimmer. Spiralling media attention in what is deemed the “Stanford swimmer case” means her rape forensic evidence kit receives expedited processing, thus avoiding, she later relates, the fate of a hundred others collecting dust in a slow-moving backlog. Fact: there are two witnesses to the assault, male graduate students who happen to be cycling past. They chase Turner away, and testify in Doe’s favour. Fact: after Turner is found guilty on three felony counts in March 2016, Doe, now 23, writes a powerful 7,000-word letter addressed to her attacker that she reads aloud at his sentencing. It is published on BuzzFeed in June and goes viral, receiving 15m views within a week.

Priests Who Taught, Lived at Saint Michael's Quietly Identified as Accused

BURLINGTON( VT)
SEVEN DAYS

September 25, 2019

By Derek Brouwer

A recent report by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington was billed as an exhaustive accounting of sexual abuse allegations against Vermont priests. Yet the Edmundites, members of the Colchester-based Catholic order that founded Saint Michael's College, have created their own list of 10 accused priests — and released it only on an obscure website where it has gone virtually unnoticed.

The list identifies nine deceased Edmundite priests who did not appear in the diocesan report, even though several were accused of abusing children while serving in Vermont. Two of the men — the late John A. Stankiewicz and the late Nelson B. Ziter — were revered figures at St. Michael's.

College and Edmundite leaders say the allegations are unrelated to campus life.

Edmundite Superior General the Very Rev. David Cray, also a college trustee, nonetheless said he worried how St. Michael's alumni would react to news of the allegations. The Society of Saint Edmund, as the order is formally known, published its findings in early August.

Your View by Saint Thomas More parishioner: How we can help create a revolution in Catholic Church

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

September 22, 2019

By Tom Garrity

Like so many Catholics, the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church has been demoralizing for me. I am angry. I’m sickened by the evil deeds of so many priests. My heart aches for victims and their families. And I’m saddened that so many of my family and friends have walked away. I have wanted to as well.

I think most everyone would agree — even if you didn’t believe in anything the Roman Catholic Church stood for — it was at the very least a moral compass, a rock, that we knew was there in the storm of life, challenging us to be better human beings. And then, poof, it all seemed to be a hoax. First Boston in 2002. Then the Pennsylvania grand jury report in 2018. Unfortunately, I’m sure there will be more to come.

The real loss here isn’t the dwindling population in the institution of the church; it’s that the church has become irrelevant in the hearts and minds of people who want/need/desire a nurturing of their spirit. And Christ has lost a channel to reach His flock.

Massachusetts priest arrested, charged with possession of child pornography

WORCESTER (MA)
Episcopal News Service

September 16, 2019

By Egan Millard

A priest in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts was arrested on Sept. 12 and charged with possession of child pornography after FBI agents raided the rectory where he lives with his husband, the church’s rector.

The Rev. Gregory Lisby had been suspended last year from his position as rector of All Saints Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, “for an inappropriate relationship with an adult that did not involve sexual contact,” the Rt. Rev. Douglas Fisher wrote in a letter to the diocese, adding that that disciplinary process did not yield any indication that Lisby was a danger to children. At the time of the Sept. 11 raid, Lisby had just begun teaching kindergarten in a public school in Holyoke. He had worked in other teaching positions in the area since his suspension, MassLive reported. He had previously served at Christ Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey, from 2010 to 2015, the Rt. Rev. Carlye Hughes, bishop of Newark, wrote in a letter to her diocese. He served at two churches in the Diocese of Rhode Island from 2005 to 2010, the Providence Journal reported.

Victims give “F” grade to Mphs bishop

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

Sept. 26, 2019

He’s been on the job now for six months
They ‘out’ two more local abuser clerics
Both worked in Memphis but are ‘under the radar’
But the diocese won’t post a ‘credibly accused’ list
Most other bishops in the US have already done so
And group urges Tennessee’s AG to investigate all TN dioceses

WHAT
Using chalk, clergy molestation victims will write on a sidewalk the names of predator priests and disclose two more ‘still under the radar’ credibly alleged pedophile priests who were in Memphis, but have attracted any public or media attention in the area.

Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, they will also give Memphis’ new Catholic bishop a grade of “F” his first six months on the job, for refusing to
--post names of credibly accused clerics, and
--remove one of his predecessors – acknowledged by Catholic officials to be an abuser – from church programs and buildings.

They will call on the bishop to also reveal these alleged offenders’ names, photos, whereabouts and work histories immediately.

And they’ll call on current and former Catholic employees to ‘speak up’ about suspicions of child sex crimes and cover ups, in light of a new global church policy that says it’s their duty to do so.

WHEN
Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 1:00 p.m.

NARRATIVE ERASURE IS VIOLENCE: DAVE BOSHART APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF AMBS

Into Account blog

Sept. 12, 2019

By Stephanie Krehbiel

Often, when the internal ties that bind folks to a community are broken, that breakage happens quietly and the loss of relationship goes unacknowledged. I would like to acknowledge that this decision has effected a break in my relationship with AMBS. This decision, the way it was made, and the way it was announced have marked my exclusion from the community and the exclusion of many others like me. Today, I am grieving the loss.

–Hilary Jerome Scarsella, AMBS Facebook comment thread, September 10, 2019

On June 27, Into Account published a piece detailing our opposition to the selection of David Boshart as the new president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. On September 10, despite the efforts of LGBTQ+ Mennonites, other advocates for queer inclusion, and multiple sexual violence survivor organizations including Into Account, the AMBS Presidential Search Committee and Board of Directors announced Boshart’s official appointment as the new president.

They made this announcement after a lengthy process in which they supposedly gave due consideration to the many concerns raised about Boshart’s impending appointment. During that period of consideration, the AMBS search committee contracted with the FaithTrust Institute, a reputable nonprofit organization that works to end sexual and domestic violence in faith communities.

As Mass attendance in Philly declines, Archbishop Chaput’s successor must be more pastoral than polarizing | Opinion

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Philadelphia Inquirer

September 26, 2019

By Kathleen Sprows Cummings

On Thursday, Charles J. Chaput, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, turned 75, a milestone that marks the beginning of the end of his eight-year tenure. Under church law, bishops must offer to resign upon reaching that birthday. Pope Francis will either accept it or ask him to continue until a successor is named.

What this means is that Philadelphia, the ninth-largest diocese in the United States, may soon have a new archbishop.

This change in leadership comes during some very dark days for Philadelphia Catholics, although perhaps not the darkest in their history.

In 1844, riots in the Kensington and Southwark neighborhoods resulted in the destruction of two Catholic churches and 30 Catholic homes, the violence committed by Americans who viewed Catholicism as an irredeemably foreign religion. The story of what happened since has for so long been a narrative of triumph, punctuated by events like Cardinal Denis Dougherty’s 1935 purchase of a 10,000 square foot mansion on City Avenue, or Philadelphia’s warm embrace of Pope John Paul II in 1979.

Three Decades Ago, America Lost Its Religion. Why?

NEW YORK (NY)
The Atlantic

Sept. 25, 2019

By Derek Thompson

The idea of American exceptionalism has become so dubious that much of its modern usage is merely sarcastic. But when it comes to religion, Americans really are exceptional. No rich country prays nearly as much as the U.S, and no country that prays as much as the U.S. is nearly as rich.

America’s unique synthesis of wealth and worship has puzzled international observers and foiled their grandest theories of a global secular takeover. In the late 19th century, an array of celebrity philosophers—the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud—proclaimed the death of God, and predicted that atheism would follow scientific discovery and modernity in the West, sure as smoke follows fire.

Each weekday evening, get an overview of the day’s biggest news, along with fascinating ideas, images, and voices.

Stubbornly pious Americans threw a wrench in the secularization thesis. Deep into the 20th century, more than nine in 10 Americans said they believed in God and belonged to an organized religion, with the great majority of them calling themselves Christian. That number held steady—through the sexual-revolution ’60s, through the rootless and anxious ’70s, and through the “greed is good” ’80s.

Journalists are not the enemy

CHADRON (NE)
The Eagle

Sept. 25, 2019

By Devin Fulton

Bill Belichick is arguably the greatest coach of all time, there is no doubt about that. His standards and practices set an example for other coaches and people to follow, and rightfully so. Over the past two decades, his New England Patriots consistently have been nearly unbeatable. Belichick is known for his great coaching, but also his quiet press conferences.

However, a reporter asked him about a certain player (Antonio Brown) leaving the team and instead of just diffusing the question, Belichick showed a stare-down at the reporter, almost trying to assume some level of intimidation. I thought the move was weak by the coach because the reporter was just doing her job.

Antonio Brown joined the Patriots and was released after one week amidst sexual assault accusations. These were never really answered, and it seems the Patriots don’t want anything to do with providing details on the situation. With Brown being the focal point of any NFL discussion in the last month, I can see why Belichick didn’t want to answer any questions about his former receiver.

What I found unprofessional by the coach was his reaction to the question. There was no need for a death glare at a reporter.

A great coach doesn’t need to intimidate someone who simply asked a question politely. This was a weak move, but since Belichick is held to a high standard, lots of people think the media member was at fault.

Suspended priest accused in lawsuit of molesting teen 43 years ago

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

Sept. 26, 2019

By Mike McAndrew

The Rev. Arthur J. Smith, who has been a magnet for controversy in the Buffalo Diocese clergy abuse scandal, is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy 43 years ago during a field trip to Washington, D.C., for eighth-grade students from a local Catholic school.

The boy and his two sisters were permitted by the principal at St. Bernadette Elementary School in Orchard Park to go on the field trip in 1976, according to the lawsuit. The boy was assigned to sleep in the same hotel room as Smith during the trip.

During the night, Smith got into bed with the boy and engaged in forcible sexual contact, according to the suit, which also names St. Bernadette Parish and the school as defendants.

In past interviews, Smith has maintained he has not sexually abused any children or adults.

It is the first lawsuit accusing Smith of molesting a child. But it is not Smith’s first brush with controversy.

Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone came under fire last year for allowing Smith to serve in a parish despite past complaints of inappropriate behavior by him. In 2011, Smith was placed on leave by a prior bishop following allegations that the priest sent an inappropriate Facebook message to a child. Smith in 2013 was relieved of his duties at a Clarence nursing home after two men made allegations of improper sexual advances. Malone later wrote a glowing letter of recommendation for Smith that helped him get a job as a cruise ship chaplain and then allowed him to serve in a parish.

Malone suspended Smith from ministry in April 2018 after the diocese received a new complaint of Smith engaging in inappropriate conduct with a minor, according to the diocese. The diocese announced in November that Smith would remain on leave because allegations that he had sexually abused a minor were substantiated. His case was sent to Rome for further review.

Smith started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $5,000 to defend himself.

The Rev. Ryszard S. Biernat, the former priest secretary to Malone, recently said that he told diocese officials in 2004, when he was a seminary student, that Smith had sexually assaulted him.

Smith admitted to The Buffalo News that he briefly laid down in bed next to Biernat, but he said he did not sexually abuse him.

Biernat said Auxilliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz told him the incident was his own fault and he blackmailed Biernat to stop complaining about Smith’s alleged actions. He said Grosz threatened to block his ordination as a priest if he didn’t keep quiet.

Group calls for Catholic bishops to release names of clergy accused of abuse

TORONTO (CANADA)
Canadian Press

Sept. 25, 2019

By Nicole Thompson

A group of survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has called for Canadian bishops to follow in the footsteps of some American counterparts and release the names of clergy facing credible misconduct allegations.

The survivors -- connected by their shared experience rather than an umbrella organization -- have travelled to the site of this week's annual meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Cornwall, Ont., to ask church officials to publicize the names. Thus far, the bishops have pushed back.

"In any other institution, if you're protecting people who have offended, who have broken the law, nobody would stand for that. But it seems like, because they're hiding behind the guise of the church, they're not being challenged in this way," said Gemma Hickey, whose own abuse case against a priest was settled outside of court.

"It's not up to survivors to come forward to release the names. It's up to the institutions that have harmed us."

Hickey, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, is part of a group that met with seven bishops on Sunday to discuss their experiences and make their demands. Hickey said the survivors called on the bishops to come forward with the names of clergy members credibly accused of abuse, meaning cases backed up by documentation such as bills from therapists and settlement agreements. They'd also like to see the nature of those allegations released, along with a description of the church's response.

Hickey is the founder of the Pathways foundation, but other survivors are affiliated with groups such as Ending Clergy Abuse and SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Some of the other survivors in attendance at the Cornwall meeting had also brought their cases to court, or settled outside of it, they said.

"It's pretty incredible to have that network now," Hickey said. "Being sexually abused by a priest is even that much more isolating, because when you talk about confidentiality agreements and a culture of secrecy within the church, these types of things also affect people's mental health."

Hickey said the group is working to convince the bishops to centre abuse on their agenda.

"We were told that the issue of clergy sexual abuse wasn't necessarily the focus of the plenary assembly," Hickey said. "We're trying to make it the focus. We feel this is the most important issue facing the church right now. It's a global crisis."

September 25, 2019

Clergy abuse report frustrates victims group

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
News Tribune

Sept. 26, 2019

By Joe Ganim

Victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse said Wednesday — like previous efforts to deal with the crisis — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt's recently released report on abuse was woefully inadequate.

Members and supporters of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held a news conference on the sidewalk outside Schmitt's Jefferson City office Wednesday afternoon to express their disappointment in the report, which they had awaited for more than a year.

David Clohessy, the former national director of SNAP, called on Schmitt's office to reveal whom it interviewed for the investigation.

"In this report, there is virtually no mention of corrupt church officials who conceal — and have concealed in the past — these crimes," Clohessy said. "Virtually no mention of several church-run treatment centers in Missouri that (over decades) have literally imported hundreds — if not thousands — of predator priests from other states. And virtually no mention of religious order priests, who comprise about one-third of the priests in America."

These are among the shortcomings that "plague this probe," he said.

Schmitt's office replied to the criticism in a statement it released following the news conference.

"Victims have a right to be angry over the actions of the Catholic Church and the church's wide-reaching cover up — in many instances, it has completely and totally upended their lives," the statement said. "We were both humbled by the victims' bravery in coming forward and deeply saddened by the stories of abuse and cover-up we heard. The Attorney General's Office sought to do a thorough, victim-centric, and independent investigation of allegations of abuse from the Roman Catholic Church."

SNAP has studied dozens of reports about clergy abuse from around the world — created by attorneys general, grand juries and special governmental bodies, Clohessy said.

"We have never seen a report as bad as this one — as deceptive and as unhelpful," Clohessy said. "Because of this report, Missourians may well be left with the impression that most of the crimes and cover-ups are in the past. We believe that is wrong, and we believe that's irresponsible."

The investigation began in August 2018, after the public received revelations about Cardinal Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who was suspended in July 2018 over allegations he had sexually abused seminary students and later retired. Less than a month later, a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report on clergy abuse across the state.

Within a few days, the Archdiocese of St. Louis asked then-Attorney General Josh Hawley to look into its clergy. Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of the Diocese of Jefferson City soon followed the lead.

Southern Baptists Promote Book by Pastor Who Mishandled Girl’s Sexual Abuse Case

Patheos blog

Sept. 25, 2019

By Sarabeth Caplin

As we posted on this site in July, Matt Chandler, the pastor of The Village Church in Texas, was at the center of a sexual assault controversy. He hadn’t done anything abusive himself, but after a member of his church was accused of sexually violating an 11-year-old girl, we learned that Chandler didn’t tell his own congregation who the accused person was. In fact, he told them the accused person didn’t have “access to children at the Village Church”… which was only technically true because the suspect no longer worked there.

Then it got worse. Even after Chandler knew about the allegations, he emailed the congregation to say the man was leaving the church due to an “alcohol abuse problem.” Nothing else. The church gave that man a severance package. The third party that was hired by the church to oversee an investigation happened to be owned by people who also served as legal advisers for the church. The victim is now suing the church for $1 million.

In short, Chandler was a perfect example of how to do everything wrong after learning about a sexual abuse incident.

And yet, just days before the Southern Baptist Convention is holding a conference on caring for abuse survivors, the group is promoting a book written by Chandler.

Not the smartest of PR moves.

Bob Allen at Baptist News Global explains that the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is hosting a conference in early October on the topic of “Equipping the Church to Confront the Abuse Crisis.” It comes in response to the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News coverage of sexual abuse scandals within the SBC.

Harrisburg Diocese fights for dismissal of lawsuit by man who says Catholic priests raped him in the 1960s

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patriot News

Sept. 25, 2019

By Matt Miller

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg is pressing hard for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims two priests repeatedly raped him when he was an altar boy more than 50 years ago.

The attorneys for that man, who now lives in Missouri, are fighting just as hard to keep the case on track for a trial in Dauphin County Court.

The legal battle is just the latest to erupt since a state grand jury last year released a scathing report on child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania.

That report has prompted apologies by bishops and church leaders all the way up to Pope Francis. It also led Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese to release the names of 71 people in the diocese, including priests, who were accused of sexual improprieties.

The suit by the Missouri man, whose name is being withheld by PennLive because he claims to be the victim of sex crimes, also was triggered by the grand jury report. Before its release, he didn’t realize there was a decades-long “conspiracy” among diocese leaders to shield predator priests, the man contends in his suit.

The man, now 67, claims he was sexually assaulted and repeatedly sodomized by two now-dead priests, Father Raymond Daugherty and Father Walter Sempko, at Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in the early 1960s.

It's Still Going on — Cover-Up of Abuse Is Still Going On

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
Bilgrimage blog

Sept. 25, 2019

Bt William Lindsay

Since some of us recently had a discussion here about Catholics withholding donations to parishes and Catholic institutions because many Catholics see their money put to uses that disgust them, including covering up clerical abuse of minors, I thought I'd draw your attention to this recent article by Brian Fraga. As he reports, Catholic donations to parishes and Catholic institutions in the U.S. are dropping because many Catholics believe their donations have been abused, in particular, to cover up clerical sexual abuse of minors. Fraga writes,
A Pew Research Center survey released this past summer indicated that 26% of U.S. Catholics reported giving less money as a result of the recent reports of sexual abuse and misconduct by priests and bishops.

Fr. Jay Mello, a pastor of two parishes in Fall River, Massachusetts, told CNS that his parishioners have been quite "vocal" about not donating to diocesan collections.
"They don't trust the bishops and feel this is the only way they can send the message," Mello said.

The Pew Research Center study referenced by Fraga was published this past June. It's entitled "Americans See Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse as an Ongoing Problem" (the graphic at the head of the posting is from this study). The Pew study finds the following:

And, overall, about eight-in-ten U.S. adults say the recent reports of sexual abuse and misconduct by Catholic priests and bishops reflect "ongoing problems that are still happening" in the church. Far fewer (12%) think the recent reports reflect "things that happened in the past and mostly don’t happen anymore."

The vast majority of U.S. Catholics are not convinced the abuse horror show is over and done with. They suspect "ongoing problems … are still happening" in the church. They do not trust the hierarchy — and have every reason not to do so — because of the deplorable track record of the hierarchy right to the present of covering up abuse of minors by clerics and church workers, of moving abusive clerics around with no notice to their new parishes or institutions that they pose a danger to minors, of issuing misleading and outright lying statemenhts to the public, of withholding information about what's going on and how things are being handled, etc.

The withholding of donations is taking place now because many Catholics think the problems about which we have learned in the past two decades are taking place now. They are not in the past, as the bishops and their apologists want to claim.

Yesterday, I was a lurker in a Twitter conversation in which a young Catholic associated with the journal First Things entered a conversation between another tweeter and me to inform us that the abuse situation is over and done with, and that this was the primary point of Peter Steinfels' critique of (or, more bluntly, attack on) the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report in Commonweal earlier this year. I say that I lurked in the conversation after this person entered it because he has a history of abusive behavior towards me on Twitter, and I have told him I will no longer engage him as a result of how he has dealt with me.

Given that, to the best of my knowledge, only the bishops and Vatican know the full score about the abuse horror show — all the data are in their hands, and we have every reason in the world to think they have never released all data to the public and will not do so — I wonder how anyone can conclude with a straight face that the abuse is all over and done with. Locked the gays out of the seminaries: problem solved. Only heterosexual seminarians and priests left, thank the Lord: abuse over! (Cf. Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, which shows that the fierce ideological struggle now going on inside the Catholic hierarchy is a struggle between two overwhelmingly gay and closeted camps: problem not solved; gays still with us — but gays bitterly opposed to the rights of LGBTQ people in the rest of the world who are open about who they are and self-accepting.)

BISHOP’S BOOK ON SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS MORE ABOUT SCANDAL THAN HEALING

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

Sept. 25, 2019

The title of Bishop Robert E. Barron’s “Letter to a Suffering Church” led me — as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse — to hope for a book like Fr. Thomas Berg’s excellent 2017 work “Hurting in the Church.”

Fr. Berg wrote for Catholics who were victimized by fellow Catholics. Using St. Paul’s image of the Church as body of Christ, he sought to help wounded readers come to see how the Church’s fundamental holiness remains despite the sins of individual members.

Bishop Barron, an auxiliary bishop of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, echoes some of Fr. Berg’s points — he observes that the Church “is an organism, not an organization” — but with a different aim. His book is not for those who are themselves suffering; a more apt title would be “Letter to a Scandalized Church.” Bishop Barron’s mantra, repeated seven times across 105 pages, is that Catholics angry about clergy abuse should not leave the Church but should rather “stay and fight.”

What we have here, then, is a pugilistic, often polemic book — heavy on seething, light on healing. Bishop Barron writes that “sexual abuse of young people … is a rot, a disease, a threat to the great principles of the Church that we hold dear.” The answer is to “fight by raising your voice in protest; fight by writing a letter of complaint; fight by insisting that protocols be followed; fight by reporting offenders; fight by pursuing the guilty until they are punished; fight by refusing to be mollified by pathetic excuses.”

On the positive side, Bishop Barron advises, “fight by your very holiness of life; fight by becoming the saint that God wants you to be; fight by encouraging a decent young man to become a priest; fight by doing a Holy Hour every day for the sanctification of the Church; fight by coming to Mass regularly; fight by evangelizing; fight by doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.”

Philadelphians Deserve A More Open Prelate Following Archbishop Chaput’s Retirement

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

Sept. 25, 2019

Archbishop Charles Chaput today turned 75, the age at which prelates are to submit their resignation to the pontiff. Often, the Vatican ignores this. But in this case we hope Pope Francis will act quickly to replace Archbishop Chaput with a cleric who is willing to courageously confront the archdiocese’s continuing abuse and cover up scandal.

Over a long career climbing the clerical ladder, Archbishop Chaput’s signature ‘achievement’ is that, in two states, he fought tooth and nail to keep clergy cover-ups covered up by blocking legislative reforms that would have likely enabled thousands of child sexual abuse victims to expose hundreds of abusers and the men who helped minimize, obfuscate, or cover-up the allegations against them.

In Colorado while working as the Archbishop of Denver, Archbishop Chaput was described as handling survivors of abuse with “an iron fist in a velvet glove,” and was criticized for using hardball legal tactics against victims. He was credited with defeating statute of reform legislation in Colorado then just as he worked to defeat statute of reform legislation in Pennsylvania over this past year.

And while Archbishop Chaput has long fought the efforts of survivors in the court room, he has also long defended priests accused of abuse, ignoring the “zero-tolerance” policy of the Dallas Charter repeatedly along the way.

For example, in the cause of Fr. John P. Paul in Philadelphia, Archbishop Chaput kept allegations against Fr. Paul under wraps for months, allowing the priest to quietly retire and then lying to parishioners about the reason why. Throughout this case, Archbishop Chaput didn't explain why he
--kept child sex abuse allegations secret for months,
--let a priest lie to his flock,
--told only one parish about Fr. Paul at first, or
--waited until the next weekend to tell the public about Fr. Paul.

Diocese of Pittsburgh Files Petition with State Supreme Court

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

Sept. 25, 2019

One of Pennsylvania’s largest Catholic dioceses is petitioning that state’s supreme court for “extraordinary relief” in an effort to avoid the consequences of years of enabling and minimizing cases of clergy abuse. We hope that their petition fails and that the lawsuits brought by survivors will be allowed to move forward.

In June, a Pennsylvania appellate court allowed a clergy abuse case to proceed, despite being outside the statute of limitations, because there were active attempts by church officials to cover up the alleged abuse. But last week, leaders from the Diocese of Pittsburgh asked the supreme court for “extraordinary relief” in at least four lawsuits that have been filed, arguing that the diocese will be “inundated” by cases that it will be forced to defend, but might later be dismissed on appeal.

Good. We hope the court is indeed flooded with cases as it will only further drive home the point that so many survivors have been denied their chance at justice because church officials actively worked to conceal crimes, pressure victims into silence, and prevent statute of limitations reform.

Victims challenge San Diego bishop on Compensation Program

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

Sept. 25, 2019

Two of them rebuff church-run plans
“If you care, why the unfair deadline?” they ask
SNAP: “Don’t make survivors sign away legal rights!”
It’s a scheme to make sure “cover ups stay covered up,” victims say
Bishops’ program “endangers kids but protects prelates,” SNAP charges

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims
--- announce they will NOT participate in any church-run ‘victim pay off plan’ and
--- charge that the plan is intended to safeguard bishops’ careers, not kids.

Other survivors and their supporters will urge San Diego’s bishop to stop insisting that victims who want help from the church
--sign away their legal rights to file abuse and cover up lawsuits, and
--met a “rigid, self-serving church deadline” to get help.

The group will also
--prod San Diego church officials to expand their official “credibly accused” clergy list to include other categories of church staff,
--urge anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” abuse to call the state attorney general, and
--beg “victims who are still suffering in shame and silence” to “speak up and start healing.”

WHEN
Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 11:00 a.m.

Voice of the Faithful members gather for 2019 Conference

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

September 25, 2019

The present crisis in the Catholic Church is drawing together members of the Church reform group Voice of the Faithful in the Boston area for their 2019 Conference: Creating a Just Church. Founded in 2002 during heightened awareness of clergy sexual abuse of minors in the Boston Archdiocese, VOTF seeks a church with greater transparency, accountability, and lay involvement in Church governance.

VOTF’s 2019 Conference: Creating a Just Church takes place Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, 2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, Mass. In addition to featured speakers and a panel discussion addressing how local faith communities are handling Church scandal, attendees will hear results of VOTF’s “2019 Report on Measuring & Ranking Diocesan Online Financial Transparency.” They also will hear from VOTF’s Child Protection Working Group about a vision for a new initiative that could measure the vigilance of dioceses in following child protection guidelines. The initiative would leverage the way VOTF monitors diocesan online financial information and would be similar to that effort.

The Honorable Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice, will speak during the morning session. For more than two years, she served as interim chair of USCCB’s National Review Board, directing its efforts to investigate the causes and effects of the clerical sexual abuse scandal and helping to establish guidelines and policies for effectively responding to the scandal. She will be joined by Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center Exec. Dir. Char Rivette. ChicagoCAC can be a model for battling clergy child abuse in any diocese. ChicagoCAC responds to reports of child sexual and other serious abuse by coordinating the efforts of child protection staff, law enforcement professionals, family advocates, medical experts, and mental health clinicians under one roof.

Sex abuse scandal leaves Australian Church, gov’t scrambling for solutions

DENVER (CO)
Catholc New Agency

Sept. 25, 2019

In the wake of a major clergy sex abuse scandal and the high-profile, controversial trial and conviction of sex abuse of Cardinal George Pell, government and Church officials in Australia are scrambling for solutions.

Among these proposed or enacted interventions are those that would break with teachings or traditions of the Catholic Church.

One such oft-proposed intervention is the scrapping of the seal of confession, a proposed solution included in the Australian Royal Commission’s report on clergy abuse published last year.

Earlier this month, the Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania passed a law requiring priests to violate the seal of confession if anything in the confession indicated or implicated someone in a case of child sex abuse. The laws add religious leaders to the existing list of mandatory reporters, and failure to report abuse is punishable by time in prison.

Unlike in other countries with similar laws and policies, reports of child abuse made in a sacramental context are no longer exempt and must be reported.

Johnstown priest put on leave following sexual misconduct claims

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
WJAC

September 21, 2019

By Crispin Havener

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has placed a Johnstown priest on leave following accusations of sexual misconduct involving minors.

Reverend Matthew E. Misurda, Pastor of Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in the Woodvale section of Johnstown, has been with the parish since 2012 and has served at various parishes in the area dating back to 1977, the diocese said in a statement released Saturday.

The claims, according to the diocese, date back to the late 1970s and early 1980s and have been reported to civil authorities.

Buffalo Diocese facing more Child Victims Act suits than any other defendant in NY

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

September 18, 2019

By Mike McAndrew and Jay Tokasz

More Child Victims Act lawsuits have been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo than against any other defendant in New York State, The Buffalo News has determined.

From Aug. 14 through Sept. 16, 138 lawsuits were filed against the Buffalo Diocese, alleging it negligently allowed priests or other employees to sexually abuse children.

The Archdiocese of New York City, which has four times more registered Catholics than the Buffalo diocese, is facing 124 Child Victims Act lawsuits, The News found.

As of Monday, 695 Child Victims Act lawsuits have been filed across the state since a law passed this year opened up a one-year window in which childhood sexual abuse victims could bring cases that were previously barred by the statute of limitations.

Paedophile priest committed abuse in the 'safety' of another clergyman's home, survivor says

)AUSTRALIA)
ABC Ballarat

September 18, 2019

By Charlotte King

More evidence has come to light that paedophile priests working in the Melbourne and Ballarat Catholic dioceses operated in an organised network that included a suburban 'safe house'.

Deon Cameron was in his final year of high school when he travelled from his family home at Penshurst, in Victoria's west, to stay at a church residence in Melbourne to visit his mother in hospital.

It was 1991, and Mr Cameron's parish priest, Paul David Ryan — who had routinely assaulted Mr Cameron since he was 15 — had offered to put him up at the presbytery in a leafy suburb in the city's south-east.

Johnstown priest put on leave following sexual misconduct claims

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
WJAC TV

Sept. 21, 2019

By Crispin Havener

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has placed a Johnstown priest on leave following accusations of sexual misconduct involving minors.

Reverend Matthew E. Misurda, Pastor of Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in the Woodvale section of Johnstown, has been with the parish since 2012 and has served at various parishes in the area dating back to 1977, the diocese said in a statement released Saturday.

The claims, according to the diocese, date back to the late 1970s and early 1980s and have been reported to civil authorities.

While he is on leave, Father Misurda, 67, is not permitted to function publicly as a priest. The diocese said in their statement that anyone with information about child sex abuse should report it to law enforcement.

‘Obviously, I believed the wrong person’: R.I. priest defends decision not to fire church employee accused of child molestation

BRISTOL (RI)
Boston Globe

September 25, 2019

By Amanda Milkovits

BRISTOL, R.I. — The parish priest at St. Mary’s Church on Tuesday defended his decision not to fire a church administrator who was accused of child molestation and questioned why others in the town also put their faith in the accused, David E. Barboza.

“I mean, they voted for him. They elected him to office, they supported his involvement with the fire department, the Rotary, the Democratic council,” the Rev. Barry Gamache said, referring to the Bristol Democratic Town Committee. “They say, ‘You trusted him.’ — It would appear the entire town trusted him.”

He spoke in a phone interview with the Globe, after a story this week that looked at what Gamache and the Diocese of Providence knew about the allegations against Barboza.

Gamache was also confronted after Mass Tuesday morning by the parishioner who’d been the first to warn the diocese about Barboza, more than 20 years ago.

The man said he’d waited all this time for the priest to fire Barboza and acknowledge he’d made a mistake in hiring him.

When the priest apologized to him after Mass, the man said, “I told him, ‘It’s too late, Father. The warnings were there, and you did nothing.’ ”

The Globe does not identify victims of sexual assault without their permission.

Gamache was a new priest at St. Mary’s when he hired Barboza as an administrator in November 1997. The priest received his first complaint about Barboza less than a year later.

The parishioner who was the first to warn the diocese told an investigator that Barboza had sexually assaulted him in 1976, when he was a 14-year-old Eagle Scout and Barboza was a Bristol police officer, the Globe reported this week.

Another Bristol man told the diocese investigator that Barboza had molested him at a fire station in the early 1970s, when he was 6 and Barboza was a volunteer firefighter. His allegations were reported in an earlier Globe story.

While the criminal statute of limitations expired in both cases, the diocese was also told about Barboza’s arrest in 1982, when he was charged with soliciting a 14-year-old boy while working for the state fire marshal’s office. That case was dismissed and never refiled.

The diocese said that its investigator, retired Massachusetts State Police lieutenant Robert N. McCarthy, looked into those complaints and presented the results to Gamache several times over the last 20 years.

But the priest said Tuesday that McCarthy’s “summary” wasn’t as convincing as what Barboza told him.

“David just explained everything away so perfectly,” Gamache said. “Unfortunately, I gave more credibility to him than McCarthy. It’s just that David had a much better explanation.”

The priest said he didn’t recall much of the explanation. Although the investigator developed a thick file on Barboza, Gamache said he never saw the depositions.

Barboza abruptly resigned July 31 after the initial Globe investigation was published.

Since then, a 45-year-old parishioner with mental disabilities has also come forward with allegations that Barboza opened the man’s pants on several occasions when the man was seeking clothing from the church.

Another parishioner who accused Barboza of raping him when he was a boy in the mid-1970s said Monday that he told Gamache about the abuse in 2017. Robert Powers, 54, filed a lawsuit against Barboza last December.

Gamache disputed that account on Tuesday, saying Powers didn’t tell him anything about Barboza. The priest said that the 45-year-old parishioner also never said anything to him.

Gamache said he kept his word by protecting the children at St. Mary’s.

“I do believe him,” Gamache said about the 45-year-old parishioner’s accusation. “But we’re not talking about pedophilia. That’s the difference. I said I would protect the children. I can’t protect every adult in Bristol.”

The first man to come forward to the diocese, said he approached Gamache after Mass on Tuesday, because he wanted to ask Gamache why he didn’t believe those who warned him about Barboza.

He said he followed the priest into a small side room that’s part of the church. Gamache was alone, so the man said he sat down with him.

“I said, ‘How did you dismiss all those people’s reports to you about Mr. Barboza’s behavior? You dismissed it as small town hearsay?’ ” the man told the Globe. “I said, ‘I made a sworn deposition to the diocese, and Mr. McCarthy even approached you.’ . . . I said, ‘All I wanted was him removed from the altar and not to have contact with children.’ ”

The man said that Gamache apologized several times. “I said, ‘Father, ”sorry” is too late now,’ ” he said.

The man said he told Gamache that, as the priest, he needed to address the parish. “I said, ‘There’s a whole lot of parishioners out there who are looking for answers.’ ”

Gamache confirmed that he and the man spoke after Mass, and that he apologized, saying he would “pray on” the man’s request to address the parishioners of St. Mary’s at some point about the allegations. Gamache has been scheduled for hip surgery on Wednesday and plans return Nov. 1.

“I haven’t thought what to say, besides apologizing,” Gamache said. “Obviously, I believed the wrong person, but I did it with a clear conscience.”

Archbishop Chaput gives notice after tenure of culture war and consolidation

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

Sept. 25, 2019

By Peter Feuerherd

Little Logan Vincent, three months old, was the star at Mass Sept. 8 at St. Vincent de Paul Church in the Germantown section here.

To the sounds of a Gospel choir, to the ringing applause of a church three-quarters filled, and with his parents and godparents processing around the sanctuary with little Logan in his mother's arms, greeted by kisses from the pews, this was no back-of-the-church, move along quickly ceremony. It was topped off by testimony from Christine Vincent, his mother, about the grueling ordeal that brought Logan into the world, including months for both mother and child in the hospital.

Logan is entering a church in transition.

After eight years, Archbishop Charles Chaput's tenure as Philadelphia archbishop will soon end. He has already presented his resignation notice to Pope Francis, consistent with church law as he marks his 75th birthday on Sept. 26. Francis will either accept it or ask him to continue until a successor is named.

Logan is among the approximately 11,000 Catholics in the Philadelphia Archdiocese who are expected to be baptized this year. That is in contrast to nearly 38,000 baptisms in 1961. Wracked by sex abuse and financial scandals, a once powerful church here has undergone painful consolidation and retrenchment. In comparison to past eras, far fewer Philadelphia Catholics are being baptized, married and buried in the church.

Philadelphia is feeling the effects of outside forces that have changed the landscape of the Catholic Church in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. In addition to the effects of scandal, the church has experienced a massive shift of populations not only away from urban centers but also to the areas of the South, the effects of smaller families and the general disaffiliation of young people from institutions, civil and religious.

Buffalo Diocese sets new clergy conduct code, policy on abuse complaints

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

Sept. 25, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Bishop Richard J. Malone said Tuesday that the Diocese of Buffalo has published new policies and procedures for handling complaints of sexual misconduct by clergy and staff with adults, as well as a new code of pastoral conduct for clergy.

The new documents follow a string of cases over the past year in which priests were accused of sexual misconduct with adults – including one case currently under investigation by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler issued a statement saying the Buffalo Diocese was one of the first in the country to promulgate policies for adult misconduct.

Possible punishment for priests or deacons who violate the policy include being suspended from ministry and being dismissed from the clerical state.

Malone has been heavily criticized for allowing at least two priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct with adults to stay in ministry, including one as pastor of a large parish.

Archbishop Lori

SOUTH BEND (IN)
The Observer

Sept. 25, 2019

Anyone who has worked as a college newspaper editor or reporter understands the tremendous burden of carrying a full academic load while simultaneously attending to what feels like a full-time job. That’s why it was remarkable, in addition to its usual coverage of tri-campus events, that The Observer conducted its own enterprise reporting in writing recently about the library funding controversy in St. Joseph County.

By contrast, The Observer relied exclusively on the Washington Post in rewriting its incomplete and unfair portrait of Archbishop William Lori, a panelist Wednesday at the Notre Dame Forum on the Church sex abuse crisis.

The Observer used others’ accounts to report that Archbishop Lori accepted a donation from Wheeling Bishop Michael Bransfield, later accused of sexual harassment and financial misconduct, and that he delayed in disclosing as much.

Yet Archbishop Lori thoroughly investigated the same bishop, showing him no favoritism, resulting in his permanent ban by Pope Francis from engaging in public ministry in the Catholic Church. Archbishop Lori also authorized the sale of the bishop’s house, with proceeds going to victims.

Archbishop Lori was the architect of the 2002 landmark Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, credited with helping the Church prevent future cases of abuse by mandating zero tolerance and other key provisions throughout the Church in the United States, including mandatory reporting to the police. It also resulted in a steep decline in abuse.

Diocese of Pittsburgh files petition with state Supreme Court after lawsuits

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI 11 News

Sept. 24, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has filed a petition seeking "extraordinary relief" with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after a series of lawsuits over the last six months alleged clergy sex abuse.

In June, an appeals court allowed a lawsuit filed against the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to move forward even though the alleged abuse happened in the 1970s and 1980s, well beyond the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania.

The court ruled a jury could decide if a victim's delay in coming forward is reasonable in cases of a cover-up or concealment.

Last week, the Diocese of Pittsburgh listed four lawsuits filed after that decision that it claims requires the relief from the Supreme Court.

“...The courts of this Commonwealth will be inundated with uniform cases and millions of dollars will be expended pursuing and defending claims that may eventually be deemed invalid by this Court," the diocese said in it's filing.

Notre Dame Forum panelists share expectations for discussion, comment on Archbishop Lori’s controversial history

SOUTH BEND (IN)
The Observer

Sept. 25, 2019

By Joseph Han

Five key players in the push for Church reform will continue the global conversation on the clergy sexual abuse crisis in a panel Wednesday evening.

The panel, “The Church Crisis: Where Are We Now?,” will be held Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Leighton Concert Hall.

A keynote event for the 2019 Notre Dame Forum, “‘Rebuild My Church:’ Crisis and Response” will feature Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori; Kathleen McChesney, former executive assistant director at the FBI; Juan Carlos Cruz, an advocate for survivors of clergy abuse; and Peter Steinfels, former editor at Commonweal and former columnist for the New York Times. John Allen, editor of online Catholic newspaper Crux and Vatican reporter, will moderate.

Ex-Schenectady priest and alleged predator Melfe dies

SCHENECTADY (NY)
Daily Gazette

Sept. 24, 2019

By Zachary Matson

Frances P. Melfe, a former Catholic priest in Schenectady who allegedly lived with a woman and abused her children while still a priest, died Friday night. He was 91.

Melfe, who served as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany from 1954 until he resigned in 1979, ministered at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Schenectady’s Bellevue neighborhood from 1971 to 1979. He also worked at churches in Gloversville, Troy, Hudson and Albany.

Melfe was removed from the priesthood in 2012 and has been on an Albany Diocese list of priests credibly accused of child abuse.

After the state opened the door last month to lawsuits that had not been filed before their statute of limitation ran out, a family of siblings filed a lawsuit accusing Melfe of secretly living with their mother and abusing them while they were children. Melfe is also accused of fathering one of the children.

Mass departure

WARWICK (RI)
Warwick Beacon

Sept. 24, 2019

By Ethan Hartley

The notion that the number of people actively participating in the Catholic faith in Rhode Island has been declining has been observed for some time now, but recently the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence released precise numbers to verify that fact.

In a “pastoral profile” assembled by the Diocese released earlier this month, data reveals that everything from the overall number of parishioners, the number of masses and attendance at masses to the number of priests in the state have all sharply declined since 2000.

What the numbers show is a snapshot is a widespread departure from traditional Catholic practice in Rhode Island, which the Pew Research Center still identifies as the most Catholic-dense population in the country, with 43 percent in the state identifying as followers of the faith.

In his address attached to the report, Bishop Thomas Tobin declared, “The inescapable conclusion from reviewing the report is that the Diocese of Providence is experiencing a quantitative decline,” and indicated “the Diocese must continue making the structural adjustments we have already begun in responding to the new realities in which we are living. These changes will include clergy assignments, parish configurations, Mass schedules, and educational resources.”

September 24, 2019

Cheverus alumni announce fund to assist abuse victims

PORTLAND (ME)
Press Herald

Sept. 25, 2019

By Eric Russell

Three Cheverus High School alumni have launched what they call “an important and overdue project” to create a fund for former students who were sexually abused during their time at the Jesuit-run school in Portland.

John Marr Jr., Pete O’Donnell and Chris O’Neil, all from the Class of 1979, wrote a letter to classmates recently announcing the fund and soliciting donations. They hope to raise $50,000 and said an anonymous donor would match contributions up to $25,000.

The fund will be used to provide professional counseling and therapy to any victims, and for educational and training programs for current students, faculty and staff.

“As Cheverus brothers we support the abuse victims who have come forward and those who have not. In either case, many victims – often because of cost – have gone without the support so crucial for them to cope, recover and thrive,” the alumni wrote.

Although the fund was not meant to be announced publicly, another Cheverus alumnus, Michael Sweatt, a member of the Class of 1976 who is an abuse victim, released the letter through the organization Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Victims seek records from MO attorney general

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

Sept. 24, 2019

Dear AG Schmitt,

Your recent report on clergy sex crimes in Missouri is the worst such effort by a governmental official we’ve seen in our 30 years of involvement in this crisis. It’s a misleading whitewash that largely does the bidding of Missouri bishops.

Please consider this our formal Sunshine Act request for
-- copies of any “memo of understanding” or agreement(s) you or your predecessor signed with Catholic officials, and
-- a thorough list of who you and your staff (and your predecessor and his staff) met or spoke with during this so-called ‘investigation’ (redacting, of course victims’ names and any identifying information about them).

Why do we want such agreements? Because we’re convinced that you and your predecessor gave bishops massive concessions on the front end, eviscerating or severely limiting your probe and basically turning it into a public relations coup for the church hierarchy.

Why do we want such lists? Because we’re convinced you and your staff spent a lot of time with Catholic officials, less time with victims and likely no time at all with recognized experts in this field, neither local nor national.

Royal Commission: Calls for commissioner Paul Gibson to step down

WELLINGTON (NZ)
Radio New Zealand

Sept. 24, 2019

By Katie Scotcher

The commissioner embroiled in the latest scandal at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care says he won't be stepping down.

Paul Gibson is responsible for the group of sexual abuse survivors who advise the Royal Commission as it investigates historical abuse of children in state and church care.

Yesterday it was revealed that a partner of one of the advisory group members is a convicted child sex offender and has attended gatherings alongside members of the group.

The minister responsible for the Royal Commission, Tracey Martin, has been taking legal advice and will meet commissioners today.

Tracey Martin said if she needed to take steps to ensure the success of the Royal Commission of Inquiry she would do so.

She was looking for a "logical reason" rather than a "lack of competence" for the three month time difference between being aware the man had convictions and finding out what they were.

"We've got a circumstance here that has alarmed the public, has alarmed survivors - and they're the most important people - and quite frankly it has alarmed members of Parliament," Ms Martin told Morning Report.

"While we appreciate that many survivors had lives that then, because of the trauma of their childhood meant that they gained criminal convictions later on in life, and we don't want to penalise them for that pathway by somehow stopping them being involved in the Royal Commission, there are certain crimes that are trigger crimes that strongly affect survivors.

"So I think with hindsight there are certain crimes that should have been screened for with anybody that was coming anywhere near the survivors inside the Royal Commission of Inquiry."

The final decision on whether Mr Gibson may have to resign rests with the Governor-General, but Ms Martin said she wanted the Royal Commission to succeed and keep the trust of survivors.

"If that means that I need to take steps to ensure that if there is a lack of competence that something is done to ensure that that trust remains then I will take those steps."

If other members of panel expressed a lack of confidence a commissioner, it would be up to the Commission chairman to step in, she said.

In May, the inquiry's 20-member Survivor Advisory Group was set up to represent victims of abuse.

Sexual Abuse Charges Against Former Bronxville Priest Dismissed

BRONXVILLE (NY)
Daily Voice

Sept. 24, 2019

By Zak Failla

Charges of sexual abuse have reportedly been dropped against a former Westchester County priest who was charged with allegedly engaging in inappropriate behavior by a minor.

Rev. Thomas Kreiser, who was accused of abusing a 10-year-old girl while serving at St. Joseph’s parish in Bronxville had the charges dismissed, according to reports . Prosecutors stated that the dismissal comes because they couldn’t prove any wrongdoing beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kreiser was indicted in March, when a grand jury charged him with three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained his innocence since the allegations were made.

It was alleged that Kreiser engaged in touching his victim on an intimate part of her body while in a school building in Bronxville in the middle of the day. Officials said that the 10-year-old was fully clothed at the time of the incident.

'They burned down my childhood'

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Channel

Sept. 23, 2019

By Tony Kovaleski

As an eight-month investigation into Colorado’s Catholic Church and potential sexual abuse of minors by priests and high-ranking church members wraps up, with its details expected in coming weeks, a woman living in Colorado is recounting the hell she went through at a parish in Kansas as a young girl in hopes that other victims come forward.

“I would like to f---ing burn down their church and their rectory because I feel like they burned down my childhood,” the woman told Contact7 Investigates.

She agreed to speak on the record for this story on the condition she be referred to only as “Marie” – a pseudonym used because her coworkers and even members of her family do not know that she was sexually abused by priests at the Holy Cross Church in Hutchinson, Kansas as a young girl five decades ago.

But as investigators try to be sure through its review there are no known or suspected child abusers active in the ministry, Marie said she came forward in the hopes that her courage encourages others to do so as well, and to wipe away the stigma that only young boys were abused by priests in the church.

“I’m just ready to take the mask off,” she said. “These dirty secrets I was forced to keep by the Catholic Church are not mine to keep.”

Diocese of Buffalo creates policy and code of conduct for sexual abuse cases involving clergy

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ TV

Sept. 24, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has created an adult sexual misconduct policy and procedures, as well as a Code of Pastoral Conduct for Clergy.

The Adult Sexual Misconduct Task Force was started in December 2018 to develop policies and procedures to respond to allegations of sexual abuse with adults by clergy.

You can read the documents here:

Adult Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures

Code of Pastoral Conduct for Clergy

Opinion: Catholic Church’s Compensation Fund Will Shortchange Abuse Victims

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Times of San Diego

Sept. 24, 2019

By Irwin Zalkin

This fund was set up by six of the largest dioceses in California in anticipation of new legislation, Assembly Bill 218, which is currently on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for signature. AB 218, which was overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature, will open a three-year window for new civil claims that had been barred by California’s restrictive statue of limitations laws. This legislation would allow potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of clergy abuse victims to sue the Catholic dioceses of California for allowing the abuse to happen and for covering up decades of clergy abuse.

The last time such a window of opportunity was allowed in California was in 2003, when more than 1,000 victims filed lawsuits with an average settlement of $1.3 million. Offering to pay victims pennies on the dollar compared to what they may receive under the civil justice system is nothing less than a scam to save the dioceses and their insurers millions of dollars.

The church is calling this program the “Independent Compensation Fund.” There is nothing independent about this fund. The dioceses are paying the fund administrators who will be deciding what a victim gets based on a schedule. These private settlements will do nothing to expose the clergy involved in the abuse and the cover-up by the dioceses. No documents will be released as part of a victim’s settlement with the fund.

Survivor organizations like SNAP, the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, strongly supported AB 218 and have cautioned victims not to rush toward this option as a settlement for their claims. SNAP has issued a statement highlighting the fact that the California’s dioceses compensation programs began just six days after the passage of the AB 218.

More than 200 lawsuits filed in WNY under Child Victims Act

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

Sept. 24, 2019

By Charlie Specht

More than 200 lawsuits have been filed in Western New York under the Child Victims Act , and the Diocese of Buffalo is the defendant in 80 percent of them.

The total number of suits filed locally since the CVA's one-year "look-back window" went into effect in August topped the 200 mark Monday evening. Broken down by defendant, the numbers are as follows:
Diocese of Buffalo: 168 lawsuits
Kenmore Schools (Retired teacher Arthur Werner ): 26 lawsuits
Other public schools: 7 lawsuits
Misc. (Boy Scouts, Lutherans, nonprofits, individuals): 8 lawsuits

All told, there have been 209 lawsuits filed in Western New York under the Child Victims Act. Nearly half of those lawsuits -- exactly 100 -- have been filed by local attorney Steve Boyd and national clergy sex abuse attorney Jeff Anderson, who have joined forces.

“There are a lot of survivors suffering in Buffalo,” Anderson said in a written statement. “It’s time for reckoning, a massive clean-up and child protection.”

“We are honored to work for these brave survivors,” Boyd said in the statement. “We are always mindful of their suffering and their need for continued healing. Our work is far from over. Sadly we have dozens of more suits to file in the coming months.”

Crookston priest accused of sexual abuse speaks out about allegations

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News

Sept. 23, 2019

By Tess Williams

A distinguished clergy member accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy at the Diocese of Crookston about 40 years ago has broken his silence to deny the allegations.

"I am at last free to defend myself, my reputation and the church I have devoted to serving," Monsignor Roger Grundhaus wrote in a statement to the Grand Forks Herald.

The diocese settled 15 lawsuits, including the one naming Grundhaus, in July. An investigation on Bishop Michael Hoeppner was launched last week by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to look into claims that Hoeppner covered up abuse.

In his written statement and a subsequent telephone interview, Grundhaus denied the claims against him. He takes issue with the timeline given by the victim, Ron Vasek, and said he was close with Vasek and his family for many years after the alleged abuse.

Vasek said it comes as no surprise that Grundhaus denies the allegations and said the priest’s story “is a flat-out lie.”

The Catholic church rethinks seminary training after its child abuse scandal

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Age

Sept. 24, 2019

By Farrah Tomazin, Chris Vedelago and Debbie Cuthbertson

Australia’s Catholic Church is considering scrapping the centuries-old system of training priests in seminaries, which helped create some of the country’s worst paedophiles.

Two years after a Royal Commission exposed the scale of child abuse in the church, Catholic leaders are already quietly reshaping the way clergy are appointed, with new screening and monitoring protocols for seminary candidates and a revamped “national program of priestly formation” being developed.

But multiple Catholic sources say that church leaders are also discussing dismantling the seminary system altogether in favour of a broader model of priest apprenticeships with more interaction with the community.

At the moment becoming a priest generally requires living in an exclusive, male-dominated residential college, and undertaking a seven-year training program with four dimensions: spiritual, pastoral, human and academic.

But an investigation by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald has thrown fresh light on the role seminaries played in the abuse crisis. Church leaders accept that past practices - such as poor vetting, inadequate lessons in celibacy and ministry and a clerical culture that shunned women - contributed to the church’s abuse problem.

Evidence to the Royal Commission and subsequent legal cases showed a number of seminaries had become places where repressed young men would experiment sexually with one another with little consequence, before some of them turned their attention to children in their parish.

Attorney: Pivotal week for Diocese of Rochester, clergy abuse survivors

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM TV

Sept. 23, 2019

By Ginny Ryan

Rochester is the first New York Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy - and what happens here could have far-reaching impact.

This week, survivors of clergy abuse - who often felt both powerless and voiceless - will take a commanding role. They'll make up a committee which determines the diocese's assets in order to compensate victims.

Seven survivors of clergy abuse will be chosen to oversee the process.

Attorney Leander James represents several clergy abuse survivors who have filed suit against the diocese. He hopes to have clients on that committee.

"There needs to be someone speaking on behalf of abuse survivors in bankruptcy," he said.

Rochester's diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy less than two weeks ago. James said other dioceses contemplating the same action will be watching to see what happens in Rochester.

Rhode Island Diocese's failure to protect parishioners

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Public Radio

Sept. 23, 2019

By Zoe Mathews

Reverends Irene Monroe and and Emmett G. Price III joined us to discuss the Rhode Island Diocese's failure to protect parishioners from a predatory priest.

Jesuit Dallas faces a moment of reckoning in former student’s sex abuse allegations

DALLAS (TX)
Morning News

Sept. 24, 2019

There is something far worse than seeing an important local institution face the exposure of a terrible past, and that is to keep that past in the dark.

Jesuit College Preparatory School has been a rock of Dallas that has helped many boys develop into great men.

But the allegation from former student Mike Pedevilla that a giant of Jesuit’s past, the Rev. Patrick Koch, abused Pedevilla when he was a teen must represent a moment of reckoning for Jesuit and for Dallas Catholics in general.

We applaud Pedevilla, 54, for the courage to come forward decades after an incident he has described as sexually abusive in Koch’s office on Jesuit’s campus.

Koch was Jesuit’s principal or president from 1972 to 1980 and is a towering figure in the school’s history. However, we know that Koch, who died in 2006, is also on a list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse in not one but two cities, Dallas and Corpus Christi.

Canadian clergy-abuse survivors lobby for Catholic Church reforms, disclosure around accused priests

TORONTO (CANADA)
The Globe and Mail

Sept. 23, 2019

By Tavia Grant

Canadian clergy-abuse survivors gathered in Cornwall, Ont., this week to lobby for reforms, asking Catholic Church leadership to boost disclosure, publish the names of credibly accused priests in the country and create external oversight to monitor how the church handles sexual-abuse claims.

The survivors’ gathering coincides with the annual plenary assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) this week. A group of about six bishops met with the survivors on Sunday. But the survivors say they have so far been denied permission to speak to the main assembly of about 90 bishops, despite sending a letter of request in August.

It’s believed to be the first time that Indigenous and non-Indigenous survivors of clergy abuse have joined together to push for change on this issue. They want to see more accountability, transparency and justice from the church and assurances that stronger protection standards are being implemented across the country.

Former Archbishop Harry Flynn dies at 86

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

Sept. 24, 2019

By Patrick Condon

Former Archbishop Harry Flynn, who led Minnesota's largest Catholic diocese for more than a dozen years and struggled with fallout from the church's sexual abuse scandal as it played out across the country, has died. He was 86.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reported that Flynn died Sunday night. The Rev. John Malone, a longtime friend and colleague, said Flynn had several bouts with cancer in recent years and had moved into hospice care in the Twin Cities last Tuesday.

"He never wanted to be a bishop," said Malone, who was a professor and administrator at the University of St. Thomas. "He'd do anything he could to get out of the office. He was a man who wanted to be present to the people he served."

Flynn took over as archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1995, after previously working in New York, Maryland and Louisiana. In 2002, he led a task force of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that looked into the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

September 23, 2019

Some question if Colorado probe of Catholic Church will uncover full scope of priests' abuse

DENVER (CO)
News Channel 7

Sept. 23, 2019

By Tony Kovaleski

As investigations in other states produce arrests and unearth abuse allegations within the Catholic Church, some people in Colorado are questioning if negotiations before the state’s review began will protect the church’s reputation and prevent the disclosure of decades worth of closely held secrets.

Three survivors of abuse at the hands of priests – in New Mexico, Kansas and Massachusetts – are now longtime Colorado residents and have renounced their membership with the church as they closely monitor the state’s investigation into archdioceses here.

Those who spoke to Contact7 Investigates told stories of abuse as a 12-year-old altar boy at the hands of a New Mexico priest, as a young girl being “passed around” by priests in Kansas and as a middle school altar boy in Massachusetts who was fondled by his priest at age 13.

In February, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Archbishop Samuel Aquila announced that former U.S. Attorney for Colorado Robert Troyer would lead an independent review into the sexual abuse of minors in the three Colorado dioceses . They also announced the creation of an independent compensation fund for victims of the abuse – a combined effort between the AG’s office and the church.

However, the review is not a criminal investigation: The attorney general’s office has provided resources to local district attorneys to investigate any new criminal conduct that is uncovered.

Providence man urges diocese to release information about his abuser

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

Sept. 23, 2019

By Madeleine List

A Providence man who says he was sexually abused as a child by the Rev. Normand J. Demers, a former priest in the Diocese of Providence who died last year, spoke about his experience in front of the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul on Monday.

Robert Houllahan, 50, said Demers sexually abused him at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Providence, when Houllahan was 7 or 8 years old.

Accompanied on Monday by Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, a New Jersey-based organization that advocates for victims of sexual abuse, Houllahan called on the Diocese of Providence to release all of the information it has on Demers and the allegations against him.

Demers was named in a list, released by the diocese in July, of 50 clergy members it said had been “credibly accused” of abusing children. Earlier this month, the diocese added a 51st name to the list.

But Houllahan said releasing the names of these clergy members wasn’t enough.

Pennsylvania Senate returns to Harrisburg, gun laws and school property on the table

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS 21 News

Sept. 23, 2019

By Brian Sheehan

The first day of fall this year coincides with the Senate’s return to Harrisburg.

A wide-variety of topics are on the table this session, including gun legislation, school property tax reform, and changes to the statute of limitations following the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

The Senate’s return comes amid an explosive end to the last session as lawmakers worked to pass the state budget in June.

Former Archbishop Harry Flynn dies at 86

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

Sept. 23, 2019

By Patrick Condon

Former Archbishop Harry Flynn, who led the largest Catholic diocese in Minnesota for over a dozen years, has died.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reported that Flynn died Sunday night. He was 86 years old.

Flynn, who served as archbishop in the Twin Cities from 1995 to 2008, led a 2002 task force of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that looked into the clergy sexual abuse crisis that had been sweeping through Catholic churches across the country. Some advocates for survivors of clergy abuse later criticized him for not doing enough to root out problem priests.

A native of Schenectady, N.Y., Flynn was ordained a Catholic priest in Albany. He served in Maryland before becoming bishop of Lafayette, La.

Former area priests named on sex abuse list

PITTSBURG (KS)
Morning Sun

Sept. 23, 2019

By Jonathan Riley

All allegations are decades old, no clergy still in ministry tagged

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita last week released the names of 15 priests “who have substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor” — including five whose assignment history includes time spent in Crawford County.

Of these, Alonzo Smithhisler appears to have spent the most time in the area, with assignments to Our Lady of Lourdes in Pittsburg and the St. Pius X Catholic Student Center at Pittsburg State University from 1963 to 1970, St. Michael’s in Girard from 1972 to 1982, and St. Aloysius at Greenbush from 1975 to 1982. Smithhisler’s ministry ended in 1991 and he has been permanently removed from ministry, according to the diocese.

The second longest serving priest on the list is William Wheeler, assigned to St. Michael’s in Girard from 1963 to 1967. Wheeler’s ministry ended in 1985 and he died in 1994.

Paul Alderman, also listed as a priest with substantiated allegations of abuse, was assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes in Pittsburg from 1965 to 1967. Alderman’s ministry ended in 1990 and he has been permanently removed from ministry, according to the diocese.

Robert K. Larson, assigned to St. Pius X Catholic Student Center at PSU from 1980 to 1981, is also named on the recently released list. Larson’s ministry ended in 1988 and he died in 2014.

Robert Schleiter, who in addition to the Diocese of Wichita has also been named on a similar list by the Diocese of Salina, was assigned to St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic High School in Pittsburg from 1964 to 1965. Schleiter’s ministry ended in 1969 and he died in 1995.

“An allegation is considered substantiated if it is supported by documentation, witness statements, law enforcement or another reliable source, the diocese said,” according to the Associated Press. “It is also considered substantiated if the priest admitted to it.”

Fairfield-based priest not indicted by grand jury over conduct with teens

FAIRFIELD (OH)
Journal News

Sept. 23, 2019

By Michael Clark

A priest will face a review from his missionary home in Fairfield after a Kentucky grand jury declined to indict him in connection with allegations he acted inappropriately with teens.

According to a statement issued by John Stegeman, spokesman for the Glenmary Home Missioners in Fairfield, “a grand jury in Lewis County, Kentucky has declined to indict Glenmary Father Dave Glockner on allegations he touched two teens inappropriately in early August.

The grand jury returned a ‘no true bill,’ which means it found no credible evidence that a crime was committed.”In August, Glockner was ordered back from his ministerial work in Lewis County following the accusations.

The Newcastle trial of Graeme Lawrence

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Monthly

Sept. 2019

By Anne Manne

The second most senior churchman in Australia to be found guilty of child sexual abuse
In the Newcastle District Court on July 26, the former dean of the Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral, Graeme Lawrence, was found guilty of aggravated indecent assault and aggravated sexual assault – termed rape in most Australian states – of a 15-year-old boy, Ben Giggins, in 1991. Following the guilty verdict, in a brave act, Giggins asked that the non-publication order concerning his name be lifted.

Lawrence is the second most senior churchman in Australia – after Cardinal George Pell – to be convicted of child sexual abuse. The role of dean is second to the bishop, but Lawrence’s influence was such that he was regarded as more powerful than all the bishops he served under. He dominated the Newcastle diocese from 1984 until 2008, when he retired. The charismatic priest was popular, especially among some of Newcastle’s most powerful citizens. Feted with honours, Lawrence was made a Freeman of the City of Newcastle, given a Newcastle Citizen of the Year award and an Order of Australia. He was a member of the elite Newcastle Club.

But Lawrence had a dark side. In December 2010 the church’s internal disciplinary committee unanimously recommended that Lawrence be deposed from holy orders for having sex with another young male parishioner during the early 1980s, beginning when the boy was 16 and under the age of consent. Lawrence and his partner, Greg Goyette, had group sex with the same parishioner when he was 17. This went on for a number of years. The scandal rocked Newcastle and divided the city. Many parishioners refused to believe their favourite preacher was guilty of wrongdoing. Lawrence’s supporters helped to fund his Supreme Court challenge to the defrocking. In 2012, it failed.

A battle emerged in Newcastle between a pro-perpetrator group and a pro-survivor group. Greg Thompson, bishop from 2014 to 2017, was vilified and ostracised for whistleblowing and disclosing his own abuse as a young man in the 1970s by bishop Ian Shevill. Thompson apologised publicly on June 17, 2015, to survivors in the diocese. In exposing the “culture of cover up” and “mates looking after mates”, which allowed up to 30 perpetrators to act unimpeded, Thompson told the Newcastle Herald that some senior Anglicans “had this sense of self-entitlement that meant they had sexual relations with children as if that was a part of the role”.

Rhode Island Church Knowingly Employed Child Abuser for 20 Years

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

Sept. 23, 2019

A church in Rhode Island has knowingly employed a child abuser for twenty years, potentially giving this dangerous man access to vulnerable children. This open and flagrant violation of the Dallas Charter should demand an immediate response from church officials in Rhode Island and the Vatican.

Despite having been informed of the sexual assault allegations against David E. Barboza, church leaders at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Bristol, R.I., allowed Barboza to work there for 21 years, only letting him go after an investigative report by the Boston Globe.

Records show that Rev. Barry Gamache and other church leaders at St. Mary’s were first warned about Barboza in 1998. In response, church officials did nothing.

They were warned repeatedly over the next 21 years, by both parishioners and previous victims of Barboza. In response, church officials did nothing.

When would have church officials finally acted? What inciting incident were they waiting on, another children to be hurt by Barboza? This inaction and delay is inexcusable and parishioners should demand the immediate resignation of the church officials who allowed this situation to happen in the first place.

Rev. Gamache has stated that he did not believe the allegations were credible, so he kept Barboza in his job. This kind of stunning arrogance is exactly what has led the church’s abuse scandal to affect so many in the first place. This is also yet another example of why survivors and advocates have no faith in the policies and procedures the church has laid out to prevent abuse.

The simple fact is that Rev. Gamache is no trained law enforcement official and his judgement of the allegations against Barboza is irrelevant. What is not irrelevant is that the priest used his position to keep an abuser employed within the church, and that decision should cost Rev. Gamache his position. It is clear that he cannot be counted on to protect children and have “zero tolerance” for abuse, as demanded by the Dallas charter.

Erie County DA opens criminal investigation based on allegations from former seminarian

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ TV

Sept. 23, 2019

By Steve Brown

2 On Your Side has learned a criminal investigation has been opened to examine allegations made by a former student at Christ the King seminary.

Kait Munro, spokesperson for Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says the office “has opened a file.” That’s the term used to indicate a criminal investigation has been initiated.

It was more than a month ago when Matthew Bojanowski stood across the street from the Buffalo Diocese Catholic Center holding a news conference to denounce Bishop Richard Malone and the seminary.

Without getting into specifics, Bojanowski claimed he was the victim of “persistent sexual harassment” by father Jeffrey Nowak at Our Lady Help of Christians church in Cheektowaga.

Bojanowski also alleged, “intimidation, elicit surveillance (and) stalking of seminarians” at Christ the King.

While the Buffalo Diocese has conducted numerous investigation related the clergy sex abuse scandal, this appears to be the first criminal probe conducted by the District Attorney.

There has been an on-going federal investigation of the diocese. The spokeswoman for Bishop Malone last year acknowledged the diocese had been served with federal warrants.

Zero Tolerance Doesn’t Mean Zero in Santa Fe

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

Sept. 21, 2019

Once again, the “zero tolerance” policy of the church’s main child protection policy is put the test, and once again church officials get a failing grade.

A priest who is an admitted child sexual abuser – and whom church officials from the Diocese of X have promised to keep away from children and academic settings – was allowed to attend a recent special mass for a new Benedictine monastery in Santa Fe, an event that took place across the street from an elementary school.

It is notable that Milton Walsh has recently been considered to have unknown whereabouts, but happens to surface at an event that could potentially provide access to children. It is also notable Walsh is a personal friend of Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, the prelate who presided over this special event. And it is especially notable that, according to the Dallas Charter, Archbishop Wester is in violation of his “zero tolerance” pledge.

In surprise move, Seton Hall Prep headmaster taking over as pastor of Short Hills parish

BERGEN (NJ)
North Jersey Record

Sept. 23, 2019

By Abbott Koloff

The headmaster of Seton Hall Preparatory School has been tapped to take over as pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Short Hills, a move that came as a surprise both to the high school's community and to those in the wealthy Catholic parish that has apparently been having some financial struggles.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, told officials at the diocesan high school this week about his decision to move Monsignor Robert Harahan, its headmaster, to St. Rose of Lima parish, according to a letter sent to the school's community on Saturday.

"Msgr. Harahan's appointment is a surprise to him and all of us," the letter said. It was signed by Harahan and Seton Hall Prep President Monsignor Michael Kelly. "It was a decision made by the Cardinal out of urgent pastoral concern for the good of the parish."

It was unclear why the move was being made with such apparent urgency, and why Harahan was being moved weeks after the school year already started. A spokeswoman for the Newark Archdiocese did not respond to messages seeking comment.

A recent St. Rose of Lima bulletin shows that the parish had been running a budget deficit of more than $24,000 and that recent donations were down from the same period last year by about 15%.

Diocese of Alexandria releases another name of clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse

ALEXANDRIA (LA)
KALB TV

Sept. 23, 2019

The Diocese of Alexandria released on Friday the name of one additional clergy against whom there have been credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

Fr. Theodore Lelieveld

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the mid-1960s was reported to the Diocese of Alexandria in August 2019.

• Fr. Lelieveld died on October 21, 1976, at the age of 50.

• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in August 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

The Diocese of Alexandria pledges to provide updates to the list of credibly accused clergy as new information becomes available and as reported by authorities. We hope these updates show our commitment to transparency and accountability.

Answering the important questions about former bishop

WEIRTON (WV)
Daily Times

Sept. 22, 2019

The more West Virginia’s Roman Catholics hear about disgraced former Bishop Michael Bransfield’s moral failings, the more some may ask, “How could this happen?”

More important: Who allowed it to occur? It is a concern people of all faiths should share.

Reminders of Bransfield’s avarice and the fallout from it have come during the past week or so. Last Friday, Bishop Mark Brennan, who must continue cleaning up the mess left behind by his predecessor, announced the former bishop’s home in Wheeling had been sold for $1.2 million.

Acquired by the diocese for $63,000 in 1963, the house was damaged by fire in 2005. Bransfield spent $4.6 million on repairs and, clearly, lavish improvements.

Then came a report on Bransfield’s spending by The Washington Post. It is a tale of 13 years of incredible selfishness by the former bishop.

One line of the story says it all: Between 2005 and 2018, Bransfield spent nearly $1 million on chartered private jet aircraft to take him to a variety of locations. He visited London and Paris at least four times.

Another sample: Church investigators found that Bransfield spent $61,785 at a boutique jewelry store in Washington, D.C.

Asked about all this, Bransfield told the Post, “I didn’t have the opportunity in West Virginia to live the lifestyle I lived in Washington,” where he was a church official for several years.

Bransfield’s spending is but part of the story. Allegations he sexually harassed some priests and seminarians are the other half. Church investigators found them to be credible.

It defies belief that Bransfield could have behaved as he did for so long without his superiors in the church having at least a suspicion something was wrong. Perhaps the $350,000 — in diocese money, of course — he spent on gifts, including many to other bishops and to cardinals, had something to do with that.

Brennan and other Catholic officials insist safeguards against similar conduct by a bishop have been put in place. But without understanding more about why no one stopped Bransfield, that will be of little comfort.

No more church-investigating-church on sexual abuse complaints, demands petition

BANGALORE (INDIA)
The News Minute

Sept. 23, 2019

By Sreedevi Jayarajan

In September 2018, five nuns from Kerala began a hunger strike to bring Franco Mulakkal – a powerful Catholic Bishop accused of rape – to justice. The protest sparked off a ‘Nuns Too’ movement and ended with the arrest of Bishop Franco. And ever since, there have been louder calls for better compliance from the Church to end sexual crimes by clergymen. Adding more traction to these demands, a Chennai-Goa based duo have now petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address sexual abuse, corruption and other crimes occurring within different denominations of the Christian faith in India. R Joseph Kennedy and Savio Rodrigues have kicked off a campaign named 'Hail Mary', to expose incidence of sexual crimes within the church and talk about the need for systemic change to end it.

"We want the government to initiate a dialogue amongst leaders of different Christian denominations in India to think of a solution. The idea is to think of a parish or church level body to empower victims of clergy abuse to disclose incidents. Maybe a committee comprising of members of the laity (believers) and government officials who will hear the complaints," Savio tells TNM.

“I have personally known victims who have either chosen to stay silent or have been forced into silence as they did not want to or could not wage a battle against such a powerful institution. I feel it’s necessary to change this and make it easier for victims to be able to report incidents,” Joseph Kennedy tells TNM.

Another view: A test for the Catholic Church

MIDDLETOWN (NY)
Times Herald Record

Sept. 22, 2019

On becoming the bishop of Buffalo, Richard Malone let it be known that his episcopal motto would be “living the truth in love.” Now Malone, ensnared in scandals and buffeted by allegations that he has covered up for priests accused of sexual abuse, has become a test case of whether bishops, who report only to the pope, will at last become accountable under a new policy adopted by Pope Francis last spring.

It has been a year since the bishop acknowledged “inadequacies” in his handling of abuse complaints involving minors as well as adults targeted by clergymen. Since then, reports of those “inadequacies” have multiplied. But Malone, who insists he has instituted reforms, has refused to resign even as some clergy in his own diocese and other prominent Catholics have said enough is enough. His tale encapsulates a basic feature of the church’s clergy sex abuse scandals: professions of new procedures and policies to clean up the mess, juxtaposed with institutional inertia, resistance and denial.

When Malone assumed his current job, in 2012, it had already been a decade since the clerical abuse and coverup scandals, starting in Boston, had erupted across the country. Yet in Buffalo, one of the nation’s largest dioceses, with some 600,000 Catholics, it took six years and, finally, a barrage of accusations involving local clergy, before he posted a list of 42 priests credibly accused of child sex abuse.

A R.I. church was told it hired an accused child molester. It kept him on for two decades.

BRISTOL (RI)
Boston Globe

September 23, 2019

By Amanda Milkovits

BRISTOL, R.I. — When the Rev. Barry Gamache arrived at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in early 1997, it had been a dozen years since a former longtime parish priest was hauled away for sexually abusing teenage boys.

The scandal caused by the Rev. William C. O’Connell had rocked this town’s oldest and largest Catholic parish and left its members feeling betrayed even a decade later.

Gamache, a plainspoken son of a commercial fisherman from Narragansett, said he knew what the parishioners of St. Mary’s needed to hear.

“I told people I would do everything to protect their children,” Gamache said.

And when the new priest needed someone to handle the church’s finances, he found a parishioner who was eager to help: David E. Barboza.

A Globe investigation this summer revealed that Barboza had been accused of sexual misconduct with three boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

Gamache said he was “surprised and hurt” by those revelations. Two other men have subsequently reported to the State Police that they were also victims, and still others have made similar allegations to the Globe.

“You read Facebook, everyone in town knew, but not a soul mentioned it to me,” Gamache said in an interview after a recent Sunday Mass. “You can quote me on that.”

But the Diocese of Providence’s own records, obtained by the Globe, tell a different story. So do people who say they warned Gamache and the diocese to keep Barboza away from children.

The diocese has since confirmed that it had previously investigated complaints about Barboza and said in a statement that it presented the results to “the pastor who maintains the day-to-day authority for parish administration,” meaning Gamache.

When shown the records in the interview after Mass, the priest then admitted that an investigator had in fact told him about the Barboza complaints over the years. But Gamache said the allegations “didn’t seem to be anything credible.”

The diocese and Gamache were first warned about Barboza in the fall of 1998, less than a year after the priest hired him, according to a transcript from the diocese obtained by the Globe.

A parishioner saw Barboza at the altar, dressed like a deacon, and recognized him as the former Bristol police officer who he said sexually assaulted him when he was an Eagle Scout in the 1970s.

The complaint was passed on to Gamache, who notified the investigator in the diocese’s Office of Compliance. The investigator told the parishioner that Gamache found it “somewhat difficult to believe” that Barboza would have done anything like that, according to the transcript of the interview with that parishioner.

The diocese recorded interviews with victims and witnesses in such inquiries and had them transcribed.

Barboza remained in his job, even as the diocese received more complaints over the next 21 years, allegations about behavior from before he worked for the church.

As the years went by, both Bishop Robert E. Mulvee and Bishop Thomas J. Tobin were notified about the investigations, according to transcripts of two interviews. But ultimately, the decision to keep Barboza at St. Mary’s came down to its priest.

And Gamache said he had no suspicions about Barboza, who resigned abruptly after the Globe investigation.

“If I had, I would have fired him,” Gamache said.

A bigger role at church

Throughout his adult life, Barboza, 64, was a prominent public official in Bristol: town councilman, police officer, investigator for the state fire marshal, volunteer firefighter, part of numerous boards and committees, wielding power with each.

Parishioners say it was no different at St. Mary’s Church, where Barboza became involved in and controlled many aspects of life at the parish. This was his family’s church, and even before he was hired, Barboza volunteered as a eucharistic minister, visiting the sick and elderly.

Gamache, known as “Father Barry,” said he hired Barboza to handle the church’s finances and run the cemetery. He said Barboza wasn’t involved in youth programs and had “no reason to be in contact with children.”

Several parishioners said otherwise.

One who worried about Barboza’s proximity to children in the church, particularly the altar boys with him at Mass, was the first to warn the diocese.

The man, who is now 58, sat down with the Globe recently, along with his wife, to talk about what he said happened to him in the summer of 1976. His story was consistent with what he told the diocese’s investigator on Oct. 11, 1998, according to the diocese transcript, which uses his name. The Globe does not identify victims of sexual assault without their permission.

September 22, 2019

Vermont’s dean of crime reporting helps keep secret specifics of priest abuses

VERMONT
VTDigger

September 22, 2019

By Colin Meyn

Mike Donoghue is used to asking tough questions about touchy topics and prying into sensitive affairs. He did that for decades as a staff reporter at the Burlington Free Press, where he boasted a rolodex with the home phone numbers of cops, police chiefs and defense attorneys.

Since he left the Free Press in 2015, where he held the title of “First Amendment Reporter,” Donoghue has continued his career as a freelancer covering cops and courts for newspapers across the state. In his role as director of the Vermont Press Association, a post he has held for 32 years, Donoghue has championed the public’s right to know.

Recently, however, Donoghue found himself on the other end of the tape recorder at a news conference, sitting next to Bishop Christopher Coyne, as the head of Vermont’s Catholic Church answered questions about a report naming 40 priests credibly accused of sex crimes against children. A total of about 400 priests have worked in the state since 1950, the diocese says.

The walking wounded: In Canada, survivors of Catholic Church sex abuse await a reckoning

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

September 22, 2019

By Tavia Grant

While countries around the world make meaningful change in the wake of devastating abuse, Canadian survivors are left to make things right on their own

Rob Bowden, a goldsmith in Sydney, Cape Breton, is plagued by nightmares from the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. Evelyn Korkmaz in Ottawa has recurring flashbacks of the mental, physical and sexual abuse she experienced in the early 1970s at the notorious St. Anne’s residential school in northern Ontario, and sometimes stutters when she tries to speak. Across the country in Tsawwassen, B.C., Nicholas Harrison still bears a scar that snakes across his chin from when he says he was thrown down the stairs at school as an eight-year-old.

All three are survivors of clergy abuse. Yet, even after decades of abuse-related scandals in the Catholic Church, there is little understanding of how many other walking wounded there are across Canada and the true scope of the damage.

Madonna Manor, Catholic shelter for troubled youth in Marrero, again at center of new abuse lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com

September 22, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

A 61-year-old man has filed a lawsuit alleging he was repeatedly abused during the 1960s and 1970s by a high-ranking Catholic priest, three nuns and a lay employee with ties to a church-run shelter for troubled youth in Marrero.

Eric Reynolds’ lawsuit, filed Thursday at Orleans Parish Civil District Court, accuses priest Raymond Hebert, civilian staffer Charlie Earhart and nuns Martin Marie, Alvin Marie and Gertrude Marie of either molesting or beating him over 10 years after his arrival at Madonna Manor in about 1965.

Reynolds’ suit is not the first time a former Madonna Manor resident has accused Hebert, once a facility supervisor, of molestation. Nearly 15 years ago, four men named Hebert as one of their many abusers while they lived at the Barataria Boulevard site.

Former deacon arrested on rape charge bonds out of New Orleans jail

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WDSU-TV

September 22, 2019

By Jennifer Crockett

[Video]

A former deacon in New Orleans who was arrested and charged with first-degree rape Friday has been released from jail on a $40,000 bond.

George Brignac posted bond Sunday morning and was released, according to court records. The records show that Brignac is also petitioning the court to lower his bond.

Brignac was the center of a WDSU Investigates piece regarding a settlement with a victim who claimed Brignac assaulted him in the 1980s. The alleged abuse happened when the man, who's now in his 40s, was an altar boy at the church in the late '70s and early '80s. The man alleges Brignac raped him.

Viganò Speaks: the “Infiltration” Is Real

UNITED STATES
Catholic Citizens of Illinois (Blog)

Posted September 22, 2019

By Julia Meloni, September 17, 2019

Jonah began his journey through the city, and when he had gone only a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. (Jonah 3:4-6)

A year after his bombshell testimony on the cover-up for Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò remains a prophet in exile, exposing the filth in a Church that needs to be burned clean. As Inside the Vatican’s Robert Moynihan notes, the Italian prelate is an unlikely hero. He’s a “small man with intelligent eyes, exquisite manners, studious, hardworking.” But this 78-year-old with thin-rimmed glasses bears in his bones the burden of prophetic speech. He bears the weight of being (as Moynihan puts it) a kind of modern-day Jonah, called to preach to Nineveh before the potential destruction comes.

Ground zero: How the Ballarat diocese exported paedophiles to the world

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Age

Sept. 23, 2019

By Debbie Cuthbertson, Andrew Thomson, Farrah Tomazin and Chris Vedelago

The Christian brother, full name Kenneth Paul McGlade, raped the 10-year-old Warrnambool boy at St Joseph’s Christian Brothers College in 1969. Half a century later, Darren still bears a physical reminder.

"The day after he attacked me I started chewing my fingernails, so bad I've got no nail on my left little finger,” he said. "I used to hold it under my hand so no one would see it.”

Now, at 61, Darren is finally feeling strong enough to tell his story in support of other victims. “If anyone asks now I tell them. 'I did nothing wrong. It wasn't my fault'," he said.

Darren is just one of at least 140 people who have made claims of child abuse against the Catholic church in the Ballarat diocese – an extensive region covering 41 parishes in the western third of the state.

It’s one of the epicentres of the Catholic child abuse scandal in Victoria.

A New York diocese filed for bankruptcy. Will others follow?

BUFFALO (NEW YORK)
Associated Press

September 22, 2019

By Carolyn Thompson

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester was the first in New York to seek bankruptcy protection under the weight of new sexual misconduct lawsuits, but lawyers and church leaders say it may not be the last.

All eight of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses face financial pressures as a result of the state’s new Child Victims Act, which temporarily set aside the usual statute of limitations for lawsuits to give victims of childhood sexual abuse a year to pursue even decades-old claims.

More than 400 cases have been brought against the dioceses since Aug. 14, when the law’s one-year “look back” period for such suits began.

Representatives from the dioceses of Buffalo, Rockville Centre, Albany and Ogdensburg told The Associated Press they haven’t decided as they consult with legal, financial and insurance experts.

Greenwich monsignor’s high accomplishments hid dark secrets

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Time

September 22, 2019

By Robert Marchant

GREENWICH — Monsignor William Genuario reached the heights of prominence and prestige as a clergyman and Catholic church leader.

Archbishop pays tribute to Seamus Hegarty

IRELAND
BreakingNews.ie

September 21, 2019

The Catholic Archbishop of Ireland has paid tribute to the late Seamus Hegarty.

The former Bishop of Derry and Raphoe died at the age of 79 at Letterkenny Hospital in his native Donegal on Friday following an illness.

Dr Hegarty led the diocese of Derry from 1994 to 2011, before retiring due to ill health.

Archbishop Eamon Martin expressed his sadness, recalling Dr Hegarty’s dedication to helping Irish emigrants and their families, as well as his passion for education and efforts to nurture the peace process.

Growing number of Catholics question commitment to church

WASHINGTON COUNTY (PENNSYLVANIA)
Observer-Reporter

September 22, 2019

By Karen Mansfield

On a recent Sunday, Bill Mesler attended 10:30 a.m. Mass at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church.

The 76-year-old business owner has been a fixture at Sunday services for the past 21 years, since he became a member of the Catholic church.

“I wouldn’t let anyone drive me out of my church,” said Mesler, who serves as a greeter and Eucharistic minister. “I know so many priests who love Christ and the church, and who serve faithfully. There are a few bad apples in every bunch.”

Sex abuse victim unable to meet legal costs for compensation battle

MALTA
Malta Today

September 22, 2019

By Lawrence Grech

MSSP sex abuse victim Lawrence Grech unable to finance compensation case against Maltese church

A victim seeking compensation for clerical sex abuse has said that he is unable to appeal a decision declaring his complaint as time-barred due to the upfront costs involved.

Lawrence Grech, together with ten others, had filed a case for damages against two priests, their Order, the Archdiocese and the government in 2013. He showed the MaltaToday a recent notice that he had received from court, informing him that in order for his appeal to be heard, he needed to provide a €1,895 deposit for costs to cater for the eventuality that the appeal was decided against him.

Grech, who now runs a one-man cleaning business, said he cannot afford the sum, known in the legal industry as “kawtela”.

Contacted by MaltaToday, his lawyer Patrick Valentino explained that the deposit was required by the courts to ensure that costs for the other party were covered should the appeal be lost.

Former New Orleans deacon jailed for rape

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL.radio.com

September 21, 2019

By Don Ames

A former deacon who was removed from the Catholic Chuch after several sexual abuse allegations was jailed Saturday on one count of first-degree rape.

According to a report by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate, 84-year-old George Brignac was reportedly arrested in relation to an August 2018 complaint,

Brignac worked as co-director of the altar boy program in the 70s and 80s at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, on the block where the complaint came from -.

Diocese places Johnstown priest on leave following sexual misconduct accusations

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Tribune-Democrat

September 22, 2019

By Mark Pesto

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has removed a Johnstown priest from public ministry following “accusations of sexual misconduct involving minors,” according to a statement issued Saturday night by the diocese.

Bishop Mark Bartchak placed Rev. Matthew E. Misurda, the pastor of Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in the Woodvale section of the city, on leave following accusations involving alleged incidents that date back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to the statement.

Those accusations “have been reported to civil authorities,” according to the statement, “and the diocese urges anyone with information about child sexual abuse to report it to law enforcement.”

The Catholic Church: A village that enables child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Independent Australia

September 22, 2019

By Suresh Ruberan

What is present in the corridors of Catholic Church culture that enables such sexual abuse of children and such heavy repudiation of victims and their families?

This is a poignant question given the George Pell's recent failed appeal – the highest-ranking official in the Catholic Church to be convicted of child sex abuse – and the radical pushes for reform coming from Catholics themselves, as well as the growing despair of conflicted Catholics.

From the movie Spotlight, which built momentum to confront Catholic Church culture, comes a quote, "If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one". 7% of Catholic priests are alleged perpetrators. This number does not constitute a village.

So, what is it about the Church’s handling of these cases that makes it such a bludgeoning mess? It is the culture that the Church is steeped in, and responds with, that is a significant contributor to the violence of child sex abuse. A culture helps form a village: a village that enables child abuse.

Child sex abuse in football survivor says SFA are palming him off to English FA

SCOTLAND
The Daily Record

September 22, 2019

By Gordon Blackstock

The Scot claims he has been ignored by Hampden chiefs after becoming a victim while travelling to trials in ­England as a schoolboy.

A victim of sexual abuse in football has ­criticised the SFA for “failing” survivors who are being helped by the English FA instead.

The Scot, whose evidence has been heard at both the Scottish and English child abuse inquiries, says he was a victim while playing schoolboy football in ­England in the late 60s.

For the past two years, the Renfrewshire-based 63-year-old has received medical treatments, paid for by the English FA.

He claims he has been snubbed by the Scottish football authorities.

The £4000-a-year care package is ending, with the survivor asking the SFA to pay for it instead.

Bishops invited to screening of Prey, depicting Sudbury student's search for justice

SUDBURY (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Sudbury Star

September 22, 2019

By Alan S. Hale

The film Prey, which won best Canadian documentary at this year's Hot Docs festival in Toronto, will open the Forest City Film Festival Oct. 24.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops holds is gathering next week, as it has annually for several years now, in Cornwall. But this year, bishops have been invited to take a break from their week of meetings for a night at the movies.

Members of the Canadian chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) have rented a theatre in Cornwall where it will be offering a free screening of the new documentary, Prey, on Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. The group has extended an invitation to the bishops to attend and will reserve seats for them inside the theatre.

The documentary, which screened Wednesday at the Cinefest film festival in Sudbury, tells the story of Rod MacLeod, who was sexually abused by Rev. William Hodgson Marshall while attending a Catholic boys’ school in Sudbury in the 1960s.

September 21, 2019

Notre Dame study: 6 percent of seminarians report sexual misconduct

SOUTH BEND (IN)
Notre Dame News

Sept. 21, 2019

By Amanda Skofstad

According to new research from the University of Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life, 6 percent of Catholic seminarians across the country say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment, abuse or misconduct, while 90 percent report none. Another 4 percent said they might have experienced misconduct but were not sure, and 84 percent of seminarians believe their administration and faculty take reports of such misconduct very seriously.

“Sexual Harassment and Catholic Seminary Culture” is a laity-led, first-of-its-kind survey that was carried out in a collaboration between the McGrath Institute and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). The survey includes data from 149 seminaries or houses of formation and focuses on sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct — what seminarians have experienced, what they are thinking on the issue and how seriously they perceive it is being addressed by their superiors.

Results were released at the 2019 Religion News Association conference in Las Vegas.

D.C. Basilica rector leaves Catholic University's board amid church investigation

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

Sept. 21, 2019

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

The rector of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the country's largest Catholic church, has stepped aside from his role on Catholic University's board amid a church investigation, a spokeswoman for the basilica told The Washington Post on Friday.

Monsignor Walter Rossi, who has served on CUA's board since his 2005 appointment as rector of the basilica, requested a leave of absence on Aug. 27 until an investigation into him is finished. Rossi remains in active ministry, according to spokeswoman Jacquelyn Hayes.

Allegations of misconduct have included that Rossi directed young men to another priest who harassed them. The Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Scranton - which launched the recent church investigation - have not said what exactly they are looking into.

During his leave, Rossi will not participate in any board activities, according to CUA spokeswoman Karna Lozoya. "We have no information that would lead us to do our own investigation at this time," she said, noting that university officials will cooperate with the church investigation.

Man files lawsuit against Jesuit HS accusing a former janitor’s assistant of sexually assaulting him

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE TV

Sept. 21, 2019

By Rob Masson

A New Orleans area man who grew up in the neighborhood around Jesuit High School, filed a lawsuit Friday accusing a former janitor’s assistant of sexually abusing him.

The alleged victim came forward after seeing a FOX 8 report detailing similar allegations last year.

“Over time he began to show more and more interest,” Brad Dupree said.

He says when he was ten years old, former Jesuit High School janitor Pete Modica groomed then lured him onto campus. That’s where Dupree says Modica sexually abused him several times over a two year period.

“He would always come out in the yard, he gave kids sodas, he’s invite us into the building,” Dupree said. “I lived around the corner. He came to my house and met my mother and exchanged phone numbers. Most of the abuse occurred in his office, the chemistry lab and changing shower area.”

Dupree, who adds Modica introduced him to an assistant janitor named Gary Sanchez, alleges Sanchez also molested him at Sanchez’s apartment, at City Park and raped him in a janitorial closet on the third floor of Jesuit High School.

Fallen: The inside story of the Pell trial

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Newcastle Herald

Sept 21, 2019

By Paul Osborne

He may have been a "small, powerless, adolescent soprano", but his voice will resonate for many years to come.

J, as he is known, is the central figure in Fallen - the first major book on the George Pell court case, written by Lucie Morris-Marr

Pell was convicted by a 12-member jury in December of sexually abusing J and another 13-year-old choirboy at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral in 1996.

The second victim died after a drug overdose in 2014, but J was able to tell their story to police, a court and the world via the media.

The 78-year-old cardinal was sentenced to jail in March but is now taking the matter to the High Court, having failed to win an appeal.

Morris-Marr says whatever the result of Pell's High Court challenge, J would have made a difference.

"My sources in Rome say, yes, this is being taken very seriously," she told AAP.

"When Pope Francis announced the summit (on clerical sexual abuse) ... he realised if it was seen by the public that he wasn't doing something, it would affect his papacy and legacy.

A test for the Catholic Church

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

Sept. 20, 2019

On becoming the bishop of Buffalo, Richard Malone let it be known that his episcopal motto would be "living the truth in love." Now Malone, ensnared in scandals and buffeted by allegations that he has covered up for priests accused of sexual abuse, has become a test case of whether bishops, who report only to the pope, will at last become accountable under a new policy adopted by Pope Francis last spring.

It has been a year since the bishop acknowledged "inadequacies" in his handling of abuse complaints involving minors as well as adults targeted by clergymen. Since then, reports of those "inadequacies" have multiplied. But Malone, who insists he has instituted reforms, has refused to resign even as some clergy in his own diocese and other prominent Catholics have said enough is enough. His tale encapsulates a basic feature of the church's clergy sex abuse scandals: professions of new procedures and policies to clean up the mess, juxtaposed with institutional inertia, resistance and denial.

When Malone assumed his current job, in 2012, it had already been a decade since the clerical abuse and coverup scandals, starting in Boston, had erupted across the country. Yet in Buffalo, one of the nation's largest dioceses, with some 600,000 Catholics, it took six years and, finally, a barrage of accusations involving local clergy, before he posted a list of 42 priests credibly accused of child sex abuse.

Catholic Diocese names 15 priests accused of child sex abuse

WICHITA (KS)
Associated Press

Sept. 21, 2019

Catholic Diocese names 15 priests accused of child sex abuse

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita has published a list naming 15 priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

It also on Friday released a letter from Bishop Carl Kemme saying the diocese will soon provide information on the substantiated allegations to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting a statewide investigation of Catholic priests.

An allegation is considered substantiated if it is supported by documentation, witness statements, law enforcement or another reliable source, the diocese said. It is also considered substantiated if the priest admitted to it.

The diocese posted on its website Thursday evening the names of nine priests of the Wichita diocese against whom allegations have been substantiated. The other six priests have had allegations in similar lists published by other parishes and served in Wichita for a period of time, the diocese said in a news release.

Its website includes ordination dates, assignment histories and current status.

Most of the reported incidents occurred between the 1950s and 1980s, according to the diocese. Eleven of the clergy listed on the website are dead, and the others have been removed from the clergy.

The disclosures were made after “a comprehensive and independent audit” of all clergy files over the last several months by attorney Stephen Robinson, the diocese said.

Kemme in a letter written in English and Spanish - and a seven-minute video posted on YouTube - apologized to the victims and their families for the suffering due to the “criminal, sinful and horrific acts” by priests of the diocese. He encouraged any survivors who have not yet come forward to reveal their abuse to legal authorities or the diocese victim assistance coordinator.

“Owning our past is the first step in building a new future, one in which we will continue to diligently work hard as we have been for many years now, so that these violations to human dignity will never happen again,” Kemme said. “Many of the faithful will no doubt experience great anger in receiving this information. I share that anger.”

The disclosure in Kansas immediately faced criticism by some in the victim advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The group said in an email that bishops have been posting predator priests names on church websites for 17 years, and said Kemme must explain his “irresponsible delay” in posting the list in Wichita.

Removed New Orleans deacon George Brignac jailed -- a major Catholic clergy abuse crisis development

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

Sept. 21, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

A Catholic Church deacon who was removed from ministry in 1988 following multiple child molestation accusations was jailed on a count of first-degree rape early Saturday, the first arrest of a clergyman in New Orleans on a sex-abuse charge since the church’s decades-old crisis reignited a little more than a year ago.

Details about what is just the latest criminal case against George Feldner Brignac, 84, weren’t immediately available. But records from the New Orleans Police Department and the city’s lockup show Brignac was booked in connection with a complaint made Aug. 28, 2018.

The address provided for that complaint is in the 3300 block of Esplanade Avenue, where Brignac worked as co-director of the altar boy program at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in the 1970s and 1980s. He would face mandatory life imprisonment if convicted of first-degree rape, which has no statute of limitations — meaning prosecutors can try the case no matter how long ago the alleged crime occurred.

'I want them to see me': Jesuit Prep alum suing Dallas school over priest sex abuse sheds anonymity

DALLAS (TX)
Morning News

Sept. 21, 2019

By Jennifer Emily

Mike Pedevilla has done a lot out of love for Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas since he graduated in 1983: He raised money. He organized alumni events. He stayed in close contact with his classmates.

And, last month, Pedevilla sued Jesuit and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas under the pseudonym John Doe, alleging he was molested by a priest and former president of the school when he was a student there in the 1980s.

The lawsuit names the priest, the Rev. Patrick Koch, a former Jesuit president who died in 2006 at the age of 78. And come next week it will name Pedevilla, who's decided to cast off his anonymity.

The Jesuits’ motto, Pedevilla said, is to be “men for others.” And that, he said, is exactly what he's doing by filing the lawsuit and revealing his identity.

"There may be some that say, 'Mike, what are you doing to Jesuit? I can't believe you're going to make this public, and you're going to deface Jesuit,' " Pedevilla said, sitting at his dining room table at his home in Grapevine.

As Chaput turns 75, the countdown to Philadelphia’s next Catholic archbishop begins

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Sept. 21, 2019

By Jeremy Roebuck

After eight years as the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput turns 75 next week, a milestone that will mark the beginning of the end for his tenure leading the ninth-largest diocese in the United States.

Under church law, prelates must offer to resign upon reaching that birthday, which comes Thursday for Chaput. It is up to Pope Francis to decide whether to accept it, reject it, or to keep the archbishop on until a successor can be named.

Church officials have said little about Chaput’s future. But he has made his intentions clear.

“I’m going to be retiring this year,” Chaput told a crowd at a panel discussion last month at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood. And speculation is already building among the region’s 1.5 million Catholics as to what — and more importantly, who — comes next.

The search could move swiftly or drag for years. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chaput’s immediate predecessor, remained for more than a year after his 75th birthday. Before that, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua stayed on until he was 80.

An archdiocesan spokesperson confirmed Friday that Chaput has sent his resignation to the Vatican and is waiting for a response. His departure will give the pope the chance to select a prelate more in his mold for one of the most active archdioceses in the nation.

Tributes to ex-Bishop of Derry as he passes away after long illness

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
Belfast Telegraph

Sept. 21 2019

The former Bishop of Derry, Seamus Hegarty, has died aged 79.

Dr Hegarty passed away at Letterkenny University Hospital in Co Donegal on Friday.

He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop McQuaid in St Patrick's College, Maynooth in 1966.

Following a period as a curate in Stranorlar, he was made Bishop of Raphoe in 1982 and later consecrated as Bishop of Derry in 1994.

In 2005, Dr Hegarty, who was born in Kilcar, Co Donegal in 1940, issued an apology to parishioners for failing to inform them some of their church contributions were going towards the Stewartship Trust Fund for victims of clerical sex abuse.

September 20, 2019

Sex abuser’s presence raises questions

TAOS (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

Sept. 21, 2019

By Colleen Heild

The evening of Sept. 14, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Taos held a “healing Mass” for victims of clergy sexual and other abuse.

The next day, an admitted child sex abuser priest from California attended another special parish function – this time to celebrate the opening of the new proposed Benedictine monastery on the grounds of church property – just across the street from a public elementary school. Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester officiated.

More than 15 years ago, Milton Walsh, who is described as a retired priest who isn’t permitted to “present” himself as one, was indicted on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy in Northern California in 1984. His criminal prosecution was dropped after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a California law that would have extended the statute of limitations on certain sex crimes against children.

The victim, a former altar boy, eventually received an out-of-court settlement in a civil lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 2003.

Back then, the church promised to keep Walsh away from children and in “academic” settings, the victim’s lawyer told the Journal this week. In recent years, lawyers who represent victims of clergy sexual abuse and track offenders have listed Walsh’s whereabouts and his access to children as “unknown.”

Now, questions have surfaced about his presence in Taos.

Movement To Restore Trust leader rebuffs Bishop Malone's overtures at reconciliation

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ TV

Sept. 20, 2019

By Steve Brown

Buffalo Catholic Bishop Richard Malone this week has been making indirect overtures to a group that’s rejected him, The Movement To Restore Trust.

But the efforts by the bishop were dismissed today by John Hurley, one of the founders of the group.

Asked if he would meet with Bishop Malone, Hurley said, “I don’t see any ... any reason to do that.”

After working for months on reform within the diocese to increase accountability of both the bishop and the diocese, Movement To Restore Trust announced it was calling on the Bishop to resign.

Malone has been widely criticized for his handling the clergy sex abuse crisis which has driven Bishop Malone to consider bankruptcy. And New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan is conducting an investigation into both Malone and the diocese.

Nonetheless, Malone this week sent signals he wanted to reconnect with Movement To Restore Trust. The Bishop stated a desire to resume reform work with Movement To Restore Trust in a one-on-one interview Wednesday with 2 On Your Side.

The same desire was communicated in a memo sent to all area priests Monday.

Hurley says “the bishop has become a symbol for all that is wrong.”

What Hurley fears is that if Malone stays as he has insisted he will do, damage the diocese will continue. There have been undisputed reports of attendance down at parish masses and a decline in donations and church collections.

Diocese of Wichita Finally Releases List of Accused Priests

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

Sept. 20, 2019

Finally, 17 years after US church officials began posting the names of priests accused of abuse on church websites, Wichita’s bishop has taken this step himself. Parents, police, parishioners, prosecutors and the public should look closely at this release and ask the bishop why it took so long for this list to be published.

Bishop Carl Kemme must also explain why the watchdog database BishopAccountability.org, has an additional priest that has been publicly accused of abusing children in Wichita who does not appear on the bishop’s list, Fr. Daniel B. Mulvihill. BishopAccountability also names a nun, Sister Agnesina Metzinger as a publicly accused abuser within the diocese.

Bishop Kemme should go back into his files and determine why there is a discrepancy between his list and publicly available information. We also want the bishop to take three additional steps.

First, he should include the photos and whereabouts of every one of the accused. Information about where those who are living are now is important because nearby parents and prospective employers should be warned about their background.

Photos are important because they helps victims identify those who assaulted them. It usually takes decades for survivors to come forward. They might only recall that everyone called the priest "Father Mac," not knowing whether he was Fr. Mack Smith or Fr. McGillicuty or Fr. MacArthur. Even parents who are long-time parishioners may have trouble remembering someone who may have worked in their church for just a few months.

Second, the bishop should also include the names of publicly accused brothers, sisters, and lay employees on his list. The full scope of abuse within the diocese is not told otherwise.

Msgr. Rossi takes leave of absence from CUA board of trustees

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

Sept. 20, 2019

By J. D. Flynn

Msgr. Walter Rossi has taken a leave of absence from the board of trustees at The Catholic University of America, while the priest is the subject of a canonical investigation for unspecified allegations of misconduct.

“Last month the chairman of the Board of Trustees approved Msgr. Rossi’s request to take a voluntary leave of absence pending the resolution of the investigation launched jointly by the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Scranton. During the leave of absence Msgr Rossi will not participate in any board activities,” Karna Lozoya, spokesperson for the university told CUA Sept. 20.

Lozoya told CNA that the university is “in contact with the Diocese of Scranton and the Archdiocese of Washington, who have jointly launched an investigation. We will cooperate with them as needed. We don’t have any information at this point to warrant our own investigation.”

In August, the Diocese of Scranton told CNA that it had commenced “the process of launching a full forensic investigation into the concerns that have been raised,” about Rossi, who is rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is adjacent to the campus of The Catholic University of America.

Rossi is a priest of the Diocese of Scranton.

“The Diocese of Scranton and Archdiocese of Washington will work jointly and cooperatively on undertaking a comprehensive investigation,” the diocese told CNA Aug. 14.

Concerns were raised about Rossi to Archbishop Gregory Aug. 13, during a question-and-answer session at a Theology on Tap, held at the Public Bar Live in the Dupont area of Washington. The event was broadcast live on Facebook.

During that session, Gregory called for an independent, forensic investigation of some allegations against Rossi.

Rossi has been accused of directing young men to Fr. Matthew Reidlinger, a priest friend of Rossi’s who is alleged to have sexually harassed them in phone calls and text messages. That accusation was made in 2013.

In August, Gregory said he was unfamiliar with the allegation.

“That’s news to me. And I am not doubting it, but I have not heard about [this situation].”

“I suspect – I hope – that there is a forensic investigation. But in today’s environment, even a forensic investigation that either proves or disproves, will not satisfy the people. But I would like to see that, I would like to see a forensic investigation of those allegations.”

Retired Howell Priest Charged In Sex Abuse Of Girl: Authorities

TRENTON (NJ)
Patch

Sept. 20, 2019

By Karen Wall

A retired priest who served at St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in Howell has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl in the late 1990s, authorities announced late Friday afternoon.

Father Brendan Williams, 78, of Lawrence, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree sexual assault, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced.

Williams is accused of touching the intimate parts of the girl with his hand on at least three occasions from 1997 to 1999, authorities said. The girl was younger than 13 years old, they said.

St. Veronica was the last parish where Williams was pastor, according to information released by the Diocese of Trenton in February. Williams, who was ordained in 1965 had "multiple" credible accusations, the diocese said, and was removed from the ministry, though a 2012 report by the diocese publication the Trenton Monitor says he retired.

St. Mary’s University Panel Discusses Way Forward After Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Rivard Report

Sept. 20, 2019

By Tim Hernandez

Panelists at a St. Mary’s University symposium Thursday discussed what still needs to be done at the local, national, and global level to address the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.

The panel of lay and religious people participating in The Crossroads Symposium, the inaugural event of St. Mary’s recently established Center for Catholic Studies, agreed that children needed to be at the center of policy and culture changes within the Catholic Church.

Since 2002, sexual abuse allegations have continued to surface across the globe, prompting an examination of how accusations were handled by the church. The majority of the occurrences were from 25 to as many as 60 years ago.

“Clergy sexual abuse of minors is a global issue,” said St. Mary’s President Thomas Mengler, who moderated the discussion.

Father Ron Rolheiser, president of the Oblate School of Theology, said working with victims of clergy sexual abuse gave him a first-hand look at the lasting damage of such abuse.

“I always thought [victim impact statements] were exaggerated until I began to work with survivors,” he said. “I found out they are not exaggerated. They are understated in terms of … there is no such thing as minor sexual abuse.”

To move forward, the church needs women in chancery offices, not just in consulting roles, but with real decision-making power, Rolheiser argued.

Second Jesuit High janitor accused of sex abuse in 1970s comes into focus in new lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

Sept. 20, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Two janitors who were employed by Jesuit High School — despite prior charges of child sexual abuse — used their access at the Catholic prep's campus to molest a 10-year-old boy from the neighborhood in the late 1970s, according to a new lawsuit filed at Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Friday.

Bradley Dupree, now 50, claims in the suit he was abused by janitors Gary Sanchez and Peter Modica, who has been publicly linked to other child molestation cases over the last year. He is seeking damages from the school.

Dupree's suit is the latest turn in a child-abuse scandal that first erupted within the Catholic Church in the 1980s and has more recently reignited, damaging the venerable school along with many other Catholic institutions and orders.

“This robbed me of any potential I could have had,” Dupree, who works as a full-time caregiver for his mother in LaPlace, told reporters this week. “I’ve spent my entire life dealing with major depression, feeling worthless, having severe anxiety, insomnia, self-medicating with alcohol and drugs.

Why stay in the Church?

DENVER (CO)
Denver Catholic

Sept. 20, 2019

By Jared Staudt

There are many people who have either left the Church or are currently considering leaving because of the scandals of recent decades. We have felt pain and righteous anger at our leaders and have suffered scandal from their betrayal. For some, the grand jury reports and lack of accountability for bishops have been the last straw. It’s hard to blame people for feeling this way, but we have to ask with Peter, “to whom, Lord, shall we go?” (John 6:68).

Significantly, this question comes after many disciples walked out on Jesus for his teaching on the Eucharist, and it is the Eucharist that should be at the center of any response to the crisis. Peter answers his own question: “you have the words of everlasting life” (John 6:68). The Church is Jesus’ own body in the world, and we are members of his mystical body, given eternal life by consuming his own flesh at Mass. Without the Eucharist, Jesus’ presence in the flesh, the very heart of the Church, where would we be?

Choirboy can be believed - and Pell freed, Cardinal's lawyers say

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Age

September 20, 2019

By Chip Le Grand

For more than four years, the fate of Australia’s most powerful Catholic cleric rested on the word of a former choirboy. For police, for the courts and the church, it all came down to the truthfulness, credibility and believability of a single witness, alone and unsupported in what he alleged against George Pell.

In an application lodged this week for special leave to appeal his case to the High Court, Pell’s legal team shifted ground. It is both a vindication of the choirboy and a last bid by Pell, now serving a six-year prison sentence, to have his child sex convictions quashed.

The Cardinal’s lawyers no longer question the credibility of the man who first told police in 2015 that Pell raped him and sexually assaulted a friend in St Patrick’s Cathedral when they were 13 years old.

They no longer dismiss Pell’s accuser as a fantasist or argue that the County Court jury should have done the same.

Wichita Diocese releases list of accused priests

WICHITA (KS)
KSN News

Sept. 20, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita published a list of clergy who have substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor Thursday.

The list includes nine priests of the diocese and six other clergy who served in the diocese and are published in reports from other dioceses. The names, assignment histories, ordination dates and current status are available on the diocese website.

The list includes these priests from within the Catholic Diocese of Wichita:
Paul Alderman
Robert Blanpied
Peter Duke
Robert K. Larson
Charles O’Connor
Robert Schleiter
Alonzo Smithhisler
Charles Walsh
William Wheeler

The list also includes these priests who worked in the Wichita diocese and were reported by another diocese or religious order:
Michael Baca (Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico)
John Habethier (Diocese of San Bernardino, California)
Stephen Muth (Eparchy of Parma, The Byzantine Catholic Church)
Thomas O’Donohue (Diocese of Salina, Kansas)
Robert Schleiter (also listed above)
Arthur J Van Speybroeck (Diocese of Salina, Kansas)
John Walsh (Diocese of Salina, Kansas)

According to the diocese, all of the listed priests have either been removed from the ministry or are deceased.

The list does not include any information about the kind of abuse, when or where the abuse took place, whether there were multiple reports of abuse against the priest or if the priest was removed from ministry as a result of the accusations or some other reason.

Dead priests accused of abusing children likely 'reside in hell,' lawsuits assert

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

Sept. 20, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Three new lawsuits alleging child sex abuse decades ago by Buffalo Diocese priests who are who now deceased assert that those priests likely live in hell as a result of their crimes.

The Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria law firm also cited Catholic Church doctrine in stating that its clients were unable to locate hell to serve the priests who molested them with a court summons and complaint.

The language, highly unusual for a legal document, was included in three lawsuits against the Buffalo Diocese filed this week.

Most of the more than 140 Child Victims Act lawsuits filed so far against the diocese don’t include much detail about the allegations of child sex abuse lodged against priests, and the complaints feature routine legal language in alleging the diocese was negligent in allowing abuse to occur.

But one paragraph in the filings by attorneys Richard P. Weisbeck Jr. and Christina M. Croglio is anything but routine.

Pope prompted to consult Kasper before writing Letter to German Church

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

Sept. 20, 2019

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

It has now emerged that the Pope’s letter followed a lengthy conversation he had with Cardinal Walter Kasper about the German Church.

The prestigious German theological monthly Herder Korrespondenz has shed new light on the ongoing row between the German Church and elements in the Vatican over the Church’s plans for a “synodal procedure”.

The procedure will chart a way forward for the Church following the devastation caused by the abuse crisis, and the massive exodus of the faithful.

70 year old Catholic priest on the run after sexually abusing three minors

KOCHI (INDIA)
Goa Chronicle

Sept. 20, 2019

Kochi: In yet another shocking incident exposing the growing sexual abuse cases by Christian clergy in India, a 70-year old Catholic priest allegedly molested three minor girls when they visited him to seek blessings at his church office in Chendamangalam in Ernakulam district last month, the police said on Friday.

The pedophile priest, George Padayatty, vicar of a Syrian Catholic Church in Chendamangalam, has been absconding after a case was registered against him in connection with the incident, police said.

He has been charged under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), IndianExpose has learned.

The incident occurred a month ago when the nine-year old girls went to the priest’s office to seek his blessings after service in the Church.

The moot question is whether the Catholic Church will act on a detention and prevention mechanism.

Archbishop of Cincinnati expects Vatican investigation into handling of Rev. Geoff Drew case

CINCINNATI (OH)
WPCO TV

Sept. 19, 2019

The Archbishop of Cincinnati expects the Vatican to order a “full investigation” of the archdiocese's handling of allegations of sexual abuse against the Rev. Geoff Drew, archdiocese spokeswoman Jennifer Schack said Thursday.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr has submitted a “full report” on Drew’s case to the Vatican via the apostolic nuncio — a diplomat who functions as an ambassador for the Catholic Church — in Washington, D.C., Schack told WCPO.

The Catholic News Agency reported those developments earlier this week.

“Archbishop Schnurr takes any accusations of sexual abuse very seriously, as well as any possible lapse in internal procedures for handling allegations,” Schack said.

Schack could not confirm whether Schnurr requested an investigation into Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer’s handling of the Drew case.

France’s Catholic child abuse probe flooded with messages

PARIS (FRANCE)
Agence France Press

Sept. 20, 2019

A commission set up by the French Catholic Church to investigate allegations of child sex abuse by clerics received about 2,000 messages in its first three months, chairman Jean-Marc Sauve said today.

The independent body, looking into abuse claims dating back to the 1950s, was set up last year in response to a number of scandals that shook the Church in France and worldwide.

Composed of 22 legal professionals, doctors, historians, sociologists and theologians, the commission began work in June, when it called for witness statements and set up a telephone hotline.

Since then, “we have received 2,000 telephone calls, emails and letters,” Sauve told AFP, and 650 people have agreed to fill out a detailed questionnaire.

Legal woes continue for journo reporting on controversial lay group

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

Sept. 20, 2019

By Elise Harris

Peruvian journalist Paola Ugaz, who’s faced a series of legal battles over the past 18 months linked to her reporting on a controversial Catholic lay movement, has launched a complaint against a prosecutor she says brought unfounded charges against her.

Already waiting for a court to recognize the withdrawal of a complaint for criminal defamation brought and then retracted by Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anslemi of Piura, who’s part of the scandal-ridden Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), Ugaz has opened an inquiry into a second legal notice she received in May alleging that she provided false testimony in a related case.

Ugaz pushed for the inquiry on grounds that when she was notified of the charge, which explained that an investigation had been opened into whether she had provided false testimony in a colleague’s legal battle with the same archbishop, she was never informed of the grounds upon which the investigation was based.

Archdiocese of Washington Revises Child Protection Policy, SNAP Reacts

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

Sept. 19, 2019

Church officials in Washington D.C. have revised their child protection policy, claiming to add new protections. However, it is not policies that need to be changed, but the actions of those charged with enforcing those policies that needs to change if the faithful are to be protected.

Over the years we have often seen church officials tout policy changes as if having a few wrong words on paper is the reason that children and vulnerable adults have been abused by local priests or nuns and been ignored by bishops and cardinals. But it is not.

We believe that the reason for the church’s deeply-rooted and long-standing abuse and cover-up scandal is simple: it is because those who conceal abuse are virtually never sanctioned. To us, today’s move from church officials in Washington D.C. is another example of the ‘go to’ move by embattled church officials: tweak policy, pretend it is real reform, and hope folks buy it.

But what good is a policy when those who break it are not punished? There has been a national “zero tolerance” abuse policy for more than 17 years. Can anyone name more than a handful of Catholic employees in the country who have been suspended or fined or fired for violating even one part of that policy? Consequences for ignoring, hiding or enabling abuse in the church are basically non-existent.

Bishop says bankruptcy could be best balance of justice for sex abuse victims

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB TV

Sept. 19, 2019

Bishop Malone says he’s close to making a decision on whether the Buffalo Diocese will file for bankruptcy but he says he’s not there yet.

Today on WBEN Radio, the bishop spoke about the decision to either litigate cases filed under the Child Victims Act or file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The bishop says there have been 138 cases filed against the diocese so far. He expects for there to be around 250 to 275 cases filed under the Child Victims Act.

Although the bishop is not tipping his hand yet, he did say that bankruptcy could be better for the victims of clergy sex abuse.

Editorial: A place for the Church’s thinking

SOUTH BEND (IN)
The Observer

Sept. 20, 2019

University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh once called Notre Dame “a place where the Church does its thinking.”

Although the origin of Hesburgh’s words have been lost to time, their meaning remains clear: Notre Dame could be a sanctuary for Catholic reflection – a meeting ground for the Church to convene and bring about concrete change.

Next week marks the 14th annual Notre Dame Forum. Titled “‘Rebuild My Church’: Crisis and Response,” the conference aims to spark discussion about the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis brought forth by the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury report.

As the face of Catholic scholarship in the U.S., perhaps Notre Dame is a fitting venue for this discussion by merit of its reputation alone. But there is a far greater reason we need this conference: Many in the tri-campus community feel the wounds of the crisis deeply.

Ohio megachurch on sale for $8M months after some congregants stop giving over pastor’s affairs

WASHINGTON (DC)
Christian Post

September 19, 2019

By Leonardo Blair

Months after Pastor Victor S. Couzens of Inspirational Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded with his congregants to start giving again while assuring them that he had not used their donations to finance relationships with multiple women, his church’s sprawling building is now up for sale.

The church located at 11450 Sebring Drive is currently listed for sale for $8 million on the commercial real estate platform LoopNet.com.

“Perfect for campus/education facility, medical or industrial user and charitable pickup center office - many possibilities. Additional land available for expansion. Currently operating as a church in EXCELLENT condition with many amenities. Large parking lot,” reads the investment summary for the just over 59,000 square-foot building that was built in 1984.

The Christian Post reached out to both Couzens and his church Thursday to discuss what prompted the sale but a response was not immediately available from the church, which celebrated its 62nd anniversary on Sunday.

“We’re celebrating 62 years of this church’s existence, we’re so grateful to the Lord for 62 years of ministry of the Inspirational Church. Let’s praise God for 62 years. Our lives are better because of Inspirational. Our city is better because of Inspirational,” Couzens declared during a broadcast of his church’s worship service on Sunday.

September 19, 2019

On Words and Actions

Vanishing Predators blog

September 19, 2019

By Daniel Carlson

According to Ronald Reagan, the most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Many of us, upon hearing that comment, simply shake our heads for experience has taught us that government involvement often involves endless red tape, wholesale ineptitude, legal hurdles, and a thoroughgoing lack of concern on the part of the bureaucracy in question.

With Reagan’s sardonic remark in mind, it comes as no surprise that survivors of clergy abuse find it equally disheartening when Catholic prelates proclaim: “We’re from the Diocese, and we’re here to help.” Much like the ordeal we citizens must endure in the face of overriding governmental indolence, abuse victims have become accustomed to false promises, deception, and rigid stonewalling by Church hierarchy.

Consider, for example, the recent decision by the Diocese of Rochester, New York, to declare bankruptcy. Facing the potential of huge judgements for claims of past sexual abuse by its clergy, the Diocese (following the lead of nineteen other Catholic dioceses or archdioceses in the United States) decided to reorganize its finances. This decision halts all actions on civil suits already filed, and shifts those matters to the bankruptcy proceedings where release of information about abuse and cover-ups will be restricted.

Not to be outdone, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has gone even further. In its attempt to stymie victims of clergy abuse, its attorneys argue that a case known as the “NOLA No-call” lawsuit should block any litigation involving the Church. In the “No-call” matter, a New Orleans Saints fan sued claiming that the end of an NFL game should be replayed because of a blown call by a referee. The Louisiana Supreme Court, however, found that judges and juries should not second-guess decisions by a professional sports league enforcing its own rules.

No indictment for priest accused of inappropriately touching two teens

CINCINNATI (OH)
FOX 19 TV

September 19, 2019

A Grand Jury in Lewis County, Ky, declined to indict a priest on allegations he inappropriately touched two teens, according to a spokesperson for Glenmary Home Missioners.

Manager of Communications John Stegeman said the alleged contact with Glenmary Father Dave Glockner occurred on Aug. 6 when two minor women were volunteering on a construction project at Emmaus Farm in Lewis County, Ky.

Stegeman says the Grand Jury returned a “no true bill,” which he says means it found no evidence that a crime was committed.

Glenmary will now hire an independent investigator and a review board will then advise Glenmary’s Executive Council on whether or not they find the allegations to be credible, according to Stegeman.

Father Glockner will continue to live at Glenmary’s residence in Fairfield and will remain removed from public ministry, Stegeman said.

Laity must be seen as respected partner

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

Sept. 19, 2019

Tension has arisen between the Catholic Church in Germany and the Vatican over the desire of German Catholics to have a greater say in how the Church is run. Responding to dismay among the laity about such scandals as the sexual abuse of children by clergy, the German bishops have proposed new structures of governance in accordance with the principle of “synodality”.

They implicitly recognise that certain views of the laity may be difficult to reconcile with the teachings of the present magisterium, but they also understand that unless the laity sees they are at last being treated as a respected partner and not just as a subordinate, the drift away from church membership will continue. The sensus fidei may, as it were, vote with its feet.

This initiative has prompted a warning from Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, that the German Church could find itself acting contrary to canon law, endangering church unity.

Revised archdiocesan child protection policy also emphasizes safe environments for adults

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic Standard

Sept. 19, 2019

By Mark Zimmerman

The Archdiocese of Washington’s Child Protection Policy was instituted in 1986 as one of the first such policies in the nation and has been used as a model for dioceses nationwide. The policy – which covers healing, reporting and prevention of abuse – was updated in 1993, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2013 to incorporate enhancements in child protection mandates and oversight.

And in July 2019, the policy was again revised, with a new title that reflects its expanded scope, as the archdiocese’s Child Protection and Safe Environment Policy, to emphasize the importance of ensuring safe environments for people of all ages, protecting children from sexual abuse and adults from sexual harassment or abuses of power.

“Adding safe environment (provisions to the policy) is a game changer for the Church. It is showing community members that there is zero tolerance for abuse, regardless if you’re (victimized as) a child or an adult,” said Courtney Chase, the executive director of the Office of Child Protection and Safe Environment for the Archdiocese of Washington. “…It (the policy) is enhanced, because it incorporates safe environment and protection of all children as well as all adults.”

The revised policy’s introduction makes that expanded scope clear, stating, “All people – children and adults – have the right to be safe and protected from harm in any and all environments – home, school, religious institutions, neighborhoods, and communities. The Archdiocese of Washington embraces this right to safety and is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the protection of all children entrusted to our care and to all adults who receive pastoral care or serve our mission."

Convicted priest denied sentence reconsideration

LAFATYETTE (LA)
KATC TV

Sept. 19, 2019

A judge has denied a motion for sentence reconsideration for convicted St. Landry Parish priest Michael Guidry.

Guidry’s attorney, Kevin Stockstill, was in court on Thursday to argue that the 10-year sentence Guidry received for molesting a juvenile should be reconsidered due to his advanced age and health concerns.

“I’m going to stick to my original sentence,” said 27th Judicial District Judge Alonzo Harris. “I haven’t heard anything that would change my mind.”

Back in April, Guidry was sentenced to 10 years in prison for child molestation, with three years suspended – meaning he will serve as much as seven years in prison. Guidry was transferred to the Dixon Correctional Facility in Jackson in June to begin his sentence.

His attorneys filed a motion for reconsideration of sentence in May, which stated that his sentence “is excessive and disproportionate and a needless imposition of pain and suffering” and therefore a violation of the state Constitution.

Guidry, 76, who most recently served at Saint Peter’s Church in Morrow, pleaded guilty in March to molesting a deacon’s son after giving him alcohol .

As part of his plea deal, Guidry was placed on the sex offender registry .

Local Diocese speaks on list of accused clergy members

ST. JOSEPH (MO)
News-Press NOW

Sept. 18, 2019

By Jessika Eidson

On Sept. 6, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph released the names of 24 clergy members that the organization believes to have substantiated allegations of abuse against children, including a former St. Joseph priest now serving 50 years in prison.

The release of these names follows the example of many dioceses in the United States, as the Catholic Church works to address what has been a decades-old issue in parishes across the country.

According to Carrie Cooper, director of the Office of Children and Youth Protection at the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, the list was compiled with the hopes that healing would occur for those who suffered the abuse and those whose faith was shaken because of the previous lack of transparency.

Advocacy Group for Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse Urge Judge to Uphold Sentence

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

Sept. 19, 2019

A Catholic priest, who pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse and received the maximum term, will have his petition for reconsideration of the sentence heard tomorrow.

Fr. Michael Guidry admitted his guilt in March and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with three years suspended, the following month. In May Fr. Guidry filed a motion for reconsideration of his sentence, which will be heard today.

Our hearts go out to Oliver Peyton and his family. The priest’s maximum prison sentence no doubt offered this survivor and those who love him some small degree of healing. Now, having believed the matter to be over and done with, they are once again subjected to a stressful wait while the sentence is reconsidered.

We were grateful that Judge Alonzo Harris gave Fr. Guidry the maximum prison term, since Oliver received a life sentence when the cleric betrayed his trust and assaulted him. The judge appeared to recognize the great harm inflicted on a victim when he said at sentencing that “there are certain things in life we just can’t tolerate.”

Trial Begins for Anglican Priest Accused of Abuse in Fresno

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

Sept. 19, 2019

Yet another Fresno priest is accused of sex crimes and we beg those with information or suspicions about him to call police immediately.

Fr. Jesus Serna, also known as “Fr. Antonio,” was arrested in February for several alleged offenses. An Anglican cleric who from 2007 until 2017 at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Church in Fresno, Fr. Serna is accused of sexually assaulting at least three parishioners who came to him for counseling and advice. To use his position of power in such a way is an obvious betrayal of those who came to him in good faith for help and healing.

We hope that the victims of Fr. Serna are receiving the support and help they deserve. Sadly, dozens of parishioners showed up for a court hearing this week to support the alleged abuser instead of his victims. Such public displays in behalf of a credibly accused abuser is extraordinarily hurtful and can deter victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from stepping forward and taking steps to protect others.

SNAP Stands with Monk who Reported Abuse by Msgr. Craig Harrison

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

Sept. 19, 2019

According to media reports, a monk who reported witnessing and experiencing abuse at the hands of a popular Bakersfield priest is being sued for defamation. Aggressive perpetrators of sexual abuse sometimes resort to defamation lawsuits and other legal tactics to silence victims and intimidate witnesses. We fear that is what is happening in this situation.

Br. Justin Gilligan made eyewitness reports of observing questionable behavior involving minors by Msgr. Craig Harrison as well as a report of his own first-hand experience of being sexually harassed by Harrison. The Merced County District Attorney is still considering whether to file criminal charges against Harrison in relation to these and other allegations that he sexually abused minors. As we understand it, the Firebaugh police department also still is investigations allegations in that city.

Reporting abuse takes real courage. It takes even more courage if you’re a Catholic cleric reporting abuse by another and more powerful cleric. By his bravery, Br. Gilligan has likely made his career in the church tougher for himself. But more importantly, he has made the church a safer place for all, especially kids. We both admire him and feel grateful to him. And we stand in support of Br. Gilligan and hope the defamation case filed by Harrison is swiftly dismissed.

Brother Gilligan did not get Harrison placed on leave. The previous bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, Armando Ochoa, made that decision using the knowledge he and his staff accumulated from its own files and interviews. That information, according to media reports, spanned decades of alleged abuse and included interviews with alleged victims who are altogether unknown to Brother Gilligan. The only reason that Br. Gilligan is being sued is because he had the courage and strength to come forward publicly.

ILLINOIS OPENS 24 CATHOLIC CHURCH SEXUAL ABUSE CASES THAT WERE NEVER INVESTIGATED

NEW YORK (NY)
Newsweek

Sept. 18. 2019

By Jeffrey Martin

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is opening 24 cases of alleged priest misconduct that were never investigated. Now, there are concerns that over 1,000 reports of possible sexual misconduct by clergy within the Catholic church were not reviewed properly.

In 2006, the DCFS entered an agreement with the Archdiocese of Chicago. Under the requirements of said agreement, the church was supposed to report any allegation of abuse they became aware of to the DCFS, regardless of the alleged victim's age. Under state law, these cases do not have to be reported to DCFS if the victim is no longer a minor.

The DCFS received 1,100 reports from the archdiocese under the agreement. But according to the Chicago Tribune, DCFS acting director Marc Smith was unaware of the reports until recently. Since those 24 cases were deemed to merit further investigation, a law firm was brought in to review the DCFS guidelines for processing notifications from the archdiocese.

After the recovery and researching of the reports, DCFS implemented inquiries in certain cases to ascertain if priests named in the reports still have access to minors. However, some reports only featured information about anonymous priests or alleged victims.

Compensation process opens for clergy sex-abuse victims

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

Sept. 18, 2019

By John Wilkens

Childhood victims of clergy sex-abuse in San Diego and five other Roman Catholic dioceses in California can file for compensation under a program that started accepting claims this week.

The Independent Compensation Program, announced in May, is being run by lawyers Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, two experienced adjudicators who handled the 9/11 victims fund, among others. They are also administering claims programs for abuse victims in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Colorado.

Officials said the church will have no control over who receives compensation, or how much.

“No amount of money will provide closure to victims,” Feinberg said in a statement. “But the program is a small step in helping victims secure some degree of financial security.”

What is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and why is it investigating George Pell?

ULTIMO (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcast Company

Sept. 19, 2019

By Michael Collett

When George Pell lost his appeal against his child sex abuse convictions last month, the Vatican noted that he still had one legal avenue remaining.

"The Holy See recalls that the Cardinal has always maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process and that it is his right to appeal to the High Court," it said after the Victorian Court of Appeal handed down its judgment.

On Tuesday, the Cardinal's legal team officially launched its bid to have his convictions quashed by Australia's highest court, but that's not the only process still underway.

In February, the Vatican announced its own investigation into the case, giving the task to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

That investigative body was founded in 1542 under a different name: the Sacred Roman and Universal Inquisition.

That's why the Congregation's history is tied up with the Inquisition (note: the Spanish Inquisition was a separate institution, though the Roman Inquisition achieved its own infamy with its trial of Galileo for his belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun).

But not long after its creation, according to the Vatican, the institution's responsibilities were extended to include "everything relating directly or indirectly to faith and morals".

Justice follows revenge in Philadelphia Archdiocese clergy abuse at St. Titus in East Norriton

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Sept. 19, 2019

By Maria Panaritis

It is time for life to cut Mike McDonnell a break — even if it’s 39 years overdue.

That time, it seems, may be nearer than ever.

Mike was 12 and serving as altar boy at St. Titus in East Norriton when the Rev. Francis Trauger sexually assaulted him. The parish at the time was a cesspool for priest predators in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But rather than calling police as they learned about Trauger, church leaders moved him from parish to parish and kept it mum.

Mike was 38 when the same archdiocese got justice against Mike. He was prosecuted for taking $100,000 in church payments for therapy but spending it elsewhere. He went to only one of the 662 “therapy visits” he had claimed over several years, and submitted fake receipts for the rest. Mike was jailed in 2010 after failing to post any of his $110,000 bail. (By contrast: When his defrocked priest-abuser was arrested, only recently and for the first time in four decades, that guy didn’t have to post a penny of $250,000 in unsecured bail.)

Sister Abhaya murder case: The story so far

TAMIL NADU (INDIA)
The Hindu

Sept. 18, 2019

By Aswathi Pacha

Over 27 years after the suspicious death of Sister Abhaya, the case's trial commenced at the Special Court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Thiruvananthapuram on August 26.

Yesterday, the CBI made a surprise move by producing a retired professor, who had taught Abhaya at BCM College for Women, Kottayam, as an offside witness for the prosecution. The witness, Thressiama, told CBI Special Court judge that the conduct of the priests often appeared to be predatory and several students had complained to her that they had felt uncomfortable. However, senior counsel for the defence, B. Raman Pillai, told the court that the CBI had produced Ms. Thressiama without prior notice.

The court has scheduled to hear the case again on October 1.

Paedophilia: We never suspected, but the church knew

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Age

September 18, 2019

Yesterday morning I wept as I read the special investigation report, "Seminary Sins" (The Age, 17/9). As an elderly Catholic, I am terribly ashamed and grief stricken at what has happened to so many children and young men under the church's watch.

For most of my life I, and so many others, had no idea of what was occurring but the church did. We were brought up to have absolute respect for, and trust in, the clergy who were supposedly above reproach and, thus, were never questioned. We can no longer plead ignorance, nor can we tolerate "business as usual" from an institution which is imbibed in secrecy, misogyny and denial.

I know many truly fine priests and I acknowledge with gratitude their ministry and friendship. Nonetheless I am choosing to "vote with my feet" and no longer regard myself as a Catholic. I now merely bestow upon myself the status of "freelance Christian."

Hearing begins for Fresno priest Jesus Serna accused of sex crimes

FRESNO (CA)
KFSN TV

Sept. 18, 2019

By Jason Oliveira

The preliminary hearing for the Anglican priest accused in a series of sex crimes began in a Fresno County courtroom on Wednesday.

Jesus Serna was arrested back in February following a 13-month investigation.

Serna is facing a lengthy list of allegations for sexual misconduct involving at least three adult parishioners.

Dozens of supporters for the Anglican priest sat in attendance during Wednesday's preliminary hearing.

Known to his followers as Father Antonio, Serna served from 2007 until 2017 at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Church in Fresno.

But it was during this time that law enforcement says Father Antonio would invite followers to his office where he would perform what he called a "healing ritual" that involved a massage table, oils and would more often than not lead to sexual contact.

One victim who was seeking marriage counseling testified Wednesday:
"He told me to take off all my clothes and said he was going to touch my penis. He told me it was part of the healing process"

According to police, Serna told his victims that this was a special ritual he learned while in India and that their semen needed to be examined to be healed.

September 18, 2019

‘People Who Know Me Know Who I Am’: Downingtown Priest Accused Of Stealing From Own Church Comes Out Of Court Swinging

DOWNINGTOWN (PA)
CBS TV

Sept. 18, 2019

By Joe Holden

A priest accused of stealing from his own Chester County church came out of court swinging on Wednesday. Father Joseph McLoone told CBS3 that he wants his day in court.

“People who know me know who I am and that’s enough said,” McLoone said. “I’ve cooperated fully with the process from the very beginning, with the Archdiocese and legally, and I look forward to the day when the truth will come out fully.”

The former pastor of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Downingtown is accused of diverting more than $100,000 in church donations to an alleged secret account — one detectives claim only he controlled.

Court records show among other things that McLoone deposited donations made by parishioners in memory of their deceased loved ones. It’s claimed the account was opened for the sole purpose of concealing donations for what the church calls All Souls Day.

“One of the reasons to open the account was to use it as a vehicle to take the All Souls collection because he wasn’t allowed to take it,” Detective Ben Martin said.

A Secret Binder of Accused Priests, and a Bishop Under Siege

NEW YORK
The New York Times

September 18, 2019

By Sharon Otterman

Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo is facing calls for his resignation over a growing clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Bishop Richard J. Malone kept a secret black binder in a closet with a list of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse. He was recorded in a conversation expressing more concern about his own reputation than about removing a priest whom he called dangerous and a “sick puppy.” And some of the bishop’s own clergy are circulating a letter of no-confidence in him.

Numerous Catholic bishops across the United States have become involved in controversies over their handling of clergy sexual abuse. But perhaps none has become as embroiled in scandal over the past year as Bishop Malone of Buffalo, one of the largest dioceses in the Northeast.

In an extraordinary turn of events in the hierarchical church, Bishop Malone is approaching persona non grata status in his own diocese. Some organizations are canceling events that he was set to attend, and he is declining other invitations, local Catholics said.

“Collections are drying up in parishes,” said John J. Hurley, the president of Canisius College in Buffalo and a leader of a lay group that had been working with Bishop Malone but is now calling for his resignation. “People are walking out of the parishes saying ‘I’ve had enough.’”

But despite revelations from whistle-blowers and calls from lay leaders and priests for him to step down, Bishop Malone has declined to do so.

Before 2018, the Buffalo diocese, which has 600,000 Catholics, had largely avoided the kind of turmoil over clergy sexual abuse that has occurred elsewhere in the country.

But then an accuser went public, saying that a priest, who has since retired, had molested him as teenager. That led dozens of other accusers to come forward, saying that they had also been abused by current or former priests.

As the number of accused priests grew, Bishop Malone’s handling of the crisis was quickly called into question because he had promised transparency but, in case after case, appeared to be shielding priests who were accused of abuse, local Catholics said.

Hundreds of people have now filed sexual abuse claims against clergy with the Buffalo diocese, or lawsuits under New York’s new Child Victims Act. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state attorney general’s office have opened investigations.

Vatican seeks to indict two priests in abuse case within its walls

ROME (ITALY)
The Washington Post

September 17, 2019

By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli

The Vatican’s criminal prosecutors have requested the indictment of a priest accused of abusing an altar boy at a youth seminary steps away from St. Peter’s Basilica — a rare case involving claims of abuse within the city-state’s walls.

A Vatican statement Tuesday said prosecutors were also seeking an indictment of the youth seminary’s former rector for “aiding and abetting” the alleged abuse.

The indictments indicate that the church is moving forward on a case reportedly covered up for years, though the Vatican did not say when a trial might begin, nor did it provide details about the accusations against the Rev. Gabriele Martinelli and the former rector, the Rev. Enrico Radice.

Critics of how the Catholic Church has handled abuse cases will be watching to see how transparent the Vatican process will be.

Kevin Spacey Accuser Dies in Midst of Sexual Assault Lawsuit

BOSTON (MA)
Hollywood Reporter

September 18, 2019

By Eriq Gardner

The massage therapist was allowed to proceed anonymously in the case. No details yet on the circumstances of death.

An anonymous massage therapist who claims to have been sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey has died, according to a notice filed in court by the actor's attorneys.

The individual, suing as a "John Doe," filed claims in September 2018 with the allegation of being forced to grab the actor's genitals twice during a massage two years earlier at a private residence in Malibu. In May, a federal judge in California allowed the case to move forward despite Spacey's objection that the plaintiff's identity was being shielded.

Now, just a month after the parties came to a plan for proceeding in the suit that detailed prospective discovery and envisioned a seven- to 11-day trial, the plaintiff's attorney has informed Spacey that the client "recently passed."

No further detail is provided, and a request to the plaintiff's attorney for more information has not been answered.

Spacey recently got out of another legal situation when criminal charges against him were dropped in Nantucket, Mass. In that case, Spacey pleaded not guilty to felony indecent assault and battery, and prosecutors withdrew charges after the accuser — a teenage busboy — stopped cooperating.

After Saying Sex with Minors Is Not Always Sexual Assault, MIT Scientist Resigns

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

September 18, 2019

By Alyssa Vaughn

Richard Stallman was defending Jeffrey Epstein associate Marvin Minsky.

Richard Stallman, a MacArthur genius grant recipient, Internet Hall of Fame inductee, and well-known computer scientist at MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, has resigned from his post after defending MIT’s ever-expanding web of Jeffrey Epstein connections.

Specifically, Stallman leapt to the defense of the late Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MIT’s AI Laboratory. In an unsealed deposition revealed last month, alleged Epstein victim Virginia Guiffre named Minsky as one of the individuals she was instructed to have sex with. Minsky was 73 at the time. Guiffre was 17.

A Medium post written by an MIT alum last week revealed that Stallman replied to a female student’s email about an anti-Epstein protest with a long message in which he opts to defend Minsky in an odd and pretty sickening way—by arguing that sex with a child isn’t always assault. The full text of Stallman’s email, which was sent to a near-department-wide email list that included undergraduates, is as follows. It was published in the Medium post and later verified by Vice.

3 Million Women Say Their First Sexual Encounter Was Rape — But That Number Is Most Likely Higher

UNITED STATES
Rolling Stone

September 17, 2019

By EJ Dickson

When it comes to assessing the prevalence of sexual assault, there’s still a lot we don’t know. We do know, for instance, that sexual assault is underreported, but we don’t know by how much — and that’s particularly true for incidents that fall in the “grey area” of sexual assault, such as coercive sex or partner rape. A new study, however, is attempting to shed light on the prevalence of one specific type of sexual assault, and in doing so underscores just how little we know about sexual assault rates in general.

According to the study in JAMA Internal Medicine — which surveyed more than 13,300 women between the ages of 18 and 45 across the United States, from 2011 to 2017 — approximately one in 16 women, or about 6% of women surveyed, reported that their first sexual encounter was not consensual (which the study refers to as “forced sexual initiation”). Of the women who said their first sexual encounter was not consensual, 56% said they were verbally pressured into having sex, while 25% said they were subject to violence. The study also indicates that women who reported their first encounter was nonconsensual were more likely to report issues with ovulation or menstruation, unwanted first pregnancy, and drug abuse. Perhaps most devastatingly, most of these women were quite young: of the women who said their first time was not consensual, the average age at the time of the encounter was just 15.

How a Melbourne seminary became the breeding ground for paedophile rings

AUSTRALIA
The Age

September 18, 2019

By Farrah Tomazin, Chris Vedelago and Debbie Cuthbertson

Corpus Christi was where sexually repressed men could “act out” with each other, living double lives, then transfer their attentions to the most innocent in their flocks.

The altar boy sat firmly on the back of the motorbike, his skinny arms gripping the waist of the young priest as they weaved through the suburban streets leading to Victoria’s most prestigious Catholic seminary.

It was a Sunday afternoon around October 1976 and the priest was taking the boy to Corpus Christi, the training college whose alumni includes jailed Cardinal George Pell, the Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, and the former Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart.

According to a civil lawsuit due to be filed in court this week, Father Russell Vears guided the 14-year-old boy, John Fells*, into the building, down a corridor with rooms on both sides, and to a communal area where four or five other boys were already sitting, waiting on a couch.

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone: 'I want to honor the commitment I made coming here'

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ TV

Sept. 18, 2019

Catholic Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone spoke exclusive with 2 On Your Side's Steve Brown on Wednesday, a day after the Buffalo News reported a poll it commissioned found 86% of Western New York Catholics surveyed want Malone to resign.

“I was not, of course, happy to see that," Malone told Brown, "but I’ve learned over the years not to give too much credence to polls.”

Malone added that he while he is aware of the results, he relies more on what he hears from groups he has regular contact with, like the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Malone says that council held a meeting this past Saturday, and the final item on the agenda was a vote of confidence or no confidence in Malone. Bishop Malone says he was told after the vote that 24 members of the council voted in favor of him staying, four voted for him to resign, and one member abstained.

"I really feel calm and confident, believe it or not, about staying on and honoring my commitment I made when I came here," says Malone.

The only situation Malone described that would change that is if the Pope felt different.

"I think that if in fact the Holy See, if the Vatican, were to do a review of the situation, something I would be very open to by the way,” described Malone. "If the report came back from Rome that the Holy Father thought I should resign, then that’s of course something I would, out of obedience, do immediately.”

In response to abuse crisis, more Catholics are withholding financial gifts from the Church

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

September 17, 2019

By Brian Fraga

The Catholic Church in the United States has spent a staggering amount of money — close to $4 billion in the past 20 years — to investigate, adjudicate and prevent clergy sex abuse, and to compensate victims for the harm they've suffered.

And as those expenses have prompted dioceses to lay off staff, sell property and liquidate some assets, there is growing evidence that more Catholics across the country are deciding not to contribute to their bishops' diocesan appeals because of the scandals.

"Clearly the leadership failures related to the abuse crisis are a major factor in some of the church's financial problems," said Kim Smolik, CEO of the Leadership Roundtable, a national Catholic organization.

At least 20 dioceses since 2004 have filed for bankruptcy protection to pay their bills and provide financial compensation for clergy sex abuse survivors. On Sept. 12, the Diocese of Rochester in New York became the latest to petition the federal courts for Chapter 11 reorganization.

"This is a very difficult and painful decision," Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Rochester said during a Sept. 12 news conference. The diocese is facing nearly 50 lawsuits filed in the wake of New York's Child Victims Act, which took effect Aug. 14 and suspended the state's civil statute of limitations in sex abuse cases for one year.

The Catholic Courier, Rochester's diocesan newspaper, reported Bishop Matano as saying that filing for Chapter 11 was "the best and fairest course of action for the victims and for the well-being of the diocese, its parishes, agencies and institutions."

"We believe this is the only way we can provide just compensation for all who suffered the egregious sin of sexual abuse while ensuring the continued commitment of the diocese to the mission of Christ," Bishop Matano said.

The most recent figures compiled by BishopAccountability.org, a website that tracks the bishops' response to the clergy sex abuse scandals, indicates the scandals to date have cost dioceses and religious orders in the United States more than $3.8 billion in total settlements.

'Seduction' of children did little harm, said Catholic gatekeeper

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Age

Sept. 18, 2019

By Chris Vedelago, Farrah Tomazin and Debbie Cuthbertson

The psychologist who worked with the Catholic church for three decades to screen candidates for the priesthood once characterised child abuse as “seduction” that would do little lasting harm to its victims.

Ronald Conway, the Melbourne Archdiocese’s “consulting psychologist for religious vocations” tested applicants to the Corpus Christi seminary from 1969 to at least 2001, during which time 16 child abusers graduated as priests.

Mr Conway himself was later accused of historical sexual misconduct by former patients of his private practice, though never charged or convicted.

An investigation by The Age has exposed how some of the Catholic church’s worst paedophile priests shared victims, passed on details of vulnerable children, and worked together to conceal their crimes as part of informal networks of abuse. At the centre of a number of these clusters was Corpus Christi, where Mr Conway and psychiatrist Dr Eric Seal were the mental health gatekeepers.

Predator priests: When will Missouri Scrap statute of limitations for sex crimes?

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

Sept. 18, 2019

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has referred the cases of a dozen former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing minors to prosecutors after a year-long investigation.

That potential for justice for any of those so long denied is appreciated, though it’s impossible to say how many of the dozen men will be charged, much less convicted.

But charges can’t even be pursued against 46 other ex-clergy because the statute of limitations on the allegations against them has expired.

The AG’s inquiry found “credible allegations of 163 instances of sexual abuse or misconduct by Catholic diocesan priests and deacons against minors.” Eighty-three of those accused have died, and of the 80 who are still alive, 46 can’t be pursued without changing the law.

Across the decades and across the country, the Catholic Church has lobbied against such revisions, often successfully.

But knowing all we now know about abuse and how long child victims in particular can take to come to terms with it makes Missouri’s confusing mishmash of statute of limitations on various sex crimes committed during various time frames inexcusable.

This summer, Illinois became the latest state to remove all statutes of limitations on felony sex crimes. The others, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, are Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

Prince Andrew’s other pedophile friend: Prep school priest

SAN JOSE (CA)
Mercury News

Sept. 18, 2019

By Martha Ross

Pollsters have ranked Prince Andrew as the least popular royal; he’s known for being boorish, self-centered and tone-deaf to criticism. Even a positive quality attributed to him — loyalty — has often gotten him in trouble, notably when it came to his desire to stay friends with Jeffrey Epstein.

In fact, Andrew stuck by the now-deceased Epstein even after the multimillionaire financier was first investigated for sex trafficking and was convicted in 2008 of solicitation of a minor.

“You’re such a puritan,” Andrew told a friend who urged him to cut ties with Epstein, according to a 2011 Vanity Fair report. “Leave me alone. Jeffrey’s my friend. Being loyal to your friends is a virtue. And I’m going to be loyal to him.”

It turns out that registered sex offender Epstein is not Andrew’s only longtime friend who was accused of sex crimes against minors. A 2017 investigative report by the Canadian magazine Maclean’s showed that the Duke of York also stayed loyal to an Anglican priest who was the chaplain at the elite prep school he attended as a teenaged exchange student 40 years earlier.

Providence Diocese reports steep decline in parishioners

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Associated Press

Sept. 18, 2019

The Diocese of Providence says Catholic churches across the state have experienced a steep decline in the number of parishioners in recent years.

Rhode Island is one of the most heavily Catholic states. WPRI-TV reports the diocese released statistics from 2000 to 2018 earlier this month online in the diocesan newspaper.

The newspaper states that the number of parishioners dropped by about 200,000, to roughly 321,000 in 2018. Fewer people chose to get married, attend Mass or have their children baptized in the church. Fewer students attended Catholic schools and fewer men became priests.

Rhode Island's population grew over that time period and the church faced sex-abuse scandals worldwide.

Bishop Thomas Tobin, who asked for the "pastoral profile," says other dioceses face declining numbers, too, and it presents daunting challenges.

Millions of US women say first sexual experience was rape

NEW YORK (NY)
Aljazeera

Sept. 16, 2019

The first sexual experience for one in 16 US women was forced or coerced intercourse in their early teens, encounters that for some may have had lasting health repercussions, a new study suggests.

The experiences amount to rape, the authors say, although they relied on a national survey that didn't use the word in asking women about forced sex.

Almost seven percent of women surveyed said their first sexual intercourse experience was involuntary; it happened at age 15 on average and the man was often several years older.

Nearly half of those women who said intercourse was involuntary said they were held down and slightly more than half of them said they were verbally pressured to have sex against their will.

Bishop Hubbard denies new allegations

ALBANY (NY)
Daily Gazette

September 17, 2019

By Stephen Williams

Retired Albany Catholic Diocese Bishop Howard J. Hubbard is denying the latest allegations leveled against him under the Child Victims Act, as the diocese continues to face new accusations of abuse by priests.

Hubbard is denying the allegations in two new lawsuits filed in state Supreme Court in Albany County last week. One alleges that he was directly involved in abuse of a young woman in a Schenectady church in the 1980s while he was bishop, the other that he was aware of a diocese priest having committed abuse and didn't act.

"In response to the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been made against me under the Child Victims Act, I have stated before and I repeat that I have never sexually abused anyone of any age at any time," Hubbard said in a statement through his attorneys, O'Connor First of Albany.

One case was filed on behalf of an anonymous 54-year-old Schenectady County woman, naming the Albany Diocese, Hubbard and Father Francis Melfe, the former pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Schenectady, which closed in 2010. Melfe, who was eventually laicized, faces a separate lawsuit brought by the children in an allegedly "secret" family he maintained while serving as a priest.

September 17, 2019

DCFS opens 2 dozen new cases into possible Chicago clergy sexual abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Sept. 18, 2019

By Elyssa Cherney

Acting on concerns that more than 1,000 reports of possible sexual abuse by Catholic clergy may not have been properly reviewed by DCFS, the child welfare agency has opened 24 new investigations into alleged priest misconduct and hired a law firm to probe why the cases weren’t immediately addressed.

The reports were received by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services under a 2006 agreement with the Archdiocese of Chicago, requiring the church to notify DCFS every time it became aware of an abuse allegation, even if the accuser was no longer a minor. The measure went beyond state law, which does not require such cases to be reported to the agency because they don’t involve an underage victim.

DCFS Acting Director Marc Smith, who was appointed to lead the agency in March, said he was not aware of the policy or the existence of the reports until recently. Smith did not elaborate on how the problem came to his attention, but a DCFS spokesman later clarified that the protocol was discovered while looking into a specific case involving clergy abuse.

The 24 new DCFS investigations involve adults who came forward years after the alleged abuse occurred. In those cases, the department is working to determine whether the accused might still have access to children, through the church or in another setting.

Thompson Hine, a Cleveland-based law firm with Chicago offices, was hired to assess DCFS’ protocol for handling the archdiocese notifications, Smith said. A team of attorneys will be conducting the review under a contract that is capped at $225,000, according to the department.

In all, DCFS located 1,100 reports that it had received from the archdiocese since 2006. While DCFS staff went through the reports and flagged the 24 as needing further investigation, Smith said he had unanswered questions about whether the department properly reviewed all the notifications.

“At this point, it’s not clear exactly what happened with each of the 1,100 cases,” Smith said. “We’ve asked somebody to come in and do an evaluation to help us get a better picture of exactly what happened. We know that it’s best for us to take our time in these kind of scenarios to review exactly what happened.”

Cincinnati archbishop 'anticipating' Vatican investigation into handling of abuse case

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

Sept. 17, 2019

By Ed Condon

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati has submitted a report to Rome, following criticism of the archdiocese’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse against a local priest.

Archdiocesan officials told CNA Sept. 17 that a complete file on the case of Fr. Geoff Drew has been sent to the apostolic nuncio in Washington, DC, for transmission to the relevant curial departments, expected to include the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese told CNA that a “full report” was sent to Rome via the nuncio on Aug. 30, and that Archbishop Schnurr “anticipates that the Vatican may order a full investigation” into the handling of the case.

“Archbishop Schnurr takes any accusations of sexual abuse very seriously, as well as any possible lapse in internal procedures for handling allegations,” the spokesperson told CNA.

Fr. Geoff Drew was arrested August 19 on a nine-count indictment for sexual abuse. The charges date back 30 years to before Drew’s time in ministry, when he was a music minister at a local parish. The accusations concern abuse said to have taken place over two years, when the reported victim was 10 and 11 years old. Drew pled not guilty during an Aug. 21 arraignment hearing. If convicted, the priest could face life in prison.

At the time of his arrest, Drew had already been removed from ministry following a several of allegations of misconduct with teenage boys which came to light in July and August.

Despite a series of complaints raised over a period of years, Drew had been able to remain in ministry and allowed to transfer from the parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Liberty Township, OH, to the parish of St. Ignatius, which is attached to the largest Catholic school in the archdiocese.

The handling of Drew’s case by archdiocesan officials, and his ability to transfer to another parish, has drawn heavy criticism from the priest’s former parishioners, who have asked how it was possible that a series of complaints was made to Church authorities and forwarded to local law enforcement, but resulted in no action against Drew.

Missouri's stilted probe of clergy abuse must not be the last word on the issue

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post Dispatch

Sept. 17, 2019

With the Catholic Church’s sordid history of enabling and covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests, and the long failure of government to confront those crimes, it’s tempting to cheer even minimal progress toward justice. That’s why, at first blush, last week’s news might have appeared promising: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt forwarded the names of 12 former priests to local authorities for possible prosecution after an investigation that dredged up scores of previously unreported allegations against clergy in the state.

But a closer look suggests this progress toward justice is at best minimal.

A dozen possible prosecutions looks like a token next to the 74 criminal investigations underway in Kansas, which has less than half Missouri’s population. Could it be because the Missouri investigation left out the Jesuits and other orders that are home to a significant portion of Catholic clergy? Or that investigators contacted few if any of the Missouri activists and attorneys who have focused for years on clergy abuse and could have offered deep and relevant expertise?

Most problematic is Schmitt’s failure to investigate the church leadership’s protection of the priests, saying it wasn’t part of his “mandate.” Isn’t it always part of the attorney general’s mandate to confront criminal activity — which failure to report child abuse very much is? As Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles, who specializes in these cases, told us: “There is no way to address this issue without addressing the cover-up.”

Schmitt inherited the investigation of Missouri’s four Catholic Church dioceses last year from his predecessor, former Attorney General Josh Hawley, who initiated it under pressure as probes in other states were turning up previously unreported cases of clergy abuse by the hundreds. These included Illinois, where then-Attorney General Lisa Madigan last year found 500 cases over decades that the church had failed to report, and Pennsylvania, where a grand jury put the number in that state at more than 1,000.

The common thread is the church hierarchy’s systematic obstruction, clearly designed to protect the priests and the institution at the expense of the victims. Yet Missouri’s investigation relied mostly on documentation voluntarily provided by the church itself.

Duggars Behaving Badly in the Bahamas

Patheos blog

Sept. 17, 2019

By Suzanne Titkemeyer

Just a quick one before I leave for the airport. This came up late last night on the Facebook page 19 Scandals and Counting. TLC’s the Duggar family went down to the Bahamas immediately after Hurricane Dorian to help with the clean up.

Good, right? So good I wasn’t going to mention it. I thought ‘Good for them helping out.’

A few days ago a reporter out of Jacksonville, Florida with WJXT , Vic Micolucci, posted photos of the Duggars in the Bahamas praising them for their help and arranging to get the family chicken from Chick-Fil-A. Smiles and chicken abound.

I had wondered at the time about what they were actually doing there, helping or hindering. Why? Because of my own personal experiences going down to Louisiana to help many times in the months after Hurricane Katrina. It was no garden party, or Chick-Fil-A picnic, just hard dirty work slogging through. Sleeping in a sleeping bag I brought on the floor of an abandoned church with others from churches. Eating whatever they served us.

Longtime Stratford Priest Added To Abuse Allegation List

STRATFORD (CT)
Patch

Sept. 17, 2019

By Anna Bybee-Schier

A longtime Stratford priest has been added the list of Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport clergy who are credibly accused of sexual abusing minors, according to the diocese.

The Rev. Vincent P. Cleary is accused of two allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, both of which were found credible, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said in a post on the diocese's website earlier this month. Cleary was the pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Stratford from 1963 until his death in 1989. The allegations date to more than 50 years ago.

Ordained in 1944, Cleary also served at St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport, St. John Parish in Stamford and St. Joseph Parish in South Norwalk. A different the Rev. Vincent P. Cleary who was ordained in 1939 and died in 1965 also served in the diocese, and there are no allegations against him, the post said.

Also named as being recently found to be credibly accused was Monsignor William Genuario, who was accused in 2002 and 2004 and again more recently of sexual abuse dating back more than 30 years, according to the post. Genuario died in 2015, was the pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish of Riverside and served in a number of senior roles in the diocese.

Most senior Catholic pedophile appeals Australia convictions

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Associated Press

Sept. 17, 2019

The most senior Catholic to be found guilty of sexually abusing children lodged an appeal in Australia’s highest court on Tuesday against his convictions in the molestation of two choirboys in a cathedral more than two decades ago.

The High Court registry confirmed that Cardinal George Pell had submitted a 12-page application for the seven judges to consider hearing his appeal.

A unanimous Victoria state County Court jury in December found Pope Francis’ former finance minister guilty of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1990s.

The Victoria Court of Appeal last month rejected his appeal in a 2-1 ruling.

Pell, 78, was sentenced to six years in prison in March and is no longer a member of Francis’ Council of Cardinals or a Vatican official.

The High Court is Pell’s final chance to overturn his convictions, but there is no guarantee that Australia’s final arbiter will hear his appeal. The court only agrees to hear around one in 10 of the appeals that are submitted.

Trial Against Fr. Scott Kallal Ends in Hung Jury

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

Sept. 16, 2019

A Kansas priest who was accused of abusing a teen-aged girl had his trial end today in a hung jury. We hope that prosecutors will try this case again and continue working to keep children in Kansas safe from abuse.

The charges against Fr. Scott Kallal stemmed from abuse allegations from one girl, but during the trial at least two other girls testified. The family in this case is willing to go forward with another trial and we hope that Kansas City prosecutors will follow their lead and prosecute the case a second time. We applaud the bravery of this young woman and her family and are grateful for their efforts to protect others in their parish community.

Now more than ever it is critical that victims, witnesses, and whistle-blowers come forward to law enforcement officials and report any information or suspicions. We also hope that church officials in Kansas City, KS, will take steps to urge with their flock to share what they know with police and prosecutors.

Accused Sacramento Priest Sues Bishop who ‘Outed’ Him

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

Sept. 17, 2019

A priest accused of abuse who worked and lives in Sacramento is tilting at windmills by suing the bishop who publicly exposed him. In 30 years, we've never seen such a suit succeed, but we suspect the priest's real goal is to deter other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from speaking up.

Fr. J. Patrick Foley is apparently upset that San Diego's bishop put his name on a list of credibly accused clerics last year. But so has the Sacramento bishop, yet Foley's not suing him. Ditto with Oakland's bishop. And Santa Rosa's bishop. Fr. Foley also worked in Dubuque, but he is not yet listed there. When he is, we wonder if Fr. Foley will extend his suit to cover the prelate in Iowa.

We hope that this lawsuit fails and that important information about abusers continues to be made public by church officials in California. And we hope others with information or suspicions about Fr. Foley won't be intimidated by these tactics and will find the courage to speak up and make a report today.

Prosecution of priest accused of abusing Vatican altar boys begins

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

Sept. 17, 2019

By Gerard O’Connell

Pope Francis has removed the statute of limitations to enable the prosecutor of the Vatican City State to ask its tribunal to send the Rev. Gabriele Martinelli, an Italian priest, for civil trial. He is accused of the sexual abuse of altar boys who served the papal Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica and who lived in a Vatican pre-seminary in the years before 2012. The prosecutors have also sent the Rev. Enrico Radice, the rector of the seminary during the years the alleged abuse took place, for trial on charges of abetment.

The Vatican broke the news in a press statement sent to the international media on Tuesday evening, Sept. 17. The Vatican said its investigation began in November 2017 after news of the alleged assaults “was divulged by press outlets.”

It went on to state that “the facts go back to the years in which the law in force at the time prevented the [judicial] process in the absence of a charge brought by the offended person that had to be presented within one year of the contested facts.” It said that “the sending for trial was made possible by virtue of a special provision of the Holy Father on July 29 last, that removed the cause of not-proceeding.” The pope’s decision to remove the statute of limitations prevailing in 2012 was essential to allowing the prosecution to proceed.

Italian television first broke the news, which was then carried by other media, including Il Fatto Quotidiano, which spoke to some of the victims. These media outlets allege that the priest, now 26 years old, abused altar boys in a pre-seminary within the Vatican.

Michigan Attorney General charges former priest with additional count of first-degree CSC

LANSING (MI)
WWMT Newschannel 3

Sept. 17, 2019

By Heidi Paxson

Attorney General Dana Nessel charged Vincent DeLorenzo, a former Genesee Count priest with the Lansing Diocese, with an additional Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) charge.

Nessel's office announced the additional CSC charge on Tuesday.

The additional charge accused DeLorenzo of sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy in 1987 after a funeral service he officiated for the boy’s family.

The Attorney Generals office wrote in a news release that Michigan’s statute of limitations is tolled when a defendant leaves the state for any reason within the statute of limitations and resumes if and when the defendant returns to the state.

The additional charge is a felony punishable by up to life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring.

The 80-year-old former priest was one of the five priests charged by Nessel in May 2019.

"As we continue to review the millions of pages of documents our Department seized last year from the state’s seven dioceses, we are reminded that these charges only scratch the surface of what we believe to be years of crimes that were originally swept under the rug,” Nessel wrote in a news release.

DeLorenzo was previously charged with three counts of first-degree and three counts of second-degree CSC in the Department of Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Investigation.

Victims ‘out’ five ‘credibly accused priests

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

Sept. 17, 2019

They offer fliers to Wausau Catholic church-goers
SNAP: “Abusive clerics are still being hidden here”
Group blasts Wisconsin diocesan officials on abuse
It wants bishop to post ALL alleged offenders' names online
"The real solution," group insists, "is criminal prosecution & legislative reform"

WHAT
Handing leaflets to church-goers, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that five publicly accused predator priests were or are in central Wisconsin but have attracted little or no media or public attention before in the area.

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, they will also write the names of these credibly accused child molesting clerics on a sidewalk.

And the victims will call on local Catholic officials to
--post names of ALL accused priests on their diocesan website,
--include their photos, whereabouts and work histories, whereabouts and state photos, and
--join with victims in pushing for real legislative reform, like repealing Wisconsin's "archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations" so survivors can expose child molesters in court.

80M settlement reached in Chicago Archdiocese clergy sex abuse scandal

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS TV

Sept. 17, 2019

The names and faces of 48 known sexual abuse perpetrators who worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago were revealed Tuesday.

Over $80 million in court settlements with the Chicago Archdiocese involving 48 alleged perpetrators in the state of Illinois was revealed Tuesday.

The law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates said they have compiled over 160 survivors over the past two decades who said they were sexually abused by a Chicago Archdiocesan.

The law firm also announced a new lawsuit was filed on behalf of a man who said he was abused at Maryville Academy when he was a boy.

A list and photos of the 48 known perpetrators, as well as where the perpetrators worked were made public.

First Lawsuit Filed Against Fr. John Smyth in Chicago

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

Sept. 17, 2019

The first child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit has been filed against a high-profile Chicago priest who had access to thousands of already-vulnerable children.

Fr. John P. Smyth headed a residential treatment facility called Maryville Academy in Des Plaines from 1970-2003. He was removed in 2003 after a resident's suicide and allegations of abuse surfaced. From 2007-2014, The priest was president of Notre Dame College Prep in Niles 2007-2014. He was removed from ministry in January 2019 when allegations against him were reported to the Archdiocese of Chicago. Today he is being sued for reportedly molesting a child. We hope this development will spur others who may have information or suspicions about him to step forward.

In March, we included Fr. Smythe on our list of the 12 more potentially dangerous Chicago accused clerics. We considered him dangerous because he was clearly well spoken, able to win people’s trust and confidence, and had access to hundreds or thousands of already-vulnerable children, who are less likely to report if they are victimized by a powerful authority figure.

It is always hard to report abuse. It is even harder when the accused is a priest, and it is especially hard when that priest is powerful and popular. So we are very grateful to every person who is playing a role in this case and bringing critical information to light. We hope their courage will inspire others to speak up, too.

Survivors group wants Missouri to do more to investigate Catholic church

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4 News

Sept. 17, 2019

By Stephanie Graflage

A survivors group wants Missouri to do more to investigate claims of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says an attorney general's investigation into the problem is incomplete.

After about a year-long inquiry into sexual abuse allegations, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Friday said his office found 163 priests with credible accusations against them.

Schmitt has referred 12 priests for prosecution by county attorneys.

But SNAP believes this represents only the tip of the iceberg, because only one of the 400 victims in the group was interviewed as part of the state's probe.

"We are on par, if not greater than Pennsylvania, because we are smaller," said Rebecca Randles, an attorney who represents Catholic Church sex abuse survivors. "Yet I know of over 200 priests. When you put together the number of priests who have served in the state of Missouri with he number that even the attorney general has found, you are finding that about 10 percent of priests in Missouri are abusive. Every other state has found 3 to 6 percent. So we are talking about a big problem in state of Missouri."

SNAP wants Missouri to enact new laws that would give the attorney general power to subpoena church records and convene a grand jury to investigate childhood sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church.

Sealed files on Kincora Boys’ Home ‘must be released’

BELFAST(IRELAND)
Irish Times

September 16, 2019

By Freya McClements

Alliance MEP Naomi Long calls for papers to be available on ‘systematic abuse’ at house

Closed files relating to the Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast must be released so allegations of abuse can be investigated, a former MP for the area has said.

“Systematic abuse took place at this house,” said Alliance MEP Naomi Long. “These papers need to be released so that abuse can be investigated properly and in a way which will bring truth and justice to the victims and survivors of Kincora.”

Northern Ireland’s Department of Communities said the files are closed to the public “because they contain sensitive personal data”.

Three former members of staff – Joseph Mains, Raymond Semple and William McGrath – were convicted of sexually abusing 38 boys at the home in the 1980s.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Announces Priest Found Unsuitable for Ministry

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

September 15, 2019

Reverend Christopher D. Lucas has been found unsuitable for ministry based on a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the early 1970s.

Today’s Announcement Regarding Reverend Christopher D. Lucas

In the fall of 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received an allegation that Reverend Christopher D. Lucas sexually abused a minor over 45 years ago. It was the first allegation of this kind lodged against Father Lucas. Father Lucas had neither been ordained nor had he yet entered a program of priestly formation when the abuse is reported to have occurred. In addition, the activity in question is alleged to have occurred when Father Lucas was himself a minor.

The allegation was referred to law enforcement on the same day it was received. The Archdiocese cooperated with authorities in the course of their work. No criminal charges were filed.

The required canonical (church) investigation of Father Lucas was launched after law enforcement declined to press charges. The Archdiocesan Office of Investigations (AOI) undertook that canonical process.

Cardinal Pell v The Queen v Jesus v sex abuse victims — what's not to hate?

AUSTRALIA
Independent Australia

September 14, 2019

By Tess Lawrence

Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence joins some barely visible dots, where preserving the "brand" is all that the Catholic Church seemingly cares about.

INVESTIGATIVE EXCLUSIVE

The Jesus v Rome case was dragged before the highest court in the land — and Governor Pontius Pilate washed his hands of it, inviting the blood-lusting crowd to decide between pardoning Barabbas or "the king of the Jews".

The rest is biblical history.

Jesus seemingly lucked out, but he was a godman with a plan.

Thousands of years later, in Melbourne’s lofty CBD judicial precinct, in Court 15, Jesus was still being crucified for our mortal sins.

Missouri investigation: 12 ex-clergy could face prosecution

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Associated Press

September 13, 2019

By Jim Salter

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is referring 12 former clergy for potential criminal prosecution after his office completed a 13-month investigation of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

Schmitt on Friday released details of the investigation of religious leaders within the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Springfield-Cape Girardeau and Jefferson City.

Missouri is among several states that launched investigations last year after a Pennsylvania report cited abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests there since the 1940s, and efforts by church leaders to hide it.

The Missouri investigation began in August 2018 under then-Attorney General Josh Hawley. Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate in November, and Schmitt, a fellow Republican, took over the investigation after he was appointed to replace him.

Mainstream press should look at McCarrick (not conservative Catholics) if there's a schism

Get Religion blog

Sept. 16, 2019

By Clemente Lisi

Political polarization is nothing new. What about religious polarization? When it comes to matters of faith, specifically the Catholic church and its doctrines, there’s plenty of it these days.

You wouldn’t think there would be much divergence here since adherence to what the church teaches — through the Catechism and centuries of tradition on an array of issues — is the basis for being a member of the Church of Rome. Instead, there is divergence and not just among those sitting in the pews. It’s become all too evident among members of the hierarchy.

To say that the church is at a crossroads isn’t an exaggeration. But fierce arguments between the doctrinal left and right on a host of issues — from Pope Francis’ recent choice of cardinals to how clergy address social issues — are as intense as ever.

But here is the headline right now: Pope Francis has even dared to use a ecclesiastical s-word.”

Former Wellesley High cross country/assistant track coach is sentenced on child porn charges

WELLESLEY (MA)
The Swellesley Report

September 12, 2019

By Deborah Brown

Walter Johnson, a former Wellesley High School girls cross country coach and assistant indoor/outdoor track coach, was sentenced in federal court in Boston for possession of child pornography, according to a statement put out by Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office.

Johnson pleaded guilty in federal court on June 10, 2019 to a single count of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced on September 10, 2019 by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to three years in prison and five years of supervised release.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Jason Molina, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement. Assistance was provided by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the Framingham Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit, prosecuted the case.

SEXUAL ABUSE PLAINTIFFS FIGHT JESUIT EFFORTS TO REVEAL THEIR IDENTITIES

NEW YORK (NY)
THE CITY

September 13, 2019

By Christine Chung

As hundreds of Child Victims Act lawsuits work their way through New York’s courts, defense lawyers for one Catholic religious order are pressing to expose the identities of plaintiffs who wish to remain anonymous.

Attorneys for the Northeast Province of the Jesuit Brothers have challenged plaintiffs’ anonymity in at least three cases in New York City — one involving the Loyola School in Manhattan and two at Fordham Preparatory School in The Bronx.

The three individuals are suing over “unpermitted sexual contact” they allege happened when they were under the age of 16.

Legal counsel for the Jesuits argued in court filings that the accusers’ anonymity violates the defendants’ constitutional right of due process, asserting: “The potential for public humiliation or embarrassment is not sufficient grounds for anonymity.”

Catholic Bishop of Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, First to Be Investigated Under New Church Guidelines

LITTLE ROCK (AR)
Bilgrimage blog

Sept. 16, 2019

By William Lindsey

The bishop of the Catholic diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, Michael Hoeppner, is now under canonical investigation for allegedly interfering with civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual abuse of minors. As Jean Haselberger states in the report I have just linked, Hoeppner is the first sitting bishop to be investigated under new Vatican protocols for reviewing and disciplining bishops in such matters.

As I read this news, I keep flashing back to the open letter I wrote on this blog at Thanksgiving time in 2012. The letter addresses the Catholic people of the Crookston diocese. Crookston is the diocese in which my husband Steve grew up and has deep roots, deep Catholic roots.

Many of us like to imagine that the roots of the abuse horror show in the Catholic church run solely to rectories, chanceries, houses of religious communities, and the Vatican. In my view, however, these roots run much deeper, and my experience with my husband's birth diocese, Crookston, over many years has helped convince me of this.

The corruption in the Catholic church that manifests itself in church leaders is shared by the laity, who have all too often sought to turn a blind eye to what they do not wish to see happening in their church, and who have also sought to find scapegoat groups — notably the LGBTQ community — to blame for the abuse crisis.

DOZENS OF SEX HARASS COMPLAINTS LEFT UNRESOLVED FOR YEARS AT NYC COMMISSION

NEW YORK (NY)
THE CITY

September 17, 2019

By Yoav Gonen

Dozens of sexual harassment cases brought to the City Commission on Human Rights by employees at private firms have dragged on for years without resolution, data obtained by THE CITY shows.

Investigations of 44 complaints have stretched two years or more. The oldest open case dates to March 18, 2014 — nearly 5½ years ago, records indicate.

“It tells me if I wanted to come forward [with a complaint]… I wouldn’t expect to get justice through the city,” said Councilmember Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), chair of the City Council’s Committee on Women and Gender Equity.

“Even understanding the complexity of cases … it should not take this long. And so in my mind’s eye, it’s a reflection of caseloads,” she added. “They need more resources so we can follow through on the promises that we’re making.”

New admission by diocese could cost Australian church millions in claims

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Catholic News Service

September 13, 2019

By Michael Sainsbury

The Australian Catholic Church could face tens of millions dollars in compensation claims after the Diocese of Ballarat in Victoria state admitted, for the first time, it knew of the behavior of a pedophile priest yet continued to move him around from parish to parish.

Former priest Gerald Ridsdale, 85, is one of Australia's most notorious pedophiles and is serving an 11-year prison sentence due to finish in 2028, the latest in a series of convictions for the abuse of 85 children. Ridsdale held 16 different appointments during 29 years as a priest, an average of 1.8 years per appointment.

The church's admission was made in the case of JCB v. Bishop Paul Bird for the Diocese of Ballarat, in which a defendant with a pseudonym is suing the diocese for his rape, at age 9, by Ridsdale at the tiny country town of Mortlake in 1982. A mediation hearing will be held on Oct. 15 and, if this is unsuccessful, a 10-day civil trial will begin Jan. 29 to determine the amount of damages the church will pay the victim.

Archdiocese of Chicago Clergy Abuse Settlements to be Revealed; Settlements Involve 160 Survivors and 48 Perpetrators

CHICAGO (IL)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

September 16, 2019

Archdiocese of Chicago Clergy Abuse Settlements to be Revealed Tuesday

Law Firm Has Represented Over 160 Survivors
Over the Past Two Decades

Total Amount of Settlements Paid to be Revealed

(Chicago, Illinois) - At a press conference Tuesday in Chicago, a sexual abuse survivor and the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates will:

• Discuss and reveal that more than 160 survivors represented by Jeff Anderson & Associates have settled clergy abuse cases against the Archdiocese of Chicago over the past two decades involving 48 Archdiocesan perpetrators, in the amount of _____.
• Provide a list and photos of the 48 known perpetrators that have worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago, as well as a map of locations where the perpetrators worked.
• Announce the settlement by 6 survivors of abuse by 4 offenders: Fr. John William Curran, Fr. Edward J. Maloney, Fr. Robert D. Craig, and Fr. Robert E. Mayer.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 11:00 AM CST

WHERE: Residence Inn By Marriott Chicago Downtown/Loop
Daley 1 Room
11 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60603

LIVE-STREAM: The press conference will be live-streamed via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/andersonadvocates and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AndersonAdvocates/

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 310.357.2425

Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Priest unsuitable for ministry after sexual assault allegation

PHILADELPHIA (PA
WPVI

September 16, 2019

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has found a priest unsuitable for ministry after receiving an allegation he sexually abused a minor more than 45 years ago.

Reverend Christopher Lucas, 63, had not been ordained and was not a member of the priestly formation when the abuse was reported to have occurred in the early 1970s.

New book, Fallen, reveals altar boy’s unpleasant George Pell association

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The New Daily

Sept. 17, 2019

Investigative journalist and writer Lucie Morris-Marr covered the entire Cardinal George Pell abuse case for The New Daily.

Her book, Fallen – The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell, will be published by Allen & Unwin on Tuesday.

During her research for Fallen, Ms Marr uncovered a new victim who has just been awarded redress compensation for a disturbing incident involving Pell and convicted pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.

Pell, whose legal team is expected to lodge an appeal with the High Court in coming days against his shock guilty conviction for abusing two choirboys, is being held at Melbourne Assessment Prison after he was sentenced earlier this year.

The New Daily understands he might soon be moved to Hopkins Correction Centre near Ararat, where Ridsdale is also incarcerated for his multiple crimes.

In this exclusive extract, Ms Marr reveals the sinister behaviour of Pell and Ridsdale while at a church in Swan Hill, Victoria.

Following his ordination, Pell went on to complete a doctorate in church history at Oxford University. While studying, he also served as a chaplain to Catholic students at Eton College. The future must have looked like a glittering and unhindered road map to the top.

FORMER PRIEST FOUND NOT GUILTY OF SEX ABUSE

BELOIT (WI)
Daily News

Sept. 16, 2019

By Henry Redman

After Judge William Hue read the not guilty verdict in the molestation trial of former Janesville priest William A. Nolan on Friday, the packed courthouse erupted with cries of "God is good."

Nolan had been accused of molesting a middle school-aged altar boy while he served at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson around 2007. The jury acquitted him on five counts of sexual assault of a child under 16.

In a weeklong trial that saw both the accuser and Nolan testify, the jury took four hours to decide the 66-year-old priest's fate.

"Very, very stressful," Nolan said about the trial. "I knew I was telling the truth. And I knew there were gaps and there were so many inconsistencies with the accuser's stories. I felt that would eventually be discovered."

During the trial, defense attorney Jonas Bednarek worked to poke holes in the accuser's testimony and the prosecution's case.

"I don't believe any reasonable view of the evidence supports his claims," Bednarek said in his closing remarks.

HUBBARD DENIES 2ND ALLEGATION

ALBANY (NY)
The New Evangelist

Sept. 17, 2019

By Mike Matvey

Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard has been accused in a second lawsuit, alleging that he sexually abused a girl in the rectory of the Immaculate Conception Church in Schenectady along with two other priests in the 1970s.

Bishop Hubbard, who was previously named in a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1990s, released a statement Monday night reiterating again that he has “never sexually abused anyone.”

“As I stated before and I repeat that I have never sexually abused anyone of any age at any time,” Hubbard said in the statement. “I do not assert that the individuals that have accused me have not been abused. Surely, the abuse they have described is horrific and heartbreaking.

“During my 37 years of episcopal tenure as Bishop of Albany, I met with many survivors of abuse and heard firsthand the pain that they suffered at the time of the abuse and its consequences over the years. As Bishop, I acted on every complaint of sexual abuse that I received and commissioned investigations of those allegations.

“I am confident that through these fair due process procedures truth and justice will prevail and I will be fully exonerated.”

Mary DeTurris Poust, director of communications, called the new allegations “deeply troubling” which will be investigated.

“The allegations contained in this lawsuit are deeply troubling and will be investigated without fear or favor. It is important to remember that, like anyone else, Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard enjoys the presumption of innocence until and unless proven otherwise. The Diocese of Albany will keep its focus on survivors and on trying to get to the truth of the matter in each and every case that is filed,” DeTurris Poust said.

“In this particular case, Bishop Scharfenberger is in the process of informing Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who serves as Metropolitan for our province, as well as the papal nuncio regarding the allegations as they relate to Bishop Hubbard, in keeping with the requirements set forward by Pope Francis in the document known as Vos Estis.”

Return the Catholic Church to the 'people of God'

ST. CLOUD (MN)
St. Cloud Times

Sept. 16, 2019

By Peter Donohue

I have been hesitant to tackle this topic since June, when I read an article by James Carroll in The Atlantic. My indecision was immediately erased recently when I read the results of the investigation into the expenditure of diocesan funds by Bishop Michael Bransfield in West Virginia.

What seriously offended me was the bishop’s closure of Catholic schools as he spent $2.4 millionof diocesan funds on private jets, luxury hotels, limousines, jewelry and fine dining between 2005 and 2018.

Carroll describes the Catholic Church as “the largest nongovernmental organization on the planet, through which selfless women and men care for the poor, teach the unlettered, heal the sick, and work to preserve minimal standards of the common good.” He correctly points out that Vatican II, way back in the 1960s, defined the Catholic Church as the “People of God."

The role of the clerical hierarchy in the church is that of servants of those people, not placed above them as rulers. Symbolic of this change brought about by Vatican II was moving the altar down from on high into the midst of the congregation.

Compensation Program Unveiled For Alleged Child Abuse Victims Of Catholic Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS LA

September 17, 2019

Six California Catholic dioceses announced Monday a new compensation program that they said aims to support alleged child abuse victims of Roman Catholic priests — allowing victims to file for compensation without having to sue the church.

Victims of abuse within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the Dioceses of Fresno, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego have until Jan. 31 of next year to file a claim that will be assessed by a group of independent administrators who have previously handled victim compensation funds including one for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The six participating dioceses comprise more than 10 million Catholics, about 80% of the state’s Catholic population.

The fund is open for claims from people who allege they were abused by priests in any of these six dioceses as a minor. There is no time limit on when the alleged abuse occurred — even if the statute of limitations has already passed for criminal prosecution. Alleged victims do not need to proof of citizenship to file.

Revealed: How paedophile priests in Victoria worked together to share victims

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Age

Setp. 17, 2019

By Farrah Tomazin, Chris Vedelago and Debbie Cuthbertson

Some of the Catholic church’s worst paedophile priests shared victims, passed on details of vulnerable children considered easy targets and worked together to conceal their crimes as part of informal networks of sexual abuse hidden in Australian seminaries, schools and parishes.

An investigation by The Age has identified for the first time that many priests involved in historical sexual abuse of children did not simply act as individuals but formed clusters, or paedophile rings, throughout Victoria, from the western district to the Gippsland region and in suburban Melbourne.

At the centre of a number of these networks was Melbourne’s seminary - Corpus Christi - which has produced about 1000 priests over almost 100 years, including jailed Cardinal George Pell and convicted child rapist Gerald Ridsdale. According to a conservative snapshot from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, at least 75 convicted and alleged sex offenders emerged from Corpus Christi. The true figure is not known.

One Melbourne man alleges he was repeatedly abused between the ages of 12 and 14 by a network of three paedophiles coalescing around Corpus Christi Clayton in the mid-1970s: St Peter’s parish priest Ronald Pickering, assistant priest Russell Vears and then newly ordained Paul David Ryan.

In a statement of claim which lawyers plan to file in court this week, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, alleges Vears took him to the seminary in October 1976 and left him to wait in a communal living room with four or five other boys. A second priest, Ryan, then allegedly picked the boy from the group, took him back to a bedroom and sexually assaulted him.

“I recall that seminarians would come out through the corridor into the sitting room and select a boy to go back with them,” said the former St Peter’s altar boy. “He selected me by pointing at me and ushering me to follow him.”

CATHOLIC PRIEST FILES DEFAMATION LAWSUIT AFTER BEING OUTED AS ALLEGED PREDATOR

NEW YORK (NY)
Newsweek

Sept. 17, 2019

By Aila Slisco

A lawsuit by a former priest is seeking punitive damages for "severe humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress" after being outed as an accused child molester by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

J. Patrick Foley of Sacramento, California, claims that the Diocese promoted a "reckless disregard for the truth" in a September 12 filing with San Diego Superior Court. In 2018, Foley was one of eight men added to a list of Catholic clergy believed by the Diocese to be responsible for sexually abusing children. Foley's lawsuit alleges that his inclusion on the list amounts to publishing "false and defamatory material."

Foley is hardly the first priest from the area accused of child sex abuse. The San Diego Diocese previously settled a 2007 lawsuit claiming child molestation by a further 48 priests under their purview.

Foley was ordained by the San Diego Diocese in 1973, and remained "attached" to the Diocese after moving to the Sacramento area in 1991.

According to the website of the Diocese of Sacramento, Foley is accused of having abused two boys in the early 1990s while assigned to Christian Brothers High School. In 1995 he was "directed to not engage in ministry." In 1997, his faculties were "formally denied" and he was told to withdraw from the Diocese.

NBC 7 San Diego reports that Foley was first accused of inappropriately touching a child in 1989 while providing emergency medical care.

Mistrial declared in KCK priest’s child sex abuse case after trial ends in hung jury

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Fox Nine News

Sept. 16, 2019

By Karra Small

The trial of a KCK priest charged with child sexual misconduct has ended in a hung jury.

The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office said Monday that jurors couldn’t reach a verdict in the trail of Scott Kallal.

Kallal was charged with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child stemming from an incident involving a young girl at St. Patrick’s School in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2015.

He was placed on leave from his duties at St. Patrick’s and Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Overland Park in 2017 after police began a criminal investigation.

The Wyandotte County District Attorney has not said whether they intend to retry Kallal.

The Survivor’s Network of those abused by Priests issued a statement saying they hope that charges will be refiled in the case.

At Polish cross festival, Catholics atone for abuse scandals, vandalism

WARSAW (POLAND)
Crux

Sept. 17, 2019

By Jonathan Luxmoore

Polish Catholics participated in Masses and penance liturgies for recent scandals over sexual abuse by clergy and acts of vandalism and profanation at local churches.

“The vision of Christ’s suffering can transform human hearts, spurring recognition of sins and a request for forgiveness,” said Bishop Wieslaw Mering of Wloclawek.

“Today, we are being told to have fun, enjoy life, be ourselves and realize our desires. But the path to salvation doesn’t lead through egoism,” he said.

Preaching to 60,000 people at a Mass in Wloclawek Sept. 14, he said Poland and Europe needed “women and men with courage and love to stand under the cross of Jesus” and to show themselves to the world as “true witnesses to the Gospel.”

Poll: More than 8 out of 10 Catholics want Buffalo bishop to resign

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

Sept. 17, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

An overwhelming majority of area Catholics or lapsed Catholics want Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign as leader of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, a recent poll by The Buffalo News has found.

Nearly 86% of the 473 Erie and Niagara county residents surveyed this weekend said they feel Malone should step down from the post he has held since 2012.

Fewer than 3% of those surveyed said Malone should stay on as bishop. About 12% were undecided.

"The Bishop very much respects area Catholics' right to express their opinion," diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler said in response to the results.

The News hired Cornerstone Research & Marketing in North Tonawanda to conduct the telephone survey over the past week. The firm asked the people it polled: "Do you feel Bishop Malone should resign from his duties as bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo?"


Benedict XVI provokes critics of his April essay on clerical sex abuse

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCrois International

Sept 17, 2019

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Benedict XVI has ignited new controversy by issuing a stinging. . .

September 16, 2019

Three Accused Clerics, Three Wildly Different Responses

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

Sept. 17, 2019

By David Clohessy

Three clerics were recently accused of child sexual abuse. (No, this isn’t the setup to a joke.)

The first guy’s boss said he “asked” the cleric to “step aside from ministry pending the outcome of an investigation.”

The second guy said he will be “stepping aside temporarily."

The third guy said he will “temporarily reduce” his public presence for the foreseeable future.

(The three are Fr. George Clements of Chicago, Bishop Howard Hubbard of New York and Bishop Robert Guglielmone of South Carolina.)

Over the years, I’ve read – and read about – hundreds of Catholic church abuse policies. Usually, I see phrases like “when an allegation is made, the accused is immediately suspended.” Never have I seen the phrases “the bishop will ASK the accused to step aside,” “the accused will be stepping aside temporarily,” or “the accused will temporarily reduce his public presence.”

What other institution lets accused wrongdoers decide what they will do?

Before 2002, church officials admitted that “Every bishop deals with these cases in his own way.” So there was a ton of inconsistency. But starting in 2002, church officials claimed “Now we’ve got one national policy. We’re all doing this the same way.”

So why is there still a ton of inconsistency?

Watchdog Team: Providence diocese adds another name to list of credibly accused priests

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

Sept.16, 2019

By Brian Amaral

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence added a new name to its list of clergy that it says have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.

Paul Desrosiers, a priest who died from injuries he suffered in a bus crash in 1984, was added to the list of names sometime after it was originally released, on July 1. His inclusion on the list brings it to 51 in total, including priests and deacons.

The diocese did not immediately respond to a request for comment about when Desrosiers’ name was added. As of Monday his name is not included on the website BishopAccountability.org, which documents allegations against Catholic clergy. The diocese has not responded to a number of questions about the list since it was released.

Desrosiers, who the diocese said died before any allegation was received, was listed as having the following assignments:

St. Vincent de Paul Church, Anthony, 1940-1943

St. John the Baptist Church, Arctic, 1943-1946

St. Joseph Church, Woonsocket, 1946-1951

Precious Blood Church, Woonsocket, 1951-1960

Diocesan Tribunal, 1959-1968

St. Joseph Church, Woonsocket, 1960-1973

Leave of Absence 1/12/1973 to 8/6/1973

St. John Church, West Warwick, 1973-1981

According to Providence Journal archives, Desrosiers died at the age of 71 in Granada, Spain, after suffering injuries in a highway crash there. He was on a two-week vacation when the tour bus he was a passenger on collided head-on with a a truck.

Born in Manville, Desrosiers was ordained in May 1940. At the time of his death, he was serving as a part-time assistant pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in West Warwick, and living in the church’s rectory, his obituary said.

September 15, 2019

Abuse survivors hope to have voice heard following diocese's bankruptcy filing

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHEC TV

Sept. 13, 2019

By Andrew Hyman

Carol DuPre says she was molested by a priest while serving at St Gregory’s Catholic Church in Marion when she was just 14 or 15 years old.

"You know it happened, and it lives in the back of your mind," DuPre said.

She says speaking these words are freeing, but at one time, were words only her mother believed. According to DuPre, her parents were going through a divorce, which she says, was uncommon in the 1960s. She says the situation left her vulnerable and a priest took advantage of that.

"It just shatters your image of a good, and loving God," DuPre said.

Abuse survivors hope to have voice heard following diocese's bankruptcy filing
So when she saw that New York State passed the Child Victim's Act, she says, it gave her and other survivors the power to speak up.

But now, with the Catholic Diocese of Rochester’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, fellow child sex abuse survivor Pete Saracino says, a survivor's voice could be robbed.

"That was a profound betrayal of children, catholic families, and their very mission to be the face of God on earth," Saracino said.

Saracino says he was sexually abused by a priest in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Geneva, New York. The location is now a resort called Geneva on the Lake.

Clergy abuse: Activist asks Wausau church-goers to lobby La Crosse Diocese for openness

WAUSAU (WI)
Wausau Daily Herald

Sept. 15, 2019

By Laura Schulte

Dozens of flyers fluttered under windshield wipers in the late morning breeze Sunday as parishioners left St. Michael Catholic Church in Wausau.

The flyers were neatly tucked there by David Clohessy, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. As parishioners began leaving the church, he handed them out, asking people to take them home and read them.

His goal, he said, was to bring awareness to the fact that the La Crosse Diocese still hasn't released a list of credibly accused abusers, members of the clergy who sexually abused young children and are known by the church. He's hoping that the flyers, which target five specific former priests, will cause the parishioners to go home and talk and even call the bishop, William Callahan, and demand more openness.

SNAP often holds events and advocates for changes in laws to protect victims, as well as recognition of abusive clergy by the Catholic Church. Clohessy has been working with the organization for years, including formerly as executive director. He's no stranger to handing out flyers as people leave church, he said, having done it nearly 35 times in recent years.

He's a victim himself, he said. He and three of his brothers were abused by a priest in Missouri, he said. He still gets emotional about it.

"I want to protect kids and heal victims," he said. "I want to deter these crimes from happening again."

Beyond the US, the Top Five countries for beefs with the Pope

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 15, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

Rome - Responding to a mini-fracas set off by his recent declaration that he considers it “an honor when Americans are attacking me,” Pope Francis told reporters during an inflight news conference Tuesday that the U.S. is not his only source of heartburn.

“Criticism comes not only from the Americans, they’re coming from all over,” Francis said.

The comment got me thinking: If we take the U.S. off the table, what are the other countries where criticism of this pope seems most robust?

*
Here’s a rundown of the other countries I considered.

Chile: Rocked by arguably the world’s worst clerical abuse scandal, many Chileans were initially angry at Francis for what seemed denial, then grateful for what seemed a change of heart, and now confused and frustrated over what they see as a lack of aggressive follow-through.

Former Air Force Chaplain Receives 30 Years for Molesting Altar Boy in 1990s

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal via Military.com

September 14, 2019

By Colleen Heild

Santa Fe - Former Albuquerque priest Arthur Perrault is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison for aggravated sexual assault of an altar boy in the early 1990s, after a riveting hearing Friday in which a federal judge imposed a 30-year sentence and insisted Perrault stand and face one of the multiple victims he abused decades ago.

"I have to say Mr. Perrault that this is the worst case that I have ever handled and ever seen," said U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez, noting that she has presided over many sexual abuse cases in her 26 years as a judge in Santa Fe. "I'm glad you are looking at me, because it is extremely difficult to speak to someone and to try to explain one's sentiments and have that person not give you the respect of looking at them."

In a rare federal criminal prosecution, Perrault was convicted by a jury in April of seven counts of sexual abuse related to a former altar boy at St. Bernadette's parish in Albuquerque who once considered the priest his "best friend."

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez is considered a life sentence due to Perrault's advanced age of 81. The term was the maximum he could have received after his jury conviction in April in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe.

Fugitive ex-priest sentenced to 30 years in sex abuse case

WICHITA (KS)
Associated Press via WKSN

September 13, 2019

By Morgan Lee and Mary Hudetz

Santa Fe, NM - A former Roman Catholic priest who fled the country decades ago was sentenced Friday in New Mexico to 30 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing an altar boy at a veterans’ cemetery and military base.

In ordering the sentence, U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez said it was the worst case of child sex abuse she has handled over the course of 26 years.

At one point, the judge demanded that 81-year-old defendant Arthur Perrault look a woman in the eyes as she testified about being abused by him.

The judge also condemned Perrault for only being concerned about his sexual needs.

“You chose as a profession the life of being a priest. It was supposed to be your job to help, not destroy,” she said.

Missouri AG Issues Report Regarding Clergy Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Office of the Attorney General

September 13, 2019

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office identifies 12 cases for potential criminal prosecution, more than any other state attorney general.

[This press release includes a link to the AG's report.]

St. Louis, Mo. – Today, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt held a press conference to announce the findings of the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members in the Roman Catholic Church. After an extensive review of the records of thousands of clergy members and conducting interviews with victims, the Attorney General’s Office will refer 12 former clergy members for potential criminal prosecution, the most of any state attorney general probe, and laid out suggested guidelines for the Catholic Church moving forward.

“Since I took office, one of my top priorities has been conducting a thorough, exhaustive review of allegations of abuse by clergy members in the Roman Catholic Church. Today, as a result of that review, we are announcing that we will refer 12 cases of alleged abuse to local prosecutors for further investigation and possible prosecution – more referrals than any other state attorney general.” said Attorney General Schmitt during the press conference.

Schmitt continued, “In cases in which local prosecutors should seek our assistance, we stand ready and willing to help. Additionally, we’ve provided concrete recommendations to the Catholic Church moving forward. I also want to thank the brave victims who have come forward to share their stories. To the victims: you didn’t deserve any of this. None of what happened to you was your fault. This report, our referrals for criminal prosecution, our aggressive and substantive suggestions for reform, will not change what happened in the past. But, they can change the trajectory of the future and ensure that this never happens again.”

Missouri Attorney General Report Refers 12 Former Priests for Prosecution

IRONDALE (AL)
Catholic News Agency via National Catholic Register/EWTN

Eric Schmitt's report said that Catholic dioceses have less oversight over religious priests than their secular counterparts.

St. Louis - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt referred 12 former clerics for potential criminal prosecution in a report released Friday on his investigation into sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy in the state.

“Since I took office, one of my top priorities has been conducting a thorough, exhaustive review of allegations of abuse by clergy members in the Roman Catholic Church. Today, as a result of that review, we are announcing that we will refer 12 cases of alleged abuse to local prosecutors for further investigation and possible prosecution — more referrals than any other state attorney general,” Schmitt, who is a Republican and a Catholic, said Sept. 13.

He added that his office will assist any local prosecutors who want to pursue charges.

“Additionally, we’ve provided concrete recommendations to the Catholic Church moving forward,” he added. He noted that his “suggestions for reform” are “aggressive and substantive.”

Madison Diocese names eighth priest accused of sexual abuse

PORTAGE (WI)
WKOW

September 13, 2019

Madison - The Madison Diocese has named an eighth priest “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a minor following a review by an outside firm.

The external review of diocesan personnel files, which was launched in June, adds one more priest to the seven previously named as having substantiated abuse allegations against them.

The Diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board deemed accusations against John Eberhardy credible, making him the eighth priest on the list. Eberhardy died in 1992, according to the diocese. The diocese has previously named seven clergymen that had accusations of child sexual abuse substantiated by the diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board: Archie Adams, Curtis Alvarez, J. Gibbs Clauder, Kenneth Klubertanz, Michael Trainor, Lawrence Trainor and Gerald Vosen.

All have either died or been removed from the priesthood.

But the organization Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, claimed Friday four additional former priests who have worked within the Madison Diocese have been either credibly accused of abuse by other dioceses or criminally convicted.

Columbus Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse One Day After Retirement

COLUMBUS (OH)
WOSU

September 13, 2019

By Steve Brown

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus says it placed a priest on administrative leave after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. A diocese press release says the leave for Father Kevin Lutz, 69, is effective September 11, three days after he retired.

According to the diocese, the accusation was reported to the Chancery office one day after his retirement from St. Mary Parish in Columbus.

The accusation reportedly dates back to Lutz’s tenure at St. Christopher Parish between 1982-1986.

“A meeting of the Diocesan Board of Review for the Protection of Children will be convened in the near future to assess the results of the preliminary investigation and advise the Bishop as to whether or not it appears to be credible,” the release says. “If an allegation is determined to be credible, the Diocese of Columbus will execute the necessary judicial and administrative processes. A determination of credibility is never to be considered proof of guilt."

Columbus diocese creates task force to review handling of priest-sex abuse allegations

COLUMBUS (OH)
Columbus Dispatch

September 15, 2019

By Danae King

In the six months since the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus released a list of priests whom it deemed had been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors, it has added 14 more names and started a task force to study its policies and make recommendations to the bishop.

The task force, which was formed in May and still is being established, will have 12 to 15 members, including a parish priest and people in the fields of law enforcement, civil law, canon law and mental health. It will review all diocesan policies and procedures related to the sexual abuse of minors, Bishop Robert Brennan said.

“We want to rely on the best advice we can get,” Brennan said. “We want to involve laypeople; we want to involve a lot of people. It’s not just me sitting in a room.”

Regina Quinn, director of the diocese’s safe environment office and chairwoman of the task force, said her goal is to get all members of the task force in place this month.

Judy Jones, Midwest regional leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), calls the idea “typical.”

“They’ll start a task force or they’ll make a new policy,” Jones said. “They say all these things. We want to see some action.”

Brennan said, “We want to do things well,” which is why he decided to start by forming a task force instead of just making changes himself.

“I just need professionals to define it for me; I need to know exactly how these things (work). This isn’t my area of expertise,” he said.

Bridgeport Diocese: 2 dead priests credibly accused of abuse

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

September 9, 2019

By Daniel Tepfer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has acknowledged for the first time that a prominent cleric, who according to court documents played a major role in hiding cases of abuse by priests, was “credibly accused” of abusing a child.

Monsignor William Genuario, who died in June 2015, had been the vicar general of the diocese and reviewed accusations of sexual abuse against priests. Genuario also was a prominent priest in Greenwich for almost 20 years.

The diocese also stated that another dead priest, the Rev. Vincent Cleary, was determined to have a credible allegation of abuse against him.

Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., files bankruptcy

TORONTO (CANADA)
Catholic News Service via Catholic Register of Archdiocese of Toronto

September 13, 2019

By Mike Latona

In the wake of nearly 50 lawsuits filed against it since New York's Child Victims Act took effect Aug. 14, the Diocese of Rochester filed for reorganization Sept. 12, under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

"This is a very difficult and painful decision," Bishop Matano said in a video and letter to parishes released Sept. 12. The bishop read the letter at the beginning of a news conference held late that day at the diocesan pastoral center in Gates.

"But after assessing all reasonable possibilities to satisfy the claims, reorganization is considered the best and fairest course of action for the victims and for the well-being of the diocese, its parishes, agencies and institutions," he said. "We believe this is the only way we can provide just compensation for all who suffered the egregious sin of sexual abuse while ensuring the continued commitment of the diocese to the mission of Christ."

According to the United States Courts website, Chapter 11 is a voluntary action taken by organizations to settle claims on which they owe while remaining intact.

Here's what happened when other Catholic Dioceses filed bankruptcy

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHEC

September 13, 2019

By Berkeley Brean

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of Catholics will go to Mass in the Rochester Diocese wondering what's going to happen to their church now that the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. News10NBC is finding answers from a place that already went through this.

Starting in 2015, four dioceses in Minnesota filed for bankruptcy. The largest -- Minneapolis, St. Paul -- reached a settlement last year. So I contacted a former Rochester journalist and reporter at our sister station in Minnesota, Kevin Doran, to find out what happened.

Doran and his KSTP news team covered the story of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis, St. Paul when it filed for bankruptcy and emerged three years later.

Catholic Diocese seeks Chapter 11 relief

ROCHESTER (NY)
Rochester Beacon

September 13, 2019

By Will Astor

[This article links to Fr. Daniel J. Condon's affidavit.]

In a long anticipated move as it faced an inevitable tide of claims by individuals seeking compensation for alleged sexual abuse, the Catholic Diocese of Rochester has asked court protection from creditors while it reorganizes.

A rash of sex-abuse claims against the Rochester Diocese began to pour in to local state courts last month when the Child Victims Act took effect. Signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Feb. 14, the act partially lifts a state statute of limitations that previously required victims claiming abuse to seek compensation before their 23rd birthday.

The partial lifting of the statute of limitations is temporary. The 2019 act, which extends the claimants’ window to file civil abuse claims to their 55th birthday, sunsets in August 2020. In the time (less than month and a half) that previously barred claims have been allowed, nearly 100 have filed or announced their intention to file civil sex-abuse charges against the Rochester Diocese.

Window for sex abuse claims against Diocese of Rochester could soon close

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM

September 13, 2019

by Tanner Jubenville

Most the lawsuits filed under the newly enacted Child Victims Act name the Diocese of Rochester, which is much of the reason why it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday.

That law, which went into effect last month, opened a year-long window for sex abuse victims to file lawsuits against their alleged accusers. That included the Catholic Church.

But Thursday's filing has changed how proceedings against the diocese will move forward.

"So all the cases that have been filed in state court, our cases, all the cases being drafted - all those need to be consolidated, and will be consolidated before the bankruptcy judge," said attorney James Marsh, who is representing survivors of clergy abuse.

Child Victims Act sponsor on Rochester diocese bankruptcy: 'It’s their own fault'

WHITE PLAINS (NY)
Journal News

September 12, 2019

By Joseph Spector and Jon Campbell

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/albany/2019/09/12/child-victims-act-sponsor-rochester-diocese-its-their-own-fault/2298998001/

Supporters of the Catholic Church in New York feared the Child Victims Act would force dioceses across the state into financial ruin.

On Thursday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester became the first diocese in New York to file for bankruptcy protection, claiming it faces massive judgements for past sexual abuse within its organization.

Supporters of the Child Victims Act, which went into effect last month, had little sympathy for the diocese and others who may also go the bankruptcy route.

Victims "have every right now to go to court and seek justice, and if the institutions find themselves in financial difficulty, what I could say is: It’s their own fault," Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat and the bill's sponsor, said Thursday.

The law revived previously expired claims from child sexual abuse victims, who have a one-year window to seek judgments against their abusers and the institutions who harbored them regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.

State urges insurers to dig up, preserve policies relevant to CVA cases

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union

September 12, 2019

By Cayla Harris

Institutions seek help from insurers after Child Victims Act went into effect Aug. 14

The Department of Financial Services on Thursday pushed insurers across the state to quickly resolve claims stemming from cases filed under the Child Victims Act.

The guidance, issued at the direction of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, notes that insurance companies may be liable for some damages awarded to survivors who pursue legal action under the CVA's recently enacted one-year look-back period. The window temporarily eliminates the state's statute of limitations, allowing survivors of all ages to pursue civil claims against their alleged offenders, reviving cases that are sometimes decades old.

More than 95 percent of the more than 600 cases filed in the state since the statute went into effect last month target institutions, primarily the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, who have invoked insurance policies to help cover settlements, according to attorneys familiar with the matter.

Diocese Files for Reorganization Under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

ROCHESTER (NY)
Diocese of Rochester

September 12, 2019

By Doug Mandelaro

[The Diocese of Rochester also posted a letter from Bishop Salvatore Matano.]

Faced with multiple legal claims under the New York State Child Victims Act that exceed its resources to settle or litigate, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester today filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The parishes of the Diocese and the agencies of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester are not part of the Chapter 11 filing. The 86 parishes are separately incorporated under New York State’s Religious Corporation Law. Charitable entities such as Catholic Charities are separately incorporated under New York’s Not for Profit Corporation Law. Their ministries and operations of parishes should not be directly affected by the Diocese’s Chapter 11 proceeding.

“This is a very difficult and painful decision,” Bishop of Rochester Salvatore R. Matano said in a Letter to the Faithful and video message today. “After assessing all reasonable possibilities to satisfy the claims, reorganization is considered the best and fairest course of action for the victims and for the well-being of the Diocese, its parishes, agencies and institutions. We believe this is the only way we can provide just compensation for all who suffered the egregious sin of sexual abuse, while ensuring the continued commitment of the Diocese to the mission of Christ.”

September 14, 2019

Statue Of Disgraced Rev. John Smyth Gone From Maryville Academy, But No One Is Saying Where It Went

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2 Chicago

Sept. 13, 2019

By Brad Edwards

The CBS 2 Investigators made a remarkable discovery about the statue of once-beloved Fr. John Smyth, the disgraced longtime leader of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.

The bronze statue came to symbolize pain for grown men who have accused Smyth of sexually abusing them when they were children.

CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards sat down with the attorney representing a dozen accusers, and then he went to see the statue.

Smyth was a captivating figure. He was a star on the University of Notre Dame’s basketball team and selected by St. Louis in the 1957 NBA draft. He chose the priesthood instead. He was assigned to Maryville after ordination in 1962 and became its executive director in 1970 — a position he held until it was shuttered in 2004.

Smyth could have been a star in the NBA, yet he decided to take over a rundown orphanage in Des Plaines.


Jerry Falwell Jr., and the allegations against him, explained

WASHINGTON (DC)
Vox News

Sept. 13, 2019

By Jane Coaston

Jerry Falwell Jr. — president of Liberty University (one of the world’s largest Christian universities) and a prominent supporter of President Trump — has made headlines many times before. Most recently, however, the headlines have focused on a slow-moving series of scandals that threaten to bring down, or at least sully the reputation of, one of evangelical Christianity’s most famous families.

Earlier this week, Politico published a story connecting him and his wife Becki Falwell to a host of questionable real estate deals; possible self-dealing efforts to financially benefit members of the Falwell family; online poll manipulation; and visits to Miami nightclubs. (Liberty University forbids students from attending dances.) According to employees of the University, Falwell Jr. runs a “dictatorship” at Liberty, but said that speaking out about his conduct was necessary.

Falwell’s concerning behavior reportedly also includes his communications with students. As detailed by Reuters this week, Falwell described students at Liberty as “physically retarded” and “social misfits” in emails, the latter stemming from concern from students who wanted to work out at a Liberty-owned off-campus gym (which Falwell wanted to be kept private for Liberty executive use only).

Jehovah’s Witnesses ask court to reverse $35M abuse verdict

BILLINGS (MT)
Associated Press

Sept. 14, 2019

An attorney for the Jehovah’s Witnesses is asking the Montana Supreme Court to reverse a $35 million verdict against the church for not reporting a girl’s sexual abuse to authorities.

Last year, a jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages and $31 million in punitive damages to a woman who says she was abused as a child in the mid-2000s.

The abuse was by a member of the Thompson Falls Jehovah’s Witness congregation who was previously accused of abusing two other family members.

Attorney Joel Taylor said Friday during oral arguments that church elders handled the allegations internally in accordance with church practices. He says state law exempts clergy following church doctrine or practice from reporting.

The woman’s attorney, Jim Molloy, says the church doesn’t qualify for the exemption.

The court did not make an immediate ruling.

Dismissed NFL suit cited in sexual abuse suit against Church

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Associated Press

Sept. 14, 2019

A Louisiana court’s recent dismissal of a lawsuit against the NFL over officiating at a January playoff game is now being cited by attorneys for the Catholic Church as they fight civil lawsuits over alleged sex abuse by clergy.

A Tuesday filing by church attorneys quotes from the Supreme Court’s Sept. 6 decision dismissing a suit filed by attorney and Saints fan Antonio LeMon. LeMon and three others had sued the NFL for alleged fraud after officials failed to call blatant pass interference and roughness penalties during a key play in a Saints playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

“Just as it is ‘not the role of judges and juries to be second-guessing the decision taken by a professional sports league purportedly enforcing its own rules,’ it is certainly not the role of judges and juries to adjudicate whether or not a religious entity such as the Archdiocese has complied with its own rules, doctrines, or policies,” the filing says. “Moreover, the right of religious entities to govern themselves is guaranteed by both the United States and Louisiana Constitutions, while professional sports leagues have no similar constitutional protection.”

Missouri’s Attorney General Refers 12 Predator Priests for Prosecution

Patheos blog

Sept. 13, 2019

By Hemant Mehta

For more than a year now, ever since the Pennsylvania grand jury report was released, several state attorneys general have been investigating their own Catholic dioceses, looking into allegations of sexual abuse covering a span of decades.

Missouri’s AG Eric Schmitt announced yesterday that he’s now referring 12 priests’ names for prosecution (since, by law, he can’t prosecute them himself) from the list of 163 priests accused of wrongdoing. About half of them have died since their alleged crimes. For many others, the statute of limitations has run out. Another 16 were already referred to local prosecutors. All told, Missouri may be going after more priests than any other state in the country… so far.

In one case being referred for prosecution, a priest is reported to have shared a bed on “numerous instances” with young children before the diocese placed him on leave in 2016, according to the report.

In another, a priest was allowed to return to ministry after a 2015 allegation of “detailed unwanted and inappropriate hugging and kissing of an elementary school aged child.” The priest apparently left the country this year, the report says.

Some victims’ advocates say Schmitt hasn’t gone far enough. He may be prosecuting predator priests, but he has not yet gone after the Church leaders who knew about their crimes but never did anything about it. It’s unclear if there’s a clear path for him (and enough evidence) to pursue those charges in court.

Longtime Columbus priest Kevin Lutz accused of sexual abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
Columbus Dispatch

Sept. 13, 2019

By Danae King

The Rev. Kevin Lutz, a priest in Columbus and central Ohio for four decades who recently retired from St. Mary parish in German Village, has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

Lutz, 69, was placed on leave Wednesday by Bishop Robert Brennan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus as part of a diocesan investigation into the allegation, according to a release from the diocese.

Lutz, who did not respond to a request for comment Friday, on Sunday announced his retirement from St. Mary, where he recently supervised a years-long renovation of the historic building. A day later, the accusation that Lutz had sexually abused a minor in the 1980s during his time at St. Christopher Parish on the Northwest Side was reported to the diocese, according to the release.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred from 1982 to 1986. The diocese said it reported the allegation to Columbus police on Monday, the same day it found out about it, and also told Lutz.

A Columbus police report, dated Friday, states that the victim was a 14-year-old male and that the incident occurred in 1984. No specific date or location was given.

Retired Catholic priest found not guilty of sexual assault

JEFFERSON (WI)
Associated Press

Sept. 14, 2019

A Wisconsin jury on Friday acquitted a retired Catholic priest on charges alleging that he had sexually assaulted an altar boy over several years, starting in 2006.

The Jefferson County jury found William Nolan, 66, not guilty of five counts of sexual assault following a weeklong trial.

The 26-year-old accuser, who lives in California, alleged that Nolan had sexual contact with him as many as 100 times, starting in 2006 when he was a middle school student at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson, which is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Milwaukee. Nolan was the parish priest there. The accuser said the abuse continued into his high school years.

Nolan testified that he did not have any physical contact with the boy other than a friendly hug one time, WKOW-TV reported. He said that when he heard of the allegations from police in 2018, he was “mad, angry because it didn’t happen.”

The accuser testified that he had sexual contact with Nolan in his church office, behind the church altar, at his home and during a school cross-country team practice.

Nolan testified that the boy could not have gone to his office undetected by staff and others.

In Baltimore kickoff to speaking tour, Irish abuse survivor says she is disappointed with global reforms

BALTIMORE (MD)
Archdiocese of Baltimore

Sept. 13, 2019

By Christopher Gunty

Clergy sexual abuse survivor Marie Collins kicked off a five-city U.S. speaking tour on “The Catholic Tipping Point” in Baltimore Sept. 10, noting that she is disappointed with the results of the Vatican summit on child protection and efforts toward accountability and transparency.

Collins, who was one of the original members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, resigned from that group in 2017 because she was concerned that promised reforms were not being implemented and Vatican leaders were impeding the commission’s work.

Collins also met before her talk with Archbishop William E. Lori and members of the child and youth protection staff of the archdiocese and a few key members of the Independent Review Board that advises about child protection policies and procedures.

Speaking to a crowd of about 100 people at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, Collins said the abuse crisis has brought the church to a tipping point.

“The church has come to a crossroads,” she said. “It’s got to decide where it’s going to go next because if it doesn’t change, it’s going to lose everything.”

That would be a shame, she said, because the church does a great deal and there are many good people in the church. She said she no longer depends on whether the leadership of the church can effect change and that it is time for the laity to act.

Before the talk, Collins told the Catholic Review she was disappointed in the outcomes of a Vatican summit on child protection in February. “We had been told it would be about responsibility, accountability and transparency,” she said.

“What we saw come out of it was a (promise of) handbook for bishops — that has not come out yet — and a safeguarding policy for Vatican City, which if you look at it is nothing to boast about, because this is 2019. They should have had a safeguarding policy in position decades ago.”

A Survivor's Story: Man molested by Rutland priest speaks out

RUTLAND (VT)
Rutland Herald

Sept. 7, 2019

By Gordon Dritschilo

Editor’s note: A recent report issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont listed 40 members of the clergy who had been accused of sex abuse and also served in parishes around Vermont during the past 50 or so years. Our ongoing coverage of the fallout of that long-awaited report and the years of abuse across the state, will include occasional stories of victims.

Dan Gilman said he was already at one of the lowest points in his life when he was molested by his now-defrocked priest, Edward Paquette.

“I had broken my neck in July 1972,” said Gilman, now 62. “I dove into an above-ground swimming pool ... broke my neck at the C4 level and was instantly paralyzed from the shoulders down. I was 15 at the time.”

Gilman said everyone at Rutland Regional Medical Center told him he wouldn’t get out anytime soon, and he overheard a doctor saying his life expectancy was only nine years.

“I just shut down mentally,” he said. “Then, all of a sudden, Father Paquette waltzes into my life a week or so later.”

The priest gave Gilman communion, Gilman said, and told him that God could heal his injuries.

“The abuse started at the hospital while I was in traction — in bed with with weights attached to my skull,” he said. “He took credit for each little improvement and lack of pain that happened with the little rituals he did. ... I fell for it hook, line and sinker.”

Gilman said Paquette molested him from August 1972 to October 1974, continuing to visit him when he moved home from the hospital. Then, one day, Paquette stopped coming. Gilman said nobody told him why.

Pastor Accused Of Sex Abuse Says He’s Ready To Preach Again

NEW YORK (NY)
Huffington Post

Sept. 13, 2019

By Carol Kuruvilla

While preaching to his new Florida congregation last Sunday, Pastor Tullian Tchividjian spoke at length about how God offers unconventional, unconditional and sometimes, downright “infuriating” grace to everyone ― even those society considers outcasts.

Tchividjian referred to a biblical story about Jesus interacting with a group of men with leprosy, people who were outcast from their communities as a result of the illness.

“You could no longer work at the job that you had, you could no longer be around the people that love you, you were basically living with this death sentence,” Tchividjian told his Palm Beach Gardens church, describing the experiences of people with leprosy during Jesus’ time.

But then, the Bible says Jesus healed the men ― restoring them to their old lives.

“The one thing that seems to annoy people the most about God is his willingness to love, forgive and restore those whom we have decided deserve the exact opposite,” Tchividjian preached.

He could very well have been thinking about his own story.

Lawyer for sex abuse survivors reacts to Catholic Church investigation

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KMIZ TV

Sept. 13, 2019

By Jasmine Ramirez

A lawyer who represents sexual abuse survivors within the Catholic Church reacted Friday to the Missouri attorney general's investigation.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt is referring a dozen former clergy members for potential criminal prosecution.

The 13-month investigation looked at religious leaders within the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Springfield-Cape Girardeau and Jefferson City.

'Few acts more horrific': former US priest jailed for 30 years for child sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Reuters

Sept. 13, 2019

A former Roman Catholic priest who fled to Morocco before he was returned to the United States and convicted of sexually abusing an altar boy in New Mexico in the 1990s, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The US district judge, Martha Vazquez, imposed the sentence on Arthur Perrault, 81, a onetime Air Force chaplain and colonel.

“There are few acts more horrific than the long-term sexual abuse of a child,” said the US attorney, John Anderson, in a statement. “At long last, today’s sentence holds Perrault accountable for his deplorable conduct.”

Perrault was convicted by a federal jury in April on six counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact with a minor in 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque and at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, prosecutors said.

The victim, now an adult, testified that Perrault befriended him when he was 9 years old, showering him with gifts and trips before sexually assaulting him, prosecutors said.

Although he was convicted of abusing just one victim, prosecutors alleged in court filings that Perrault was a serial child molester who abused numerous young people over more than 30 years as a priest in New Mexico and Rhode Island.

Missouri Attorney General seeks prosecution for 12 former Catholic clergy after statewide investigation

ST. LOUIS (MO)
MissouriNet

Sept. 13, 2019

By Ashley Byrd

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is referring twelve former clergy members accused of sexual abuse for prosecution. Schmitt’s office has concluded a year-long investigation into the four Catholic dioceses in the state.

In a Friday press conference in St. Louis, Schmitt said, “For decades, faced with credible reports of abuse, the church refused to acknowledge the victims and instead focused their efforts on protecting priests.”

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office must refer the cases to local prosecutors.

“In cases in which local prosecutors should seek our assistance, we stand ready and willing to help, he said Friday. “To the victims: you didn’t deserve any of this. None of what happened to you was your fault. This report, our referrals for criminal prosecution, our aggressive and substantive suggestions for reform, will not change what happened in the past. But, they can change the trajectory of the future and ensure that this never happens again.”

Schmitt, who is also Catholic, also outlined recommendations for church leaders: “Diocese [sic] should assume greater responsibility and oversight over all religious order priests and priest visiting or relocating from other dioceses; number two, the diocese should ensure that their independent review boards are composed entirely of laypeople and that the determinations of credibility and sanctions will be given authoritative weight with respect to the ability of the offending priest and minister in its diocese.”

Madison Diocese names eighth priest 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse

MADISON (WI)
Wisconsin State Journal

Sept. 14, 2019

By Logan Wroge

The Madison Diocese has named an eighth priest “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a minor following an outside review, but a support group of those abused by priests claims there are other abusive priests left off the list.

The external review of diocesan personnel files, which was launched in June, adds one more priest to the seven previously named as having substantiated abuse allegations against them. The diocese has also begun investigating recent accusations against another Catholic clergyman, while a retired Madison priest was acquitted Friday on charges of sexual abuse in Jefferson County.

“While on the one hand, I am encouraged by and grateful for past efforts to be thorough and transparent in these matters, the addition of even one priest to the list of those credibly accused of such horrible acts and sins is one too many,” Bishop Donald Hying said in a statement last week.

Columbus priest placed on administrative leave after accusation of sexual abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
WCMH TV

Sept. 13, 2019

A Columbus priest has been placed on administrative leave after an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor.

According to the Diocese of Columbus, an accusation was made against Father Kevin Lutz, 69. The incident allegedly occurred during his time at St. Christopher Parish in the Grandview area from 1982-1986.

Lutz announced his retirement from the ministry at St. Mary Parish in German Village, effective September 8. The diocese received the accusation the next day.

According to the diocese:

The same day, Diocesan officials had the allegation reported to Columbus Police and notified Father Lutz of the allegation. On September 11, the details of the allegation were reviewed with Father Lutz, he was formally placed on leave, and he was advised about the steps the Church would follow as a result of the allegation.

The diocese says the placement on administrative leave is not an indication that it has determined the allegation is credible. The investigation into the accusation has just begun.

Priests on administrative leave are prohibited from the public exercise of their priestly ministry. They cannot publicly celebrate sacraments, wear clerical attire, be housed at any parish or on diocesan property, or identify themselves as a member of the clergy.

Father Lutz has been a priest in the Diocese of Columbus since 1978.

September 13, 2019

Mo. AG refers 12 cases of Catholic clergy sex abuse for prosecution

MISSOURI
CNN

September 13, 2019

By Daniel Burke

Cases date from 1945 to present day

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Friday said he is referring 12 cases of alleged sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy to local authorities for possible prosecution.

The announcement came as Schmitt released a 185-page report detailing his review of 2,000 priests' personnel files, dating from 1945 to the present day.

The attorney general's office said it reviewed the records of more than 300 deacons, seminarians and religious women who served in the state's four Roman Catholic dioceses: the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and the Diocese of Jefferson City.

Jury returns small verdict in Knights of Columbus lawsuit

DENVER (CO)
The Associated Press

September 12, 2019

By Nicholas Riccardi

A federal jury has found that the Knights of Columbus broke a promise to a small technology firm. But jurors awarded far less than that company sought in its lawsuit.

The jury on Thursday found the Knights breached its contract with List Interactive in not designating them its vendor for websites. But the jury awarded the three-man company just $500,000 in damages, well below the $100 million the plaintiffs sought.

Fr. Art Smith Hit With Child Victims Act Lawsuit, Maintains Innocence

BUFFALO (NY)
Spectrum Local News

September 12, 2019

By Mark Goshgarian

A month after the Child Victims Act look-back window opened, a lawsuit has been filed against Fr. Art Smith, a priest who was removed from ministry by Bishop Edward Kmiec and returned to ministry by Bishop Richard Malone.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Erie County Court by a victim who wishes to remain anonymous at this time. It comes from when he worked at Saint Bernadette Church in Orchard Park.

Fr. Smith has been accused of assault by several people, including his nephew Ryan Cooley and whistleblower Fr. Ryszard Biernat.

Facing lawsuits, Rochester Diocese files for bankruptcy

ROCHESTER (NY)
The Associated Press

September 12, 2019

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday amid a wave of lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse of children, becoming the first of the state's eight dioceses to do so and the 20th nationwide. Cayuga County falls into the Rochester Diocese.

New York passed a law this year giving victims of childhood sexual abuse one year to file lawsuits that had previously been barred because the allegations were too old. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against churches and other institutions since the law took effect last month.

"We've come to the conclusion that we cannot minister to every victim that comes forward and help them out if we did not go this route," Bishop Salvatore Matano said during a news conference.

Former KC priest faces new credible sex abuse allegations in Wyoming, diocese says

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

September 11, 2019

By Judy L. Thomas

The Diocese of Cheyenne in Wyoming announced this week that it has substantiated three more allegations of sexual abuse of a minor lodged against a former Kansas City priest.

Three new individuals have come forward in the past year, accusing Bishop Joseph Hart of sexually abusing them in the 1970s and 1980s, the diocese said Tuesday.

“The allegations have been reported to the civil authorities, and the Diocese of Cheyenne has cooperated fully with the police,” the diocese said.

Minnesota archbishop opens investigation into fellow bishop

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Associated Press

September 11, 2019

By Steve Karnowski

The Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Wednesday that he has opened an investigation - which is believed to be the first of its kind under a new Vatican protocol - into allegations that a bishop in northwestern Minnesota interfered with investigations into clerical sexual misconduct.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda said in a statement posted on the archdiocese’s website that the investigation targets Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Crookston diocese. Hebda said the allegations are that Hoeppner “carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Crookston,” but he gave no further details. He said law enforcement has been informed.

This is the first known investigation by one bishop into another under a groundbreaking church law issued by Pope Francis in May aimed at holding the Catholic hierarchy accountable for failing to protect their flocks. Among other things, it outlines procedures for conducting preliminary investigations of bishops accused of sexual misconduct or cover-ups.

Telling of His Own Abuse at Hands of Priest, Westfield Man Asks Victims to Step Forward

WESTFIELD (NJ)
TAP Into

September 12, 2019

By Matt Kadosh

When the Archdiocese of Newark released its list of priests credibly accused of sex abuse earlier this year, Westfield resident Michael Mautone distinctly recognized one name on the list: the man he recalls abused him when he was 16 years old.

The church lists “child pornography” next to the name of that man, Kevin Gugliotta, and shows seven parishes in New Jersey Gugliotta served at following his ordainment as a priest in 1996 and prior to his being “permanently removed” from the ministry.

Sag Harbor Parish Named in Child Victims Act Suit

EAST HAMPTON (NY)
The East Hampton Star

September 12, 2019

By Christine Sampson

Years-old allegations point to 2 former priests

Sag Harbor’s St. Andrew parish is among about 170 parishes around the state named in a widespread sex abuse complaint brought by people who say they were abused, as children, by clergy at those parishes and in some cases their schools.

St. Andrew Catholic Church and its former elementary school, the St. Andrew School, employed two priests who allegedly abused a man who is now an adult living with his family in New Jersey.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre, which oversees Catholic churches and schools on Long Island, was served Aug. 28 with lawsuits and formal discovery requests that are said by attorneys to begin the process of revealing many decades of “secret files” containing evidence of child sex abuse.

The process began last month when hundreds of complaints were filed under New York State’s Child Victims Act, which went into effect on Aug. 14 and opened a one-year window for “all cases for anyone of any age” to file suit, according to Jennifer Freeman of the Marsh Law Firm. Ms. Freeman said more than 550 childhood sex abuse survivors have done so.

Seven Days Tracks Down Ex-Priests Accused of Sex Abuse in Vermont

VERMONT
Seven Days

September 11, 2019

By Molly Walsh and Derek Brouwer

John "Jack" Kenney happened to be standing in his front yard when a reporter drove up the long dirt drive to his two-story home in West Glover last Thursday.

The 91-year-old ex-priest is among those "credibly accused of sexual abuse" according to a recent report from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

Kenney had little to say when asked about the list of alleged perpetrators Bishop Christopher Coyne released last month.

"I'm not interested in it, thank you very much," Kenney said initially, as he stood in the September sunshine.

10 new sex abuse lawsuits against Catholic diocese in Brooklyn amid Child Victims Act window

BROOKLYN (NY)
ABC News

September 10, 2019

By Meghan Keneally

The number of people suing the Catholic dioceses in New York over abuse they allegedly suffered as children continues to grow.

Ten new lawsuits were filed on Monday, adding to the list of cases that have mounted against the diocese of Brooklyn in the wake of New York’s Child Victim’s Act, a new law that took effect Aug. 14 and allows a one-year window for victims to file civil claims in connection to child abuse no matter the statute of limitations.

The 10 lawsuits filed Monday are being handled by the law firm of Jeff Anderson and Associates. Mike Reck, an attorney for the firm, told ABC News that they have filed nearly 300 lawsuits across New York state since the Child Victims Act window opened.

Cardinal Dolan 'consulting extensively' about allegations against Buffalo Bishop Malone

NEW YORK (NY)
Catholic News Agency

September 11, 2019

By Jonah McKeown

Amid calls for his resignation, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo remains firm in his conviction not to step down from office, even as Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York assesses whether to open an investigation into Malone’s alleged mishandling of abuse cases.

"Cardinal Dolan has been following the situation in Buffalo very carefully. He is aware of his responsibilities under Vos estis lux mundi, he has been consulting extensively both with individuals in Buffalo, including Bishop Malone, clergy and laity,” Joseph Zwilling, communication director for the New York archdiocese, told CNA in a Sept. 10 interview.

“He has been in touch with the nuncio, and with the Holy See. So he has been remaining on top of it, and I expect that we will hear something, some development sometime in the near future,” Zwilling continued.

Third sex abuse lawsuit filed against Babe Ruth League, revered Staten Island coach

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
SI Live

September 10, 2019

By Kyle Lawson

Former Staten Island baseball and basketball coach Tony Sagona is now named in three lawsuits claiming he targeted, groomed and sexually abused players.

In a complaint filed this week in state Supreme Court, St. George, the latest accuser claims he was abused from 1975 to 1977, during his time as a player in the Great Kills Babe Ruth League. The New Jersey-based parent organization also is named in the lawsuit.

“I had dreams of being a pro ball player, and I had the ability to do it, (but) things went downhill," said the complainant, Timothy Morey, in a recent telephone interview with the Advance.

Morey grew up on Staten Island and had a home address in the borough until he recently moved to North Carolina.

Editorial: Child sex abuse victims deserve time to sue

SEATTLE (WA)
The Seattle Times

September 12, 2019

This editorial originally appeared in The Seattle Times:

Despite revelations of pervasive child sexual abuse that have come to light in recent decades, the Washington Legislature has not provided victims more time to seek justice in civil court. This makes the state a national outlier and cries out for reform.

Legislators have not since 1991 modified the law that gives victims of child rape in Washington only three years of adulthood — until their 21st birthday — to sue attackers and hold accountable an irresponsible institution, such as a church or youth group. The same law allows another three-year window when a victim realizes that childhood abuse caused a harm, such as an addiction.

Through ‘Lookback Window,’ Jewish Orgs Face Retribution for Child Sex Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
The Jewish Week Times of Israel

September 11, 2019

By Hannah Dreyfus

As child abuse cases against yeshivas mount following a one-year lookback provision, questions turn to legal strategy. Are their fears of bankruptcy warranted?

When a one-year lookback provision created by New York’s new Child Victims Act opened last month — temporarily lifting the statute of limitations on civil child sex abuse cases and allowing survivors of any age to pursue justice through the courts — youth-serving institutions across the state braced for legal fire.

Now, just weeks after the lookback clause went into effect, Jewish institutions across the denominational spectrum are facing legal retribution for allegedly mishandling allegations of child sexual abuse, with claims reaching as far back as the 1950s. In the handful of cases filed thus far, prominent defendants include the National Ramah Commission, the Conservative movement’s camping arm; the Conservative movement’s flagship rabbinical school, Jewish Theological Seminary; Modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution, Yeshiva University; prominent Modern Orthodox day school Salanter Akiba Riverdale High School (SAR); prominent Modern Orthodox day school Westchester Day School; Yeshiva Torah Temimah, a Brooklyn-based ultra-Orthodox school with a branch in Lakewood N.J.; Oholei Torah, a prominent Chabad yeshiva in Brooklyn; and Temple Beth Zion, a legacy Reform congregation in Buffalo.

Clergy abuse survivor, parishioners react to Rochester diocese bankruptcy filing

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM

September 12, 2019

By Tanner Jubenville

Word that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy spread fast among parishioners and clergy abuse survivors Thursday.

Brian DeLafranier, who filed a lawsuit last month against the diocese under the Child Victims Act, says he was caught off-guard by the decision. But he says it's another "win" for clergy abuse survivors.

"Enough people have come forward to tell the diocese it’s a day of reckoning," said DeLafranier. "Their (the diocese) time has come, now it’s time to face the music."

DeLafranier claims he was sexually abused by a priest in the late 1970s. He's one of several suing the diocese under the Child Victims Act.

New lawsuit focuses on alleged sex abuse, lists Diocese of Rochester, Boy Scouts

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM

September 9, 2019

A new child sex abuse lawsuit filed in Monroe County under the Child Victims Act is focused on both the Diocese of Rochester and the Boy Scouts.

The plaintiff in the case claims that Father Robert O'Neill sexually abused him when he was 16. The lawsuit was filed on Monday against the Diocese of Rochester, Roman Catholic Parish of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Seneca Waterways Council for the Boy Scouts of America.

In February 1994, the lawsuit states the victim was an Eagle Scout and had told leaders in the Boy Scouts that he was "interested in religion, philosophy, and politics, among other subjects." Fr. O'Neill was subsequently assigned to the victim as a mentor and counselor, as he was already active with local Boy Scout programs at the time.

Lawsuits mount as sex abuse ‘lookback window’ nears second month

BROOKLYN (NY)
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

September 11, 2019

By Emma Whitford

Ten anonymous survivors of childhood sexual abuse filed civil lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn Tuesday, as the first month of a yearlong window for survivors of all ages to take legal action under the Child Victims Act draws to a close.

The lawsuits, brought by the firm Jeff Anderson & Associates and Robins Kaplan LLP, allege abuse of minors in Brooklyn and Queens (the Brooklyn Diocese oversees all parishes in Queens) carried out over three decades, starting in 1953.

“Anybody else out there: It’s not too late to step forward,” said Anderson client Tom Davis, 61, a survivor who sued the Brooklyn Diocese earlier this year, at a press conference in Midtown Tuesday. “Stand up to these monsters like I have, please.”

A total of 69 CVA cases had been filed in Kings County Supreme Court as of last week, according to data provided by the New York Unified Court System and updated weekly. That’s up from 55 on the first day of the so-called lookback window, Aug. 13. The totals for the other boroughs are 152 in Manhattan, 27 in the Bronx, 17 in Queens, and three in Staten Island.

ACCUSED PRIEST OBJECTS TO SUBPOENAS IN DEFAMATION LAWSUIT

FRESNO (CA)
ChurchMilitant.com

September 12, 2019

By Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.

Msgr. Craig Harrison doesn't want diocese to turn over documents on alleged drug use, porn habit and homosexuality

After suing a Catholic watchdog group for defamation, a California priest facing multiple allegations of homosexual abuse is trying to block the release of potentially damning documents by his Fresno diocese.

Through his attorney, Paul Jonna, Stephen Brady and his organization Roman Catholic Faithful (RCF) subpoenaed the Fresno diocese on Sept. 3 for documents pertaining to Harrison's alleged "sexual abuse, drug use, therapy, gambling, addictive disorders, use of pornography, homosexual behavior and misuse of parish funds."

Abuse case lawsuit tied to city parish filed

DUNKIRK (NY)
Observer Today

September 9, 2019

A former student at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic School in Dunkirk claims she was sexually abused by a Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church pastor starting at the age of 5.

In a Child Victims Act lawsuit filed Monday in state Supreme Court in Erie County, the plaintiff, referred to as PB-5 Doe, has filed a civil suit agianst the Diocese of Buffalo, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church and Holy Trinity School. The lawsuit claims Monsignor Valerio Bernardo, then a pastor at the church, allegedly began abusing the girl when she was 5 and continued to abuse her for several years. The plaintiff, now 60, lives in Springville, N.Y., and was a student at the school in the 1960s during a time when she and her family were parishioners at Holy Trinity Church.

Bernardo became the seventh pastor in Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church’s history in July 1945 and remained at the church until February 1974, according to the church’s website. Bernardo was the driving force behind purchasing land on Central Avenue in Dunkirk for a school and convent in the 1960s with a new church and rectory built on the site in the early 1970s.

Could more Catholic dioceses follow Rochester into bankruptcy court?

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union

September 12, 2019

By Larry Rulison and Steve Hughes

Action could have implications for victims of alleged sexual abuse

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday in the face of mounting clergy abuse lawsuits filed against the diocese in the wake of the passage of the state's Child Victims Act.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing could potentially provide a road map to the four other upstate dioceses, including the Diocese of Albany, on how to protect themselves from the sudden onslaught of abuse claims unleashed by the new law, signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in February.

The Rochester diocese, like Albany's, has been served with dozens of lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by priests and other parish leaders reaching back decades.

6 women reach settlement in priest sexual abuse lawsuit against Austin Diocese

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN

September 12, 2019

By Chelsea Moreno

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by six women against a priest, bishop and the Austin Catholic Diocese alleging sexual abuse.

Sean Breen, the attorney representing the women and the Austin Diocese told KXAN on Thursday the case had been resolved.

According to the lawsuit, a Catholic priest within the Austin Diocese, identified in the suit as Father Isidore Ndagizimana, would regularly prey on, abuse and harass female parishioners.

Missouri Attorney General Refers 12 Catholic Clergy for Prosecution

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

September 13, 2019

By Elizabeth Dias

The investigation found that 163 priests or clergy members were accused of sexual abuse or misconduct against minors.

The Missouri attorney general will refer a dozen men who previously served as Roman Catholic clergy for potential criminal prosecution, his office announced on Friday after a yearlong statewide investigation into clergy sexual abuse.

The investigation found that 163 priests or clergy members were accused of sexual abuse or misconduct against minors.

“Sexual abuse by minors by members of Missouri’s four Roman Catholic dioceses has been a far-reaching and sustained scandal,” Attorney General Eric Schmitt said at a news conference Friday morning. “For decades, faced with credible reports of abuse, the church refused to acknowledge the victims and instead focused their efforts on protecting priests.”

Mr. Schmitt, a Republican who is also Catholic, said he believed his 12 referrals for prosecution were more than any other attorney’s general investigation so far.

Archdiocese files documents to dismiss church sex abuse lawsuit based on NOLA No-call lawsuit dismissal

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

September 12, 2019

By Amanda Roberts

The Supreme Court of Louisiana could decide if victims of church sex abuse have a right to sue their abusers, as well as the catholic church. The decision hinges on if two high-profile cases are related: church sex abuse cases and the NOLA no-call.

For about a year now, a John Doe’s lawsuit against the archdiocese and defrocked deacon George Brignac continues to work its way through the courts. The lawsuit outlines how Brignac sexually abused him at Holy Rosary Church from the time he was eight to 13-years-old in the 1970s and 80s.

The attorneys for the Archdiocese are now arguing the case should in part be thrown out on the same grounds the state Supreme Court threw out the NOLA-no call lawsuit.

“It’s very surprising they would make an argument like this,” said legal analyst Bobby Hjortsberg. “It seems like an attempt to use something that’s sensational, something on people’s minds to draw attention to it,” he said.

Echoing Boston crisis, Buffalo priest's letter urges bishops to step down

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

September 10, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

The pastor of one of the region’s largest and wealthiest Catholic parishes is urging fellow priests to call upon Bishop Richard J. Malone and Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz to resign and let others lead the Buffalo Diocese.

The Rev. Robert Zilliox, pastor of St. Mary Church in Swormville, has contacted about 200 priests and asked them to sign a letter demanding that Malone step down immediately in the wake of a series of scandals in which the bishop’s public statements on handling clergy sex abuse and misconduct accusations appeared to contradict what he was saying and doing in private.

Diocese of Rochester becomes first diocese in New York State to file for bankruptcy in sex abuse scandal fallout

ROCHESTER (NY)
PIX 11

September 12, 2019

By Corey Crockett

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy Thursday, the first in New York to seek protection from creditors in bankruptcy court as a part of the decades-long child sex abuse scandal that’s plagued the Catholic Church, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

The diocese filed the petition for Chapter 11 reorganization Thursday morning, claiming that the financial liabilities — estimated between $100 million and $500 million — exceed the group’s assets — stated as $50 million to $100 million, according to court documents.

The Democrat & Chronicle — a Rochester local newspaper — said the filing does not mean the diocese is out of money, or that churches will close their doors.

Mitchell Garabedian On Rochester Diocese Filing for Bankruptcy

ROCHESTER (NY)
WBEN

September 12, 2019

[Audio]

New Vatican law on abuse cover-up has a hit-and-miss week

DENVER (CO)
Crux

Sept. 13, 2019

By Charles Collins

The legislation - called Vos Estis Lux Mundi - enacted what is known as the Metropolitan Model, in which archbishops would play a prominent role in policing those bishops in their ecclesiastical province.

This week, the first investigation into misconduct being carried out under the procedures set out in the new law was announced: Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis will look into allegations that Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner of Crookston “carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct.”

In a statement on Wednesday, the archdiocese said law enforcement had also been notified of the allegations.

Fugitive priest faces sentencing in US sex abuse case

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

Sept. 13, 2019

By Mary Hudetz

A former Roman Catholic priest is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Santa Fe, where a jury found him guilty this year of sexually abusing an altar boy in the early 1990s before fleeing the country.

Federal prosecutors are requesting a sentence of more than 30 years in prison for 81-year-old Arthur Perrault, once a pastor at an Albuquerque parish and a chaplain at Kirtland Air Force Base.

Perrault — who pleaded not guilty to charges after he was returned to the United States from Tangier, Morocco, in 2017 — maintained his innocence throughout his trial in April.

Federal authorities said their pursuit of Perrault that led them to Morocco, a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, showed how far they were willing to seek justice. Perrault is among more than 70 clergy members who the Santa Fe Archdiocese has identified as credibly accused of abusing children in New Mexico.

The archdiocese also is in the midst of bankruptcy proceeding as a result of the church-wide abuse scandal, which has spanned the globe.

September 12, 2019

“Stay With Us” Says the USCCB, But Can They Hear Themselves?

Patheos blog

Sept. 12, 2019

By Mary Pezzulo

In case you haven’t noticed, the Church is a ghastly mess.

I almost said “an ungodly mess,” but that’s not the case at all. God is here, suffering with us. But the hierarchy’s sins are being laid bare and we see that the Bride of Christ was abused by the people who were supposed to be her caretakers, and she is a mess. At the moment we are all watching the Diocese of Buffalo fall apart in real time, with that public disgrace Bishop Malone flailing and claiming he won’t resign. We’re told that Archbishop Dolan is looking into it, and I’m not really convinced that will help.

What seems like moments ago, we were supposed to be happy that a bill had been struck down in one part of the country which would’ve forced priests to report sexual abuse confessed to them, violating the seal of confession. And I do not think that priests ought to be forced to violate the seal. But it was hard to not find it a bit ironic when we found out that Malone had allegedly protected a priest who had a credible accusation of violating the seal of confession against him. One can be forgiven for surmising that in practice, it’s persecution if a priest is compelled to violate the seal to help somebody, but it’s perfectly fine to violate the seal in order to participate in sexual harassment. That’s just one example of the layers of horror we’ve had to process lately.

And this is on top of what happened in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston a few short months ago, and all that’s gone on in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and what’s going on all over the country.

Retired priest Nolan angry about child sexual abuse allegations: 'It didn't happen'

JEFFERSON (WI)
Channel 3000

Sept. 12, 2019

By Rose Schmidt

The retired priest being tried on child sexual abuse charges took the stand Thursday in his own defense.

William Nolan is accused of sexually assaulting an altar boy more than 100 times over four years, starting in 2006 when the accuser was 13 years old. At the time the accuser says the abuse began, Nolan was the priest at St. Joseph's Church in Fort Atkinson.

Nolan testified in Jefferson County court Thursday morning. His defense attorney, Jonas Bednarek, asked at one point how one of the accusations made him feel.

"Mad, angry," Nolan replied.

"Why?" Bednarek asked.

"Because it didn't happen," Nolan said.

The judge dropped one of the six felony charges Nolan is facing.

Diocese bankruptcy: Matano says it was 'a very difficult and painful decision'

ROCHESTER (NY)
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Sept. 12, 2019

By Steve Orr

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, facing potentially huge judgments for past sexual abuse by its priests and other ministers, filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday morning.

"This was a very difficult and painful decision," Rochester Bishop Salvatore Matano said at an afternoon news conference that detailed the action.

The diocese filed its petition for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rochester at about 9:30 a.m. The petition estimates the diocese's assets as $50 million to $100 million — and its financial liabilities as $100 million to $500 million.

Rochester’s diocese becomes the first of New York state’s eight dioceses — and the 20th nationwide — to seek protection from creditors in bankruptcy court because of financial fallout from the Catholic Church’s decades-long child sexual abuse scandal.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 12, 2019. The Diocese held a press conference talking about why they did that. Bishop Salvatore R. Matano read from a prepared statement before answering questions with Lisa Passero CFO for the diocese, and Stephen Donato, with the law firm, Bond, Schoeneck, and King that is representing the diocese in the bankruptcy, beside him.Buy Photo
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 12, 2019. The Diocese held a press conference talking about why they did that. Bishop Salvatore R. Matano read from a prepared statement before answering questions with Lisa Passero CFO for the diocese, and Stephen Donato, with the law firm, Bond, Schoeneck, and King that is representing the diocese in the bankruptcy, beside him. (Photo: Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

The bankruptcy filing does not mean the diocese is penniless and does not mean its churches will close.

The intent of a Chapter 11 filing such as this is to reorganize the diocese’s finances, marshal funds to pay fair compensation to sex-abuse accusers and create a plan for the diocese to continue operations much as they were before.

Tasmanian abuse law puts priests on notice

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 13, 2019

By Matthew Denholm

Tasmanian priests have been warned they face prosecution for failing to report child abuse disclosed during confession, after the state’s upper house passed “nation leading” laws.

Tasmania’s legislation, passed by the Legislative Council on Wednesday, means it joins South Australia, Victoria and the ACT in mandating that clergy must ­report abuse, even when disclosed in confession.

Queensland and Western Australia are proceeding down a similar legislative path, recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer said the laws were the first tabled in Australia.

Amid Catholic Church threats to defy them, Ms Archer warned those found to have done so faced prosecution, with penalties ­including fines of up to $3360 and jail terms of up to 21 years, in ­theory at least.

Abuse reporting law passes Vic parliament

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

September 10, 2019

By Benita Kolovos

Victorian parliament has passed laws making it mandatory for priests to report child abuse, including when it is revealed to them during confession.

A bill introduced by the state Labor government passed the upper house on Tuesday after last week getting a green light from the Legislative Assembly, with opposition support.

"Today we've made Victoria a safer place for children. The special treatment for churches has ended and child abuse must be reported," Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan said in a statement.

"I thank all the abuse survivors, their families and advocates who helped us deliver these reforms. We can't undo the harm to so many children in the past, but this will help ensure it never happens again."

Under the laws, priests and religious leaders face up to three years' jail if they don't report child physical and sexual abuse allegations.

Can Petition Drive Hurt Malone's Credibility?

BUFFALO (NY)
WBEN

September 10, 2019

By Tom Puckett

Garabedian says Vatican will look at other factors, including donations

As a petition drive continues to remove Bishop Richard Malone from the Buffalo Catholic Diocese, An attorney who dealt with priest sex abuse in Boston says it could be an element in taking away Malone's credibility.

Mitchell Garabedian says this could help diminsh Malone's good standing with the Vatican. "Petition drives can be effective especially when coupled with lawsuits being filed, the information being released about the diocese not protecting children. It's a complicated matter," says Garabedian. "If Bishop Malone loses enough credibility, he will step down."

Judge In Brock Turner Case Fired From New Job As Girls Tennis Coach

CALIFORNIA
Huffington Post

September 11, 2019

By Alanna Vagianos

Aaron Persky, the judge who infamously sentenced Turner to six months for sexual assault, recently lost his new job at Lynbrook High in California.

Aaron Persky, the former judge in the Brock Turner sexual assault case, has lost his new job as a high school girls tennis coach following swift criticism from the community.

“Effective September 11, 2019, Mr. Persky’s employment with the District as the Junior Varsity Girls Tennis coach has ended,” Rachel Zlotziver, a spokesperson for the Fremont Union High School District, told HuffPost Wednesday night.

A New Report Shows the Lengths MIT Went to Hide its Ties to Jeffrey Epstein

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

September 10, 2019

By Spencer Buell

Evidence suggests higher-ups knew about his secret donations to the Media Lab.

Another day, another major news break on the MIT Media Lab’s deep ties to Jeffrey Epstein, and the lengths to which the university appears to have gone to keep it hush-hush.

The prestigious lab made headlines last month, when some of its members announced they would resign in protest due to the way its now-former director, Joi Ito, accepted donations from and socialized with the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender. At the time, Ito apologized for accepting money from Epstein for both the lab and his own personal investment fund, and promised to give it all back.

Statement of Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Steve Boyd

ROCHESTER (NY)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

September 12, 2019

Statement of Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Steve Boyd Regarding Diocese of Rochester Filing Bankruptcy

Survivors’ Attorneys’ Statement Regarding Filing Of Bankruptcy by Diocese Of Rochester

(Rochester, New York) – The Diocese of Rochester filed bankruptcy this morning after being named as a defendant in dozens of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed since New York’s Child Victims Act’s one-year window opened on August 14.

“The bishop’s choice to use reorganization as a legal tactic is very disturbing and disappointing,” said attorney Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates, who represents several survivors who have lawsuits against the Diocese of Rochester, along with attorney Steve Boyd. “Bishop Salvatore Matano’s choice is simply a legal tactic to protect assets and prevent jury trials, and an attempt to prevent the truth from being revealed.”

“We want to assure the survivors and their family members who have been harmed for so long and have brought claims under the Child Victims Act that this is not the end,” Boyd said. “This will not stop us or the survivors and we know there are battles to be fought.”

Anderson and Boyd, who represent hundreds of sexual abuse survivors in New York, will conduct a press conference at 3:00 p.m. (ET) today in Rochester. Additional details on the press conference are forthcoming soon.

Contact: Steve Boyd: Office: (716)400-0000; Cell: (716)856-7777
Jeff Anderson: Office: (646)759-2551; Cell: (646)499-3364
Mike Finnegan: Office: (646)759-2551; Cell: (612)205.5531

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of She Said assess #MeToo after Weinstein on The Late Show

UNITED STATES
AV Club

September 11, 2019

By Dennis Perkins

New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey told Stephen Colbert about the time that an enraged Harvey Weinstein finally barreled right into the NYT offices, toting folders of “material to smear his accusers.” That’s after the now-disgraced movie mogul had already hired ex-Mossad agent private investigators to “put a stop” to the reporters’ efforts, and threatened to file a massive lawsuit against them and the paper, all tactics that, as Kantor and Twohey’s work on the culture of workplace sexual harassment (and worse) uncovered, had served the bullying Weinstein ably in the past. But that was then, as Colbert interviewed two of the women who helped bring down one of the most powerful sexual predators in show business, and whose quest to get the Weinstein story right helped sear the societal ills behind what had already become known as the #MeToo movement into the national consciousness, inescapably.

Clergy Abuse Report - Retraction, Correction and Apology

NEW YORK (NY)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

September 11, 2019

Retraction, Correction and Apology

(New York, NY) –The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates released information identifying the incorrect individual as being subject to allegations of child sex abuse.

• The Anderson Report on Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Brooklyn released on September 10, 2019, incorrectly and erroneously identified Sr. Kathleen McKinney CSJ, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, as being subject to allegations of abuse.
• In fact, the allegations should have referred to Sr. Kathleen McKinney CSFN, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, who was identified in a lawsuit titled Ark68Doe vs. Diocese of Brooklyn et al., Supreme Court, Index Number 517909/2019. The plaintiff in that matter alleged wrongdoing associated with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Jamaica, New York.
• Sr. Kathleen McKinney, CSJ was not involved and/or associated with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jamaica New York.
• Jeff Anderson & Associates apologizes to Sr. Kathleen McKinney CSJ and will be providing her with a letter confirming the mistake and deeply apologizing. The firm will make other amends as may be requested to mitigate any harm done.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office: (646)759-2551; Cell: (646)499-3364
Mike Reck: Office: (646)759-2551; Cell: (646)493-8058

200 Names of Abusers are Released in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN (NY)
SNAP

September 10, 2019

Today at a press conference in New York, important information about abusive clergy in Brooklyn was released to the public. We applaud the work of these independent advocates who prepared this report and hope that this information will help create more informed communities in New York.

We are grateful to Jeff Anderson and his team for exposing this information about known abusers in Brooklyn. It is disappointing that, once again, more facts about clergy abuse scandals are made public by independent advocates instead of church officials themselves.

Bishop Malone travels to New York City as potential probe from New York Archdiocese looms

NEW YORK (NY)
WBFO NEWS

September 12, 2019

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone traveled to New York City this week as he faces a potential investigation from the cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York.

The embattled Malone was seen at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Tuesday boarding a plane to New York City. Diocese of Buffalo spokesperson Kathy Spangler told WBFO Wednesday Malone travels frequently on church matters, including several times a year to New York City.

Diocese of Bridgeport Adds Two Names to “Credibly Accused” List

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
SNAP

September 10, 2019

Church officials in Bridgeport have updated their list of “credibly accused” priests to include two more names of deceased priests. Now we hope they follow up by actively reaching out to members of their flock and urging witnesses, whistleblowers, and victims to come forward and make a report.

The Diocese of Bridgeport has acknowledged that two different priests – Monsignor William Genuario and Rev. Vincent Cleary – were abusers of children. However, this acknowledgement comes years after reports about both men were made to diocesan officials. We can only hope that others were not abused by these men while the reports against them were ignored by Bridgeport church officials.

At least one report against Msgr. Genuario was made in 2002, meaning it took 17 years for the Diocese of Bridgeport to act. Bishop Frank Caggiano writes off the delay by saying that his review board “investigated the allegations” against Msgr. Genuario in 2002 and 2004, but did not find them “credible” at the time. Such a delay is inexcusable and only put more innocent children in harm’s way.

Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey Detail Harvey Weinstein's Efforts To Derail Their Reporting

UNITED STATES
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

September 11, 2019

The authors of the new book 'She Said' talk to Stephen Colbert about the drama surrounding their investigative reporting on Harvey Weinstein's abusive behavior, including his efforts to intimidate journalists and their sources. #Colbert #LSSC #Interviews

Cardinal Dolan Weighing Options in Buffalo

NEW YORK (NY)
SNAP

September 10, 2019

New York’s top Catholic official is reportedly weighing his options for intervening in the scandal ridden Diocese of Buffalo.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York is expected to publicly weigh in on Bishop Richard Malone and the abuse scandal currently engulfing the Diocese of Buffalo. As Metropolitan for the state of New York, this situation is one of the first real tests of the USCCB’s new “metropolitan model” for bishop accountability. In order to help Cardinal Dolan pass this test, we have a few suggestions.

First, he should publicly denounce his colleague to the north and urge him to resign. In 2002, bishops promised that “fraternal correction” will help ensure that bishops followed the rules and standards laid out in the Dallas charter. Yet in the 17 years since, we have not really seen any public evidence of this correction at all. Now, Cardinal Dolan has the chance to live up that promise from 2002 and publicly encourage Bishop Malone to step down and let someone else take over in Buffalo.

Amid lawsuits, Diocese of Rochester files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM

September 12, 2019

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy Thursday morning, less than one month after dozens of lawsuits were filed against clergy.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rochester.

At least 47 sex abuse lawsuits have been filed under the Child Victims Act in Monroe County as of Thursday. Of those 47, 45 lawsuits name the Diocese of Rochester as a defendant. The Child Victims Act allows a one-year window, beginning on August 14, for child sex abuse victims to file suit without a statue of limitations.

The filing lists the Diocese as a tax-exempt entity and estimates it has fewer than 1,000 creditors. Estimates in the filing also state somewhere between $50 and 100 million in assets, with somewhere between $100 and 500 million in liabilities. Among those liabilities are “various sex abuse claimants”. The bankruptcy filing includes a list of 264 creditors.

Minnesota archbishop investigates bishop over alleged interference in sexual misconduct probe

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hill

Sept. 11, 2019

By Rachel Frazin

The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis has opened an investigation into allegations that a Minnesota bishop interfered with a sexual misconduct probe in the diocese.

Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda said in a Tuesday statement that he had been authorized to begin an investigation into allegations that Bishop Michael Hoeppner "carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct" in the Diocese of Crookston.

Hoeppner is the bishop for Crookston, a city in Polk County.

Hebda said in his statement that law enforcement had been notified about the allegations. He also noted that the probe is preliminary and has a limited time period to gather information. That information will be send to the Pope's U.S. representative and to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome to determine whether further procedures will be warranted.

Hoeppner and the Diocese of Crookston declined to comment through a spokesperson who cited the investigation.

The Associated Press reported that the investigation is the first known review under a new papal law outlining preliminary investigation procedures. The law issued by the Pope in May aims to increase accountability.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said in a statement that "survivor advocates will be watching the outcome closely."

Bishop Malone travels to New York City as potential probe from New York Archdiocese looms

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO News

Sept. 12, 2019

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone traveled to New York City this week as he faces a potential investigation from the cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York.

The embattled Malone was seen at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Tuesday boarding a plane to New York City. Diocese of Buffalo spokesperson Kathy Spangler told WBFO Wednesday Malone travels frequently on church matters, including several times a year to New York City.

It’s unclear whether Malone’s visit is related to the possible review of his handling of the Buffalo Diocese’s clergy sexual abuse crisis from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, which is based in New York City.

Archdiocese spokesperson Joseph Zwilling said earlier this week that Dolan has been following the Buffalo Diocese situation very closely and consulting extensively, and that Dolan will make an announcement “in the near future.”

That news was first reported by the Catholic Herald Monday.

Former Winona priest investigated

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Associated Press

Sept. 12, 2019

The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Wednesday that he has opened an investigation — the first known of its kind under a new Vatican protocol — into allegations that a bishop in northwestern Minnesota interfered with investigations into clerical sexual misconduct.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda said in a statement posted on the archdiocese's website that the investigation targets Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Crookston diocese. Hebda said the allegations are that Hoeppner "carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Crookston," but he gave no further details. He said law enforcement has been informed.

Advocates for clergy abuse victims say it's the first known investigation by one bishop into another under a groundbreaking church law issued by Pope Francis in May aimed at holding the Catholic hierarchy accountable for failing to protect their flocks. Among other things, it outlines procedures for conducting preliminary investigations of bishops accused of sexual misconduct or cover-ups.

Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul attorney who has represented hundreds of survivors of clerical sexual abuse, told The Associated Press that the allegations against Hoeppner likely stem from lawsuits against the Crookston diocese that have been settled, including one by Ron Vasek, who was aspiring to be a deacon when, he alleged, Hoeppner blackmailed him into signing a letter in 2015 that essentially retracted his allegation that a popular priest had abused him when he was 16.

That lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2017. In July, the diocese reached a $5 million settlemen t with 15 people, including Vasek, who were children when they were sexually abused by priests. As part of the new settlement, the diocese agreed to release the names and files of clergy accused of abuse. Anderson said that information, along with depositions he took from Hoeppner and other Crookston diocese officials, will be released "in the days and weeks ahead."

Diocese of Rochester files for bankruptcy

ROCHESTER (NY)
WROC TV

Sept. 12, 2019

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester has filed for bankruptcy.

This follows a flurry of lawsuits against the organization, mostly sexual assault cases, that were filed following the enactment of the Child Victims Act.

The Child Victims Act, which went into effect on August 14, extended the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases for one year.

Rochester’s Diocese is the first to file bankruptcy in our state, and the 20th to do so in the nation.

The Diocese of Rochester represents 86 parishes in 12 counties.

Jimmy Savile allowed to ‘roam freely’ in boys’ dorms of Highlands Catholic school

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Scottish Sun

Sept. 12, 2019

By John Jeffay

JIMMY Savile was allowed to "roam freely" in the boys' dorms of a Catholic school in the Highlands, an inquiry heard yesterday.

The serial sex predator would turn up in his Rolls-Royce at a time when young boys say they were being abused by staff, a former pupil told relatives.

Another witness said yesterday that he had been drugged and raped by monks at the Benedictine Fort Augustus Abbey and that he was also sexually assaulted at Pluscarden Abbey, near Elgin.

The youngster was warned he would be thrown into the Moray Firth or Loch Ness if he reported the abuse, he said.

The allegations were made as witnesses at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry gave evidence of sexual and physical attacks at Fort Augustus Abbey.

In a written statement, a man given the pseudonym "Rory" said that his brother "Doug", who was born in 1951 but has since died, told him that Savile was given access to the school in the 1960s, when he was already a famous DJ with Radio Luxembourg.

It read: "Savile would park his Rolls-Royce car outside the school. Doug said Savile was allowed to roam freely at the school, even the boys’ dormitories.

Former Bishop’s student files sexual abuse lawsuit against alma mater in La Jolla

LAJOLLA (CA)
LaJolla Light

Sept. 11, 2019

By Ashley Mackin-Solomon

A sexual abuse lawsuit was filed Aug. 28 against The Bishop’s School in La Jolla and the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego by a former student alleging two years of abuse by a teacher while he was a student at the school in the 1990s.

The recent suit comes after the 2018 discovery of more than a dozen other alleged incidents of sexual misconduct, which took place over the span of 30 years.

The latest lawsuit alleges that plaintiff John H. Doe was repeatedly sexually molested and harassed by a female computer sciences teacher beginning when he was a 16-year-old student (she was 32 years old at the time).

The suit names the charges as sexual harassment; sexual battery; assault; gender violence; negligence; negligent supervision; negligent hiring/retention; negligent failure to warn, train or educate; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and constructive fraud.

The alleged abuse included, but was not limited to, hand holding, flirting, touching, fondling, oral sex, and sexual intercourse on the Bishop’s School campus, at the teacher’s house, at a local hotel, at a local restaurant, at a local park, and across various other San Diego area locations. The teacher is no longer listed as an employee of The Bishop’s School.

According to the lawsuit, the teacher would bring the Plaintiff into the computer lab, with the windows covered and the door locked, and subject him to sexual acts. On multiple occasions, teachers and a Bishop’s administrator saw John H. Doe and the teacher exiting the computer lab together, with no other person in the room.

Catholic Church in Tasmania won't follow new confession laws

ULTIMO (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Service

Sept. 11, 2019

By Emily Baker

The Catholic Church says it will not follow new Tasmanian laws that require priests to break the seal of confession to report suspicion of child sex abuse.

The Legislative Council yesterday passed Government legislation making religious ministry and MPs mandatory reporters of child sex abuse, along with teachers, police and health professionals.

The laws also require any Tasmanian with knowledge of child sex abuse to report the crime to police — or face up to 21 years' imprisonment or fines of up to $3,360.

But Tasmania's most senior Catholic said the laws would make paedophiles less likely to come forward.

In a statement, Archbishop Julian Porteous said priests were "unable" to follow secular law that required them to break the seal of confession.

University Catholic chaplain Father Gabriel Zeis resigns in light of sexual abuse allegation

PRINCETON (NJ)
The Daily Princetonian

September 11, 2019

By Marie-Rose Sheinerman

Father Gabriel Zeis, the director of and chaplain at the University’s Catholic campus ministry, resigned on Wednesday following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, which dates back to 1975. According to an email sent to student members of the Aquinas Institute, the on-campus Catholic ministry, Zeis denied the allegation but immediately resigned from both his position at the Institute and his position as Diocesan Vicar for Catholic Education.

The email, sent by the Diocese of Trenton, said that the Provincial Superior of the Third Order Regular Franciscans (TOR) was notified on the evening of Monday, Sept. 9 of the allegation against the chaplain. The email stated that the Order is “pursuing an investigation into the allegation to determine its credibility” and asked that anyone with information or questions related to the notification contact the Franciscans through their website.

With the approval of Bishop David O’Connell of the Diocese of Trenton, Father Zeis served at the University. In an email statement to The Daily Princetonian, University spokesperson Ben Chang explained, “Father Zeis was not a University employee, and the University had no role in his resignation. The Diocese notified us that this action had been taken.”

Chang went on to encourage any students in need of support “to speak with a member of their residential college staff, the Graduate School, or one of our confidential resources, including SHARE, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the chaplains in the Office of Religious Life.”

Archbishop's 1987 diary entry contradicted evidence about awareness of criminal liability: report

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Newcastle Herald

Sept. 7, 2019

By Joanne McCarthy

ARCHBISHOP Philip Wilson's evidence to a Special Commission of Inquiry about his knowledge of notorious Hunter paedophile priest Denis McAlinden in the 1980s and 1990s was "improbable", "unsatisfactory" and "implausible", a confidential 2014 report released on Friday found.

Archbishop Wilson's evidence in 2013 that he had forgotten communications with anti-corruption crusader MP John Hatton in 1987 about "sexual misbehaviour" complaints involving McAlinden and young children was "improbable", Commissioner Margaret Cunneen found after an inquiry into police and Catholic Church responses to Hunter child sexual abuse allegations.

The future archbishop assured Mr Hatton in a letter in July, 1987 that his complaint about McAlinden was "receiving attention". Their communications also included phone contact on four occasions and a further letter in which the then Maitland-Newcastle Vicar General assured the MP that McAlinden had left the parish for "a full program of psychiatric assessment and help".

The confidential fourth volume of the Special Commission of Inquiry was released more than five years after the first three volumes were made public, and following Archbishop Wilson's conviction in 2018 for concealing child sex allegations about Hunter priest Jim Fletcher, which was overturned on appeal in December.


The Commission regarded as "unsatisfactory and implausible" the archbishop's evidence in 2013 that he had "honestly forgotten" liaising with a psychiatrist about McAlinden, and talking with the priest by phone on five occasions between October, 1987 and February, 1988.

Mr Hatton's report was one of a number of complaints about McAlinden to the future archbishop in 1987, the Commission found.

While the Hatton letter was raised during the inquiry hearings in 2013, Archbishop Wilson's role - including having a direct confrontation with McAlinden, referring him to a psychiatrist and repeated phone calls with the paedophile priest before he was moved to Western Australia - has not been revealed until now.

Archbishop Philip Wilson has had major surgery only days after a sharply critical report

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Catholic Herald

Sept. 12, 2019

By Joanne McCarthy

A HUNTER survivor advocate criticised for demanding an apology from Archbishop Philip Wilson after his conviction for concealing a priest's child sex crimes has repeated the demand after a damning report into Catholic abuse responses in the Hunter.

Peter Gogarty said survivors of church abuse and the Hunter community had the right to an apology from the archbishop and Maitland-Newcastle diocese after a confidential 2014 report released last Friday revealed the extent of church knowledge of allegations involving paedophile priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher.

Archbishop Wilson in December successfully appealed his May, 2018 conviction for concealing allegations about Fletcher, but was strongly criticised in the confidential report for "improbable", "unsatisfactory" and "implausible" evidence about his knowledge of allegations about McAlinden while a Hunter priest in the 1980s and 1990s.

Six days after the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet released the damning confidential fourth volume of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry final report there has been no response from Archbishop Wilson, Maitland-Newcastle diocese or Bishop Bill Wright.

St. Mary’s hosts symposium on “A Church in Crisis Moves to the Future”

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
St. Mary's University

Sept. 12, 2019

St. Mary’s University will host a joint lecture and symposium on the theme “A Church in Crisis Moves to the Future” on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and Thursday, Sept. 19. Both days will feature discussion by Peter Steinfels, Ph.D., scholar and former New York Times journalist.

St. Mary’s University’s MacTaggart Lecture Series and the newly established Center for Catholic Studies will jointly present the free public discussion that will take place in the University Center, Conference Room A.

“This program demonstrates that St. Mary’s has heeded the call given by St. John Paul II, who as pope stressed that ‘a Catholic University must have the courage to speak uncomfortable truths which do not please public opinion, but which are necessary to safeguard the authentic good of society,’” said Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A., Beirne Director of the Center for Catholic Studies.

“St. Mary’s offers this program to help the church and all people of faith, or none, to consider multiple viewpoints to issues and ideas that we are grappling with each day,” Tait said.

At 7 p.m. on Sept. 18, Steinfels will discuss, “Sex Abuse and the Future Church,” as the first lecture of the year in the MacTaggart Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series. This free, annual lecture series features men and women who have helped shape the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, which is at the heart of the educational experience at St. Mary’s.

AMBS’s New President (or What Were they Thinking?)

Spacious Faith blog

Sept. 11, 2019

By Joanna

I invite you to do a thought experiment with me. Imagine that I am qualified to lead a seminary: I have a PhD in Mennoniteness and have taught graduate level classes in Missional Transformation Transforming Missional Paradigms. I’m the perfect candidate for seminary president. Except the seminary has recently committed itself to the “traditional” position that same-sex marriage is unacceptable. Would that seminary hire me? Ever? Even if I said I would respect the school’s position? Even if the only other person willing to take the job was some twenty-four-year-old dude who barely graduated from two-year Bible college?

In case you’re struggling with this, the answer is “no.” They would never hire me. And they shouldn’t. And, frankly, I shouldn’t have applied in the first place.

But enough about hypothetical me. Let’s talk about Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary appointing Dave Boshart as president.

First, two relevant facts about Dave:

He is a NICE GUY. I mean, really, super-nice. That’s what a lot of people will say about his appointment as president. He’s so nice. And it’s true. I’ve had a few opportunities to communicate directly with Dave, and he’s always been nice.

He is LITERALLY a spokesperson for MC USA’s official “teaching position” against same-sex marriage. When Western District Conference wanted to hold a workshop exploring “both sides of the issue,” Dave was the guy they brought in to talk about why I shouldn’t have kept my ministerial credentials after officiating a same-sex wedding. This was several years ago, but I have seen nothing from Dave that would indicate his position on this has changed.

I’ve dealt intimately with institutional politics at the congregational, conference, and denominational levels for over a decade now. I am often frustrated by the actions of institutional leaders, but I generally understand them. I don’t agree with everything church officials do, but I have a pretty good idea why they do it. Yet when it comes to this decision by AMBS, I am truly baffled. Why would they say they are fully supportive of queer students and then hire an anti-gay spokesperson for their president?

Exposing the Culture of Sexual Immorality at Buffalo’s Christ the King Seminary

DENVER (CO)
National Catholic Register

Sept. 11, 2019

The sexual-abuse scandal rocking the Diocese of Buffalo bears close watching, but not because it will likely mean the resignation of the bishop, which, sadly, would no longer be a shocking development. What makes Buffalo of wider significance is not the sexual abuse of minors by priests, but the role of the diocesan seminary, Christ the King, in producing a culture of sexual immorality amongst the clergy — a contributing factor to the sexual abuse of minors.

Many Catholic voices in Buffalo say that reform can only begin when beleaguered Bishop Richard Malone resigns. It may also be the case that reform will only begin when Christ the King Seminary is closed.

As Buffalo Catholics endure a seemingly endless number of revelations from the weird to the lurid, the question repeatedly being asked is: How can the seminary be producing such men? Or more to the point: Given all that was known about Christ the King, why is the seminary still open?

Bishop Malone was secretly recorded discussing Father Jeffrey Nowak, ordained in 2012 and subject to serious allegations, including violating the seal of the confessional.

“How did we get to this point of this person getting through evaluations to be ordained?’” the bishop was asked. Bishop Malone had similar feelings: “How’d he get through?”

Exactly. What was going on in the seminary? Something was rotten at Christ the King — and for a long time.

In US tour, Marie Collins exposes clerical culture behind abuse cover-up

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Sept. 12, 2019

By Tom Roberts

The Catholic Church has reached a crossroads. Its leaders can either change, become open and accountable, or maintain the status quo: an institution lacking transparency, wrapped in secrecy and beholden to a clerical culture that is at the heart of the institution's problems.

That bleak assessment was made by Marie Collins, the Irish clerical sexual abuse survivor who was an original member of a papal commission dealing with the sex abuse crisis, and who said she is "hanging on by my fingernails."

The scandal, she said in remarks Sept. 8 opening a five-city U.S. tour, is both systemic and global, and clericalism remains at its core.

"The church is at a crossroads. It can either continue to behave as it has for centuries, protecting itself, or open up and become the church we all want it to be, the church that it should be."

Collins, in a separate interview with NCR following the news conference, expanded on her understanding of clericalism and how it played into her decision to resign, after serving for three years, from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

During the past 20 years, she said, the church "has been reactive" and "has not changed one single thing unless forced to by survivors and those in the media. ... I don't believe the church has made any changes of its own volition." She made her remarks at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill at the outset of her tour, titled, "A Crisis of Culture: Seeking Justice to Reclaim the Church."

Late nun, at Dwenger in '60s, on abuser list

FT. WAYNE (IN)
Journal Gazette

Sept. 11, 2019

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez

A deceased former religious sister has been added to the list of those who have worked in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and been found to have a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The allegation regarding the late Sister Susan Whitten is reported in a statement from the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in Wednesday's issue of Today's Catholic, the diocese's weekly newspaper.

Whitten was a teacher at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne in her last assignment before being dispensed from her vows in 1967, the statement said.

The person making the allegation was a member of the class of 1967 and accused Whitten “of engaging in an inappropriate relationship,” according to the statement. “Out of respect for the privacy of the individual who made this credible allegation, the Poor Handmaids will not say anything further regarding the allegation or the response to it.”

The statement also said the order is “saddened to hear of this abuse” and adds the safety and well-being of children “is of the highest importance to us.”

Julie Dowd, the order's communications director, told The Journal Gazette on Wednesday she did not know when Whitten joined the order or left it.

But Dowd said Whitten's leaving was “just her choice” and not the result of official discipline.

Dowd also said she would not disclose the gender or any information about the person making the allegation.

An online history of the Poor Handmaids lists Whitten as one of four of the order's sisters assigned to Dwenger as teachers when it first opened in 1963. A Poor Handmaids sister also was assigned as assistant principal.

‘She was scared’: Mother testifies in trial of KCK priest accused of sexual abuse

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Kansas City Star

Sept. 11, 2019

By Robert Cronkleton

The adoptive mother of a girl allegedly sexually abused by a Catholic priest in Kansas City, Kansas, testified Wednesday that she waited to report the inappropriate touching she witnessed because she didn’t think the church would do anything.

She saw the priest carrying her daughter in a way he shouldn’t have been, she said. But she did not see him touch her daughter’s breast as the girl later reported.

Because the mother hadn’t witnessed sexual abuse, she felt the incident she did witness would be “swept under the rug” and forgotten about, she testified.

It wasn’t until months later that she came forward and reported what happened.

The testimony came during the trial of the Rev. Scott Kallal, 37, who is charged in Wyandotte County District Court with two felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas suspended Kallal in July 2017 after receiving allegations of inappropriate conduct involving two people, one a minor.

Kallal has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial, which continues this week, concerns two incidents that allegedly occurred in 2015, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in December 2017. The girl testified at the hearing that twice when she was 10, Kallal had tickled her breasts against her wishes.

The first alleged incident was at a friend’s graduation party in Bonner Springs in spring 2015. The second allegedly took place a few months later at the parish hall gymnasium at St. Patrick’s church in Kansas City, Kansas.

It was the second incident that the adoptive mother testified about Wednesday.

In June 2015, she was helping coordinate appointments for the church’s pictorial directory in the parish hall, she said. Her daughter was in the gym playing when Kallal came to get his picture taken. Kallal heard the sound of a basketball bouncing and asked who was in the gym, the woman testified.

When she responded that it was her daughter, Kallal made a “bee line” to the gym, the woman testified. Shortly thereafter, she heard her daughter scream.

Her daughter came “flying out” the gym door with Kallal right behind her. The girl ran into the women’s restroom, where she tried to lock herself into a stall, the woman testified. Kallal followed her in. He then came out carrying the girl with his arms wrapped around her.

When the woman saw that, she told Kallal to put her daughter down — that it was inappropriate to do that, she testified. She had to say that about three times before he put the girl down, she said.

“She was scared,” the woman said.

The woman testified that she was mortified and shell-shocked at what happened. She didn’t know what what to do.

The woman clutched a rosary for comfort and strength during her testimony. She said the fact that Kallal was a priest also affected how she responded. She was a “cradle Catholic” and raised to hold priests in higher regard, she said.

Former Wisconsin priest may testify in his own defense in sex abuse trial

JEFFERSON (WI)
WKOW TV

Sept. 11, 2019

A former Wisconsin priest on trial for the alleged sexual assaults of an altar boy over a decade ago will decide by Friday whether to take witness stand in his own defense.

The 26-year old accuser testified earlier he felt he was gay as early as middle school and welcomed the sexual contact with Father William Nolan of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson. The accuser testified there were at least one hundred sexual encounters between Nolan and himself between 2006 and 2009.

One of the accuser’s friends, Tyler Zaspel testified Thursday and contradicted the accuser’s claim of the timing of the initial, 2006 sexual assault. Zaspel said the accuser confided to him two years ago that the first sex with Nolan was during a 2009 ski trip.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice forensic investigator testified there was nothing retrieved from the accuser’s cell phone or Nolan’s lap top computer to establish any past, electronic connections between the two before Nolan’s May 2018 arrest.

The accuser testified earlier watching a film on Boston’s priest sex abuse scandal, Spotlight, motivated him to come forward to Fort Atkinson Police last year.

Nolan’s attorney indicated to the judge it was possible Nolan would testify, but any testimony would come just before the defense rests Friday. During the jury selection process, the attorney stressed to potential jurors they could not legally hold any lack of testimony by Nolan against him.

The judge says jurors are expected to begin deliberations in the 66-year old priest’s trial on six, felony child sex crimes Friday afternoon.

Editorial: Buffalo, Church teaching and the role of a bishop

HUNTINGTON (IN)
Our Sunday Visitor

Sept. 12, 2019

Let us start by stating truthfully and unequivocally: The Church is blessed with many good bishops. Such men have given their lives in service to the Church, as shepherds keeping watch over their flocks. Like the people they care for, they are trying to do their best to hold the Church together amid its many challenges by teaching and protecting the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith. We are grateful for their witness, their service, and their love of Jesus Christ and the Church.

But it would be highly naive to pretend that all of our episcopal leaders are cut from such righteous cloth. Indeed, the Church has struggled mightily in recent decades because of a failure of leadership and, in many cases, because of the impropriety of certain shepherds themselves. No one who has followed the scandalous stories of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick or Bishop Michael Bransfield could deny this.

Another aspect of the sex abuse crisis are bishops who have mishandled reports of clergy abuse, who have concealed the truth and who have left their flock vulnerable, all of which weakens their ability to proclaim the Faith. In his recent motu proprio, titled Vos Estis Lux Mundi, Pope Francis makes it clear that bishops can and should be held accountable for such misconduct. Pope Francis adds that bishops “above all” have the responsibility to help the Church move forward from the crisis, and this “demands from them a commitment to follow closely the path of the Divine Master.” This means, before all else, a commitment to the truth — both following it and telling it, no matter the cost.

Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on the Church, also makes clear the responsibilities of a bishop, saying, “it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church, to instruct the faithful to love for the whole mystical body of Christ … and finally to promote every activity that is of interest to the whole Church, especially that the faith may take increase and the light of full truth appear to all men. And this also is important, that by governing well their own church as a portion of the universal Church, they themselves are effectively contributing to the welfare of the whole Mystical Body, which is also the body of the churches” (No. 23).

September 11, 2019

Catholics poured their hearts out to Bishop Malone. He blocked their emails.

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

Sept. 11, 2019

By Charlie Specht

Last week, Bishop Malone said he was getting mostly positive feedback from Catholics about his handling of multiple sexual abuse scandals .

“Just today [I got] probably 12 or 13 either voicemails or emailing saying, ‘Stay with it, we need you, do not resign,’” Malone said Friday.

But that would soon change.

Within hours of hearing the bishop’s interview, Catholics across Western New York -- young and old, practicing and lapsed -- began flooding the bishop’s email with letters asking him to resign.

Many of the Catholics -- 52 of them, to be exact -- copied the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team on the emails sent to the bishop. All 52 asked for his immediate resignation.

“I think we've all come to the realization now that it's time for the bishop to go,” said William Ogilvie, a parishioner at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence. “The large majority of people in my parish specifically -- and in all the parishes, from what I have seen -- the large majority want the bishop to resign.”

The messages sent by Catholics to the bishop said things like:

“...You have failed your people. You have failed your flock. It is time to step down…”

“...Because of you Bishop, I have thought of leaving the faith…”

“...I pray that you do the right thing. Step down - let us heal…”

Click here to read all of the letters sent to Bishop Malone and the I-Team.

But by Sunday night, Catholics like John Polvino began receiving error messages saying the bishop’s email address -- bishop.malone@buffalodiocese.org -- “couldn’t be found”.

MONSIGNOR IN CHARGE OF HANDLING PEDOPHILE PRIESTS ACCUSED OF MOLESTING TEEN BOY

NEW YORK (NY)
Newsweek

Sept. 11, 2019

By Daniel Avery

Apopular Catholic priest has been named in two sex abuse lawsuits filed this week in New York City.

Monsignor Otto Garcia, a vicar at St. Teresa's Church in Woodside, is accused of sexually assaulting 61-year-old Tom Davis when Davis was a teenage alter boy in the 1970s.

"He was able to pick me as a prime victim because of my parents' involvement in the church," Davis said in a press conference Tuesday. "I just didn't think anyone would believe me. I said nothing until my parents passed."

The abuse allegedly occurred between 1971 and 1973, when Davis was an altar boy at St. Michael's Church in Flushing, Queens. His family was fully enmeshed in church life — his mother was a teacher in the parish school and his father was the parish basketball coach. Davis got a job answering phones in the rectory and Garcia would allegedly come by to visit alone.

"He would start with, 'You look tense, let me rub your back.' Then he'd say, 'Let me rub lower, stand up,' Davis told the New York Daily News in February. "He'd make me stand up, he'd put his hands under my shirt and try to get under my pants. Then he would start grinding me from behind and rub my nipples. I was terrified."

Davis says he tried to push back, but "he was bigger than me — he'd use physical force to keep me trapped, rubbing his groin against me," he recounted. "He'd see how far he could go."

Getting a job at a local grocery store, Davis finally quit working at the rectory. But he still couldn't bring himself to come forward with the abuse because his parents — and his community — held Father Garcia in such high regard. Later, as an adult working as a plumber at Shea Stadium, he feared speaking out would damage his career.

Eventually Garcia was made monsignor, while Davis felt so ashamed he began abusing drugs and alcohol and sabotaging relationships. After years of soul searching and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, he finally reported the abuse to the Diocese of Brooklyn's review board in 2017.

The board determined there was "a lack of evidence" for his accusations, and prosecutors said the statute of limitations had long run out.

"I reported [Garcia] to the diocese and even picked him out of a lineup, but after a two-day investigation, they just swept it under the rug," Davis at Tuesday's press briefing. "I'm not looking for a payday," he told the Daily News. "I'm just trying to get [Monsignor Garcia] out of the ministry."

A second suit against Garcia was also filed by a John Doe, though details have not been made available.

Parish survey shows little support for Bishop Malone

ELMA (NY)
WKBW TV

Sept. 11, 2019

By Ed Reilly

Bishop Richard insists that he has the majority of support among his clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo, despite troubling revelations about his handling of the priest sex abuse crisis.

Influential Catholic groups, like the "Movement to Restore Trust," have called for the Bishop to resign after secret audio recordings were released showing Malone was hesitant to deal with an active pastor accused of sexually harassing a seminarian because the Bishop was worried about a public scandal.

In the recording, Bishop Malone referred to the accused priest as "dangerous" and a "sick puppy."

After the story went public, Malone called a press conference where he said that he has no plans to step down and believes he still has the majority of support from his clergy.

But is that true?

Parishioners, politicians, lawyers call for Bishop Malone’s resignation

BUFFALO (NY)
West Seneca Bee

Sept. 11, 2019

By Alan Rizzo and Taylor Nigrelli

Lawyers, local politicians and Catholic parishioners from around the region are calling for the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone, in the wake of an increasing number of Child Victims Act lawsuits against priests from the Diocese of Buffalo, as well as his handling of the growing scandal.

On Sept. 4, attorneys Jeff Anderson and Steve Boyd, both of whom are representing child sexual abuse survivors in Child Victims Act lawsuits filed against the diocese, called for Bishop Malone’s resignation after news that he had discussed his possible resignation with diocesan officials in the wake of a scandal regarding Christ the King Seminary and claims of sexual harassment by the Rev. Jeffrey Nowak, a diocesan priest.

Anderson and Boyd criticized Bishop Malone for continuing to “deflect, deny and disparage” accusations of clergy sexual misconduct.

“Truth is simple,” Anderson said. “Deception, denial and prevarication are complex. Bishop Malone is a master at it.”

According to the attorneys, during a recent press conference on the scandal Bishop Malone was less concerned with the damaging content of the recordings referencing Rev. Nowak’s behavior and more concerned that a diocesan official had recorded conversations about the scandal — including the resignation discussion and one in which he had called Rev. Nowak a “sick puppy.”

A church lured in homeless people - then locked them in houses and forced them to panhandle, feds say

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

Sept. 11, 2019

By Meagan Flynn

Inside a beige bungalow in California's Imperial Valley with a well-trimmed lawn and beds of pink flowers, the 17-year-old girl felt imprisoned. The doors were locked from the inside. The windows were nailed shut.

Like the other homeless and vulnerable people who came to Imperial Valley Ministries seeking shelter, food and rehab, the teenager was not allowed to leave without supervision, was not allowed to contact her family, to "discuss things of the world" or read any book but the Bible, according to federal prosecutors. Those who lived in the church's group homes had to turn over their money and welfare benefits, their identification and all of their personal belongings, so that even if they wanted to leave, they couldn't, prosecutors said.

Then, once they settled in, they were allegedly forced to panhandle up to nine hours a day for six days a week in parking lots and on street corners - turning over every penny they earned to the church.

Queens pastor tasked with investigating pedophile priests for diocese accused of child sex abuse by Flushing man

NEW YORK (NY)
Queens Times Ledger

Sept. 10, 2019

By Bill Parry

The longtime pastor of St. Joan of Arc Church in Jackson Heights and current parochial vicar at St. Teresa’s Church in Woodside was named in two lawsuits filed Tuesday under the Child Victims Act as an alleged sexual abuser.

Monsignor Otto Garcia, who was cleared after a Diocese of Brooklyn investigation in February determined allegations against him were “unsubstantiated,” was accused of child sexual abuse by Tom Davis, 61, during a Manhattan press conference on Sept. 10.

Garcia is a vicar general with the Diocese of Brooklyn, and part of his duties involve investigating allegations of sexual abuse made against clergy members. He remains an active priest, and celebrated Mass at St. Teresa’s Church as recently as Sept. 8.

Davis told reporters on Sept. 10 that he kept the incident to himself for nearly five decades before finally coming forward.

'It's a public shaming:' Pa. Supreme Court hears arguments on grand jury report

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

Sept. 10, 2019

By Dylan Segelbaum

Brian Platt appeared before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday to argue that a grand
jury report that names Charles Quinton “C.Q.” Smith should never see the light of day. He was finished in less than five minutes — and after facing minimal questions.

Platt and Stephanie Cesare represent Smith, a pillar of the Chambersburg community who served as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 127 from 1966 to 1991. A York Daily Record/Sunday News investigation revealed that he had been the subject of the grand jury inquiry, which was into allegations of decades of sexual abuse.

The statute of limitations has expired, and Smith cannot be criminally charged. Franklin County President Judge Carol L. Van Horn, who supervised the grand jury, ordered for the report to be publicly released, writing that Smith was “afforded all the protections of due process.”

But Smith has asked the state Supreme Court to permanently seal the report, or, alternatively, to shield his identity. He’s only identified in court records by his initials, C.S., and is anonymously proceeding in the petition.

Accuser says he didn't want to get retired Catholic priest 'in trouble' by reporting sexual abuse

JEFFERSON (WI)
Channel 3000

Sept. 10, 2019

By Rose Schmidt

A man who says a Catholic priest sexually abused him when he was a teenager took the stand Tuesday in the second day of the now-retired cleric's sexual assault trial.

The accuser, now 26, alleges that William Nolan sexually assaulted him more than 100 times over a span of four years starting in 2006 when the alleged victim was in middle school. At the time of the alleged incidents, the accuser said he was an altar boy at St. Joseph's Church in Fort Atkinson and Nolan was the priest.

He testified that he never "never felt like a victim" because he was often the one who instigated the sexual encounters with Nolan.

"Part of me did feel guilty for doing it because ... I also sought it out, so I felt bad for getting a man in trouble who I do not hate or did not dislike. I felt bad and had a hard time calling the police knowing that it would put him in very serious trouble," the accuser said in Jefferson County court Tuesday.

Diocese of Brooklyn hit with 10 new lawsuits under Child Victims Act

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

September 10, 2019

By Elizabeth Rosner and Ebony Bowden

Three newly-accused clergymen were named in a batch of sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Brooklyn on Monday in Brooklyn civil court.

The victims filed 10 separate suits under New York State’s new Child Victims Act, claiming they were repeatedly sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Brooklyn between the 1950s and 1980s.

Father Patrick Fursey O’Toole, Friar Rudolph Manozzi and Brother Julio Ortiz were newly accused of engaging in “unpermitted sexual contact” with the altar boy victims, according to court docs.

Both O’Toole and Manozzi are dead. Ortiz’s whereabouts are unknown.

O’Toole is accused of abusing an altar boy over a 9-year period in the 1980s at the now-demolished St. Ann’s Church, formerly in Brooklyn, when he was aged 9 to 18.

Attorney General Morrisey Reacts To Pivotal Hearing in Case Against Wheeling-Charleston

CHARLESTON (WV)
Huntington News

Sept. 11, 2019

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office urged a circuit court at a hearing Tuesday in Parkersburg to allow its case against the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese to proceed.

“We are pleased and appreciate having had our day in court,” Attorney General Morrisey said after the hearing. “These allegations are very serious, and we are hopeful now that we can begin a process of bringing true transparency to this ordeal and ensure compliance with our state’s consumer protection laws.”

The Attorney General argues his office’s lawsuit does not seek to dictate how the Diocese can hire, teach and operate, rather it seeks to enforce state law that requires honesty in advertising when the Diocese markets its fee-based schools and camps.

These facts include allegations that the Diocese hid its knowing employment of abusive priests and its failure to conduct the comprehensive background checks it promised.

The Attorney General contends attempts to dismiss the state’s lawsuit rely upon a flawed reading of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

Remove Malone, make the metropolitan model work in Buffalo

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Sept. 11, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

Monday, the Catholic Herald reported that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was preparing to make an announcement regarding Buffalo, New York, Bishop Richard Malone. "[Cardinal Dolan] has been following the situation very closely, and has been consulting extensively," Joseph Zwilling, longtime communications director for the New York Archdiocese told the Herald by email. "I would anticipate that we will hear something within the near future regarding this matter," he concluded.

Malone has been embattled since last year when, on "60 Minutes," his former secretary, Siobhan O'Connor, alleged Malone covered up cases of clergy sex abuse and provided documents that supported her allegation. Malone has denied the allegations.

This summer, there was a series of charges and counter-charges involving Malone's handling of what he himself deemed a "love triangle." Malone removed a pastor whom a seminarian alleged had made unwanted sexual advances on him, but a love letter from the bishop's priest secretary to the same seminarian raised the possibility that the pastor was taking the fall. The priest secretary is now on a leave of absence as well.

The situation in Buffalo has unfolded at the same time as the universal church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, has finally taken steps to hold bishops accountable not merely for any sexual abuse they commit, but also for covering up the abuse of others. In May, the Holy Father issued the letter "Vos estis lux mundi" on his own initiative (motu proprio) that accorded metropolitan archbishops responsibility for conducting investigations into suffragan bishops against whom an allegation has been made. In a first for the ever-slow Vatican, the new law contained deadlines: Once the metropolitan requests authority to conduct an investigation, the relevant dicastery in the Vatican curia has 30 days to respond, and then the metropolitan must file a monthly report and complete the investigation within 90 days.

Bishop of Crookston Diocese first in U.S. to be investigated under new Vatican protocol

FARGO (ND)
WDAY News

Sept. 11, 2019

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced it has been authorized to investigate the bishop of the Crookston Diocese under recently enacted policies directed by Pope Francis aimed at rooting out sex abuse crimes and the covering of those crimes within the Catholic Church.

The archdiocese posted a statement attributed to Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda regarding the investigation of Bishop Michael Hoeppner on its website Wednesday morning.

"I have been authorized by the Congregation for Bishops to commence an investigation into allegations that the Most Reverend Michael Hoeppner, the Bishop of Crookston, carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Crookston. Law enforcement has been notified of the allegations. The allegations were reported to me under the procedures set out in Pope Francis’ recent legislation addressing bishop accountability, the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi."

Elma church calls for Bishop Malone’s resignation

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB TV

Sept. 11, 2019

By Evan Anstey

An Elma church is calling for Bishop Richard Malone’s resignation.

The request came in the form of a letter, written by Rev. Eugene P. Ulrich, of Church of the Annunciation. The church is located on Clinton St.

“You added that you can only continue your service as Shepherd with the support of clergy and laity,” Ulrich wrote. “As pastor, I have a responsibility to our faith community and to you as our Bishop, to gauge to some degree the measure of that support and convey it to you.”

Malone has come under fire for his handling of various sex abuse allegations and lawsuits within the Catholic Diocese.

“It is difficult to see how, with continuing disclosures, that you can effectively lead the Catholic Church at Buffalo,” Ulrich wrote.

September 10, 2019

Memphis church investigates decades-old sex abuse allegations against former pastor

MEMPHIS (TN)
WMC TV

Sept. 9, 2019

By Kendall Downing

A Memphis church says it is investigating “severe allegations” of sexual abuse against a former pastor dating back two decades. Woodland Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue notified its membership of the allegations and the ensuing investigation Sunday.

At this time the church is aware of four alleged victims.

WMC Action News 5 has learned the men are now adults in their late 30s and early 40s. The church is bringing in an independent firm to conduct an investigation, and they have encouraged the men to filed reports with Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

“It’s been a devastating thing for me personally, for our whole church to understand and try to wrap our head around this,” said Matt Miller, senior pastor of Woodland Presbyterian Church.

In recent days, four men told leadership at Woodland Presbyterian Church about sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of a former pastor who led the church for 18 years. WMC Action News 5 is not naming that former leader, who has been identified by the church, because no criminal charges have been filed.

“We’ve made it a top priority to understand the nature of the allegations and to be as transparent as possible,” said Miller.

Miller is the church’s current pastor and he says no one currently on the church staff was there when the alleged abuse took place.

'Michael Cohen Of Brooklyn Diocese' Faces Own Sex Abuse Suit

BROOKLYN (NY)
Patch

Sept. 10, 2019

By Kathleen Culliton

The "Michael Cohen of the Brooklyn Diocese" who allegedly worked as a fixer for pedophile priests himself stands accused of child sex abuse by people deeply concerned that he continues to practice in Queens.

Thomas Davis and an anonymous accuser have filed child sex abuse suits against Monsignor Otto Garcia — accused by a Diocese nun of covering up at least three child sex abuse investigations — who currently serves as parochial vicar at the Church of St. Teresa in Woodside, according to his accuser, attorneys and reports.

"I was molested by father Otto Garcia when I was a child," Davis said at a press conference Tuesday. "He was able to pick me out as a prime victim because my parents were very involved in the church, because I didn't think anyone would believe me."

Legal Team Files 10 Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits Against Brooklyn Diocese

BROOKLYN (NY)
Brooklyn Reader

Sept. 10, 2019

A group of law firms on Tuesday held a joint press conference in Manhattan to announce the filing of 10 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits against the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Following the signing into law of New York’s new Child Victims Act (CVA) in February 2019, beginning August 14, victims of child sexual abuse received a one-year window to file old civil claims for child sexual abuse, no matter when the abuse occurred. Since that time, tens of thousands of New Yorkers have come forward.

The law firms of Jeff Anderson & Associates and Robins Kaplan LLP held the press conference to release what they are calling The Anderson Report on Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Brooklyn, which contains the identities, histories, photographs and information on 200 perpetrators accused of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Most of the victims were ages 30-70.

“This is one of the most important historic and culture-changing times of child protection in America, because of the opening of the [statute of] limitations,” Anderson told BK Reader. “In the past, every time we brought actions, they were shut down. So this will be considered a massive cleanup following a massive coverup.”

Alleged rape victim's case shakes up JCOPE

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union

Sept. 10, 2019

By Chris Bragg

The normally staid monthly meeting of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics on Tuesday featured a first: two women dressed in red cloaks and white bonnets stationed outside the ethics agency's offices in downtown Albany, reading a satiric children's book detailing the panel's alleged failings.

The small Albany protest — with costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale" — was organized by Kat Sullivan, an alleged rape survivor who has been extensively targeted by JCOPE since 2018 for possible lobbying violations while advocating for passage of the Child Victim's Act.

In Manhattan, a larger protest was held in front of a building housing the law offices of Michael K. Rozen, JCOPE's chairman. That protest was similarly theatrical, and in both cases Sullivan sought to raise questions about why Rozen has not recused himself from her case. Sullivan in recent days even took out a billboard on I-787 posting the same question.

JCOPE staff has repeatedly declined to state whether Rozen has recused himself in its dealings with Sullivan. Rozen was not in Albany on Tuesday, but teleconferenced into the meeting from a location that was not identified in the public portion of the meeting.

In an interview, Sullivan said she was planning to now take several legal steps. With the assistance of her attorney David Grandeau, the state's outspoken former top lobbying official, she plans to file an Article 78 proceeding targeting JCOPE.








Two women dressed as characters from The Handmaid's Tale and supporters of Kat Sullivan, a former Emma Willard student and alleged rape victim, attend a meeting of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. JCOPE is pursuing Sullivan for alleged violations of lobbying regulations. (Paul Buckowski/Times) Photo: Paul Buckowski, Albany Times Union / (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)
Photo: Paul Buckowski, Albany Times Union
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Two women dressed as characters from The Handmaid's Tale and supporters of Kat Sullivan, a former Emma Willard student and alleged rape victim, attend a meeting of the New York State Joint Commission on Public ... moreBuy Photo

ALBANY — The normally staid monthly meeting of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics on Tuesday featured a first: two women dressed in red cloaks and white bonnets stationed outside the ethics agency's offices in downtown Albany, reading a satiric children's book detailing the panel's alleged failings.

The small Albany protest — with costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale" — was organized by Kat Sullivan, an alleged rape survivor who has been extensively targeted by JCOPE since 2018 for possible lobbying violations while advocating for passage of the Child Victim's Act.

In Manhattan, a larger protest was held in front of a building housing the law offices of Michael K. Rozen, JCOPE's chairman. That protest was similarly theatrical, and in both cases Sullivan sought to raise questions about why Rozen has not recused himself from her case. Sullivan in recent days even took out a billboard on I-787 posting the same question.

JCOPE staff has repeatedly declined to state whether Rozen has recused himself in its dealings with Sullivan. Rozen was not in Albany on Tuesday, but teleconferenced into the meeting from a location that was not identified in the public portion of the meeting.

Laws forcing priests to report child abuse passed in Victorian parliament

MELBOURNE (AUSTRAIA)
The Age

September 11, 2019

By Simone Fox Koob and Benita Kolovos

Priests in Victoria will now have to report child abuse if it is revealed to them during confesssion, or face up to three years in prison, after legislation was passed by Parliament last night.

The bill passed the upper house on Tuesday night after last week getting a green light from the Legislative Assembly, with opposition support.

"Today we've made Victoria a safer place for children. The special treatment for churches has ended and child abuse must be reported," Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan said on Tuesday night.

"I thank all the abuse survivors, their families and advocates who helped us deliver these reforms. We can't undo the harm to so many children in the past, but this will help ensure it never happens again."

New allegations of abuse lodged against disgraced retired Wyoming bishop

NEW YORK (NY)
Crux

Sept. 10, 2019

By Christopher White

The diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming announced on Tuesday that it has substantiated three new allegations of abuse against retired Bishop Joseph Hart who could soon become the first U.S. bishop to face criminal prosecution for sexual abuse.

The diocese has previously investigated the cases of three other individuals, which were deemed credible and substantiated, bringing the total number of Cheyenne victims who have come forward to six.

“The allegations have been reported to the civil authorities, and the Diocese of Cheyenne has cooperated fully with the police,” the diocese said in a statement on Tuesday.

The diocese said Hart had declined to be interviewed in its review of the new cases, which they had been given authorization by the Holy See to conduct prior to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) passing new directives for bishop accountability measures.

Vatican authorizes ‘Vos estis’ investigation into Minnesota bishop Hoeppner

WASHINGTON (DC)
Sept. 10, 2019

By J.D. Flynn

Bishop Michael Hoeppner is the first sitting U.S. bishop to be investigated under new misconduct protocols introduced by Pope Francis earlier this year.

Hoeppner, Bishop of Crookston, Minnesota, will be investigated by Minneapolis’ Archbishop Bernard Hebda, on charges that Hoeppner thwarted a police or canonical investigation of clerical sexual misconduct in his diocese.

“I have been authorized by the Congregation for Bishops to commence an investigation into allegations that the Most Reverend Michael Hoeppner, the Bishop of Crookston, carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Crookston,” Hebda told CNA Sept. 10.

“Law enforcement has been notified of the allegations. The allegations were reported to me under the procedures set out in Pope Francis’ recent legislation addressing bishop accountability, the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.”

Hebda did not state directly what charges he will investigate. However, Hoeppner has been accused of pressuring Ron Vasek, a former diaconal candidate in the diocese, to recant the allegation that he was molested in 1971 by a Crookston priest.

In 2015, Vasek signed a letter withdrawing the allegation. He told CNA last year that Hoeppner coerced him into signing that letter.

Child sex abuse victims deserve time to sue

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

Sept. 9, 2019

Despite revelations of pervasive child sexual abuse that have come to light in recent decades, the Legislature has not provided victims more time to seek justice in civil court. This makes the state a national outlier and cries out for reform.

Legislators have not since 1991 modified the law that gives victims of child rape in Washington only three years of adulthood — until their 21st birthday — to sue attackers and hold accountable an irresponsible institution, such as a church or youth group. The same law allows another three-year window when a victim realizes that childhood abuse caused a harm, such as an addiction.

Victims of child sex crimes deserve more time to grapple with trauma and contemplate a public lawsuit. The vast majority of states, including Oregon and Idaho, have laws that provide at least a few years longer. The nonprofit Child USA traces a national reform movement on this issue to 2002, the year The Boston Globe brought to light the Catholic Church’s systematic concealment of abusers.

Since then, 38 states and Washington, D.C. have expanded the time victims have to bring lawsuits. Ten states have eliminated the civil statute of limitations entirely, Because these laws are not retroactive, 16 states have given all past victims a temporary window to file child sex-abuse lawsuits. The Washington Legislature should consider both policies.

Marci Hamilton, Child USA’s chief executive officer, said extensive national coverage of sex-abuse cases against Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Nassar, the Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor, as well as the #MeToo movement, helped drive sex abuse law changes in 20 states in 2019 alone.

Washington counts in that number because the Legislature this spring eliminated statutes of limitations on criminally prosecuting those who sexually abuse children. The civil liability remained static, as it did during a 2013 expansion of prosecutors’ ability to go after child rapists.

“No one ever knew:” Prosecutor says Wisconsin priest concealed his child sex assaults

MADISON (WI)
WKOW TV

September 9, 2019

“No one ever knew,” a prosecutor told jurors on the opening day of the trial of a priest charged with assaulting a 12-year-old altar boy in 2006.

William Nolan is facing six counts of child sexual assault in the trial that began Monday at the Jefferson County courthouse.

Nolan has denied the allegations, and in his opening statement, Nolan’s attorney Jonas Bednarek called the accuser a self-admitted “…thief, shoplifter … compulsive liar.”

Bridgeport Diocese: 2 dead priests credibly accused of abuse

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

September 10, 2019

By Daniel Tepfer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has acknowledged for the first time that a prominent cleric, who according to court documents played a major role in hiding cases of abuse by priests, was “credibly accused” of abusing a child.

Monsignor William Genuario, who died in June 2015, had been the vicar general of the diocese and reviewed accusations of sexual abuse against priests. Genuario also was a prominent priest in Greenwich for almost 20 years.

The diocese also stated that another dead priest, the Rev. Vincent Cleary, was determined to have a credible allegation of abuse against him.

“It is with deep regret that I must inform you of the inclusion of two deceased priests of the diocese on the list of those credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano stated in a letter to parishioners dated Sept. 7.

Diocese Whistleblower 2: Bishop Grosz ‘should be removed’ from diocese

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB TV

Sept. 9, 2019

By Daniel Telvock

Rev. Ryszard Biernat can calmly discuss the sexual abuse complaint he filed in 2004 against a priest, but it is how he says Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz handled the situation that brings him to tears.

Biernat, the second whistleblower from the diocese who took a leave of absence last month as the bishop’s priest secretary, told News 4 Investigates that both Grosz and Bishop Richard Malone should be removed from their positions.

Biernat said Grosz “blackmailed” him in 2004 when he filed the abuse complaint by allegedly saying to him that he needed to keep quiet about the incident if he wanted to be ordained.

When Biernat told another priest about that meeting, he said Grosz called him moments later to remind him that he must not discuss the abuse with others.

“That meeting and his phone call crushed me,” said a tearful Biernat.

“It got at me, I became like a shell of a person and I think it was not only what he said but what he stood for. Not only he was not willing to hear my hurt, was not willing to listen to what happened to me, but to threaten and blackmail me?”

The diocese, in a statement Monday, said Grosz “categorically denies the statement that he threatened to block seminarian Ryszard’s ordination as reported.”

September 9, 2019

Columbus Diocese Adds Names To List Of Abusive Priests

COLUMBUS (OH)
Associated Press

Sept. 10, 2019

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus has added eight names to the list of priests it says have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

Seven of the eight involve allegations against priests who served in the diocese but allegedly committed abuse elsewhere. All eight are deceased. The additions bring the list to 48 names. The Diocese is creating a task force to review its policies for handling abuse allegations. Task force members will include abuse survivors, law enforcement and mental health professionals, social workers, and both laypersons and clergy.

Advocacy Group Criticizes Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop

COLUMBIA (MO)
Associated Press

Sept. 9, 2019

An advocacy group for people sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests is criticizing the bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese for not naming more people on a list of clerics who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

Bishop James Johnston Jr. released a list Friday of 19 clerics from the diocese who he said had substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of children against them. Another 11 former clerics were named in different categories.

On Monday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said at a news conference that the bishop's list was incomplete because it didn't include priests who at some point lived or worked in the Kansas City area but who were accused of sexual abuse in other dioceses.

David Clohessy, Missouri director for SNAP, argued the diocese should do all it can to publicize the names of any cleric accused of abuse, even if that person was not assigned to the diocese, even if they have already been publicly named by other dioceses.

"The bishop has a simple choice," Clohessy said. "If you want to safeguard the vulnerable, there's absolutely no reason why you wouldn't put these names on your list and warn the flock of every single child molester, nun, bishop, monk, seminarian, priest or even lay teachers who they should be concerned about ... Bishop Johnson has had more than enough time to look at the work of his fellow bishops and say 'I can do better' and he hasn't."

NY Cardinal Dolan may step in to examine Buffalo Diocese

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

Sept. 9 2019

By Charlie Specht

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York may step in to examine the scandal-plagued Buffalo Diocese.

The news, which was first reported by the Catholic Herald , comes as Catholics across Western New York have mounted an intense campaign to remove their bishop after damaging audio recordings were published by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team .

"Cardinal Dolan is very aware of his responsibilities as Metropolitan under Vos estis,” Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the New York Archdiocese, confirmed to the I-Team. "Vos estis lux mundi" is the new reform law Pope Francis enacted last spring to deal with clergy sexual abuse and cover-up by the world's bishops.

Referring to the cardinal, Zwilling said, "He has been following the situation very closely, and has been consulting extensively. I would anticipate that we will hear something within the near future regarding this matter,” he concluded.

Cardinal Dolan considering options over scandal-hit Buffalo diocese

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Catholic Herald

September, 2019

By Christopher Altieri

The cardinal has been 'consulting extensively' regarding his duties as metropolitan as the crisis over Bishop Malone deepens

The Catholic Herald has learned that the Archdiocese of New York is closely monitoring the crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo, and that broad consultations are ongoing, with a view to possible action.

The embattled Bishop of Buffalo, Richard J. Malone, faced several new calls for his resignation last week and over the weekend, including one from a group — the Movement to Restore Trust — that had previously sought to work with the bishop, and an editorial published Saturday by The Buffalo News. Rank-and-file clergy and faithful have also begun writing letters calling on Malone to step down, and forwarding them to local news outlets for publication.

Bishop Malone inherited a diocese with serious cultural and disciplinary problems in the chancery and throughout the clergy. Though Malone defends his record of leadership, two whistle-blowers highly placed within his office have brought evidence before the public reasonably purporting to show serious failures and lapses in judgment with regard to several cases involving both minors and adults, as well as evidence Malone participated in efforts to keep information potentially damaging to his reputation from reaching the public.

Bishop Malone admits he has made mistakes, but steadfastly denies criminal wrongdoing. The clergy and faithful of Buffalo grow daily more impatient with their appointed leader.

Lectures at The University of Scranton explore response to clergy sexual abuse

SCRANTON (PA)
Abington Journal

September 9, 2019

The University of Scranton’s Task Force on Healing, Reconciliation and Hope will host two public lectures this fall, one exploring “Insights from History and Theology” and the other discussing “Prevention, Healing and Reconciliation.” Both lectures are free of charge and open to the public.

On Sept. 16, award-winning authors Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D., professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, and Rita Ferrone, a writer and frequent speaker on issues of liturgy and church renewal, will discuss lessons that can be gleaned from history about the clergy sexual abuse crisis and how prayer and liturgy can be a source of healing and courage. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the second-floor Kane Forum of Leahy Hall.

A lecture on Oct. 3 will examine structural reforms might help to end the crisis of clergy sexual abuse and the Church’s response to survivors of abuse. Michael Vanderburgh, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and current executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton, Ohio, and Rev. Thomas Berg, author and vice rector and professor of moral theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, New York, will present the lecture that will begin at 7 p.m., also in the Kane Forum of Leahy Hall.

A church historian, Dr. Faggioli has written numerous articles and books during his career. His book “Catholicism and Citizenship” received a 2018 award for Faithful Citizenship/Religious Freedom from the Catholic Press Association. He is a columnist for La Croix International, a contributing writer for Commonweal magazine. He was awarded the 2019 Barry University Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence, which recognizes the contributions of contemporary theologians in working, writing, and teaching in light of the Catholic tradition while moving that tradition forward to meet the challenges of today.

Former Cincinnati and Santa Fe Priest Arrested in the Philippines

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

Sept. 9, 2019

Archbishops in Ohio & New Mexico must take active steps now to help law enforcement convict a US priest who has been arrested and is accused of molesting at least 20 Philippine children.

Fr. Pius Hendricks, a former Franciscan Brother, was arrested in the village of Talustusan on Biliran Island in the central Philippines for molesting at least twenty boys. We fear that there are likely more who are still suffering in shame and self-blame.

We hope that this arrest will give hope to his victims and will encourage other survivors in both the Philippines and in the U.S. to come forward and make a report to law enforcement. The Philippines is one of the most Catholic countries in the world and one where priests are treated with extreme deference, a notable risk factor for clergy abuse. We hope that this news will encourage more victims to come forward and find help and healing from secular, independent sources.

Bishop Grosz denies threat to ex-seminarian over abuse complaint

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

Sept. 9, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz denies threatening to block the Rev. Ryszard S. Biernat’s ordination, after Biernat complained to diocese administrators in 2004 that he was sexually assaulted by a priest, a Buffalo Diocese spokeswoman said.

The Buffalo News on Sunday reported the accusation by Biernat, who also said that Grosz’s treatment of his complaint was “10 times worse” than the alleged sexual abuse.

Diocese spokesman Kathy Spangler provided a written response in an email late Sunday, after the story was published online and in print.

“Bishop Grosz categorically denies the statement that he threatened to block seminarian Ryszard’s ordination as reported,” Spangler said in the email.

The News had contacted Spangler on Friday seeking comment from Grosz.

The News on Monday asked for a sit-down interview with Grosz. Through Spangler, Grosz requested a list of questions in writing, which The News declined to provide.

Biernat, 38, alleged that the Rev. Arthur J. Smith sexually abused him in the rectory of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in 2003, when Biernat was a seminary student. Smith denied abusing Biernat.

Biernat said when he reported the abuse to diocese officials in 2004, Grosz blamed him.

“He says to me, ‘Well, it’s your fault. You didn’t lock the door,’ ” said Biernat.

Columbus diocese adds names to list of priests accused of abusing minors

COLUMBUS (OH)
WCMH TV

Sept. 9, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus has confirmed a credible allegation of abuse of a minor against a priest.

The diocese says the accusation was made against Father John Gamba, who died in 2009. Gamba served in parishes across central Ohio, including Columbus, Zanesville and Lancaster, starting in the 1950s.

Most notably, he was chaplain at Ohio State University Hospital from 1961-1969.

The diocese cannot confirm the parish where the accusation was made.

Gamba served at the following parishes:
St. Ladislas, Columbus (1949-50)
St. Nicholas, Zanesville (1950-51)
St. Mary, Lancaster (1951-54)
St. Peter, Columbus (1954-58)
Sacred Heart, New Philadelphia (1958-60)
Christ the King, Columbus (1960-61)
Chaplain at Ohio State University Hospital (1961-69) with residence at St. Margaret of Cortona (1961-62)
Our Lady of Victory (1962-69)
Pastor of St. Genevieve, Calmoutier and chaplain of Apple Creek State Institute from 1970 until his retirement in 1985
The diocese also moved the name of Msgr. Robert Brown to the list of priests who were credibly accused within the diocese after their death. He was previously on a list of priests who were accused of acts outside the diocese, but served in the diocese at one point.

Seven priests were added to the list of clergy who served in the Diocese of Columbus who were accused of abuse elsewhere.

Father Stuart Campbell, OP
Father Joseph Herlihy, OP
Father James Kilkenny, OP
Father Thomas McCarthy, OP
Father Joseph McGuiness, OP
Father Robert Pelkington, OP
Father John Powers, OP

Two bishops on Mo. diocese's list of substantiated clergy abusers

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic News Service

Sept. 9, 2019

The names of two bishops appear on a list of clergy with "substantiated abuse of minors allegations" from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph released Sept. 6.

The bishops are retired Bishop Joseph H. Hart of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and now-deceased Bishop Joseph V. Sullivan of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

According to the list assembled by the diocese, which dates back to its founding in 1956, the abuse claims for each bishop took place within the Missouri diocese's territory. Each bishop also had more than one abuse allegation reported.

A forthcoming Vatican trial was announced in June on charges against Hart of abuse allegations in the Cheyenne Diocese, where he served as bishop from 1978 to 2001, and as auxiliary bishop from 1976 to 1978. Hart has maintained his innocence once the Wyoming allegations surfaced.

Hart, ordained a priest in 1956, had been accused of three instances of abuse dating to the late 1960s and early 1970s in Missouri. In 2008, the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese announced a $10 million settlement with 47 victims of sexual abuse by 12 clergy and former clergy of the diocese. Attorneys for the victims said the group included Hart, although the diocese, then headed by Bishop Robert W. Finn, did not disclose any of the clerics' names. A second financial settlement was reached by the diocese in 2014.

Sullivan, born in 1919, died in 1982 after serving eight years as bishop of Baton Rouge.

The Kansas City-St. Joseph list includes the names of 19 diocesan priests — all but six of whom are now dead — with substantiated allegations. A 20th priest was on a separate list with Hart and Sullivan because, like them, he had been incardinated for service in another diocese after the incidents of abuse are alleged to have occurred.

A third list carries the names of two religious-order priests who were accused of abuse during their time serving in Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Of those priests still living, they are either permanently removed from ministry or laicized. One is in federal prison. With the exception of the ex-priest now in prison, all abuse incidents took place before 1990.

Advocacy group criticizes Kansas City-St. Joseph bishop in church abuse cases

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Associated Press

Sept. 9, 2019

An advocacy group for people sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests is criticizing the bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese for not naming more people on a list of credibly accused clerics.

Bishop James Johnston Jr. released a list on Friday of 19 clerics who had substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of children against them. Another 11 former clerics were named in different categories.

On Monday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the bishop's list was incomplete because it didn't include priests who lived in the Kansas City area in the past but who were accused of sexual abuse in other dioceses.

A diocese spokesman said it would be impossible to research every priest who may have worked or lived in the Kansas City area but who wasn't assigned to the diocese.

Former Memphis bishop removed from mural after child sexual abuse allegation

MEMPHIS (TN)
Commercial Appeal

Sept. 9, 2019

By Katherine Burgess

Memphis’ first Catholic bishop no longer appears on a mural of Memphians who stood up for others.

Instead, Bishop Carroll T. Dozier has been painted over, replaced by Jose Guerrero, a founder of Latino Memphis.

Facing History and Ourselves made the change Saturday after the publication of a Commercial Appeal article highlighting the fact that Dozier had appeared on a list of clergy “credibly accused” of the sexual abuse of a child.

“We wish to extend our sincerest wishes of comfort, healing and strength to the victims and families touched by the scourge of clergy sex abuse," Facing History and Ourselves said in a written statement.

The list including Dozier was made by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, where Dozier was assigned to three parishes before being appointed the first bishop of the Diocese of Memphis after it separated from the Diocese of Nashville. The allegation of abuse was made after his death, but other details were not given.

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis is currently at work on its own list of credibly accused clergy and has said it will consider Dozier’s inclusion on the Richmond list.

The mural, announced in 2016 and intended to honor people who helped others, is on a wall across from the National Civil Rights Museum.

“When we conceived of creating a mural on the outside of our building, our aim was to celebrate Memphis’ leading historical figures who have made invaluable contributions to bringing our communities together and moving forward across racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries. It was in that spirit that we included Bishop Dozier,” Facing History and Ourselves said. “Given the allegations against Bishop Dozier, we have decided that in the best interests of our students, schools, and communities, to replace Bishop Dozier with another Memphis historical figure.”

W.Va. AG urges court to advance lawsuit against Wheeling-Charleston Diocese

CHARLESTON (WV)
Herald-Mail Media

September 5, 2019

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urged a circuit court to allow the state to proceed with allegations that the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese violated state law through its knowing employment of pedophiles and its failure to conduct adequate background checks for those working at its schools and camps.

Morrisey’s response, served Wednesday afternoon, argues that the diocese’s motion to dismiss mischaracterized the state’s intent and distorted state law.

“The diocese’s motion to dismiss is yet another attempt to duck our calls for transparency,” Morrisey said in a news release. “Our response proves the strength of our case and why it should be decided in court. The decades-long pattern of cover-up and abuse must end and public trust must be restored.”

Wednesday’s filing argues that the lawsuit doesn’t seek to dictate how the diocese can hire, teach and operate. Rather, it seeks to enforce state law that requires honesty in advertising when the diocese markets its fee-based schools and camps.

Those facts include allegations that the diocese hid its knowing employment of abusive priests and its failure to conduct the comprehensive background checks it promised.

Morrisey contends that attempts to dismiss the state’s lawsuit rely on a flawed reading of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

The state argues that a consumer transaction occurs every time a parent or other person pays a fee for the diocese’s education and recreation services, and enforcing the law’s requirement for honest communications doesn’t intrude into any constitutionally protected area.

The state’s response also takes issue with factual disputes set forth by the diocese. While it contends such differences are irrelevant at this stage in the case, it argues that many allegations contained in the lawsuit were based on documents the diocese provided to the state describing conduct purposely hidden from public view for 44 years after the state Consumer Credit and Protection Act became law.

Questions remain after pastor’s departure at Hudson megachurch

HUDSON (OH)
Beacon Journal/Ohio.com

September 7, 2019

By Amanda Garrett

Tom Randall — a former pastor at Christ Community Chapel who departed amid scandal — is trying to move on.

He and his wife put their ranch home in Stow on the market last month for $289,900 and sent a letter to their international following. In the letter, Randall said he was leaving behind his nonprofit — worth more than $3 million — with the Hudson megachurch and planned to launch a new nonprofit to independently continue his 43-year-old ministry.

But moving on may not be that simple for Randall, who was asked to resign from Christ Community Chapel (CCC) in June amid an internal review that concluded child abuse likely happened at an orphanage his ministry supported in the Philippines.

CCC — with a main campus in Hudson, and satellites in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood and Aurora — has since told the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com that it turned over “information and documentation relevant to this situation” from its review to the FBI.

Ex-clergyman says US priest in Philippines a known pedophile

TALUSTUSAN (PHILIPPINES)
Associated Press

September 9, 2019

By Tim Sullivan

The American priest's voice echoed over the phone line, his sharp Midwestern accent softened over the decades by a gentle Filipino lilt. On the other end, recording the call, was a young man battered by shame but anxious to get the priest to describe exactly what had happened in this little island village.

"I should have known better than trying to just have a life," the priest said in the November 2018 call. "Happy days are gone. It's all over."

But, the young man later told The Associated Press, those days were happy only for the priest. They were years of misery for him, he said, and for the other boys who investigators say were sexually assaulted by Father Pius Hendricks.

His accusations ignited a scandal that would shake the village and reveal much about how allegations of sex crimes by priests are handled in one of the world's most Catholic countries.

News Briefing: Church in the World

AMAZON
The Tablet

September 4, 2019

By James Roberts

'The Catholic Church has been present in the Amazon region since the seventeenth century, concerned with evangelisation and human development'

A Cameroonian man who worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators has been murdered in his home in Cameroon during an overnight attack. Angus Abraham Fung was one of seven people killed in the village of Wum on 25 August. His wife, Eveline, had a hand cut off and is recovering in a local hospital. Wum is in the Anglophone northwest of the country, a region that has been at the heart of the conflict between Cameroon’s government and separatist guerrillas. Fung had helped to translate the New Testament into the Aghem language, and was a Literacy Coordinator on the Aghem Bible translation project. The translation was completed in 2016 and more than 3,000 copies were printed. However, the conflict in the region has prevented the New Testaments being distributed.

Wum is among several localities where youth from the nomadic Fulani herding community are being encouraged by pro-government actors to carry out attacks against local farming communities that support the separatist rebels.

Meanwhile a Catholic priest was killed across the border in neighbouring Nigeria. Fr David Tanko was murdered by armed men in Taraba State on Thursday last week. He was on his way to the village of Takum to mediate a peace agreement between Tiv and Jukun populations.

An Argentinian priest accused of rape was found dead on 26 August after going missing from a monastery in Chile. The Diocese of Valparaiso, Chile, published a press release on behalf of the Benedictine Monastery of San Benito de Lliu Lliu, stating that Guillermo Jaime Cabalín had died. The press release also said that Cabalín, 57, was the subject of a canonical investigation after a woman came forward in 2018, accusing him of raping her in 1995.

Former St. Michael the Archangel Priest Frank Trauger Charged with Sexually Abusing 2 Altar Boys

LEVITTOWN (PA)
The Legal Herald

September 2019

By Brian Kent

Ex-Priest Frank Trauger Charged with Corruption of Minors, Indecent Assault for Alleged Abuse of Altar Boys

Defrocked Bucks County priest Francis “Frank” Trauger has been charged with sexually abusing at least two altar boys during the decade he spent as a priest at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Levittown. The 74-year-old priest was at the church in the 1990s and 2000s.

According to a criminal complaint, the Bucks County District Attorney’s office began investigating allegations against Trauger after receiving information from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in August of 2018.

Investigators spoke with the first victim earlier in 2019. He told them that Trauger sexually assaulted him multiple times while he was a middle school student around the year 2000. According to the victim, Trauger touched his genitals and buttocks during a robing process before Mass.

Victims blast KC MO bishop

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

Sept. 9, 2019

He just posted new ‘accused clerics’ list
SNAP: ‘But it’s incomplete and misleading’
It names 9 publicly accused priests who are left off
And group names its “Dangerous Dozen KC Predator Priests”
“Catholics, please stop giving until the full truth is revealed,” victims beg
And in Wyandotte County KS, criminal trial against a priest starts on Monday

WHAT
Using sidewalk chalk, clergy sex abuse victims will write on a city sidewalk the names of
---their “most dangerous dozen” credibly accused KC MO child molesting clerics and
---several publicly accused clerics who’ve been left of the KC MO bishop’s new ‘accused’ list.

Holding signs and childhood photos, they will also urge
---those with information or suspicions about ANY other known or possible predator to a) call police, not church staff, and b) contact SNAP, and
---KC Catholics to “donate to institutions that expose predators, not protect them” and to “groups that prevent abuse, not conceal abuse.”

They’ll also discuss a rare criminal trial starting today against an alleged KC KS predator priest.

WHEN
Monday, Sept. 9 at 11:15 AM.

WHERE
Outside the Kansas City diocesan headquarters, 20 W. Ninth Street (at Baltimore) in KC MO

Dangerous Dozen KC MO credibly accused predator priests

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

Sept. 9, 2019

(NOTE: the first three clerics are NOT on the official KC MO accused list)

1--Fr. Deusdedit (a.k.a. ‘Fr. Deo’) Mulokozi, who was expelled from the Jefferson City diocese after having been credibly accused of ‘boundary violations’ with a 15 year old Sedalia girl. But Fr. Deo’s current supervisors, a Kansas City-based religious order called the Missionaries of the Precious Blood (816 781 4344, preciousbloodkc.org), quietly moved him, first to Liberty MO, then to Houston TX, then to Tanzania where he’s working now around even more vulnerable kids.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2018/11_12/2018_12_28_MartinezKeel_FormerSedalia.htm

Fr. Deusdedit worked at three parishes: St. John the Evangelist in Bahner, Sacred Heart in Sedalia and St. Patrick in Sedalia. He is on the Jefferson City diocese’s list of clerics ‘found by the diocesan bishop to be unsuitable for ministry out of concern for the safety of our youth.’

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/diocesan_lists/Jefferson_City/2018_11_08_Jefferson_City_Clergy_Religious_Removed.pdf

2--Fr. Martin Juarez, who attended UMKC in the 1970s. He was born in 1946 in Kansas City, KS and attended Colby Community College and seminaries in Denver and San Antonio.

https://prabook.com/web/martin.juarez/282315

In a 2017 lawsuit, he was accused of sexually abusing a nine year old at St. Matthew's in Topeka for three years in the early 1980s. Fr. Juarez was defrocked in 2005. His name appears on the ‘credibly accused’ list put out by the Kansas City KS archdiocese a few months ago.

https://responseincrisis.archkck.org/list-substantiated-allegations/

3--Fr. Donald Redmond, who is on the Kansas City KS archdiocesan ‘credibly accused’ list and who was put on leave in 2002 after allegations surfaced that he abused at least one child in Iowa in 1960s. At least three more victims from a parish in the Kansas City KS archdiocese came forward after his suspension. Complaints involved inappropriate touching of elementary school children between 1961-1964. After the accusations, he was sent to live at St. Benedict's Abbey in Atchison KS. But in 1964 and 1965, he worked in Kansas City MO at Bishop Lillis High School.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ia-davenport/assignments/Redmond-Donald-Kansas-City.htm

24 metro priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of a child

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KSHB TV

Sept. 6, 2019

By Tom Dempsey

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph released a list on Friday of 24 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

The report followed an investigation organized by the diocese earlier this year involving former FBI agents who were given access to church documents dating back to 1956.

Of the 24 priests listed in the report, 19 were official members of the diocese.

The majority of the priests have since died, with many of the cases dating back decades.

For David Biersmith, one of the names brought back memories of horrors his two sons allegedly experienced back in the 1970s.

“Physically, they were raped. I don’t know how else to say it,” he told 41 Action News. “It happened when they were 9, 10 and 11.”

For decades, Ireland's mother and baby homes were shrouded in secrecy. Some say the veil still hasn't lifted

TUAM (IRELAND)
CNN

Sept. 8, 2019

By Kara Fox

The day after Michael O'Flaherty was born, his mother tried to see him. But, she told him, she was stopped by a nun who told her, "Go mind your own business, your baby is gone."

Like other women who gave birth at the Tuam mother and baby home in Ireland, the nuns didn't forbid O'Flaherty's mother from seeing her newborn son again, they just didn't tell her who her baby was, or that he was in the same building. The very same home where she was required to stay for 12 months after giving birth.

"My mother could have picked me up, but she couldn't have necessarily known," O'Flaherty told CNN.

The boy would stay in the home for another five and a half years. He doesn't remember his time inside; his first memory of it was from the day that he left.

Today, at 71, O'Flaherty retraces the steps he took that day with a group that's become like family.

Why no priest is ever convicted of child sex abuse in Philippines

TALUSTUSAN (PHILIPPINES)
Associated Press

Sept. 9, 2019

By Tim Sullivan

The American priest's voice echoed over the phone line, his sharp Midwestern accent softened over the decades by a gentle Filipino lilt. On the other end, recording the call, was a young man battered by shame but anxious to get the priest to describe exactly what had happened in this little island village.

"I should have known better than trying to just have a life," the priest said in the November 2018 call. "Happy days are gone. It's all over."

But, the young man later told the Associated Press, those days were happy only for the priest. They were years of misery for him, he said, and for the other boys who investigators say were sexually assaulted by Father Pius Hendricks.

His accusations ignited a scandal that would shake the village and reveal much about how allegations of sex crimes by priests are handled in one of the world's most Catholic countries.

He was just 12 - a new altar boy from a family of tenant farmers anxious for the $1 or so he'd get for serving at Mass - when he says Hendricks first took him into the bathroom of Talustusan's little rectory and sexually assaulted him.

Indictment of former Pa. priest signals aggressive new reach by federal prosecutors in clergy sex abuse investigation

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patriot News

Sept. 9, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus

Two priests have been convicted; one other awaits trial.

That’s about the sum total of legal action that has taken place in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, which identified more than 300 predator priests statewide.

That narrative could be about to change.

Last week, federal prosecutors dealt the latest salvo in what is fast becoming a tide of aggressive new strategies to criminally prosecute child sex predators and their accomplices in the Catholic Church.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia last week filed charges against a former Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest, accusing him of lying to the FBI.

Former priest accused of sexual assault heads to trial

MADISON (WI)
WKOW TV

Sept. 9, 2019

A former priest accused of sexual assault will head to trial on Monday. William Nolan is facing six counts of sexual assault.

One of charges is for allegedly assaulting a 12-year-old alter boy in 2006.

According to investigators, the former alter boy told them the assaults allegedly happened over five years, when Nolen was serving at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson.

A Janesville man also accused Nolan of assualting him in 2009, but after police investigated, they didn’t find enough evidence to support that accusation.

Before being accused, Nolan served in Madison’s Queen of Peace parish

September 8, 2019

My mother felt the stain of Fr Penney’s crimes spread to herself, her faith, her parish

ENGLAND
Irish Times

September 4, 2019

By Catherine O'Flynn

Fr Penney’s decades of abuse were already known by the Archdiocese of Birmingham when it moved him into the lives of more children

After settling in England, my dad, like many immigrants before and since, became a shopkeeper. In 1961 he took over a newsagent business in a part of inner city Birmingham called Nechells. The former owner sold him shelves of ancient, worthless stock and then disappeared fast before the tide of first slum clearances and then factory closures swept away most of the customers.

Those who remained were a mix of Brummies, West Indians and Irish. Alongside the English papers we sold the Clare Champion, the Roscommon Herald, The Irish Times, and the Echo. Upstairs in the living room we listened to scratchy 45s of the Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers, and the Ludlows. Outside lay empty factories and wasteland.

French diocese in spotlight as former nun's abuse testimony is cancelled

LIMOGES (FRANCE)
La Croix International

September 4, 2019

By Neuville Heloise

Bishop accused of 'muzzling' victim but he says she is 'very fragile' to give a reliable account

The testimony of a former nun who was due to tell the story of her sexual assault at the hands of a priest in the French city of Limoges has been cancelled.The Catholic Association of Women (ACF) and the victim refused to accept the presence of a member of the diocese to give the other side of the story, as had been demanded by Bishop Pierre-Antoine Bozo of Limoges.Can freedom of expression within the Church flourish in all contexts?The institution is working to give a rightful place to the words of victims of sexual abuse but the bishop was overcome by his concern for a just outcome when he learned that Caroline, a former nun allegedly assaulted by a priest from the Community of the Beatitudes, was about to give her testimony in public.

Buffalo bishop’s secretary alleges he was ‘silenced’ on sexual assault claim

BUFFALO (NY)
Crux

September 6, 2019

By Christopher White

The priest secretary to Bishop Richard Malone - who earlier this week released secret audio of the bishop expressing fears that a public relations crisis within the diocese of Buffalo would result in his resignation - has accused an auxiliary bishop of silencing him when he complained of sexual assault.

Father Ryszard Biernat arrived at the diocese of Buffalo as a seminarian in 2003. The Polish native alleges that a priest of the diocese, Father Art Smith, abused him at a Christmas party that same year.

In a new interview with WKBW, Biernat says that he reported the alleged abuse to auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz. He maintains that Grosz faulted the seminarian for not locking the door to prevent drunken advances from Smith.

El monjo de Montserrat Andreu Soler va ser un “depredador sexual i un pederasta” impune durant anys

[The monk of Montserrat, Andreu Soler. was a "sexual predator and a pederast" who had impunity for years]

BARCELONA (SPAIN)
El Pais

September 6, 2019

By Jesús García and Oriol Güell

La comissió independent que ha investigat els abusos conclou que "hi havia rumorologia suficient" per actuar contra el monjo i destapa dos casos desconeguts

[The independent commission that investigated the abuses concludes that "there was enough rumorology" to act against the monk and uncover two unknown cases]

El abad de Montserrat admite que “fallaron los controles” y pide perdón por los abusos

[The abbot of Montserrat admits that "controls failed" and apologizes for the abuses]

BARCELONA (SPAIN)
El Pais

September 8, 2019

By Jesús García

[Josep Maria Soler is committed to improving protocols to protect minors]

El abad de Montserrat, Josep Maria Soler, pidió ayer públicamente perdón por los abusos sexuales a menores cometidos por religiosos en el monasterio. En su primera homilía dominical después del informe de la comisión independiente que ha ratificado la existencia de abusos, Soler admitió que “los mecanismos de prevención y control” fallaron. Un monje de la abadía abusó durante casi tres décadas de un número indeterminado de menores con total impunidad y sin que el monasterio actuase contra él, concluye el informe.

[The abbot of Montserrat, Josep Maria Soler , yesterday publicly apologized for the sexual abuse of minors committed by religious in the monastery. In his first Sunday homily after the report of the independent commission that has ratified the existence of abuse, Soler admitted that "prevention and control mechanisms" failed. A monk from the abbey abused for almost three decades an undetermined number of minors with total impunity and without the monastery acting against him, the report concludes.]

State revokes ex-Macomb County priest's counseling license

MACOMB (MI)
Macomb Daily

September 8, 2019

By Mitch Hotts

A state licensing board has revoked a counseling license from a former Macomb County priest accused of sexually assaulting a young boy.

The Michigan Board of Counseling on Friday stripped Lawrence Ventline of the educationally limited counselor's license for three years and issued a $5,000 fine.

The board's action follows the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)'s summary suspension of Ventline's license in May after an administrative complaint concerning the alleged sexual assault was filed by state Attorney General's Office.

Ventline failed to respond to the complaint. Under the state's Public Health Code, when a defendant does not respond to a complaint, the board is to consider the accusations to be "undisputed and true."

"Unfortunately, the statute of limitations bars us from prosecuting Mr. Ventline for any crimes we believe he may have committed," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a news release.

Lawyer says priest denies harassing seminarian, blackmail

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

September 8, 2019

By Jay Tokasz and Dan Herbeck

The Rev. Jeffrey Nowak has been accused of violating the Catholic church’s seal of confession, sexually harassing a seminarian and trying to blackmail a fellow priest.

But his lawyer said Friday that Nowak denies all of the allegations.

“I don’t think Father Jeff has gotten a fair shake on this,” said attorney James Granville. “They had him tried, convicted and sentenced in March and he wasn’t told of any allegations against him by anyone in the diocese until April or May.”

Granville said his client’s name was dragged through the mud in media reports before all of the facts were known.

“If you’re accused of doing that and you’re not the person they’re describing, it’s tortuous,” said Granville. “He denies all of the allegations, but we’re relying, for better or worse, I guess, on the canonical and the civil justice system.”

Survivors react to Catholic Church's reluctant admission of liability for Gerald Ridsdale abuse

BALLARAT (AUSTRALIA)
The Courier

September 7, 2019

By Jolyon Attwooll

The Catholic Diocese of Ballarat has admitted liability in a civil action brought by a victim of historical sexual abuse in a potentially landmark case.

The case may ultimately have far-reaching implications for survivors in Ballarat seeking to make civil claims against the Catholic Church.

Advocates and survivors in the city, meanwhile, urged the Catholic Church to drop aggressive legal tactics and be more active in helping with the healing process

Church admits liability for Ridsdale

BALLARAT (AUSTRALIA)
The Courier

September 6, 2019

The compensation floodgates for clergy victims have opened with the Catholic Church admitting liability for the sexual abuse of a nine-year-old boy in a confessional box by Ballarat prolific paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.

The defrocked priest is considered one of Australia's worst paedophiles and he admitted to a family member his victims numbered in the hundreds.

Ridsdale was moved from parish to parish within the Ballarat Diocese, starting at St Alipius in Ballarat, before serving at Warrnambool, Inglewood, Apollo Bay, Edenhope and Mortlake.

A directions hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday scheduled a 10-day trial to start on January 29.

Father Robert Zilliox circulates 'No Confidence' petition for Diocese of Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
WGAZ-TV (Channel 2)

September 8, 2019

It is unclear at this time how many diocesan priests have signed the petition. However, any priest who signs it will be committing an act of disobedience.

Father Robert Zilliox of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Swormville told 2 On Your Side he is circulating a "No Confidence" petition to be delivered to the Diocese of Buffalo and Bishop Richard Malone.

Zilliox informed his parishioners about the petition on Sunday.

It is unclear at this time how many diocesan priests have signed the petition. However, any priest who signs it will be committing an act of disobedience. Diocesan priests are required to take an obedience oath to the bishop, and signing the petition would go against that.

Child Abuse Law Signed in New York Long After Diocese’s Adoption

BROOKLYN (NY)
The Tablet (Newspaper of the Brooklyn Diocese)

September 8, 2019

By Andrew Pugliese

PARK SLOPE — Fourteen years after the Diocese of Brooklyn began to offer programs in parishes and schools to prevent sexual abuse of minors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed “Erin’s Law” on Aug. 29, requiring public schools in New York state to have a similar program.

Public schools will be required to provide at least one hour of instruction every school year to children in kindergarten through eighth grade about what constitutes abuse and how to report it. The law, which was passed by both the New York state senate and assembly in June, is named after Erin Merryn, a sexual abuse survivor turned advocate.

The diocese has been offering such programs since 2005 through Child Lures Prevention for children and Virtus for adults. Nationally, the training has been taking place in Catholic schools and faith formation programs since after the country’s bishops adopted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in 2002.

Man protests for 1 year outside Welland church for sexual abuse survivors

HAMILTON (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CBC News

September 8, 2019

William O'Sullivan has filed a lawsuit against the priest who assaulted him and others

Warning: This story contains details of sexual assault.

William O'Sullivan has protested in front of St. Kevin's Parish in Welland every Sunday for a full year, and says he is determined to do so until the Diocese of St. Catharines apologizes to the region's survivors of sexual abuse.

O'Sullivan is one of these survivors. He was sexually assaulted when he was nine years old by Donald Grecco, who was a priest at St. Kevin's Catholic church.

The assault continued for three years.

Now 48, O'Sullivan stands in front of the church every Sunday morning holding protest signs. He arrives at 8 a.m. and leaves in the early afternoon.

Church admits liability in child abuse case

AUSTRALIA
CathNews (Service of the Australian Bishops' Conference)

September 9, 2019

The Church has accepted legal responsibility for the sexual abuse of a child by paedophile Gerald Ridsdale in a significant case that could open the floodgates for survivors seeking compensation. Source: The Age.

After denying any knowledge of Ridsdale’s offending before the nine-year-old boy was raped in a confessional box at Mortlake, in western Victoria in 1982, lawyers for the Church on Friday accepted an amended statement of claim from the survivor in the Supreme Court – in effect admitting legal liability for his crimes.

A 10-day civil trial scheduled to begin on January 29 next year will now focus primarily on the amount of damages the Church will pay the survivor. A mediation hearing will be held on October 15.

The survivor, identified in court under the pseudonym JCB, is suing Ballarat Bishop Paul Bird for negligence on behalf of deceased former bishops James O’Collins and Ronald Mulkearns.

A priest from Cincinnati, a Philippine village, and decades of secrecy

TALUSTUSAN (PHILIPPINES)
Associated Press

Sept. 9, 2019

By Tim Sullivan

The American priest's voice echoed over the phone line.

"Happy days are gone," he said in the 2018 call, recorded by a young man whose accusations would shake this little island village and reveal how allegations of sex crimes by priests are still ignored, sometimes for decades, in one of the world's most Catholic countries. "It's all over."

The young man later told The Associated Press he was 12 when Father Pius Hendricks first took him into the bathroom of the church's little rectory and sexually assaulted him.

"'It's a natural thing,'" he says the priest told him, "'It's part of becoming an adult.'"

The abuse continued for years, he says. But he told no one until a village outsider began asking questions about the priest's generosity with local boys, and he feared his brother would be the next victim.

In November, he went to the police.

Soon after, local authorities arrested Hendricks, 78, and charged him with child abuse.

Since then, investigators say, about 20 boys and men, one as young as 7, have reported that the priest sexually abused them. Investigators say the allegations go back well over a decade — though many believe the abuse goes back for generations — continuing until just months before the arrest.

Hendricks is from Cincinnati and regularly returned to the area, federal prosecutors said.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati previously told The Enquirer he was a Franciscan Brother at the St. Anthony Friary in Mount Airy in the 1960s and would therefore have been supervised by his religious order, rather than the archdiocese. He left the Franciscans around 1986 and was soon ordained as a priest by the local diocese.

Hendrick's arrest was a sudden fall for a priest who had presided over the community for nearly four decades, rebuilding its chapel, pressing local officials to pave the village road, paying school fees for poor children.

Defamation suit over Haiti sex abuse claim settled

PORTLAND (ME)
Associated Press

Sept. 8, 2019

By David Sharp

A defamation lawsuit against an activist who accused an orphanage founder in Haiti of being a serial pedophile has been settled, ending a lawsuit that has dragged on for six years, an attorney said.

Paul Kendrick’s insurance companies agreed to pay $3 million to Hearts With Haiti, but nothing to orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld, attorney Mark Randall, who represents Kendrick, told The Associated Press. Hearts With Haiti and Geilenfeld dropped their defamation claims, he said.

The settlement ends a case that has dragged on since 2013. Kendrick said the effort was worth it because he believes children are now safer.

Kendrick, who stands by his claims against Geilenfeld, said he’s satisfied because the lawsuit aired the accusations and because Geilenfeld gets nothing from the settlement. The money will be used by the charity to help disabled children in Haiti, he said.

“It does not mean the brave victims coming forward have done so in vain,” Kendrick said. “The testimonies in evidence against Geilenfeld belong in a criminal investigation.”

Cardinal who resigned over sex-abuse allegations still living in exile in Kansas

CHAMPAIGN (IL)
News Gazette

Sept. 8, 2019

By Don Follis

In late July, I was just an hour from Hoxie, Kansas, (where I was born and spent my first 10 years) when I passed the exit on Interstate 70 for Victoria, Kan., home of “The Cathedral on the Plains.” For miles you can see the twin 141-foot limestone towers of the St. Fidelis Catholic Church.

The church and school dominate the town of 1,200 distinctly German and overwhelmingly catholic residents. St. Fidelis is the only church in Victoria. German immigrants moved to the area in the late 1800s. St. Fidelis was dedicated in 1911. The building features seating for 1,100, 44-foot ceilings and a 220-foot nave.

St. Fidelis is pretty much in the middle of nowhere out on the vast High Plains, and that’s how Victoria, Kan., and the church, came to be in the national news a year ago. As Ruth Graham writes in the Sept. 3 Slate magazine, “Last fall, God brought to Victoria an unexpected visitor: Theodore McCarrick, once the most powerful Catholic priests in America.” He was the archbishop of Washington D.C. from 2001-06. He was the priest “Meet the Press” relied on to talk about the abuse crisis. At the funerals of Ted Kennedy, Beau Biden, Tim Russert and William Rehnquist, McCarrick participated.

Just over a year ago, the jet-setting priest suddenly became the country’s most well-known accused perpetrator of clerical sexual abuse. The Vatican quickly removed McCarrick from public ministry, and McCarrick resigned his position as a cardinal, the first cardinal to ever resign over sexual-abuse allegations.

Petitions circulating calling on Bishop Malone to resign

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

Sept. 8, 2019

By Anthony Reyes

Petitions are circulating calling on Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign for his handling of the sex abuse scandal in the diocese.

The first petition, circulating among clergy of the diocese drafted by Rev. Robert Zilliox, of St. Mary’s Swormville, states;

"Most priests, deacons and the laity of the Diocese at Buffalo have lost trust and confidence in your ability to lead us forward. Therefore, we reiterate our demand that you resign effective immediately."

A second petition circulating on change.org created by "The People of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY" states:

"We request the immediate resignation of Bishop Richard J. Malone as Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY. Just as clergy must resign when found guilty of sexual crimes and sins perpetrated under the guise of holiness and authority so must this Bishop resign for being a silent accomplice in these crimes and sins committed by clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo."

Memphis’ first Catholic bishop replaced on downtown mural after child sexual abuse accusations

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG TV

Sept. 8, 2019

By Nina Harrleson

Memphis’ first Catholic bishop has been replaced on a mural downtown months after he was included in a list of clergymen accused of molesting children.

The “Upstanders Mural” – on a wall across from the National Civil Rights Museum – is supposed to honor heroes, but after allegations of child sex abuse against the late Carroll Dozier surfaced earlier this year, the group that painted the mural decided he no longer belongs there.

“I would certainly say that that would be their right to change that. And I think as time changes with people, society changes, ideas change, beliefs change, and I think you have to go with that,” Bob Gray, who’s visiting Memphis from Door County, Wis., said. “If you don’t change, if you don’t continue, you’re never going to progress."

Opinion: These alleged abuser priests were scot-free for decades - until they weren’t.

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

September 8, 2019 - 5:00 AM

By Maria Panaritis

The creepy smile. In photos of defrocked archdiocesan priest Francis Trauger last week outside a Bucks County police station, the alleged child sexual predator flashed an outsized grin. He was wearing a suit jacket that flitted as he moved an arm. The pose was more fashion-catalog preen than street candid of a 74-year-old being booked for molesting children.

Then again, Trauger had evaded justice since at least 1981. So that megawatt grin? Maybe it was just that of a septuagenarian who knew that he’d mostly dodged the system.

His arrest after so many decades was itself as startling as the images shot by an Inquirer photographer. But there soon was more to fuel a sense of unease.

Two days after Trauger’s arrest on assault charges out of Bristol, another disgraced priest’s face was blasted into the news, that of defrocked Archdiocese of Philadelphia cleric Robert L. Brennan. The feds snapped up the octogenarian in Maryland on charges that he lied to the FBI in Philadelphia about his relationship with the family of a young victim, Sean McIlmail. Sean died the last time Brennan faced charges. His death had made the case fall apart a few years ago.

No victim, no crime.

Trauger. Brennan. Names and faces I had never forgotten.

I’d spent many months 17 years ago trying to chase allegations that these then-active priests were abusers. Their arrests by state and federal prosecutors now, nearly two decades later, are a testament to the perseverance of prosecutors and victims. Even against long odds and a statute of limitations too short to allow most prosecutions, they have refused to dim the spotlight on these horrors that the church helped go undetected and, as a tragic result, unprosecuted.

Editorial: Abuse in Plain Sight

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

September 7, 2019

By News Editorial Board

Child-abuse lawsuits involving the Catholic Church dominated the initial headlines when the Child Victims Act opened a window for filings on Aug. 14, but it was always clear that the problem was much more widespread.

The accusations brou