October 31, 2005

Families want to hold Catholic Church accountable

ST. PAUL (MN)
Pioneer Press

BY KEVIN HARTER
Pioneer Press

The families of two men apparently killed by a Wisconsin priest said Monday that they want to hold the Catholic Church accountable for not taking action against the Rev. Ryan Erickson.

Relatives of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison — shot to death Feb. 5, 2002, at a Hudson, Wis., funeral home — said they're not seeking money from the Catholic Church but want the church to address their concerns and embrace reforms.

"They have come together united in a purpose of hope and promise," said Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul-based attorney representing the families who is nationally known for his work with victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Anderson was joined by members of both families, who spoke four weeks after a St. Croix County, Wis., judge concluded that Erickson had likely killed the two men and sexually abused at least one teenage boy. Prosecutors allege that Erickson was motivated to kill O'Connell because the funeral home director confronted him about rumors of abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 09:05 PM

10:59 am: Vatican's doctrinal chief says pope might have picked him for his experience with sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
New Mexican

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 31, 2005

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican's senior American and top doctrinal watchdog said Monday that Pope Benedict XVI might have picked him for the job in part because of his experience with sex abuse cases.

Pope Benedict XVI named American Archbishop William Levada to take over the pope's old job as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on May 13.

In his most extensive interview yet, Levada told Vatican Radio that the fact that the Congregation now oversees issues of sexual abuse by clergy, "that given ... the explosion of that on the American scene over the past few years, my experience with that ... may have said to him it wouldn't be bad to have someone also who has this experience."

Levada served on the commission of U.S. bishops and Vatican officials who oversaw revisions to the discipline plan the American bishops had adopted for sexually abusive priests in 2002, with changes meant to protect clergy's legal rights.

He also is to give a deposition concerning the bankruptcy of his former Portland, Oregon, archdiocese that was prompted by clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 PM

Bishop names latest priest in sex scandal

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett

31 October 2005
A Desertmartin parish priest was today named by a bishop as the clergyman who has left his post as police investigate an accusation of sex abuse.

In a statement to the parishioners of Desertmartin, Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty confirmed that Father Pat Crilly has left his post while he is under investigation. Fr Crilly denies the allegation.

Ordained in 1968, Fr Crilly has served much of his career in the Derry diocese.

In a statement read out at Masses yesterday, and faxed to the media, Bishop Hegarty said: "As Fr Crilly himself told you on Wednesday evening an allegation has been made against him which is being investigated by the police.

"He denies the allegation, but has asked to be allowed leave of absence from ministry and I have agreed to this request," the bishop's statement read.

"At this moment I can easily understand your pain and your concern. Having spoken to Fr Crilly I know that he is deeply appreciative of your support and your prayers.

"In the present circumstances Fr Crilly will not be available for ministry. I shall make provision for a temporary replacement for him."

Posted by kshaw at 05:41 PM

Sex Abuse Case Against Priest Dismissed

OHIO
WCPO

Reported by: Lynn Giroud
Web produced by: Mark Sickmiller
Photographed by: Ron Fischer
First posted: 10/31/2005 11:40:03 AM
Last updated: 10/31/2005 6:06:34 PM

A Hamilton County judge has dismissed the case against a Tri-state priest charged with raping a young boy.

Ray Larger was the pastor at St. James Elementary in White Oak back in the 1990's.

A former student, Dale Ramminger, came forward over the summer and accused the priest of repeatedly raping him.

On the stand Monday, he detailed graphic sexual abuse that he said occurred when he was 12 and 13 years old.

But before the defense could present its side, the judge threw out the case, saying there were too many inconsistencies to continue the trial.

Posted by kshaw at 05:27 PM

Socialite suing church speaks out on New York Post article

NEW YORK
PageOneQ

by Wayne Besen
PageOneQ Contributing Writer & Columnist

Earlier this month, I wrote a disturbing column on J. David Enright IV, a New York man who The New York Post claimed was suing the Catholic Church for $5 million because a priest that molested him supposedly turned him gay. I interviewed Mr. Enright and he now claims that the Post got it wrong, saying he was "devastated" by the article.

"I'm a proud gay man. I'm out to do good."

Indeed, Mr. Enright has had his hand in gay issues in the past, usually behind the scenes. I have obtained his letter to the Editor that he sent to The New York Post. Here is the text:
Dear Editor,

I wish to make it perfectly clear that I never said or implied that Father Joseph Romano "made me gay." My issues with Father Romano and the Holy Roman Catholic Church are considerably larger.

Posted by kshaw at 04:46 PM

Interview: Archbishop William Levada

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

31 Oct 05 - RV) The Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop William Levada, sat down for an interview on Monday with Charles Collins. Archbishop Levada served as an official of the Congregation 20 years ago, and began describing how things have changed. ...

THE NORMS THAT WERE DECIDED A COUPLE YEARS AGO IN DALLAS HAVE BEEN RENEWED. IS IT WORKING?

I would say very much so. It is multi-pronged in which one part is to deal with those priests who have been shown to be guilty of abusing minors whether recently or even in the distant past. But the other issues about education of our communities, how to be sensitive to issues involving sexual abuse, how to know what they are, how to report them, to make priests sensitive to that, and their obligations to report allegations to the authorities both civil and church authorities, how the bishop then should comport himself in his outreach to the victim, to be fair, to make sure they are given a good hearing, to have a board that can assist him, a board of competent and expert people who bring various expertise to assist him in the discernment of the steps that should be taken, the validity of allegations, how to interact with the very difficult litigious aspects, the legal communities. The state laws differ very much from state to state in the U.S. There is no one size fits all vademecum draft to say how you are going to respond to these allegations and particularly to these court cases that are introduced. Currently there is an apostolic visitation of the seminaries which is underway that was asked for by the bishops of the U.S as an additional guarantee to people that we would have an objective point of reference to review the programs of the seminaries, admissions to seminaries. On the whole the bishops did not hesitate, even many of us who were challenged by a huge outlay of financial expense to satisfy claims sometimes ordered by courts, decided by juries, to make sure we put adequate resources into these programs, outreach to victims programs, support for legitimate claims for therapy and so forth. I would say that this program has been an extraordinarily successful response. And we even have a monitoring program to help the bishops in diocese with an outside independent audit procedure to evaluate their program to see if there are any weak points and then to make sure they are corrected. I really think that the program is just what needed to be done. I am sorry that with so many of my brother bishops that it had to be done under so much duress, that the explosion of news reports and so forth, that we are not more on top of this for a longer period of time in the past. It certainly has been a very effective program since it has been put into place.

Posted by kshaw at 04:40 PM

Families of 2 slain in Hudson funeral home seek meeting with pope

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Randy Furst, Star Tribune
Last update: October 31, 2005 at 3:08 PM

The families of two men who were killed more than three years ago in Hudson, Wis., said today that they will seek an audience with Pope Benedict.

At a news conference in the office of St. Paul attorney Jeffrey Anderson, a prominent litigator in the area of sexual abuse by priests, members of the families of Daniel O’Connell and James Ellison said that the Catholic church should have removed the Rev. Ryan Erickson before the killings occurred.

O’Connell, 39, and Ellison, 22, were gunned down in the O’Connell family funeral home, where they worked, on Feb. 5, 2002.

Earlier this month, St. Croix County Circuit Judge Eric Lundell ruled that there was probable cause that Erickson shot them

Erickson committed suicide on Dec. 19, 2004, three days after Hudson police executed a search warrant at a Catholic church in Hurley, Wis., where he was a priest. Erickson was an associate priest at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at the time of the killings, and denied to police that he was involved.

Posted by kshaw at 04:36 PM

Hartford diocese to settle abuse cases for $22 mln

BOSTON (MA)
Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, has agreed to pay $22 million to settle 43 cases of sexual abuse of children by priests from the 1960s to about 1985, lawyers and the church said on Monday.

The settlement was concluded last week after two years of mediation by U.S. Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel, who helped abuse victims and the Church reach similar settlements in 2001 and 2003, plaintiffs' lawyer Jason Tremont said.

Fourteen priests were accused of committing sexual abuse ranging from rape to fondling at the Archdiocese of Hartford, mostly while John Francis Whealon was archbishop between 1968 and 1991, said Tremont, who represented 15 of the victims.

The U.S. Catholic Church has faced hundreds of lawsuits in involving priests charged with pedophilia since the national scandal first erupted in Massachusetts in 2002 and then spread to other U.S. dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at 04:32 PM

Hartford archdiocese reaches $22 million abuse settlement

HARTFORD (CT)
The Advocate

Associated Press

Published October 31 2005

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to pay $22 million to 43 people who say they were abused by priests, the archdiocese and a lawyer representing some of the victims said Monday.

The settlement was the result of talks mediated by U.S. Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel in Bridgeport, attorney Jason Tremont said.

"While I am grateful that the diocese has offered this compensation, I want to make it perfectly clear that no amount of money can replace what was taken from me at the hands of a child molester who wore a Roman collar and called himself 'Father,"' said James Hackett, one of the 43 victims, who said he was molested in 1976 when he was an altar boy and middle school student at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Hamden.

Posted by kshaw at 02:38 PM

Ferns Report to rock church

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

23 October 2005 By Kieron Wood
The leaders of the Catholic Church in Ireland are bracing themselves for an unprecedented onslaught of criticism following the publication of the long-awaited Ferns Report this week. The report, by retired Supreme Court judge Frank Murphy, will be presented to the cabinet on Tuesday.

Two years ago, former health minister Micheál Martin asked Murphy to identify any allegations of abuse made against clergy in the Wexford diocese of Ferns before April 10, 2002, and to assess the response of the Church authorities and Gardai.

The former bishop of Ferns, Brendan Comiskey, had resigned in 2002 over his handling of complaints against Fr Sean Fortune.

The Ferns priest committed suicide in 1999 shortly before he was due to be tried on 29 charges of abusing eight boys.

It wasn't the first time that Comiskey had been involved in controversy. In 1995 he checked into a clinic in the US to receive treatment for alcoholism.

The following year, during a Mass in Enniscorthy Cathedral, he insisted that “wild, sensational and totally unfounded allegations that I would sacrifice the innocence of a child to protect some drinking buddy - or any other buddy - is particularly vile, untrue and cruel'‘.

Posted by kshaw at 02:15 PM

Fr. James Aquino placed on administrative leave by Worcester Bishop Robert McManus.

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Voice

Fr. James Aquino pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish and Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program has been placed on administrative leave effective this past weekend by Worcester Bishop Robert McManus.

Posted by kshaw at 12:29 PM

Local man claims abuse at hands of ex-priest

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Perry County News

INDIANAPOLIS - An ex-priest described as a “prolific molester” of young boys will face civil-court actions in Indianapolis that will involve one Tell City man, according to the lawyer representing several victims.

As of last week, Minnesota attorney Patrick Noaker had filed complaints on behalf of four “John Does” who allegedly suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the former Rev. Harry E. Monroe. Noaker said Thursday he expected to file another suit this week based on allegations from a Tell City resident.

In addition to Monroe, officials from the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis are named as defendants because they allegedly knew the priest was a child molester when they moved him from “a high-profile church in Indianapolis to a lower-profile church in Terre Haute ... and he molested kids there,” Noaker said.

The archdiocese then “moved him to Tell City, a small little berg, and he ended up molesting children there,” the lawyer continued. The idea that church officials thought they could hide the allegedly abusive priest in a small town “offends me a lot,” he said, explaining he grew up in a small Indiana town, “and those could have been my friends” (molested).

Posted by kshaw at 11:08 AM

Mass uproar: priest gets garda protection

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Jimmy Gahan and Catherine Shanahan
A PARISH priest was placed under garda protection following verbal assaults on him during Mass in a Co Wexford village.

Members of the congregation were angry over revelations about the priest’s predecessor in the Ferns Report into clerical child sex abuse in the diocese.

Fr John Sinnott, who took over the parish of Ballindaggin from deceased paedophile Canon Martin Clancy in 1992, took the brunt of the outbursts despite his innocence.

“I knew there would be some hassle. I know people are very hurt,” he said.

Trouble first flared for the 68-year-old priest during Saturday night’s vigil Mass in St Colman’s Church after he read a pastoral letter from Bishop Eamonn Walsh.

A small number of parishioners interrupted Fr Sinnott and demanded he tell all he knew about the activities of his predecessor.

Posted by kshaw at 10:10 AM

IDLE OFFICIALS ENABLED PRIEST TO 'PREY'

NEW YORK
New York Post

By IKIMULISA LIVINGSTON and STEFANIE COHEN

October 31, 2005 -- Administrators at a private Manhattan school admitted yesterday they never checked with church officials before hiring a former priest who allegedly molested a student in Central Park last week.

Episcopal authorities said the ex-priest, Bruce Jacques, had been defrocked for allegedly propositioning a 13-year-old boy a decade ago.

The Robert Louis Stevenson School hired Jacques as a fund-raiser in 2003.

On Oct. 20, a 13-year-old Stevenson student accused Jacques of molesting him in the Park.

"Apparently, the school didn't do its due diligence. They didn't call the diocese," said Gail Keeney-Mulligan, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in New Milford, Conn., where the former priest once worked.

Posted by kshaw at 10:06 AM

Second diocese now faced with scandal even worse than Ferns

IRELAND
Irish Independent

A CHILD abuse timebomb is ticking away in another Catholic archdiocese.

Allegations have been recorded against a shocking total of 27 priests who have served in the archdiocese of Tuam.

The Ferns scandal involved 21 priests.

Astonishingly, eight clerics have left the priesthood in Tuam after a "reasonable suspicion" that child abuse had taken place was established.

Posted by kshaw at 09:46 AM

Rigali gives apology for suffering of priest abuse

YARDLEY (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Martha Woodall
Inquirer Staff Writer

Yesterday, four days after many parishioners at St. Ignatius of Antioch in Yardley voiced outrage at a forum over the clergy abuse scandal, Cardinal Justin Rigali celebrated Mass at the Bucks church.

Rigali told worshipers filling the church pews that the sins involving the abuse of children "have deeply offended God."

The cardinal apologized for the pain caused by the abuse, said mistakes should never be repeated and called for healing and forgiveness.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said the cardinal's trip to St. Ignatius had been planned long ago and was not scheduled in response to the unusual forum held in the church auditorium Wednesday.

Posted by kshaw at 09:31 AM

Priest accused of child abuse

HAMILTON (NJ)
The Times

Monday, October 31, 2005
HAMILTON - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton removed a priest from active duty because of a recent allegation that he sexually abused a minor, officials said.

The Rev. James Selvaraj, the adjunct priest of St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, was placed on leave last week pending the outcome of an investigation.

Diocese officials filed a complaint with the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office last week that alleges sexual misconduct by Selvaraj, law enforcement and church officials confirmed yesterday.

The prosecutor's office is investigating but no charges have been filed, said prosecutor's office spokeswoman Casey DeBlasio.

Neither DeBlasio nor the diocese spokeswoman would release any information about specific allegations against Selvaraj, who came to the diocese from India.

Posted by kshaw at 09:28 AM

One in Four group condemn threats against priests

IRELAND
Carlow People

11:16 Monday October 31st 2005

The support group for victims of sexual abuse, One in Four, has condemned any threats of violence against priests in the wake of the Ferns Inquiry.

This comes amid newspaper reports today that a parish priest was placed under Garda protection in Co Wexford, following verbal assaults on him during mass in the parish of Ballindaggin.

It comes as anger mounts over the abuse revelations contained in the Ferns report.

But One in Four director, Colm O'Gorman says people must not attempt to take justice into their own hands.

"It's important that people remain objective in their understandable outrage" he said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:25 AM

Claims over priest lead to move

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Catholic priest Fr Pat Crilly has left his post while claims of child sex abuse against him are investigated, the Bishop of Derry has said.

Dr Seamus Hegarty broke the news to Fr Crilly's parishioners at Mass in Desertmartin on Sunday.

He said Fr Crilly had denied the claims but asked for leave of absence while police carried out an investigation.

Posted by kshaw at 06:44 AM

One in Four group condemn threats against priests

IRELAND
IOL

31/10/2005 - 11:19:54

The support group for victims of sexual abuse, One in Four, has condemned any threats of violence against priests in the wake of the Ferns Inquiry.

This comes amid newspaper reports today that a parish priest was placed under Garda protection in Co Wexford, following verbal assaults on him during mass in the parish of Ballindaggin.

It comes as anger mounts over the abuse revelations contained in the Ferns report.

But One in Four director, Colm O'Gorman says people must not attempt to take justice into their own hands.

Posted by kshaw at 06:40 AM

Priest in Elphin steps aside pending inquiry

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent

A parish priest in his 70s stood aside from the ministry in Elphin diocese at the weekend. In a statement read at Masses in churches where the man served, Bishop Christopher Jones said the priest had agreed to step aside pending the outcome of an investigation.

This followed a similar announcement in the Tuam diocese last Thursday.

Bishop Jones did not say what was being investigated in Elphin but emphasised it had not been established whether allegations made were true and the fact that the priest agreed to step aside did not indicate any guilt on his part. It is understood the allegations relate to the mid-1960s, when the priest was in the United States.

In Tuam archdiocese it was disclosed at the weekend there had been abuse allegations there against 27 priests, 19 of whom were priests of the diocese, since 1940. Seven civil actions had been settled, at a cost of €327,000.

Posted by kshaw at 06:35 AM

Church is left reeling by abuse scandal

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Clare Weir

31 October 2005
The Bishop of Down and Connor has told parishioners that the latest sex scandal to rock the Catholic church has "damaged" the morale and confidence of priests.

A letter from Dr Patrick Walsh - confirming that two clerics implicated in the damning Ferns Report served in Down and Connor - was read out in all masses in the diocese yesterday.

The Bishop said that no complaint was made about Fr James Doyle, who served in St Agnes' parish from 1974 to 1979.

He added that there were concerns, not about abuse, over the notorious Fr Sean Fortune and following a complaint he was "immediately" sent back to the diocese of Ferns after serving on loan to the Holy Rosary parish between 1979 and 1980.

In the Ferns Report, detailing decades of clerical sex abuse in a corner of Co Wexford, both men were said to be guilty of molesting children.

Posted by kshaw at 06:20 AM

October 30, 2005

Sexual abuse of children ‘inexcusable’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Brendan Furlong
BISHOP Eamonn Walsh described it as inexcusable that some priests of the diocese sexually abused children.

Speaking before a packed congregation at the Immaculate Conception Church, Rowe Street, in Wexford town, yesterday, Bishop Walsh said he was unable to imagine the mental and emotional trauma of a child or teenager sexually abused by a priest.

Bishop Walsh, speaking before the commencement of Mass to an overflowing congregation, said: "This is not a time for excuses. There are hard lessons to be learned from the findings of the inquiry, for there is much to be done to repair the damage to those who were abused.

"The diocese is committed to doing all it can to help in repairing the harm that has been done, for we are acutely aware that this will be a long process. We are also aware that some of those whose trust in priests and the Church has been shattered may have a real difficulty in accepting any help from us."

Posted by kshaw at 09:46 PM

Church failed Wexford children

IRELAND
Irish Emigrant

Since it was published on Tuesday evening the report on child sex abuse by certain priests in the Diocese of Ferns has totally dominated the news. It was known that the diocese had a particular problem and it was suspected that bishops did not act decisively to ensure that children were protected from known and suspected abusers, but the full extent of the scandal came as something of a surprise. More than 100 victims made credible allegations against 21 priests; allegations against a further five priests surfaced too late to be investigated fully. The inquiry, initiated in 2003 by the then Minister for Health Mícheál Martin and conducted by retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy, covered a period of 40 years. It was presented to Cabinet on Tuesday morning and published later in the day. Prior to that, leaked reports gave some idea of the extent of the problem.

The report took to task Bishop Dónal Herlihy, who led the diocese from 1964 until his death in 1983, and his successor Dr Brendan Comiskey who resigned in 2002. Neither man seemed to grasp the seriousness of the problem and the propensity for abusers to continue their activities even if moved to another location. It was stated that Bishop Herlihy viewed priests who abused children as "guilty of moral misconduct" but failed to recognise their behaviour as "a serious criminal offence". Bishop Éamonn Walsh was lauded for his efforts to bring about major reform in the diocese since his appointment in 2002 as apostolic administrator of the Ferns diocese. The gardaí and the South Eastern Health Board were also found wanting in their response. Garda investigations into complaints were inadequate and in one case the related file disappeared.

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 PM

Church and State respond

IRELAND
Irish Emigrant

In promising to quickly implement the recommendations contained in the report, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he was "appalled and overwhelmed at the nature and extent of the abuse". He said the Government would be writing to Church authorities to ensure that systems put in place in Ferns, by Bishop Éamonn Walsh, had been implemented in all other dioceses. Mr Ahern added that clerical abuse amounted to 3% of sexual abuse cases, and that the State aimed to tackle the other 97%.

Tánaiste and Minister for Health Mary Harney described the report as "very sad, very disturbing, very depressing". Minister for Justice Michael McDowell promised to amend the current Criminal Justice Bill to include a "reckless endangerment" clause. This will be similar to a new law in Massachusetts which makes it an offence for people in authority to fail to take action when they are aware that children are in danger.

It was Minister of State for Children Brian Lenihan who had most to say. Speaking on behalf of the Government, he condemned "in the strongest possible terms the repeated failure and gross dereliction of duties of those in a position of trust in the Diocese of Ferns, who engaged in acts of child abuse or failed to take effective steps to defend and vindicate the rights of the children concerned". He too promised legislation in line with the report's recommendations. Politicians of other parties all condemned the failure to protect the children of Ferns and called for a swift Government response. At some stage it was indicated that the report was in the hands of the DPP so further prosecutions are a possibility.

Posted by kshaw at 07:03 PM

Ireland Shaken by Report of Abuse by Priests

IRELAND
Zenit

TUAM, Ireland, OCT. 30, 2005 (Zenit.org).- A report revealing decades of sexual abuse by 21 priests in the Diocese of Ferns sent shock waves through the Church in Ireland last week.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam today explained his decision to ask a priest to stand aside from his ministry pending the outcome of investigations.

"I first became aware in late summer, through the Gardai [police], that a priest of the diocese was subject to an allegation of criminal misconduct towards an adult and that it was under investigation," the archbishop said during his homily in the cathedral.

"Following consultation with various sources, including the Garda Siochana," he said, "I was satisfied that a public safety issue had not been shown to exist. Therefore I did not request the priest to stand aside.

Posted by kshaw at 06:54 PM

Former spokesman for archdiocese gets another controversial job

BOSTON (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By DENISE LAVOIE
Associated Press Writer

BOSTON— By the time the Rev. Chris Coyne had to face angry parishioners whose churches were about to close, he was already accustomed to being in the hot seat.

Coyne had been the spokesman for Cardinal Bernard Law at the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal. As the most visible symbol of the embattled Boston Archdiocese, Coyne became the focal point for the anger of some victims.

When Coyne was confronted by a group of furious parishioners outside a court hearing on the future of St. Albert the Great in Weymouth, one of more than 80 parishes the archdiocese had scheduled to close, he showed poise.

"Have you ever been to Weymouth? Have you been to our parish?" Sandy Jones shouted at Coyne as he spoke with reporters outside of Suffolk Superior Court.

Coyne, in his characteristic unflappable style, ended the media interviews when Jones refused to stop interrupting him. He quietly walked away, later saying, "People's emotions are high, and I understand that."

Posted by kshaw at 06:52 PM

Episcopal letters - A campaign of damage limitation

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Throughout dioceses in the country yesterday the hierarchy engaged in a major campaign of damage limitation and reassurance to a faithful who have had their faith in the Church rocked by the horrific revelations of child sexual abuse.

The public reaction by Catholics to episcopal letters read at most churches in response to proven and imputed child sexual abuse, in the wake of the Ferns Report, was seemingly sympathetic, but there were, understandably, exceptions.

In Clonakilty, Co Cork, the prevailing anger and shock that has been revealed, was reflected by Fr Gerard Galvin, who refused to read out the letter from Bishop John Buckley to his congregation, although he made copies available for those who wanted them.

The priest’s defiance met with the approval of the majority of his flock who applauded his principled stance on his belief, among other things, that it contained nothing new and failed to blame those who broke the system of trust.

Posted by kshaw at 06:49 PM

Episcopal letters - A campaign of damage limitation

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Throughout dioceses in the country yesterday the hierarchy engaged in a major campaign of damage limitation and reassurance to a faithful who have had their faith in the Church rocked by the horrific revelations of child sexual abuse.

The public reaction by Catholics to episcopal letters read at most churches in response to proven and imputed child sexual abuse, in the wake of the Ferns Report, was seemingly sympathetic, but there were, understandably, exceptions.

In Clonakilty, Co Cork, the prevailing anger and shock that has been revealed, was reflected by Fr Gerard Galvin, who refused to read out the letter from Bishop John Buckley to his congregation, although he made copies available for those who wanted them.

The priest’s defiance met with the approval of the majority of his flock who applauded his principled stance on his belief, among other things, that it contained nothing new and failed to blame those who broke the system of trust.

Posted by kshaw at 06:43 PM

Archbishop of Tuam speaks about 'difficult week for the church'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

In his homily at Tuam cathedral today, Archbishop Michael Neary said it had been a difficult week for the church.

The Archbishop of Tuam said the Ferns report was an important milestone and he apologised to all who had suffered abuse at the hands of priests.

The Tuam diocese had had an extra challenge, when he had to ask a priest to stand aside from his ministry pending the outcome of an investigation into what he called criminal misconduct against an adult.

He said he first became aware of the claims this summer from the Gardai but had not been convinced that public safety was at issue.

Posted by kshaw at 04:36 PM

What's happening elsewhere?

IRELAND
Irish Emigrant

A similar inquiry for the Archdiocese of Dublin is expected to be established in the near future, probably within a month. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said that the diocese will co-operate fully. Some commentators questioned the delay in launching this inquiry, which was promised long ago. There were also calls for inquiries in all Catholic dioceses but the Government response was to propose an audit of allegations of clerical abuse of children to ascertain where inquiries could be beneficial.

Bishop of Derry Dr Séamus Hegarty gave a detailed account of allegations of sexual abuse in his diocese. Over the past 50 years accusations have been levelled against 26 priests, nine of whom are now dead. Some had the allegations withdrawn, the claims made against two were deemed not to constitute abuse, three complainants refused to identify the priests involved and two cases reached the courts, where one priest was convicted and one acquitted.

Posted by kshaw at 04:33 PM

Tuam received abuse allegations against 19 priests

IRELAND
IOL

30/10/2005 - 17:35:36

There have been allegations of child sexual abuse made against 19 priests in the Catholic Archdiocese of Tuam, it was revealed today.

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary confirmed allegations have been made against 19 priests, of whom six are now deceased, with the earliest allegation dating back to 1940.

Days after the shocking Ferns Inquiry into clerical child sex abuse was released, Archbishop Neary said no priest was currently in ministry who is the subject of an investigation involving child sexual abuse or about whom there has been reasonable suspicion it may have occurred.

“In keeping with my record as Archbishop, and as an expression of my determination to protect children, I welcome, without hesitation, the suggested State audit into the Church’s handling of complaints of this nature,” he said, in his homily at the Cathedral in Tuam.

Posted by kshaw at 12:14 PM

Allegations of abuse in Tuam revealed

IRELAND
RTE News

30 October 2005 16:51
The Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, has revealed allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against 19 priests in the Archdiocese since 1940.

Four priests were charged with criminal offences, three of whom were convicted of what are described as 'offences within the realm of child sexual abuse'.

Eight priests have stood aside from the ministry in the Archdiocese. Six of the priests are now dead.

Posted by kshaw at 10:57 AM

Hope they nab my perv dad, son says

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY LISA MUÑOZ in New Milford, Conn.
and TRACY CONNOR in New York
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Manhattan prep school officials and parents aren't the only ones who hope the NYPD tracks down and arrests a defrocked priest accused of molesting a student.

His son wants him behind bars, too.

"I'd love to see him get caught," Aaron Jacques, 25, the youngest child of school fund-raiser Bruce Jacques, told the Daily News yesterday. "If he really did what they say he did, that would make my day."

Bruce Jacques, 57, is on the run after a male student at the Robert Louis Stevenson School on W. 74th St. claimed the ex-priest sexually assaulted by him in Central Park on Oct. 20.

After the allegation was lodged, school officials discovered Jacques had a sordid past: the Episcopal Church had booted him from the priesthood for allegedly propositioning a 13-year-old boy in 1995.

Posted by kshaw at 10:55 AM

Ex-New Milford priest in trouble once more

NEW MILFORD (CT)
The News-Times

By Eugene Driscoll
THE NEWS-TIMES

NEW MILFORD – A defrocked priest once accused of asking a child if he wanted oral sex as a confirmation gift is on the run from the New York City Police Department.

The New York Daily News reported Saturday that Bruce Jacques, 57, is wanted for allegedly sexually assaulting a student at the Robert Louis Stevenson School, a private school for children with emotional and learning problems off Central Park West in Manhattan.

A student at the school accused Jacques of molesting him in Central Park Oct. 20, the News reported.

In an interview with the newspaper, the school's headmaster said Jacques was hired as director of development at the school two years ago with solid references – but no mention of his troubles in New Milford.

Posted by kshaw at 10:52 AM

’Invisible heroes’

ARCATA (CA)
The Times-Standard

ARCATA -- A new book by local author and lecturer Carolyn Lehman deals with the subject of sexual abuse and, through stories and photographs, shows “the true faces of healing.”

”Strong at the Heart: How It Feels to Heal from Sexual Abuse” (Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, $18) addresses the topic of sexual abuse from the standpoint of those who experienced it, “giving a voice,” Lehman says, “to the survivors who triumphed over their past to shape their future.” The book is geared toward teen readers, as well as their parents, friends and the people who work with them.

”The individuals I talked with are heroes, invisible heroes who overcame violence, betrayal and hurt to become strong, caring and vital people,” Lehman said. “I knew I wanted to show others what I was seeing -- the strength, the honesty, the sheer guts of these survivors.” ...

Each survivor shows how healing is possible, she said -- from Jonathan, now 19, who was abused as a child by a priest who was a family friend, to Sheena, now 18, who was sexually assaulted at age 15 by a cousin, to Akaya, who was abused by her alcoholic father beginning at the age of 2.



Posted by kshaw at 10:41 AM

Abuse a 'tragic reality' that needs prevention: Bishop of Limerick

IRELAND
IOL

30/10/2005 - 15:27:32

The Bishop of Limerick Dr Donal Murray has said that child abuse has been a sad and tragic reality and everything possible must be done to ensure that it does not happen again.

In a statement referred to by priests today across the Limerick diocese, Bishop Murray told congregations that the level of hurt that now exists in society due to child abuse cannot be measured.

In response to the publication of the Ferns report, the Limerick Diocese has revealed details of its structures in place to protect children.

The Child Protection Committee of the Limerick Diocese meets monthly to provide training in the area of child protection for every parish. Two members of the committee are qualified as child protection officers for the diocese and some 18 people are being trained as facilitators in the area of child protection.

Posted by kshaw at 10:32 AM

South Bend men testify against priest accused of molestation

MESA (AZ)
WNDU

Posted: 10/29/2005 05:08 pm
Last Updated: 10/29/2005 05:47 pm

Mesa, AZ - Testifying against former Little Flower Church priest Father Paul LeBrun this week in Arizona, several South Bend men say he wasn't like other priests.

They say LeBrun was laid-back and would smoke and swear.

LeBrun is accused of sex crimes and child molestation in Arizona in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

The alleged Indiana victims hope to show LeBrun had a propensity to molest young boys.

Two men who went on camping trips with Father LeBrun describe what happened after LeBrun allegedly fondled them.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Ex-minister in Berea guilty of sexually abusing a child

RICHMOND (KY)
Lexington Herald-Leader

ASSOCIATED PRESS

RICHMOND - A former Presbyterian minister pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old.

Thomas Frazier, 67, of Berea, is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 12.

Frazier pleaded guilty Friday to inappropriately touching the girl on two occasions between October and December 2004 while she visited him in Berea.

Frazier had several family members and friends at the hearing.

"The Fraziers are trying to do what is best in a difficult situation," said the Rev. Kent Gilbert of Berea's Union Church, where Frazier is a member.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 AM

Sex offender victims want tougher laws

MCALLEN (TX)
The Monitor

October 30,2005
Brittney Booth
The Monitor

McALLEN — Former Trinity Worship Center music minister Robert Dale Franklin — who pleaded guilty to molesting a 14-year-old boy in March — is scheduled to return to Hidalgo County this week to serve out 10 years probation.

Franklin, 39, who pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sexual assault in March and thus averted facing 10 additional charges that he gave marijuana and cocaine to his victim, begins his probation after serving the six-month prison term and undergoing the 30-day drug treatment program 332nd state District Judge Mario Ramirez sentenced him to after the plea.

Posted by kshaw at 07:27 AM

Comment: Brenda Power: Church is guilty of institutional criminality

IRELAND
The Sunday Times

Nobody who worked in the old Irish Press will forget Brendan Comiskey for one particularly pious and arrogant piece of grandstanding. The newspaper’s television reviewer had made a light-hearted comment about the then-imminent birth of the singer Madonna’s first baby, and expressed the hope that this infant didn’t cause as much trouble as the son born to a previous Madonna. Bishop Comiskey considered this remark to be blasphemous, and used the might and prominence of his role to demand a boycott by all God-fearing Catholics of the Irish Press group newspapers. At that time the group was in serious difficulties and, indeed, closed not long afterwards with the loss of hundreds of jobs and hardship to many families. Had Comiskey enjoyed quite as much clout as he hoped at that time, this may even have been precipitated by his intervention.

Now we know that, at this time, the same bishop who considered that hundreds of people deserved to lose their livelihoods because of one hack’s throwaway quip did not feel that paedophiles and rapists should suffer any such fate as a result of their activities. Perhaps this is an insight into the value system of the man who hid himself away from the media he had once courted, in the wake of the Ferns Report last week, and issued a bland statement defending himself and describing his complicity in criminal activity for many years as “human failings”. But it is also possible that Comiskey saw his attack on the Irish Press’s blasphemous leanings to be entirely congruent with the effort to cover up and deny incidents of clerical sex abuse. In both instances, he may well have reasoned, the institution was under attack, and the institution had to be protected at all costs, even by the sacrifice of collateral civilian casualties.

Posted by kshaw at 07:22 AM

DPP to probe Comiskey's role in abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

MAEVE SHEEHAN

THE Director of Public Prosecutions is to examine the Ferns Inquiry report with a view to instituting criminal proceedings against those who have abused children and also against those who may have withheld evidence, including the former bishop of the diocese, Brendan Comiskey.

Colm O'Gorman, a director of One in Four, the group for survivors of abuse, said yesterday: "It is clear from the report that Bishop Comiskey was found to have made inaccurate and misleading statements in relation to one of the most serious crimes in the statute books. Any suggestion in the Ferns report that any Church figure, including Bishop Comiskey, acted to prevent or obstruct criminal investigations into child sexual abuse should be examined, investigated and, if proven, prosecuted."

Mr O'Gorman was referring to the fact that Bishop Comiskey failed to tell gardai that a priest under investigation for abusing boys had admitted his behaviour to the prelate two years earlier. A source close to victims in the Ferns diocese said they had been given to understand that the DPP's review would include the role of anyone who was found to have withheld information from the gardai.

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 AM

THE RAP ON 'LIAR PRIEST'

NEW YORK
New York Post

By PATRICK GALLAHUE

October 30, 2005 -- A defrocked priest pulled the wool over a tony Manhattan school's eyes, disguising past allegations of sexual abuse, and now faces a fresh set of charges from a 13-year-old student.

Bruce Jacques, 57, who left a Connecticut parish in the mid-'90s after allegedly offering oral sex to a boy as a "confirmation gift," told officials at the Robert Louis Stevenson on the Upper West Side he was still a practicing priest and even went so far as to take days off to "be the clergyman at various churches," said the stunned headmaster, Bud Henrichsen.

"It seems clear to us in retrospect that this is a man who lived several different lives," he said. "He lied about being an active priest."

In 1995, Jacques, the then-rector at St. John's Episcopal Church in New Milford, Conn., allegedly propositioned a 13-year-old boy at the church.

A parishioner told The Post the charming reverend adamantly denied the charges but eventually resigned in the face of mounting pressure.

Posted by kshaw at 07:12 AM

Dissenter won't quit

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Boston Globe

By Eileen McNmara, Globe Columnist | October 30, 2005

CAMBRIDGE -- His name jumps out among the signatures on the declaration of religious support for same-sex marriages in Massachusetts.

Of the hundreds of clergy from more than a score of religious denominations in the Commonwealth to endorse the fundamental human right of gay people to marry, only the Rev. Robert E. Nee is a Roman Catholic priest.

He is neither brave nor crazy, he says; neither is he unmindful of the retribution being meted out these days to dissidents by Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley: The pastor in Westborough chastised for calling efforts to overturn gay marriage an ''attack" on his homosexual parishioners. The popular, progressive pastor in Newton ousted on trumped-up charges of mismanagement. ...

While he is at Harvard he hopes to interest sociologists in examining the fallout for the 58 Boston-area priests who called on Cardinal Bernard F. Law to resign in 2002 for his failure of leadership during the clergy sexual-abuse crisis. Law resigned 10 days later, but he has moved on to a comfortable berth in Rome. Many of the priests who signed that letter have been removed from their parishes, though the archdiocese denies that reprisals played any role in those personnel changes. ''We have a support group for priests," says Father Nee, who also signed the letter seeking Law's removal. ''The Boston Priest Forum is not dead yet."


Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

Riskier world means more church security

UNITED STATES
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

October 30, 2005

Churches have long been considered safe havens from the evil of the outside world. No more.

Across Iowa and the nation, churches increasingly are taking precautions to protect members by:

• Issuing identification cards that are required before parents may pick up children from Sunday school classes.

• Training and screening church leaders to recognize child abuse.

• Installing sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment.

• Monitoring sex offenders who may move from church to church.

Posted by kshaw at 07:01 AM

Priest talks about abuse ordeal

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A priest who worked in parishes in Belfast and Lisburn has been speaking of the abuse he suffered at the hands of another clergyman.

Fr Paddy McCafferty, who is a priest of the Diocese of Down and Connor, said he was abused by the priest when he returned to Belfast for his holidays.

"In the system, you really had no rights. There was no-one to turn to for help," he said.

"I felt that I would have been the one who was in trouble and be blamed."

Fr McCafferty, who is now studying for a theology degree in Dublin where he is a parish chaplain, said he felt he could do nothing to stop the abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 06:57 AM

October 29, 2005

Tuam: Investigation launched into alleged clerical rape

IRELAND
IOL

28/10/2005 - 07:32:34

A garda investigation has been launched in the diocese of Tuam following allegations that a priest raped a pregnant woman there during the 1970s.

The case centres on allegations of abuse made by a woman who is now in her forties. She claims the priest raped her on two separate occasions when she approached him for advice after becoming pregnant.

She further alleges that the priest subsequently paid her €10,000 and offered her a further €5,000.

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary has asked the priest to stand aside from his duties following coverage of the alleged rape in yesterday’s newspapers.

Posted by kshaw at 06:39 PM

Comiskey's turbulent priest

IRELAND
The Sunday Business Post

30 October 2005 By Alison O'Connor
The man had been paralysed from the neck down in a car accident. He lay in a hospital bed unable to move. But he was still able to speak, and the story he told sounded more incredible as it went on.

Lying in the ward in theAbuse Tracker Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, Sean Cloney spoke of a priest who had lied, stolen, bullied, cheated and abused.

Back then, in themid-1990s, the stories about Fr Sean Fortune seemed simply too incredible to be true. From the moment the priest arrived in Fethard-on-Sea in south Wexford, Cloney was amazed at the way he wreaked havoc in the townland of Poulfur.

Cloney sensed from the beginning that there was something wrong with the new curate.

“He was the greatest liar that I ever met - a horrible man. He had all the deadly sins except sloth,” said Cloney, before explaining that he had his own trouble with the clergy in the 1950s.

Cloney was the man whose early married life was captured on celluloid in the film A Love Divided a few years ago. The movie told the story of a boycott of Protestant businesses in Fethard-on-Sea in the 1950s, after followers of Ian Paisley abducted Cloney's Protestant wife Sheila and their daughter to prevent her having to attend a Catholic school.

Posted by kshaw at 06:35 PM

Catholic Free Press publishes Father James Aquino story on page three.

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Voice

The headline in the Catholic Free Press article states that "BISHOP MCMANUS CONTINUES TO EVALUATE FATHER AQUINO CASE."

Where are the tough questions that our leaders of the Worcester diocese should be asking?

The story reads of a typical diocesan approach to sexual situations, weaving a story of half-truths and one-sided presentations with bible verses used as a supporting cast.

The article minimizes the incident stating that only a criminal citation was issued. If this was of an insignificant nature, why did Father Aquino not inform Bishop Robert McManus when he returned from Las Vegas vacation with his friend, Monsignor Louis P. Piermarini in October 2004?

Posted by kshaw at 06:26 PM

Bishop quizzed over ‘missing’ abuse files

IRELAND
The Sunday Times

Dearbhail McDonald

EAMON Walsh, the bishop of Ferns, was questioned last month by the inquiry into sexual abuse after it discovered certain files had not been forwarded by the diocese.

The files contained allegations against five priests that could not be investigated by the team because they were handed over just weeks before the report’s publication.

Walsh and his legal advisers attended an emergency plenary hearing convened by the inquiry on September 2.

The inquiry has concluded that the omission of the documents was the result of a “regrettable error” on the part of the diocese.

Walsh ordered an audit of diocesan files last July following a complaint by a woman who said she had been abused by two priests in the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 06:21 PM

FATHER BENEDICT VAN DER PUTTEN

UNITED STATES
San Francisco Faith

FATHER BENEDICT VAN DER PUTTEN, a priest formerly of the Society of St. Pius X, has been relieved of his faculties by Pope Benedict XVI, according to an announcement issued by the chancellor of the diocese of Marquette in August. Van der Putten, who, beginning in 1995, had been retreat master at the society's St. Aloysius Retreat House in Los Gatos, left the Society of St. Pius X in 2000 to seek reconciliation with Rome. In December 2003, the bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Van der Putten had gone to seek regularization, announced that he had refused incardination to Van der Putten "because of the seriousness of his admitted sexual misconduct." According to the diocese of Marquette, Van der Putten, "at one time a holder of a celebret from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has been dismissed from the clerical state by decree of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI after being accused of sexual abuse of minors." Van der Putten reportedly is currently living in Hawaii.

Posted by kshaw at 06:18 PM

McDowell to ensure report implemented

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Cormac O’Keeffe
ASSURANCES by the Catholic hierarchy that their child abuse guidelines are being enforced will not be accepted at “face value”, Justice Minister Michael McDowell said yesterday.

He said the proposed national audit of dioceses would check whether the guidelines are in fact being implemented.

The minister said he was also considering “with a view to implementation” a recommendation in the Ferns Report that both priests and alleged abuse victims receive free legal aid in court cases.

Mr McDowell said Minister for Children Brian Lenihan had written to bishops asking them whether they were implementing, as claimed, their own 1996 guidelines on handling child sex abuse allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 06:12 PM

“Safe Environment” ProgramsBegan As Pro-Homosexual Propaganda

UNITED STATES
The Wanderer

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

The recent national mandate to “all bishops” from Teresa Kettelkamp, director of the USCCB’s Office of Child and Youth Protection, has rekindled the controversy over the “safe environment” programs mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the bishops in 2002.
As The Wanderer reported two weeks ago, a forceful response to Kettelkamp’s directive came from Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Baker, Ore. Bishop Vasa published a column in the diocesan newspaper entitled, “We Need Answers.” The bishop said that, until he had those answers, he would be inclined to ignore Kettelkamp’s mandates.
One of Bishop Vasa’s central questions addressed the origins of the “safe environment” programs. “Where do these programs come from,” he asks.

Posted by kshaw at 06:11 PM

Dioceses pay out €9m over sex abuse

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Claire O’Sullivan
AT LEAST €9 million has been paid out to victims of clerical sex abuse, latest figures from Catholic dioceses show.

Over 240 priests have been accused of abuse in the past 40 years but this figure is likely to be higher as all of the dioceses have not provided information when requested.

The largest payouts to date have been from the archdiocese of Dublin which has revealed compensation and legal costs in recent years of €5.5m. A further 62 civil cases are pending while the Church authorities have already paid out in 43 cases.

The diocese of Ferns had made payments of nearly €2.8m in 17 settlements but this figure does not include any payments made this year as these won’t be made public until after next month’s diocesan AGM.

Posted by kshaw at 06:10 PM

Priest advocate cites moral obligation

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

By PATRICK M. O'CONNELL
Tribune Staff Writer

Joseph R. Maher, president of the nonprofit organization responsible for this week's mailings soliciting support for the Rev. Paul LeBrun, said Friday he has a moral obligation to help priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Maher, who attended St. Casimir's School in South Bend before his family moved to the Detroit area, now leads Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a Detroit-based group whose name in Latin means "Work for the Good of the Priesthood."

LeBrun, a former Little Flower Catholic Church priest, is on trial in Arizona, where he is accused of eight counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation.

Opus Bono mailed about 3,000 letters to Indiana parishioners asking for donations to fund LeBrun's trial defense.

Maher, who says his organization has aided about 2,000 priests since the group began in April 2002, calls the work "a calling from Christ."

Posted by kshaw at 05:54 PM

Bishop Comiskey threatened to rape me

IRELAND
Irish Independent

DISGRACED Bishop Dr Brendan Comiskey threatened to rape an Irish Independent journalist.

The menacing threat was made in the former Bishop of Ferns' house in Wexford during an interview with JustineMcCarthy.

During the run-up to the divorce referendum he said he would rape her if she wrote about him in a certain way.

He was "extremely drunk" at the time of the pre-arranged interview which took place 11 years ago.

Posted by kshaw at 03:58 PM

Ex-priest beats jail for sex raps

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

By CP

REGINA -- A 68-year-old former Catholic priest who asked for leniency after admitting to having sex with underage prostitutes inside the church rectory got his wish yesterday.

Pedro Surtida Aldea was given a 12-month conditional sentence by Justice Ted Zarzeczny, who said he was satisfied the former priest was not likely to reoffend.

Zarzeczny said he hoped the case would send a warning to others that society and the courts will show zero tolerance for those convicted of such predatory behaviour.

Posted by kshaw at 10:37 AM

Priest pleads guilty to theft to pay off his blackmailer

NEW JERSEY
Salt Lake Tribune

The New York Times

A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to stealing $360,000 from his parish in Randolph, N.J., to pay a man who was said to be blackmailing him by threatening to reveal a sexual relationship the two had in the early 1980s.
The Rev. William N. Naughton, 61, pleaded guilty to theft by deception on Thursday in a Morris County court, said his lawyer, Peter Gilbreth.
Naughton, who is on an administrative leave from the Diocese of Paterson, became the pastor of the Resurrection Church of Randolph in 1990 and left in 2001 after church officials discovered that money was missing.
Naughton, who was previously a prison chaplain, has a doctorate in theological studies, an MBA in church management and a master's degree in divinity and theology, Gilbreth said.

Posted by kshaw at 10:33 AM

Review ordered after diocese abuse

IRELAND
The Courier-Mail

From correspondents in Dublin
29oct05
THE Irish government has said it would review measures to protect against child sex abuse in Ireland and seek assurances from each Roman Catholic bishop about the country's 26 dioceses.

The move follows a landmark government-sponsored inquiry into the south eastern diocese of Ferns that revealed decades of paedophile abuse of young girls and boys by at least 21 priests.

The report by retired supreme court judge Frank Murphy caused huge shock in the mainly Catholic country.

It revealed what has been labelled one of the worst paedophile scandals uncovered in any Catholic diocese worldwide.

Posted by kshaw at 10:18 AM

Church not liable in sex assault case, top court rules

CANADA
Globe and Mail

By RICHARD BLACKWELL

Saturday, October 29, 2005 Page A11

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a Roman Catholic order does not have to pay damages to a native man who was sexually assaulted by a baker at a British Columbia Indian residential school in the 1950s and 1960s.

The decision says the church has no "vicarious liability" for the assault because the employee was not given direct responsibility for the care of the children at the school.

The court's decision could have an impact on many organizations, including schools, clubs and treatment centres, that have employees who do not directly supervise children. It could also become a factor in several residential school abuse cases that are before the courts.

John Shewfelt, the lawyer for the abused man, said yesterday that the decision "certainly doesn't advance the protection of children."

Posted by kshaw at 10:13 AM

Former minister pleads guilty to sex abuse

RICHMOND (KY)
WKYT

RICHMOND, Ky. A former Presbyterian minister pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12-years-old.

Thomas Frazier of Berea, is scheduled for sentencing January 12th.

The 67-year-old Frazier pleaded guilty yesterday to inappropriately touching the girl on two occassions between October and December 2004 while she visited him in Berea.

Posted by kshaw at 10:04 AM

One in Four report - Bishops kept abuse scandal under wraps

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

AS a shocked public continues to reel under the growing barrage of evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children by priests, the annual report of the One in Four charity underlines the fact that the Ferns scandal was only the tip of an iceberg.

The nationwide extent of abuse now emerging illustrates the hypocrisy of bishops who for years had swept allegations against clerics under the carpet while at the same time laying down swingeing moral precepts governing the sexual behaviour of lay people.

While the vast majority of priests eschewed the appalling behaviour of depraved colleagues, the bishops kept the issue under wraps.

This is because they regarded child abuse as a moral dilemma rather than a crime.

Posted by kshaw at 09:56 AM

Academy/UCLA Documentary Series Brings Church Matters to the Screen

BEVERLY HILLS (CA)
WebWire

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
10/28/2005 5:26:12 PM

Beverly Hills, CA — Academy Award® nominee “Twist of Fate” and “Let the Church Say Amen” will be screened for the November 9 installment of the Contemporary Documentary Series, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy Foundation and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Free and open to the public, the screening begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

“Twist of Fate” follows an Ohio firefighter who sues his church for childhood sexual abuse by his priest. Directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Eddie Schmidt, the Oscar®-nominated feature documentary brings accuser Tony Comes’ personal demons, guilt and anger to the screen, along with the resulting community insensitivity, denial and rejection.

Posted by kshaw at 09:54 AM

Prelate link to Garda probe on abuse of girl (15)

IRELAND
Irish Independent

BISHOP Brendan Comiskey has been directly linked to a garda investigation in the child abuse scandal in Ferns.

A Co Wexford woman complained to gardai in February 2003 that the former Bishop of Ferns sexually interfered with her when she was a teenager.

But the Garda investigation of her complaint ran aground six months later, causing her mother to lodge a complaint with the Garda Complaints Board.

The girl is now a woman in her early 30s. She was advised to contact gardai by the senior counsel, George Birmingham, when he interviewed her for his preliminary Ferns Inquiry.

The complaint was lodged with the Garda Complaints Board by the girl's mother after a garda from the Sexual Assault Unit in Dublin travelled to County Wexford to take a full statement from the girl about the alleged incident.

Posted by kshaw at 09:47 AM

Priest is guilty of theft

RANDOLPH (NJ)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Associated Press

RANDOLPH, N.J. - A former Randolph priest, removed from his post four years ago over missing money, pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing $360,000 from his parish.

The Rev. William N. Naughton, 61, was forced to resign in 2001 after auditors for the Resurrection Church of Randolph found funds were missing or unaccounted for.

The Roman Catholic priest acknowledged taking the funds between 1996 and 2001, using a charity account he set up at the church.

Naughton's defense attorney, Peter N. Gilbreth, told the Daily Record of Parsippany that the majority of the money was used to support Harold B. Reid III, a man with whom the priest had a brief sexual relationship in the 1970s.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 AM

Catholic Church hit by fresh sex abuse shame

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Deborah McAleese
newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

29 October 2005
Further details of sex abuse within the Catholic Church were unfurled last night with the disclosure of abuse allegations within Armagh and Dromore dioceses - the final dioceses covering parts of Ulster to unveil the information.

According to Armagh diocesan records allegations of sexual abuse have been made against eight priests over the past 50 years.

And the Bishop of Dromore Rev John McAreavey confirmed that allegations have been made against five priests within his diocese.

These new figures potentially raise the total number of priests in Northern Ireland dioceses to have faced sex abuse allegations since the 1950s to around 60.

Three of Northern Ireland's diocese - Clogher, Derry and Down and Connor - revealed yesterday that at least 43 priests have faced sex abuse allegations over the past 50 years.

Posted by kshaw at 08:42 AM

True extent of paedophilia in the Church emerging

IRELAND
IOL

29/10/2005

By Claire O’Sullivan, John Breslin and Caroline O’Doherty
A DETAILED picture of the true extent of paedophilia in the Catholic Church in Ireland is emerging for the first time, with records showing almost 250 priests have been accused of child sex abuse and over 60 religious have been convicted.
Information about accused clerics, released by the dioceses, stretches back over several decades, while data on those with criminal convictions were collected separately by the Irish Examiner and relate almost exclusively to the past 10 years.
At least €9 million has been paid out in compensation to victims of clerical abuse but several dioceses have multiple civil actions outstanding, meaning the ultimate cost will be higher.

Posted by kshaw at 08:32 AM

Prosecutor: Evangelist posed as father figure

DELAND (FL)
The Daytona Beach News-Journal

By PATRICIO G. BALONA
Staff Writer

Last update: October 29, 2005

DELAND -- Charles Balfe, a self-described Internet evangelist, sought out women who had children and used his "father figure" authority to sexually and physically abuse the women and children, a prosecutor said Friday.
In a day of wrenching testimony from young witnesses, Assistant State Attorney Tammy Jacques argued before Circuit Judge S. James Foxman at an evidentiary hearing that Balfe carefully orchestrated his move to get close to people with children. Jacques wants the court to accept the testimony of two people from Oklahoma who say they were sexually abused by Balfe.

Jacques argued the Oklahoma case -- which she says occurred in the 1960s and 70s -- is relevant because of similarities to the sexual attacks Balfe is charged with here. "The defendant was a father figure in each of the cases," Jacques said.

Balfe was arrested in April by DeLand police, accused of raping a child younger than 13. He was charged with capital sexual battery on a child younger than 12, lewd and lascivious molestation on a child younger than 12 and domestic violence. He remains in jail; his trial is scheduled for Dec. 5.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

Let’s not confuse homosexuality with paedophilia

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

LET’S start with some facts: homosexuality is not illegal. Child abuse is.

Homosexuality involves sexual activity between two people above the age of consent, with the agreement of both. Paedophilia, and child sexual abuse, involves subjecting children to sexual activities to satisfy, if only temporarily, the warped and perverse sexual urges of the perpetrator.

Only outright homophobes would ever suggest the two acts are similar or connected. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has recently stated the opposite, that there is no connection between the two whatsoever.

Victims of abuse within the diocese of Ferns included 10 young girls in one case. There is certainly no link with homosexuality there. Yet, despite abundant contradictory evidence, both within his own article, your paper’s editorial, and the press at large, Rónán Mullen (Irish Examiner, October 26) attempts insidiously to suggest that this might be the case. Abuse of boys by priests within the Catholic Church has been reported for hundreds of years, a very long time before ‘homosexual subcultures’ grew up in the 1960s, in seminaries or elsewhere.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Priest's sentencing set in sex-abuse case

By Nancy Phillips
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Rev. James J. Behan, the only priest to be convicted in the Philadelphia grand jury investigation of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, is to be sentenced Dec. 9, a judge ruled yesterday.

Behan, 61, pleaded guilty to sex charges in February and admitted he had repeatedly assaulted a teenager in the late 1970s, starting when the boy was 15.

Prosecutors charged Behan after successfully arguing that he had stopped the clock on the statute of limitations by leaving the state in 1980.

At a hearing yesterday, Common Pleas Court Judge Pamela Dembe ruled that despite his crimes, Behan is not a "dangerous sexual predator" as defined by state law and thus will not be subjected to monitoring after serving his eventual sentence.

Dembe said she reached that conclusion after reviewing reports by two psychologists who evaluated Behan and reading letters from more than 325 supporters, including parents of children the priest had taught or ministered to over the years. In the more than two decades since Behan assaulted the boy, the judge said, "there have been no further crimes committed."

Posted by kshaw at 07:26 AM

Priest is a deviate, but not a violent one, judge rules

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By THERESA CONROY
conroyt@phillynews.com

A Catholic priest convicted of assaulting a teenage boy for two years is not a sexually violent predator, a Common Pleas judge ruled yesterday.

The Rev. James Behan pleaded guilty in February to the repeated sexual assault of a 15-year-old North Catholic High School student in the 1970s. The abuse, which included performing oral sex on the boy, went on for two years.

Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe's ruling spares Behan from having to register as a sex offender after being released from prison. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 9.

Dembe said she read 325 letters from people who have known Behan throughout his career as a priest and found no evidence of further sexual attacks in the 30 years since his sexual attack on the teen.

"Unlike most cases when we're trying to project in the future, we have gotten into the future in this case," she said. "We're not trying to project, we're talking about actualities."

Dembe said the prosecution's report asserting that Behan is a sexually violent predator was, "simply inadequate, both legally and from the perspective of what is expected of a medical professional."

Posted by kshaw at 07:18 AM

School big hunted

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By TRACY CONNOR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A top administrator at a Manhattan private school has been accused of molesting a student - a decade after he was defrocked as a priest for allegedly propositioning a 13-year-old boy, the Daily News has learned.

The NYPD has launched a hunt for Bruce Jacques, 57, who vanished after he was accused of sexually assaulting a student at the Robert Louis Stevenson School, a small academy for kids with emotional and learning problems.

"This kind of event is just shocking," headmaster Bud Henrichsen told The News yesterday. "You don't feel it's going to happen in your place."

The school, which occupies a landmark building on W. 74th St. near Central Park West, hired Jacques as development director two years ago.

Posted by kshaw at 07:10 AM

Cash sought for priest's defense

SOUTH BEND (IN)
Indianapolis Star

Associated Press
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- An advocacy group for Catholic priests facing legal problems is sending letters to members of a South Bend parish in an effort to raise money for the defense of a former priest at the church who faces child molesting charges in Arizona.
The Detroit-based group, Opus Bono Sacerdotii, is not authorized by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to make such an appeal, Bishop John M. D'Arcy said Thursday.
The group is seeking money for the defense of the Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, formerly a priest at South Bend's Little Flower Catholic Church.
D'Arcy said he has never heard of Opus Bono or its president, Joseph R. Maher, who signed the letter.
"I think it's outrageous what they're doing," D'Arcy said. "We never gave them any list."
The letter from Opus Bono Sacerdotii, Latin for "Work for the Good of the Priesthood," describes LeBrun as "an extra special priest and mutual friend" who needs help.

Posted by kshaw at 07:06 AM

October 28, 2005

Abused men at risk of suicide, warns group

IRELAND
Online.ie

A large number of men who were sexually abused in the past are at risk from suicide, a support group said today.

One in Four said the percentage of men contacting its service for help was one of the highest in the world, with men accounting for 61% of all the individuals engaged in psychotherapy.

"We see the impact of sexual violence can be self harm or actual suicide attempts," said director Colm O'Gorman.

"Particularly when you look at the high level of male suicide, it's terribly important we encourage men, young and old, to come forward and seek support."

Since the launch of the Ferns report into the handling of allegations of clerical sexual abuse, the number of calls to One in Four has increased by 70% and the number of visits to its website has increased by as much as 400%.

Posted by kshaw at 08:49 PM

Two testify in priest's trial

PHOENIX (AZ)
South Bend Tribune

By JIM WALSH
The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX -- Two men in their 30s from Indiana suffered silently for years, but the hurt spilled out as they testified in Maricopa County Superior Court against a priest accused of molesting six Arizona boys.

A 38-year-old father from South Bend testified that the Rev. Paul LeBrun first fondled him when he was 13 years old, under the ruse that he was checking for a hernia.

"I wish he would do what he taught us to do, to be accountable for his actions, to be truthful,'' said the witness, whose identity is being withheld because he is allegedly a sex crimes victim.

LeBrun, 49, is accused of eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation. The allegations stem from his relationships with six Arizona boys between 1986 and 1991.

Posted by kshaw at 08:38 PM

The Ferns Report

IRELAND
Bishop Accountability

The Ferns Report, which details sexual abuse in the Diocese of Ferns, can be found at this link.

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 PM

Bishop says unauthorized group raising money for Arizona priest

SOUTH BEND (IN)
KVOA

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- An advocacy group for Catholic priests facing legal problems is sending letters to members of a South Bend parish in an effort to raise money for the defense of a former priest at the church who faces child molesting charges in Arizona.

The Detroit-based group, Opus Bono Sacerdotii, is not authorized by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to make such an appeal, Bishop John M. D'Arcy said Thursday.

The group is seeking money for the defense of the Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, formerly a priest at South Bend's Little Flower Catholic Church.

D'Arcy said he has never heard of Opus Bono or its president, Joseph R. Maher, who signed the letter.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 PM

Cabinet to discuss abuse inquiry for Dublin

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mark Brennock, Patsy McGarry and Martin Wall

The Cabinet will consider proposals for an inquiry into the Dublin archdiocese's handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations within a fortnight, the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Brian Lenihan, said yesterday.

Mr Lenihan said although there were no plans at the moment to hold inquiries outside Dublin, it was possible the Government would have to decide to hold inquiries in all dioceses.

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, who will bring the proposals to Cabinet, said the Government would now go ahead with a Commission of Inquiry in the case of the Dublin archdiocese, where there have been allegations against nearly 70 priests over the last 60 years. Mr McDowell said this inquiry could begin in parallel with a Government-ordered "audit" of dioceses throughout the State to check abuse allegations were now being handled in accordance with best practice.

As the first step in this audit, Mr McDowell said Mr Lenihan had "written to the bishops collectively and individually to ask them whether they are in fact implementing best practice as has been claimed". He said the Government would not take assurances from bishops "at face value" but would check the situation independently.

Posted by kshaw at 07:35 PM

DA questioned for closing criminal probe into Marianist brother

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
A group that advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse issued a statement Thursday criticizing Pueblo District Attorney Bill Thiebaut for closing a criminal investigation into a former Marianist brother accused of molesting students at a school here about 35 years ago.

Prosecutors and police announced two weeks ago that they were closing the criminal investigation into allegations that Brother William Mueller had subdued students with ether and molested them during his time as a teacher at Roncalli High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The district attorney's office announced that the statute of limitations on possible crimes committed by Mueller expired 10 years after the 18th birthdays of his accusers. Three men in their 40s and 50s have filed lawsuits against the Pueblo Catholic Diocese and the Marianist religious order over the allegations of abuse by Mueller.

On Thursday, the director of a national support organization for victims of sexual abuse by clergy called for Thiebaut to review all possible options for charging the former brother before closing the criminal investigation.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 PM

Allegations of clerical sex abuse revealed in Kerry

IRELAND
IOL

28/10/2005 - 13:25:01

The Bishop of Kerry Dr Bill Murphy has confirmed there have been 11 allegations relating to the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy in Kerry since 1955.

He also said that a total of €260,000 has been paid to settle three of these cases and only one of the priests was convicted and served a prison sentence.

In a letter to be read at all masses this weekend, Bishop Murphy assures anyone who wishes to come forward and tell their story that they will be listened to with care and sensitivity.

Posted by kshaw at 07:26 PM

Special Hearing Held For Pastor Accused Of Sexual Assault

DELAND (FL)
WFTV

POSTED: 3:41 pm EDT October 28, 2005
UPDATED: 6:20 pm EDT October 28, 2005

DELAND, Fla. -- Prosecutors say a former DeLand pastor has a history of sexual abuse to children that has spanned decades. Charles Balfe was arrested earlier this year. He is charged with multiple counts of sexual assault on children.

Friday was a special hearing. The state wanted to establish a pattern of the abusive behavior. To do so, they brought back alleged victims from Balfe's distant past.

The charges against Balfe are almost unspeakable. Three children allege Balfe sexually assaulted and physically beat them over the course of several years. All three were in their early teens at the time.

The state says Balfe has been abusing children for decades. They brought two witnesses to the stand who say Balfe did the same things to them more than 20 years ago.

The statute of limitations is up for them, since so much time has passed and they didn't speak up. But the state believes what they have to say will establish a pattern with the claims of the more recent victims.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 PM

Letter seeks aid for accused priest

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

By GWEN O'BRIEN and PATRICK M. O'CONNELL
Tribune Staff Writers

SOUTH BEND -- An advocacy group for priests accused of sexual misconduct is attempting to raise money for the defense of the Rev. Paul LeBrun, the former Little Flower Catholic Church priest accused of committing 13 sex crimes with six boys in Arizona.

Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a nonprofit organization based in Detroit, has mailed letters to local residents seeking donations. In Latin, the group's name means "Work for the Good of the Priesthood."

The letter describes LeBrun as "an extra special priest and mutual friend" who needs help.

The Holy Cross Order is not paying for the defense of LeBrun, who is on trial in Maricopa County Superior Court in Mesa, Ariz. He is accused of eight counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation.

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop John M. D'Arcy said Thursday he has never heard of Opus Bono or its president, Joseph R. Maher, who signed the letter.

Posted by kshaw at 07:11 PM

Questions answered about LeBrun letter

SOUTH BEND (IN)
WNDU

Posted: 10/28/2005 05:32 pm
Last Updated: 10/28/2005 06:37 pm

NewsCenter 16 has learned more about the mysterious letter from a Detroit non-profit organization attempting to raise money for Father Paul LeBrun's defense trial. We have also come across another letter being sent exclusively to priests and pastors.

Father Paul LeBrun, a former South Bend priest, is on trial for child molestation in Arizona.

The big question on everyone's mind was how did this organization get a hold of names and addresses for various Catholic parishioners? The founder of Opus Bono, Joe Maher, says the answer lies with LeBrun supporters: someone you know may have given-up your information.

The two different letters are circulating through the Ft. Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese. Both from the same source, a Detroit non-profit organization known as Opus Bono Sacerdotti.

Posted by kshaw at 07:08 PM

B.C. clergy abuse case sent back to trial

CANADA
CTV

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says a case of sexual abuse at British Columbia residential school run by a Roman Catholic religious order must go back to the lower courts.

In an 8-1 decision Friday, the justices ruled that a trial court should decide whether the Oblate order, which ran a residential school for native children off Vancouver Island in the 1950s and 1960s, was negligent in the sexual assaults committed by Martin Saxey, a school baker and handyman.

The victim, identified only as E.B. in court documents, was abused by Saxey from age seven until about age 11, although he told no one about it out of shame.

He won more than $233,000 in damages against the Oblates in 2001, but the British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned that decision in 2003.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 PM

Victims Renew Call forAbuse Tracker Database of Clergy Abusers

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

By Jeff Diamant
Religion News Service

Amid all the disturbing tales of priests being charged with sexually abusing minors, stories about Nicholas Cudemo stand out.

A grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, released last month, revealed Cudemo had been accused of abusing 16 minors, raping an 11-year-old and helping her get an abortion. He was laicized -- formally dismissed from the clergy -- in June after four decades as a priest in eastern Pennsylvania.

Despite that Vatican action, which was publicized, Cudemo presided in July at a baptism at Christ the King Church in Haddonfield, N.J., where the resident priest did not know his status.

Posted by kshaw at 07:03 PM

Correction: Western Pa Briefs, sexual abuse item

HOLLIDAYSBURG (PA)
phillyburbs.com

The Associated Press

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. - In an Oct. 27 story about a lawsuit filed by a teen abused by a math teacher, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the teacher had previously pleaded guilty to abusing five students at Bishop Guilfoyle High School in Hollidaysburg. The teacher coached at that Catholic high school, but the abuse involved students at Hollidaysburg Junior High School, a public school.

Posted by kshaw at 07:00 PM

Sex abuse figures released by Down and Connor diocese

NORTHERN IRELAND
Online.ie

Fifteen priests have been accused of sex abuse in a 50-year period in the North's largest Catholic diocese, according to figures published today.

Down and Connor released the statistics following a similar move by the Derry diocese in the wake of the publication of the Ferns Inquiry.

According to the latest revelations:

:: Three priests have been convicted.

:: Five priests were dead at the time the allegations were made.

:: £102,000 (€150,000) was paid to 10 people because of two clergymen.

:: Two civil actions against one priest are pending.

:: Two other priests have been suspended.

:: A further two have retired.

Posted by kshaw at 08:39 AM

Internet child porn cleric jailed

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Lisa Smyth

28 October 2005
A support group for sex abuse has welcomed a custodial sentence handed down to a Catholic priest who admitted owning a video showing the rape of an eight-year-old girl.

John McCallum (45), of Ballymena Road, Antrim, was jailed for 12 months yesterday after pleading guilty to 25 sample counts of the possession and making of indecent images of children.

Downpatrick Crown Court sitting at Newtownards heard McCallum was the hospital chaplain on duty at Belfast City Hospital on the day of the Omagh bomb and ministered to a number of the casualties.

The court was told that while holding this position, McCallum worked on average 90 to 100 hours a week and turned to alcohol and child pornography as "a means of escape".

Details of McCallum's chilling collection of child pornography, which included a movie file of an eight-year-old girl being raped and a photo of a young girl being anally penetrated, was read out in court as the former priest stood impassively.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

Priest Jailed On Child Porn Charges

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Friday 28th October 2005

A Catholic priest who administered to the victims of the Omagh bombing was jailed for a year yesterday on child porn charges.

Fr John McCallum, 45, the former parish priest of Kilcoo in Newry, surfed internet child porn after turning to drink as a way of dealing with the pressure of life as a hospital chaplain.

He admitted 25 sample charges covering 320 photographs and nine movie files.

Posted by kshaw at 08:22 AM

Famed priest says he broke chastity vow

FRANCE
Irish Independent

ABBE Pierre, France's most revered public figure, admitted in a book released yesterday that he had more than once broken his vow of chastity as a Roman Catholic priest.

The 93-year-old creator of the Abbe Pierre Foundation, which aids the poor across 50 countries, says he has had only "passing relations" with women, but that he never felt able to commit himself to anything more lasting.

Abbe Pierre, who has often topped French popularity polls, is a former Resistance member and MP who has devoted most of his life to defending human rights and the poor.

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

Ferns: School chaplains pray for all who suffer

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

WE the executive of the School Chaplains’ Association of Ireland wish publicly to acknowledge the dedicated service given to our association by priests and religious in Ireland over many years.

In the light of the Ferns report we wish to express our support and offer our prayers to the following:

1. To victims/survivors of child sexual abuse and their families. In the course of justice being done we hope they will find peace and healing.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Voice of the Faithful seeks unity for strength

BARNSTABLE (MA)
Barnstable Patriot

By Pamela Higgins
news@barnstablepatriot.com

As a tree creaked and groaned, the wind pushing it against the West Barnstable Community Building, a breeze of renewal and change flowed among the more than 75 members of the Upper and Lower Cape Voice of the Faithful (VOTF). The groups met Oct. 16 to discuss the highlights of theAbuse Tracker Convocation of VOTF and the possibility of merging the Cape groups.

“People were coming that were hungry to have the church meet its potential,” said Andrea Demars, who attended the convocation and is a member from the Falmouth VOTF. “They love their church and are disappointed by the lack of accountability.” Demars reported that approximately 600 people attended.

Meeting in Indianapolis in July, the convocation issued nine resolutions, which involve accountability for lay people and bishops and financial and moral integrity, according to Frank Fessenden, a Falmouth VOTF member. In response, the Upper Cape group agreed VOTF should call for an independent, widely disseminated, understandable annual CPA audit report for all church-related entities that would include all income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Members agreed also that VOTF should promote legislation that protects children and holds bishops accountable for their failure to protect children. Insistence that elected laity becomes fully participative members at all levels of diocesan and national decision-making is another goal.

After some minor technical difficulties in getting the DVD player to cooperate, the group watched a video presentation of three speakers from the convocation. Father Donald Cozzens called on the attendees to “commit yourselves to being an adult believer.” He called the church “fundamentally feudal” in its stance and an absolute monarchy in its management style.

Father Tom Doyle reminded attendees that “Christ loved the broken and marginalized” and that if they do not act like adults they allow the monarchy to thrive. “Much of the fear and anger (of the priests) is based on a need for security,” he said. “We have to overcome the fear of speaking up.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:13 AM

Voice of the Faithful seeks unity for strength

BARNSTABLE (MA)
Barnstable Patriot

By Pamela Higgins
news@barnstablepatriot.com

As a tree creaked and groaned, the wind pushing it against the West Barnstable Community Building, a breeze of renewal and change flowed among the more than 75 members of the Upper and Lower Cape Voice of the Faithful (VOTF). The groups met Oct. 16 to discuss the highlights of theAbuse Tracker Convocation of VOTF and the possibility of merging the Cape groups.

“People were coming that were hungry to have the church meet its potential,” said Andrea Demars, who attended the convocation and is a member from the Falmouth VOTF. “They love their church and are disappointed by the lack of accountability.” Demars reported that approximately 600 people attended.

Meeting in Indianapolis in July, the convocation issued nine resolutions, which involve accountability for lay people and bishops and financial and moral integrity, according to Frank Fessenden, a Falmouth VOTF member. In response, the Upper Cape group agreed VOTF should call for an independent, widely disseminated, understandable annual CPA audit report for all church-related entities that would include all income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Members agreed also that VOTF should promote legislation that protects children and holds bishops accountable for their failure to protect children. Insistence that elected laity becomes fully participative members at all levels of diocesan and national decision-making is another goal.

After some minor technical difficulties in getting the DVD player to cooperate, the group watched a video presentation of three speakers from the convocation. Father Donald Cozzens called on the attendees to “commit yourselves to being an adult believer.” He called the church “fundamentally feudal” in its stance and an absolute monarchy in its management style.

Father Tom Doyle reminded attendees that “Christ loved the broken and marginalized” and that if they do not act like adults they allow the monarchy to thrive. “Much of the fear and anger (of the priests) is based on a need for security,” he said. “We have to overcome the fear of speaking up.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:12 AM

Revelations don't go far enough, says cleric

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett

28 October 2005
A Catholic priest, who was cleared of sex abuse charges, today said the report revealing the extent of paedophile priest allegations in Derry does not go far enough.

Father Edward Kilpatrick - who was cleared abuse charges in the 1990s - was speaking after the Bishop of Derry revealed that around 40 child sex abuse allegations have been made against 26 priests in the Derry diocese over the last 50 years.

Around 13 of those are still working in the Catholic Church, some in the Derry diocese.

In an unprecedented move to allay fears following the devastating findings of the Ferns report into child sex abuse in the Republic, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Seamus Hegarty held a Press conference yesterday to reveal the findings of investigations into the diocese.

To protect the identities of both priests and victims, the bishop said he would not be naming any of the men involved in the allegations, nine of whom are now dead.

Posted by kshaw at 08:08 AM

Catholic church sex abuse crisis deepens

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Claire Regan

28 October 2005
The sex abuse crisis surrounding the Catholic Church deepened today after statements from two dioceses revealed that 41 priests have faced sex abuse allegations over the past 50 years.

The revelations came on the day a priest was sent to prison for a year for downloading child pornography.

The diocese of Down and Connor revealed late last night that 15 priests have been accused of abuse, three of whom have been charged and convicted. The announcement came just hours after the diocese of Derry admitted that 26 priests there have faced sex abuse allegations.

Both revelations came in the wake of the Republic government's damning report into the activities of pervert priests in the Co Wexford diocese of Ferns where 21 priests faced over 100 allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 08:06 AM

Jersey Priest Admits Stealing $360,000 From Parish

MORRISTOWN (NJ)
CBS 3

AP) MORRISTOWN, N.J. The former pastor of a Roman Catholic church in Morris County has admitted stealing $360,000 from the parish.

The Reverend William Naughton pleaded guilty to theft by deception Thursday.

The 61-year-old was removed from Resurrection Church in Randolph in 2001.

His lawyer says most of the cash was used to help support a man who the priest had a brief sexual relationship with in the 1970s. Harold Reid the Third III was arrested in California in March on charges of trying to extort money from the priest. Those charges were dropped a month ago.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 AM

Ex-religious brother charged with rape

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | October 28, 2005

The frail-looking former religious brother faced charges of raping two boys yesterday as one of his accusers looked on and sobbed.

Edward Anthony Holmes, 64, softly pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to six counts of rape of a child, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child over 14, and one count of photographing a nude child.

Holmes is accused of raping the children during the 1970s and early 1980s while he was a resident counselor at the now-defunct Nazareth Child Care Center in Jamaica Plain, said Audrey Mark, an assistant district attorney. Holmes was ordered to post $15,000 cash bail and stay away from children under age 16.

One of his two accusers, now a 39-year-old carpenter, sat on the wooden bench in the courtroom, clutching it with his hands and crying loudly. Holmes never looked at him.

Posted by kshaw at 07:54 AM

40 claims of abuse against 29 priests

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett

28 October 2005
Around 40 child sex abuse allegations have been made against 26 priests in the Derry diocese over the last 50 years - and around 13 of those are still working in the Catholic Church.

In an unprecedented move to allay fears after the findings of the Ferns report into child sex abuse in Co Wexford, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Seamus Hegarty held a press conference yesterday to reveal the findings of investigations in his diocese.

To protect the identities of priests and victims, the Bishop said he would not be naming any of the men involved in the allegations, nine of whom are now dead.

Reaction to the revelations has been mixed. Many priests commended Bishop Hegarty for his transparent approach, but victim support group Voice of the Faithful called it "glossy" and "lacking in detail".

Only one priest from the Derry diocese has been imprisoned in the last 50 years, Father Gerard McCallion, who worked in Creggan in the late 1980s. Another priest was prosecuted on charges of child sex abuse but later acquitted.

Posted by kshaw at 07:48 AM

Increase in inquiries to One in Four

IRELAND
RTE News

28 October 2005 12:57
The One in Four charity, which helps men and women who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence, says it has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of inquiries to its office following the publication of the Ferns Report.

The director of the charity, Colm O'Gorman, said the number of calls to their office increased by 70% over the last few days, while visits to its website rose by 250%.

In its annual report, published today, the charity reveals a significant increase in the amount of support and psychotherapy services it provided last year.

Posted by kshaw at 07:47 AM

Shocking, Disturbing Indictment

IRELAND
Derry Journal

Friday 28th October 2005

The Ferns Report published this week is surely one of the most shocking and disturbing documents ever to have come into the public domain in this country.

While there was a general awareness of the problem of sexual abuse by clerical figures in the Diocese of Ferns - largely because of the personal courage of a number of people who were subjects of that abuse - the scale and extent of the depravity revealed is almost beyond comprehension.

What is most depressing is that those who raped and abused the children of Ferns were figures who held responsible positions in society.

Posted by kshaw at 07:45 AM

Allegations of clerical sex abuse revealed in Kerry

IRELAND
Wickow People

Bishop of Kerry, Dr Bill Murphy has confirmed that there have been eleven allegations relating to the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy in Kerry, since 1955.

He also said that a total of 260,000 euro has been paid to settle three of these cases and only one of the priests was convicted and served a prison sentence.

In a letter to be read at all masses this weekend, Bishop Murphy assures anyone who wishes to come forward and tell their story that they will be listened to with care and sensitivity.

Posted by kshaw at 07:43 AM

Jurors told Valley priest has a history of sexual abuse

MESA (AZ)
KOLD

MESA, Ariz. A prosecutor told jurors today that a former West Valley priest preyed on youngsters who turned to him for guidance and counsel.

Paul LeBrun is accused of molesting six boys between 1986 and 1991.

Prosecutors say it's a pattern of abuse that began years earlier in Indiana.

Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell told jurors in opening statements that each of the victims was fatherless and each turned to Paul LeBrun to fill the void.

Posted by kshaw at 07:40 AM

Rape probe priest steps aside

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE priest under Garda investigation for allegedly raping a woman has been suspended from duties.

The Bishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, asked him to step aside after the Irish Independent revealed yesterday that he was continuing to serve in the same diocese as the alleged victim.

An unapologetic Bishop Neary said he made the decision to protect the reputation of other priests in the diocese who would otherwise be "under the shadow of suspicion".

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Kerry diocese pay-outs over abuse claims

IRELAND
RTE News

28 October 2005 12:11
The Bishop of Kerry, Dr Bill Murphy, has revealed that the diocese has paid out more than €250,000 in settlement of three cases where allegations of child sex abuse were made against priests.

In a statement to RTÉ News last night, Dr Murphy said there had been allegations of child sex abuse made against 11 priests in the diocese over the past 50 years.

In at least some of those cases, more than one complaint was made against individual priests.

Posted by kshaw at 07:35 AM

CHURCH ABUSE: Woman settles lawsuit against St. Cloud Diocese

ST. CLOUD (MN)
Grand Forks Herald

Associated Press

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - A woman who claimed she was sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s has reached a $17,500 settlement with the St. Cloud Diocese, acknowledging her case would have likely been thrown out since the alleged abuse happened long ago.

Susan Fuchs-Hoeschen, a former parishioner at St. Louis Church in Paynesville, Minn., claimed that former priest Donald Rieder sexually abused her in 1973.

The lawsuit originally named Rieder as a defendant, but he later was dropped from the case.

"I am pleased and realistic that hopefully other victims will come forward earlier so that they can be successfully litigated," Fuchs-Hoeschen said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:32 AM

2 men testify against priest

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Two men in their 30s from Indiana said they suffered silently for years, but the hurt spilled out Thursday as they testified in Maricopa County Superior Court against a former West Valley priest accused of molesting six Arizona boys.

A 38-year-old father from South Bend, Ind., testified that Rev. Paul LeBrun first fondled him when he was 13 years old, under the ruse that he was checking for a hernia.

"I wish he would do what he taught us to do, to be accountable for his actions, to be truthful," said the witness, whose identity is being withheld because he is the victim of an alleged sex crime.

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 AM

Archdiocese settles with 24 accusers

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun-Times

October 28, 2005

BY CATHLEEN FALSANI Religion Reporter

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has reached an out-of-court settlement with two dozen men and women who say they were sexually abused as minors by priests of the archdiocese, lawyers for the victims and a spokesman for Cardinal Francis George said Thursday.

The settlement involves 14 current or former priests, none of whom is in active ministry today. Five of the men -- Eugene Burns, William Cloutier, Jeremiah Duggan, Leonard Kmak and Marion Snieg -- are deceased, said Jim Dwyer, a spokesman for George.

The other nine -- John Curran, James Hagan, Thomas Job, Thomas Kelly, Vincent McCaffrey, John Robinson, Ralph Strand and Thomas Swade -- have been removed permanently from ministry, Dwyer said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:10 AM

Women sue retired Tacoma priest

TACOMA (WA)
The News Tribune

ADAM LYNN; The News Tribune
Published: October 28th, 2005 03:00 AM

A now-retired Catholic priest who lived and worked in Tacoma for more than 14 years has been sued by four women who claim he sexually abused them as girls during his decades-long tenure in northern Alaska.

The head of the Jesuits of the Oregon Province said Thursday that the Rev. James Poole has admitted sexual misconduct against both girls and women in Alaska. The Rev. John Whitney also said the Catholic Church was aware of Poole’s inappropriate conduct with women before transferring him to Tacoma in June 1989.

“There was some misconduct in various situations,” said Whitney, provincial superior for Jesuits in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. “We have settled two cases against him. There are two outstanding cases against him in Alaska.”

Poole has not been charged with any crimes, but the Catholic Church has paid out more than $1 million in settlements stemming from his troubles in Alaska, said attorney John Manly, whose Costa Mesa, Calif., firm has assisted Alaska lawyers who sued Poole on behalf of women who claim the priest abused them as children.

Posted by kshaw at 07:08 AM

Was child porn priest investigated by Church?

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Lisa Smyth

28 October 2005
A sex abuse support group has demanded to know if the Catholic Church carried out an investigation into a priest who admitted owning a video showing the rape of an eight-year-old girl.

Colm O'Gorman of One In Four said his organisation wanted to know if Fr John McCallum had carried out a sexual assault.

McCallum (45), of Ballymena Road, Antrim, was jailed for 12 months yesterday after pleading guilty to 25 sample counts of the making and possession of indecent images.

He was also ordered to remain on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Details of McCallum's chilling collection of child pornography, which included a movie file of an eight-year-old girl being raped, were read out at Downpatrick Crown Court sitting at Newtownards.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 AM

Chicago archdiocese settles with 24 who claimed abuse by priests

CHICAGO (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

Associated Press

CHICAGO - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has reached an out-of-court settlement with 24 men and women who say they were sexually abused by priests as children.

Neither the archdiocese nor lawyers for the accusers would disclose the amount of the settlement announced Thursday. It was paid to 22 men and two women who say they were abused between 1957 and 1987 when they ranged in age from 8 to 17.

The settlement involves 14 current and former priests, none of whom is in active ministry, said archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer. He said the settlement means all the allegations had been deemed credible.

At least five of the priests are deceased while Dwyer said the others have been removed from ministry.

Posted by kshaw at 07:03 AM

October 27, 2005

Priest suspended pending inquiry into rape allegations

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Declan Varley
THE priest at the centre of a rape allegation in the archdiocese of Tuam is to step aside while an investigation is undertaken, the Archbishop of Tuam confirmed last evening.

There was consternation yesterday when it was revealed in a newspaper report that the priest under investigation for allegedly raping a young pregnant woman was continuing to serve in the diocese.

A Garda Press Office spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday night that gardaí were investigating allegations of sexual assault and are preparing a file for the DPP.

Last night, a statement from Archbishop Michael Neary confirmed the priest had been asked to step aside while the investigation is ongoing, in an effort to lift the veil of suspicion from other priests in the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 PM

Mass of reconciliation for sexual abuse scandal held at St. Agnes

WEST CHESTER (PA)
Suburban Advertiser

By:Adam Cirucci 10/27/2005

WEST CHESTER -- About 50 area faithful gathered Monday evening at St. Agnes Church for a Mass of reconciliation and healing for the sexual-abuse scandal that recently shook the Catholic Church.

"I am very uncomfortable standing here. I usually am not," Monsignor Edward Deliman said during his homily. "It is a topic that I never thought I would have to speak about."
He described Monday's Mass, a Eucharistic liturgy of reconciliation, as a call for the beginning of a healing process for the entire Church as a result of the sins of sexual abuse of children and minors committed by priests.
Still, Deliman emphasized that it is an invitation to begin, and that the actual reconciliation may be a long way in the future.
As the Mass began, Deliman and two other parish priests approached the altar and laid face-down in prostration for the remainder of the opening hymn.

Posted by kshaw at 08:52 PM

Chicago-area victims of priest abuse discuss settlements

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

By Karen Jordan
October 27, 2005 - The Chicago archdiocese says it settled two dozen cases of sexual abuse by priests. Many of these cases date back to the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the victims talked publicly Thursday about the resolution with ABC7's Karen Jordan.

Attorneys for the abuse survivors say they have many more clients who say they were molested by priests in the Chicago archdiocese. They say that while the archdiocese has been helpful as far as compensating the victims, it could do more.
"I think the Catholic Church as a whole has not taken enough responsibility, or shown enough attrition, for letting what amounts to crimes against humanity to occur to young boys and girls," said Telkia Ramsey, alleged abuse survivor.

Telkee Ramsey and Peggy Huff are two of 24 people who say they were molested by priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The archdiocese recently reached a settlement with all two dozen plaintiffs, but no one will say whether the amount of money equals the $12 million it paid out to 19 people two years ago.

"Although I have reluctantly accepted the settlement by the archdiocese, it is miniscule compared to pain and suffering I've had and the amount of pain and suffering having been inflicted on others. For that, I'm truly sorry," said Ramsey.

Posted by kshaw at 08:48 PM

Tuam priest at the centre of rape allegations steps down

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam has asked a priest of the archdiocese, who is at the centre of a rape allegation, to stand down from ministry. The priest has agreed "to stand aside", Dr Neary said yesterday. Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent, reports

The archdiocese has been aware for some time of allegations that he raped a young woman 15 years ago and that these were being investigated by gardaí. The priest was not asked to step down until a newspaper report on the matter appeared yesterday.

On Wednesday the archdiocese pointed out the case was "not a child protection matter".

On legal advice the woman who made the allegations could not comment when contacted by The Irish Times yesterday.

Posted by kshaw at 08:42 PM

Church loses volunteers to policy aimed at protecting kids

NEW JERSEY
Star-Ledger

Thursday, October 27, 2005
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
Charlie Hughes is a volunteer's volunteer, collecting old cell phones for battered women, running clothing drives and gathering old bicycles for reuse around the world.

For more than two decades, the 74-year-old West Amwell man gave his time to St. John's Roman Catholic Church in Lambertville, most recently for the parish's Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which helps the poor.

But a dispute over a church program designed to prevent abuse of children has angered Hughes and dozens of other volunteers, largely depleting the society's membership.

At least 40 volunteers, lectors and eucharistic ministers have been dismissed or eliminated from rosters since last year because of their refusal to fully participate in the "Protecting God's Children" program, said Marlene Di Via, the society's former secretary and one of those dismissed.

The dispute stems from Monsignor Leon Kasprzyk's interpretation of a Metuchen diocese policy, borne from the clergy sex abuse scandal, that church workers with "direct contact with minors" take part in the program.

Posted by kshaw at 08:40 PM

Diocese has had 26 alleged child abusers, says bishop

IRELAND
The Times

By David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

AN IRISH bishop has admitted the extent of child sex abuse allegations against priests in his diocese, revealing yesterday that 26 have been accused in 40 years.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Derry, the Most Rev Seamus Hegarty, held an unprecedented press conference two days after the publication of an Irish Government report into the Diocese of Ferns, Co Wicklow, which was revealed as having the world’s highest rate of clerical abuse allegations.

But Bishop Hegarty’s figures surpassed even those for Ferns, albeit for a slightly longer time period. While the Ferns report investigated more than 100 allegations made against 21 priests, the Diocese of Derry has five more priests under suspicion. Only one has been successfully prosecuted.

The bishop’s statement is the first time that an Irish diocese has voluntarily revealed the results of an audit of clerical sex allegations and is in stark contrast to the secrecy that has prevailed until now. It raises serious questions over the extent of clerical sex abuse in Ireland’s 26 dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at 08:28 PM

'Tittie Twister'™!

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

by GUSTAVO ARELLANO

The Oct. 11 release by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles of records on 176 suspected child-raping priests adds new evidence that church officials played hide-the-pedophile for decades.

Instead of disclosing psychological reports and other crucial personnel information, Cardinal Roger Mahony released only one-page summaries on each priest. Even heavily redacted, the documents provide further graphic proof that Orange County Catholic Church officials accepted, tolerated and sometimes conspired to hide known pedophiles before OC split off to form its own diocese in 1976. Here are six of the worst LA/OC cases:

MICHAEL BUCKLEY In 1959, a father of two boys complained to the Los Angeles archdiocese that Buckley -- then working at Sacred Heart Church in Los Angeles -- flashed his sons. Six years later, a parishioner sent an anonymous letter to church officials requesting that they defrock Buckley because of his "moral fitness." Then-Cardinal James McIntyre instead made Buckley a hospital chaplain in Torrance and Lynwood until 1971, when Buckley took up residence at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Santa Ana. There, Buckley is accused of molesting at least eight boys.

LYNN CAFFOE His report shows parents at St. Callistus in Garden Grove complained in 1975 that Caffoe committed "a boundary violation" with altar boys. Officials transferred Caffoe to Los Angeles, where fellow priests found an undated videotape of Caffoe engaging in "improper behavior with several high school boys." A complaint was also lodged with the Huntington Beach Police Department in 1994. Detectives never followed up. Caffoe's whereabouts are unknown.

Posted by kshaw at 08:26 PM

Valley priest had history of sexual abuse, jurors told

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 27, 2005 02:00 PM

A former West Valley priest accused of molesting six boys between 1986 and 1991 preyed on the youngsters who had turned to him for guidance and counsel, a pattern of abuse that began years earlier in Indiana, a prosecutor told jurors Thursday.

"Each of them had no father figure to go to, each of them went to Paul LeBrun," Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in opening statements.

The Rev. LeBrun, 49, is standing trial on five counts of child molestaton and eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor. The alleged crimes occurred mostly during camping trips, the prosecution maintains.

Posted by kshaw at 08:23 PM

'The next few weeks will be hell, I hope it's worth it'

IRELAND
One in Four

Victim's story:

For Patrick Bennett, who was serially raped by Seán Fortune, the report brings back horrific memories, writes Carl O'Brien in New Ross

Every day 39-year-old Patrick Bennett struggles to come to terms with the repeated sexual abuse inflicted on him by Fr Seán Fortune two decades ago.

As he sits at the window of his newly opened restaurant in New Ross, overlooking the river Barrow, his voice quivers and his fingers tremble.

Posted by kshaw at 03:59 PM

Ferns report: executive summary

IRELAND
One in Four

The Ferns Inquiry identified more than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse made between 1962 and 2002 against 21 priests operating under the aegis of the Diocese of Ferns.*

Six of the priests had died before any allegations of abuse were made against them. Three more died subsequent to the allegations.

The nature of the response by the church authorities in the diocese of Ferns to allegations of child sexual abuse by priests operating under the aegis of that diocese has varied over the past 40 years. These variations reflect in part the growing understanding by the medical professions and society generally of the nature and the consequences of child sexual abuse and in part the different personalities and management styles of successive bishops.

Posted by kshaw at 03:33 PM

Church reaction

IRELAND
One in Four

The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, Dr Seán Brady, said last night that a chairperson and chief executive of the newAbuse Tracker Board for Child Protection would be appointed shortly.

The positions were announced in the church's child protection document published last June, titled "Our Children: Our Church".

Dr Brady apologised to all those who had suffered lasting hurt at the hands of abusers in the church.

Posted by kshaw at 03:31 PM

How the church dealt with the allegations in Ferns

IRELAND
One in Four

Extracts from the report published yesterday

The nature of the church response evolved over a 40-year period and may be summarised as follows:

1 The response of Bishop Donal Herlihy (Bishop of Ferns 1964-1983) to an allegation of child sex abuse by a member of the diocesan clergy which was brought to his attention in 1966 was to remove the priest immediately from his post and send him to the diocese of Westminster. Two years later the bishop returned the priest to his position as a teacher in St Peter's college in the diocese of Ferns. The priest was not treated or assessed.

Posted by kshaw at 03:30 PM

Ferns story: how it unfolded

IRELAND
One in Four

Timeline of events leading to yesterday's publication of the Ferns Report

1966 The Diocese of Ferns receives its first complaint of abuse detailed in the report. Fr Donal Collins is accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour towards 20 boys in a dormitory of St Peter's College and seminary in Wexford.

It is treated by Bishop Donal Herlihy as a moral failure, and Fr Collins is sent away for two years. He is allowed to return to the school teaching staff, becoming head of the college in 1985.

Posted by kshaw at 03:29 PM

Statement: Bishop Brendan Comiskey

IRELAND
One in Four

"I welcome the publication of the Report of the Ferns Inquiry. I would again like to say how sorry I am for my inadequacies and for my failings and ask for forgiveness for them.

I answered comprehensively the questions asked of me throughout the Ferns Inquiry to the best of my ability and the Inquiry has acknowledged the high level of co-operation received from me throughout the process.

The Inquiry has concluded that my responses as Bishop of Ferns were inadequate to many of the allegations of child sexual abuse. It has also concluded that I was negligent in my handling of some of these and in particular that of Fr Seán Fortune.

Posted by kshaw at 03:22 PM

Ferns inquiry: members and terms of reference

IRELAND
One in Four

The Ferns Inquiry was chaired by Frank Murphy, a retired Supreme Court judge.

The other two members were Dr Helen Buckley, a senior lecturer in the department of social studies at Trinity College Dublin and a specialist in child protection issues, and Dr Laraine Joyce, deputy director of the Office for Health Management.

Posted by kshaw at 03:20 PM

10 girls claimed they had been sexually molested

IRELAND
One in Four

Fr James Grennan (deceased):

In 1988, 10 girls alleged they had been sexually molested by Fr James Grennan while he heard their Confessions on the altar in the parish church of Monageer.

The girls, aged 12-13, made the complaint to the principal of Monageer national school, Pat Higgins, who contacted the South Eastern Health Board. It in turn sent a social worker to speak to the girls, and then arranged for Dr Geraldine Nolan, director of the newly established validation unit in Waterford, to interview them.

Dr Nolan reported on May 5th, 1988, that Fr Grennan's actions in many cases had been going on for two or three years.

Posted by kshaw at 03:19 PM

Fortune abused children while a seminarian

IRELAND
One in Four

Fr Seán Fortune

Fr Seán Fortune, who took his own life in March 1999 while facing 66 charges of child sex abuse and rape, had abused children while a seminarian in Co Wexford, according to the Ferns inquiry.

The report sets out more than 20 allegations of abuse of young people from his time as a seminarian and throughout his time working as a priest in Belfast, Dundalk and Wexford.

In two cases families claimed that young people had killed themselves because of Fr Fortune's abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 03:17 PM

Priest was sent to London when first allegations emerged

Fr Donal Collins:

IRELAND
One in Four

When the first reports of child sexual abuse were made to the Ferns diocese in 1966 about an abusing priest, Fr Donal Collins, he was sent to a parish in London for two years, the report said.

However, it noted that the then bishop of Ferns, Bishop Donal Herlihy, did not tell the diocese of Westminster to which he was sent why he was removed from St Peter's College in Wexford, where he had been a science teacher. "Such omission warrants very serious criticism," the report said.

The report also said that after Fr Collins spent two years in Britain, he returned to teach at St Peter's again.

Posted by kshaw at 03:14 PM

Fr James Doyle

IRELAND
One in Four

Fr James Doyle was another priest who began abusing in St Peter's seminary.

A member of the teaching staff discovered that, while a seminarian, Fr Doyle attempted to molest a student there some time in 1972-1973. The staff member reported this to the president of the college, who dismissed it.

However, his ordination was postponed, though proceeded with a year later.

Posted by kshaw at 02:51 PM

Unnamed priests: the Greek titles

IRELAND
One in Four

Most of the clerics in the Ferns inquiry report were not named but given pseudonyms from the Greek alphabet, such as Fr Alpha, Fr Beta and Fr Gamma.

The device was used to reduce confusion, and to make the report more clearly readable.

The idea of using Greek titles is to enable readers to keep track of individual priests throughout the report.

Posted by kshaw at 02:50 PM

Fr Beta

IRELAND
One in Four

Fr Beta was accused by Trevor in March 2002 of abusing him when he was 16 while attending a "choice" weekend retreat.

Bishop Éamonn Walsh said Fr Beta comprehensively apologised to Trevor for the incident and accepted full responsibility for it at a meeting in April 2002.

However Trevor's therapist was subsequently telephoned by Fr Beta's support priest to ascertain Trevor's age when the assault took place. Trevor felt this was an attempt to renege on his previous admission and instituted civil proceedings.

Posted by kshaw at 02:37 PM

Fr Delta

IRELAND
One in Four

Fr Delta described to the inquiry how he had been struggling for some time with spiritual problems arising from his behaviour with boys in January 1966.

He said he realised the important thing was to remove himself from the boarding school in question, St Peter's.

The priest approached Bishop Herlihy and asked to be removed from his teaching post. He said he was not asked why and was appointed to a half-parish in the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 02:34 PM

Fr Epsilon

IRELAND
One in Four

Although allegations of abuse were made in relation to Fr Epsilon, the inquiry said that it appears only the case of Andrew, involving an allegation of sexual abuse at St Peter's College in the early 1960s, was made known to the diocese.

This was communicated to Bishop Walsh in 2002.

Among the allegations made by Andrew were that he and others were sent to Fr Epsilon's room by another clerical student for punishment. Fr Epsilon told four boys to remove their trousers and beat them with a billiard cue.

Posted by kshaw at 02:29 PM

Fr Gamma

IRELAND
One in Four

The report says it is aware of 11 complaints made against him, all of which occurred over a period of 20 years during the 1970s and 1980s.

These included Julie, who in May 2002 said she was abused in the early 1970s when she was a young girl. Fr Gamma denied any improper conduct.

Bishop Walsh issued a precept in September 2002 requesting Fr Gamma to step aside from active duties, pending outcome of Garda and diocesan investigations.

Posted by kshaw at 02:27 PM

Fr Kappa

IRELAND
One in Four

The inquiry received a complaint from Pamela in relation to this priest, to whom she said she had reported her abusive relationship with Fr Iota.

A close relationship developed between Fr Kappa and Pamela after this, and when she was approximately 17 years old she alleged she was abused by him. Full intercourse took place when she was 18.

When she became pregnant it was arranged by Fr Kappa that she would be sent to a family in a different country where she would work until she gave birth, and her child then placed up for adoption.

Posted by kshaw at 02:25 PM

Fr Iota

IRELAND
One in Four

Fr Iota was accused of sexual abuse of Pamela in May 2005. It then emerged that a complaint against Fr Iota had been known by the diocese since the early 1970s.

Pamela said she met Fr Iota in the early 1970s when she was 13/14 years of age and he was chaplain of her local youth club. He was in his late 20s and an abusive relationship developed.

At the time Pamela reported it to Fr Kappa, then a local curate. After the abusive relationship ended, Pamela attempted suicide.When her GP reported her complaint to the bishop, following her attempted suicide, Bishop Herlihy wrote asking a "favour" of Cardinal Heenan of the Diocese of Westminster.

Posted by kshaw at 02:23 PM

Fr Lamda (deceased)

IRELAND
One in Four

In a letter dated November 5th, 1996, sent to Bishop Comiskey, Jonathon outlined his struggle with bouts of depression over a long period of time.

He said he now felt free to admit that he had been a victim of abuse as an altar boy by this priest, who was a dear friend of his parents and thought of as an "adopted uncle".

He went on to state in his letter that his counsellor would write directly to Bishop Comiskey and that this counsellor was free to share with the bishop whatever he felt like sharing.

Posted by kshaw at 02:20 PM

Fr Omega

IRELAND
One in Four

Bishop Walsh was notified about allegations against Fr Omega by the inquiry in 2004.

The priest met with the Bishop and confirmed that he had conducted sex education classes in a manner that was deemed inappropriate by the school in which he was a teacher. He had shown what were considered inappropriate pictures to the children in his class.

Bishop Comiskey arranged for him to attend a psychiatrist after the school incident, but the report says there is no record on file of this having occurred.

Posted by kshaw at 02:18 PM

Fr Omikron (deceased)

IRELAND
One in Four

A complaint against Fr Omikron, who died in 1968, came before the diocese in March 2000 when a woman named Jenny wrote to Bishop Comiskey and said she had been abused by him.

She said that the priest had been asked to take photos of her to be sent on to her doctor but she had been naked during the pictures. She said that later a medical practitioner took photos of her but did not require her to be naked.

The bishop forwarded her complaint to Fr William Cosgrave, diocesan delegate, and wrote to the woman offering to contribute towards her counselling costs and to meet her. He paid €4,000 towards the counselling costs when a sum of €4,400 was sought.

Posted by kshaw at 02:10 PM

Fr Sigma (deceased)

IRELAND
One in Four

Breda complained of sexual abuse perpetrated on her by Fr Sigma in Monageer and Knock for a four-year period, commencing when she was eight years old.

She telephoned Fr Tommy Brennan, diocesan secretary, in September 1996, and told him she had been sexually abused by Fr Sigma when she was a young girl, and that she was in counselling.

Fr Brennan wrote to Bishop Comiskey in December 1997 outlining the conversation with her. Breda told the inquiry there were lots of rumours surrounding Fr Sigma throughout the parish, mainly concerning girls.

Posted by kshaw at 02:03 PM

Fr Tau (deceased)

IRELAND
One in Four

The inquiry received information about Fr Tau in the context of an allegation against Fr Sean Fortune in 2005.

A man called Kieran told the diocese that when he reported an allegation of abuse against Fr Fortune to Fr Tau, the priest himself abused Kieran by requiring him to demonstrate what Fr Fortune had done.

Kieran said that the priest had eventually apologised to Kieran and had assured him that he would report to Bishop Comiskey.

Posted by kshaw at 02:01 PM

Fr Theta (deceased)

IRELAND
One in Four

A complaint against Fr Theta was received by the diocese in July 2003. A man called Don said that when he broke his leg at the age of 14, Fr Theta paid for a trip to Lourdes for him and accompanied him on the trip.

He said that the priest booked them into one room in a hotel in Dublin on the way home and pushed their beds together and kissed him on the mouth. The man believes that Fr Theta was attempting to rape him and he has since suffered from depression and needed counselling.

Posted by kshaw at 01:55 PM

Fr Zeta (deceased)

IRELAND
One in Four

In March 1996, the diocese received an anonymous letter accusing a priest in a named parish of committing sexual offences against schoolboys in the local primary school in the late 1980s.

The letter did not identify the priest, other than to say that he was still in the named parish.

Fr William Cosgrave, the diocesan delegate, subsequently said he believed the letter referred to a priest in the parish who had been chaplain and confessor to the pupils of the local primary school for many years.

Posted by kshaw at 01:53 PM

Fr Upsilon

In 1998, a complaint was made to the East Coast Area Health Board against Fr Upsilon by a man who said he was abused over eight years in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Denis withdrew the allegations in a statement to gardaí and also spoke to the diocese about the withdrawal. The diocese asked the priest to stand down from his ministry pending an investigation.

The inquiry said that it was appropriate that allegations of child sexual abuse that have been withdrawn should still be investigated.

"Social pressures may cause complainants to withdraw allegations and in the interests of child protection, such withdrawals should not be regarded as decisive," it said.

Posted by kshaw at 01:41 PM

No support for girls after allegations

IRELAND
One in Four

Role of the health authorities:

The South Eastern Health Board did not provide counselling or support to 10 school girls and their families after they reported allegations of abuse against a parish priest in Ferns, the inquiry has found.

It establishes that counselling was only offered by the health board through a public statement in 1995, some seven years after the alleged abuse of the girls by the then parish priest of Monageer, Fr Jim Grennan, in 1988.

This response has been criticised in the report as "inadequate and inappropriate".

The report also says the health board response was not consistent in all cases. After the 10 schoolgirls made their allegations against Fr Grennan, seven of them were interviewed and assessed. The health board informed the gardaí and church authorities.

Posted by kshaw at 01:39 PM

Religious notes

WINCHESTER (MA)
Medford Transcript

The Winchester Area Voice of the Faithful will meet on Monday, Nov. 7 at St. Eulalia's Church, 50 Ridge St., Winchester, beginning at 7:30 p.m., with guest speaker Jeannie Cratty.

Cratty is a leader/victim advocate for the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). She coordinates meetings of the Greater Boston Chapter of SNAP, which meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 7- 9:15 p.m. at the Winchester Unitarian Society, 468 Main St., Winchester.

Her talk is entitled, "Going Forward with Survivors: How to Continue Giving Support."

Posted by kshaw at 10:53 AM

Abuse priest has 'Rev' title removed from grave

IRELAND
Online.ie

A victim of convicted child sex abuser Fr Brendan Smith has succeeded in her efforts to have the term Reverend removed from his gravestone.

A scandal surrounding the disgraced cleric was responsible for bringing down the Fianna Fáil/Labour coalition government in 1994.

'Samantha', from Co Meath, was one of Smith's victims and met with the Abbott of the order to which he was attached to have the title removed.

Posted by kshaw at 10:19 AM

Florida woman's sex-abuse suit against church dismissed

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Tallahassee Democrat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Florida woman who claimed she was molested by a Roman Catholic priest in the 1960s, but the parties disagree whether a settlement they reached in principle was ever finalized.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol signed a judgment of dismissal Monday in the case of Judy Glassman DeLonga against the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Rev. Bruce MacArthur.

A week earlier, Piersol received a motion and stipulation for judgment of dismissal electronically signed by the parties.

But Stephanie Pochop, an attorney representing DeLonga, said she never gave permission for anyone to sign her name to the document. She said she was still negotiating terms of the settlement agreement Wednesday.

"I had never authorized anyone to sign my name to a stipulation for dismissal," said Pochop. "And I wouldn't have done that until the entire matter was resolved."

Posted by kshaw at 10:13 AM

New molestation law

CALIFORNIA
Press-Telegram

A new law extending the statute of limitations for child molestation was inspired by a Bay Area teen, who several years ago watched in horror as her alleged attacker walked out of court, case dismissed because the statute of limitations had run out. He had escaped a trial simply by waiting out the clock.

It's not uncommon for molesters to have evaded justice that way. A Long Beach ex-priest and admitted pedophile, Michael Baker, is free today because Cardinal Roger Mahony protected him from the law. By the time Baker was ready to stand trial, the state's 10-year statute of limitations on such crimes had expired.

Under the new California law, far fewer molestation victims will have to face such scenarios. The new law, which will go into effect Jan. 1, gives prosecutors until the victim's 28th birthday to file charges.

The law cannot be applied retroactively: The California Legislature already tried that unconstitutional maneuver, and was slapped down (rightfully) by the Supreme Court in 2003. The Legislature had made a huge tactical error by passing a law that was destined to be overturned, and gave false hope to victims throughout the state.

Posted by kshaw at 10:11 AM

Priest is jailed over child porn

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A County Down priest who worked as a hospital chaplain has been jailed for a year for downloading child pornography.

Father John McCallum, 45, the former parish priest of Kilcoo, near Castlewellan, admitted 25 charges.

Last year, police raided the parochial house in Kilcoo and found 320 indecent images and nine indecent movie files, many featuring eight to 12-year-olds.

Fr McCallum, of Ballymena Road, Antrim, stepped down from his ministerial duties in Kilcoo after his arrest.

Posted by kshaw at 10:04 AM

Popular French priest confesses sin, backs reform

FRANCE
Reuters

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
PARIS (Reuters) - One of France's most popular men, a 93-year-old Roman Catholic priest who champions the cause of the homeless, speaks out for married and female priests in a new book where he confesses having broken his vow of chastity.

Abbe Pierre, who has topped French popularity lists for so long that he withdrew his name last year to make way for others, also says in his book "My God ... Why?" that he could imagine that Jesus Christ had been married to Mary Magdalene.

His liberal views flew in the face of the conclusions of a synod of over 250 bishops at the Vatican that closed last week with a ringing reaffirmation of the celibate male priesthood.

Abbe Pierre noted that his celibacy vow did not extinguish sexual desire and confessed: "I've succumbed to this on rare occasions but I never had a longer relationship because I did not let sexual desire take root."

Posted by kshaw at 10:02 AM

Tanaiste: inquiries into clerical abuse to take place in every diocese

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The Tanaiste has reiterated that every diocese in the country should be investigated for clerical sex abuse.

The Taoiseach told the Dail yesterday that he would welcome a national check, but opposition TDs say they are confused by the comments.

Mary Harney has now told the house that inquiries similar to the one in Ferns will be carried out across Ireland.

She said that an examination of current practices, to deal with allegations of abuse, must take place with the aim of ensuring that the systems now in place in the diocese of Ferns are also in operation in other dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at 09:56 AM

Clerical abuse inquiries in every diocese - Tánaiste

IRELAND
Online.ie

The Tánaiste has reiterated that every diocese in the country should be investigated for clerical sex abuse.

Mary Harney told the Dáil that inquiries similar to the one in Ferns will be carried out across Ireland.

She said that an examination of current practices, to deal with allegations of abuse, must take place with the aim of ensuring that the systems now in place in the diocese of Ferns are also in operation in other dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at 09:54 AM

Priest jailed on pornography charges

NORTHERN IRELAND
U.TV

A Catholic priest who turned to internet pornography as a way of dealing with the stress of his job has been jailed for a year.

Forty five year-old John McCallum from the Ballymena Road in Antrim, was the on-call chaplin at the main Belfast hospitals on the day of the Omagh bomb and administered to the injured.

He began accessing adult pornography as a way of escaping the pressures of the job but later subscribed to child pornography sites.

Jailing him at Newtownards Court Judge Peter Gibson said a number of the images were utterly filthy.

Posted by kshaw at 09:50 AM

Green Party calls for proper vetting system

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Harry McGee Political Editor
THE Green Party yesterday called for proper vetting systems and a register for people unsafe to work with children be established as a matter of urgency.

As the political fallout of the Ferns Report continued, Green Party leader Trevor Sargent identified shortfalls in legal protection for children in Ireland.

Fine Gael spokeswoman on Education Olwyn Enright called for the introduction of better child safety procedures in schools.

Her Labour Party counterpart Jan O’Sullivan also called for a more proactive approach to the prevention and detection of child sexual abuse: The introduction of a comprehensive anti-bullying programme and additional supports and training for teachers are urgently required.

Sinn Fein Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin argued it was “long past the time to enshrine the rights of children as individuals in to the Constitution”.

“It is time we dealt with the issue of child abuse in a coherent, strategic and honest manner, so as to limit if not eliminate the risks posed to vulnerable children in our society,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:48 AM

Cuenin asks supporters to halt efforts

NEWTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Matt Viser, Globe Staff | October 27, 2005

The popular former pastor of a Newton parish, ousted last month over alleged financial improprieties, has appealed to parishioners and other supporters to stop pushing for his reinstatement at Our Lady's Help of Christians.

''It is clear to me that I am not going to be brought back to Our Lady's as pastor," the Rev. Walter H. Cuenin wrote in an e-mail obtained by the Globe. ''For those in the parish to keep pursuing that direction is only, in my opinion, to raise false hopes. It also draws a lot of energy that is needed to keep the parish from falling apart."

Cuenin said he has met with Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley and ''I know that I am not going to come back as pastor."

Posted by kshaw at 09:41 AM

No witch hunts?

SPOKANE (WA)
Suburban Chicago Newspapers

SPOKANE, Wash. — The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressing concerns about an upcoming Vatican document that will address whether homosexuals should be ordained, said "witch hunts and gay bashing have no place in the church."

"There are many wonderful and excellent priests in the church who have a gay orientation, are chaste and celibate, and are very effective ministers of the Gospel," Spokane Bishop William Skylstad wrote.

Conflicting reports have surrounded the contents of the document, which has been in the works for several years.

Posted by kshaw at 09:33 AM

Rape probe priest is still practising

IRELAND
Irish Independent

A PRIEST under investigation for allegedly raping a young pregnant woman is continuing to serve in the same diocese.

A spokeswoman for the Garda Press Office last night confirmed gardai are investigating allegations of a sexual assault and are currently preparing a file for the DPP.

The priest at the centre of the allegations confirmed he will be saying Mass this morning but refused to comment on the allegations.

He is carrying out his full range of parish duties.

The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, has declined to answer several questions put to him by The Irish Independent or to clarify why the priest is continuing to serve.

This lack of action by the Church authorities directly contravenes assurances given over the last 48 hours following the Ferns Report.

Posted by kshaw at 09:33 AM

Sioux Falls Diocese Sex Abuse Lawsuit Update

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Keloland

There are new developments in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese. Judy DeLonga claims Father Bruce MacArthur sexually abused her in the 1960s in Wisconsin, while he was on leave from the diocese.

DeLonga filed a lawsuit in 2003, but earlier this week, a federal judge in Sioux Falls dismissed the case, after the court received a settlement document electronically signed by all of the parties. But DeLonga's attorneys say they never agreed to a final settlement.

DeLonga and her attorneys first found out about the dismissal when they were called today by the media. They say they reached an initial settlement, but never agreed to anything final.

Judy DeLonga says the actions of a man she trusted more than 40 years ago still cause her pain. And news her lawsuit has been dismissed is an unexpected setback in her search for justice.

"It's disappointing," said DeLonda. "It's not final yet, but just to hear that was disappointing."

The two sides don't agree that the settlement they reached in principle was ever actually finalized. Delonga's attorney says he's still negotiating settlement terms.

Posted by kshaw at 09:27 AM

Church Criticized Over Abuse

IRELAND
Irish Voice

By Mairead Carey

Both the church and the state have been slammed for the manner in which they treated children who were sexually abused by priests in the Diocese of Ferns.

In a wide ranging report on the clerical abuse scandal which forced the resignation of former Bishop Brendan Comiskey, horrific accounts have been given of the abuse of children by up to 21 priests in the diocese.

Two former bishops, Comiskey and Donal Herlihy, have been heavily criticized for failing to protect the children, while the Gardai and the South Eastern Health Board have also been damned for failing to investigate the crimes, and for failing to provide support to the victims.

On Tuesday the Bishop of Ferns, Eamon Walsh, who was appointed bishop after the scandal broke in 2002, said that the findings of the official inquiry contained horrific accounts which had shattered trust in the Catholic Church.

“All I can say is that this report has horrific accounts, and even though I’ve been dealing with this for years, when you read such a litany of horrible gross abuse and rape all condensed together it leaves you speechless,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:24 AM

Diocese, woman settle 1973 sex-abuse case

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

By David Unze
dunze@stcloudtimes.com

A former parishioner at St. Louis Church in Paynesville has settled a lawsuit against the St. Cloud Diocese in which she accused former priest Donald Rieder of sexually abusing her in 1973.

Susan Fuchs-Hoeschen received $17,500 from the diocese to settle the case, which she acknowledged likely would have been thrown out by the courts because it was filed so long after the abuse. The lawsuit named Rieder as a defendant, but he later was dropped from the case.

"I am pleased and realistic that hopefully other victims will come forward earlier so that they can be successfully litigated," said Fuchs-Hoeschen, who was identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe 54. She agreed to allow the Times to identify her for this article.

She and her attorney knew the lawsuit stood virtually no chance of withstanding a statute of limitations challenge. That law sets limits on how quickly lawsuits must be filed after sexual abuse has occurred. A court hearing had been scheduled before a Stearns County judge to argue that issue when the lawsuit was settled.

Posted by kshaw at 09:19 AM

Parishioners vent anger at clergy over abuse

YARDLEY (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Emilie Lounsberry and Jim Remsen
Inquirer Staff Writers

Anger ran high at two extraordinary forums last night as dozens of Catholic parishioners denounced archdiocesan clergymen over disclosures of priest abuse and official cover-ups.

At St. Ignatius of Antioch in Yardley, parishioners expressed outrage, disappointment and dismay about the sex-abuse scandal, saying that church leaders, including their current pastor, had failed to protect children from abusive priests.

And in Plymouth Meeting, a succession of laypeople took the floor at a Voice of the Faithful speak-out to offer a host of demands and proposals: For Cardinal Justin Rigali to sell his mansion. For parish contributions to be suspended. For sex abusers and their church "enablers" to be excommunicated.

Kathleen Zawacki, a retired FBI agent, one of the more than 350 people who packed St. Ignatius' auditorium for a meeting called by Msgr. Samuel Shoemaker, asked: "How many children did you put in peril? How many children could you have protected?"

Posted by kshaw at 09:16 AM

Viewpoint: A catalogue of abuse and neglect

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

FERNS REPORT: Church must ensure there is no repetition
27 October 2005
The scandal of child sex abuse by priests in the Ferns diocese, in Co Wexford, has been known about for a long time, but it has taken a government inquiry to expose the full, horrific facts. There is nowhere in the world where Catholic children were more at risk from the priests who ministered to them over a 36-year period, 1966-2002.

Everyone is now aware of how some priests can betray their position of trust, and the Church - from parish to Vatican - is properly repentant. The only excuse is that, until comparatively recently, there was little understanding of paedophilia and its effect on a closed, celibate community, with special access to children.

Nevertheless, the report's findings on the totally inadequate response to complaints against 21 priests, involved in more than 100 allegations of child abuse, will come as a shock to believers and unbelievers alike. Ferns may have been particularly vulnerable, but few doubt that every diocese in Ireland, and possibly the world, has its history of sex offences.

During the period in question, it was the misfortune of Ferns to have two negligent bishops - one of whom, Brendan Comiskey, resigned in 2002 after confessing that he was unable to control the main offender. Sean Fortune, who committed suicide after a lifetime of child abuse, had been ordained by the previous bishop, despite a psychiatrist's warning that he was "unfit" for the priesthood.

Posted by kshaw at 09:09 AM

Fugitive priest pleads guilty to sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CDT on Thursday, October 27, 2005

By REESE DUNKLIN / The Dallas Morning News

A Catholic priest whose Australian superiors let him work overseas as a criminal fugitive pleaded guilty this week to 13 charges involving the sexual abuse of several teenage boys, the Australian Associated Press news service reported.

The Rev. Frank Klep was profiled last year as part of The Dallas Morning News' examination of Catholic priests moving from country to country to elude sex-abuse allegations and remain in ministry with access to children.

Father Klep is living with members of his religious order, the Salesians of Don Bosco, while he awaits his sentencing on Dec. 9.

The priest was accused of abusing boys under his care at a boarding school outside Melbourne in the 1970s. He was convicted in 1994 and became the target of a second criminal abuse investigation two years later.

While that case remained unresolved, he was sent to work on the Pacific Island of Samoa in 1998 and remained there until last year.

Salesian officials had insisted he was not in active ministry and was isolated from children. But The News photographed him handing candy to children after Mass and reported he was tutoring students alone in his bedroom.

Posted by kshaw at 09:06 AM

Bucks County parishioners blast priest for abuse cover-up

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By Pervaiz Shallwani
Of The Morning Call

A Bucks County Catholic priest identified in a grand jury report as helping to cover up sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia faced angry parishioners at an unusual meeting Wednesday and asked for their forgiveness.

''I want you to know how sorry I am that this awful tragedy of sexual abuse occurred, and I am sincerely sorry for anything that I have done or didn't do that might have contributed to this situation,'' Monsignor Samuel E. Shoemaker told more than 400 people packed into St. Ignatius of Antioch Church in Yardley.

But for many at the meeting he had called, that wasn't good enough. One man held a sign saying

''Prison=justice'' in front of Shoemaker, who is mentioned at least 55 times in the scathing Philadelphia grand jury report released last month.

''I have a very direct question for the monsignor: Does it take an investigation by the state of Pennsylvania to know that you may or may not have committed a sin?'' said another man, lifetime parishioner Craig Mordock, 34, of Newtown.

A man who said he has been a parishioner for 20 years said he could forgive Shoemaker ''because I am a good Catholic. But I can't forgive the priests who stole our church. …They have to be held accountable, and we have to stand up publicly and say: 'You must go.''' Applause lasting 30 seconds followed his remarks.

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

Priests behaving badly

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

Dianne Williamson
dwilliamson@telegram.com

T&G STAFF

Unfortunately for the Rev. James J. Aquino, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

But what did happen in Vegas, and why should we care? Well, for starters, priests shouldn’t hide behind bishops and lawyers, bishops shouldn’t condone in private the same conduct they condemn in public, and the Catholic Church really should get its story straight when it comes to bad behavior.

If you believe Rev. Aquino’s extraordinary performance from the pulpit Monday night — remarkably, most of his parishioners seem to — he was an innocent victim of rogue Las Vegas cops who targeted him because he was a priest.

“When they saw my license and saw I was a priest, they asked me if I was Catholic and I said, ‘Yes, I was,’ and that’s when the nightmare began,” he told hundreds of transfixed parishioners at Our Lady of Loreto Church.

If you believe Las Vegas vice squad detectives — unremarkably, the Nevada court seemed to — he was seen masturbating another man for approximately 30 minutes in a pornographic movie theater last October.

“He essentially got caught up in a raid,” said Las Vegas Police Sgt. Chris Jones. “For a person in his position to be caught doing what he did is very embarrassing, so he’s displacing blame. For him to suggest he was targeted is ridiculous. He was caught red-handed. It’s not like we’re hard-pressed in Vegas for business when it comes to this stuff.”

Rev. Aquino asked his flock for forgiveness Monday night but spent most of his hastily arranged mea culpa blaming others, offering bizarre excuses and professing his innocence to adoring parishioners who accepted his account without question, perhaps because they’re weary of scandal or secretly relieved that no children were involved.

I suppose you can’t blame them, but it’s downright weird the way some Catholics continue to drink the Kool-Aid and swallow the hypocrisy of the church hierarchy. Why a standing ovation for a priest accused of providing a hand job in a public place, a priest who, despite supporters’ praise for his “courage” in speaking out, only came forward when the story was all over the Internet and about to break in the local press?

Rev. Aquino was vacationing in Vegas last fall with his friend, Monsignor Louis P. Piermarini, when he told parishioners that he “wasn’t particularly feeling well one day” and went for a “very long” walk. As it happened, he ended up miles away in a “Super Store” with triple Xs in the window and porn inside. Minutes later, according to Rev. Aquino, he was confronted by two undercover vice squad detectives who, much to his surprise, said he was being detained.

Missing from that account was that Rev. Aquino apparently paid $8 to enter a theater in the Super Store where pornographic movies are shown. Also missing is the fact that he gave a false Social Security number to police before eventually producing a driver’s license from his shoe, according to the authorities’ report.

Despite paperwork that clearly shows he bargained the charge of lewd conduct to a lesser offense and was ordered to perform community service and notify his bishop before the charges were dismissed 11 months later, Rev. Aquino and his lawyer spun a ludicrous account that a judge found him innocent.

“Because I was a priest, I had to prove my innocence,” Rev. Aquino said. He then surrendered the microphone to his lawyer, Anthony A. Froio, who downplayed the charges as “just a citation … it had nothing to do with a minor. It sort of looks like a traffic citation, just a flimsy piece of paper you can hardly read.”

Sgt. Jones said the “flimsy” citation was a courtesy extended to Rev. Aquino, who faced arrest for the charges.

“We actually cut him a break,” the sergeant said. “We felt because of who he was and the nonviolent nature of the offense, rather than take him to jail we’d extend him a courtesy.”

This week, a spokesman for Bishop Robert J. McManus said the bishop is taking the matter “very seriously.” Monday night, however, Rev. Aquino’s lawyer said the bishop “has been very supportive” of the priest and “hasn’t seen fit” to discipline him in any way.

The bishop had also seen fit to sweep the charges under the rug, just as the Vatican deems that men who publicly show their homosexuality and reveal an attraction to the gay lifestyle should be refused admission to the clergy. I don’t know how much more public you can get than masturbating another man in a movie theater, but maybe the bishop has adopted a Clintonian view of sex. Or perhaps he’s had his hands full in the town of Westboro, where he swooped unannounced into St. Luke’s Catholic Church last month and took over the Mass after the priests of the parish stated publicly that they don’t support efforts to ban gay marriage.

I guess a bishop must set his own priorities, but it’s awfully sad that he enables one of his priests to dupe loyal parishioners from the pulpit, but comes down quickly on other priests who speak their conscience. And once again, the church continues to fault “clergy hate groups” for “spreading false accusations,” Rev. Aquino told his parishioners.

In Las Vegas, meanwhile, Sgt. Jones said he’s angry that Rev. Aquino is shifting the blame for his behavior onto police.

“This priest clearly knows what he’s done,” said Sgt. Jones. “But rather than answer for it, he’s trying to push the blame on officers who are doing their jobs. His parishioners are obviously good people and want to believe him, but I’d urge them to step back, try to be a little objective and look at the facts. If they still believe him, well, I have to shake my head at that.”

Contact Dianne Williamson by e-mail at dwilliamson@telegram.com.

Posted by kshaw at 09:01 AM

Ferns scandal priest removed after claims of abuse in Belfast

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Claire Regan

27 October 2005
Allegations of sexual abuse were made against paedophile priest Sean Fortune within months of his arrival in Belfast and were the reason he was removed from the city in less than a year, one of his victims said last night.

Damien McAleenan, who met the paedophile priest when he served in the Holy Rosary Parish in south Belfast from 1979-80, said he believes the Catholic Church's handling of the situation allowed the pervert to move on to claim more victims.

The 39-year-old spoke out after the release of a damning report which revealed the full horror of brutal clerical child abuse in the Diocese of Ferns in Co Wexford.

Fortune, who commited suicide in 1999 while facing sex abuse charges, was at the centre of the shattering Ferns Inquiry Report into the actions of pervert priests in the diocese over 40 years.

Former Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy's report found that the church lied, deceived and covered-up to protect 21 priests who had faced over 100 allegations of child sexual abuse - 40 of them made against Fortune.

Posted by kshaw at 09:00 AM

Priest, accused in report, quits Drexel U. post

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Daily News

By DANA DiFILIPPO
difilid@phillynews.com

A priest accused of molesting a Delaware County teenager has resigned his administrative post at Drexel University.

The Daily News first reported three weeks ago that James M. Iannarella was working as assistant vice president in Drexel's Office of Government and Community Relations, despite being one of 63 priests named in last month's graphic grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse.

Iannarella allegedly molested a 17-year-old female parishioner in 1999 at St. Joseph Church in Aston, Delaware County, where he was parochial vicar, according to the report.

Iannarella, who has worked for Drexel since 2001, quit this week, a Drexel spokesman said. Although still a priest, the Vatican is considering a laicization petition to defrock him. He has not returned telephone calls to the Daily News.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 AM

Abuse audit may be national

IRELAND
Irish Health

[Posted: Thu 27/10/2005]

The planned inquiry into clerical sexual abuse allegations in the Dublin diocese may now be extended to the whole country.

According to Minister of State at the Department of Health Brian Lenihan, priority is now being given to confirming, as a matter of urgency, that the arrangements now in place in Ferns on dealing with clerical abuse allegations are being implemented throughout the country.

He said a final decision on expanding the scope of the inquiry in Dublin will be decided by the Government following correspondence between the Department of Health and the Irish BishopÕs Conference to seek confirmation that child protection measures agreed some years ago are in place in all dioceses.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Dail yesterday that the priority now must be to protect children now and for the future.

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

Discussions on abuse inquiry terms

IRELAND
RTE News

27 October 2005 12:56
The Tánaiste and Minister for Health has clarified how further investigations into the handling of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church will progress.

This follows Tuesday's publication of the Ferns Report into the handling of allegations of clerical sexual abuse in the Wexford diocese.

Replying to Labour Leader Pat Rabbite, Mary Harney said that the Minister of State for Children is in discussions with the Minister for Justice on the establishment of a new commission of inquiry.

It is likely that module one of that inquiry will be an examination of current practices in all dioceses to ensure that protections now in place in Ferns are also in effect countrywide.

Posted by kshaw at 08:33 AM

Tending to the flock

UNITED STATES
The Georgetown Voice

Whatever your creed, or lack thereof, it is not hard to appreciate the basic moral teachings of the Church. We embrace many of the Catholic and Jesuit aspects of our university, especially the progressive teachings of the New Testament. That is why we are saddened by the Church's failure to seek positive change at the recent Synod of Bishops, the first of newly elected Pope Benedict XVI's reign.

The Synod, a meeting of more than 250 Bishops to debate and propose Church policies, came to an end on Saturday. Though it acknowledged the shortage of priests, it failed to approve priestly marriage and did not even discuss the possibility of ordaining women. Further, it reaffirmed its decision to deny communion to divorcees. It did, however, give local Bishops the authority to deny or allow Catholic politicians who disagree with certain Catholic teachings-read John Kerry-communion.

The threat facing the church is a very real one. According to the Vatican, the ratio of priests to Catholics in America is 1 to 1,200. This speaks to a very real failure by the Church to tend to the spiritual needs of the faithful, as well as provide the Sacraments of their faith. ...

Today, the Church is being strangled by its devotion to unnecessary, human doctrines. Busy persecuting homosexuals within and without, covering up its past sins of child molestation and contributing to its own shortage of priests, the church has failed to remember its primary mission: to advance the moral teachings of Jesus Christ, beginning with love thy neighbor as thyself. If it does not remember soon, it will lose more than just priests.

Posted by kshaw at 08:32 AM

Ex-priest abused many, lawyer says

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
The Courier-Journal

By Ken Kusmer
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- An attorney for four men who have sued the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis alleged yesterday that it repeatedly transferred a sexually abusive priest to increasingly rural parishes as accounts of him molesting boys mounted.

Attorney Patrick Noaker said the Rev. Harry E. Monroe abused at least a dozen boys in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Perry County before the late Archbishop Edward O'Meara removed him from ministry in 1984.

Noaker filed two new lawsuits Tuesday accusing Monroe of sexually abusing two altar boys while he was at the now-closed St. Catherine parish on the south side of Indianapolis in 1977 and 1978.

The complaints also named the archdiocese as a defendant and accused it of negligence, fraud and other charges for hiding Monroe's history from a previous posting at St. Andrew parish on the city's northeast side.

"What's tragic about this is they could have prevented this," Noaker said of church leaders, none of whom are named in the lawsuits.

Posted by kshaw at 08:29 AM

Priest pleads for mercy

CANADA
Leader-Post

Jana G. Pruden
Leader-Post

October 27, 2005

A Catholic priest who picked up underage prostitutes and had sex with them inside the church rectory asked a judge for leniency Wednesday, saying he would be "very thankful to the Lord" if he gets a short sentence in the community without electronic monitoring.

"I ask your mercy and compassion and kindness your honour," Pedro Surtida Aldea said, during sentencing proceedings before Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ted Zarzeczny on Wednesday morning.

The 68-year-old Aldea had previously pleaded guilty to paying for the sexual services of two underage girls on four different occasions, and is slated to be sentenced Friday afternoon. The Crown is asking for a community-based sentence of at least a year; the defence is arguing for a community-based sentence of six months.

Speaking in court Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Bill Jennings said police were alerted to Aldea's activities when a worker at a south Regina photo lab developed sexually explicit pictures of females she thought were in their teens. Aldea is in one of the photos.

Posted by kshaw at 08:27 AM

Irish Catholic Church, Police Blasted for Child Sex Crimes Cover-ups

IRELAND
TheRealityCheck.org

by Jim Kouri, CPP

A disturbing report released in Ireland this week details a far-reaching pattern of sexual abuse by Catholic priests that goes back over 30 years.

The amazingly detailed report, submitted by a former Irish judge, goes far beyond just the priests and a couple of Catholic bishops in Ireland. It also blasts the Irish police officers who allegedly didn't investigate the abuse complaints or conducted sloppy investigations. It also depicted a pattern of abuse going back to 1966 with over a hundred allegations made against over 20 Catholic clergymen in just one Diocese alone.

Mismanagement by bishops included transferring priests to other Dioceses and not demanding accused priests to undergo psychological treatment. According to news reports in Ireland, one of the suspected child abusers actually received a promotion to college principal

Unlike the United States Catholic priests identified as child molesters and abusers, the majority of Irish priests are accused of sexually assaulting girls. Most of the US cases involved priests with pubescent or prepubescent boys. Experts contacted could not offer theories as to why the majority of the Irish sex abuse cases are heterosexual, while the majority of US cases are homosexual.

There are also allegations that police officers were told to cover-up complaints against clerics by their commanding officers. The report also details incidents where files simply disappeared.

Posted by kshaw at 08:24 AM

Angry parishioners confront priest over sexual-abuse cover-ups

YARDLEY (PA)
Times-Leader

Associated Press

YARDLEY, Pa. - Angry parishioners confronted a Bucks County Catholic priest who a grand jury said helped cover up sexual abuse by priests, and some called for his removal.

"If you can't stand against these actions as a leader, then I can't have you as our leader," a woman struggling to hold back tears told Monsignor Samuel E. Shoemaker.

She was among more than 400 people packed into St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, where Shoemaker had been pastor for about 17 years.

Shoemaker wasn't accused of abusing children himself, but the 418-page grand jury report said he had a role in covering up the deeds of at least eight of 28 priests whose acts of sexual perversion were detailed in the report. "I am sincerely sorry for anything I have done or didn't do that might have contributed to this situation," he told the crowd.

Posted by kshaw at 08:22 AM

October 26, 2005

Inquiry on abuse may become a national audit

IRELAND
The Irish Times

An official inquiry due to be held into the handling of clerical abuse complaints in the Dublin archdiocese may be expanded to include other dioceses if a national audit of child protection measures indicates a need for such an investigation. Liam Reid and Patsy McGarry report

In a statement last night, Minister of State for Children Brian Lenihan said the audit would seek to establish whether each diocese was complying with internal church guidelines from 10 years ago on how to deal with abuse complaints.

Mr Lenihan's announcement followed publication on Tuesday of the Ferns inquiry report which severely criticised the Catholic Church's response to allegations of abuse against 21 priests.

The inquiry found that the Ferns diocese is currently implementing proper child protection measures, removing priests from active ministry once an allegation is made. Yesterday, Opposition politicians called for a wider inquiry to establish whether other bishops were allowing priests to continue in ministry despite allegations.

Last night, victims' representative groups raised concerns about the lack of detail on how the Government's proposed audit would be carried out. Mr Lenihan said that "consideration is being given as a matter of urgency to the form and structure of that audit".

Posted by kshaw at 10:07 PM

Ferns fallout: Ahern moves to set up national audit of clerical sex abuse

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Michael O’Farrell and Noel Baker
A NATIONAL audit of child sex abuse by priests is likely to be carried out following the findings of the Ferns Report, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said yesterday.

Speaking in the Dáil, Mr Ahern said the Government would wait for the findings of the inquiry into allegations of child sexual abuse by priests in Dublin before deciding on the practicalities of a national audit.

Mr Ahern made his comments as Justice Minister Michael McDowell outlined his plans to implement the recommendations of the Ferns Report.

Discussions between his department and the Civil Legal Aid Board also began yesterday on changing laws relating to the provision of legal aid for both parties in cases of sexual abuse where the criminal justice avenue had been closed off.

Posted by kshaw at 10:05 PM

Diocese had insurance against abuse claims

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
BISHOP Brendan Comiskey purchased an insurance policy in 1989 to protect the diocese of Ferns against liability arising from sexual abuse claims despite the fact he repeatedly failed to adequately deal with allegations of abuse against numerous priests.

It was one of a number of similar policies purchased by most diocese in 1998 and 1999 after the then Archbishop of Dublin consulted legal advisors on the potential liability arising from incidents of child sex abuse.

The advice, first received in 1986, was that any bishop would be liable for negligence if he failed to act on knowledge a priest was, or was likely abusing children.

According to the Ferns report the advice, circulated to all bishops in Ireland, said “a bishop would have a duty in law to withdraw such a priest from his duties in the event of an investigation showing there was a basis for the complaint made”.

Posted by kshaw at 10:03 PM

Jail unlikely for priest who solicited teens

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated Oct 26 2005 01:23 PM CDT

A Regina priest convicted of soliciting sex from underage prostitutes will likely not be going to jail.

At a court appearance Wednesday, Crown and defence lawyers said a conditional sentence for Father Pedro Aldea was appropriate.

Under the sentencing proposal, Aldea will wear an electronic 'bracelet' and serve his sentence in the community. Aldea will also be restricted from Regina's north central area – the area where he picked up the two teenaged prostitutes.

The 68-year-old priest was charged in May 2004. He pleaded guilty earlier this year and admitted he paid the girls for sex.

Posted by kshaw at 09:27 PM

Walsh apologies to victims of clerical child sex abuse

IRELAND
One in Four

Ferns diocese:

The findings of the Ferns Report were yesterday welcomed by the apostolic administrator of the diocese, Bishop Eamonn Walsh.

Bishop Walsh again apologised to all the victims of clerical sex abuse and pledged to work to ensure that no such abuse is allowed to happen in the diocese again.

Bishop Walsh paid tribute to Mr Justice Frank Murphy and his inquiry team for their painstaking work, but he also acknowledged the courage of those who came forward to recount their horrific stories of sexual abuse at the hands of some 21 priests in the diocese over the past 40 years.

"This report has horrific accounts, and although I've been dealing with this for years, when you read such a litany of horrible gross abuse and rape all condensed together, it leaves you speechless. I can't imagine the courage it took to come forward on the part of the people who did come forward," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:36 PM

Attorney Alleges Former Archdiocesan Priest Molested More Boys

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
WISH

An attorney charges that the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis repeatedly transferred an abusive priest to more rural parishes as charges of molesting boys mounted against him.

Attorney Patrick Noaker has brought sexual abuse claims against the diocese on behalf of four men.

He says the priest in question, Harry Monroe, abused at least a dozen boys in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Perry County before he was removed from ministry in 1984.

Noaker filed two new lawsuits yesterday accusing Monroe of sexually abusing two altar boys while he served the former St. Catherine's Parish in Indianapolis in 1977 and 1978.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 PM

Police: Pastor Sought Sex Online

ATLANTA (GA)
11 Alive

Web Editor: Tracey Christensen
Web Editor: Michael King
Reported By: Jennifer Leslie
Last Modified: 10/26/2005 6:38:45 PM

A youth minister on Wednesday became the 10th suspect nabbed by an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old girl in Peachtree City.

Police officials said Pastor Mohammad Bolton, 31, of McDonough arranged a meeting over the Internet with a person who he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Bolton then drove to Peachtree City on the premise that he and the teenager would have sex, authorities said.

"The undercover agent was talking to another individual and he broke in on the chat and wanted to talk to her and was very open, did not care that she was underage," said Peachtree City Police Chief Jim Murray.

Chief Murray said Bolton even emailed a sexual image of himself to the officer. When he arrived in the Fayette County community on Wednesday, he was arrested and charged with violation of the computer pornography and child exploitation act.

"One of the interesting things that was said in this very short conversation with the agent is that he wanted to come and sneak into the house to see her and the agent advised him they'd get caught and he says, 'I do it all the time, it's easy,'" said Chief Murray.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 PM

Hudson priest worried about sex allegation

WISCONSIN
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Randy Furst, Star Tribune
Last update: October 26, 2005 at 9:51 AM

The Rev. Ryan Erickson, the Hudson priest accused of killing two funeral home workers in 2002, acknowledged lying down next to a teenage boy he was counseling about sex and telling him it was all right to be aroused.

He told police he was worried that he would have to disclose the sexual allegation to the diocese's bishop and would be removed as a priest.

Erickson made the comments to Hudson detectives during an interview on Dec. 7, 2004, 12 days before he committed suicide in Hurley, Wis., at the age of 31.

The 115-page transcript of the interview, the second and last time he was questioned by police, was released Tuesday by Hudson police.

Erickson was questioned at the Rusk County Sheriff's Department in Ladysmith, Wis. A transcript of the first interview, on Nov. 11, 2004, was released earlier.

Posted by kshaw at 06:39 PM

Priest: 'If I did it, … I'd tell you'

WISCONSIN
Pioneer Press

By Kevin Harter
Pioneer Press

In the second and final interview with Hudson, Wis., police investigators 12 days before the Rev. Ryan Erickson hanged himself, the priest was asked several times if he killed Dan O'Connell and James Ellison.

"If I did it and I've been living with it for this long and you guys had me cornered here I'd break, I'd tell you, I know I would. Uh, and the reason is because I think the guilt would be so overwhelming. I really do," Erickson told investigators on Dec. 7, 2004.

"… I mean you try to get away, human nature says you'll try to get away with it. But I, I personally myself I would tell you. I jus, I really believe that. I believe if I did something that heinous I would tell you because I don't think I could live with myself. I honestly don't believe I could, I mean I would, ya know I've thought about suicide before. You know if I did something that heinous, I tell you what, I think I'd be thinking about it now and I'd be ready ta, and …"

Asked if he still thought about suicide, Erickson said no.

Posted by kshaw at 06:35 PM

'For sale' signs hung up on churches

CANADA
CBC News

Last updated Oct 26 2005 04:36 PM NDT

The Roman Catholic diocese in Western Newfoundland has hired a real estate company to sell church buildings and other property.

Funds raised from the sales will be used to compensate victims of sexual abuse, most of whom were molested by Father Kevin Bennett.

More than 40 church properties owned by the Diocese of St. George's are now on the market, as the diocese attempts to raise $13 million to settle an agreement finalized this summer.

"It is difficult," Crosby said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:32 PM

Alleged killer's mom backs him

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Laurel J. Sweet
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - Updated: 11:37 AM EST

The mother of the inmate accused in the slammer-slaying of pedophile priest John Geoghan loves her son and is helping him build a Web site to educate the public about child molesters.

Though Joseph Druce swallowed several feet of thin, plastic-coated TV cable in his Cedar Junction cell on Oct. 15, Donna Gauthier insists her first born ``does not have a death wish,'' but rather felt in ``imminent danger'' from fellow cons, as well as correction officers. He saw the wiring as his ticket out.

``I live with hell day in and day out, knowing where he is,'' Donna Gauthier said of Druce, 40, in an exclusive interview with the Herald, breaking her two-year public silence.

When medics at Shattuck Hospital allegedly tried to yank the cord back out through his throat, Gauthier said it frayed and sliced one of Druce's lungs and his esophagus, resulting in his rush into emergency surgery.

Posted by kshaw at 06:29 PM

Ahern not ruling out wider abuse inquiry

IRELAND
RTE News

26 October 2005 17:06
The Taoiseach has said he does not want to rule out the possibility of setting up further inquiries into clerical abuse.

Answering questions in the Dáil today, Bertie Ahern said a decision on such a move would come after the national audit of childcare standards in dioceses.

Referring to the Ferns Report into clerical abuse, Mr Ahern said the Government had to be sure this could never happen again and that children would be safe from abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 01:06 PM

PM needs to talk to Pope, lawyer says

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated Oct 26 2005 09:29 AM CDT

A Regina lawyer says the Prime Minister should get in touch with the Pope in an effort to settle compensation issues between the Catholic church and victims of abuse at Indian residential schools.

Tony Merchant, whose firm handles thousands of residential school claimants, says the Anglican, United, and Presbyterian churches have contributed to settlement programs.

According to the Indian Residential School Department, agreements have been reached with some Catholic organizations, including the Jesuits of Upper Canada, the Daughters of Mary, the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, the Diocese of Prince George and the Grandin Oblates.

However, Merchant believes the Catholic church has not made a "meaningful" offer to compensate victims and so it would be useful for the prime minister to get involved.

"An approach by Paul Martin to the Pope, or through the papal nuncio [the Pope's ambassador in Canada], to say, 'You have to break the log-jam. You have to do the responsible and Christian thing.' "

Federal officials say there wouldn't be much point in going to Rome to deal with the issue and that a made-in-Canada solution would be best.

Posted by kshaw at 01:03 PM

Papal Fallibility

UNITED STATES
The Phoenix

By Nicholas Gamso
Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I've never been abused by a priest, but I do descend from one. My maternal grandmother's maiden name, DiLillo, comes from an affair between a seventeenth-century Italian girl and a priest from Lille, France. Accordingly, I feel safe saying that, despite vows of celibacy, the priesthood has been corrupt for a very long time. This week, however, I felt particularly irritated and discouraged to read an article in The Chicago Tribune reporting that the Jesuits have settled two suits regarding the alleged sexual abuse of seven Loyola students by a priest and faculty member in the 1960s and 1970s.

Yikes.

These allegations are startling, occurring in a familiar and generally comfortable place, but unfortunately shouldn't surprise us. Rather, the incident serves as another reminder of a growing trend: Over the past few years, the public has been bombarded with stories about illicit affairs, cases of molestation and instances of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, driving the idea of corrupt priests into our cultural conscience. It's become an almost-accepted trait of the celibate Catholic clergy and has become the subject of countless books and magazines, and even a popular cinematic genre. And no wonder: According to Chicago Magazine's September 2005 issue, 4,392 priests have been accused of child abuse between 1950 and 2002.

So, is there an intrinsic problem with corruption in the priesthood? Well, is the pope Catholic?

Posted by kshaw at 01:00 PM

Church negligent, says abuse victim

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Claire Regan

26 October 2005
A Belfast man who was sexually abused by the notorious paedophile priest at the centre of a damning report into the horror of clerical child abuse in the Diocese of Ferns in the Republic, today branded the Catholic Church as "negligent and irresponsible".

Damien McAleenan said Fr Sean Fortune may have been prevented from moving on to abuse more victims in the Co Wexford diocese if two allegations of sexual abuse made against him while in south Belfast had been treated differently by the Catholic Church.

The 39-year-old, who met the pervert cleric when he was an altar boy at Holy Rosary Parish on the Ormeau Road, spoke out after the Republic government's probe into the activities of pervert priests in the diocese of Ferns over a 40-year period.

Former Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy's damning report found that the church lied, deceived and covered up to protect 21 priests in the diocese who had faced more than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 12:57 PM

Forum tonight on priest sex abuse findings

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

As the recent grand jury findings of priest sex abuse and coverups in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia reverberate around the region, a Catholic activist group is holding an open forum tonight to give people a way to air their views.

The organizers, Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia, say the open-mike forum will let anyone air views and make recommendations. The session will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Church on the Mall, inside Plymouth Meeting Mall, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting.

Posted by kshaw at 12:54 PM

Sex-abuse report rocks Irish Church

IRELAND
Catholic World News

Oct. 26 (CWNews.com) - Both Church and government leaders in Ireland have been shaken by the October 25 publication of a report showing a systematic failure to curb sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Ferns.

The report, prepared under the direction of former Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy, uncovered more than 100 allegations of abuse by 26 priests of the Ferns diocese. The report covered the years between 1962 and 2002; it was based on a government investigation that lasted more than 2 years.

The report on the Ferns investigation faulted police and local officials for their failure to follow up aggressively on complaints of sexual abuse. But the most scathing criticism was leveled against Church leaders who covered up charges, silenced accusers, and ordained "clearly unsuitable men into the priesthood."

The government investigation of the Ferns diocese was organized in 2002, shortly after the resignation of Bishop Brendan Comiskey. Bishop Comiskey had become the focal point for complaints about the Irish bishops' handling of sex-abuse cases, especially after the 1999 suicide of Father Sean Fortune, a priest of the Ferns diocese, who was facing criminal charges on a series of sex-abuse complaints.

Posted by kshaw at 12:52 PM

Former Sacred Hearts member charged with molesting boys in the '70s

FAIRHAVEN (MA)
The Standard-Times

By ROB MARGETTA, Standard-Times staff writer

A former member of a Fairhaven-based religious order was arrested at his Washington, D.C., home Friday on charges he molested two boys while working at a Boston youth facility in the 1970s.
On Sept. 28, a Suffolk County grand jury indicted Edward A. Holmes, 64, on six counts of rape of a child, 19 counts of indecent assault and one count of posing a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct.
District of Columbia police arrested him and charged him as a fugitive from justice. The Suffolk District Attorney's Office is arranging for his transport to Massachusetts, which could be accomplished in days if he cooperates, or require a Governor's Warrant if he does not.
The Suffolk District Attorney's Office began its investigation of Mr. Holmes in 2003 after two men came forward alleging that he had sexually abused them as boys.
David Procopio, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said the victims were 9 and 10 years old when the abuse began in the mid-1970s.

Posted by kshaw at 10:04 AM

Report urges new powers for Health Minister

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Dan Collins
THE Inquiry has recommended the consideration of a law which would introduce a new criminal offence for anyone who fails in their duty to protect a child.

Legislation enabling the Minister for Health and Children to seek a barring or restraining order from the High Court in cases where a person with unsupervised access to children has abused or is deemed to be a serious risk needs to be put in place.

Another recommendations is for an in depth study of the powers of the Health Services Executive to intervene in cases of child sexual abuse committed by a non-family member.

Gardaí must be trained in how to interview children appropriately “and be able to provide a child-friendly and secure environment for this to take place in order to reduce trauma.”

Posted by kshaw at 09:49 AM

McDowell: Failure to protect children will be criminal offence

IRELAND
IOL

26/10/2005 - 10:41:41

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell has vowed that failing to take steps to prevent child molestation will be prosecutable as a criminal offence, in line with Ferns Report recommendations.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio today, Mr McDowell said: “There is a suggestion that there should be a new criminal offence relating to engaging in conduct that creates a substantive risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child, or failing to take steps to alleviate that risk, and the report suggests that I should follow that, and I believe that I should.”

Mr McDowell said that anyone in a position to protect children who fails in their duty to do so would be liable to criminal prosecution.

“It means that if you are in a position to stop something happening, and you have the means at your disposal to prevent further damage to children, and you fail wrongly to fail those steps, you don’t make yourself civilly liable to be sued for damages. You commit a criminal offence,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:33 AM

Ahern calls for nationwide priest sex abuse probe

IRELAND
U.TV

A clerical abuse investigation should be rolled out to every diocese across the Irish Republic, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said today.

A state inquiry published yesterday revealed that more than 20 priests had sexually abused young boys and girls in parishes in Co Wexford during the past 40 years.

The Irish government immediately promised new legislation to increase child protection controls in the wake of the dossier which was hailed as a watershed by abuse victims.

Mr Ahern vowed today in the Dail to carry out a promised inquiry into the Dublin archdiocese and then extend a probe to every diocese in the country.

"It is my view to try to deal with Dublin," he said. "We have said all along that we will await this report and then see how best we can proceed into a national audit or some means of investigation.

Posted by kshaw at 09:29 AM

Canon preyed on girl (14) and made her pregnant

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Senan Molony

26 October 2005
Sexual predator Canon Martin Clancy made a 14-year-old pregnant and threatened three years later to have the child taken away if she told anyone he was the father.

The serial child abuser preyed on at least five girls about which the Murphy Inquiry knows - but certainly many more - from at least 1965 to his death in 1993.

Clancy served in Ballindaggin, near Enniscorthy, from the early 1970s and moved to Kiltealy, north Wexford, in 1991.

Ciara was aged 11 when she was dragged into a dressing room at a concert in 1971 by Clancy. She was molested and the interference escalated, sometimes in his house or in a car, until full sexual intercourse took place when she was 14.

She became pregnant as a result and went to England in 1974, leaving a note for her parents telling of her condition but not identifying the father. Her mother took her home six weeks later, and her daughter, Rachel - now aged 30 - was born in 1975.

Canon Clancy gave Ciara two cheques of IR£500 each for the baby's upkeep when she was 16, but a year later threatened to take the baby away if she identified him as the father.

Posted by kshaw at 09:26 AM

Priest loses challenge

MARYLAND
The Daily Record

A Baltimore County judge yesterday refused to throw out a sexual abuse indictment against a priest. The Rev. Jerome F. Toohey Jr. is accused of repeatedly abusing a teen-age boy at Calvert Hall College High School in the 1980s. Defense attorney Andrew Graham asked Circuit Court Judge Ruth A. Jakubowski to dismiss the indictment because the charging documents did not give exact dates and places for the alleged abuse and gave several standard options for Toohey’s relationship to the accused, not specifying which was accurate. After recessing to read case law on the subject, Jakubowski decided that Toohey’s problems with the indictment are “grammatical,” not substantial, and agreed to let the state clarify the charging documents.


Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is promising to restore some of the correctional officer jobs his administration cut in Western Maryland. Staff reductions at the three medium-security prisons south of Hagerstown since 2002 totaled 224, The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail reported Sunday, citing Division of Correction figures. Ehrlich told the newspaper that the cuts reflected the state's financial difficulties. He said that since Maryland ended the 2005 fiscal year with a $1.2 billion surplus, “I believe you'll see an increase with respect to this particular employee field this year.” Correctional officers and their union leaders contend the staff cuts have compromised safety at the institutions.

Posted by kshaw at 09:16 AM

Marin Priest Denies Molestation Allegations

CALIFORNIA
CBS 5

(BCN) The Archdiocese of San Francisco said today that a Marin County priest "vigorously" denies a lawsuit's allegation that he sexually abused a minor in Oregon nearly 20 years ago.

In a statement, the archdiocese said that it was informed on Oct. 6 that a lawsuit had been filed against Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Ore., in which an anonymous individual identified only as "JT" alleges that he was abused as a minor sometime between 1986 and 1987 by Father John Schwartz.

Schwartz was a member of the Jesuit Province of Oregon and a teacher at Jesuit High School from 1981 to 1987. He served in parochial assignments in the Archdiocese of Portland after his tenure on the faculty.

Schwartz has been "ministering" in the Archdiocese of San Francisco for nearly four years, officials said. He currently is assistant pastor at St. Anselm Church in Ross, which serves Ross, San Anselmo and parts of Kentfield.

Posted by kshaw at 09:03 AM

Church condemned over abuse scandals

IRELAND
EuroNews

Ireland's Catholic Church has come under fire in a new government report, which says it covered up decades of sexual abuse of young people by priests.

The report details the church's handling of around 100 abuse allegations against 21 priests in the southeast diocese of Ferns in County Wexford.

The inquiry was set up in 2002, after the resignation of the Bishop of Ferns, Brendan Comiskey, who had been aware of the activities of an abusive priest but failed to act.

One of the most notorious offenders was Father Sean Fortune, who killed himself before he could face trial on charges of indecently assaulting young boys.

Ireland's Minister for Children, Brian Lenihan, said the inquiry showed a clearfailure on the part of the church to protect the vulnerable.

Posted by kshaw at 09:00 AM

Irish report faults Catholic Church on abuse

IRELAND
Boston Globe

By Paul Hoskins and Kevin Smith, Reuters | October 26, 2005

DUBLIN -- The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland covered up the sexual abuse of young people by priests over several decades in one diocese, a state probe has concluded.

The 270-page report, which stems from an investigation begun in 2002, was published yesterday. It details the Church's handling of 100 allegations of abuse against 21 priests in the diocese of Ferns in County Wexford dating to the mid-1960s.

Among the allegations are accusations of rape.

''The revelations make for very uncomfortable reading. The pages retelling the pain experienced by those who have suffered, are especially heartbreaking," the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Sean Brady, said in a statement.

''I apologize to all those people who have suffered lasting hurt at the hands of abusers in the Church. . . . The betrayal of trust is horrendous. Today the Church is ashamed of its past failings regarding child protection," he added.

Posted by kshaw at 08:58 AM

Opening arguments set today in ex-priest's trial

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

MESA - Opening arguments are scheduled today in the trial of a former West Valley priest accused of sex crimes involving teenaged boys more than a decade ago.

Prosecutors accuse the Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, of molesting the boys, mostly during camping trips, between 1986 and 1991. In addition, four victims from Indiana will be allowed to testify.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen decided to allow their testimony to establish whether LeBrun has a "sexual propensity" to abuse children.

Posted by kshaw at 08:53 AM

What the papers say

IRELAND
BBC News

The report into sexual abuse of children in the Wexford diocese of Ferns almost overwhelms the southern papers.

The Irish Times devotes seven pages to coverage and comment, leading with the plans to introduce new legislation to protect children in the Republic.

The Irish Independent gives over 16 pages to the subject.

Its front page is a striking combination of a crucifix alongside the word "shame" in red repeated three times to drive home points from the report.

"Terrible truth" is how the Independent headlines the decades-long scandal.

Posted by kshaw at 08:37 AM

Report lifts lid on abuse by Irish priests

IRELAND
IOL

October 26 2005 at 03:07AM

Dublin - The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland covered up the sexual abuse of young people by priests over several decades in one diocese, a state probe concluded.

A 270-page report published on Tuesday details the Church's handling of 100 allegations of abuse against 21 priests dating back to the mid-1960s.

Among the allegations are accusations of rape.

"The revelations make for very uncomfortable reading. The pages retelling the pain experienced by those who have suffered, are especially heartbreaking," the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Sean Brady, said.

'The betrayal of trust is horrendous'
"I apologise to all those people who have suffered lasting hurt at the hands of abusers in the Church. The betrayal of trust is horrendous."

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 AM

Ex-priest, archdiocese face 2 new sex-abuse suits

INDIANA
Indianapolis Star

By Robert King
robert.king@indystar.com

A former priest, already the subject of two sex-abuse lawsuits, was sued Tuesday by two former altar boys who claim they were molested in the 1970s.
As with claims made in September, the two new accusers filed their suits against the Rev. Harry Monroe without revealing their identities. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis also was named as a defendant in the suits.

Patrick Noaker, a Minnesota attorney representing all four accusers, said the new plaintiffs are men in their 40s who were members of St. Catherine parish from 1976 to 1978. The parish was later merged with another to form Good Shepherd parish.

Noaker claimed Monroe gave the boys alcohol "to kind of ply them into submission" and that the abuse allegedly took place in both the priest's quarters and on camping excursions at Turkey Run State Park near Rockville.

Archdiocesan officials have said Monroe, 57, was relieved of ministerial duties in 1984 because of allegations of sexual misconduct. Susan Borcherts, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, declined to comment on the lawsuits.

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

New child abuse legislation

IRELAND
Irish Health

[Posted: Wed 26/10/2005]

New legislation aimed at giving greater protection to children is to be introduced by the Government in the wake of the Ferns inquiry report.

The report detailed 100 allegations of sex abuse relating to 21 priests in the diocese over a 40-year period, and criticised the church, the local health board and the Gardai over their handling of the scandal.

The report recommended that those who recklessly engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of sexual abuse to a child should be prosecuted for reckless endangerment.

The Government has indicated that it may change the law to make provision to prosecute bishops if they fail to deal with reported cases of abuse in their dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

Church considers sex abuse fall-out

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Claire Regan

26 October 2005
Ulster's Catholic bishops were today considering the fall-out of a damning report which revealed the full horror of brutal clerical child abuse in the Diocese of Ferns in the Republic.

Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Dr Sean Brady, apologised to "all those people who have suffered lasting hurt at the hands of abusers in the church".

The leading Catholic cleric said he was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the Republic government's probe into the activities of pervert priests in the Co Wexford diocese of Ferns over a 40-year period.

Former Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy's damning report found that the church lied, deceived and covered up to protect 21 priests in the diocese who had faced more than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse.

"As priests they should have been protecting and nurturing the talents of these young people. The betrayal of trust is horrendous. Today the church is ashamed of its past failings regarding child protection," Dr Brady said.

And the Bishop of Derry, Dr Seamus Hegarty, was expected to released a statement, described as significant, to allay fears that the "country is crawling with priests who are paedophiles", his administrator Fr Michael Canny said this morning.

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

4th Louisville priest defrocked after charges of sexual-abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Cincinnati Enquirer

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - A fourth man has been dismissed from the priesthood and three elderly priests were ordered by the Vatican to stop working as priests after a review of sexual-abuse claims in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville.

Joseph Herp, who had been accused of sexual abuse in four lawsuits in 2002 and 2003, was dismissed from the priesthood, according to a new report on sexual abuse issued by the archdiocese.

The Vatican also ordered Robert Dollinger, J. Irvin Mouser and Edwin Scherzer to live in prayer and penance. They are not allowed to perform any public ministry, present themselves as priests or have unsupervised contact with minors.

The Vatican uses that option in cases of "health problems or advanced age," according to the archdiocese's report.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Confession a nightmare for 10 girls

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Fergus Black

26 October 2005
Confession should have been a solemn occasion for the young girls in the Wexford parish of Monageer.

But as they knelt on the altar, they were subjected to a litany of abuse at the hands of their parish priest, Fr James Grennan.

Their horrific story emerged in 1988 when 10 girls aged 12 to 13 alleged to their school principal, Pat Higgins, that they had been sexually molested by Fr Grennan while he heard their confessions on the altar in the parish church of Monageer.

It was the first recorded allegation of child sexual abuse by a member of the diocesan clergy dealt with by the gardai.

But local Bishop Brendan Comiskey dismissed the girls' allegations and this was compounded weeks later when Fr Grennan appeared on the church altar for Confirmation with the bishop at his side.

After their sensational allegations, seven of the girls were later interviewed by Dr Geraldine Nolan, director of the newly established 'Validation Unit' in Waterford in the South Eastern Health Board.

Posted by kshaw at 08:12 AM

Moves to punish clergy failing to prevent child abuse

IRELAND
U.TV

A new law will be brought in to punish clergymen and others who fail to take steps to prevent child sex abuse, Justice Minister Michael McDowell insisted today.

Mr McDowell vowed to act on recommendations of the Ferns Inquiry which called for gardai to have tougher powers to prosecute those who failed to protect youngsters.

"There is a suggestion that there should be a new criminal offence relating to engaging in conduct that creates a substantive risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child, or failing to take steps to alleviate that risk," the Minister said.

"The report says that we should follow that and I think that we should have the means at our disposal to prevent further damage to children."

Mr McDowell said there was an onus on every church in the country, not just Catholic clergy, to have procedures in place to protect children and the vulnerable from abusers.

Posted by kshaw at 08:09 AM

Bishop to make statement on abuse

IRELAND
BBC News

A statement on clerical sex abuse is to be issued by the Catholic Bishop of Derry, Dr Seamus Hegarty.

It follows publication of a report which found that 21 priests had abused children in County Wexford over the past 40 years.

Fr Michael Canny, administrator of St Eugene's Cathedral, said he expected the statement "to be significant".

He said the bishop wanted to reject the impression the country was "crawling with priests who are paedophiles".

"The context of this statement is that there may well be an impression among people that the country is crawling with priests who are paedophiles and all of them, like Fr Sean Fortune, and that no doubt people are today going to chapel and people are going about their business talking about this," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:06 AM

We Failed Children - We Are So Sorry

IRELAND
News Letter

Kieran Mcdaid

Wednesday 26th October 2005

THE Catholic Church is ashamed of its failures to protect children, All-Ireland Primate Sean Brady said last night.

Archbishop Brady said he was deeply shocked and saddened by the findings of the inquiry into child abuse in the Diocese of Ferns conducted by Mr Justice Frank Murphy.

He said the membership of a newAbuse Tracker Board for Child Protection within the Church would be announced shortly.

"The revelations make for very uncomfortable reading," he said.

"The pages retelling the pain experienced by those who have suffered, are especially heartbreaking.

"I apologise to all those people who have suffered lasting hurt at the hands of abusers in the Church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:05 AM

On Gay Men in the Priesthood

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

Gerald D. Coleman

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It is unprincipled to write about a document that is not yet released and whose content remains unknown. This has not hindered journalists, however, from speculating that a forthcoming Vatican document might ban homosexuals from seminary entrance and ordination. This conjecture has set off a wave of anger, disbelief, sadness, ridicule and "thank God, it's about time."

My comments are aimed at these journalists. They are not meant to critique a policy that does not yet exist.

Many argue that because 81 percent of clergy sexual abuse victims were boys and two-thirds of these were teenagers according to the John Jay College report released in 2004, ridding the Catholic Church of homosexual seminarians and priests would minimize or eliminate current and future clergy sexual abuse of minors.

This belief has taken hold despite the accepted fact that sexual orientation by itself is not a risk factor for committing sexual crimes against minors. Persons who sexually violate children often sustain certain dysfunctions, such as pedophilia, personality disorders, brain injury and major depressive disorders, as well as issues relating to their own sexual victimization, their inability to maintain mature intimate relationships, their inability to cope with stress, struggles with substance abuse and other psychological factors. Some sexual abusers make a significant error in judgment by crossing sexual boundaries. To blame homosexuals for the clergy sexual abuse crisis is highly disturbing. We should know better.

Posted by kshaw at 07:57 AM

Group says accused molester is new priest at St. Anselm's

SAN ANSELMO (CA)
Marin Independent Journal

Nancy Isles Nation

A small group of sexual abuse survivors gathered outside St. Anselm's Elementary School in San Anselmo yesterday to warn parents that an accused child molester is in their midst.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, say a priest assigned to St. Anselm's Catholic Church on Shady Lane in Ross has been hit with a $4 million civil lawsuit claiming he molested a former Jesuit student in Oregon. St. Anselm's School is around the corner on Belle Avenue in San Anselmo.

The lawsuit - filed Oct. 6 under the initials J.T. to protect the identity of the plaintiff - claims that the Rev. John Schwartz sexually abused him in 1986 and 1987 when he was a student at the Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Ore.

Maurice Healy, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said the Jesuit High School and the Jesuit Province of Oregon are investigating the claims. San Francisco will consider whether to take action based on their findings.

"The information we have is sketchy," Healy said. "We need to find out what the facts are before putting him on administrative leave."

Schwartz would be put on leave for the duration of the legal case if the allegations appear to be credible, Healy said, adding that Schwartz has "vigorously denied" such allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

Bishop taking case seriously

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Kathleen A. Shaw TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kshaw@telegram.com

WORCESTER— Bishop Robert J. McManus, despite initially having been told that the Rev. James J. Aquino was the victim of false accusations, is taking seriously the priest’s admission that he was initially charged with lewd conduct in an adult store in Las Vegas last year.

“There’s no question he’s taking this very seriously,” said Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan spokesman. The bishop has not changed his decision to leave Rev. Aquino in his positions as pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Church and director of the diocesan diaconate program, Mr. Delisle said.

According to Las Vegas police, undercover police officers issued a criminal citation to the priest after seeing him masturbating another man for 30 minutes in the Adult Super Store.

Rev. Aquino told several hundred of his parishioners at his church Monday night that he had made a “very stupid mistake” by entering the store, but that he “never engaged in any sexual activity of any kind.” He said he spent only 5 to 10 minutes in the store before he was approached by two men who identified themselves as police and told him to follow them to the parking lot. There he was detained, but never arrested or taken to the police station, he said.

Bishop McManus last week said he learned of the Las Vegas incident earlier this year but was advised by Rev. Aquino’s lawyer that the allegations were false and were later dismissed by the Justice Court.

However, court records, verified yesterday by a court spokeswoman in Las Vegas, show the case was dismissed after Rev. Aquino pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, did community service, sought counseling and stayed out of trouble. He was initially charged with lewd conduct and giving false information to a police officer.

The bishop said last week that in light of information provided by Rev. Aquino’s lawyer, Rev. Aquino would continue in ministry and continue to head the diaconate program. Mr. Delisle said yesterday he could not say more about the bishop’s response to the latest revelations contradicting the priest’s explanation, except that the bishop was taking the situation seriously.

Stephen G. Brady, president of a group called the Roman Catholic Faithful, notified Patricia O’Leary Engdahl, who formerly headed the diocesan Office for Healing and Prevention, of the charges against Rev. Aquino in an e-mail sent on March 10.

He said Ms. Engdahl replied that she had sent his e-mail to Rev. Aquino and that she also told Bishop McManus about it. “He has spoken with the civil authorities in Las Vegas. The bishop is appropriately addressing the matter,” she said in her reply, according to Mr. Brady. Daniel E. Dick of Worcester, victim support coordinator for Worcester Voice of the Faithful, brought the information about Rev. Aquino to the bishop’s attention. In an Oct. 17 letter to Mr. Dick, the bishop quoted Rev. Aquino’s lawyer as writing to the bishop that the lawyer “cannot and will not divulge matters of a confidential nature, which affect innocent, honest individuals.”

According to the bishop’s quotation, the lawyer said, however, that he was aware of the alleged incident “and have investigated the facts and circumstances associated with it.” The bishop’s letter to Mr. Dick said that the lawyer had written that the charges made against Rev. Aquino were false and “subsequently dismissed” by the court.

Mr. Dick said he cannot understand how a bishop could accept a lawyer’s assessment when the arrest report said that both men were issued criminal citations. Mary T. Jean of Leominster, who operates the Web site of Worcester Voice, was critical of Rev. Aquino for telling parishioners that the Catholic organizations that worked to get the information out to the public were “priest-hating.” A lifelong Catholic, Ms. Jean said she does not hate priests. She said her issue is safety of children and acting against clergy misconduct.

The court documents were posted on her site at www.worcestervoice.com. Established in 2002, the site deals only with allegations of clergy misconduct in the Worcester diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:42 AM

October 25, 2005

We must make sure that what has happened to me never happens again

IRELAND
Irish Independent

WHEN I read the Ferns Report yesterday the thing I felt more than anything else was sadness. I know what I went through when the 'Suing the Pope' documentary came out on TV.

Every time this stuff emerges victims of clerical abuse feel it.

They may feel a certain vindication that the report has been published but the fact of the matter is that it will bring back an awful lot of memories for them.

I think another door has closed but I don't know if it will bring closure. I would really love to see the Church taking some meaningful steps to address their problems.

Everybody I have talked to believes they are still flustering, they're still not dealing with the problem directly.

Posted by kshaw at 11:27 PM

Church savaged over sexual abuse

IRELAND
Scotsman

JOHN INNES

CATHOLIC priests savagely sexually assaulted youngsters in Ireland during the past 40 years, including one who molested ten girls on the altar as he heard their confessions, a scathing report into clerical abuse revealed yesterday.

A two-year investigation into abuse at parishes across Co Wexford uncovered 100 complaints against 21 priests, with one responsible for 26 assaults.

The Ferns report revealed that Garda investigations were wholly inadequate, while bishops in the diocese of Ferns failed to take basic precautions to protect children.

The report revealed that one priest, Father James Grennan, fondled and kissed ten girls aged 12 and 13 in the parish church in Monageer as he called them up one by one to forgive their sins. As he sat on a chair in front of each girl preparing to abuse them, the rest of the class was forced to sit in their seats with their eyes shut.

Another priest fathered a secret child after raping a 14-year-old girl and left money for her in his will, the report said.

Canon Martin Clancy began abusing the girl aged 11 after a music concert while he was in Co Wexford in 1971. The Ferns Inquiry report said that the girl, named only as Ciara, went to England in 1974. She gave birth to a child, known as Rachel, but did not initially identify the father of her child to her parents.

Posted by kshaw at 11:20 PM

Ferns bishops 'failed to protect children from predatory priests'

IRELAND
Telegraph

By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
(Filed: 26/10/2005)

The Roman Catholic Church was rocked yesterday by a report which claimed that 21 priests carried out more than 100 sexual assaults on children over four decades.

An investigation into one of the Church's most serious under-age sex scandals found that two bishops had failed to do enough to protect young boys and girls from priests.

One priest was responsible for 26 assaults, said the report into the behaviour of clergymen in Ferns, Co Wexford.

Another priest, Canon Martin Clancy, who died in 1993, had a secret child after raping a 14-year-old girl, who he had abused since she was 11.

The two-and-a-half year Irish Government inquiry revealed that police attempts to investigate the allegations were inadequate and also criticised the health board.

A total of 100 abuse claimants were interviewed for retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy's report, which was commissioned after a 2002 BBC documentary Suing the Pope claimed there had been systematic child abuse in the diocese. Eight of the priests have died.

Posted by kshaw at 11:15 PM

Church, police, state: all failed raped children

IRELAND
The Guardian

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Wednesday October 26, 2005
The Guardian

A devastating report into one of the world's worst clerical sex abuse scandals has found that children throughout County Wexford were abused over a 40-year period while the Catholic church, the police and the Irish state failed in their duty to protect them.

At least 21 priests were accused of more than 100 cases of rape and sexual assault against children in the diocese of Ferns from 1962 to 2002. The rural area of south-east Ireland is believed to have the highest proportion of accused clergy in a Catholic diocese anywhere in the world.

The report, headed by the retired supreme court judge Frank Murphy, is Ireland's first state investigation into the Catholic church's handling of abuse allegations against priests. It found that the church's negligence in dealing with allegations went as far as the Vatican.

Colm O'Gorman, a victim of child rape by one priest in Wexford, told Irish state broadcaster RTE: "The report says very clearly that the Vatican carries a responsibility for the rape and abuse of children."

The report is likely to spark public anger in Ireland, where the once all-powerful Catholic church has been hugely damaged by revelations of abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 11:11 PM

Change in law to follow Ferns report on 40 years of abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The Government is to introduce new legislation to give children greater protection after an official report detailed a wave of sex abuse cases in the Catholic diocese of Ferns. Liam Reid and Patsy McGarry report

The report of the inquiry into clerical sex abuse in Ferns over nearly 40 years, which was published yesterday, strongly criticised the Catholic Church's handling of the cases, particularly by the former bishops of Ferns, Donal Herlihy and Brendan Comiskey.

The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, Dr Seán Brady, last night apologised to all who had suffered lasting hurt at the hands of abusers in the church. "The betrayal of trust is horrendous," he said.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said sexual abuse by priests had devastated the lives of those abused and their families.

Criticising the Ferns bishops, the report said: "Bishop Herlihy's failure to take even basic precautions to protect children from men known to have abused in the past must be seen as inadequate and inappropriate.

"Clearly Bishop Herlihy regarded priests who abused children as guilty of moral misconduct. He does not appear to have recognised that the wrongdoing was a serious criminal offence."

Posted by kshaw at 11:07 PM

Exposed: Appalling horror of Ferns abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE FULL horror of brutal clerical child abuse in the diocese of Ferns finally emerged last night.

The shattering probe into the activities of pervert priests shows that the church lied, deceived, and covered up to protect them.

Former Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy's damning report which uncovered a systematic and shocking catalogue of abuse is now being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

More than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse were made against 21 priests in the diocese.

Two bishops were also strongly criticised for their the handling of these allegations.

The 271-page report graphically details repeated sexual abuse of boys and girls.

It reveals that serial abuser, Fr Sean Fortune, left a suicide note claiming that he had been abused by Bishop Brendan Comiskey.

Posted by kshaw at 11:04 PM

Source: Druce again tried to kill himself

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Laurel J. Sweet and Michele McPhee
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - Updated: 09:34 AM EST

The eccentric inmate awaiting trial for the 2003 murder of defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan tried to kill himself by swallowing an 8-foot-long television cable, according to a prison source familiar with the case.

The source said when Joseph Druce ``doesn't get his own way, he self-mutilates.''

How Druce, 40 – who previously acted out in front of a prison security camera how he choked and stomped Geoghan to death in his cell – would even have access to such equipment was unclear.

Citing medical confidentiality, Diane Wiffin, spokeswoman for the state Department of Correction, refused comment yesterday. Calls to Druce's attorney were not returned.

Wiffin did say there is ``no truth'' to claims that Druce is in poor physical health following emergency surgery. A source familiar with Druce's situation said he is in a prison hospital recovering from his injuries.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 PM

Catholic activist: Worcester priest is lying

WORCESTER (MA)
MichNews

By Matt C. Abbott
MichNews.com
Oct 25, 2005

Stephen Brady, founder and president of the Petersburg, Ill.-based Roman Catholic Faithful, a lay watchdog group, says that Father James Aquino, pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Worcester, Mass., is lying about a citation he received in 2004 for lewd conduct while in Las Vegas.

According to an Oct. 25, 2005 story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Aquino, 66, “told several hundred parishioners gathered at the Massasoit Road church, ‘that I never, never, never engaged in any sexual activity of any kind. I was never arrested, I was never handcuffed and I was never taken to the police station.’”

Aquino “acknowledged receiving a citation for lewd conduct, obstructing and providing false information … while vacationing in Las Vegas with Monsignor Louis P. Piermarini, calling the charges ‘false accusations.’ After a nearly 11-month continuance, the charges were dismissed Sept. 6 in the Justice Court of Las Vegas during which Rev. Aquino met several conditions, including counseling and 50 hours of community service,” according to the story.

Aquino admitted only to entering an adult bookstore, calling it a “very stupid mistake.”

But Brady isn’t buying Aquino’s explanation.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 PM

Holy See seeks to limit scope of Levada deposition in bankruptcy of Oregon archdiocese

VATICAN CITY
KGW

10/25/2005

By NICOLE WINFIELD / Associated Press

The Holy See is seeking to limit the scope of a deposition that the senior American at the Vatican, Archbishop William Levada, is to give concerning the bankruptcy filing of his former archdiocese in Portland, Ore., that was prompted by clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

Lawyers for victims in the case had sought to have Levada testify about Vatican policies in addition to the practices of the Portland archdiocese concerning the abuse of minors by priests, saying he was "uniquely qualified" to shed light on the issue.

On Monday, lawyers for the Holy See and Levada filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Oregon arguing, among other things, that Levada shouldn't have to testify about the Vatican's policies because he enjoys immunity as an official of a foreign state — the Holy See — and because the Vatican's own laws and confidentiality oaths prevent it.

If Levada were to violate such oaths, he could face "excommunication, confinement to a residence or a house of penance for up to five years, and a prohibition from holding any office or faculty," according to the court documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Posted by kshaw at 07:29 PM

Abused children paid for seminary's failures

IRELAND
online.ie

2005-10-25 19:50:03+01

The Ferns Inquiry has cast a dark shadow over the seminary which produced almost all of the priests involved in cases of child sexual abuse in the diocese.

The inquiry found that in one random five-year period, St Peter's College, in Summerhill, Co Wexford had 10 priests who later became the subject of child sexual allegations.

They included the notorious Fr Sean Fortune, who was reported to have abused a schoolboy and boy scouts during his training at the college but was still ordained as a priest in 1979.

The inquiry report said the failure properly to monitor and assess men during seminary training, as well as the admission of some clearly unsuitable men to the priesthood, had extremely serious repercussions for the children exposed to these priests.

Posted by kshaw at 07:25 PM

The crisis of credibility in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National

By MAUREEN PAUL TURLISH

What happens now in Philadelphia given the archdiocese’s disingenuous response to the grand jury on clergy sexual abuse?

Two things will happen.

First, even further alienation of the Catholic community as a result of the archdiocese’s position.

Second, significant additional victims of clergy sexual abuse, particularly female and minority, will be empowered to come forward.

Because of entrenched clericalism in the conservative Philadelphia archdiocese, it considered no alternative but to respond as it did in its 76-page report just as, historically, it considered no alternative to protecting an institution at the expense of its children. If there were more reasoned voices around, they certainly were not listened to in Philadelphia before the archdiocese released its response to the grand jury report, any more than they had been listened to for decades.

We all know of sisters and priests who were transferred or fired from their ministries, removed from the “clerical fast track,” as some would call it, or disciplined in some manner because they attempted to alert leadership to serious problems.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 PM

Bishops did little to protect vulnerable children

IRELAND
Times

By David Sharrock

THE most notorious child abuser in the Diocese of Ferns, Father Sean Fortune, was facing 29 charges of sexual abuse when he killed himself in 1999.

He was awaiting trial on indecent assault and buggery offences relating to eight boys. When he came to his first parish, Fethard-on-Sea in the late 1970s, Fortune already had a background of child sex abuse allegations while at the St Peter’s College seminary in Wexford town. He was allowed to set up local youth groups.

Parishioners organised a delegation to two bishops and wrote to the Papal Nuncio, the Pope’s ambassador in Ireland but nothing happened. Bishop Brendan Comiskey knew of the allegations when he was appointed to the diocese in 1983, but Fortune was allowed to continue until 1993 before he was removed.

He then sent Fortune to London to study media and communications and to seek therapy. Two years later, Fortune was posted as curate in another parish. He was also made the director of a Catholic media organisation, theAbuse Tracker Association of Community Broadcasting. He later raped a 15-year-old boy in a studio.

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 PM

Diocesan response condemned by inquiry

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
THE diocesan response to allegations of child abuse in Ferns, although varied over a span of 40 years, comes in for severe and damning criticism as successive bishops failed to protect vulnerable children from priests they knew to be abusers.

According to the Ferns Report, the response of the diocese began very badly under the stewardship of Bishop Donal Herlihy, improved slightly under Bishop Brendan Comiskey, and was vastly bettered by the arrival of the present Bishop Eamon Walsh in 2002.

In the case of Fr Sean Fortune, who committed suicide in 1999 while facing 29 charges of sexual abuse, the report concludes that it was "inexcusable" that the priest was "ordained and admitted to a vocation that required and provided unsupervised access to young people", despite allegations that had already been made against him.

"That a curate with Fr Fortune's history could open youth clubs and build reconciliation rooms in the basement of his house represented a serious lack of supervision and a failure to have regard for the dangers posed by a man with his history," yesterday's report states.

Posted by kshaw at 07:18 PM

Ferns Report an important step in work to prevent child sexual abuse

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Ronan Mullen
“This is not the end. It is not the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning.”

Winston Churchill's wartime quote is of some relevance, maybe, to Irish society and the Irish Catholic Church in the wake of the publication of the Ferns Report.

What is in the report is profoundly distressing to anyone concerned with the welfare of children or with the mission of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Yet it is an important step in helping all sections of Irish society, including the Church, to work to prevent child sexual abuse.

The report sets out in a direct manner the abuse experienced by the children of Ferns. It assesses the handling of matters by diocesan authorities, the gardaí and the South Eastern Health Board.

Posted by kshaw at 07:16 PM

Ferns Report - An appalling litany of abuse and cover-up

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

The damning report on sexual abuse of young people by priests in the diocese of Ferns is a scathing indictment of failure by the Catholic Church on both a national and international level to prevent the predatory activities of paedophile priests.

The findings of the landmark investigation into this scandal prove beyond doubt that the Church authorities covered up clerical sex abuse. Arguably, the Ferns case, involving a pattern of clerical sexual abuse spanning 40 years, is one of the worst scandals anywhere in the world. Looking back over four decades between 1962 and 2002, former Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy identifies more than 100 allegations against 26 priests accused of child sexual abuse.

According to the report the varied response of church authorities reflected the personalities and management style of successive bishops and a growing sense of understanding among doctors and society of its consequences.

Despite indisputable evidence of abuse of a most evil kind, the response of the authorities, including the gardaí is strongly criticised, particularly in cases involving eight priests where garda action was “wholly inadequate”. Significantly, the report highlights an institutional failure on the part of the Church reaching right up to the Vatican, reflecting a pattern of uninvestigated abuse by Church authorities.

Former Bishop Donal Herlihy is criticised for allowing unsuitable candidates with a propensity for abuse to be ordained and for transferring known abusers to parishes where they continued preying on their victims. In one rural parish, the priest systematically abused 10 young girls but under the shadow of the crozier they were not believed. Bishop Herlihy saw the issue as a moral problem. And when the file was sent to the Chief Superintendent it vanished, never to be seen again.

Posted by kshaw at 07:08 PM

Dangers of paedophile priests were ignored by Irish church

IRELAND
Times

By David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

TWENTY-ONE Irish Catholic priests sexually assaulted young boys and girls in parishes across Co Wexford over a period of 40 years, a damning report into clerical abuse revealed yesterday.

The Irish Government said that it would take immediate action to implement the recommendations of the report into the Diocese of Ferns, which is now regarded as the world’s leading centre for clerical sexual abuse.

The 271-page report catalogues 100 complaints of abuse, with one priest responsible for 26 assaults. The Ferns Report, which investigated allegations dating back to 1966, concluded that Church authorities, the medical profession and society in general failed to appreciate the horrendous damage which the sexual abuse of children causes. The report revealed that police investigations were wholly inadequate, while bishops in the Diocese of Ferns failed to take basic precautions to protect children.

Bertie Ahern, the Irish Prime Minister, told TDs (Irish MPs)during Leaders’ Questions in the Dail: “It is a catalogue of serial abuse and gross dereliction of duty in the Diocese of Ferns. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. The report brings out the full horror of their situation . . . and catalogues the continuing failure to respond adequately in Ferns until recent years. It’s obviously shocking that it went on for decades.”

Posted by kshaw at 06:29 PM

Report Documents Abuse by Ireland Clergy

IRELAND
Herald News Daily

Staff and agencies
25 October, 2005

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK

DUBLIN, Ireland - Former bishops, police and state agencies did far too little to prevent the alleged sexual abuse of more than 100 children by Roman Catholic priests in southeast Ireland over a 36-year period, a report published Tuesday charged.

The report also found that Ireland‘s national police force rarely investigated complaints of abuse properly — and kept no records of any such cases before 1988. In addition, it said officials at government-appointed health boards sometimes failed to act on reports of abuse.

"Many people would not have suffered abuse had the people with knowledge about it acted in a timely matter," he said. "It‘s only when the whole truth about this comes out that we‘ll be able to pick up the pieces."

Murphy‘s investigation involved the interviewing of more than 100 alleged victims of abuse by 21 priests — eight of whom have since died — from 1966 to 2002. Allegations against five other priests were included in an appendix.

Posted by kshaw at 06:23 PM

Irish bishops attacked over clerical sex abuse scandal

IRELAND
The Independent

By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent
Published: 26 October 2005
A horrific saga of clerical sexual abuse stretching back four decades has been exposed in damning detail in an official report published in Dublin.

The report, the work of a former Supreme Court judge, strongly criticised two Catholic bishops as well as the Irish police for inadequately investigating complaints of abuse. It chronicled more than 100 allegations against 21 priests stretching back to 1966 in a single diocese, Ferns, centred on the east-coast town of Wexford.

The lengthy report details cases where a bishop sent two accused priests to the diocese of Westminster but later reinstated them in Ferns. Neither received any treatment, and one went on to become a swimming coach and college principal.

In another case, detailed complaints were made against a priest who was said to have assaulted 10 girls. The inquiry found that a senior police officer had instructed the investigating officer to hand over all notes, and to keep no copies. The file was quietly buried and no action was taken.

Although the report concerns a single diocese, it censured higher church authorities, including the Vatican. It said that any organisation aware of a serious problem within its structure with criminal and child protection implications had a duty to act on it.

The report said: "From the documents furnished to this inquiry by the diocese of Ferns there is no evidence that the growing awareness of this problem was communicated to church authorities in the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 06:20 PM

Archdiocese reinstates priest accused of abuse

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

October 25, 2005

BOSTON --A priest who was suspended after being accused of sexual abuse has been reinstated after the allegation could not be substantiated, the Boston Archdiocese announced Tuesday.

An archdiocesan board that reviews such complaints determined that the allegation against the Rev. John H. Flynn was unsubstantiated.

Flynn, now 79 and retired, was placed on administrative leave in 2002 after the archdiocese received an allegation that he had molested a 6-year-old girl in 1978 while he was working at St. Paul Church in Wellesley.

"After careful review of the information available regarding the complaint, the Review Board determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated. In light of this finding, Archbishop O'Malley has lifted all restrictions on Father Flynn's exercise of public ministry," the archdiocese said in a statement issued Tuesday.

"The Archbishop reiterates his concern for all persons impacted by the tragedy of sexual abuse, as well as his firm intention to resolve cases of this type as expeditiously as possible, in a manner that is just for all parties concerned."

Posted by kshaw at 06:12 PM

Priest's suicide after life of child abuse

IRELAND
U.TV

The most notorious child abuser in the church diocese of Ferns, Father Sean Fortune was facing 29 charges of sexual abuse when he killed himself in his fortress-like house in 1999.

At the time, he was awaiting trial on indecent assault and buggery offences relating to eight boys dating back to the late 1970s.

Weighing more than 20 stones, the 45-year-old had barricaded himself into his small home in New Ross, Co Wexford, which was fortified with steel security shutters and CCTV cameras.

Other priests in the diocese like Fr Donal Collins and Fr James Doyle, who were both defrocked last year, have since joined the list of abusers in Ferns.

When he came to his first parish, Fethard-on-Sea in the late 1970s, Fortune already had a background of child sex abuse allegations while at the St Peter`s College seminary in Wexford town.

Posted by kshaw at 01:18 PM

Ahern vows to act on 'shocking' report

IRELAND
U.TV

The Ferns Inquiry Report catalogues the horror of how priests abused children in the diocese and how the Church, gardai and local health board failed in their duties, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Dail today.

Speaking as the document was published, Mr Ahern vowed that immediate action would be taken to implement the recommendations contained by the dossier.

"It is a catalogue of serial abuse and gross dereliction of duty in the diocese of Ferns," he told TDs during Leaders` Questions.

"I think it is shocking to everybody`s sense of how children should be protected.

"Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. The report brings out the full horror of their situation ... and catalogues the continuing failure to respond adequately in Ferns until recent years.

"It`s obviously shocking that it went for decades."

Mr Ahern also said that the Irish government accepted the Report`s recommendations in principle and would work towards implementing them immediately.

Posted by kshaw at 01:16 PM

Damning report into child abuse in Irish diocese

IRELAND
Times

By Times Online and PA News

The Irish diocese of Ferns was condemned as among the worst in the world for child abuse by priests in a scathing report out this afternoon.

The 271-page Ferns Inquiry Report describes how some 21 Catholic priests savagely sexually assaulted young boys and girls in parishes across Co Wexford in Ireland during the past 40 years.

A two-year investigation uncovered 100 complaints of abuse, with one priest responsible for 26 assaults.

The report revealed that Garda investigations were wholly inadequate. Gardai were blamed for not keeping records of informal complaints of abuse, including an allegation that 10 children were molested at the altar in the parish church of Monageer.

Retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy, who headed the probe, said that bishops in the Diocese of Ferns had failed to take even basic precautions to protect children.

Posted by kshaw at 01:14 PM

Taoiseach vows to act on 'shocking' report

IRELAND
online.ie

2005-10-25 17:40:08+01

The Ferns Inquiry Report catalogues the horror of how priests abused children in the diocese and how the Church, gardaí and local health board failed in their duties, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Dáil today.

Speaking as the document was published, Mr Ahern vowed that immediate action would be taken to implement the recommendations contained by the dossier.

"It is a catalogue of serial abuse and gross dereliction of duty in the diocese of Ferns," he told TDs during Leaders' Questions.

"I think it is shocking to everybody's sense of how children should be protected.

"Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. The report brings out the full horror of their situation ... and catalogues the continuing failure to respond adequately in Ferns until recent years.

Posted by kshaw at 01:12 PM

Taoiseach vows to act on 'shocking' report

IRELAND
online.ie

2005-10-25 17:40:08+01

The Ferns Inquiry Report catalogues the horror of how priests abused children in the diocese and how the Church, gardaí and local health board failed in their duties, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Dáil today.

Speaking as the document was published, Mr Ahern vowed that immediate action would be taken to implement the recommendations contained by the dossier.

"It is a catalogue of serial abuse and gross dereliction of duty in the diocese of Ferns," he told TDs during Leaders' Questions.

"I think it is shocking to everybody's sense of how children should be protected.

"Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. The report brings out the full horror of their situation ... and catalogues the continuing failure to respond adequately in Ferns until recent years.

Posted by kshaw at 01:11 PM

Ferns priests shamed in damning report

IRELAND
IOL

25/10/2005 - 17:08:39

Some 21 Catholic priests savagely sexually assaulted young boys and girls in parishes across Co Wexford in Ireland during the past 40 years, a scathing report into clerical abuse revealed today.

A two-year investigation uncovered 100 complaints of abuse, with one priest responsible for 26 assaults.

The report revealed Garda investigations were wholly inadequate, while bishops in the Diocese of Ferns failed to take basic precautions to protect children.

Retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy, who headed the probe, said steps taken by Bishop Donal Herlihy were inadequate and inappropriate. The reports stated the deceased Bishop did not recognise that child sex abuse was a serious criminal offence.

A second senior clergyman, Bishop Brendan Comiskey was also heavily criticised. The report stated he had consistently failed to have priests step aside because he considered it unjust as allegations of abuse were not substantiated.

Posted by kshaw at 01:10 PM

Church criticised in abuse probe

IRELAND
BBC News

An Irish government inquiry into child abuse in a County Wexford diocese has uncovered over 100 allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

The 271-page Ferns report said the allegations were made against 21 priests who had been working in the diocese between 1966-2002.

The report said police investigations into claims of abuse were inadequate.

It also criticised bishops in the diocese for failing to take basic precautions to protect children.

Minister for Children Brian Lenihan presented the dossier to the Irish government on Tuesday.

Posted by kshaw at 01:09 PM

Irish probe finds abuse cover-up in Catholic Church

IRELAND
Swissinfo

By Paul Hoskins and Kevin Smith

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland covered up the sexual abuse of young people by priests over several decades in one diocese, a state probe has concluded.

The 270-page report, which stems from an investigation begun in 2002, was published on Tuesday and details the Church's handling of 100 allegations of abuse against 21 priests in the diocese of Ferns in County Wexford dating back to the mid-1960s.

"It is clear from the report that effective action was not taken to protect vulnerable children over a period many years," Minister for Children Brian Lenihan said in a statement.

"On behalf of the government I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms the repeated failure and gross dereliction of duties of those in positions of trust in the Dioceses of Ferns," the minister added.

Posted by kshaw at 01:07 PM

Ferns findings published

IRELAND
Irish Health

[Posted: Tue 25/10/2005]

The Ferns Inquiry report is critical of two former Bishops of Ferns, the then South Eastern Health Board and the Gardai under various headings in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse by priests in the diocese from the 1960s to the present day

The report has found that there were 100 allegations relating to 21 priests in the diocese over this period, including 26 complaints against one individual.

The inquiry report has said it has not adjudicated on the truth or otherwise of the allegations made and says there was no evidence placed before the inquiry of the operation of a paedophile ring in Ferns or any clerical institution within that diocese.

The inquiry is critical of Bishop Herlihy, who was Bishop from 1964 to 1983 and says his failure to take even basic precautions to protect children was an inadequate and inappropriate response, and he recognised that child sexual abuse is a serious criminal offence.

His successor, Bishop Comiskey is also criticised. The report says his request for priests to attend for assessment and if necessary treatment was an appropriate response.

However, he was 'unable or unwilling' to implement the advice received and the inquiry has some evidence that he may not have passed a full history to medical experts.

Posted by kshaw at 01:05 PM

Bishop of Ferns issues unreserved apology

IRELAND
IOL

25/10/2005 - 18:00:50

The Bishop of Ferns has issued an unreserved apology to the victims of clerical sex abuse in the diocese.

Dr Eamon Walsh said this evening that the findings of the official inquiry contained horrific accounts that had shattered trust in the Catholic Church.

His two predecessors, Brendan Comiskey and Donal Herlihy, are criticised for failing to fully investigate allegations against 21 priests.

The South Eastern Health Board failed to provide support to victims in some cases while gardaí were found to be reluctant to properly investigate cases of abuse.

Bishop Walsh said he was horrified following publication of the report: “All I can say is that this report has horrific accounts and, even though I’ve been dealing with this for years, when you read such a litany of horrible gross abuse and rape all condensed together it leaves you speechless,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at 01:04 PM

Ferns to be named 'one of worst in the world'

IRELAND
IOL

25/10/2005 - 14:35:01

The diocese of Ferns is expected to emerge today as one of the worst in the world for clerical child abuse.

Up to 30 priests based in Co Wexford are expected to be criticised in the explosive 271-page Ferns Inquiry Report, which is published this afternoon.

Minister for Children Brian Lenihan presented the dossier to the Cabinet this afternoon and the Attorney General gave legal advice on its publication.

The report is expected to disclose details of allegations made since the 1960s against 25 to 30 priests in Ferns, eight of whom are dead.

The only priests who will be named will be those convicted in the courts, those deceased and those against whom allegations are deemed proven.

Posted by kshaw at 01:02 PM

ISPCC: Ferns report a damning indictment of society

IRELAND
online.ie

2005-10-25 17:20:02+01

The Ferns Inquiry Report is another damning indictment of how Irish society has failed to protect children, a leading children's charity said tonight.

The report outlines a litany of cruelty to children of various ages over many years, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said.

"This cruelty, consisting not just of sexual abuse of children, but of institutionalised silence and inaction, served not only to traumatise and hurt children but also served to make these children feel that they were to blame for the abuse perpetrated on them," a spokesman said.

"Many of these children, now adults, still carry the emotional and psychological impact of their experiences.

Posted by kshaw at 01:00 PM

Feature on Brendan Comiskey

IRELAND
U.TV

Brendan Comiskey was one of Ireland's most popular bishops - until a hard-hitting television documentary unearthed the child sex abuse scandal in Ferns.

The cleric was head of the diocese which covered all of County Wexford and parts of County Wicklow and was considered a liberal among the rigidly traditional Irish church hierarchy.

But Suing the Pope, broadcast in March 2002, detailed how he had failed to act against Fr Sean Fortune, a Catholic priest in his diocese, who had systematically abused young children between 1981 and 1987.

Posted by kshaw at 12:57 PM

ISPCC action call on Ferns report

IRELAND
Irish Health

[Posted: Tue 25/10/2005]

The ISPCC has called for specific child protection actions to be taken in the wake of the Ferns Inquiry Report, published today.

The report ,to be published later this evening, is expected to criticise the church authorities, the Gardai and the South Eastern Health Board in relation to the handling of sex abuse allegations against around 25 priests in the Ferns Diocese.

The ISPCC has called for-

*The immediate introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse through the placing of the Children First guidelines on a legislative basis;

*The introduction of a legislative obligation on employers and organizations to ensure that any staff or volunteer working with children, including members of the clergy, are Garda-vetted;

*The introduction of legislation to enable the establishment of a system whereby information regarding people identified as being a risk to children but without a criminal conviction for child abuse can be recorded and made available through the vetting process;

*Constitutional change to ensure children's rights are firmly embedded and protected within the Constitution.

Posted by kshaw at 10:18 AM

Priest guilty to child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Sunday Mail

By Kate Lahey
25oct05
A CATHOLIC priest has pleaded guilty to 13 charges of indecent assault against teenage boys in Melbourne during the 1970s.

Francis (Frank) Gerard Klep, 62, answered "guilty" to each of the 13 charges in the Melbourne County Court today.

He was charged in 1998, a month after the church sent him to Samoa to work at a Salesian theological college.

Klep was ordered out of Samoa in 2004 after a US newspaper asked Victoria Police why he was allowed to teach there when he was wanted for child sex offences in Australia.

Before his arrest, Klep slipped in and out of Australia three times without being detected, a court heard last year.

Posted by kshaw at 09:11 AM

Priest deported

NEW BRITAIN (CT)
The Herald

By ELISABETH STRILLACCI, Staff Writer 10/25/2005

NEW BRITAIN -- A visiting Roman Catholic priest who plead guilty to the sexual assault of a 17-year-old high school student during a counseling session has completed his nine-month prison term and been sent back to Poland in accordance with his court sentence.

Roman Kramek, 43, came to Sacred Heart Church to help with Christmas services during the winter of 2002. While here, he was called upon to counsel his victim about a previous sexual assault.

On December 18, 2002, Kramek went to the victim’s grandmother’s home to meet with her, and during the meeting inappropriately touched the victim, then assaulted her while her grandmother was out of the room, authorities said.

Kramek, said State’s Attorney Scott Murphy, told the victim that he had sex with her as a "counseling technique" to show her that "sex with a man can be pleasurable." In Connecticut, it is illegal for anyone acting as a psychotherapist, including a priest, to engage in sex with anyone they are counseling.

Posted by kshaw at 09:08 AM

Guilty pleas in rapes tossed

DENVER (CO)
Denver Post

By Howard Pankratz
Denver Post Staff Writer

A Denver judge has thrown out the conviction of a 72-year- old former Episcopal priest who admitted he raped two boys, saying he received inadequate legal representation.

District Judge Sheila Rappaport blasted the handling of the case by the Denver public defender's office, saying it was "undisputed that literally no investigation was done" on behalf of Donald Shissler, who has been in prison since pleading guilty to the 2001 rapes of two boys in the Baker neighborhood. The office apparently never assigned an investigator to the case despite the gravity of the charges and Shissler's advanced age, Rappaport said in a blistering six-page opinion made public Monday.

The judge's decision means Shissler is eligible for a new trial and could be freed on bail, his new defense attorney said. Rappaport originally sentenced Shissler to 24 years to life in prison.

Posted by kshaw at 09:05 AM

Catholic priest admits child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
ninemsn

Tuesday Oct 25 18:44 AEST
A Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to 13 charges of indecent assault against teenage boys in Melbourne during the 1970s.

Francis (Frank) Gerard Klep, 62, answered "guilty" to each of the 13 charges in the Melbourne County Court on Tuesday.

He was charged in 1998, a month after the church sent him to Samoa to work at a Salesian theological college.

Klep was ordered out of Samoa in 2004 after a US newspaper asked Victoria Police why he was allowed to teach there when he was wanted for child sex offences in Australia.

Before his arrest, Klep slipped in and out of Australia three times without being detected, a court heard last year.

Detective Senior Constable John Raglus told Melbourne Magistrates' Court last year that he had contacted the Samoan government, which discovered Klep had failed to tell authorities of a 1994 conviction for sexually assaulting two teenagers in the 1970s.

Posted by kshaw at 08:51 AM

Priest put on administrative leave following his arrest

OHIO
The Cincinnati Post

By Steve Bennish
Dayton Daily News

A priest who once ministered at two Cincinnati area churches has been placed on indefinite administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati following his arrest last week on suspicion of public indecency and resisting arrest at a Greene County Park.

Clarence Heis, 51, has been pastor of St. Michael Parish in Mechanicsburg and Immaculate Conception in North Lewisburg since 1993, the archdiocese said.

Heis was ordained in 1982, served as associate pastor at St. Thomas More parish in Withamsville following ordination and at Guardian Angels in Mount Washington from 1983 to 1989, when he became an Air Force chaplain, serving in the Persian Gulf. In 1992, he was assigned to Holy Trinity parish in Coldwater, where he remained until his latest assignment.

Posted by kshaw at 08:45 AM

Ferns report due out today

IRELAND
Irish Health

[Posted: Tue 25/10/2005]

The report on clerical sex abuse in the diocese of Ferns is due to be published later today.

The report will look at the handling of abuse allegations made against around 25 priests in the diocese dating back to the 1960s.

It is reported that the number of priests accused of sex abuse in Ferns is proportionately one of the highest uncovered in any Catholic diocese worldwide.

Posted by kshaw at 08:42 AM

Irish probe into RC Church abuse claims

IRELAND
seven.com.au

Date: 25/10/05
By Paul Hoskins And Kevin Smith

The Irish government is due to publish the results on Tuesday of a state probe into claims the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland covered up the sexual abuse of young people by priests over several decades.

The 270-page report, which stems from an investigation begun in 2002, is expected to detail the Church's handling of more than 100 allegations of abuse against dozens of priests in the diocese of Ferns in County Wexford dating back to the mid-1960s.

The findings are likely to reignite public anger in mostly Catholic Ireland after a string of clerical sex abuse scandals.

John Kelly, founder of the Survivors of Child Abuse support group, said the inquiry set up by former Minister for Health and Children Micheal Martin had not been given enough teeth and that its report was likely to be a "whitewash".

"The minister promised the Rolls Royce of tribunals but we got the get-away car," he said. "What we'll have confirmed today is that the politicians are still shafting us and the Church is still alive and kicking and dominating state politics."

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 AM

New abuse inquiry to follow report on Ferns

IRELAND
Irish Independent

AN INQUIRY into sex abuse by at least 60 Catholic clerics in the Dublin diocese is expected to follow hard on the heels of the report on abuse in the diocese of Ferns, due out today. The fresh investigation into abuse in the Dublin diocese will mean that the Catholic Church will have to face the fall-out from clerical sex scandals for several years to come.

The terms of reference of the Dublin inquiry will be presented to the Cabinet by Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, "within the next couple of weeks", a spokesman said last night.

ALLEGATIONS

It will investigate allegations against at least 60 clerics going back four decades, including the high profile cases of Fr Ivan Payne, Fr Tony Walsh, and Ms Marie Collins who was abused by Fr Paul McGennis.

A separate Garda investigation into the Dublin diocese has already been taking place since October 2002, and is described as "on-going". A Garda spokesman said "a small number of inquiries have still to be carried out".

A file is then likely to be sent to the DPP, although the Garda investigation could be absorbed by the overall State inquiry.

The Dublin inquiry will question such high-profile witnesses as Cardinal Desmond Connell who retired as Archbishop of Dublin last year.

Posted by kshaw at 08:32 AM

Govt promise to publish Ferns child sex abuse report

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

The report on alleged child sex abuse in the Diocese of Ferns will be presented to Cabinet later today by Minister Brian Lenihan.

The report details a number of allegations against priests there, and is expected to find against twenty priests and criticise two bishops.

The Government have promised to publish the report in full, but some information in the report has already been widely leaked.

It is believed that ten of the priests involved have died, six more have retired, three have been defrocked and one is described as old and infirm.

The two bishops in the diocese over the twenty years involved are the late Bishop Donal Herlihy and Bishop Brendan Comiskey.

The South Eastern Health Board also comes under criticism in the report.

Once the report is presented to Cabinet the five Wexford TD’s will be briefed by Brian Lenihan.

Posted by kshaw at 08:22 AM

Legal concerns as Ferns sex abuse report to be published

IRELAND
Irish Times

The Cabinet is to discuss the Ferns inquiry report this morning amid legal concerns over how it might be published. Liam Reid and Patsy McGarry report

The Tánaiste confirmed the report would go to Cabinet this morning and said she expected it to be published this afternoon.

"The Attorney General has cleared it now for Cabinet consideration . . . I think it would be important to publish it as quickly as possible. It will be published in full."

It is believed Attorney General Rory Brady remained anxious last night that the Government not leave itself open to legal action from any other jurisdictions.

Minister of State with responsibility for children Brian Lenihan is to brief the Cabinet on the report and the concerns of Mr Brady.

The report will detail the handling by Church and State authorities of allegations from more than 100 complainants against between 25 and 27 priests of Ferns diocese dating back to the mid-1960s.

Posted by kshaw at 08:20 AM

Former pastor admits having child porn

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune Democrat

By MIKE FAHER
mfaher@tribdem.com

A former Byzantine Catholic pastor in Cambria County faces prison time after admitting he possessed child pornography.

Jason R. Dolan, 31, of Portage pleaded guilty in Johnstown’s federal court, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced Monday.

Dolan was pastor at SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Portage and St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in South Fork.

He is scheduled for sentencingFeb. 28 before U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson.

Dolan was relieved of his pastoral duties in January by the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.

He cannot currently function as a priest.

A tribunal made up of church clergy is considering “what, if any, action should be taken in this case,” said archeparchy spokeswoman Veronica Varga.

Posted by kshaw at 08:05 AM

Priest cited as enabler resigns

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen
Inquirer Faith Life Editor

An Archdiocese of Philadelphia clergyman identified in the recent grand jury report as covering up sex abuse by priests has abruptly resigned as pastor of his Wynnewood parish.

Meanwhile, another pastor who was also among the so-called enabler officials has called a parish meeting in Yardley tomorrow evening to discuss the grand jury findings against him - and some parishioners plan to demand that he step down.

"I sense there is anger with our people," the Yardley pastor, Msgr. Samuel E. Shoemaker, said yesterday. "That's why I'm calling the meeting."

Msgr. Vincent M. Walsh's resignation at Presentation Blessed Virgin Mary Church was announced at Masses this weekend. Walsh had been a well-known and popular pastor there since 1990.

Posted by kshaw at 08:02 AM

Archdiocese's costs in sexual abuse cases drop

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

The Archdiocese of Louisville's costs associated with allegations of sexual abuse declined again in the past fiscal year and its overall finances have stabilized, according to an annual report issued by Roman Catholic Church officials.

Last year's abuse-related expenses were $370,710, the smallest amount since the archdiocese paid $25.7 million in 2003 to settle 243 lawsuits.

And the archdiocese announced that it had, for the third consecutive year, passed an audit showing it is complying with stricter policies on dealing with sexual abuse.

The news comes in the archdiocese's accountability report, which includes various annual summaries of church activities and a financial audit of the fiscal year that ended this June.

The abuse crisis started in 2002 when hundreds of allegations of sexual offenses emerged, along with evidence and testimony that the archdiocese had kept known abusers in ministry.

In the fiscal year ended June 2003, the archdiocese spent $27.8 million in settlements and other costs. It spent $524,797 the next year.

Of the $370,710 spent in the past fiscal year, the largest amount was $133,850 for legal fees. Most of that was for defending against lawsuits alleging sexual abuse at Catholic orphanages and schools, the audit said. Those lawsuits, which also name an order of Catholic nuns, are pending.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Healing the wounds

WEST CHESTER (PA)
The Daily Local

ADAM CIRUCCI, Staff Writer10/25/2005

WEST CHESTER -- About 50 area faithful gathered Monday evening at St. Agnes Church for a Mass of reconciliation and healing for the sexual-abuse scandal that recently shook the Catholic Church.

"I am very uncomfortable standing here. I usually am not," Monsignor Edward Deliman said during his homily. "It is a topic that I never thought I would have to speak about."

He described Monday’s Mass, a Eucharistic liturgy of reconciliation, as a call for the beginning of a healing process for the entire Church as a result of the sins of sexual abuse of children and minors committed by priests.

Still, Deliman emphasized that it is an invitation to begin, and that the actual reconciliation may be a long way in the future.

As the Mass began, Deliman and two other parish priests approached the altar and laid face-down in prostration for the remainder of the opening hymn.

Last month, a grand jury convened by Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham reported that leaders of the Philadelphia Archdiocese covered up sexual abuse by the clergy for two decades.

Posted by kshaw at 07:34 AM

Cabinet to discuss report of Ferns inquiry

IRELAND
RTE News

25 October 2005 11:36
The Cabinet is to discuss the report of the State's first-ever inquiry into allegations that the Catholic Church covered up sexual abuse of young people by priests.

Ministers are expected to publish the findings of the investigation headed by the retired Supreme Court judge, Frank Murphy, into the Diocese of Ferns.

Three and a half years ago Bishop Brendan Comiskey resigned from Ferns in the wake of accusations that he had failed to protect children against the alleged serial rapist Father Sean Fortune, who took his own life in 1999 before standing trial.

Mr Justice Murphy was asked by Government to examine Church and State responses to this and other alleged cover-ups of clerical molestation.

His 271-page report will be presented to Government by the Minister for Children, Brian Lenihan.

Posted by kshaw at 07:31 AM

4th man is removed from the priesthood after abuse charges

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal

The Vatican has completed its review of priests accused of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, dismissing a fourth man from the priesthood and ordering three elderly priests to live out their days in prayer and penance.

Joseph Herp -- who had been accused of sexual abuse in four lawsuits in 2002 and 2003 -- was dismissed from the priesthood, according to a new report on sexual abuse issued by the archdiocese.

The Vatican also ordered Robert Dollinger, J. Irvin Mouser and Edwin Scherzer to live in prayer and penance. They are not allowed to perform any public ministry, present themselves as priests or have unsupervised contact with minors.

The Vatican uses that option in cases of "health problems or advanced age," according to the archdiocese's report. Mouser is 67, Dollinger, 78, and Scherzer, 79, according to court records. The archdiocese said Dollinger, Mouser and Scherzer would not comment.

The decisions in the cases were made public in the archdiocese's newly published annual report on finances and other activities, including its response to sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 07:29 AM

Vatican visits leave some in seminary uneasy

MENLO PARK (CA)
Inside Bay Area

By Katya Kumkova-Wolpert, CORRESPONDENT

MENLO PARK — The scene was one of quiet serenity at St. Patrick's Seminary on a fall day.

A lone visitor — a woman — perused the library's online catalog. The volleyball court and the soccer field stood empty.

But some in the community fear St. Patrick's may be thrust into the limelight this month in a controversy over gays in the priesthood. A group of Vatican reviewers recently visited the campus to review its admission procedures and performance.

"Their aim is to see how our program is going," said assistant rector the Rev. Fred Cwiekoski. "It's their committee, not ours. They will be reporting to their commission in the Vatican."

St. Patrick's is one of 229 American seminaries to receive a so-called papal visitation. A papal committee will review the Jesuit School of Theology at UC Berkeley in February.

The visits were conceived in 2002 in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals that began in Boston and spread to dozens of diocese throughout the country.

Posted by kshaw at 07:27 AM

Pastor accused of covering up sexual abuse resigns

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - A pastor who allegedly covered up sexual abuse by priests resigned from his church in the Philadelphia suburbs, according to a published report.

The resignation of Msgr. Vincent M. Walsh, 69, who has been on a health sabbatical since August, was read from the pulpit at weekend masses at Presentation Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Wynnewood by the church's interim pastor, Msgr. Michael McCulken, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

A recent grand jury report said that in 1970, when he was Cardinal John Krol's assistant chancellor, Walsh "sat silently" while parents praised a priest for befriending their sons without alerting them to the priest's known sadomasochistic behavior, and later heard complaints about the priest and failed to alert the parish pastor.

The letter McCulken read said Walsh's resignation wasn't related to his work as vice chancellor. Instead, it cited a bacterial infection and other illnesses and said he was leaving for personal reasons relating to his physical and emotional health.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

Ireland to report on Catholic Church abuse cover-up

IRELAND
Reuters

Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:28 PM BST

By Paul Hoskins and Kevin Smith

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish government is due to publish the results on Tuesday of a state probe into claims the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland covered up the sexual abuse of young people by priests over several decades.

The 270-page report, which stems from an investigation begun in 2002, is expected to detail the Church's handling of more than 100 allegations of abuse against dozens of priests in the diocese of Ferns in County Wexford dating back to the mid-1960s.

The findings are likely to reignite public anger in mostly Catholic Ireland after a string of clerical sex abuse scandals.

John Kelly, founder of the Survivors of Child Abuse support group, said the inquiry set up by former Minister for Health and Children Micheal Martin had not been given enough teeth and that its report was likely to be a "whitewash".

"The minister promised the Rolls Royce of tribunals but we got the get-away car," he said. "What we'll have confirmed today is that the politicians are still shafting us and the Church is still alive and kicking and dominating state politics."

Posted by kshaw at 07:16 AM

One removed from priesthood, three get instructions

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WKYT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. The Vatican has removed a fourth Louisville man from the priesthood and ordered three others to live out their days in prayer and penance.

The ousted priest was Joseph Herp, who had been accused of sexual abuse in four lawsuits in 2002 and 2003. The Louisville Archdiocese also reports that Robert Dollinger, J. Irvin Mouser and Edwin Scherzer will not be allowed to perform public ministry, present themselves as priests or have unsupervised contact with minors. They're the three instructed to concern themselves with prayer and penance.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 AM

Rev. Aquino delivers apology

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Mark Melady TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
mmelady@telegram.com

WORCESTER— The Rev. James Aquino, pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish and former superintendent of Catholic schools, stood on the church altar last night and told parishioners he had made a “very stupid mistake” by entering a sex store in Las Vegas but denied having sex with anyone despite being charged with lewd conduct.

“I want you to know,” he told several hundred parishioners gathered at the Massasoit Road church, “that I never, never, never engaged in any sexual activity of any kind. I was never arrested, I was never handcuffed and I was never taken to the police station.”

Rev. Aquino, 66, was given a standing ovation from the parishioners and was later praised as a compassionate, energetic priest, “the best pastor we’ve ever had,” in the words of one woman.

He acknowledged receiving a citation for lewd conduct, obstructing and providing false information on Oct. 21, 2004, while vacationing in Las Vegas with Monsignor Louis P. Piermarini, calling the charges “false accusations.”

After a nearly 11-month continuance, the charges were dismissed Sept. 6 in the Justice Court of Las Vegas during which Rev. Aquino met several conditions, including counseling and 50 hours of community service.

“It’s done, it’s finished, everything’s behind me. It’s over,” Rev. Aquino said.

He said he was ordered to keep quiet about the incident by Bishop Robert J. McManus and his lawyer but took to the altar last night because “I wanted to speak to my people personally. I wanted to clear my name.”

Anthony A. Froio, Rev. Aquino’s lawyer, called the citation “like a traffic ticket.”

Speaking from the altar, Mr. Froio said Rev. Aquino had adamantly refused an offer from the prosecutor to drop the charge from lewd conduct to disorderly conduct. A police document posted on three Web sites of groups monitoring the Catholic priest sex scandal said two undercover detectives witnessed Rev. Aquino masturbating another man for 30 minutes, “where (store) patrons could observe.”

The Web sites posting the police and court documents are the Worcester Voice of the Faithful, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam and an Illinois group called RCF — the Roman Catholic Faithful.

Rev. Aquino labeled the groups “priest-hating” and said they were interested only in bringing down a priest and a bishop.”

Last week Las Vegas police officials denied a Telegram & Gazette request for the police report, claiming it was not a public record.

According to the police document posted on the Web sites, Rev. Aquino first gave the detectives a false Social Security number before pulling a Massachusetts driver’s license from his shoe. The license showed him wearing a priest collar.

Mr. Froio said the police became more acutely interested in Rev. Aquino once they knew he was a priest. “Fifteen others were detained at the store that day,” he said. Most paid a $250 fine “and that was the end of that.”

Mr. Froio said the counselling condition was met when Rev. Aquino underwent a week of “rigorous, invasive testing” at a site in Maryland. He said he fulfilled his community service by visiting the dying in nursing homes.

“He made a very big mistake by entering the sex store,” Mr. Froio said. “I don’t think he’ll ever do it again.”

Bishop McManus said last week that he was advised earlier this year of “an incident” involving Rev. Aquino that happened in Las Vegas. He said he was advised by the priest’s lawyer that the allegations made against Rev. Aquino were false and were later dismissed by the Justice Court in Las Vegas. The bishop was told that Rev. Aquino was never arrested but was issued a citation on an alleged misdemeanor. The bishop was told the case is now closed.

“In light of the above information, Father James Aquino has continued in his ministry in the Diocese of Worcester as pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Worcester and as the director of the Diaconate Program. However, this is clearly a serious personnel matter, particularly in light of our Code of Conduct issued in the past year, and it continues to be examined closely,” the bishop said. The Code of Conduct, which the bishop issued a year ago, states that priests and bishops cannot even give the appearance of impropriety.

Rev. Aquino has been at Our Lady of Loreto for 20 years. He directs the Office of the Diaconate, the diocese’s deacon training program and was once superintendent of Catholic schools.

He began his remarkable discourse, kneeling and facing the altar to say the “Hail Mary” which he said embraced sin and sorrow.

“I stand here before you sinful and sorrowful,” Rev. Aquino said.

He said “a very long walk” led him to the Adult Super Store, 3850 W. Tropicana St.

Rev. Aquino said he spent only “five to 10 minutes” in the store when two men approached him, identified themselves as police and told him to follow them to the parking lot where they told he was being detained.

“I said ‘For what?’ and began to argue with them,” Rev. Aquino said. “No one was going to take me away when I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

He said he was ordered by Bishop McManus not to participate in church services over the weekend, an order he reluctantly followed.

Rev. Aquino ended his talk with a prayer and retreated to the front of the church, where he greeted the parishioners “just as I do every Sunday.”

Many embraced and kissed the priest and later generously praised him.

“He’s such a good man,” said Lisa Cosenza.

Her husband, John Cosenza, said, “We’re behind him 100 percent.”

Jean Morse lauded Rev. Aquino for publicly admitting his mistake. “It took tremendous courage,” she said. “I’m proud of him.”

Dianne Potenti said Rev. Aquino is a dynamic pastor. “He’s done a lot for our church,” she said. “We love him.”

On the advice of his lawyer, Rev. Aquino did not talk to the press last night. Today he expects to resume the Florida vacation he interrupted to speak about the incident.

Reporter Kathleen A. Shaw of the Telegram & Gazette staff contributed to this report.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

October 24, 2005

Ferns report will stress need to strengthen child protection

IRELAND
Irish Times

The Ferns inquiry report, expected next Tuesday, will raise issues on the relationship between the Department of Education and church authorities over child abuse allegations. The State's child protection measures must be greatly strengthened, the report urges. Liam Reid, Martin Wall and Patsy McGarry report.

It will highlight the lack of vetting procedures for school boards of management and will advise that Government reinforce mandatory reporting and other strict child protection measures.

It is understood the 271-page report will be presented to the Cabinet on Tuesday by Minister of State for Health Brian Lenihan. It will not be circulated to Government Ministers in advance. Just four copies are extant and these are with Minister for Health Mary Harney, secretary general at the Department of Health Michael Scanlan, Mr Lenihan and Attorney General Rory Brady.

Mr Lenihan will brief Wexford TDs and MEP Avril Doyle after the Cabinet meeting, while Bishop Eamonn Walsh, apostolic administrator of Ferns diocese, will hold a press conference in Wexford to respond.

The report will disclose details of allegations made since the 1960s against 25-30 priests of the Ferns diocese, eight of whom are dead. Only those priests convicted in the courts, who are deceased, or against whom allegations are deemed proven, will be named. The inquiry received evidence from over 100 complainants who will not be named.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 PM

Editorial: It’s time to protect sex-abuse victims

PENNSYLVANIA
The Daily Times

For the victims of sexually abusive priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, justice has been elusive. Because of Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations, the alleged victims of 63 priests named last month in a Philadelphia grand jury report are unable to file criminal charges.

While the statute was expanded about two years ago to allow abuse charges to be filed up until the victim’s 30th birthday, it has proved useless to the victims who had the courage to testify before the grand jury.

Their abuse allegedly occurred 10, 20, 30, even 40 years ago. Some say they were victimized as far back as the 1950s.

Eighteen of these alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse-- 10 who are current or former Delaware County residents -- were uncovered through civil suits they filed against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the premise that archdiocesan officials knowingly harbored the pedophiles.

Posted by kshaw at 07:54 PM

Neighborhood warned about accused pedophile

CALIFORNIA
Chico Enterprise Record

By SCOTT JASON - Staff Writer

OROVILLE - A Kelly Ridge subdivision was blanketed with leaflets Saturday in an effort to alert residents that an accused pedophile and defrocked priest lives in the neighborhood. It was not a surprise to some of them.

Seven members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, handed out fliers with a picture of former San Francisco Roman Catholic Monsignor Patrick O'Shea to people on Jack Hill Drive and posted more at the Bidwell Marina.

The flier urges anyone who has been abused by O'Shea, 72, to contact the Oroville Police Department or the survivors network.

"(The victims) are wracked with guilt and shame," said SNAP member Wayne Presley, 46. "It's like a bad dream you can't wake up from."

Presley, of Foster City, accused O'Shea in 1994 of molesting him during retreats at O'Shea's Lake Berryessa home from 1971 to 1976. Presley was an altar boy at Mission Dolores Elementary School.

Posted by kshaw at 07:49 PM

Searching for answers

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By MICHELE MORGAN BOLTON, Staff writer
First published: Monday, October 17, 2005

ALBANY -- Ernie Bonneau reaches for the small, faded photo by his hospital bed. His eyes shine with unspilled tears.

He sinks into his pillows, staring at the solemn face of his long-dead 8-year-old brother.

The 62-year-old is tired. A tan baseball cap covers a head stripped of hair from chemotherapy. An oxygen line loops over his ears.

Cancer is destroying his lungs and attacking a kidney. But this is not the fight of his life, he insists.

The real opponent, Ernie says, is a veil of silence that for half a century has surrounded the mysterious death of Gilbert Bonneau.

Ernie was 10 when his younger brother died at an orphanage run by Catholic nuns. He is still so traumatized by his own experience at the former St. Colman's Home for Boys and Girls that he is unable to recall Gilbert's face. "I do remember looking at him dressed in altar boy's gown, and his little white coffin. But I cannot picture my little brother. I have no remembrance of Gilbert at all."

Hence the photo. And the tears that finally fall.

The Bonneau brothers are convinced at least one of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary contributed to Gilbert's death in November 1953 by repeatedly smacking the boy on the back of the head with a broom handle to silence his cries. Before he died, his brothers had been placed in another child-care facility in Albany.

Posted by kshaw at 06:03 PM

Prayers said in Ferns in advance of report

IRELAND
One in Four

Prayers were offered at Masses throughout Ferns diocese over the weekend in anticipation of a report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations there, which is expected to be published tomorrow.

The prayers asked that the faithful be open to the report and that people learn from it as they face into the future.

The report is to be presented to the Cabinet at its weekly meeting tomorrow.

A spokesman for Ferns diocese said yesterday that the weekend prayers followed requests from priests for guidance as to how they might prepare for the report's publication.

Posted by kshaw at 09:08 AM

Senior Ferns priests call for bishop to stand down

IRELAND
Sunday Times

Dearbhail McDonald

SOME senior priests have called for the removal of Eamon Walsh, the Bishop of Ferns, ahead of the publication of a devastating report into clerical sex abuse in the diocese this week.

The priests, speaking on condition of anonymity, claim they have been “hung out to dry” by Walsh, who was appointed as caretaker bishop after the resignation of Brendan Comiskey three years ago.

Walsh is not expected to be criticised himself in the report. But a number of Wexford priests claim they have not been briefed on the content of the report by him, or taught how to deal with angry parishioners.

The senior clergymen claim rank-and-file priests have not been prepared for the fall-out from the Ferns inquiry report, which is due to be discussed by the cabinet on Tuesday.

The report is expected to trigger significant public anger at the Catholic church for failing to sack priests accused of abusing young children. It catalogues decades of widespread abuse by up to 30 priests in the diocese, up to and during the 1980s.

Posted by kshaw at 08:46 AM

Ferns report details Garda complicity in sex abuse whitewash

IRELAND
Sunday Independent

JIM CUSACK

DETAILS of how a senior garda destroyed interview notes from children sexually abused in the Ferns diocese are included in the judicial report being presented to Government prior to its publication this week.

Chief Superintendent Jim Doyle was awarded by the Vatican after he squashed a file that should have led to the prosecution of a priest for the abuse of children while they were preparing for their confirmations at Monageer parish in April 1988. Doyle, who died two years ago, received the bene merenti only given to people who have carried out significant services to the Church, after the file disappeared.

The Monageer episode is at the centre of the inquiry into sexual abuse in the Ferns diocese, though the priest is only one of 24 abusers identified in the report.

Chief Superintendent Doyle intervened personally in the case of Fr Jim Grennan, a senior Parish Priest in the diocese who made girls from his confirmation class sexually fondle him at the altar of his church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:40 AM

Catholic lay group assesses strengths, flaws

NEWTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By James Vaznis, Globe Staff | October 24, 2005

NEWTON -- Voice of the Faithful, a national lay Catholic reform group launched at the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal, has a membership that is deeply devoted to Catholicism but will need to recruit more active members if it wants to remain vibrant, according to academics who gathered for a symposium on the organization's future yesterday at Boston College.

The academics based their observations on a survey the Voice of the Faithful conducted earlier this year.

The organization will use the survey, which included responses from 1,300 members nationwide, to help it develop a new action plan to broaden lay people's role in Church decisions.

Among some of the key findings praised by the group and academics yesterday:

93 percent are ''cradle Catholics," meaning worshipers raised in the Church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:38 AM

Priest Arrested In Park, Charged With Public Indecency

OHIO
ChannelCincinnati.com

CINCINNATI -- A Tri-state priest is on leave after he was arrested at a park near Dayton, News 5 reported.

Clarence Heis, 51, is facing charges of public indecency and resisting arrest, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said.

Heis served at Guardian Angels parish in Mount Washington and at St. Thomas More parish in Withamsville.

Heis most recently was pastor of the St. Michael parish in Mechanicsburg.

Heis is free on bail.

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

Priest Finishes Prison Term

NEW BRITAIN (CT)
Hartford Courant

October 24, 2005
By ANN MARIE SOMMA, Courant Staff Writer NEW BRITAIN -- A visiting priest from Poland who pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting a teenage girl is scheduled to be released from prison today after serving a nine-month sentence.

The Rev. Roman Kramek, 43, likely will be transported to Hartford from MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Naturalization authorities in New York before being deported to Poland.

Kramek came to New Britain in 2002 from Szyleny in northern Poland to serve temporarily at Sacred Heart Church during the Christmas season.

On Dec. 24, 2002, he was charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old New Britain High School student on Dec. 18, 2002, when he was supposed to be counseling her about a previous rape.

Police say he later told a Polish-speaking police officer that he fondled and had sex with the girl to show her that sex with men could be a positive experience. Kramek denies he admitted to the officer that he had sex with the girl.

Posted by kshaw at 08:26 AM

A dark side of faith

TOLEDO (OH)
The Independent Collegian

By Chris Ankney
Published: Monday, October 24, 2005

Tony Comes, the focus of the Academy Award nominated documentary, "Twist of Faith," is still dealing with the sexual abuse he endured at the hands of a Toledo priest.

"My recovery, so to speak, is ongoing," Comes said. "It's a daily struggle ... just to go through and decide not to be angry that day."

The movie, which was shown this weekend in UT's Doermann Theatre, chronicles Comes' struggle to gain retribution from the church after being sexually abused as a child.

"The movie follows the process that I went through - a little over two years of trying to get justice from the church," Comes said. "It really shows the struggles [as] you watch my life fall apart ... my marriage nearly disintegrate ... I want to make sure this doesn't happen again to somebody else."

Comes said he wasn't paid for his participation in the movie, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

"[HBO] just dropped off a couple 8mm cameras and said, 'Film your life,'" he said. "I don't want any money to cloud anyone's perception of why I'm doing this. This has never been about money ... it's been about the issue."

Posted by kshaw at 08:14 AM

Abuse claimants refile class action

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Cinncinati Enquirer

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Several plaintiffs have again filed claims alleging they were sexually abused at Catholic orphanages and schools, in a second attempt to gain class-action status for their lawsuits.

The claims against the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville and its Catholic Charities agency have been filed in the past week.

A judge in Louisville rejected a similar appeal from the plaintiffs for class-action status last month. The Jefferson Circuit Judge, Denise Clayton, ruled that the plaintiffs' claims did not fit the criteria for a class-action suit.

"The plaintiffs have claims of varying degrees against several different alleged perpetrators that span from the 1930s to the 1970s," Clayton wrote in the Sept. 28 ruling.

Posted by kshaw at 08:11 AM

October 23, 2005

Man alleges abuse by priest, principal

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

By Michael Puente
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Sunday, October 23, 2005

A 37-year-old Minnesota man claims he was sexually abused by both a Catholic priest and the principal of his parochial school in Wheeling two decades ago.

Robert Brangard, a native of Wheeling, said he will make his claims public outside a Chicago church this morning as a way to persuade others who may have been abused by the two men to come forward so criminal charges can be pursued.

“I want just one person to realize that it’s safe to say what happened,” Brangard said Saturday. “I’m not looking for a paycheck.”

Mary McDonough, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Archdiocese, declined comment because of a lack of information on the issue. The two men accused have denied any wrongdoing when questioned by police, according to copies of police reports provided by Brangard. Police were not available to discuss the case Saturday night.

Posted by kshaw at 08:47 AM

Angry parishioners withhold donations

NEWTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Chase Davis, Globe Correspondent | October 23, 2005

Still angry that their much-loved pastor was forced to resign, parishioners at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic church in Newton say they plan to establish an escrow account to accept donations from those who refuse to donate at Mass because they feel betrayed by the Archdiocese of Boston.

Since the Rev. Walter H. Cuenin resigned last month following archdiocesan allegations that he accepted a leased car and a monthly stipend in violation of church policies, parish leaders said weekly donations at Our Lady have fallen more than 30 percent.

Mass attendance, too, has dwindled, said Maritzie Rudden, a member of the church's pastoral council. ...

But many parishioners say they believe Cuenin was ousted over his controversial embrace of divorced Catholics and gays and lesbians, as well as his vocal criticism of Cardinal Bernard Law and the church's sex abuse scandal -- charges the archdiocese has repeatedly denied.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

Predator priest makes a return

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Sunday, October 23, 2005
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
Amid all the disturbing tales of priests being charged with sexually abusing minors, stories about Nicholas Cudemo stand out.

When a grand jury released its report last month on clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it revealed Cudemo had been accused of abusing 16 minors, raping an 11-year-old and helping her get an abortion.

He was laicized -- formally dismissed from the clergy -- in June after four decades as a priest in eastern Pennsylvania.

Despite that Vatican action, which was publicized, Cudemo presided in July at a baptism at Christ the King Church in Haddonfield, Camden County, where the resident priest did not know his status.

This disclosure, made in the church last week by the Rev. Joseph Wallace of Christ the King, has spurred renewed calls from victims' advocates to develop a national database of abusers.

"Time and time again, proven abusive priests have resurfaced in coaching, in teaching jobs ... in positions of access to kids," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, a victims group. "Prospective employers, police, concerned parents need to have a centralized reliable place they can turn to check the history of a retired priest who moved next door or offered to tutor in their school."

Posted by kshaw at 08:32 AM

Priests still grieve over abuse report

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Emilie Lounsberry
Inquirer Staff Writer

Late at night, in the quiet of their rectories, they read the blistering grand jury report, taking stock of the horrifying accounts of abuse and the number of priests they knew: spiritual advisers, seminary classmates, fellow clergy.

"It was nauseating. I was in shock," recalled the Rev. Frederick Riegler, pastor of St. Isidore's Church in Quakertown, Bucks County.

The Rev. Robert A. McLaughlin, pastor at St. Basil the Great in Kimberton, Chester County, said he spent two or three nights "using up every hankie in the building."

One was his spiritual director; another his confessor. Six were seminary classmates. In all, he figured he knew more than half of the 63 priests identified in the report. "It just tears your heart out," said McLaughlin.

Across the region, such visceral feelings have uncharacteristically spilled out publicly in the month since the release of the grand jury report that documented sex abuse by priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 08:29 AM

Vatican on a gay hunt

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By Marianne Meed Ward

I don't get it. What is the point of weeding out gay Catholic priests? A Vatican document soon to be released is set to bar gays from the priesthood if:

- They publicly show their homosexuality.

- They are attracted to the gay lifestyle.

- They have not been chaste for three years prior to entering seminary.

The last condition I get. Sort of.

The priesthood is for celibates, so naturally it would be problematic for any priest to engage in any kind of sexual behaviour. I don't agree with enforced celibacy, but for now it's here.

And one can only hope, for the sake of consistency, that the "no sex before seminary" condition applies equally to heterosexual candidates.

Posted by kshaw at 08:16 AM

Abused priests shatter code

UNITED STATES
Republican

Sunday, October 23, 2005
By BILL ZAJAC
wzajac@repub.com
No one knows for sure how many priests have been sexually abused as minors or seminarians by other priests, but there are indications the percentage is significant.

No known studies have be done to determine exact figures, according to Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist, former priest and author of several books on clergy sexual abuse. However, his research indicates 10 percent of seminarians had been sexually active with priests or other seminarians during formation between 1960 and 1985.

Sipe said the code of silence among priests is so strong that it prevents many priests from being honest about the issue - even in a survey.

Others, like the Rev. Robert M. Hoatson of New Jersey, have experienced the clerical code of silence that dictates priests don't criticize other priests.

"The black and white line of silence is stronger among the clergy than the blue code of silence among police because at least they get to go home. We are enmeshed in it 24/7," Hoatson said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:09 AM

Memories of abuse, inconsolable anger

CALIFORNIA
Press-Telegram

Tom Hennessy, Staff Columnist

It had been years since she heard his voice.

But now, to Mary Grant's surprise, John Lenihan was talking. Over the phone, he recalled some of what had happened in 1977. Mary, then 14, had been homesick. Lenihan then Father John Lenihan, 32, of St. Norbert's parish, Anaheim had come to visit.

And with Mary's mother at work, she says, he molested her.

Minutes into the phone conversation, as she trolled his memory and drew one admission after another, he became suspicious.

"Are you trying to just tape me and frame me or something?" he asked.

It was an accurate guess. Sitting across from Grant on Nov. 6, 1989, she says, was Detective Jack Jensen of the Anaheim Police Department. He was recording the conversation.

Posted by kshaw at 08:07 AM

Church founder accused

EL MONTE (CA)
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Marianne Love, Staff Writer

EL MONTE -- The Rev. John Coffield was a hero to many in this community, a rebel who fought to desegregate public schools and government jobs.

In 1999 the city had its first "Father Coffield Day" to honor the Irish-born priest, a beloved minister in the El Monte barrios from 1943 to 1955. He had co-founded Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, El Monte's first Catholic church, on a street that was eventually renamed in his honor.

But before Coffield died Feb. 2, he shared with others that he'd been accused of sexual molestation in May 2002.

His name was listed among the summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests the Los Angeles Archdiocese posted on its Web site earlier this month.

Coffield, who was 91 when he died, was accused in a telephone message from a 49-year-old adult male who claimed he was molested at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles from 1960 to 1962.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 AM

47 file Catholic sex-abuse suits

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

Dozens of plaintiffs have refiled claims in the past week alleging they were sexually abused at Catholic orphanages and schools, and they are again seeking class-action status for their lawsuits.

The filings came after a Jefferson Circuit judge rejected a similar appeal for class-action status last month in a lawsuit filed against the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville and its Catholic Charities agency.

Judge Denise Clayton ruled that the plaintiffs' claims did not fit the criteria for a class-action suit, which is used when people have similar claims of injury against the same institution.

"The plaintiffs have claims of varying degrees against several different alleged perpetrators that span from the 1930s to the 1970s," Clayton wrote in her Sept. 28 ruling. "There is a wide variance in the degree of injury alleged."

Posted by kshaw at 08:00 AM

Gay priest in Bay Area fears agenda of Vatican officials

MENLO PARK (CA)
Inside Bay Area

By Katya Kumkova-Wolpert, CORRESPONDENT

MENLO PARK — A group of Vatican reviewers visited the St. Patrick's Seminary campus last week to review its admission procedures and performance.

"Their aim is to see how our program is going," Assistant Rector the Rev. Fred Cwiekoski said. "It's their committee, not ours. They will be reporting to their commission in the Vatican."

St. Patrick's is one of 229 American seminaries to receive a so-called papal visitation. A papal committee will review the Jesuit School of Theology at UC Berkeley in February.

The visits were conceived in 2002 in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals that began in Boston and spread to dozens of diocese throughout the country.

But advocates of reform in the Catholic Church say the Vatican has used the review to promote its anti-gay agenda.

"It seems to be a simple solution. Let's target the gays because nobody likes them anyway. That way, we will have done something. But they won't really have done anything," said "Father James," a Bay Area priest and a member of the Berkeley-basedAbuse Tracker Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 AM

Monsignor assigned to Weehawken church after sex abuse charges were filed

WEEHAWKEN (NJ)
Weehawken Reporter

By: Jim Hague, Reporter staff writer 10/23/2005

A well-respected and revered monsignor in the Roman Catholic Church was assigned to a Weehawken church last year, even after archdiocese officials had what was deemed "credible information" concerning accusations of sexual abuse of young boys by the priest during his ministry.

According to Jim Goodness, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, Monsignor Peter Cheplic was assigned to St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in 2004, even though there were charges of sexual abuse hovering over him.

Cheplic, who left St. Lawrence to become a parochial vicar at St. Henry's Church in Bayonne in August, after new allegations about his behavior were revealed by two different men who said they were abused by Cheplic in the 1980s and early 1990s, has now been removed from his ministry.

Posted by kshaw at 07:56 AM

October 22, 2005

Law Society defends 'charges' stance

IRELAND
One in Four

The Law Society has rejected suggestions by the Residential Institutions Redress Board that it has reacted in an "ad-hoc" fashion to the controversy over the

In a strongly-worded letter sent to the board yesterday, the society's director-general, Ken Murphy, said the board's criticism - contained in a rare public statement from the redress body the previous night - was unjustified.

The move comes as the society's complaints committee begins sifting through a rising number of complaints about solicitors over charging practices.

Posted by kshaw at 10:15 AM

Priest accused of gay sex in park

BATH TOWNSHIP (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By the Dayton Daily News

BATH TWP., GREENE COUNTY | A priest from Champaign County was arrested and charged in a sex sting at Huffman Dam, Five Rivers MetroPark police reported.

Park rangers took the Rev. Clarence Heis into custody Wednesday night.

Authorities said he is a priest at St. Michael's Church in Mechanicsburg.

Rangers said he was engaged in illegal sexual activity with two other men, who were arrested as well, WHIOTV.com reported.

Posted by kshaw at 10:07 AM

Leaders of diocese given tickets to film

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Tony Comes wants more than an apology from the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. He wants leaders to understand exactly why they need to apologize.

That, he said, can only be done if they view the pain caused by sexually abusive priests through the eyes of a victim.

Twist of Faith, the Oscar-nominated documentary about Mr. Comes' allegations that he was sexually molested by a priest while a student at Central Catholic High School, will be shown at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow at the University of Toledo's Doermann Theater.

Yesterday, Mr. Comes and Claudia Vercellotti, a local coordinator of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, hand-delivered 10 tickets for top diocese officials.

"This is my name, my face on these posters, but it could be a number of thousands nationwide," said Mr. Comes, a Toledo firefighter. "I want [Catholic leaders] to go ahead and see this through my eyes, through the community's eyes."

Posted by kshaw at 09:59 AM

Bishops reaffirm celibacy for priests

VATICAN CITY
Grand Forks Herald

NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY - Bishops from around the world on Saturday approved a set of 50 recommendations for Pope Benedict XVI on running the Roman Catholic Church that reaffirm church teaching on such issues as celibacy for priests.

They also dealt with whether Communion should be denied to Catholic politicians who support laws that contradict church teaching, such as the right to abortion, as well as the plight of Catholics who divorce and remarry without getting an annulment.

The estimated 250 bishops who gathered for the three-week Synod of Bishops voted behind closed doors on the propositions for the pope to consider in a future document. The synod, which began Oct. 2, formally ends Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Benedict.

Cardinal George Pell of Australia said at a press conference after the vote that the recommendations were a "massive restatement" of the church's celibacy rule for priests and other church traditions.

Posted by kshaw at 09:57 AM

Former South Bend priest faces child molestation trial in Arizona

SOUTH BEND (IN)
WNDU

Posted: 10/20/2005 08:22 pm
Last Updated: 10/21/2005 09:28 am

South Bend, IN - Jury selection is underway for the child molestation trial of a former South Bend priest.

Prospective jurors began filling out questionnaires Thursday in Mesa, Arizona to hear the case of reverend Paul Lebrun.

Opening statements in the trial are expected next week.

Lebrun faces five counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of molestation.

Lebrun served as an associate pastor at South Bend's Little Flower Catholic Church in the 1980's.

Posted by kshaw at 09:55 AM

Priest Charged With Molesting Teen In Brooklyn Church

NEW YORK
NY1

A visiting priest from Ghana who appeared before a judge on charges he molested a 16-year-old girl was released without bail Tuesday.

Reverend Anthony Ocloo faces sexual abuse and child endangerment charges for allegedly fondling the teen in the rectory of Saint Ephrem's in Dyker Heights.

The 45-year-old is a visiting priest and MBA student at Saint John's University. He has suspended from working as a priest and was ordered to leave the parish. He has also had to surrender his passport.

Ocloo denies the allegations against him.

Posted by kshaw at 09:53 AM

Clark Co. Priest Arrested In Sting Operation

OHIO
WHIO

OSTED: 4:12 pm EDT October 21, 2005
UPDATED: 4:29 pm EDT October 21, 2005

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio -- Authorities said a local priest has been arrested during a sex sting operation at Huffman Dam.

Park rangers took Father Clarence Heis into custody on Wednesday night. Authorities said he is a priest at St. Michael’s Church in Mechanicsburg.

Posted by kshaw at 09:40 AM

Killer of ex-priest gets 30 years; prosecutors wanted life sentence

LEXINGTON (KY)
Herald-Leader

By Brandon Ortiz
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER

A Fayette Circuit Court judge has rejected the prosecutors’ recommendation of life without parole for convicted priest killer Jason Anthony Russell.

Judge Gary Payne instead sentenced Russell, 28, to 30 years in prison today. Russell will be eligible for parole after serving 85 percent of that sentence, or just more than 25 years.

Posted by kshaw at 09:36 AM

Man Sentenced In Priest Murder

LEXINGTON (KY)
WTVQ

Kevin Justus
WTVQ Action News 36
Oct 21, 13:36 PM EDT

A sordid case of crime, sex and murder came to a close today.

The case is over but the judge's decision in the case came as quite a surprise to the prosecution.

A Fayette County Judge Greg Payne sentenced Jason Russell to 30 years in prison for the murder of a former priest Joseph Pilger.

That decision surprised prosecutors who had recommended life in prison without parole.

The judge said he considered all the facts, and decided life in prison was too severe.

Posted by kshaw at 09:34 AM

O'Malley pledges to disclose all of archdiocese's funds

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | October 22, 2005

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston intends to disclose everything about its finances, ''in living color," Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said yesterday, insisting that every fund he controls will be explained and detailed for the public next year.

In an interview after making the announcement, O'Malley said he believes that transparency will bolster public confidence in the church. That confidence has been shaken in recent years because of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and some state officials have become so concerned about archdiocesan management that they are pushing legislation to require all religious denominations to regularly make financial reports to the state attorney general.

Starting next spring, O'Malley said, the archdiocese will publicly disclose all of its finances, regardless of whether the Legislature passes a law. He said the reporting will include the assets, as well as the revenues and expenditures, of all organizations that make up the archdiocese or are controlled by the archbishop.

''I think people will be satisfied that we're doing a reasonable job managing the goods of the church," O'Malley said. ''It will be helpful for people to see what the fiscal situation of the parishes are and how that impinges on the diocese, which provides a lot of services to those parishes. And my hope is that when people realize there are not any great mysteries here, that they will be more confident in their willingness to continue supporting the works of the church."

Posted by kshaw at 08:42 AM

Man: Abuse claim led to hush money

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Felix Doligosa Jr., Rocky Mountain News
October 22, 2005

The 13-year-old boy only wanted to use the office phone at All Souls Catholic Church to tell his girlfriend about his sister's wedding.

He heard the door shut behind him. He turned around, and saw the priest lock the door and walk toward him. He shook the priest's hand and thanked him for use of the phone.

Then, he said, the priest fondled him.

"I didn't know what to do," said the man, who is now 36.

He said he was abused by the Rev. Mark Matson, 57, who has been convicted of sex offenses in another case. He also believes the priest's religious order gave him money to stay quiet.

The man said the abuse started on his sister's wedding day in 1983 and continued for several months while Matson worked at the Englewood parish.

The man told his story to Englewood police last January and to the Rocky Mountain News this month. The Englewood police report said the incident is beyond the statute of limitations.

Posted by kshaw at 08:39 AM

Priest abuse survivors visit the accused's neighborhood

CALIFORNIA
Ventura County Star

By Maria Gonzalez, mgonzalez@VenturaCountyStar.com
October 21, 2005

Armed with stacks of fliers, members of a priest abuse survivor's group knocked on doors and talked with neighbors of a Westlake Village residential complex Thursday where one of the accused priests lives.

Kevin Barmasse is named in files released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles last week chronicling years of alleged sexual abuse of children by clergymen.

In 1983, Barmasse was an associate pastor at St. Pancratius in Lakewood when parents of a young boy accused him of sexually abusing their son in the priest's bedroom, according to the documents. Barmasse was then moved to a parish in Tucson, Ariz., while undergoing therapy.

In 1992, the archdiocese removed him from ministry after five more accusations surfaced. Barmasse can no longer practice as a priest. He has not been criminally charged with abuse.

On Thursday, the five group members, belonging to Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, went to the Westlake Village neighborhood to educate residents and to express their outrage that for so many years the church's policy for handling claims of abuse was to reassign priests rather than turn them over to law enforcement, they said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:32 AM

October 21, 2005

Motion denied to replace judge from priest sexual abuse cases

DAVENPORT (IA)
Sioux City Journal

10/21/2005 03:48:23 PM

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- A judge denied a request Friday to replace another judge from presiding over a pair of sexual abuse lawsuits involving the former bishop of the Sioux City diocese.

Attorneys for Bishop Lawrence Soens sought to have Judge C.H. Pelton dismissed from the cases because they believed that Pelton had misinterpreted the statute of limitations and erred in other rulings made in a series of sexual abuse lawsuits involving priests last year.

David Schoenthaler, chief judge for the 7th Judicial District, said he denied the motion because it violated rules barring chief judges from making any decision that could influence the way other judges in the district interpret the law.

He also said the request put him in the awkward position of acting like an appeals court on Pelton's rulings.

"If the court were to remove Judge Pelton, it would be tantamount to finding that Judge Pelton's rulings had been wrong," said Schoenthaler, whose district oversees Muscatine, Scott, Clinton, Jackson and Cedar counties. "That action would indirectly say to a successor judge to" rule accordingly.

Pelton was appointed by Schoenthaler in January 2004 to preside over the consolidation of more than 30 sexual abuse lawsuits involving priests from the Davenport diocese, none of which named Soens.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 PM

Anything But Straight: The priest made me gay

NEW YORK
PlanetOut

by Wayne Besen
October 20, 2005

A New York socialite who claims a priest turned him into a sodomite is suing the Catholic Church for $5 million. J. David Enright IV, 51, says the Rev. Joseph Romano molested him as a 7-year-old boy at summer camp, and as a result he was unable to live as a suburban heterosexual.

"Romano bent my life," Enright told the New York Post. "I believe my life would be very different now. I'd probably be married, living in Greenwich, with four children in boarding school. I had a completely straight life in business, socially on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Then there was this other world, which was slinking around Greenwich Village gay bars, finding mates."

This story of self-loathing is horribly wrong on so many levels. But let's first cut Enright some slack, for he is clearly a traumatized victim of child abuse and internalized homophobia. He is spewing nonsense as he tries to make sense of a childhood stripped away by a priest who couldn't keep his clothes on.

However, his frivolous lawsuit must be addressed, because it contains damaging assertions that erroneously tie homosexuality to child abuse. At the very heart of his claim is the notion that homosexuals are simply misbehaving heterosexuals who perform deviant acts because they were screwed up as a result of poor parenting or child abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 PM

Welcome These, the Little Ones

UNITED STATES
In the Vineyard

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Founder and President of Rescue and Recovery, International, Inc.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to describe the work of a new non-profit organization called Rescue & Recovery International, Inc. R&R was founded in April, 2005, for the purpose of providing direct services to survivors of clergy and religious sexual abuse. To date, we have raised approximately $30,000.00 and distributed $30,000.00! We need your help to keep the work going.

As a survivor of clergy abuse myself, I know what it means to have to “survive” its effects. Many survivors are homeless, addicted, unemployable, psychologically paralyzed, and distraught. They barely get through each day. Many are on permanent disability, the result of severe post traumatic stress disorder.

Rescue & Recovery assists survivors directly. We help pay rents, mortgages, psychologists’ bills, lawyers’ fees, tuitions, and gasoline and food bills. We have been able to help survivors with clothing allowances and temporary motel living arrangements. Whatever survivors need, we provide.

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 PM

Griffin: Catholic hierarchy continues to shake faith

WELLESLEY (MA)
Wellesley Townsman

By Richard Griffin/ Growing Older
Thursday, October 20, 2005

A friend of many years standing (whom I will here name Paul) has shaken my inner world by revealing something of his own.

He is a person of strong character and sharp intelligence. In addition, he has devoted his life to community service in ways that continue to inspire me. At the same time, he cherishes his family and is an admirable husband and father.

Paul's life is notable for continuity. He takes seriously the educational and governmental institutions that have helped to shape his character and his career.

So, too, with the church. From childhood on, Paul has been an active Catholic, well educated in the teachings of the church and committed to helping others in need. Now arrived in mid-life, he has continued his allegiance to this tradition, along with his wife and family.

Recently, however, in the midst of a conversation about the church, Paul surprised me by allowing that he now feels shaken in this allegiance. Recent events have upset his confidence in this institution that has been such a major influence on his life. Nowadays, he is so deeply troubled by much of what church authority does that he has doubts about his place in the church.

Posted by kshaw at 07:03 PM

Today's seminarians: The Vatican survey

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Father Richard P. McBrien

In his "Beliefs" column in The New York Times (Sept. 24), Peter Steinfels takes a broader look at the current Vatican-run investigation of U.S. seminaries.

While the focus of almost every commentary has been on the issue of homosexuality, Steinfels is also concerned with the quality of education that future priests receive and the profiles of candidates, gay and heterosexual alike, that seminaries attract and admit.

He points out that the official Vatican guidelines for the teams of "apostolic visitors" consist of 96 questions to be posed to faculty, seminarians and some alumni.

"The thrust of these questions," Steinfels notes, "is to assure that future priests are fully prepared to live celibate lives, as well as morally disciplined and prayerful ones, and that they are thoroughly committed to church teachings, especially as laid out in recent official documents from the pope and Vatican offices."

However, what properly concerns Peter Steinfels --- and should be a matter of concern for all Catholics --- is that there are no explicit questions about the seminarians' "capacities for initiative, creativity or imagination and consultative leadership...."

"There is," he points out, "no explicit question about concern for social justice.... By comparison, there are numerous questions about recitation of the rosary, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, devotion to Mary and the saints and many other 'exercises of piety'."

Posted by kshaw at 04:57 PM

Crisis Of Faith

UNITED STATES
National Journal

By William Powers,Abuse Tracker Journal
National Journal Group Inc.
Friday, Oct. 21, 2005

Are you confused by the latest New York Times scandal -- the one about the reporter, the White House, and the spy?

It turns out that Judith Miller had a lot more power at the New York Times than young Jayson Blair, and she used it.

Did you spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to decode the 5,800-word report on the case that the paper published last Sunday, which felt less like a news story and more like a candidate for The Times' puzzle page? (Answers not on page B6.)

Don't despair. As with so many tricky modern problems -- global warming, string theory, setting up a home wireless network -- the problem is not your brain. The problem is "The Miller Case" itself, a tale so intricate and involuted, it appears to have been consciously designed to stump us. In fact, the only way to make sense of this scandal is to go outside it and find a good metaphor. I've got one, and it comes from The Times itself. On October 12, as a frustrated media establishment (plus a few scattered readers) was waiting for the paper to explain the role played by reporter Judy Miller in the case of outed spy Valerie Plame, The Times published a front-page, above-the-fold news scoop. It began:

"The confidential personnel files of 126 clergymen in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles accused of sexual misconduct with children provide a numbing chronicle of 75 years of the church's shame, revealing case after case in which the church was warned of abuse but failed to protect its parishioners."

The italics are mine. That phrase hit me like a nudge from Miller's notoriously "strong elbows," as I realized that The Times' scandal looks more and more like the one that's been tearing up the Catholic Church.

Posted by kshaw at 12:13 PM

Request to replace another judge in priest sex abuse lawsuit denied

DAVENPORT (IA)
KWQC

DAVENPORT, Iowa The chief judge of Iowa's Seventh Judicial District has denied a request to replace another judge who presided over a series of sex abuse lawsuits involving Roman Catholic priests from the Davenport Diocese.

Today, David Schoenthaler (SHONE'-thay-luhr) rejected a motion to appoint a new judge to oversee a fresh set of lawsuits involving the diocese and Lawrence Soens, the former bishop of the Sioux City Diocese.

Soens' attorneys wanted Judge C-H Pelton dismissed, saying he incorrectly ruled on other sexual abuse cases involving priests.

Posted by kshaw at 12:02 PM

O'Malley pledges financial openness

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson and Frank Phillips, Globe Staff | October 21, 2005

Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, facing pressure from some legislators and lay Catholics to publicly report the church's financial holdings, today is making a public pledge to disclose fully the financial and real estate holdings of the Archdiocese of Boston.

But leaders on Beacon Hill pushing to mandate financial disclosure by the Catholic Church said O'Malley's pledge doesn't go far enough, and said they would not agree to a request from the archdiocese to drop legislation to require financial disclosure by Massachusetts religious denominations.

In a letter published in today's edition of the archdiocesan newspaper, The Pilot, O'Malley said that he will release audited financial reports early next year with ''full disclosure" of the archdiocese's revenues and expenditures, as well as an explanation of the cost and source of all clergy sex abuse settlement payments. He also promises to release an accounting next fall of the finances -- including assets and liabilities -- of each of the archdiocese's parishes, which currently number 295. O'Malley said the disclosures would then be made annually.

Posted by kshaw at 10:22 AM

Victim group asks Rigali to back sexual-abuse law

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen
Inquirer Faith Life Editor

Standing outside church headquarters yesterday, a group of victims of abuse by Catholic priests called on Cardinal Justin Rigali to lobby for legal changes and punish church officials who had any role in covering up clergy misconduct.

"All your hollow-sounding pledges to 'do better,' 'put children first,' 'learn from mistakes' will continue to ring hollow until you show by your deed that you mean business," stated a four-page letter written by Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and Other Clergy, the national advocacy group known as SNAP.

The letter to Rigali was released at a sidewalk protest outside the archdiocese headquarters in Center City. The event followed a similar appeal for legal reforms that SNAP made Wednesday at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

SNAP and other activists have been galvanized by the recent Philadelphia grand jury report documenting clergy abuse and official cover-ups in the archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 10:18 AM

Ex-Primary teacher pleads

FARMINGTON (UT)
Standard-Examiner

Friday, October 21, 2005

By Loretta Park
Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau
lpark@standard.net

FARMINGTON -- Aaron Marcos Montoya pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child that encompassed six victims over a five-year period.

Montoya, who has grown a beard, was dressed in an orange prison uniform and was handcuffed and shackled. He was immediately sentenced to five years to life in prison, to be served after he finishes current sentences for other sex offenses.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss two charges Montoya faced in Weber County and five of six charges in Davis County in exchange for the guilty plea.

During the hearing, three fathers and one mother spoke directly to Judge Thomas L. Kay, chastising him for his remarks to parents during Montoya's Sept. 26 sentencing hearing when the judge suggested they stop making their children victims.

"We never once had that desire," one father said.

Posted by kshaw at 10:16 AM

Dempsey 'told two years ago' of solicitors' overcharging

IRELAND
IOL

21/10/2005 - 11:47:11

It has emerged that the former Minister for Education Noel Dempsey was told two years ago that some solicitors were overcharging victims of institutional abuse.

A spokesperson for abuse survivors in Britain says he met Mr Dempsey in 2003, and told him that some law firms were charging victims of abuse.

Lawyer’s fees in these cases are already covered by the Institutional Redress Board, and it is now believed that some lawyers were being paid by both the IRB and their clients in abuse cases.

Posted by kshaw at 10:13 AM

Pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish, Fr James Aquino, subject of lewd conduct incident in Las Vegas.

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Voice

Fr. James Aquino pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish and Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program (training for new deacons) is allowed to stay in ministry after October 21, 20004 sexual incident.

October 21, 2004, two undercover Las Vegas police officers, while in an Adult book store and theater, observed one Larry xxxx and Fr. James Aquino engaging in lewd conduct in a place open to the public (Arrest Report#1920773).

This information was furnished to Bishop Robert McManus in March 2005 by the The Roman Catholic Faithful. In their summer 2005 publication, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (page 8) the story of Fr Aquino was released.

Posted by kshaw at 09:49 AM

Parents scold judge for his remarks at abuse trial

FARMINGTON (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Stephen Hunt
The Salt Lake Tribune

FARMINGTON - Angry parents of children sexually abused by Aaron Montoya heaped nearly as much scorn upon 2nd District Judge Thomas Kay as they did on the defendant at a Thursday hearing.
The parents were upset at remarks Kay made last month while sentencing the former LDS Primary teacher for molesting three young girls at church.
At that hearing, the judge talked about how the parents would raise their children, and encouraged them not to treat their daughters like victims - remarks the parents took as glaring criticism. Kay said little to Montoya beyond urging him to repent, follow his faith and take advantage of prison sex-offender treatment.
"Your harshest words were directed at us, as parents," the mother of one of Montoya's six other abuse victims told Kay on Thursday.
The hearing began with Montoya ending those other six cases by pleading guilty to a single count of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child. He asked to be sentenced immediately.
Kay did so, ordering Montoya to prison for a five-years-to-life term to run consecutively to the four identical convictions handed down by a jury in August in the Primary cases.

Posted by kshaw at 09:43 AM

Montoya Sentenced; Victim Parents Criticize Judge

FARMINGTON (UT)
KSL

October 21st, 2005 @ 7:16am
FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- A Syracuse man has been received a five years to life sentence for aggravated sexual abuse of a child that is to run consecutively to four similar sentences previously handed down for his inappropriately touching young girls in his Mormon Primary class.

Aaron Marcos Montoya, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child that encompassed six victims over a five-year period. The previous case involved three girls abused last year in his Syracuse Primary class for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss two charges Montoya faced in Weber County and five of six charges in Davis County in exchange for the guilty plea.

During the hearing, three fathers and one mother of abuse victims spoke directly to Judge Thomas L. Kay, chastising him for his remarks to parents during Montoya's Sept. 26 sentencing hearing when the judge suggested they not treat their daughters like victims.

Posted by kshaw at 08:59 AM

Church lawyer ends varied career

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

BY STEVE SCOTT
Pioneer Press

Having prosecuted one of Minnesota's most notorious criminals and defended another, Bill Fallon had a long and legendary legal resume by the time he showed up for work at the Twin Cities headquarters of the Catholic Church in 1992.

But Fallon, 74, found his work as lead attorney for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis so rewarding he retired just this week.

The archdiocese "was a wonderful place to work, with wonderful people, and I just enjoyed what I was doing,'' he said. ...

Many involved employment claims or real estate issues. But he also represented the church in cases of alleged sexual abuse as early as his first month on the job and as recently as last week.

"I was interested in trying to get the truth out and to find out how serious a situation it was, and it certainly was serious,'' Fallon said. "To try and assist victims, I found quite rewarding.''


Posted by kshaw at 08:56 AM

Diocese reaches children with safe environment program

ROMEOVILLE (IL)
Catholic Explorer

By KATHRYNNE SKONICKI

ROMEOVILLE—The Diocese of Joliet is taking another step in protecting youth against sexual abuse. It is currently in the midst of implementing safe environment programs for children in grades kindergarten through 12.

Franciscan Sister Judith Davies, chancellor of the diocese and member of the diocesan safe environment committee, said students attending a religious education program or Catholic school in the seven-county area are expected to have a safe environment program offered to them before Nov. 30. Of course, parents are able to opt their children out of the sexual abuse prevention program.

“It’s all for the advantage of giving kids the tools needed to keep them safe. … It’ll all be worth it in the end,” commented Sister Davies. The programs are expected to reach close to 24,000 students in the Catholic schools and 57,000 students in religious education.

“The program is one that parents have been asking for,” added Benedictine Sister Helen Jean Kormelink, superintendent of Catholic schools and member of the diocesan safe environment committee. She continued, “It’s our hope it’ll benefit many children, but if it helps just one child, it will be worth the effort.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:52 AM

Revising statutes, sex abuse concerns and promoting vocations

BEND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

10/20/2005 Bishop Robert Vasa

BEND — The work at the Annual Presbyteral Assembly centered on the revision of the diocesan statutes and guidelines. I found the discussion to be animated and lively, interesting and interested. It seemed to me that the priests took the work we were engaged in very seriously and recognized that it was important not only for them personally but for the diocese as a whole. I found myself wonderfully energized by and grateful for their conscientiousness in tending to details that at times were nothing but tedious.

Having heard the comments and suggestions of the priests and continuing to hear the comments and suggestions of the laity, I am now in a much better position to script the next revised draft. My hope is that the next draft can be ready in the next few months and that it can be reviewed once more at the deanery level and then put into final form for official adoption prior to the end of 2006. There are several sections that require further very serious review and at least one, relating to clergy health care benefits and retirement, that still needs some rather major work. I am most hopeful, at this time, that the document ultimately produced can serve the Church of Eastern and Central Oregon at least as well as its predecessors have served the diocese in the past. Pray that it is so.

That used up a significant portion of the week. Another thing that occupied a lot of time was trying to respond to all the folks across the nation who wrote and mostly emailed with expressions of concern about “safe environment” programs for children. My public expression of my own concerns and questions seems to have created a kind of locus to which a significant number of concerned parents have gravitated.

Posted by kshaw at 08:50 AM

Faith that dares to speak out is loving criticism

UNITED STATES
Catholic Explorer

By FATHER KEVIN SHANLEY, O.CARM.

In the Chinese printed language, the sign for the word “crisis” can be used almost interchangeably for the word “opportunity.” However, people seldom make the connection between the two, especially here in the United States. Few would disagree, however, that the Catholic Church in America, especially at the beginning of this 21st century, is undergoing its worse crisis since the founding of our republic. And this evaluation would include the assaults on the church in the colonial period, later in the time of mass Catholic migration from Europe and the Know-Nothing crisis of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The only difference today seems to be that Catholics themselves, especially some members of the hierarchy and clergy, are supplying the scandals which bewilder both the Catholic faithful and others not of our religious persuasion. It seems that many of the ages-old accusations against the church that Catholics have been denying are now being proven by some Catholics themselves. The media and other sources have sent the Catholic faithful reeling in confusion and disbelief.

In an attempt to make some sense of the “crisis” as an “opportunity,” Msgr. Donald Cozzens has written a book that is both challenging and courageous in what the future of the Catholic Church, both in America and Rome, may be to heal the wounds inflicted and how they may be healed.

“At the dawn of the twenty-first century,” writes Cozzens, “the Catholic Church is arguably the last feudal system in the West. Once the feudal structure of the church is recognized, the bishops’ response to the clergy abuse crisis comes into focus. Bishops and other church authorities reacted to the scandal the only way their feudal culture allowed—with secrecy, denial, and a no-holds-barred effort to protect the reputation, authority, and resources of the institution. While tragic—and in many cases reprehensible—their response was consistent with the way feudal systems function.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:48 AM

Nearly All of Western Oregon's Catholics Named in Lawsuit

PORTLAND (OR)
Beliefnet

By Steve Woodward
Religion News Service

Portland, Ore., Oct. 20 - All but about 280 of the nearly 400,000 Roman Catholic parishioners in Western Oregon are part of a class-action lawsuit that will determine who owns parish churches, schools and cemeteries within the Archdiocese of Portland.

The parishioners and parishes were named in the rare defendant class action in July because of the archdiocese's argument that they -- not the archdiocese -- are the true owners of an estimated $500 million to $600 million in parish property.

Parishioners had until Oct. 3 to bail out of the suit, and about 280 filed the necessary paperwork.

The ownership question is crucial to the 15-month-old bankruptcy of the Portland archdiocese, and is being closely watched for legal ramifications involving church properties nationwide. If the parishes and parishioners are found to be the true owners, the property becomes off-limits to priest sexual-abuse claimants who are suing the archdiocese for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Posted by kshaw at 08:45 AM

Another former Alaska priest accused of sexual abuse

ALASKA
KTUU

Thursday, October 20, 2005 - by Megan Baldino

Anchorage, Alaska - A Jesuit superior, Rev. John Whitney, describes a recent string of clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed against his order as “a tough time.”

Another Jesuit, Rev. James Laudwein, is accused of abusing a young woman in Alaska in 1980. According to Whitney, Laudwein also fathered a child in Alaska.

According to a lawsuit filed in Bethel today, in 1980, a woman only identified as “Jana Doe” was sexually abused by Laudwein in the confessional in St. Marys School chapel.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

Priest's abuse inquiry revived

CALIFORNIA
Whittier Daily News

Prosecutors have reopened a child-abuse investigation into a priest who was allowed to remain in ministry after admitting to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony that he had molested children.

An earlier criminal case against Michael Stephen Baker, 57, was dismissed in 2003 because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision barring prosecutions of decades-old sexual abuse cases.

The new investigation, which had been stalled because the victims now live in Mexico, involves two brothers who say they were molested more recently, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Last spring Los Angeles prosecutors obtained U.S. visas so the brothers could be interviewed in Arizona, the brothers' attorney and law enforcement sources told the newspaper.

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

Portland-area priest may face prosecution

PORTLAND (OR)
EastOregonian.info

Associated Press

PORTLAND (AP) — A Portland priest could be facing criminal prosecution for alleged sexual abuse.

A recent court filing in the Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy case showed that one of the priests accused of abusing half a dozen boys has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 80 times.

Thomas E. Cooney, the attorney for the Rev. Donald Durand, told The Oregonian that the accusations against his client were false.

“A claimant’s lawyer has advised that a client of his contends that he was sexually abused and allegedly it is within the criminal statute of limitations,” Cooney said Tuesday. “Father Durand adamantly denies that. But in order to protect his rights, we claim the Fifth Amendment until we can depose this guy to see what he has to say.”

Durand was ordained in 1958. He has served in parishes in Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Silverton, before his retirement in 2001 after nine years as pastor of St. Clare in Southwest Portland, said Bud Bunce, archdiocese spokesman.

Posted by kshaw at 08:39 AM

Russell Sentencing Today

LEXINGTON (KY)
WTVQ

Oct 21, 05:25 AM EDT

After a sordid crime of sex and murder, a Lexington man will learn his fate later today.

A Fayette county judge will sentence Jason Anthony Russell this morning in court.

Russell, who is 26 years-old, admitted to killing a former priest, Joseph Pilger.

Pilger was 78 years-old when he was found dead in his Lexington home in December 2003.

During his trial, Russell's testimony became very graphic.

He told the judge he had been invited to live with the elderly man in exchange for sexual favors.

Posted by kshaw at 08:37 AM

An unholy purge?

UNITED STATES
Philadelphia Inquirer

Kenneth R. Briggs
is an adjunct professor at Lafayette College

Picture a journeyman priest called Father Cronin who has served the church faithfully and well for decades. He is gay - a matter he shares only with God - and has heard that the Vatican intends to stop homosexuals at the seminary door and root out gays who had made it inside. He wonders, "Will they come for me next?"

Perhaps.

Pope Benedict XVI has decided to bar gay men from the priesthood as an apparent strategy to prevent the rash of child-sexual abuse that has wracked the Catholic Church. To help blunt criticism, a loophole was inserted. It would allegedly allow gays who had refrained from sex for three years to enter.

Even if this elusive standard could be honestly applied, other new trap doors loomed ahead. Anyone charged showing interest in a gay lifestyle - a subjective judgment to say the least - could get bounced from the priesthood. The message: To get ordained, you must renounce your sexual identity.

This policy means that, except for the few who might pass official muster, an entire category of Catholics faces a scapegoating crusade. The targets include many of the church's most loyal servants. Although the assault is pinpointed against gay seminarians, its premise is a disdain for homosexuality that places an onus on all gays. Ostracism becomes contagious.

What the crusade amounts to is an effort to sacrifice gay Catholics to the cause of restoring the church's reputation.

Posted by kshaw at 08:34 AM

New priest abuse suit fuels critics' charges

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By RACHEL D'ORO
The Associated Press

Published: October 21, 2005
Last Modified: October 21, 2005 at 01:57 AM

The fourth lawsuit in less than two weeks accusing an Alaska-based Catholic priest of sexual abuse was filed Thursday, fueling a conviction among critics that Alaska was a dumping ground for problem clergy.

The complaint alleges the Rev. James Laudwein molested a 14-year-old Western Alaska girl in 1980 when she visited the nearby Yup'ik Eskimo village of St. Marys. According to court documents, Laudwein agreed to hear the girl's confession, then took her to a dark room and said "her sins would be forgiven" if she touched his genitals.

Laudwein is the latest of a dozen priests who served in Alaska and have been accused publicly of abusing a child or children in the past. Most of the abuse occurred in remote villages and most of the alleged victims were Alaska Natives -- a common pattern over the decades, critics contend.

"I absolutely believe that church officials intentionally sent abusive priests to minor communities, transient communities, where kids may be less apt to tell and have less faith in the justice system," said David Clohessy, national director of Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at 08:32 AM

Another priest accused of abuse

ALASKA
Fairbanks News-Miner

By MARY BETH SMETZER
Staff Writer

Another Jesuit priest who served in the Fairbanks Catholic diocese 25 years ago has been named in a civil lawsuit, which claims he sexually abused a minor on the campus of St. Mary's Boarding School in Western Alaska.

The complaint alleges that the Rev. James Laudwein molested a 14-year-old Yupik Eskimo girl, listed as "Jana Doe," while she was visiting the boarding school campus in 1980.

According to the lawsuit, the teenager asked to go to confession, and Laudwein took her to a darkened room and told her "her sins would be forgiven" if she did what he asked.

At the time, Laudwein was administrator of the Catholic mission boarding school, which closed in 1987.

Today, Laudwein, 75, is semi-retired and working part-time with the poor doing social services in Portland, Ore., said the Rev. John Whitney, provincial of the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

Twist of Faith Comes to Toledo

TOLEDO (OH)
ABC 13

October 21, 2005 - Oscar nominated documentary will have its first showing in the Glass City this weekend.

A documentary about a Toledo man who accused a priest of sexual abuse will finally open in Toledo. The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will screen "Twist of Faith" Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The film tells the story of Tony Comes, a Toledo firefighter who received a $55,000 settlement from the Toledo diocese, after he claimed a priest sexually abused him as a teenager.

The movie did have one private screening in the area, in Maumee back in June. This weekend will be the first time it's been shown on the big screen for the public in Toledo.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

October 20, 2005

Law Society to root out, eradicate double billing

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE Law Society vowed last night to "root out and eradicate" the practice of double charging clients.

But while the society's president Owen Binchy admitted it had been "a very bad" week for members, he also told new solicitors receiving their parchments in Blackhall Place in Dublin the profession was in the vanguard in the 1990s in the fight "against huge odds" for justice for Irish people who had been sexually physically and psychologically brutalised in residential institutions.

"When Irish society was in denial, when the Government was hostile, when the media did not want to know, solicitors stood with these oppressed and exploited people and helped them achieve such measure of justice as they have now received," he said at the society's premises in Blackhall Place, Dublin.

It was "unbalanced and sad" that this had not been reported during the week.

The allegations of double charging had caused anger and revulsion to the overwhelming majority of solicitors, he said.

Posted by kshaw at 11:31 PM

Ferns priests named in litany of shame

IRELAND
Irish Independent

TWENTY priests are indicted and two bishops castigated in the explosive Ferns report on child sex abuse.

The report, by Judge Frank Murphy, details hundreds of child sex claims made against the 20 priests from the diocese.

It also contains stinging criticisms of two bishops, the late Donal Herlihy and Brendan Comiskey.

Ten of the priests cited have died, six have retired, three have been defrocked and one is described as old and infirm.

The gardai are also slated for their handling of the Fr Jim Grennan case in Monageer. He abused ten girls over a number of years. But otherwise the force comes out of the inquiry relatively unscathed.

The other priests named include Fr Sean Fortune, probably the most notorious of the abusers, Fr Donal Collins and Fr James Doyle, who were both defrocked last year.

The South Eastern Health Board is also condemned for its failure to act properly on reports of abuse.

Dr Herlihy, bishop from 1963 to 1983 when many of the worst abuses were taking place, is singled out for for his responses.

Posted by kshaw at 11:30 PM

Keep the ban

CALIFORNIA
San Mateo County Times

A TEAM of Roman delegates knocked on the doors of St. Patrick's Catholic Seminary in Menlo Park this week. The Vatican calls this a "visitation." Others call it an "investigation." For me, it's "quality control." The visitors are checking for theological orthodoxy in the classrooms and how seminarians are being formed for a life of celibacy.

At the same time, the media are quoting anonymous Vatican sources about a new document that may soften admission standards for seminary applicants with homosexual tendencies. Reportedly, if the candidate has been chaste for three years, if he is not involved in public demonstrations, such as Pride parades, and if his tendencies are not serious, the door may be opened to him.

Honestly, I have to reserve judgment about these anonymous reports. They just don't square with past Vatican teachings that kept the door firmly closed. Perhaps I sound like a cave dweller, since I was ordained 35 years ago, but why would anyone abolish such a wise prohibition?

The Catholic Church is just beginning to extricate herself from the greatest scandal and financial payout in her American history. As the human wreckage is acknowledged, and attempts are made at repair, what have we learned?

Posted by kshaw at 12:03 PM

CHURCH ACTS: Bishop vows to stamp out sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

By NIGEL HUNT
21oct05
ADELAIDE Anglican Archbishop-elect Jeffrey Driver has moved decisively to weed out pedophiles in the church by introducing strict new screening and professional standards.

Bishop Driver, who will be installed as Archbishop of the Adelaide Diocese tonight, will immediately introduce the extensive screening measures for new ministers and lay office holders.

They will be backed with a detailed code of conduct and increased education programs for all of the church's office holders.

Bishop Driver also plans to expand the new screening process, which involves extensive background checks and a statutory declaration, to all church ministers and lay office holders.

In an extensive interview with The Advertiser, Bishop Driver revealed he had met church lawyers and urged them to resolve outstanding compensation claims from victims of sexual abuse as soon as possible.

Posted by kshaw at 11:30 AM

Ferns report to be made public by end of month

IRELAND
One in Four

The report of the Ferns inquiry into allegations of child sexual abuse would be made public as quickly as possible, Minister for Health Mary Harney said yesterday.

Current indications are that, most likely, it will be published on either Thursday, October 27th or Friday, October 28th - just prior to the Halloween Bank Holiday weekend.

The report of the inquiry was delivered to the offices of Ms Harney yesterday afternoon. It has been referred by her to the Attorney General's office.

The Minister said yesterday: "The intention would be then to consult with the attorney and the Government but it would always be the intention to make it public unless there were some legal reasons preventing some aspects of it being made public. But the intention would be to make it public as quickly as possible."

Posted by kshaw at 09:18 AM

Law body criticised on fees response

IRELAND
One in Four

The Residential Institutions Redress Board has criticised the approach of the Law Society to dealing with the issue of alleged double charging of victims of child abuse and neglect in children's homes, and accused it of not being proactive enough in dealing with the complaints.

It also suggested the society was adopting an "ad-hoc" response to the problem. Meanwhile, the Government has indicated it will introduce legislation on overcharging if the Law Society fails to deal adequately with complaints.

In a rare public intervention, the Residential Institutions Redress Board published a letter to the society, in response to a request by the solicitors' regulatory and representative body for help to send a letter to an estimated 7,000 compensation applicants, telling them about the complaints procedure against solicitors.

Posted by kshaw at 09:16 AM

New laws to block lawyers exploiting victims of abuse

IRELAND
One in Four

THE Government may introduce legislation to prevent exploitation of abuse victims by the legal profession who have kept part of the money awarded to them.

Correspondence between Attorney General Rory Brady and bodies representing solicitors and barristers continued last night.

It is understood Mr Brady had written to both the Incorporated Law Society and the Bar Council at the beginning of the month.

This was even before the issue became a major controversy as abuse victims complained on the RTE Liveline programme that solicitors were deducting money from their awards even though this had been provided for by the Redress Board in the settlements.

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

Law Society defends 'charges' stance

IRELAND
One in Four

The Law Society has rejected suggestions by the Residential Institutions Redress Board that it has reacted in an "ad-hoc" fashion to the controversy over the double-charging of victims of abuse.

In a strongly-worded letter sent to the board yesterday, the society's director-general, Ken Murphy, said the board's criticism - contained in a rare public statement from the redress body the previous night - was unjustified.

The move comes as the society's complaints committee begins sifting through a rising number of complaints about solicitors over charging practices.

The society, which both regulates and represents solicitors, said the number of complaints had reached 84 by close of business yesterday. These related to 45 firms. However, said Mr Murphy, 19 of the complainants "said they did not know if there had been a deduction but they wanted it investigated nonetheless".

Posted by kshaw at 09:01 AM

360 Vision exclusive: A gay Catholic priest comes out

CANADA
CNW

TORONTO, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - Do openly gay priests have a place in the
Catholic Church? One Canadian clergyman is about to find out.
On Thursday, Oct. 20 at 10 p.m. ET, VisionTV's signature current affairs
series 360 Vision presents a special report on the renewed debate over gays in
the Catholic priesthood - and elicits a startling revelation from one priest.
Defying the Vatican, he declares his homosexuality on camera - making him
the first Canadian priest to come out publicly.
The program repeats on Monday, Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. ET.
According to reports from the Vatican, the Church is set to release a
document outlining a new policy: to be candidates for the priesthood, gay men
must not publicly disclose their homosexuality or participate in gay culture,
and must have remained celibate for at least three years.
The Canadian priest interviewed on 360 Vision says he is celibate. He
also estimates that as many as 50% of all priests in Canada are gay.

Posted by kshaw at 07:43 AM

3 'Twist of Faith' screenings set at UT

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

Twist of Faith is finally getting a regular screening in Toledo.

Sort of.

The Oscar-nominated documentary, about Tony Comes, a Toledo firefighter who alleges he was sexually molested by a priest while he was a student at Central Catholic High School, will be shown tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday at the University of Toledo's Doermann Theater.

Directed by the respected filmmaker Kirby Dick, it never received a wide theatrical run, but was shown once at the Maumee Indoor Theater in June for an invitation-only crowd. It also has aired a few times on HBO, and will be available on DVD in January.

The Maumee theater, however, never showed the critically acclaimed film again, prompting complaints of censorship. Theater representatives said the decision to not show the movie was based entirely on financial reasons.

"The history of motion pictures is filled with examples of theaters, distributors, or towns engaging in this indirect censorship by preventing access," Tammy Kinsey, associate chairman and assistant professor of film at UT, said in a news release.

Posted by kshaw at 07:33 AM

Ronnie Polaneczky | Column sparks notes of gratitude for 'Father Mac'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

IT'S BEEN A week since I wrote about Father Bob McLaughlin - or "Father Mac," as he's known at St. Basil the Great Roman Catholic Church in Chester County.

And the e-mail continues to pour in from Catholics who are grateful for this brave pastor's willingness to speak from his anguished heart about the church's sex-abuse scandal.

He abhorred the cover-up, bellowing that the Philadelphia Archdiocese had fired priests for having their hands in the collection basket, "yet they never fired a priest for having his hands down an altar boy's pants!"

He also vowed to do whatever it took to protect the children of his parish, even if it meant - ahem - putting to use his license to carry a firearm.

Posted by kshaw at 07:26 AM

Lawyer calls for reform of the profession

IRELAND
RTE News

20 October 2005 10:28
A senior legal figure has called for reform and regulation of the legal industry.

The call by the Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan, comes in the wake of revelations that some solicitors charged their clients for work at the Institutional Redress Board, although the board was paying their fees.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Mr Honohan said there is a huge appetite for reform in the profession.

But, he said, the profession needs to ask itself why it is so focused on costs.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

Consumer body calls for monitoring of legal profession

IRELAND
IOL

20/10/2005 - 07:47:47

An independent regulatory body to oversee the legal profession must now be established, the Consumers Association of Ireland has said,

The association slammed recent revelations that certain solicitors, who having been paid their full fees by the Residential Institutions Redress Board, allegedly double-charged vulnerable victims of abuse.

As many as 80 complaints of over-charging have reportedly been passed to the Law Society, which has said it will initiate an investigation with the promise of appropriate action if found necessary.

Posted by kshaw at 07:21 AM

Group asks for change in sex abuse law

HARRISBURG (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Angela Couloumbis
Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG - A national advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and other clergy is asking Pennsylvania legislators to move swiftly to strengthen state laws dealing with the sexual abuse of children.

The group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and Other Clergy, gathered in the statehouse yesterday to urge lawmakers to enact sweeping changes to current law, in light of a recent report by a Philadelphia grand jury that investigated sexual-abuse allegations in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The report found that dozens of priests sexually abused hundreds of children while Philadelphia archdiocese officials in many cases excused - and enabled - the abuse. But the grand jurors said they could not pursue criminal charges against priests or any of their superiors because of restrictions in Pennsylvania law.

The archdiocese has called the report slanted, biased and anti-Catholic.

Yesterday, members of Survivors Network, better known as SNAP, said that lawmakers must enact a "comprehensive package" of legislation to correct what they believe are deficiencies in state law.

Posted by kshaw at 07:15 AM

Audit shows Allentown Diocese compliant with national child abuse

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

Auditors have deemed the Allentown Catholic Diocese is compliant with a national policy aimed at preventing and dealing with child abuse, according to a news release from the diocese.

Since the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was adopted in 2002 after the sex abuse scandal, the Allentown Diocese has been deemed compliant.

For its third audit, the diocese didn't receive an on-site audit, but returned a completed questionnaire and supporting documents. Auditors from Gavin Group Inc. of Winthrop, Mass., conducted follow-up interviews with diocesan personnel, pastors and victims, the release said.

Dioceses that were deemed not in compliance in previous audits received on-site audits.To comply with the charter, the Allentown Diocese took several actions, such as training those who work with children in detecting signs of abuse and placing priests accused of sexual abuse in a restricted facility.

Officials from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests had been skeptical of the audits, saying there's no independent verification of the statements and documents supplied by the dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at 07:11 AM

Priest was eyed for ouster prior to audit

NEWTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Matt Viser, Globe Staff | October 20, 2005

The Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, the priest who replaced the Rev. Walter H. Cuenin at Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton, revealed at a meeting with parishioners last week that officials of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston asked him in June if he would be interested in replacing the outspoken Cuenin. That was two months before the completion of the financial audit that archdiocesan officials said led them to ask for Cuenin's resignation.

The news outraged parishioners, who say it shows that the audit was never the real reason Cuenin was ousted.

''It just feels like once again we have a diocese that absolutely refuses to be transparent," said Larry Kessler, a member of the parish council. ''People are feeling really hurt, angry, enraged, and some of them are leaving."

According to the minutes of the Oct. 11 parish council meeting, Coyne was asked by a parishioner when he knew that Cuenin would be removed. Coyne responded ''that he was told in June of the possibility of a leadership change at Our Lady's and asked if he would be interested in the pastorate," according to the minutes. ''He said he would think about it, but it was not finalized until shortly before the appointment was made."

The minutes of the meeting were posted on the parish's website. Two members of the parish council, who were present at the meeting and spoke to the Globe yesterday, confirmed Coyne's remarks.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

L-A prosecutors reopen probe of priest who admitted abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KVOA

LOS ANGELES Prosecutors in Los Angeles have reopened a child abuse investigation against a former priest.

Attorneys involved in the case say Michael Baker remained in the ministry despite allegedly admitting he had molested children. Baker has been accused of molesting more than 20 children between 1974 and 1999.

This latest investigation involves two brothers who allege Baker molested them between 1984 and 1999. The L-A County District Attorney's office interviewed the brothers after they traveled from Mexico, where they now live. The pair received a one-point-three (m) million dollar settlement from Baker and the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:07 AM

October 19, 2005

Report to implicate over 20 priests in Ferns

IRELAND
RTE News

19 October 2005 22:20
It is understood that more than 20 priests in the Ferns dioceses have been implicated in child sexual abuse by the State inquiry, the report of which is to be published next week.

It is believed the report also endorses criticisms by an internal Garda inquiry of local garda management into the disappearance of the interview notes from the investigation into the abuse of ten girls in Monageer by the late Monsignor Jim Grennan.

The inquiry was chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge, Frank Murphy.

Posted by kshaw at 06:14 PM

The celibacy tradition

ROME
Online Catholics

R. John Kinkel responds to the synod intervention of Cardinal George Pell
Synopsis of the Intervention of His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, at the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Rome, October 11, 2005

Many Synod Fathers have spoken of the difficulties experienced by the Church throughout the world. Some of these are caused by our own mistakes.

The Second Vatican Council brought great blessings and substantial gains; for example, continuing missionary expansion and the new movements and communities. But it was also followed by confusion, some decline, especially in the West, and pockets of collapse. Good intentions are not enough.

Two areas of decline in Oceania are the number of priestly vocations in Australia and New Zealand (but not everywhere in Oceania) and the confusion evident in the proliferation of Communion services.

My recommendations to the Synod on how to deal with these "shadows" presuppose the maintenance in the Latin Church of the ancient tradition and life-giving discipline of mandatory celibacy for the diocesan clergy as well as the religious orders. To loosen this tradition now would be a serious error, which would provoke confusion in the mission areas and would not strengthen spiritual vitality in the First World. It would be a departure from the practice of the Lord Himself, bring significant practical disadvantages to the work of the Church, e.g. financial, and weaken the sign value of the priesthood. It would weaken, too, the witness to loving sacrifice, and to the reality of the Last Things, and the rewards of Heaven.

Posted by kshaw at 09:58 AM

Visiting rev faces kid molest charges

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY NANCIE L. KATZ
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A visiting priest from Africa was arrested yesterday on charges of fondling a 16-year-old girl in the rectory of a Brooklyn church.

The Rev. Anthony Ocloo, 45, an MBA student at St. John's University who arrived from Ghana nine months ago, denied the allegations at his arraignment on misdemeanor charges of sex abuse and child endangerment.

Prosecutors said Ocloo molested the teen in the rectory of St. Ephrem's in Dyker Heights, the parish where he has lived since his arrival from Ghana.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin O'Donnell said the victim was stuffing envelopes beside Ocloo at the rectory on Oct. 7 when the priest allegedly lowered the blinds and began to hug, kiss and grope her.

Posted by kshaw at 07:34 AM

Myers to aid priest conversions

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
An important Vatican body has appointed Newark Archbishop John J. Myers to oversee the process by which dozens of married Episcopal priests in the United States have become ordained in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith named Myers the "ecclesiastical delegate" to work with American bishops who have Anglican priests in their dioceses who want to become Catholic clergy, the Newark archdiocese announced yesterday.

Myers, the archbishop of Newark since 2001, said he expects to work two or three days a month at the job and has opened an office for it at the archdiocese center in Newark. ...

Myers' position previously was held by Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned almost three years ago as Boston archbishop after an uproar related to his handling of clergy sex abuse. Law kept the ecclesiastical delegate job until Myers was appointed.


Posted by kshaw at 07:28 AM

Alleged priest-killer's family speaks out

WISCONSIN
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 18, 2005

The following is an edited statement issued by the family of the late Father Ryan Erickson, who recently was found by a judge to have likely been responsible for the shooting deaths of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison in 2002.

(For the record, I would like to say that I agree with the judge's ruling.)

"In the past months, and especially the last few weeks, we have had to watch Father Ryan's name and reputation be battered. So many accusations and innuendos! So many people will say we have our heads buried in the sand; that we do not want to see the truth. We cannot help what people think, and this is not so much about trying to change people's minds about Father Ryan as it is about speaking out on the way we feel.

"Our family chose to keep silent through all of this and, as a result, many people think we did not care enough. The old adage 'Silence is Golden' did not apply in this case. Some of his friends even accused us of letting him hang because we were not at the hearing, and that we had something to hide.

"For one thing, we were told that we could not be there. We have a letter stating that it was a closed John Doe hearing and that only [Erickson's parents] would be allowed in the court room. Many of us would have been there, for we loved and supported Father. Our hearts go out to the O'Connell and Ellison families; they lost someone they love very much.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

L.A. Confidentiality

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Weekly

by Rick Anderson

Newly released internal Roman Catholic Church personnel files on 126 priests accused of molesting children were supposed to shed light on the massive scandal still rocking the Los Angeles Archdiocese. But in the case of R. David Cousineau, the former director of the Seattle Children's Home, they didn't.

The files, dramatically unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 11, by Cardinal Roger Mahony as a show of church candor, indicate that Cousineau, 59, left the priesthood with a clean record. But Cousineau—a close ally of Cardinal Mahony until they reportedly had an angry falling-out (see "His Past Life," March 31, 2004)—was sued by an alleged child-molestation victim in 1991, a year before he left the diocese to become leader of the Seattle Children's Home, which cares for at-risk youths referred through courts or agencies.

The long-delayed release of the L.A. personnel files comes amid settlement talks with 560 alleged victims of priest sexual abuse. Church critics quickly pointed out that the documents lack important details. Cousineau's brief file, for example, lists just his parish assignments from the 1970s through the 1980s, and his later directorship of welfare and charity services in L.A., concluding: "01/93, Fr. Cousineau resigned as Director of Catholic Charities for personal reasons." He had already taken the Seattle job. "No allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct. Resides in Seattle, WA. 07/08/94, Marries. 09/30/94, Suspended from ministry."

The 1991 lawsuit by a former altar boy, who says he was sexually molested in the 1970s for three years starting at age 11, was later dropped but has since been refiled under a California law extending the statute of limitations. Cousineau resigned his Seattle position in 2003 under a financial cloud to become director of Holt International in Oregon, a worldwide child adoption agency. Seattle Children's Home officials say they didn't know Cousineau had been accused when they hired him, a complaint Holt officials later echoed. Under pressure, Cousineau resigned from the adoption agency last year. A second alleged victim, a woman who says she was molested for four years in the 1970s beginning at age 11, is also suing him. Cousineau couldn't be reached for further comment but has denied both claims.

Posted by kshaw at 07:07 AM

Abuse Turns Man Gay

ALBANY (NY)
Family News in Focus

by Steve Jordahl

Lawsuit suggests homosexuality is not genetic but caused by one's upbringing.

The Catholic Church in Albany, New York is facing a 5 million dollar lawsuit after a prominent New York philanthropist says he became gay because a priest molested him as a child. J. David Enright IV says he was repeatedly molested at a Catholic summer camp. He says he is miserable, and the molestation "bent' his life. The diocese of Albany refused to comment on the pending suit but Father John Harvey of the ex-gay Catholic ministry Courage says the Catholic Church is dealing with it's past.

"We as priests are involved in reparations for the sins of the past, with the hope that God's grace will be able to turn the tide and get people back into the practice of virtue."

The assertion supports the contention that homosexuality is not genetic but has environmental causes. Dr. Dean Byrd of the University of Utah.

Posted by kshaw at 06:56 AM

Portland-area priest may be facing criminal prosecution

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

10/19/2005

Associated Press

A Portland priest could be facing criminal prosecution for alleged sexual abuse.

A recent court filing in the Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy case showed that one of the priests accused of abusing half a dozen boys has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 80 times.

Thomas E. Cooney, the attorney for the Rev. Donald Durand, told The Oregonian that the accusations against his client were false.

"A claimant's lawyer has advised that a client of his contends that he was sexually abused and allegedly it is within the criminal statute of limitations," Cooney said Tuesday. "Father Durand adamantly denies that. But in order to protect his rights, we claim the Fifth Amendment until we can depose this guy to see what he has to say."

Posted by kshaw at 06:54 AM

Priest could face criminal sex charges

OREGON
The Oregonian

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
ASHBEL S. GREEN
A court filing in the Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy includes this revelation: One of the priests accused of abusing half a dozen boys has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 80 times.

This raises the possibility that for the first time in more than 20 years, a Portland priest might face criminal prosecution for alleged sexual abuse.

Thomas E. Cooney, the attorney for the Rev. Donald Durand, said the accusations against his client were false.

"A claimant's lawyer has advised that a client of his contends that he was sexually abused and allegedly it is within the criminal statute of limitations," Cooney said Tuesday. "Father Durand adamantly denies that. But in order to protect his rights, we claim the Fifth Amendment until we can depose this guy to see what he has to say."

Gary Bisaccio, one of the accuser's attorneys, said his client has so far refused to go to the police.

"He's very scared. That's the problem we have," Bisaccio said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:50 AM

October 18, 2005

Content of L.A. report on clergy abuse disputed

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National

By JOE FEUERHERD

The 155-page report describing decades of clergy sexual abuse in Los Angeles is a just-the-facts account of an institution slowly coming to grips with a horrendous problem, according to archdiocesan officials. Not so, say victim advocates and their attorneys, who view the documents released by the archdiocese as a tale of malevolent mismanagement by church leaders more concerned with image than the well-being of children.

The documents, released Oct. 12, “show the evolution of how the problem of sex abuse was dealt with over time by church officials,” said Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the archdiocese. “At first, it was treated as a sin, then in the 1970s and 1980s therapy seemed the way to go. Finally, there was the horrible realization of the repetitive nature of sexual abuse, and it became clear that ‘zero tolerance’ was the only way to ensure the safety of children.”

Rather than a good-faith effort to describe the phenomenon of clergy sex abuse, the report is “a dumbed-down, sanitized version of the very ugly history of the church moving and manipulating [offending] priests without ever warning parishioners,” said Raymond Boucher, the Los Angeles attorney representing nearly 300 alleged clergy abuse victims. The real story of hierarchical complicity with priest-predators will only be known, said Boucher, when the archdiocese agrees to release the underlying priest personnel files upon which the report is based.

The report is essentially a timeline of the careers and accusations made against 126 archdiocesan and religious order priests in Los Angeles dating back more than 50 years. What it indisputably provides is the first behind-the-curtain look at the activities of clergy abusers and the reaction of their superiors in the nation’s largest archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 05:04 PM

Sexual hypocrisy from the Vatican

UNITED STATES
National

By ANGELA BONAVOGLIA

The Vatican has decided how to deal with its sexual problems. It will sit in judgment on gay seminarians. It won’t ban all of them from the priesthood, just those who are “out” -- who dare to identify with the gay community; who have had sex as long as three years ago; and most disturbingly, whose homosexual orientation is deemed, by what criteria we have no idea, to be too “strong” and “permanent.”

The Vatican’s underlying message is this: Since so many clerical sexual abuse cases involved boys, this will take care of the problem. In fact, that is a far cry from the truth. Many Catholic girls and women have been victims of clerical sexual transgressions, ranging from pedophilia and child sexual abuse to sexual exploitation, harassment, molestation, rape, beatings and potentially negligent homicide. Many sexually active priests have left a trail of wounded women and fatherless progeny in their wake. Others have prevailed upon their women lovers to have abortions, made the arrangements for those abortions and paid for them.

It’s been spilled all over the tabloids that the Catholic church’s clergy sex scandal has revisited the New York archdiocese, and it has nothing to do with pedophiles or gay men. Msgr. Eugene Clark -- rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, high-profile fundraiser, and crusader against American cultural immorality and homosexuality -- has resigned, accused of having an affair with his married secretary 30 years his junior, which he denies. The defense of archdiocesan spokesperson Joseph Zwilling was telling: He said Msgr. Clark was not accused of molesting boys. In 2002, New York Auxiliary Bishop James F. McCarthy resigned after admitting to “a number of affairs with women over several years,” including a woman “approximately 21 years old.”

In fact, the whistleblowers in these cases -- often women who work for the church -- continue to be in great jeopardy. Most recently, Regina Soares Jurkewicz, eight years a professor at the Theological Institute of the Catholic diocese of São Paulo, Brazil, was fired, this right after she published the results of her doctoral research on sexual violence against women by Catholic clergy in Brazil. Her findings were in keeping with the findings of internal church reports from the 1990s, which documented the sexual exploitation and abuse of nuns and other adult women by Catholic priests in 23 countries on five continents.

Posted by kshaw at 12:04 PM

Port Dover Priest in Court

CANADA
CD98.9

A former Port Dover Roman Catholic Priest, 55 year old Father Konnie Pryzybylski will be in court this morning. Pryzybyliski is charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual exploitation, one count of sexual interference and one count of sexual touching.

Posted by kshaw at 09:36 AM

Alleged sex abuse victim demands LA cardinal's resignation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Mercury News

SOLVEJ SCHOU
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest as a child in the 1970s called for Cardinal Roger Mahony's resignation Monday, a week after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released summaries of personnel records of dozens of accused priests.

The archdiocese posted the documents, which detailed allegations of past abuse, on its Web site early last week after a state appeals court ruling cleared the way for the disclosure.

Jackie Dennis, 44, said Mahony had ignored 85-year-old George Neville Rucker's 40-year history of alleged abuse against dozens of girls, allowing "him to retire in good standing" almost two decades ago.

"Cardinal Mahony has patted Rucker's back, when he knows Rucker committed felonies against children," Dennis said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:32 AM

Report on sex probe sent to AG

IRELAND
Irish Independent

AN INQUIRY into child sex abuse in the Wexford diocese of Ferns has been sent to the Attorney General.

The inquiry team, chaired by Judge Frank Murphy, presented Tanaiste Mary Harney with the report yesterday and it is expected to be published at the "earliest opportunity", subject to legal advice.

The Government-backed report is the result of the first investigation by the State into how the Catholic Church managed cases of child sexual abuse.

Last weekend the Irish Independent revealed that the report highlights staggering failures.

Posted by kshaw at 09:29 AM

'Rip-off solicitors' to appear before complaints committee

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SOLICITORS accused of ripping off abuse victims have been summoned to appear before the Law Society's complaints committee.

The society yesterday sent out letters by fax to some 30 solicitors in a small number of law firms.

They have been asked to appear before a complaints committee meeting at Law Society HQ at Blackhall Place in Dublin in two weeks' time. But it is unlikely that any solicitor will end up in the criminal courts as a result.

If the Society finds a solicitor has been guilty of misconduct, it can impose sanctions, including fines, suspension and striking off. If the clients decide to resort to legal action against their solicitors, they are more likely to opt for the civil rather than the criminal courts.

Posted by kshaw at 09:27 AM

Law Society to discuss overcharging of abuse victims

IRELAND
IOL

13/10/2005 - 07:21:26

The Law Society's complaints committee is due to meet today to discuss allegations that some solicitors are double-charging victims of institutional child abuse.

The society is also planning to establish a complaints helpline and to take out advertisements urging people who feel they have been overcharged to come forward.

The moves follows revelations that some solicitors had deducted substantial costs from awards granted to abuse victims by the Residential Institutions Redress Board.

The costs incurred by solicitors are supposed to be paid separately by the board and not deducted from compensation awards.

Posted by kshaw at 09:25 AM

Solicitors concede they illegally deducted cash from victims of abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

A SOLICITORS' firm has admitted ripping off victims of abuse.

Limerick firm McMahon O'Brien Downes is the only one to come forward since it emerged some solicitors illegally deducted payments from clients' compensation.

The Irish Independent has learned that the firm, which last night admitted it overcharged clients, previously earned over €8.8m after defending 1,396 army deafness claims.

If it also overcharged any of these personal injury claimants by improperly deducting payments from compensation, it could be open to a massive claim for a return of those payments - plus interest.

Last night, it was also revealed that 35 victims of abuse who believe they were overcharged by solicitors have complained to the Law Society.

Posted by kshaw at 09:22 AM

Comment: Liam Fay: Why do lawyers pile more harm on abuse victims?

IRELAND
The Sunday Times

The lawyers want us all to calm down. They deplore the rush to judgment, the atmosphere of hysteria created by a reckless media. They haven’t said it yet, but what m’learned friends really object to is the mood of, well, ambulance chasing.

Nothing has been more instructive about the scandal of the legal scam perpetrated on survivors of institutional abuse than the reaction of the legal profession itself. All week, thanks to Joe Duffy’s Liveline, we have heard damning stories from people who claim that compensation awards by the Residential Institutions Redress Board have had hefty “fees” deducted by solicitors who had already been paid.

Some say they’ve been ripped off for thousands, others for hundreds. But what unites all those who have come forward is a sickening feeling of outrage at what appears to be the organised exploitation of the vulnerable by some of the country’s most privileged professionals. Having been abused by men of the cloth, these unfortunate individuals now find themselves abused by men (and indeed women) of silk.

Posted by kshaw at 09:21 AM

Attorney General receives clerical sex abuse report

IRELAND
online.ie

2005-10-18 08:40:03+01

The Attorney General, Rory Brady, has received the report of the inquiry into clerical sex abuse in the Diocese of Ferns in the south-east region.

The Tánaiste, Mary Harney, reviewed the report yesterday and forwarded it to Mr Brady.

The inquiry was formally launched in September 2003 and chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Frank Murphy.

It examined allegations of sex abuse against certain members of the clergy in the south-east, and how the Catholic Church and the State dealt with those allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 09:13 AM

Youth pastor sentenced in molestation case

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

By JEFF ECKHOFF
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

October 18, 2005

A Des Moines youth pastor failed Monday in attempts to revoke his previously arranged plea bargain and instead was sentenced to 15 years in prison for molesting three preteen girls.

Damion Armond Rutues, 26, earlier had agreed to enter a "no contest" plea to three counts of lascivious acts with a child.

Rutues did not admit guilt under that agreement but essentially admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to find him guilty.

Polk County authorities say Rutues, whose mother is pastor at Learning of the Lord Revival Ministry, 1216 Forest Ave. , molested three girls between the ages of 8 and 11 in his apartment and his church office.

But Rutues, who insists the plea was made only to spare his family bad publicity, said Monday that new evidence — a man's conversation with his mother at a suburban restaurant — suggests that the witnesses against him were coached by officials at another church.

"I did not understand that I could not take the plea back," Rutues told Polk County District Judge Artis Reis. "I did not commit these crimes, and I believe that this new evidence (will show that) these kids were influenced in what to say."

Reis disagreed.

Posted by kshaw at 09:09 AM

Youth Pastor Sentenced for Sexual Abuse

DES MOINES (IA)
WHO

Des Moines, October 18th, 2005- A Des Moines youth pastor accused of sexually abusing two young girls is going to prison for 15 years. 26-year-old Damon Rutues was sentenced on three counts of lascivious acts with a child.

Police arrested Rutues in November after he was accused of inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old-girl and a 10-year-old girl at his church. Authorities say the abuse happened in the pastor's church office.

Posted by kshaw at 09:07 AM

Another plaintiff joins lawsuit against former Alaska priest

ALASKA
KTUU

Monday, October 17, 2005 - by Steve Mac Donald and Megan Baldino

Anchorage, Alaska - There is more bad news for the Fairbanks diocese and former priest Richard McCaffrey. A woman joined a lawsuit alleging McCaffrey sexually abused her as a child. But tonight, through his attorney, McCaffrey is denying the allegations.

She goes by June Doe II, and according to this lawsuit when she was just 10 and 11 years old, McCaffrey sexually abused her in the Little Flower of Jesus Church in Hooper Bay, Alaska. That was in the early 1980s. Her story, similar to that of June Doe I, who in August filed the lawsuit June Doe II is joining.

June Doe I is alleging McCaffrey sexually abused her in her church in Tunanak in the late 1970s when she was also 10 and 11-years-old.

“Exactly the same MO, it’s exactly the same type of grooming behavior, using exactly the same opportunity for molestation which is after catechism when the children are alone, you hold one back and take them into your room,” said Ken Roosa, plaintiff's attorney.

Posted by kshaw at 09:04 AM

Abuse victim calls for Mahony's resignation

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

By Alison Shackelford Hewitt
Copley News Service

A woman who accused former Catholic priest George Neville Rucker of sexual molestation called Monday on Cardinal Roger Mahony to resign or release more thorough documentation about the careers of pedophile priests.

Supported by her attorney and claiming the support of other victims of Rucker -- who was a school administrator at St. Anthony's Church in El Segundo in the 1960s -- Jackie Dennis said church officials knew about previous molestation accusations against Rucker, but did not act to prevent him from subsequently working at her school and others.

She said Mahony let Rucker retire with "full honors" despite the allegations of sexual misconduct, and added that documents released by the Los Angeles Archdiocese last week whitewash the former priest's history.

The archdiocese documents show that from 1965 to 1967, while Rucker was working in El Segundo, there were reports that he had "imprudent relations with school girls" and was "using his hands too freely on school girls."

At least one complaint was investigated by police in 1967, but no one pressed charges.

Posted by kshaw at 09:00 AM

Prosecutors received priest probe results, Archdiocese says

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
By JASON DEL REY
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
An allegation of sexual misconduct against Monsignor Peter Cheplic that Archdiocese investigators deemed "credible" was referred to county prosecutors, an Archdiocese spokesman said yesterday.

The investigation, concluded by the Archdiocese Response Team in April 2003, was of a March 2002 allegation by Martin Kansky that Cheplic had sexually molested him at a house at the Shore in 1978, when Kansky was 18 and Cheplic was pastor of St. Matthew's Church in Ridgefield.

According to a letter received by Kansky from the Rev. Robert Emery, vice chancellor and coordinator of the Archdiocese Response Team, the allegation was "credible" and the Archdiocese offered to provide counseling to Kansky. Kansky, now married and living in Tennessee, did not accept the offer.

Cheplic has since voluntarily stepped down from his post as parochial vicar of St. Henry Church in Bayonne during an investigation into two other allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said yesterday that the Archdiocese Response Team turned over its information to prosecutors in Hudson County, where Cheplic was then pastor at St. Aloysius Church in Jersey City, and in Ocean County, where the alleged abuse occurred.

Posted by kshaw at 08:57 AM

Diocese urged to apologize to families of funeral home victims

SUPERIOR (WI)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Larry Oakes, Star Tribune
Last update: October 17, 2005 at 8:58 PM

SUPERIOR, WIS. - An official for the Diocese of Superior said Monday that Bishop Raphael Fliss plans to meet this week with relatives of two men slain in a Hudson, Wis., funeral home, in what a judge found was most likely a double murder by a Catholic priest who later killed himself.

"We'd like to express our condolences and sincere sorrow," the Rev. Philip Heslin, chief operating officer of the diocese, said during a meeting with clergy-abuse survivors who are pressing the diocese to explain why the Rev. Ryan Erickson was allowed to be a priest, despite allegations of sexual misconduct.

Heslin's announcement came as two members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests hand-delivered a letter to the diocese, calling on Fliss to apologize to the families of those slain, release all records on Erickson and aggressively encourage victims of Erickson and other priests to come forward.

"These questions are not going to go away," Peter Isely, SNAP's Midwest director, said. "They can either voluntarily surrender the answers or a cloud of suspicion will continue to hang over this diocese."

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 AM

Second woman joins suit accusing priest of abuse

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By RACHEL D'ORO
The Associated Press

Published: October 18, 2005
Last Modified: October 18, 2005 at 02:15 AM

A second woman has joined a lawsuit against a longtime Roman Catholic priest, alleging she was sexually abused as a child in the Western Alaska community of Hooper Bay.

The plaintiff, identified as June Doe 2, contends she was molested by the Rev. Richard L. McCaffrey after catechism sessions in the early 1980s. Like June Doe 1, she is seeking more than $50,000 for pain and suffering, with the exact award to be determined at trial.

The amended lawsuit, filed Friday in Bethel, names McCaffrey, the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. The initial lawsuit was filed in August.

McCaffrey, reached by phone Monday in Spokane, Wash., said he had not seen the lawsuit.

"I don't know anything about it. I'm sorry," he said. He referred further questions to his Fairbanks attorney, John Franich, who said his office has not been served with even the original lawsuit. He knows only what he hears in news reports, he said.

"We will certainly respond to it when we're served, at which time we will categorically deny any allegations," Franich said. "Father McCaffrey has never had any inappropriate sexual contact with any of his parishioners."

Posted by kshaw at 08:52 AM

Priest faces 2nd abuse lawsuit

ALASKA
Fairbanks News-Miner

By MARY BETH SMETZER
Staff Writer

The former pastor of Immaculate Conception Church has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor by a second woman.

The woman, identified as June Doe 2, claims the Rev. Richard L. McCaffrey sexually abused her in 1980 and 1981 in the Yupik community of Hooper Bay when she was 10 and 11 years old.

The complaint was filed Friday in Bethel Superior Court. The Fairbanks Catholic Diocese and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province and Alaska, are also named as defendants.

McCaffrey was suspended from pastoral duties at the downtown Fairbanks parish last May while the diocese conducted an independent investigation into a sexual abuse claim reported to Alaska State Troopers that allegedly occurred 25 years ago in Western Alaska.

McCaffrey was removed as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in August, weeks after a suit was filed against him by June Doe 1. The first plaintiff claimed she and others were sexually molested by McCaffrey, beginning when she was 10 in 1978 and 1979. McCaffrey was stationed at St. Joseph's parish in Tununak at the time.

Posted by kshaw at 08:45 AM

Victims group presses for answers

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

BY LINDA HANSON
NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Superior is trying to meet this week with families of two men believed to have been killed by a priest in Hudson, Wis., according to a diocese spokesman.

The diocese also plans to have a psychologist meet with its priests this week in a closed session to talk about clergy sexual abuse, said the Rev. Philip Heslin.

Those plans were announced Monday when two victims of clergy sex abuse visited diocese headquarters to urge diocese officials to do more to helpsuch victims.

Peter Isely, Midwest director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and Bob Schwiderski, a member of SNAP, held a news conference outside the diocese office, then went inside to deliver a letter to Heslin that spelled out several requests. Bishop Raphael Fliss was out of town Monday.

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

Victims group presses for answers

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

BY LINDA HANSON
NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Superior is trying to meet this week with families of two men believed to have been killed by a priest in Hudson, Wis., according to a diocese spokesman.

The diocese also plans to have a psychologist meet with its priests this week in a closed session to talk about clergy sexual abuse, said the Rev. Philip Heslin.

Those plans were announced Monday when two victims of clergy sex abuse visited diocese headquarters to urge diocese officials to do more to helpsuch victims.

Peter Isely, Midwest director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and Bob Schwiderski, a member of SNAP, held a news conference outside the diocese office, then went inside to deliver a letter to Heslin that spelled out several requests. Bishop Raphael Fliss was out of town Monday.

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

October 17, 2005

Records allege sex abuse at home for troubled boys

SPOKANE (WA)
The Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

SPOKANE — Newly released documents reveal multiple allegations of sexual abuse at Morning Star Boys' Ranch in the past quarter-century and indicate that assaults have continued in recent years.

State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) records obtained by The Spokesman-Review newspaper include five allegations of sexually inappropriate interactions between boys and adults associated with the Catholic home for troubled boys in the past decade.

The 871 pages of documents, released in response to a public-records request by the newspaper, also include several accounts of molestation and rape among the residents from 1978 to this year.

Although the state edited the documents to protect the names of the boys and some adults, the reports provide the most comprehensive documented account of life inside Morning Star, which has been shaken in recent months by allegations of physical and sexual assaults that date back decades.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 PM

The victims' stories

IRELAND
One in Four

JOHN
A COPY of his award cheque was the closest one 86-year-old man, whom we will call John, got to seeing the full amount of his compensation for years of abuse in a state institution.

Instead, his solicitor presented him with a slimmed-down version from which he had shaved off €10,000 for expenses, on top of a similar amount he had already received from the Redress Board.

This included the cost of ferrying a doctor by helicopter from a golf course to Dublin to give evidence at the Redress Board hearing where the man's case was being considered, although itemised details and receipts for these costs were not attached.

Posted by kshaw at 07:17 PM

Double charging abuse case solicitors may be struck off

IRELAND
One in Four

SOLICITORS found guilty of double-charging victims of child abuse risk being struck off.

The Law Society is to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss claims that some solicitors overcharged child abuse victims even though lawyers have already been awarded up to €40m in legal fees from the State's Redress Board.

Solicitors found guilty will be ordered to repay the money and in cases of deliberate over-charging could face sanctions such as fines, suspension or even being struck off, Law Society director general Ken Murphy said last night.

Today's meeting was called by the Director of Consumer Affairs Carmel Foley, who is a member of the Law Society's Complaints Committee and described the overcharging as "nothing less than scandalous".

Posted by kshaw at 07:15 PM

Compensation scheme to cost €800m

IRELAND
One in Four

THE total cost of the compensation scheme for victims of abuse in children's homes could run to €800m.

Education Minister, Mary Hanafin, made the admission in the Dail.

The figure has previously appeared in estimates by the State's financial watchdog, Mr John Purcell, but it is the first time the Department of Education has publicly accepted it.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 PM

Failure of self-regulation 'not new revelation'

IRELAND
One in Four

IT would be crass and insensitive to suggest that issues relating to solicitors' charges are the most important concern of claimants before the Residential Redress Board.

In agreeing to comment on callers' complaints to Joe Duffy's programme about overcharging, it must be stressed that I do so only in the wider context. One cannot hope to address the anger, hurt and ongoing pain of victims of child abuse.

The most surprising factor is that people are so surprised. Revelation of this failure of self-regulation is not new. Since introduction of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994 it is unlawful for solicitors to deduct a percentage of a clients' compensation as the basis of any charges. But laws are no good if we do not have active enforcement. It has been known for over 10 years that the 1994 legislation is not being respected by all members of the profession. Among recommendations made by the Motor Insurance Advisory Board in its report published in April 2002 were the following two:

"That the draft 1998 legislation on advertising by solicitors be progressed, with the additional requirement that all advertisements quote a revised rule by the Law Society summarising Section 68 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994 which prevents a percentage being deducted by lawyers from the compensation awarded to claimants. If an entitlement to advertise for personal injury claims is secured under competition law, that sufficient information be displayed to enable consumers to make price comparisons between professionals."

Posted by kshaw at 07:12 PM

Abused yet again

IRELAND
One in Four

THIS week in the Dail, Education Minister Mary Hanafin admitted that the total cost of the scheme set up to compensation victims of child abuse in residential homes could be €800m. She admitted the final bill could be higher than this.

But assuming the cost of the Residential Institutions Redress Board ends up at approximately €800m, the amount paid out to solicitors will be something over €100m, an enormous sum.

Former residents of these institutions, mainly industrial schools, have until December 15 to make their claim.

The average payout so far has been €77,000 to which is added roughly 15pc in costs. Most of this 15pc goes to the law firms representing the claimants meaning they receive on average up to €11,000 for each case processed.

Posted by kshaw at 07:10 PM

Irish failed to extradite paedophile, US court told

IRELAND
One in Four

Irish authorities failed to extradite a paedophile even though his case was on the US ambassador's watchlist of important US cases in Ireland, a prosecutor told a California court in a sworn declaration last week.

The man, a Californian family doctor, later fled from Ireland and was arrested in Uruguay earlier this month. The court heard that Irish authorities took so long working on the extradition papers that the district attorney's office in Salinas, California, believed Irish officials had lost two extradition requests for James Daly, who had fled to Dublin on an Irish passport.

In correspondence, deputy district attorney Stephanie Hulsey complained to the US justice department that Irish authorities appeared to be ignoring the extradition request. Daly (64) was convicted in April of 10 counts of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl and fled the US as the jury was reaching its verdict.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 PM

Ferns Inquiry 'spin' should stop, says O'Gorman

IRELAND
One in Four

SPECULATION about the content of the imminent report into clerical sexual abuse in Wexford is not just inaccurate, it is also unhelpful, according to one of the support groups for victims involved in the probe.

A series of newspaper reports in the past few days and increasing speculation as to the nature and content of the final report of the Ferns Inquiry due to be published shortly are "spin" and could well detract from the ultimate findings of the report, according to One in Four director Colm O'Gorman.

In a letter to newspapers today, Mr O'Gorman, a victim of the late Fr Sean Fortune in Ferns, asks people to stop speculating about the report's content.

"Whilst the significant and pressing interest of all is, in the context of the report, understandable, it may prove to be both inaccurate and unhelpful. In the absence of the final published report of the inquiry there can be little value in speculating as to its content and findings.

Posted by kshaw at 07:07 PM

An issue of accountability

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Chicago Tribune

Published October 16, 2005

Last week the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles disclosed summaries of personnel files of 126 priests accused of sexually abusing children, in some cases decades ago. It's a sickening litany of subterfuge as the hierarchy tried to evade rather than confront the problem. At least 245 priests in the nation's largest archdiocese have been accused of sexually abusing children. The cost to the archdiocese of settling an avalanche of lawsuits could reach $1 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times.

These instances of pedophilia are not merely an internal church matter. Each is a criminal offense. As such, each should have profound consequences for the offender--and also for any church official who was aware of these crimes but enabled them to continue rather than promptly calling police and prosecutors.

Instead, just as similarly horrific failures of management played out elsewhere in the U.S., the Los Angeles archdiocese quietly moved abusive clerics through cycles of counseling, parish work, further offenses and ... more counseling. Child molestation or rape was documented in personnel records with such euphemisms as "boundary violations" or behavior that raised questions of "moral fitness." And some parents of victimized children evidently were asked to keep silent.

Cardinal Roger Mahony took over the leadership of the archdiocese in 1985. He has said a policy adopted in 2002 stipulates that "no priest who had ever abused a minor, no matter how long ago, would be allowed to hold an assignment." But what about Mahony's responsibility for those incidents when they were taking place on his watch? The question is important: Several profiles of pedophile clerics posted on a special archdiocesan Web site reveal a routine of rotating known abusers through different parishes.

Posted by kshaw at 03:14 PM

PRIEST ON THE PROWL

NEW YORK
New York Post

By MARIANNE GARVEY

October 16, 2005 -- A woman suing the Archdiocese of New York for $27 million over her alleged rape by her Greenwich Village parish pastor 27 years ago claims the cleric appeared to be sexually experienced — even carrying condoms in his pocket.

Leslie Fray, 51, has revealed more details about her experience with Father Joseph Cogo — then pastor at Our Lady of Pompei Church on Carmine Street — after she filed a lawsuit last week alleging she was attacked.

As The Post reported last week, Fray alleges that in 1977, when she was just 23, Cogo raped her three times.

The attacks followed the same pattern, she said: Cogo would arrive at her Thompson Street apartment and, after talking, would demand she take off her clothes.

He would lay her down on her pullout couch and take his clothes off, each time wearing his priestly collar. He would then take a condom out of his pocket, put it on and sternly instruct her to "put it in." Afterward, he would simply dress and leave.

Posted by kshaw at 03:10 PM

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

We don't have any rock-solid proof of this, but we're guessing that Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Costa Mesa) was never raped by a priest. Otherwise, he surely would not have presented Assembly Concurrent Resolution 50 on Oct. 14 to Orange bishop Tod D. Brown and auxiliary bishop Dominic M. Luong. The act commends the papacy of Pope John Paul II, especially "the great strides he made for peace and human rights." Unless, of course, it was the peace and human rights of those first victimized by buggering priests, and then a Church that actively shuffled rapists around to avoid prosecution and allow for sexual assaults on more children.

Posted by kshaw at 03:08 PM

Clergy sex abuse victims seek action from Superior diocese

WISCONSIN
Duluth New Tribune

BY LINDA HANSON
NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

Two victims of clergy sex abuse visited the Catholic Diocese of Superior headquarters today to urge diocese officials to do more to help such victims.

Peter Isely, Midwest director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and Bob Schwiderski, a member of SNAP, held a press conference outside the diocese office, then went inside to deliver a letter to a diocese spokesman that spelled out several requests.

The visit was prompted by questions surrounding the diocese's handling of allegations against the Rev. Ryan Erickson.

Earlier this month Erickson was found by a judge to be the probable killer of Hudson, Wis., funeral home director Dan O'Connell, 39, and employee James Ellison, 22, in February 2002. A prosecutor said evidence suggested that O'Connell had found out Erickson was sexually abusing someone, was providing alcohol to minors or both.

Posted by kshaw at 03:05 PM

Tánaiste receives report into cleric abuse in Ferns

IRELAND
IOL

17/10/2005 - 19:39:00

The Tánaiste Mary Harney has today received the Report of the Inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Ferns.

Ms Harney has expressed her gratitude to the Inquiry team for their efforts in this most demanding Inquiry and has now forwarded the report to the Attorney General.

Posted by kshaw at 03:04 PM

Files of Abuse Show the Church’s Gross Misconduct

CALIFORNIA
New University

by: Bryce Plank
The Catholic religion stands for many things that are right in this world. The church unequivocally preaches ideals such as peace, morality, selflessness and tradition. Yet the Los Angeles Archdiocese is forgetting some of these important values at a time when its parishioners need strong leadership the most.

It’s well-known that the church has come under heavy fire in the past couple of years over the widespread reports of child molestation suffered at the hands of Catholic priests. Recently, the church has settled lawsuits with groups of victims around the country—sometimes paying monetary awards of hundreds of millions of dollars to groups of victims.

Last week, the L.A. Archdiocese, led by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, decided – after much persuasion from victims’ rights groups and others in the public – to release summaries of the personal records of 126 priests accused of molesting children. Yet the records seem to fall short of the full disclosure documents that the public has been waiting for.

The Los Angeles county district attorney’s office is unsatisfied with the latest move by Mahony: “[T]he real question is why the archdiocese refuses to turn over grand jury-subpoenaed personnel records to prosecutors. ... Despite two court rulings ordering disclosure, Cardinal Mahony continues to claim ‘confidentiality privileges’ that no court has recognized.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 AM

Pimping priest found guilty

GREECE
Kathimerini

A Lesvos court found an Orthodox priest guilty of procurement and sentenced him to two-and-a-half years in jail late on Saturday for prostituting women, but set him free pending his appeal, court sources said yesterday.

The 42-year-old Constantinos Pnakas was arrested early Friday after arranging for a policeman to have sex with one of the two Polish women, aged 20 and 28, whom he was found guilty of procuring.

During his trial, the priest claimed he had been trying to “help” the undercover officer meet the woman, not prostitute her to him. His defense lawyer said Pnakas had been an “idiot” but asked that he face a lesser charge.

Posted by kshaw at 08:33 AM

Legal deadline in Ireland spurs outreach to abused

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff | October 17, 2005

They're fanning out to pubs and social clubs, anywhere the Irish gather in Boston. They're spreading the word about an effort to provide compensation for children who were abused at Catholic orphanages and reform schools back in Ireland -- children who may later have moved to America and settled in Boston.

Advocates for those abused believe the Irish government has done too little to let those living abroad know about the compensation available, so they are dropping off fliers and talking to Irish natives themselves.

Fewer than 3 percent of about 8,000 claims of abuse suffered at the institutions, which were run by Roman Catholic religious orders in Ireland, have come from people living in the United States.

''It is nothing short of a scandal that so few applications have come from places like Boston, which has such a large Irish community, and from the United States as a whole," said Tony Treacy, a founding member of the County Cork-based group Right of Place, which helps victims of institutional abuse. Treacy was first here two years ago, holding community meetings about the effort.

Posted by kshaw at 08:26 AM

Abuse is No. 1 reason teachers lose licenses in W.Va.

WEST VIRGINIA
The Herald-Mail

by The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.VA.

Sexual abuse of students is the No. 1 reason public school teachers have lost their licenses in West Virginia during the past five years. About 35 percent of those revocations were because of sexual assault or abuse of a student.

The percentage could be even higher, but state Department of Education records obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request do not specify if a sexual offense was the reason why another 19 percent lost their teaching privileges, according to a review by The Associated Press. Those offenses were listed as misconduct with students.

Also, since July 1, 2000, the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management has paid $6.9 million to settle 17 claims involving teacher misconduct with students, according to agency records. ...

"The problem in education dwarfs the Catholic Church problem," said John Seryak, an Ohio teacher and author of, "Dear Teacher, If You Only Knew!"


Posted by kshaw at 08:23 AM

Center destroyed priest sex case records

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post-Dispatch

By Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/16/2005

What might have been a rich lode of information on the background of abusive Catholic priests and religious brothers has been destroyed by a center in New Mexico where some of them had been sent for treatment.

The material was discarded, according to the head of the order that ran it, following policy and because of concern for medical privacy and storage space. The program was closed in 1995.

It is not clear whether litigants who clearly would have been eager to see contents of the files could have gotten access to them anyway.

One recurring question in the sex abuse scandal involving priests nationwide is whether the church recognized but hid predators and put them in circumstances where they could find new victims. The material once on file might have provided ammunition to press some lawsuits but perhaps to defend some as well. The Catholic Church and other religious orders have paid out sums approaching $1 billion for settlements and jury verdicts over cases alleging clergy sex abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Gays, priest sex abuse: Is there any connection?

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Carey Goldberg, Globe Staff | October 17, 2005

If the Catholic Church wants to prevent sexual abuse by priests, several abuse experts said, there are better ways to do it than by trying to bar gay men from the clergy.

The church recently began checking American seminaries for ''evidence of homosexuality," and the pope is widely expected to ban actively gay men from taking holy orders.

But it will be tricky to cull gays from the priesthood, the abuse experts said this month. And it would be more effective -- and more humane -- to target likely abusers rather than all gays.

''There's no adequate way to screen out homosexuality," said Martin P. Kafka, a psychiatrist at Harvard's McLean Hospital. ''We don't have any lab tests."

Kafka was among a half-dozen abuse experts invited to the Vatican in 2003 to report on the latest research. He and two others who attended said they recommended the church improve its monitoring of priests, as well as its teaching about intimacy and sexuality -- which the church had already begun to do.

Posted by kshaw at 08:14 AM

Defrocked priest performs baptism

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Kera Ritter
Inquirer Staff Writer

A former priest accused of sexually abusing more than a dozen girls while serving in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia performed a baptism in Haddonfield in the summer, weeks after he had been defrocked.

Camden diocesan officials confirmed yesterday that Nicholas V. Cudemo performed the baptism July 10 at Christ the King Church at a family's request.

The Rev. Joseph D. Wallace said he was unaware Cudemo had been laicized, meaning he was no longer a priest, until a church deacon saw the name in the baptism registry a week later and alerted him.

Tom Hafner, the deacon, recognized the name because his brother-in-law had been assigned with Cudemo in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

"It's an unfortunate incident," Wallace said. "He was in and out of the church in half an hour. He wasn't around any other parishioners or children."

Wallace made an announcement about the incident during church service yesterday, calling the priest "one of the offenders, and one of the worst ones, to be honest." Wallace did not identify the priest by name during service but confirmed it was Cudemo afterward.

Posted by kshaw at 08:11 AM

Blaming someone else isn't right response

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Marie A. Conn

We are not even to the midterm point of this fall semester, and one of my seniors has already dug herself into a hole so deep that she may not be able to salvage the course. The remarkable thing is her uncanny ability to blame everyone else for this dire situation: me, her internship supervisor, the athletic director. Any target will do, so long as it keeps her from facing the problem squarely and taking responsibility for it. And, sadly, this should not surprise me.

After all, when District Attorney Lynne Abraham published the grand jury report on the sexual abuse by priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Cardinal Justin Rigali cried anti-Catholic bias. And when House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted, he cried partisan politics. On every level of our society, the response to difficult situations is to focus attention, not on the issue, but on those who make it known.

Perhaps there is nothing new in this. Children, whose primary moral compass consists in earning praise and avoiding punishment, learn early on to blame someone else. But in my world, it was up to the adults involved to point out that this is not the best way to handle things. The adage "honesty is the best policy" used to actually mean something.

And perhaps one of the most negative aspects of playing "the blame game," as the media love to call it, is that it requires a level of hypocrisy that is almost as bad as the original action or behavior itself. Although I can never enter into the emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual pain endured by the victims of priest abuse, or understand the suffering of the many decent and dedicated priests in our diocese, I can feel the sting of betrayal on the level of an active, lifelong Catholic who loves her church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:08 AM

CPA, priest's attorney spar in Miami

FLORIDA
Renew America

Nancy Heise of Parkland, Fla., sent the following (edited) letter to attorneys involved in the Father Andrew Dowgiert case in Miami:

Dear Mr. Titone, Mr. Vieth, and Ms. Bourassa,

I am a parishioner at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Coral Springs, Fla. This church is the largest parish within the Archdiocese of Miami. My husband and I were married there in 1989. We have four children, all of whom have been through Catholic school there; two are still there and one is at a Catholic high school.

I have been in ministry within the Church since 1996: I volunteer at a soup kitchen in Pompano Beach that is staffed by parishioners from Catholic churches all over. I know the church cleaning lady who has cleaned the priest's home for St. Andrew for 10 years. Our church is the starting point for many area pastors. We have been a revolving door for priests who come here first to get experience and then move on to become pastors elsewhere. ...

I am writing to complain to you about your activities which I have tried to corroborate with the vast number of people I know who would have firsthand knowledge of what you are alleging. No one seems to be able to corroborate Ms. Bourassa's accounts. I have asked her for evidence to support her claims, but she has not complied. I have witnessed a local priest who is accused of being gay, and I know he is not. He was engaged to be married to a woman before his decision to become a priest. He loved her and wanted a family. Now there are whispers about his character. I can tell you he is one of the most loved and decent people on this earth.

Your efforts to bolster your dismissed lawsuit — Father Andrew Dowgiert, a priest who was referred to a mental and alcohol rehab center by the archdiocese — is hurting people not connected to the lawsuit. It is causing scandal, spreading unsubstantiated rumor, and is, I believe, a form of slander and libel that is either illegal or unethical.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 AM

ARCHDIOCESE KNEW

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

Monday, October 17, 2005
By JASON DEL REY
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Monsignor Peter Cheplic's reassignment last year to a Weehawken church came after archdiocese officials found "credible" an accusation of sexual abuse against him, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said.

Cheplic is now under investigation again after new accusations from two men who said they were abused by the priest in the 1980s and early 1990s. Cheplic voluntarily stepped down in August from his post as parochial vicar of St. Henry's Church in Bayonne during the investigation, archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said.

Cheplic was pastor at St. Aloysius Church in Jersey City in 2002 when Martin Kansky told archdiocese officials that the priest had molested him at a shore house in 1978, when Kansky was 18 and Cheplic was pastor of St. Matthew's Church in Ridgefield.

Goodness said an "announcement from the pulpit" was made at St. Aloysius to notify parishioners that Cheplic had been removed while the archdiocese investigated "an allegation of sexual misconduct." During the investigation, Cheplic was not allowed to be in the ministry, Goodness said.

The investigation found the allegation "credible," according to a letter Kansky received in 2003, but Newark Archbishop John J. Myers decided to reinstate Cheplic into ministry because it was the first known incident against the cleric and did not involve a minor, Goodness said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:55 AM

October 16, 2005

Michael S. Rose: Are gay priests the problem?

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning News

06:00 AM CDT on Sunday, October 16, 2005

In recent weeks much ink has been spilt over the ramifications of two significant developments in the Roman Catholic Church. Both the announcement of a new wave of seminary evaluations and a forthcoming Vatican document reportedly barring gays from the priesthood have been met with a torrent of criticism, much of it shrill.

Aside from the fact that both items have been grossly overblown, much of the criticism is written in ignorance of facts that would suggest these bold moves in the early days of the Ratzinger papacy might just be the proper formula for initiating a modern day reformation of the Catholic priesthood.

It is not enough to point to the recent John Jay College study that found most of the victims of clergy abuse since 1950 were adolescent boys. Revelations concerning seminary life in recent decades have given sufficient impetus to pursue an extensive evaluation of the institutions that train and educate future priests, especially when it comes to the issue of homosexuality.

Several years ago, Father Donald Cozzens, then rector of a Cleveland seminary, wrote that many seminary faculties included a disproportionate number of homosexuals. In his book, The Changing Face of the Priesthood, he commented that "straight men in a predominantly or significantly gay environment commonly experience self doubt."

In my own study of seminary life over the past three decades, I have found that many heterosexual men give up their seminary studies precisely for this reason, leaving behind a student body gradually swollen with homosexuals. I'm not talking about the presence of a few gay-oriented men who want to live chastely, but rather the institutionalization of a gay subculture that has earned some seminaries nicknames such as the Pink Palace, Notre Flame, and Theological Closet.

Posted by kshaw at 03:40 PM

Abuse Victims Still Suffer Decades Later

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Nita Lelyveld and Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writers

Steve Sanchez used to get so jealous of his brother Billy.

Billy was only two years older, but he got to do everything first.

At Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Billy was an altar boy, and Father Clinton Hagenbach treated him like a prince. He bought Billy ice cream after church. He drove him to the desert to ride motorcycles.

Nearly every Friday night, Hagenbach would drive to the Sanchez house in Atwater Village to take Billy to the go-cart track. Steve would look longingly at the car full of older boys as it pulled away from the curb. He told his father, a teacher at a Catholic school, that he wanted to "be a part of Hagenbach's club."

"And my dad said, 'Just be a good altar boy and someday you'll be a part of that club,' " he said.

Steve was so excited, he felt sick on the day he first stood at Mass, alongside the priest, his brother and his father, who was a church lector.

Posted by kshaw at 10:21 AM

Vatican-directed inspectors to visit Sacred Heart Major Seminary

DETROIT (MI)
WLNS

DETROIT A team of Roman Catholic priests and bishops plans to visit Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary this month.

It's part of Vatican-directed inspections started in September of all American seminaries.

The visits are one result of the sexual abuse crisis that hit the American church in 2002.

Officials say the study will give special attention to schools' preparation for the celibate life and fidelity to church teachings on morality.

Posted by kshaw at 10:14 AM

Parishioners push to reinstate pastor

NEWTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Lucas Wall, Globe Staff | October 16, 2005

NEWTON -- Parishioners of a Catholic church whose beloved pastor was recently removed over diocesan charges of financial misconduct took their petition drive to the community yesterday, hoping to demonstrate there is widespread support for his reinstatement.

Eighteen members of Our Lady's Friends, a nonprofit group founded to protest the forced resignation of the Rev. Walter Cuenin from Newton's Our Lady Help of Christians Church, gathered yesterday morning in a print shop that has become their makeshift headquarters to organize the day's work. They later headed out in small groups, some to place leaflets and petitions on front doors, others to gather signatures at places including a nearby Dunkin' Donuts and the Boston College football game.

''He's been a wonderful pastor, the reason why I go to Our Lady's," Janet Kalunian said as she collected signatures of customers waiting in line at the doughnut shop. ''I feel like I need to do whatever I can to rectify the situation."

About half of the customers signed the petition while a reporter was present. Others declined or said they were not familiar with the situation.

Cuenin, who had served as Our Lady's pastor for 12 years, was asked by the Archdiocese of Boston to resign three weeks ago. The archdiocese said Cuenin improperly accepted stipends from the church for performing baptisms, weddings, and funerals, and he drove a Honda Accord leased against church policy for him and visiting priests. Church officials have said Cuenin has agreed to repay $75,000. He has been moved to St. Julia's in Weston pending his next assignment.

Many church members say they believe Cuenin was forced out because of his embrace of divorced Catholics and gays and lesbians, as well as his outspokenness on finding prominent roles for women in the church and his call for the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law over Law's role in the church's sexual abuse scandal.

Posted by kshaw at 10:11 AM

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Sunday, 16 October 2005

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, the Anglican Primate of Australia, talks about the government's industrial relations reforms, his life within the Church, the difficult assignment he faced in investigating child abuse claims and the issues which threaten to split the Church.

Up theme:

Hello and welcome to Sunday Profile….I’m Monica Attard and tonight. I’m talking to Dr Phillip Aspinall…the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia….

Up theme:

There’s not too much that’s easy about his job at the moment.

Posted by kshaw at 10:08 AM

To begin healing, archdiocese must hold back nothing

CALIFORNIA
Daily Bulletin

In the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation, three conditions must be met for a confession to be valid: The penitent must be truly sorry, must hold back nothing and must be willing to do penance to rectify the situation.

These three conditions would seem to be a good standard by which to evaluate Cardinal Roger Mahony’s latest ‘‘confession” – his release of records documenting the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ handling of priestly sexual-abuse cases over the course of decades.

And by these standards, Mahony falls far short of what’s needed to reconcile with the people wronged by the archdiocese’s shameful protection of predator priests.

Mahony says he is truly sorry, and charity says we should take him at his word. But he’s done a poor job of expressing his contrition.

This month the cardinal sent a letter to 1,200 archdiocesan priests apologizing for his handling of defrocked priest Michael Baker, who for years preyed on children while he was shuffled from parish to parish. But why apologize merely to priests and not directly to the families and other faithful scandalized and harmed by these actions?

Posted by kshaw at 10:04 AM

Bishop: Sorry for 'institutional sin'

CAMDEN (NJ)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Nancy Phillips
Inquirer Staff Writer

To Camden Bishop Joseph A. Galante, the sex-abuse problem in the Catholic church and the hierarchy's botched handling of it over the years amount to "institutional sin."

"I think all of us have to face that this has been a part of church life and be sorry for it and face it and apologize," Galante said an interview.

Galante is apologetic about the church's failings, in contrast to leaders of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, whose lawyers angrily labeled "anti-Catholic" the recent critical grand-jury report on sex abuse.

"The pain, the suffering that was inflicted on so many young people was horrible," he said. "... In the name of the church, they deserve an apology."

In one of his first acts as bishop, Galante, who took over the diocese in April 2004, wrote letters to every known abuse victim. So far, he's met with two dozen and apologized.

Posted by kshaw at 10:02 AM

Camden Diocese escapes scrutiny

CAMDEN (NJ)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Craig R. McCoy and Nancy Phillips
Inquirer Staff Writers

One priest in the Camden Diocese was accused of molesting a 14-year-old boy - but was left in place. He abused more young boys.

Other priests passed teenage boys around in a "sex ring" that shuttled victims from South Jersey to Rhode Island.

In another case, a priest was called in by his bishop and "did not deny" years of attacks on two brothers. In response, the bishop quietly transferred him to a new parish.

In all, The Inquirer has identified by name 25 priests in the six-county Camden Diocese who have been accused of sexually abusing children and teenagers during the last five decades, most during the tenure of Bishop George H. Guilfoyle in 1970s and 1980s.

Some were defrocked and sent to jail. Others escaped punishment because superiors kept the crimes quiet.

Posted by kshaw at 10:00 AM

Michael Sean Winters: Are gay priests the problem?

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning News

05:57 AM CDT on Sunday, October 16, 2005

Last year, I stumbled upon the Web site of a Catholic parish church, the pastor of which has been a friend of mine since we were in seminary together in the 1980s. Among the sermons on the site was one dealing with the sexual abuse scandal roiling the church. In this sermon, the priest repeated the conservative line that the scandal was largely the result of gay men breaking their vows. This did not surprise me because I knew my friend was conservative.

But I also knew he was gay. I was undisturbed because I have long believed that the accident of being gay should not prevent someone from holding whatever ideological inclinations they find compatible with the complex yearnings of their minds and hearts. I considered my friend's analysis facile and wrong, but not offensive per se until he used the pronoun "they" to describe gay men. It was with genuine concern and in a spirit of fraternal correction that I wrote my friend a note calling his attention to the fact that in English, when referring to a group of which one is a part, "we" is the proper pronoun.

I've been thinking of this exchange amid news reports that the Vatican is about to ban gay priests. According to The New York Times, the Holy See is poised to declare that gay men are unfit for orders and should not be permitted to enter seminary. Church conservatives assert that the ban would represent no real shift because – they claim – barring gays from seminaries has long been church policy. In practice, the American church has been receptive to chaste, gay seminarians.

Pope Benedict's allies have been pushing such a ban for years. Some claimed that the document was in the final stages when John Paul II's health went into steep decline last spring. But John Paul II never permitted anti-gay witch hunts. The Communists had used such tactics to smear clerics it did not like, and John Paul never permitted similar whispering campaigns to prosper. Since the election of Benedict, the right-wingers in the church have been clamoring for this document. In addition to restricting the priesthood to their own, they want to use it to help lay the entire blame for the sexual abuse crisis on homosexual priests.

Posted by kshaw at 09:58 AM

The papacy's prime focus on gayness

ROME
Philadelphia Inquirer

Daniel Williams
writes for the Washington Post

ROME - In the first five months of Pope Benedict XVI's reign, stern opposition to homosexuality in and outside the Roman Catholic Church has quickly become a prime public message for the Vatican.

The new pontiff soon plans to issue guidelines designed to inhibit homosexuals from entering seminaries to train for the priesthood. Church inspectors have embarked on a tour of U.S. seminaries and, according to their working papers, are instructed to ask: "Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary? (This question must be answered.)"

Benedict also has vigorously fought legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Observers have noted that for the quarter-century before becoming Pope, Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was the Vatican's enforcer of orthodoxy, drafting official positions on homosexuality.

"No doctrinal chief has ever written and spoken about homosexuality as extensively as Ratzinger has, because homosexuals have never had the freedom to organize and demand recognition they enjoy today," author John L. Allen Jr. said in a biography issued before Benedict became Pope.

His papacy's early focus on homosexuality is a reaction to outside events, some analysts have said: the spread of civil unions or marriage rights to same-sex couples, and the disclosure of sexual abuse by priests. Some Vatican officials have largely blamed the abuse on homosexuality.

Posted by kshaw at 09:55 AM

Tip turned focus of probe to priest

WISCONSIN
Pioneer Press

BY KEVIN HARTER
Pioneer Press

If there was so much circumstantial evidence that the Rev. Ryan Erickson killed two men, why did it take more than three years to close the case?

It's understandable today to raise that question after all the evidence was laid out at a court proceeding earlier this month, Hudson Police Chief Dick Trende acknowledges, but it's hindsight.

The reality is that detectives investigating the killings of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison were faced with reluctant or unwitting witnesses. Some didn't want to come forward, others didn't think their information was important. And there were rumors to dispel, barriers to break down in the community as well as in the church.

Most importantly, no one could — or wanted to — believe a priest was involved.

Posted by kshaw at 09:49 AM

Local diocese startled by suit

ALASKA
Fairbanks News-Miner

By MARY BETH SMETZER
Staff Writer

Officials with the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese were surprised by the "new twist" in the most recent civil suit filed against a priest, diocese spokeswoman Ronnie Rosenberg said.

The suit claims the Rev. James E. Jacobson, a Jesuit priest who served more than a decade in western Alaska, sexually assaulted two women, impregnated them and left two sons behind.

Rosenberg said the latest filing came as a surprise because it differs from the more than 80 suits filed so far against priests who served in diocese. Most of those claims allege child sexual abuse.

While diocese officials were surprised, the Rev. John Whitney, provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, said he was recently made aware that Jacobson is the father of the two male complainants.

"We willingly submitted to the (DNA) testing," Whitney said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:47 AM

Priest suspected in Hudson killings had erratic past, raised suspicions

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

BY KEVIN HARTER
ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS

As parishioners walked past a marble monument inscribed with the words of John Paul II -- "God alone is the Lord of life, from its beginning until its end" -- the Rev. Ryan Erickson would take aim with his finger and fire imaginary shots at those he didn't like.

Strange behavior for anyone, witnesses said, much less a priest.

It also was prophetic.

Two years after Erickson left St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson, Wis., a judge would find that the priest likely had killed two men and sexually molested teen boys.

In the 10 months since Erickson hanged himself outside his Hurley, Wis., parish, a split portrait of the priest emerged. This traditional, cassock-clad Catholic clergyman -- who was full of Old Testament wrath and damnation -- was a man who couldn't control his drinking, ego or illicit sexual appetites.

Posted by kshaw at 09:43 AM

Priestly abuse of parish youth

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

Sunday, October 16, 2005

By JAMES AHEARN

THERE HAVE been so many recent disclosures about priests sexually abusing teens and younger children, most of them boys, that we have grown numb. The time has come to renew our sense of outrage.

Roman Catholicism is the biggest American religious denomination. It is the biggest in New Jersey as well, with 3.5 million adherents, representing more than 40 percent of the state population. The church is not just the focus of belief for members, it has served as an anchor of stability and continuity for the larger community.

So it is not just embarrassing for the church but a cause for general concern and anger that so many supposedly celibate priests, ordained to lead parishioners in devotion to God, have been unmasked as sexual deviates and predators.

One's first reaction is astonishment at the scale of the misconduct. The church can respond, as some of its leaders have, by noting that fewer than 5 percent of all the priests ordained since 1950 have been credibly accused of sexual contact with a minor. That figure may understate the scale of the problem, since some victims have not come forward and never will, and others died years ago, but it is a starting point.

Posted by kshaw at 09:41 AM

October 15, 2005

Lawyer for priest sex abuse victims wants church records in cases unsealed

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Saturday, October 15, 2005

By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The lawyer for 12 people who as youths claim they were sexually abused by Catholic priests in Vermont asked a Chittenden County Superior Court judge Friday to make public church records connected with eight of the victims' cases.

"There is no legitimate reason for the record to be kept confidential," attorney Jerome O'Neill told Judge Ben Joseph. "Times have changed." Confidentiality orders are imposed by a judge to protect an individual's privacy when the disclosure of personal information could be harmful or embarrassing.

O'Neill said past confidentiality orders, including one that covers four of the 12 cases he's filed since 2004, have made it harder to sort out the allegations and prevented victims from discussing and reviewing the information among themselves.

David Cleary, the lead attorney for the Burlington Roman Catholic diocese, told the court that unsealing the documents would jeopardize the priests' and the church's chances of getting a fair trial.

Posted by kshaw at 07:39 AM

Lesvos priest nabbed for prostitution racket

GREECE
Kathimerini

An Orthodox priest was arrested yesterday on the Aegean island of Lesvos in connection with operating a prostitution racket, police said.

The 42-year-old priest, Constantinos Pnakas, was arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning after he allegedly arranged for an undercover policeman to have sex with a prostitute for 100 euros.

The suspect, the parish priest of a local church, then accompanied the policeman to a nearby hotel where the two met up with a Polish girl and was nabbed by police as he was leaving the premises.

Posted by kshaw at 07:36 AM

Pottsville teen sues track coach charged with molesting her

POTTSTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

By Chris Parker
Of The Morning Call

In addition to the sexual abuse and humiliation, the girl has ''extensive and permanent damage to her psychological development'' and suffers headaches, nausea and loss of sleep, a

A Pottsville teen whom a Schuylkill County high school track coach is charged with molesting has sued the coach and Nativity BVM High School, the Allentown Diocese and its bishop, saying they did nothing to stop her abuse.

Daniel M. Shields Jr., 61, is a ''recidivist sexual predator,'' and the diocese failed to warn the girl or her parents of his ''violent and dangerous propensities,'' says the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Schuylkill County Court.

Shields had a ''long-standing reputation at Nativity for initiating inappropriate sexual contact with female students'' that was known by Nativity administrators and staff, including the principal, the Rev. Ronald Jankaitis, the suit says.

Posted by kshaw at 07:27 AM

Vatican’s tolerance of gay priests moves toward strict oversight

UNITED STATES
Nashua Telegraph

By BRIAN MURPHY, The Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005

For more than four decades, the Roman Catholic Church has followed both the rules and reality concerning gay priests.

The Vatican – as far back as 1961 – has made it clear they are not wanted. But many seminaries continued to tolerate what one conservative theologian calls a “lavender subculture” that’s brought perhaps thousands of homosexual men to ordination.

Now those parallel worlds are coming under new and uncomfortable scrutiny.

The Vatican is putting the finishing touches on a document that strengthens its view that gay orientation and the priesthood are essentially incompatible. But the text – which could be released as early as next month – reportedly will not impose a blanket ban on gay priests. Instead, it may demand years of chastity before entering seminary and prohibit any public acts deemed to support the sexually active gay community.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

Plaintiff seeks 13 seperate trials in priest abuse cases

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

October 15, 2005

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

The lawyer who has filed 13 priest misconduct lawsuits against the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington told a judge Friday he wants each tried separately.

Jerome O'Neill has filed civil lawsuits in Burlington's Chittenden Superior Court on behalf of 13 clients charging five former Vermont priests with child sexual abuse.

Judge Ben Joseph, in a hearing Friday, asked O'Neill if he wanted to consolidate the charges into one lawsuit. O'Neill said no.

"We think the cases are sufficiently different that consolidating is not an option," the lawyer said after the hearing.

O'Neill, chairman of the Burlington Police Commission and a former federal prosecutor, has a track record of winning such individual cases. The lawyer compelled the diocese to settle one priest misconduct case last year for a $150,000 cash payment — the largest such agreement in state history — and another for $120,000.

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 AM

Priest plans to take year's leave

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Republical

Saturday, October 15, 2005
By BILL ZAJAC
wzajac@repub.com
SPRINGFIELD - A Springfield priest is leaving the priesthood at least temporarily after struggling for years to deal with alleged sexual assaults occurring when he was a college student by a priest who was supposed to help him cope with his father's death.

The Rev. Paul E. Manship, 45-year-old director of Latino ministry in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, will begin a year's leave of absence at the end of this month.

"I can't say I won't return to the priesthood. My intention is to look at the new possibilities in my life. I remain open to all possibilities," Manship said.

He said he has no specific plans. He will be living in Holyoke.

Manship will be replaced by Andres Lopez, a layman from Holyoke who has been associated with the Latino ministry for 30 years in the diocese, the diocese announced yesterday. Lopez is certified in pastoral ministry by the Northeast Hispanic Catholic Center in collaboration with Catholic University of America.

Posted by kshaw at 07:18 AM

October 14, 2005

Priests Urged to Recruit Young Men for the Pulpit

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: October 15, 2005
Faced with wounded morale and diminishing numbers in the priesthood, Roman Catholic bishops in the United States began a program yesterday to remind priests why they serve and to enlist them in a recruitment campaign.

In past generations, it was common for American priests to encourage young men to make lifetime commitments to the church. But a recent poll by the bishops found that one out of three priests were doing that now, said Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D., chairman of the bishops' committee on vocations.

"This program," Bishop Cupich said, "aims at having priests step back for a moment, reflect on their own service and their own vocation call and then not only use that as an opportunity to renew themselves, but also to encourage them to share their story with others who can then be called to follow in their footsteps."

The bishops made their announcement as their counterparts from around the world met at a three-week synod in Rome. Among the topics being debated there is how to deal with the worldwide shortage of priests. Although some bishops support allowing priests to marry, many others oppose lifting the celibacy requirement.

The shortage of priests is so dire that more than 3,200 United States parishes are without resident priests, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

In 25 years, the number of priests in the United States has declined 26 percent, to 42,500, as the number of Roman Catholics rose 29 percent, to 65 million.

The Rev. Edward J. Burns, executive director of the bishops' Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation, said priests in a recent workshop said that among the reasons so few actively promoted the priesthood were low morale, fear of rejection and the sexual abuse scandals.

In response to the scandals, the Vatican has been wrestling with whether to admit gay men to seminaries. Vatican investigators have been instructed to visit each seminary in the United States to look for "evidence of homosexuality" and see whether seminarians are being properly prepared to live celibately.

Posted by kshaw at 11:20 PM

Vatican in sex abuse cover-up

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE VATICAN was aware of a dark catalogue of child sex abuse in Ferns for nearly 40 years.

The searing revelation that the highest levels in Rome knew of the litany of shame will rock the Church.

But an inquiry into clerical misconduct in the diocese has found that not only did they know of the scandal, they did nothing to stop it.

The Irish Independent has learned that the report highlights staggering inaction by the Church, several departments of state and the gardai.

In one case a priest sexually assaulted 10 girls on the altar of his church.

Posted by kshaw at 11:02 PM

Questions Surrounding “Safe Environment”

UNITED STATES
The Wanderer

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Teresa Kettlekamp, the USCCB bureaucrat and former Illinois police officer, has collided with a critic she cannot ignore — a real bishop.
Kettlekamp, the USCCB’s enforcer of “Safe Environment” sex-abuse education programs for children, recently delivered a mandate to all bishops requiring that they not allow parents to teach their own children with regard to sex-abuse education in any but the most extreme circumstances.
She justified this dubious diktat as follows: “It is a sad fact today that some parents are unable or unwilling to provide the educational support essential for the safety of their children.”
And: “Moreover, there is the tragic reality that child and sexual abuse oftentimes takes place in the home.”
The Kettlekamp memo did not ask bishops for their views, or invite the kind of “nuanced dialogue” that USCCB officials relish when “dialoguing” with anti-Catholics. Instead, the memo threatens that bishops who side with parents and refuse to comply with Kettlekamp’s mandate will be declared “noncompliant” by program auditors from her USCCB office.
The secular assault on families from USCCB and chancery “experts” has been so unrelenting that many American bishops have been reluctant to criticize it, even though they might harbor suspicions that sex-abuse “safety” education would do major harm, and little good, to the families under their care.
But Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Ore., undeterred, lays his cards face-up on the table in a recent editorial published in a diocesan newspaper: “I bring up [this topic] only with great reluctance,” he writes, “for I do not want to give any appearance whatsoever of being soft on my desire to assure the complete safety and protection of children.”

Posted by kshaw at 06:35 PM

Ungodly sins

OREGON
The Daily Vanguard

By Riggs Fulmer
October 14, 2005

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran a front page article detailing the release of yet another garish laundry list of 75 years of deception, obfuscation, buggery and rape, this time in Los Angeles. Again we see a systematic cover-up of predatory sexual abuse, hidden behind semen-stained velvet curtains and sententious demands for forgiveness. It's the same sick, old story.

As I read the article I grew angrier and angrier. Many of my friends, teachers and co-workers are Catholics and are intelligent, honest people. Unlike their church "leaders," real Catholics use their faith as a base, a moral guide, a community with which to unite and celebrate the Divine. The Catholic Church as a temporal entity, on the other hand, uses its "faith" as a loophole, an abutment to crouch behind, a justification for the worst, lowest types of violence and dishonesty. To call this hypocrisy borders on euphemism. It's long past time that the Vatican live up to the ideals they promote.

Now that these acts and their concealment by Church administrators have been exposed, the same priests, bishops, and cardinals who turned a blind eye to the chronic rape of defenseless children, at the hands of those whom they should have been most able to trust, now ask us to do the same. Utterly and disgustingly unconcerned with the physical well-being of the least among their flocks over decades of sexual coercion, they now rush to guard the coffer doors when these selfsame victims rightfully demand that things be made right.

Posted by kshaw at 05:05 PM

Cult leader jailed for sex with girl, 15

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

By Geesche Jacobsen
October 15, 2005

The leader of a religious community, William Kamm, better known as Little Pebble, claimed he received messages from the Virgin Mary at 3pm on the 13th of every month.

Just before noon on the 14th of this month, yesterday, he received a judge's message that his behaviour towards a "vulnerable young girl" in his community had been "entirely inappropriate", when he was sentenced to at least 3½ years in jail.

Kamm, 55, was convicted of sexually and indecently assaulting the girl, then aged 15, over a five-month period 12 years ago.

He claimed the Virgin Mary had chosen the girl to be a "Queen" in his community of followers in Cambewarra, on the South Coast.

Posted by kshaw at 05:01 PM

Greek priest faces pimping charge after sting

GREECE
IOL

October 14 2005 at 09:36AM

Athens - A Greek Orthodox priest was arrested on suspicion of accessory to prostitution by an undercover police officer posing as a client, the semi-state Athens News Agency reported on Friday.

The unidentified clergyman, 42, was arrested on the island of Lesvos late on Thursday outside a local hotel room, where he had left the undercover officer with a 20-year-old Polish woman, the agency said.

The priest had brought the woman to her presumed client at a local bar earlier that evening, demanding a fee of €100.

Posted by kshaw at 04:59 PM

Abuse's 'enablers' still rank in church

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen and Kristin E. Holmes
Inquirer Staff Writers

Last month's epic grand jury report on clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia revealed evidence of widespread cover-ups directed by Cardinals John Krol and Anthony Bevilacqua.

Though Krol is dead and Bevilacqua retired, many lesser-known administrators - "enablers" who helped craft the subterfuges or carry them out, according to the grand jury - remain in church posts around the region. Some are pastors. Two are bishops. All remain in good standing, with sanctions against them unlikely.

One is said to have issued instructions to never tell people with abuse complaints that their accusations were believed, according to the report. Today, he is the bishop of Allentown.

Posted by kshaw at 11:52 AM

Vatican's concerning stance

WASHINGTON
Gonzaga Bulletin

By Brady Smith
Published: Friday, October 14, 2005

In light of Tuesday'sAbuse Tracker Coming Out Day, I would like to congratulate HERO (Helping Educate Regarding Orientation) on their events in front of Crosby.

Unfortunately, while HERO is taking strides to educate the campus and bring all sexual orientations together in an atmosphere of respect and understanding, the Vatican is taking a big step backward.

Recently the Vatican said that a document will soon be released which will declare that homosexuals are unwelcome in Roman Catholic seminaries even if they are celibate. Even if they are celibate.

In my Christian Sexual Morality class, we studied the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality. Basically, it does not condemn homosexuality as long as the person does not engage in any same-sex sexual relations. The church condemns the act of homosexuality, but says that it will still embrace the person. I think it is tragic that the church has now abandoned this statement.

Posted by kshaw at 11:50 AM

Placed known abuser in youth leadership role

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Msgr. Samuel E. Shoemaker

Now pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch in Yardley, the parish where Statkus resides.

Shoemaker, chancellor for Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua, is shown to have raised occasional concerns that the church was not acting forcefully enough against abusers. At the same time, in 1984 he appointed a known abuser, the Rev. David Sicoli, as associate director of the CCD youth program for the entire Philadelphia area - even though, the grand jury says, "the priest's file clearly showed that he used the Church's youth groups to reward, groom and manipulate his targeted boys."

The grand jury also noted that Krol and Shoemaker tried to persuade the Rev. Edward DePaoli to plead guilty to child-porn charges to avoid "scandal and publicity." DePaoli refused and said the church was mainly worried that "other things might come out at trial." In a later letter to DePaoli, the grand jury said, Shoemaker acknowledged that "it has not been unknown for Federal Authorities to seek other information from an indicted person which may assist them in prosecuting other cases." DePaoli was convicted in 1986 of receiving child pornography through the mail.

Posted by kshaw at 11:47 AM

At Vatican, the spin is in over gays

UNITED STATES
Albany Times Union

First published: Friday, October 14, 2005

Andrew Greeley

The mystery of the Vatican document on the ordination of homosexuals gets, if one might borrow from Alice in Wonderland, curiouser and curiouser.

Two weeks ago, it was reported that someone in the Vatican had briefed American reporters with the information that the document would say that not even 10 years of celibacy would justify the ordination of a man with a homosexual orientation.

Now word appears in an Associated Press report and in the weekly column of John Allen of theAbuse Tracker that another Vatican briefing revealed that three years of celibacy is sufficient grounds for keeping a homosexual in the seminary -- so long as he is not part of a gay subculture and would not be a threat in an all-male environment. Allen also reports that these conditions were published in the respected Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. He adds that he was told by a Vatican official "whether or not these criteria exclude a particular candidate is a judgment that must be made in the context of individual spiritual direction, rather than by applying a rigid litmus test.

Posted by kshaw at 11:45 AM

Warnings, though no deterrents

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Msgr. James E. Molloy

Pastor of St. Agnes Church in Sellersville.

In 1991, as Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua's assistant vicar for administration, Molloy investigated a seminarian who had been abused for years by the Rev. Stanley Gana. Molloy told the grand jury that he and Msgr. William Lynn, his assistant, found the seminarian's complaints credible. Molloy also warned Gana to stay away from the student because "what he's describing is a criminal offense." Still, the report said, officials did nothing to deter Gana.

In addition, Molloy and Lynn fielded complaints about the Rev. Nicholas Cudemo's molestations of several girls, "but they weren't sharing the allegations with Fr. Cudemo's parishioners who needed to know to keep their children safe," the grand jury said.

In 1991, after Cudemo denied allegations against him, Molloy told several complainants "there is nothing in the file that would prevent Father Cudemo from being a pastor," the report states. When one victim told him a young girl was currently spending time with Cudemo, Molloy replied that "there is no compelling evidence at this time to remove him" from his assignment.

Posted by kshaw at 11:43 AM

JUDGE DELAYS PRIEST'S SENTENCING ON PORN CHARGE

ROCHESTER (NY)
Newswatch 50

A federal judge has postponed the sentencing of a Rochester priest who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.

Judge David Larimer told prosecutors to investigate whether Michael Volino knowingly downloaded the images.

The judge also ordered the removal of Volino's electronic monitoring system.

Volino pleaded guilty last year to possessing more than three images, but prosecutors say he had more than 600.

Volino's lawyer said the images stored on a church computer were in a temporary folder the priest didn't know existed.

The sentencing has been delayed until December 7th. (Associated Press)

Posted by kshaw at 11:39 AM

PRIEST RAPE LEFT ME A MUTE

NEW YORK
New York Post

By MARIANNE GARVEY

October 14, 2005 -- A Brooklyn woman has filed a $27 million suit against the Archdiocese of New York — claiming she was left mute for years after an ex-Greenwich Village priest raped her.

Leslie Fray, a 51-year-old nurse's aide and artist, says she was raped three times in 1977 by Father Joseph Cogo, then the pastor at Our Lady of Pompei Church on Carmine Street.

In addition, Cogo, now 71, tried to force her to have sex in a Midtown office, called her repeatedly for phone sex and tried to have sex with her in his bedroom at the rectory, she says. Cogo denies it all. Asked if the charges are true, he replied, "Of course not."

Fray — then a 23-year-old Yale graduate — says the incidents left her "living like a vegetable" for many years.

Posted by kshaw at 11:36 AM

The Stonewalling Shepherd

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

Published: October 14, 2005
No one should be fooled by Cardinal Roger Mahony's latest attempt to sanitize the scandal of the pedophile priests who ravaged schoolchildren for decades in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Other prelates have cooperated with criminal prosecutors as the American church has reeled with disclosures that have led to the dismissals of more than 700 rogue priests in a three-year period. Cardinal Mahony continues to resist court orders for the disclosure of church personnel documents to criminal investigators.

The archdiocese has made absurd constitutional claims that the state should stand aside because the confidentiality between priest and bishop is paramount to the free exercise of religion. Polls show that worried parents and other laity hardly agree.

In the latest sham offering of candor, the cardinal has released a summary accounting of 126 accused molesters that mainly confirms the now well-known extent of the scourge; the archdiocese faces damage claims from more than 500 Catholics. The summary falls far short of the full accounting repeatedly promised by Cardinal Mahony. It is of no use to the prosecutors he continues to stonewall.

Posted by kshaw at 11:33 AM

Where are the accused priests?

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Rob Olmstead
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005

So, just how many child-molesting priests are living at an archdiocese facility in Mundelein?

About 11. Maybe more. Maybe less. The Archdiocese of Chicago can’t really say. Or won’t.

“There may be 11, but I don’t know,” archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer said Thursday. “Whatever number (there is) has been shared with the Mundelein authorities.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says that’s not good enough. Not only should Mundelein residents know exactly who’s living on the grounds of the University of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary off Route 176 and the reasons they were sent there, but residents elsewhere in the Chicago area should know if there’s a potential child molester living next to them.

In Carpentersville, for instance, three SNAP members in December distributed fliers in a neighborhood warning residents that a former priest accused of abuse lived in their midst.

Posted by kshaw at 11:30 AM

New sentencing date set for Fr. Thomas Graham

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

Sentencing for Father Thomas Graham, convicted last month of one count of sodomy on a teenage boy more than 20 years ago, has been rescheduled for Nov. 17.

Jurors recommended that he be sentenced to 20 years in prison. Judge Angela Turner Quigless will sentence him to the recommended time or a lesser amount. The archdiocese posted a $500,000 appearance bond. An appeal of the conviction is expected.

Posted by kshaw at 11:28 AM

Polygamy Documentary Debuts at Film Festival

CANADA
KSL

October 14th, 2005 @ 7:28am
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- "Banking on Heaven," a documentary on women who have fled a polygamist cult based along the Utah-Arizona border, has debuted at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Filmmaker Laurie Allen said at the movie's world premiere Thursday that the polygamists are in Canada, too.

Most of the estimated 10,000 followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints live in the twin border communities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, but the church also has property in Colorado and Texas and an enclave in Bountiful, British Columbia, where polygamy has been practiced openly for decades.

Debbie Palmer, who fled the Bountiful enclave, said hundreds there are loyal to the church's leader, Warren Jeffs.

Jeffs is being sought by the FBI on charges of sexual conduct with a minor in connection with marriages between allegedly underage girls and older men. He also is charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and a $10,000 reward has been offered by Arizona and Utah.

Posted by kshaw at 11:18 AM

List of accused priests grows

CALIFORNIA
Daily Bulletin

By L.C. Greene, Staff Writer

Some Inland Valley residents were stunned Thursday after revelations that 17 clergymen who served in the region were among those included in a court-ordered report on child sexual abuse.

The list, released Wednesday by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, identified three former church pastors from two Pomona parishes and former teachers from Damien High School in La Verne and Pomona Catholic Girls High School.

The archdiocese named 126 priests along with some details of allegations as part of an anticipated settlement between the archdiocese and attorneys for 500 alleged sex-abuse victims.

Several former members of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pomona expressed dismay to find the highly regarded former pastor Monsignor Thomas English on the list.

"I was really kind of stunned," said Fred McKay, 60, of Mission Viejo, who served as an altar boy many times for English during the 1950s.

"Accusation is not conviction," however, he noted.

Posted by kshaw at 11:14 AM

Priest abuse victims' group says it was threatened

CHINO (CA)
Daily Bulletin

By Mason Stockstill, Staff Writer

CHINO - Activists with a support group for clergy abuse victims said they were threatened with legal and criminal action for distributing leaflets at a church accused of harboring child molesters.

Members of the Los Angeles chapter of SNAP Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests - went to Chino on Sunday to hand out leaflets to congregants at Inland Community Church. The church is facing a lawsuit filed by six people claiming youth counselors there abused them.

The SNAP members who participated Sunday said church leaders responded to their presence by promising to sue the activists for defamation and seeking a police investigation into charges of criminal negligence.

"That's just such a clear warning sign of where the priorities are at the church, and that is just a typical and common dynamic where abuse has been covered up," said Mary Grant, head of SNAP's Los Angeles chapter. "There's that type of defensiveness or lack of concern for the victims or those that are still at risk."

Posted by kshaw at 11:12 AM

Assault victims suing church, ex-youth pastor

JACKSON (TN)
Jackson Sun

Two sexual assault victims of a former Jackson youth pastor now serving time in prison are suing him for sexual battery and First United Methodist Church for negligence.

The lawsuit stems from the actions of Curtis Hudson, who in 2002 was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of "attempt to commit child rape" and "sexual battery by an authority figure," involving male youth under his care.

The civil suit, filed in Madison County Circuit Court on Sept. 26, asks for an unspecified amount in damages for the plaintiffs, who the lawsuit contends are suffering "psychological distress" and other emotional trauma stemming from incidents of "harmful sexual conduct" while at the church or attending church functions. The Memphis Annual Conference of United Methodist Church also is listed as a defendant.

Posted by kshaw at 11:10 AM

Mass helps victims of church scandal

ADA TOWNSHIP (MI)
The Grand Rapids Press

Friday, October 14, 2005
By Rick Wilson
The Grand Rapids Press
ADA TOWNSHIP -- A small group of West Michigan Catholics gathered Thursday to celebrate a Mass of healing for priests who have remained faithful to their call, and to pray for victims of sexual abuse at the hands of those who have not.

About 25 gathered at St. Robert Church at the Mass sponsored by Voice of the Faithful, a group formed in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal that first rocked the Catholic Church three years ago. Larry Mulligan, who helped organize the Mass, said it was intended to soothe those wounded by the scandal.

"We are trying to show support for the victims of abuse and also the faithful priests who have been doing their job but got caught in the crosshairs of people's anger," Mulligan said.

Posted by kshaw at 11:08 AM

Sex Abuse Investigation Closed

PUEBLO (CO)
KKTV

AP

Authorities in Pueblo say their investigation into claims that a former Catholic high school teacher allegedly molested students is over because the statute of limitations for criminal charges has expired.

At least three men have accused William Mueller -- a former band director at the now-closed Roncalli High School -- of sexual assault or misconduct more than three decade ago.

The district attorney's office decided crimes of this nature can be prosecuted within ten years of an alleged juvenile victim's 18th birthday. Police Sergeant Troy Davenport says the criminal investigation is closed unless more recent allegations are brought forward.

Three lawsuits have been brought by former Roncalli students against the Pueblo Catholic Diocese and the Marianists, a religious order of which Mueller was a member.

Posted by kshaw at 11:06 AM

Sexual abuser, ex-official of Md. group, is in custody

ELKTON (MD)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER
The News Journal
10/14/2005
ELKTON, Md. -- A former officer of the Knights of Columbus is back in Maryland police custody after other officials of Bishop Becker Council 2427 learned he was a repeat child molester whose parole conditions banned contact with minors.

Dennis M. George, 68 of Elkton, listed as a former chancellor of the council, often was in the council's building on U.S. 40 in Elkton when the children of members were there or youth from Immaculate Conception parish were working, council officials say, but they did not know the restrictions he was supposed to be observing.

The mother of a teenager who used to work at bingo in the hall recognized George's photograph on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, however, and complained to council and church officials last fall. Her complaint triggered a more thorough review of his background, his resignation and subsequent arrest for parole violations.

According to News Journal records, George pleaded guilty to a 1985 sexual offense against a young girl and served four years of a 10-year sentence. He was released in October 1989 with the condition that he "not reside with or be in any unsupervised setting with minor children."

Posted by kshaw at 11:03 AM

Lawyer seeks to reinstate suit against archdiocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

Berks County attorney Jay Abramowitch has petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse its recent denial of his request for an appeal in Meehan v. the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Meehan seeks to establish a right of plaintiffs to sue an institution, such as a diocese, for fraudulently concealing knowledge of its employees' sexual abuse of minors. Abramowitch and other plaintiff lawyers argue that such concealment pauses the statute of limitations, even for sexual assaults long ago, and allows lawsuits to proceed to trial.

Pennsylvania Superior Court in March unanimously rejected the "fraudulent concealment" argument, upholding a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court opinion that any sexual assault, even of a minor, is a form of battery that starts the statute of limitations running immediately.

Posted by kshaw at 10:54 AM

Group urges diocese to provide abuse info

MADISON (WI)
The Capital Times

By Pat Schneider
October 14, 2005

Victims of clergy abuse are urging the Diocese of Madison to invite all the victims of Gary Kazmarek, a former teacher and convicted child molester who admits he also assaulted children at St. Bernard's School in Middleton, to come forward.

Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - SNAP - visited St. Bernard's Thursday, where they presented the parish pastor, the Rev. Douglas Dushack, with a letter asking that he and Bishop Robert Morlino help Kazmarek's victims get information about him.

"Gary Kazmarek is a notorious pedopohile that the Catholic Church aided and facilitated in his crimes in two states," Peter Isely, Midwest coordinator for SNAP, said outside the church Thursday. "Now we're asking the diocese for its documents about him."

Posted by kshaw at 10:27 AM

Archdiocese voluntarily releases summaries of accused priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has voluntarily released summaries of information contained in the personnel files of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. The summaries, along with an update to the list of priests accused of abuse that was first published in the February 2004 Report to the People of God, were posted on the Archdiocese's website: www.la-archdiocese.org.

"The publication of these summaries and the updated list of accused priests is a reflection of the Archdiocese's commitment to openness with the public regarding what has been a very painful chapter in our church's history," said Tod Tamberg, director of media relations for the archdiocese. "It is the hope of Cardinal Mahony that this further sharing of information will help the healing process for all involved, particularly the victims of abuse."

Posted by kshaw at 10:13 AM

Vatican says gay priests not wanted

ROME
Pravda

10:25 2005-10-14
For more than four decades, the Roman Catholic Church has followed both the rules and reality concerning gay priests. The Vatican, as far back as 1961, has made it clear they are not wanted. But many seminaries continued to tolerate what one conservative theologian calls a "lavender subculture" that has brought perhaps thousands of homosexual men to ordination.

Now those parallel worlds are headed for a collision.

The Vatican is putting the finishing touches on a document that strengthens its views that gay orientation and the priesthood are essentially incompatible. But the text, which could be released as early as next month, reportedly will not impose a blanket ban on gay priests. Instead, it may demand years of chastity before entering seminary and prohibit any public acts deemed to support the sexually active gay community.

If true, the Congregation for Catholic Education will be mostly bolstering existing Vatican positions rather than shutting the door completely on gay clerics as many liberal Catholics have feared. The question then becomes: What message is the Vatican hoping to send?

Posted by kshaw at 10:10 AM

She claims pastor raped her in '70s

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By ANGELA MOSCONI
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

A Catholic priest who once headed a prominent Greenwich Village church is being sued for allegedly raping a former parishioner half his age.
In a civil suit filed last week in Manhattan Supreme Court, Leslie Fray, now 51, claimed the Rev. Joseph Cogo "raped, sexually attacked and harassed" her when she was a new Catholic convert attending Our Lady of Pompei Church in the late 1970s.

"This ruined my life," said Fray, who had just graduated from Yale at the time of the alleged attacks. "I was a mute for all these years. I couldn't talk. I couldn't walk. I'm seeking $27 million - $1 million for each year that I suffered."

Cogo, now 71, was removed from the church last year amid the allegations and currently heads a church in Caracas.

"We stand by those who defend us," Cogo said from Venezuela. "It's a shame. It really is a shame."

He referred all other questions to his lawyer.

Posted by kshaw at 10:04 AM

Focus on pedophiles, not gays

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY MICHAEL KIMMEL
Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology at Stony Brook University, is the author of "Manhood in America: A Cultural History."

October 14, 2005

Recently, I was sitting in the departure lounge at the airport. A priest sat nearby, reading the newspaper. A little boy, who looked about 4, walked up to him, perhaps because of his strange collar. In a heartbeat, his mother pulled him away.

Is this now the public opinion of the Catholic clergy? If so, I don't blame the Vatican hierarchy for wanting desperately to reverse this trend.

The upcoming Vatican instruction that will tighten restrictions on the admission of gay men to Catholic seminaries may, or may not, be based on sound canonical doctrine. But such efforts to "purify" the church of homosexuality and resolve recent scandals of pedophile priests are surely based on bad social science.

Despite stereotypes, pedophilia is not a type of homosexuality. It is a myth that gay men prey on unsuspecting little boys. The large majority of pedophiles are heterosexual; many are married or have regular partners.

Posted by kshaw at 09:53 AM

Priest assaulted women, fathered children, suit says

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
Anchorage Daily News

Published: October 14, 2005
Last Modified: October 14, 2005 at 03:15 AM

A Jesuit priest decades ago sexually assaulted two women in different Western Alaska villages who became pregnant and gave birth to his sons, a new lawsuit alleges.

The children, now grown, and the mother of one filed suit Thursday afternoon in Bethel Superior Court against the priest, James E. Jacobson, the Fairbanks Diocese, and the Jesuits of the Oregon Province and Alaska. The other mother is dead.

"In effect, these Native children of the Church were abandoned and left to be raised and cared for by their impoverished Native families in rural Alaska," the plaintiff's attorney, Chris Cooke, wrote in a statement to news reporters.

Cooke is a partner of Ken Roosa in the firm Cooke, Roosa & Valcarce, which has offices in Anchorage and Bethel. Roosa has filed a number of other complaints against the Catholic Church alleging sexual abuse by priests and other church leaders.

Posted by kshaw at 09:50 AM

Despite knowledge of abuse, his goal was avoiding 'general scandal'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Msgr. Francis J. Statkus

Now semiretired in residence at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish in Yardley, where he assists with Masses and other duties.

As chancellor under Cardinal John Krol, Statkus comes under heavy criticism in the report. For instance, after learning that one priest, Raymond Leneweaver, had abused boys in three counties, Statkus said in a 1980 letter that Leneweaver would have to be transferred next to a Bucks County parish "because it is one of the few remaining areas where his scandalous action may not be known."

Church documents show that Statkus repeatedly sat on information about abusers with the goal, as he wrote to Krol, that "general scandal" be avoided. After another priest, Joseph Gausch, admitted molestations to him, he told Gausch that if he did not have another "lapse" or cause suspicions, he would be considered for a pastoral appointment.

In 1982, Statkus met with a police detective complaining of sexual advances against his son from another known abuser, the Rev. Francis Trauger. In a memo, Statkus noted that the parish priests had not been informed and "I suggest that no mention be made to the priests." He also said he had convinced the detective "of our sincere resolve to take the necessary action" and he "does not plan to press any charges, police or otherwise." Trauger was subsequently transferred four more times.

Posted by kshaw at 09:45 AM

Vicar helped priest stay in service

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Bishop Edward P. Cullen

Now bishop of the Diocese of Allentown.

As vicar for administration, Cullen was Bevilacqua's top aide from 1988 to 1998, attending meetings where cases were discussed and decisions were made.

According to the grand jury, Cullen facilitated the continued service of the Rev. Nicholas V. Cudemo, whom Cullen's assistant, Msgr. James E. Molloy, called "one of the sickest people I ever knew."

Cullen testified to the grand jury that Bevilacqua was insistent that parishioners not be told the true reason for the removal of a priest accused of sexual abuse.

Molloy testified that Cullen instructed him to never tell victims that he believed their accusations, according to the report. The reason, Molloy surmised, was that such a statement would have suggested that church officials knew about other complaints, making later denials difficult.

Posted by kshaw at 09:42 AM

Diocese to fund support for late priest's victims

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

By JOHN RICHARDSON, Portland Press Herald Writer

Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine is creating a confidential support group for women who were sexually abused by the Rev. Lawrence Sabatino.

Sabatino is accused of abusing at least 14 girls while he served in parishes in Lewiston and Portland from 1958 and 1972. Most of the alleged abuse occurred in Portland, when Sabatino was an assistant pastor at St. Peter's.

"It's our priority to create a safe space in which people can heal from sexual abuse they've experienced," said Cyndi Amato, the agency's executive director.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland asked the agency to form the group and will pay for the counseling services. But, Amato said, the church will have no other role in the group and won't be told who participates.

Posted by kshaw at 09:37 AM

Suit claims priest raped women

ALASKA
Fairbanks News-Miner

By MARY BETH SMETZER
Staff Writer

The latest court filing against the Catholic Church in Alaska alleges a Jesuit priest sexually assaulted two women, impregnated them and left two sons behind.

The allegations of rape and paternity, the latter confirmed by recent DNA tests, were filed Thursday in Bethel Superior Court by two men and the mother of one, listed anonymously as John A. Doe, John B. Doe, and Jane B. Doe. The other mother is deceased. The suit names the Rev. James E. Jacobson, the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese and the Society of Jesus Oregon and Alaska.

Jacobson, who recently retired as a prison chaplain in Oregon and resides at Regis Jesuit House at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., served from 1963 to 1976 in a number of Yupik Eskimo villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region.

The Anchorage attorney for the plaintiffs, Christopher Cooke of Cooke, Roosa & Valcarce law firm, said the two John Does contacted the firm after years of speculation, rumors, gossip and hearsay about their paternity. The DNA tests, taken in August, prove beyond a doubt that Jacobson is the biological father of both men, Cooke said.

The lawsuit alleges that the mother of John A. Doe, now deceased, was sexually assaulted by Jacobson in December 1965, in the priest's quarters in a Yupik village. As a result, she became pregnant and gave birth to John A. Doe in August 1966.

Posted by kshaw at 09:23 AM

Vatican's tolerance of gay priests moves toward strict oversight

UNITED STATES
Advocate

October 14, 2005

For more than four decades, the Roman Catholic Church has followed both the rules and reality concerning gay priests. The Vatican—as far back as 1961—has made it clear they are not wanted. But many seminaries continued to tolerate what one conservative theologian calls a "lavender subculture" that has brought perhaps thousands of homosexual men to ordination.

Now those parallel worlds are headed for a collision.

The Vatican is putting the finishing touches on a document that strengthens its views that gay orientation and the priesthood are essentially incompatible. But the text—which could be released as early as next month—reportedly will not impose a blanket ban on gay priests. Instead, it may demand years of chastity before entering seminary and prohibit any public acts deemed to support the sexually active gay community.

Posted by kshaw at 09:18 AM

Triangle coverage of Drexel administrator scandal filled with holes , hurts others

PENNSYLVANIA
The Triangle

By Father Bill Grogan
Published: Friday, October 14, 2005

This is a guest submission from Father Bill Grogan, the director of the Newman Center at Drexel University. The Newman Center is seperate, independent entity from the University and the views expressed in this commentary are of Fr. Grogan and do not represent the views of the administration of Drexel University.

Editorial Response

Your editorial, "Accused Administrator", in the October 7, 2005 edition of The Triangle, was a much-appreciated effort at calling for a balanced point of view among your readers concerning this calamity and this great sadness that is upon us. Thanks for your effort. Really.

I hope you won't be discouraged if your summons to our community bears no fruit soon.

The depth of the hurt that many of our sisters and brothers have endured over this issue makes it exceedingly difficult to hold on to the fundamentally merciful presumption of innocence for those accused of sexual crimes. I think that people really try to live up to this presumption. It just hurts too much. We can hope for the healing that will permit the ones most deeply wounded to recover the desire to forgive, but when the wound is fresh our instinct for vengeance seems too strong. Especially we (some of my brothers in the clergy, and the church I represent), who stand so desperately in need of forgiveness from those who we have hurt, surely must be in the vanguard when it comes to forgiving the vengeance that merely stings by comparison. We (the same "we") have much to do by way of reparation. Maybe bearing the vengeance of those we have hurt is a beginning.

Posted by kshaw at 09:13 AM

October 13, 2005

Former Arnold priest named in Philly grand jury report

ARNOLD (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bill Phelan
Of the Suburban Journals
Jefferson County Journal
09/28/2005

A former pastor at St. David's Catholic Church in Arnold is named in a Philadelphia grand jury report that blasts the Philadelphia Archdiocese for covering up accusations of sexual abuse by priests, including the Rev. Joseph R. Monahan.

Monahan was pastor at St. David's from January 1985 to December 1990, according to a spokesman for the St. Louis Archdiocese.

In a scathing report issued Sept. 21, a grand jury that first convened three years ago listed the names of 63 priests "whose abusive behavior was well-documented in archdiocese files and by witnesses who testified" before the grand jury.

Monahan, 68, was ordained a priest in 1962. He initially came to St. Louis in 1975 to seek treatment for alcoholism. He was incarnated into the St. Louis Archdiocese in 1980. From 1982 to 2002, Monahan was assigned to several St. Louis-area parishes, including St. David's.Advertisement

Posted by kshaw at 07:39 PM

Sentencing delayed for priest who plead guilty to possessing child porn

NEW YORK
WHEC

10/13/05

A local priest who admitted possessing child pornography was scheduled to learn his fate Thursday. Instead a federal judge has delayed sentencing. Judge David Larimer says he needs to have a hearing before he can sentence Father Michael Volino.

Volino has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography but there are still some issues in dispute. Earlier this year FBI agents say they found more than 600 pictures of young boys engaged in sexual activity on Volino's church computer. The government says some of those pictures were violent or sadistic in nature.

Before sentencing Volino Judge Larimer wants to know how many of those pictures had actually been enlarged and viewed by Volino.

The judge set a hearing date for December 7th but defense attorney John Parrinello hopes to settle this case sooner than later because father volino has Crone’s Disease. “This is affecting his health. He is in multiple counseling issues that he himself recognizes, but he wants to go on and all the people behind the priests and me and the people that have written and signed the petitions want him to continue on with his priestly duties.

Posted by kshaw at 07:37 PM

Los Angeles Archdiocese releases files on priests accused of abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Explorer

By Catholic News Service

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The Los Angeles Archdiocese Oct. 12 released summaries of personnel files on 126 priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

Some of the files go back to the 1930s.

They were released as part of settlement talks with attorneys representing some 560 people who have sued the archdiocese, claiming they were sexually abused as minors by Catholic clergy.

The files, posted on the archdiocesan Web site in a 155-page report, show that until recent years the archdiocese often returned accused priests to ministry after treatment -- a practice once common in almost all U.S. dioceses.

In other cases priests were removed from ministry or laicized. Some priests were already dead when the first allegation of abuse was lodged with the archdiocese.

In recent years the archdiocese has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy of permanently removing from ministry any priest who faces a substantiated accusation of sexually molesting a minor.

Posted by kshaw at 07:31 PM

Los Angeles Diocese Release on Priest Abusers Only Fraction of Story

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LifeSite

LOS ANGELES, October 13, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Yesterday, LifeSiteNews.com reported that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a document as an addition to its 2004 Report to the People of God. That “Addendum” included point-form information selectively gleaned from personnel files of 126 priests and according to the archdiocese’ website, an update of the list of priests against whom allegations of abuse have come to light since the original publication of the Report in February 2004.

The case of Fr. Michael Baker is being highlighted by most news sources as illustrative of the depths of the complicity of diocesan officials in shuffling known abusers from parish to parish. This pattern has been repeated in many US dioceses where abuse, overwhelmingly by homosexual priests preying on boys and adolescents, was systematically covered up by what many writers have identified as a homosexual subculture within the episcopate.

The document, however, may be more informative in what it declined to reveal. All the information is extremely terse, but in many cases, the records include only a list of transfers and appointments. Some contain no reference at all to any abuse allegations, courses of counseling or treatment, or legal proceedings.

Posted by kshaw at 07:25 PM

Background on Sexual Misconduct Issue

CALIFORNIA
ABC 7

Issued by Western Dominican Province

It is important to note that at least two of the sources quoted in various media are believed to be ex-Dominican students who were dismissed from the Dominican Order for good cause and who we believe are now disaffected. These sources would not have had access to most of the details about the seven friars. Therefore, we are releasing this information to provide an accurate picture about this issue in the sincere hope that it will result in greater insight and peace for you, our neighbors.

There are currently six men accused of sexual abuse of minors living in the Western Dominican Province's communities in the Rockridge area. In each case, when we learned of an alleged instance of abuse, we took immediate steps to ensure that no children were in danger, and undertook a thorough investigation to determine whether the allegation was credible. Having completed that investigation, we removed each of the men from public ministry, meaning they do not celebrate Mass publicly, nor do they have any interaction with young people.

The allegations concern events that occurred between 20 and 45 years ago. All of these friars have received or continue to receive counseling by experts in the field; Eugene Merlin of Oakland, California, in particular has worked with the Province in the area of sexual offending since 1991. All are at least 65 years old. All but one lived in the Bay Area prior to being moved to Rockridgethe other lived outside of California. None of the six friars is a serial or "preferential" pedophile. No criminal charges were ever filed with regard to any of these men, although the police were notified in several cases.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 PM

Son shares story of priest and nun parents

BOSTON (MA)
MSNBC

In his memoir, author Peter Manseau chronicles the complex lives of his parents, a former nun and an excommunicated priest. Read an excerpt

In the early 1960s, the Catholic church underwent a huge change. The Second Vatican Council issued in a new era of modernization for the church, and many priests and nuns began to leave, frustrated that the Vatican continued to require that they remain celibate. From 1965 to 2000, the number of priests in the U.S. dropped 30 percent, the number of nuns, 54 percent. Many of those who left, married. Peter Manseau is the son of a former priest and nun. His new book, "Vows," tells the story of his parents’ decision to join the religious life, their later decision to leave it, and the consequences that decision had on their family. Manseau was invited to discuss the book on “Today.” Here’s an excerpt. ...

My father had an appointment that day to meet with the archdiocese’s “Interim Apostolic Administrator,” Bishop Richard G. Lennon, acting man-in-charge after Cardinal Bernard F. Law resigned in disgrace for his role in the abuse scandal. Law had insisted for months he knew nothing of the dangerous histories of the men involved. Then came the documents: his name, his blessing, on transfer after transfer, moving known pedophiles to unsuspecting parishes, sending wolves to tend his flock. It all resulted in a promotion for Lennon, but now he had the unenviable job of cleaning up the mess.

I had gone along with Dad that day to offer moral support. With nothing but bad news coming out of the Archbishop’s Residence lately, he had been understandably anxious about the meeting. Yet it seemed possible at the time that Bishop Lennon agreed to speak with Dad more as a diversion than anything else. Compared with the scandal and the financial crisis it caused, my father should not have presented a pressing matter from the church’s point of view. Dad’s errand was merely to find out whether the Catholic hierarchy still considered him a priest. He had been ordained by the Archdiocese of Boston some forty years before. Eight years later he had married my mother, and had been excommunicated for refusing to resign his priestly status. Somewhere along the way, a change in canon law had reduced his penalty from excommunication to censure, and now, at sixty-seven, he was considering getting right with his church.


Posted by kshaw at 07:19 PM

Time has run out on molestation case

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
A former Catholic brother accused of molesting students at Roncalli High School during the 1960s and 1970s has time on his side.

The local criminal investigation of William Mueller is essentially closed because the statute of limitations has expired, although civil suits against him are still pending.

Pueblo police Sgt. Troy Davenport on Wednesday said the probe is dead unless more recent allegations against Mueller surface.

"We have talked to everybody that we know of who has made the allegations (locally)," said Davenport. "So far, everything we have been able to discover is outside the statute of limitations."

Posted by kshaw at 07:02 PM

Former Priest Pleads No Contest

LEESBURG (VA)
The Connection

October 12, 2005

Father Robert Brooks, former pastor of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg, pleaded no contest to one felony count of attempting to possess child pornography, in Loudoun Circuit Court Wednesday, Oct. 5.
The investigation of the former catholic priest began in September 2004, when members of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) discovered that he allegedly was registered to a child pornography Web site. I.C.E. monitors the Internet under "Operation Falcon," an undercover federal investigation that observes child pornography Web sites.

Posted by kshaw at 07:00 PM

Documents detail allegations of sexual abuse by Erickson in 1992

EAGLE RIVER (WI)
Duluth News Tribune

Associated Press

EAGLE RIVER, Wis. - A priest believed to be the likely killer of two people at a northwestern Wisconsin funeral home in 2002 had been accused of fondling a boy eight years earlier, according to investigative reports.

No charges were filed against the Rev. Ryan Erickson, who hanged himself last year, as a result of the teenager's statements to a Vilas County investigator. The alleged incident occurred in the summer of 1992 when Erickson, then 19, was a seminary student at St. Mary's University in Winona, Minn., and the boy was about 16.

Investigators started looking into the incident about two years later, after a county social services worker notified them about a referral from a mental hospital about the alleged sexual assault, the documents said.

The Diocese of Superior "is extremely worried about these allegations even if no charges are brought," Vilas County investigator A.L. Thompson wrote in a May 1994 report concluding the accusations were "uncorroborated."

Posted by kshaw at 06:56 PM

CRUNCH TIME AT THE VATICAN AS NEW POPE TACKLES GAY ISSUE IN A DEFINING MOMENT

UNITED STATES
Spirit Daily

By Michael H. Brown

It's crunch time in Rome as we pray for the discernment of the Vatican. In front of a new Pope is the new document on how to handle homosexuals in the clergy and rumors have swung back and forth, between those that claim it will be an '"H-bomb" -- a tough document restricting all homosexuals from the priesthood, even if they are celibate -- and those that predict the Vatican will allow those with gay tendencies into the clergy if they can prove that they have been celibate for three years and appear that they will remain so.

We have to believe -- perhaps "hope" is a better word -- that despite recent reports, the Vatican will not blink and that its choice will be the former. The Church hierarchy must be cleansed, and immediately, of homosexuality. We still recall the ways of John Paul II, and it's difficult to see him issuing any document unless it was tough on this particular problem. Under him, homosexuality was dealt with compassionately but as an "intrinsic disorder" (as are other sinful tendencies). This seems to us the Christian route. We can love those with such tendencies at the same time that we realize they should not be ministering but rather should be ministered to.

Posted by kshaw at 12:15 PM

Arch Nemesis

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia City Paper

by Mike Newall

The suicide call came in on a Sunday morning. It was 2002 and the grand jury investigation into Philadelphia clergy abuse was a few months old. Will Spade and another assistant district attorney headed to the home of a witness who had been raped by a priest as a child and was now threatening to kill himself. They spent all afternoon and into the early evening at the man's home, talking, listening, keeping him company.

"It really brought home the emotional turmoil these victims were suffering," recalls Spade, "and gave me a sense of the gravity of the situation."

Spade had seven years of experience at the District Attorney's office when he was assigned to the archdiocese investigation. But nothing, he says, could have prepared him for the two years he would spend on the church probe. Along with four other members of the DA's Special Investigations Unit, Spade often worked up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week, interviewing hundreds of victims, church officials — including former Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua — and slowly uncovering the shocking scale to which the archdiocese protected pedophile priests.

"There were times when I would come home after a particularly bad day," says Spade, 43, "and I would lay down on the couch with my head in my wife's lap and cry, uncontrollably cry."

Exhausted and emotionally drained, Spade left the DA's office last fall — a year before the grand jury's final report was issued — to start his own criminal defense firm. (Earlier this year, he represented former City Treasurer Corey Kemp.)

Posted by kshaw at 12:10 PM

PRIEST FILES IN LOS ANGELES MADE PUBLIC

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic League

Catholic League president William Donohue addressed the public release of priest personnel files in Los Angeles today:

“There is so much blame to go around. Among the culprits are the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, some priests, many therapists, some lawyers, some alleged victims and some in the media.

“It is beyond belief that molesting priests were moved from parish to parish when any sensible person in charge would have removed these deeply troubled men from any contact with children. On the flip side, the archdiocese has sold out its priests by turning over personnel files on men who were born in the 19th century, have long ago died and cannot defend themselves from charges which even the archdiocese admits are not credible. So what we have is a garbage pail of information about priests—including those who have been accused of molestation when they were between the ages of two and five—that should never have been made public. Obviously, in current cases of credible accusations of a criminal nature, such files should be turned over to the authorities. But the wholesale dumping of files is an outrageous abuse of civil liberties.

Posted by kshaw at 12:07 PM

Priest's victim blasts archdiocese

NEWARD (NJ)
NorthJersey.com

Thursday, October 13, 2005

By JOHN CHADWICK
STAFF WRITER

When the Newark Archdiocese concluded an investigation of a former Ridgefield priest in 2003, church officials said the findings were clear.

They told the accuser in a terse letter that his allegations of sexual misconduct against the Rev. Peter Cheplic were "credible" and offered to pay for counseling.

"That was all I ever heard from them," said Martin Kansky, a former altar boy who came forward in 2002 with accusations that Cheplic molested him in 1978. "I had no idea what happened."

But Kansky learned last month through news reports that the archdiocese allowed Cheplic to keep his collar and return to parish ministry.

And he's outraged about the reason.

Church officials said they didn't remove Cheplic because Kansky was 18 at the time of the incident and was legally an adult.

Posted by kshaw at 10:16 AM

Metro religion

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

Voice of the Faithful: Voice of the Faithful/Greater Providence will host an update on how the Diocese of Providence has complied with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002, on Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Francis Chapel & City Ministry Center, 58 Weybosset St.

The speaker will be Michael Hansen, director of the diocesan office of human formation and outreach.

Posted by kshaw at 10:11 AM

Lawsuit alleges abuse by priest

SCHENECTADY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By ANNE MILLER, Staff writer
First published: Thursday, October 13, 2005

SCHENECTADY -- A Manhattan businessman and theater producer raised in Loudonville contends that a former Albany priest molested him while both were at Camp Tekawitha, a summer camp on Lake Luzerne, about 40 years ago.

The priest, identified in court papers as the Rev. Joseph Romano, was a seminarian working at the camp. The businessman, identified as J. David Enright IV, was 7 years old.

John A. Aretakis, Enright's attorney, has filed a summons in New York County Court seeking $5 million from Romano, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Enright, 51, claims Romano molested him several times during two summers at the overnight camp "in 1961 or 1962." Enright also has stated that the encounters led to him being homosexual.

Posted by kshaw at 10:08 AM

Keeping faith, but not status quo

CALIFORNIA
San Mateo County Times

By Julia Scott SAN MATEO, STAFF WRITER

HEADS BOWED in prayer, the gray-haired group of Roman Catholics who gathered Sunday at St. Matthews Catholic Church had a much more controversial agenda than their appearances would suggest: to discuss naming the next Archbishop of San Francisco.

Controversial, because lay people haven't had a role in voting for bishops or archbishops in more than 500 years.

The members of Voice of the Faithful's Northern California chapter, a lay Catholic group whose motto is "Keep the faith, change the Church," would like to alter all that.

According to the nationwide group, 80 of whose members were at the meeting on Sunday, the Church is ripe for change. Revelations of widespread child sex abuse shattered its image and exposed its lack of accountability. Western youths are deserting the Church in droves, and fewer priests are joining its ranks.

"The bishops have to realize that the lay people are not going to stand for their malfeasance," said Ed Gleason, a coordinator for Voice of the Faithful. "We've been shut out."

Posted by kshaw at 10:02 AM

Former area priest defrocked

OHIO
Dayton Daily News

By Jim Bebbington
Dayton Daily News

The Vatican has defrocked one former southwest Ohio priest, ordered two others permanently removed from ministry, and cleared two more to return to duty in a slate of decisions announced Wednesday involving priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Keith Albrecht, 60, a former priest at St. Luke Catholic Church in Beavercreek, was ordered defrocked, the church's highest penalty for clergy, the Vatican announced.

Albrecht was placed on leave in February 1993 over an allegation that he had molested a boy in Beavercreek in the late 1970s when Albrecht was associate pastor of St. Luke. A second allegation was made involving a Shelby County boy who was visiting New York with Albrecht in the late 1980s during his tenure at Holy Trinity in Coldwater.

The Vatican also ordered that Thomas Hopp, 65, a former priest at the Queen of Martyrs Church in Harrison Twp., and Francis Massarella, 90, a former priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Tipp City, be permanently removed from church ministry.

This lesser punishment prohibits them from dressing or publicly presenting themselves as priests, but allows them to remain living in church-owned properties and keeps them on church payrolls.

Posted by kshaw at 09:57 AM

Victims Urge Mayor to Shun Jesuit Event

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer

A support group for victims of clergy abuse is pressuring Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to step down as honorary chairman of a benefit gala honoring a Jesuit leader whom they allege has protected priests accused of molestation.

In letters to the mayor in August and this week, Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests asked Villaraigosa to disassociate himself from the Oct. 22 event at Union Station honoring Father Thomas H. Smolich, the former head of the California Province of the Jesuits.

"Smolich's history of hiding known molesters and refusing to report sex crimes to law enforcement shows he is not a leader who deserves public praise," wrote Mary Grant, the group's Western regional director.

Smolich has acknowledged that the Jesuits failed to notify authorities of accusations against Father Jerold Lindner, who taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles and has been accused of child molestation by men and women who attended the school.

The allegations arose before Smolich became head of the province in 1999.

Lindner has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing. He was named in a 1997 civil lawsuit by two brothers who alleged he abused them. The Jesuits settled the case for $625,000.

Posted by kshaw at 09:54 AM

Abuse survivors speak out

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - by Megan Baldino

Anchorage, Alaska - In her first publicly televised interview, a woman who says former Nome priest Jim Poole sexually abused her as a child tells her story. Wednesday Elsie Boudreau joined another survivor to hand-deliver a letter to the Archbishop of Anchorage and several priests. It’s a letter demanding compassion and transparency for victims of clergy sex abuse, something Boudreau says victims aren't getting.

Boudreau and Joelle Casteix are on a mission. The two women are hand-delivering a letter to the Archbishop of Anchorage, Roger Schweitz. The letter addresses a lawsuit filed Tuesday against former Anchorage priest Francis Murphy. The victim identified as Joseph Doe claims he went to Schweitz but was not helped.

The mission is personal. Both women say they too were abused by clergy as children, Casteix at her California high school and Boudreau here in Alaska. The letter asks the archbishop to be more compassionate to victims. The visit is a continuation of a long journey of healing for both women.

Posted by kshaw at 09:52 AM

Partial disclosure

CALIFORNIA
Press-Telegram

Although the new reports released this week by the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese present a more complete admission of child abuse by priests than the church has so far acknowledged, the disclosure still fails to deliver the full story of the church's conspiracy.

So long as the church continues to control the flow of information it has actively sought to suppress, the public can have little faith that it has delivered all its information on priests who abused children. The many hundreds of cases meticulously assembled by victim advocacy groups suggest the church has barely scratched the surface.

Each partial disclosure, such as the one this week, does provide new evidence of a massive cover-up by the church, in which known child molesters were protected and reassigned to places where they were free to commit more crimes.

The documents released so far show that at least eight priests were reassigned after they confessed to abusing children. Reports from the New York Times, which was allowed to research more confidential records that are expected to be released in coming weeks, suggest that dozens and dozens of such cases exist among 126 files accessed by the newspaper.

Posted by kshaw at 09:49 AM

Los Angeles Diocese Covered Up Sex Abuse by Priests for Decades Files Reveal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LifeSite

LOS ANGELES, October 12, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been under increasing pressure from lawsuits and criminal proceedings to release the confidential personnel files on priests accused of sexual abuse of minors. Today the Archdiocese made public a 155 page document it is calling an “Addendum” to its 2004 report on sexual abuse.

The document, however, gives the courts, victims and media only a heavily edited version of the Archdiocese’s priest files that gives few details and only the barest possible bones of the facts.

Even so, the Addendum shows a long-term policy of shuffling homosexual abusers from one parish to another, giving no mention of any warning to parishioners that a homosexual predator was in their midst or of notifying police. It is damaging enough that the Archdiocese is attempting to spin the abuse using euphemistic references of “boundary violations,” by abusing clergy.

Posted by kshaw at 09:38 AM

Erickson was dogged by sex allegations

WISCONSIN
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Paul Levy, Star Tribune
Last update: October 13, 2005 at 1:04 AM

Authorities in Vilas County, Wis., decided not to file charges against Ryan Erickson when he was a seminary student even though a teenage boy told police that Erickson fondled the teen's genitals and asked to perform oral sex on him in 1992.

The Diocese of Superior "is extremely worried about these allegations even if no charges are brought," an investigator wrote at the time. Paraphrasing diocese leaders, the investigator's report said: "Just this investigation may be enough to ruin [Erickson's] chances of becoming a priest."

A judge ruled last week that it was probably Father Erickson who shot two men to death in a Hudson funeral home in 2002. One of the victims, funeral director Dan O'Connell, had planned to meet with Erickson on the day he was killed. O'Connell had concerns that Erickson had touched children inappropriately, according to testimony at a hearing last week.

Erickson committed suicide in December after he was questioned about the funeral home slayings.

Posted by kshaw at 09:36 AM

Judge: Monk not fit for trial

ALABAMA
The Cullman Times

Jimmy Simms
The Cullman Times
Published on: 10-13-2005

A Benedictine monk at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, charged with the first-degree rape of a young novitiate nun more than 33 years ago, has been declared incompetent to stand trial.

Based on competency reports prepared by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Retardation and other experts, Circuit Court Judge Frank Brunner Wednesday dismissed without prejudice the rape charge against the Rev. Ignatius Kane, OSB, 83, but left open the possibility that the state may pursue the case at a later time if and when it is determined that the defendant has been restored to competency.

"It is the conclusion of this evaluation that it is unlikely that Father Ignatius will be restored to competency due to a progressive state of dementia. It is also the opinion of the state that he does not pose a threat to either himself or others due to his medical condition and the fact that he is bedridden and in need of constant care," Brunner said. "Therefore, it is the judgment of this court that this case be dismissed without prejudice."

In a prepared statement by defense attorney Tim Culpepper, who is representing the priest, Culpepper stated that he has mixed emotions about the dismissal of charges.

Posted by kshaw at 09:33 AM

Unpardonable Sins

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles City Beat

Our local Catholic diocese finally went to confession this week, with the release of edited personnel files for 126 clergymen accused of sexual abuse. As first reported Wednesday by The New York Times, the files show a pattern of denial and secrecy dating back to the 1930s, with church leaders sending accused priests to “counseling” and new assignments elsewhere. Too often, young victims were left on their own.

This scandal is nothing new. That Catholic priests have sexually abused children is now a given. But the previously unknown details revealed in the confidential files (with accusers’ names edited out) suggest a pattern of poor judgment by local church leaders and a seeming lack of concern for victims and – maybe most alarming – those potential new victims left within reach of problem priests.

Los Angeles isn’t a special case. The epidemic of sexual abuse in the Boston church is the nation’s most notorious, leading to Cardinal Bernard F. Law losing his position and being reassigned to the Vatican. And last year, the Catholic diocese in Orange County paid out $100 million to settle another 85 cases. But as the largest Roman Catholic diocese in the country, the L.A. church faces staggering financial losses, with potential payments to 560 plaintiffs. The edited files are being released as a step toward just such a settlement.

For the majority of Catholics who have not been personally affected by this tragedy, these new revelations can only be deeply disheartening. The church leadership not only failed to protect the victims, but also the church itself. Secrecy may have worked wonders in the Middle Ages, but isn’t much comfort or help in modern Los Angeles.

Posted by kshaw at 09:31 AM

Claim: Priest's molestation 'bent' me into homosexual

NEW YORK
WorldNetDaily

A wealthy Manhattan socialite is planning a $5 million lawsuit against the Catholic Church, claiming his being molested by a priest at age 7 turned him into a homosexual.

J. David Enright IV, now 51, alleges he was molested as a boy at Camp Tekawitha on Lake Luzerne in upstate New York by by Father Joseph Romano, a seminarian counselor at the camp run by the Diocese of Albany.

"I believe that my life would be very different now," Enright told the New York Post. "I'd probably be married, living in Greenwich, with four children in boarding school. Romano bent my life."

Enright says Romano, who was 21 in 1961, took him behind a cabin after dinner and evening prayers to molest him. He says the sexual contact occurred up to seven more times, lasting into the following summer.

Posted by kshaw at 09:26 AM

Records' Release Is Criticized

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione and Sandy Banks, Times Staff Writers

The Los Angeles Archdiocese has promised for more than two years to make public 126 summaries culled from the personnel records of priests accused of molesting children. Late Tuesday, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony made good on his pledge, but already critics are questioning his motives.

Attorney J. Michael Hennigan, who represents the archdiocese in more than 560 sexual-abuse lawsuits, said the documents were released in connection with a recent court decision. A state appellate court ruled last month that it couldn't stop the archdiocese from making the information public.

"We did it as fast as we could," he said, adding that the "release has nothing to do with that settlement process."

But one attorney for 127 men and women suing the archdiocese suggested that the release may have had to do with looming trial dates that have been set after years of failed mediation.

"The writing is on the wall: We will be trying these cases," attorney Katherine K. Freberg said. She suspected that the archdiocese wanted to release damaging information now rather than risk it becoming public nearer the time of jury selection.

Posted by kshaw at 09:20 AM

Disturbing revelations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

WHAT'S MOST TROUBLING ABOUT the documents released this week by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is not necessarily what they describe, but what they represent. The behavior they depict is both disturbing and reprehensible. But these papers may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to revealing the scope of the church's molestation problem.

The documents describe repeated instances in which church leaders in the 1960s, '70s and '80s abdicated their responsibility. They allowed priests to stay in their positions despite allegations that the priests were sexually molesting youngsters, or they shuffled them from one post to another, where they could find new victims.

Much of this information was known before the latest papers were released, in part because of lawsuits and through reporting by The Times. Similar patterns persisted in other dioceses, which have been forced to pay record settlements to victims.

More frightening is that the documents represent only brief, sanitized information that the archdiocese wanted to release in an effort to settle pending suits. That makes one wonder what may be in church records that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony continues to resist giving to prosecutors, despite two court rulings ordering their release.

Posted by kshaw at 09:18 AM

Study Reveals Vast Scope of Priest Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione and Doug Smith, Times Staff Writers

The clergy sexual abuse scandal reached far more broadly across the Los Angeles Archdiocese — and put far more children at risk — than has previously been known, according to a Times study that examined the records of hundreds of accused priests.

Although the sexual abuse scandal has been the subject of more than 560 court claims and a report by the archdiocese, basic information on the dimensions of the problem have remained sketchy. The Times analysis is the first to quantify the breadth of the scandal in the archdiocese.

Molestations have been alleged at roughly 100 parishes. But because the accused priests moved around the archdiocese on average every 4.5 years, the total number of parishes in which alleged abusers served is far larger — more than three-fourths of the 288 parishes, according to the study, which examined records back to 1950.

The affected parishes were in neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties both rich and poor, suburban and urban, some predominantly white and others with African American or Latino majorities. The study does not support the contention made by some critics of the church that problem priests were dumped into poor, Latino and African American communities.

Based on the allegations, the number of abusive priests peaked in 1983. More than 11% of the diocesan priests — those who worked directly for the archdiocese, rather than for religious orders — who were in ministry that year eventually were accused of abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 09:16 AM

Priests sent to local parishes after abuse claims

CALIFORNIA
Lompoc Record

By Quintin Cushner/Senior Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Archdiocese assigned two priests to northern Santa Barbara County parishes, even after the men were accused of sexually abusing children, documents released Wednesday revealed.

Though both men previously were named in civil suits filed by alleged victims of abuse, the documents were the first to show they had access to young parishioners after complaints surfaced. Neither man has publicly admitted abusing children.

The Rev. Willebaldo Castro was made associate at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Santa Maria in January 1976, just four months after he was accused of molesting a 16-year-old boy, according to the documents.

Castro, who left the archdiocese and returned to his native Mexico in 1980, also faces a lawsuit alleging he molested a minor at St. Mary's in 1977.

Posted by kshaw at 09:15 AM

Roman-Catholic Church posts abuse data online

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

From staff and news services

Newly released documents detailing sex abuse allegations against Roman Catholic priests could help speed hundreds of lawsuits toward settlement as the Los Angeles Archdiocese faces potentially damaging developments on other fronts in the abuse crisis.

The archdiocese posted summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests on its Web site at midnight Tuesday, even though they weren't expected to be made public for several weeks. The summaries include some 35 case histories of accused priests who at one time served in the South Bay.

The archdiocese said it released the summaries to help victims heal and to make good on a deal made with plaintiffs during nearly three years of settlement talks. An appeals court ruling last month made it possible for the church to post the summaries, said Michael Hennigan, an archdiocesan attorney.

"I think what we have here is a church that is embarrassed, that is contrite, that is ashamed of what happened in the past and is committed to reforming it to the extent that it is humanly possible to do so," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:12 AM

Faith is gone, and sex fiends must go, too

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

Stanley Crouch

The flushing out of so many child molesters from beneath the skirts of the Catholic Church is not some version of a witch hunt bent on keeping homosexuals from the priesthood.

As new cases of abuse are being discovered - this time it's Los Angeles, where the archdiocese has disclosed files detailing 75 years of sexual abuse by clergy - it is clear that acts of pedophilia precede any demands by homosexuals to be fully embraced by the church. One has nothing to do with the other.

We must no longer experience the gales of hot air that attempt to make pedophilia and homosexuality into Siamese twins who cannot be separated at birth or any time afterward.

Pedophilia is a grave and sinister crime that splits the life of the victim into two parts: before being molested and after being molested.

Once one loses faith in its institutions, it is very hard to regain the footing of confidence in the powers that are supposed to provide protection from all forms of abuse and misuse.

Posted by kshaw at 09:10 AM

2 priests cleared of charges

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn
Enquirer staff writer

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati cleared two suspended priests of sexual abuse allegations Wednesday and will allow them to return to work in parishes within a few weeks.

Church officials said they spent about six months investigating the abuse claims and could not find enough evidence to support the accusations against the Rev. Michael Paraniuk and the Rev. David Vincent.

Both priests will be assigned to parishes in the 19-county archdiocese and will not have restrictions on their contact with children.

The decision to reinstate the priests is a first for the archdiocese. Although 14 Greater Cincinnati priests have been disciplined for misconduct since 2001, no one accused of child abuse had been allowed to go back to work.

Posted by kshaw at 09:06 AM

Records on priests released

CALIFORNIA
Daily Bulletin

By Brad A. Greenberg, Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Wednesday released information about 126 priests accused of sexual abuse, including four who served in La Verne and Pomona.

Officials for the archdiocese touted the release of the records as a sign of its openness in dealing with the clergy sex-abuse scandal.

ONLINE EXTRA: www.la-archdiocese.org

www.la-clergycases.com But plaintiffs' attorneys and victim advocates accused the archdiocese of continuing to protect pedophile priests by releasing partial information, including withholding the names of about 30 priests still in ministry who were accused of unsubstantiated abuse.

The report shows the archdiocese kept at least eight priests in ministry despite knowing they had molested children. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, head of the archdiocese, had previously said that was only the case with four priests.

"I think what we have here is a church that is embarrassed, that is contrite, that is ashamed of what happened in the past and is committed to reforming it to the extent that it is humanly possible to do so,'' said J. Michael Hennigan, attorney for the 4 million-member archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

Release of files called a ploy

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

Rachel Uranga and Rick Orlov, Staff Writers

The Los Angeles Archdiocese's surprise release of documents in the sexual-abuse scandal drew heated criticism Wednesday from prosecutors and some who say they were victims, while local priests and many parishioners maintained their support of the Catholic Church.

The archdiocese released 155 pages late Tuesday summarizing the activities of 126 accused priests - some dating back to the 1930s - in what a lawyer for church officials said is an effort to speed up settlement talks in civil lawsuits, bring closure to victims and restore the church's credibility among its members.

"We have a church that is embarrassed, contrite, ashamed of what happened in the past,'' Michael Hennigan, attorney for the archdiocese, said in a conference call with reporters. Now, he said, church officials are strongly committed to reform, and they regret how parishioners' allegations of rape and molestation used to be handled. It was in keeping with old practice, he said, to counsel priests so they could continue their ministry.

In the 1990s, as allegations of clerical abuse swept the nation, the Los Angeles Archdiocese and others adopted a zero-tolerance policy that requires the removal of priests who are the subject of credible accusations.

Posted by kshaw at 09:00 AM

Released documents may speed Roman Catholic priests sexual abuse trials

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Pravda

16:10 2005-10-13
Newly released documents detailing sex abuse allegations against Roman Catholic priests could help speed hundreds of lawsuits toward settlement as the Los Angeles Archdiocese faces potentially damaging developments on other fronts in the abuse crisis.

The archdiocese posted summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests on its Web site at midnight Tuesday, even though they weren't expected to be made public for several weeks.

The archdiocese said it released the summaries to help victims heal and to make good on a deal made with plaintiffs during nearly three years of settlement talks. An appeals court ruling last month made it possible for the church to post the summaries, said Michael Hennigan, an archdiocesan attorney.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 AM

Faith is gone, and sex fiends must go, too

UNITED STATES
Scoopt

The flushing out of so many child molesters from beneath the skirts of the Catholic Church is not some version of a witch hunt bent on keeping homosexuals from the priesthood. As new cases of abuse are being discovered - this time it's Los Angeles, where the archdiocese has disclosed files detailing 75 years of sexual abuse by clergy - it is clear that acts of pedophilia precede any demands by homosexuals to be fully embraced by the church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:53 AM

Priests' suspension is lifted

CINCINNATI (OH)
The Cincinnati Post

By Kevin Eigelbach
Post staff reporter

Suspended from the priesthood over allegations of sexual abuse, Rev. Mike Paraniuk turned from selling Jesus to selling appliances.

He became the top salesman in appliances at the Best Buy store in Florence, Ky., selling $350,000 worth of white goods in six months.

"It was good to get back in touch with everyday work life," the Batavia resident said. "I did a darn good job, and I met some wonderful people."

On Wednesday, he learned that Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk had lifted his suspension, as well as that of Rev. David Vincent.

Paraniuk felt happy and vindicated, and was fielding calls from all his former employers, who want him back.

Posted by kshaw at 08:51 AM

Priest abuse said wider than believed

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Monsters and Critics

Oct 13, 2005, 13:35 GMT

LOS ANGELES, CA, United States (UPI) -- The sexual abuse scandal involving Roman Catholic priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese is reported far more reaching than previously known.

A study by the Los Angeles Times of the records of hundreds of accused priests, dating back to 1950, put far more children at risk than believed, the report said Thursday.

Molestations have been alleged at roughly 100 parishes. But because the accused priests moved around the archdiocese on average every 4.5 years, the total number of parishes in which alleged abusers served is far larger -- more than three-fourths of the 288 parishes, according to the study.

Posted by kshaw at 08:49 AM

October 12, 2005

Irish priests involved in sex abuse cases in US

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
A FRESH trawl of Catholic Church files has revealed that 17 priests born or ordained in Ireland are the subject of law suits in one archdiocese in the United States following allegations of sexual abuse.

Nine of the priests are still alive and some are still serving in parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles where just one has been cleared by the church authorities of the complaints against him. One deceased priest has also been cleared.

The Archdiocese yesterday released documents on 126 priests who have served in its parishes from the 1920s to the present time and who are the subject of multi-million dollar compensation claims against the Church.

In total the authorities have acknowledged accusations of sexual abuse made by more than 600 complainants against 244 priests, deacons, brothers and seminarians but not all have progressed to civil suits.

The clergy files published yesterday list the various parishes and communities the priests served and the chaplaincies and other posts they held but details of the allegations against them and the response of the Church are sketchy.

Posted by kshaw at 10:08 PM

Released Files Lead Priests' Accusers to Protest

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: October 13, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12 - By releasing files on scores of priests accused of sexually molesting children, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles hoped to quiet critics who have accused it of stonewalling and to speed a settlement with 560 accusers in a civil suit.

But the disclosures on Tuesday instead provoked an outcry from those who say they were victimized by priests, accusations of a coverup from the district attorney who is pursuing criminal charges against several priests and promises from lawyers in the civil case to press their claims in court to gain full access to the church's personnel files.

The released documents show decades of priests' abuse of children, in some cases for years after church officials had been notified of the misconduct. The files show that only in the last few years did the church begin to take effective action.

The archdiocese, which has been led since 1985 by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, is hoping to put the problem to rest by settling 560 claims against it in a single action, avoiding individual trials that could bring years of lurid disclosures and yield hundreds of multimillion-dollar judgments.

Posted by kshaw at 10:06 PM

The investigator's report

WISCONSIN
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Last update: October 12, 2005 at 10:41 PM

Excerpts from the report prepared for the Vilas County district attorney in 1994 after a teenage boy said Ryan Erickson, then a seminary student, asked to perform a sex act on the boy.

•March 10, 1994: "Erickson massaged down [the boy's] unclothed back, skipping his buttocks and then progressing to his legs. After a time, Erickson directed the boy turn over on his back and he started rubbing [the boy's] unclothed front side. When Erickson arrived at [the boy's] genitals he began to fondle them. ... Erickson then asked [the boy] if he would like [Erickson to perform a sex act on him. The boy] stated that he told him 'no' and then got on the floor for the rest of the night."

•May 10, 1994: "I feel this incident should be classified as 'uncorroborated.' I do not feel that the burden of proof 'beyond a reasonable doubt' can be met."

Posted by kshaw at 10:02 PM

Accused Priests Served Throughout Archdiocese

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione and Doug Smith, Times Staff Writers

The clergy sexual abuse scandal reached far more broadly across the Los Angeles Archdiocese — and put far more children at risk — than has previously been known, according to a Times study that examined the records of hundreds of accused priests.

Although the sexual abuse scandal has been the subject of more than 560 court claims and a report by the archdiocese, basic information on the dimensions of the problem have remained sketchy. The Times analysis is the first to quantify the breadth of the scandal in the archdiocese.

Molestations have been alleged at roughly 100 parishes. But because the accused priests moved around the archdiocese on average every 4.5 years, the total number of parishes in which alleged abusers served is far larger — more than three-fourths of the 288 parishes, according to the study, which examined records back to 1950.

The affected parishes were in neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties both rich and poor, suburban and urban, some predominantly white and others with African American or Latino majorities. The study does not support the contention made by some critics of the church that problem priests were dumped into poor, Latino and African American communities.

Posted by kshaw at 09:56 PM

Los Angeles Archdiocese Reveals Abuse By Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
VOA News

By VOA News
13 October 2005

Another sexual abuse scandal is rocking the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, as the Archdiocese of Los Angeles releases files on 126 priests documenting decades of sexual abuse allegations.

The records show church leaders, including the current Cardinal, Roger M. Mahony, sent some accused priests to counseling or reassigned them to other parishes, where some abusers continued to prey on children.

The Archdiocese produced the files as part of settlement talks with lawyers representing 560 people who say they were sexually abused by clergymen.

Posted by kshaw at 09:55 PM

DA, diocese differ on Erickson case

WISCONSIN
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 12, 2005

Not surprisingly, there have been several news reports in recent days regarding various aspects of the now-closed murder case of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison, who were shot to death in 2002.

Last week, a judge ruled that the late Father Ryan Erickson likely committed the murders, reportedly because of what O'Connell apparently knew about allegations of molestation made against Erickson. (Ellison was likely killed for being "at the wrong place at the wrong time.")

Then there's the controversy over what the Diocese of Superior knew, or may have known, about Erickson's past.

According to an Oct. 7 story in the Hudson Star Observer:

...Erickson had a long history of sexual abuse allegations against him and underwent several psychological evaluations, however no allegation was ever substantiated by authorities and no charges were ever brought against him.

Posted by kshaw at 09:48 PM

Rape charges dismissed against ailing Catholic Monk

ALABAMA
WAFF

Oct 12, 2005, 09:12 PM EDT

A woman claiming she was raped by a monk 30 years ago is angry he won't punished for the crime.

Anne McInnis left Cullman County Court emotional. Charges against the man she accused of raping her decades ago were dropped.

"It was immensely difficult for me personally. It has affected my life," says Anne McInnis.

McInnis says she was raped by a Benedictine Monk at Saint Bernard's Abbey in Cullman in 1971.

Posted by kshaw at 09:42 PM

VICTIMS NOT SATISFIED WITH FILE SUMMARIES ON PRIEST ABUSE

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KPVI

Oct 12, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A lawyer for alleged victims of molesting priests says they are "not going to be satisfied" until the Archdiocese of Los Angeles releases all its personnel files.

The church has just released summaries of personnel files on alleged molesters. The records show church officials moved accused priests between counseling and new assignments for decades.

Plaintiffs' lawyer Raymond Boucher says the files offer more details about the church's "knowledge" of -- and what he calls their "participation in" -- the molestation of children.

A lawyer for the archdiocese says the summaries "are accurate descriptions of the content of the files" and don't hold back important details.

Posted by kshaw at 06:36 PM

Mubarak Views: Unholy Sacrament

UNITED STATES
Windy City Times

by Mubarak Dahir
2005-10-12

If there was any shred of doubt left that the new Pope is taking the Catholic Church in an increasingly anti-gay direction, the latest proposal being considered by the Vatican should put those hesitations to rest.

Apparently, it isn’t enough for the Vatican to go on an anti-gay witchhunt and start prohibiting gay men from becoming priests, as the Church apparently plans to do soon.

Now, the Catholic Church is going to damn those who oppose its antiquated views on homosexuality to hell, so to speak: The latest proposal being considered is one that would call on priests to deny the sacrament to Catholic politicians who have voted in favor of policies and laws that go against official Vatican teaching. In other words: Vote for gay marriage, go to hell.

Posted by kshaw at 06:31 PM

LA Archdiocese Papers May Rush Settlements

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Free Press

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES —

Newly released documents detailing sex abuse allegations against Roman Catholic priests could help speed hundreds of lawsuits toward settlement as the Los Angeles Archdiocese faces potentially damaging developments on other fronts in the abuse crisis.

The archdiocese posted summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests on its Web site at midnight Tuesday, even though they weren't expected to be made public for several weeks.

The archdiocese said it released the summaries to help victims heal and to make good on a deal made with plaintiffs during nearly three years of settlement talks. An appeals court ruling last month made it possible for the church to post the summaries, said Michael Hennigan, an archdiocesan attorney.

"I think what we have here is a church that is embarrassed, that is contrite, that is ashamed of what happened in the past and is committed to reforming it to the extent that it is humanly possible to do so," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:28 PM

HOLE-Y STRATEGY

OREGON
Willamette Week

BY SAVANNAH BLACKWELL
503 243-2122

Archbishop John Vlazny insists to this day that he made the right choice 15 months ago when he directed Portland's Catholic Archdiocese to be the country's first to declare bankruptcy.

Vlazny says that was the only way to ensure archdiocese operations continued for nearly 400,000 Catholics in Western Oregon while providing fair compensation for plaintiffs with legitimate sex-abuse claims against priests.

But Vlazny's decision, which he hopes will limit financial losses from claims and some insurers' refusal to pay, looks shaky to analysts as a Dec. 6 court date looms.

If Vlazny's gamble proves a loser before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris in Portland, his archdiocese may have to sell off church assets throughout its 124 parishes and schools to settle some $200 million in sex-abuse claims.

The question of whether the archdiocese's liabilities outweigh its assets rests largely on whether church property, worth at least $500 million in assessed value, can be considered part of its estate.

Posted by kshaw at 06:23 PM

Three area priests removed from ministry

CINCINNATI (OH)
Dayton Daily News

By the Associated Press

CINCINNATI | Two priests accused of sexual abuse and placed on administrative leave have been returned to active ministry, while three others have been permanently removed from ministry.

Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk said Wednesday that the Rev. David Vincent and the Rev. Michael Paraniuk can return to the ministry. They were put on leave in March when an independent panel awarded compensation to people who accused the two priests of abuse. Pilarczyk determined after an investigation that the complaints could not be substantiated.

"I'm absolutely elated," Paraniuk said Wednesday. "I feel vindicated, and I am anxious to move forward and do God's work."

There was no Cincinnati telephone listing for Vincent.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national support organization for clergy abuse victims, said it was dismayed and shocked by the reinstatements.

Posted by kshaw at 06:17 PM

Socialite sues over priest's abuse that 'made him gay'

NEW YORK
Times

By Jacqui Goddard

A NEW YORK socialite who claims that he was molested by a priest as a child is to sue the Roman Catholic Church for £2.8 million, alleging that the ordeal made him grow up gay.

J. David Enright IV says that Father Joseph Romano sexually abused him at a Christian youth camp in the early 1960s, when he was seven years old, telling him that it was “a rite of passage”.

Were it not for the repeated assaults, which are said to have taken place behind a log cabin after evening prayers, Mr Enright, 51, is convinced that he would be straight.

“I believe that my life would be very different now. I’d probably be married, living in Greenwich with four children in boarding school,” he said.

“Romano bent my life.”

Mr Enright, a scion of two of New York’s most aristocratic families, who made his millions as an advertising executive for the Broadway production of 42nd Street, said that for years he kept his homosexuality private, dating women in the 1980s but secretly trawling for male companions. “I had a straight life in business, socially on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Then there was the other world, slinking around in Greenwich Village gay bars, finding mates,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:15 PM

John McNeill Lectures at Dignity/Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
Windy City Times

By Amy Wooten
2005-10-12

Although disappointed by latest reports coming out of the Vatican about the expected document banning gay priests from being ordained, theologian and author John McNeill urged LGBT Catholics to keep hope recently during a lecture sponsored by Dignity/Chicago.

McNeill, who is also a psychotherapist and a former Jesuit priest, spoke about how LGBT people should deal with the homophobic Church hierarchy. After hearing the news about the expected ban, McNeill told the audience he experienced sadness and rage. Not only, he said, is it a “fatal blow” to the Church, but the Vatican is scapegoating a whole category of people to establish its lost prestige due to sexual abuse scandals. “There is a painful awareness of holy men who will feel betrayed and abandoned by the Church,” he said.

LGBT people should respond by realizing that the Vatican’s actions have “nothing to do with God or the teaching of Jesus Christ,” McNeill said. Instead, he continued, purging gays from the priesthood is simply a political move to scapegoat gays, despite all the advice the Vatican has received from psychologists and others that gayness is not a cause of sexual abuse. In addition, homophobic documents coming out of the Vatican attempt to invoke self-hatred, self-destructiveness, and a fear of God among LGBT people.

“Do not waste one ounce of energy on the negative attachment to anger with the Church,” McNeill said. “Commit every ounce of energy to the positive ministry of love.”

Posted by kshaw at 06:12 PM

Two Priests Suspended On Sex Claims Reinstated

CINCINNATI (OH)
ChannelCincinnati.com

POSTED: 11:33 am EDT October 12, 2005
UPDATED: 3:27 pm EDT October 12, 2005

CINCINNATI -- Two priests accused of sexual abuse have been cleared, and three others previously suspended have been dismissed, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said Wednesday.

The Rev. Michael Paraniuk and the Rev. David Vincent have returned to active ministry after an investigation by the archdiocese, the archdiocese said.

Francis Massarella and Thomas Hopp were permanently removed by the Vatican, and Keith Albrecht was canonically dismissed.

Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk put Paraniuk and Vincent on administrative leave in March after an independent tribunal awarded compensation to persons who had accused them of sexual abuse. The tribunal subsequently announced that it had based its awards primarily on information from claimants and that payments did not suggest there was sufficient proof that the priests were guilty.

Posted by kshaw at 02:38 PM

New Details In California Sex Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS 5

(AP) LOS ANGELES After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese released information Tuesday from the confidential personnel files of 126 clergymen accused of sexual abuse.

The records, which summarize the files of the clergy, show that for more than 75 years the Archdiocese shipped priests accused of abuse between therapy and new assignments, often ignoring parishioners' complaints.

The confidential files were released as part of the settlement talks in a civil suit with lawyers for 560 accusers. Much of the information has already been published in various forms, but the documents offer details in a number of cases.

Archdiocese and plaintiff attorneys had agreed earlier to release the information, but earlier this year attorneys for the accused clergymen succeeded in blocking the publication of the information, arguing it would violate their clients' privacy rights.

An appellate court ordered the documents released last month.

Posted by kshaw at 12:51 PM

Report to the People of God

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Archdioces of Los Angeles

New material regarding sexual abuse by clergy in the Los Angeles Archdiocese was posted at this site on Oct. 12.

Posted by kshaw at 12:50 PM

Survivors Want Sheehan To Apologize

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

BY PAUL LOGAN Journal Staff Writer

Archbishop Michael Sheehan should publicly apologize at the parishes where a restricted priest has served, says the head of a support group for those abused by clerics.

Sheehan was in charge of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1995, when six men wrote letters to him alleging that the Rev. Ronald Bruckner sexually abused them as boys.

At the time, their letters weren’t taken seriously, Steven Rabi said Tuesday at a news conference near Our Lady of the Annunciation Church.

Rabi said those whom Bruckner allegedly molested were forced to wait a decade.

“It shouldn’t have taken a review board almost 10 years later to come to the conclusion that there was credible evidence,” said Rabi, state director of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at 12:43 PM

Suit names thousands of parishioners

OREGON
The Oregonian

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
STEVE WOODWARD
All but about 280 of the nearly 400,000 Roman Catholic parishioners in Western Oregon are now part of a class-action lawsuit that will determine who owns parish churches, schools and cemeteries within the Archdiocese of Portland.

The parishioners and parishes found themselves named in the rare defendant class action in July because of the archdiocese's argument that they -- not the archdiocese -- are the true owners of an estimated $500 million to $600 million in parish property.

The parishioners had until Oct. 3 to bail out of the suit, and about 280 filed the necessary paperwork.

The ownership question is crucial to the 15-month-old bankruptcy of the Portland archdiocese. If the parishes and parishioners are found to be the true owners, the property becomes off-limits to priest sexual-abuse claimants who are suing the archdiocese for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

If the archdiocese is found to be the owner, the parish property becomes fair game for paying off claims.

Posted by kshaw at 12:37 PM

245 priests accused of sexual misconduct

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Science Daily

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- At least 245 clergy members from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles have been accused of sexual misconduct, just-released church documents reveal.

That is 26 more than previously admitted by the nation's largest archdiocese and came Tuesday in documents called proffers intended to settle pending lawsuits, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The diocese last year settled 90 cases for $100 million. Still-pending suits involving more than 200 priests could cost the diocese $1 billion, parties to the suits said.

Despite a 2002 zero-tolerance policy, seven accused Los Angeles diocese priests remain active today. Church officials said the accusations have not been substantiated.

Victims' lawyers called the proffers inadequate and want complete personnel files, which the church has fought.

Posted by kshaw at 12:35 PM

State looks to take priest's license

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
BY MARGARET McHUGH
Star-Ledger Staff
Ten months since a suspended Catholic priest was charged with molesting four teenage boys at a Mendham drug treatment program, the state is moving to have his social work license suspended.

Kara Wood, spokeswoman for the state Board of Social Work Examiners, said the board asked the Rev. Richard Mieliwocki, 58, of Madison, to agree to a voluntary suspension after the allegations became public, but he refused.

"Now that there has been an indictment, the board is moving ahead with the process to suspend his license, and a hearing will be scheduled for that purpose," Wood said.

Mieliwocki, who is employed as a counselor at Community Care Behavior Health in Piscataway, was indicted in August, charged with molesting and making sexual comments to the boys, ages 16 to 18, during therapy sessions at Daytop Village between March and December of 2004.

In court yesterday, Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez offered Mieliwocki a plea deal that calls for a five- to seven-year prison sentence.

Defense attorney, Thomas C. Pluciennik, said Mieliwocki would not plead guilty because he didn't commit any crime.

Posted by kshaw at 12:30 PM

The Catholic Church: Saving us from the yuppie lifestyle

NEW YORK
Jossip

As a boy at Camp Tekawitha on Lake Luzerne in upstate New York, socialite Upper East Side socialite J. David Enright IV claims he was molested by the Rev. Joseph Romano, a counselor at the Catholic camp. Now he's suing the church for $5 million — not explicity, we should mention, for molesting him, but for, uh, turning him gay.

"I believe that my life would be very different now," said Enright, 51, dressed in a custom-made English suit and French cuffed shirt. "I'd probably be married, living in Greenwich, with four children in boarding school.
And as we look toward Yom Kippur, we've never had so much reason to thank the Catholic Church.

Posted by kshaw at 12:28 PM

Diocese accused of reneging on vow to provide counseling

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The Toledo Catholic Diocese was accused yesterday of failing to live up to its promises and responsibilities by refusing to pay counseling bills of a man who was abused as a boy by a priest.

In a news conference outside the Catholic Center yesterday, Claudia Vercellotti and Barbara Blaine of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held up oversized copies of letters that diocesan officials sent to William Claar, a former Fremont resident living in Anchorage, stating that the church will not reimburse him for therapy it considers "outside the mainstream of … traditional psychotherapy."

Mr. Claar, 46, was informed in a March 15, 2005, letter from Thomas Pletz, an attorney with the Toledo law firm Shumaker Loop & Kendrick that represents the diocese, that a panel of three Toledo-area psychiatrists appointed by the diocese had recommended against paying for the counseling by Elizabeth Wallmann-Filley, a licensed clinician in Anchorage.

The panel suggested Mr. Claar find a different therapist from among 90 mental-health-care professionals in Anchorage, according to Mr. Pletz's letter.

Mr. Claar filed a lawsuit against the diocese in 2002 alleging that he was raped and molested repeatedly, starting when he was a 13-year-old altar boy, by Bernard Kokocinski, a longtime Toledo diocesan priest. Mr. Kokocinski was barred from ministry in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at 12:27 PM

Ronnie Polaneczky | Duped priest assails church leaders

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By Ronnie Polanczky
polaner@phillynews.com

I'VE GOT good news and bad news for Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali.

The good news is that Mass attendance is way up at St. Basil the Great Roman Catholic Church, in Kimberton.

The bad news is that it most certainly isn't because of him.

That honor belongs to St. Basil's pastor, Father Bob McLaughlin, affectionately known as "Father Mac" - not just to the 1,200 families of his Chester County parish, but to me.

Father Mac is one of the "men of God" I was referring to in a column I wrote three weeks ago, about how I would not let the repulsive sex scandal in the Philadelphia Archdiocese tarnish my memories of the wonderful priests I knew growing up.

Shortly after the column ran, Father Mac contacted me, saying he'd read it and appreciated the vote of support. It had been nearly three decades since we last spoke, but his laugh was as recognizable to me as it was when I'd hear it roar infectiously through the church hall and rectory of my childhood parish.

Posted by kshaw at 08:36 AM

Kansas Judge Removed For Surfing Porn On Judicial Computer

KANSAS
North Country Gazette

For the first time since 1989, the Kansas Supreme Court has removed a county judge from office.

Saline County District Judge George R. Robertson, 56, was relieved of his black robe for viewing visiting pornographic web sites on the computer in his judicial chambers.

The Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications had recommended that the court remove Robertson, a judge for the past 10 years for violating judicial canons against impropriety and demeaning the integrity and impartiality of the court. ...

At a May 25 hearing, Robertson testified that he knew his internet activity was inappropriate on several levels but that the pressures of his judicial position and his volunteer commitments at his church led him to continue the activity.

Robertson, a church elder, told the judicial panel that the adult web sites provided a diversion for him. He told the panel that his conduct was unobtrusive and did not directly involve anyone else.


Posted by kshaw at 08:33 AM

An apologetic discussion

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

No one knows the value of a public apology better than Donna Morrissey. Still, it's a little odd that the former communications secretary for the Archdiocese of Boston is taking part in a panel discussion titled ''Good Business Means Sometimes Having to Say I'm Sorry." Joining Morrissey, now with the Red Cross, for the Oct. 19 roundtable are former Suffolk County DA Ralph Martin, ProMutual Group's Maureen Mondor, and Solomon McCown's Ashley McCown. Hired by Cardinal Bernard Law to burnish the church's image, Morrissey eventually became the public face of the clergy sex abuse crisis, an experience she later conceded was a ''public relations nightmare."

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

UNHOLY WAY TO TURN GAY

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN

October 12, 2005 -- A debonair New York socialite filed a $5 million legal notice against the Catholic Church yesterday — claiming his molestation at age 7 at the hands of a young priest led him to become gay.

J. David Enright IV — a scion of Albany's renowned Van Rensselaer and de la Grange families — told The Post he was repeatedly sexually abused by the Rev. Joseph Romano, a seminarian counselor at upstate Camp Tekawitha on Lake Luzerne, in 1961 and 1962.

"I believe that my life would be very different now," said Enright, 51, dressed in a custom-made English suit and French cuffed shirt. "I'd probably be married, living in Greenwich, with four children in boarding school.

"Romano bent my life."

The Upper East Side resident said Romano, then 21, took him behind a cabin after dinner and evening prayers and engaged in sex. The molestation was repeated up to seven more times, extending into the following summer, Enright said.

He'd "explain to me that this was a rite of passage," said Enright, who recalls the "devastating" abuse every day of his life.

Posted by kshaw at 08:23 AM

Ex-priest accused of sexual abuse

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
Anchorage Daily News

Published: October 12, 2005
Last Modified: October 12, 2005 at 02:47 AM

Former Anchorage Catholic priest Frank Murphy is accused in a new lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy numerous times years ago.

As Monsignor Francis Murphy, he tried at least twice to rape the boy and took nude photographs of him, said Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa. He filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Anchorage Superior Court on behalf of the plaintiff, now in his 30s, who is called Joseph Doe in the suit.

Murphy was a popular and charismatic priest in the Archdiocese of Anchorage from the 1960s to 1985. That's when his superiors suddenly ordered him to an alcoholic rehabilitation center for priests in the Lower 48 as police were investigating him for sexual misconduct, the Daily News reported in 2003.

The newspaper revealed Murphy as an alcoholic who collected pornography and was sexually attracted to boys. He permanently moved to Boston later in 1985 when police said they'd arrest him at the airport if he returned, the newspaper reported.

The new lawsuit seeks damages against Murphy, the Archdiocese of Anchorage, the Archdiocese of Boston and the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, the group that the lawsuit says brokered the arrangement that sent him from Boston to Anchorage.

Posted by kshaw at 08:08 AM

Lawsuit filed against Anchorage priest

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - by Megan Baldino

Anchorage, Alaska - A former Anchorage priest is once again being accused of sexually abusing a minor. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Anchorage court, a man claims Monsignor Francis Murphy sexually abused him as a teenager. The victim in this case is not being identified by name; instead, in the lawsuit, he is being referred to as “Joseph Doe,” but his alleged abuse is very similar to another case leveled against Murphy in 2003.

St. Patrick’s Church is where Joseph Doe allegedly met and then lived with Murphy.

“May well be the first case where the facts of Father Murphy come to light in a court of law,” said Ken Roosa (above right), attorney representing Joseph Doe.

According to the lawsuit filed in Anchorage Superior Court, Murphy sexually abused Doe when he was a teenager.

Posted by kshaw at 07:42 AM

Former Anchorage priest accused of sexual abuse

ANCHORAGE (AK)
The China Post

2005/10/12
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP)

A man who claims he was molested in his teens by a longtime Roman Catholic priest here has filed a lawsuit against the now retired clergyman and church leaders in Anchorage and Boston.

The plaintiff, identified only as Joseph Doe, is seeking at least $100,000 (€83,180) for pain and suffering, with the exact award to be determined at trial.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday names the Rev. Francis Murphy, who had been ordained in Boston before he was assigned in Anchorage in 1966. Other defendants are the archbishops of Anchorage and Boston and the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, Boston-based diocesan priests that the plaintiff asserts brokered Murphy's transfer to Alaska

The plaintiff no longer lives in Anchorage and doesn't want to disclose his current whereabouts, said Ken Roosa, an Anchorage attorney who has represented others alleging past abuse by Alaska-based priests. The man, who is now his late 30s, began to face his emotional injuries stemming from the abuse only in the past two years, according to the 18-page lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Anchorage.

"He's angry and he's upset and he's disappointed in his church," Roosa said.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage has said that at least five other people have previously accused Murphy of abuse. Murphy was not immediately available for comment.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 AM

Archdiocese Says It Didn't Shield Kids From Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione and Nita Lelyveld, Times Staff Writers

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles allowed at least eight priests to remain in contact with children even after receiving complaints that the clerics had a sexual interest in minors, according to church documents produced in the lawsuits by hundreds of alleged sexual-abuse victims.

That is twice as many as the church had previously conceded.

The documents, which became public Tuesday, indicate that numerous children might have avoided harm if church leaders in the 1960s, '70s and '80s had reacted more vigorously to warnings about abusive priests. Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the archdiocese, said the documents would be posted at midnight Tuesday on the archdiocese website, http://www.la-archdiocese.org .

The documents offer the most unfiltered look yet at the way the archdiocese responded to child-molestation allegations involving its priests over the last half-century.

In one of the newly revealed cases, a parishioner in 1980 passed a rumor to archdiocese officials that a young boy was spending every weekend at Father Richard Henry's home. In the decade that followed, the church received additional reports about Henry, including two in 1988, one from a nun at Our Lady of the Rosary in Paramount who said that the priest was partial to boys, and the other from a layperson who said he "grabs little boys and hugs them."

Posted by kshaw at 07:39 AM

Catholic church to further alienate public

UNITED STATES
Echo

By Dan DuChene / Staff Writer
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2005

The Catholic Church has recently gotten more media coverage than the Beatles had in the 1960s. For the past few years there has been a constant flow of juicy headlines screaming about the Vatican. These stories have brought both positive and negative attention to Catholicism. The recent news, however, is meeting mixed reviews.

It has been reported that the Vatican will soon announce it will be screening for homosexual priests coming through the seminary. Nearly a month ago the Boston Globe and New York Times reported that there would be 117 inspectors looking for "evidence of homosexuality" within the 4,500 seminarians currently in the U.S. That inspection was supposed to be done by the end of September.

The Roman Catholic Church moves at it's own pace. This story is no exception to the very slow pace that the church normally chooses. The Vatican hasn't even released a document on the issue. This isn't to say, however, that the stories are moot. These reports don't just manifest out of thin air. While the issue may not be as hurried, it is still pressing. There are two beliefs as to why the Vatican would exclude homosexuals from being ordained priests.

First, there are those people who remember the sexual abuse scandals that rocked the nation not too long ago. Keep in mind that a staggering majority of the victimized youth was, in fact, male. Therefore, there would be far less little boys being abused if the gays were cut out.

Posted by kshaw at 07:37 AM

Music ministry aids hope, healing

WESTFIELD (MA)
Republican

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
By IRIS ALDERSON
WESTFIELD - It wasn't a concert; it was an act of love.

This is how one attendee described the concert "Hope and Healing," held recently at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, to reach out and help the victims of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

Dave LeTellier, accompanied by Ed Chagnon and Joe Cirillo, entertained the audience with a variety of heart-warming songs such as "Do You Believe?," "Holy Star" and "Got to Love One Another" from LeTellier's CD titled "Love's Example."

LeTellier, a liturgical musician at St. Theresa's Parish in South Hadley, is a carpenter by trade. Although he enjoys working with his hands, he loves his music, too.

"I've never felt such joy in doing anything else as I do when playing music and watching people just taking it in," he said.

LeTellier has been playing and singing since the age of 10. He used to play country music in bars and at weddings, but said that he didn't feel comfortable doing that.

Posted by kshaw at 07:33 AM

Former priest charged with sex abuse may get plea deal

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

BY PEGGY WRIGHT
DAILY RECORD

The Morris County Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday offered an ex-Roman Catholic priest a plea bargain of between five and seven years in prison to resolve charges of sexual misconduct with four male teenagers he counseled as a social worker at Daytop-NJ in Mendham.

Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez told Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent Ahto in Morristown that the plea offer extended to 58-year-old Madison resident Richard J. Mieliwocki would involve up to seven years either in state prison or at the state's Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center for sex offenders in Avenel.

Mieliwocki has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and he next is due in Superior Court on Nov. 7.

If he accepts the state's offer, Mieliwocki also would have to register with police as a convicted sex offender under Megan's Law once released.

Mieliwocki also would be subject to community supervision for life.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 AM

New Details In Calif. Sex Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS News

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2005

(AP) After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese released information Tuesday from the confidential personnel files of 126 clergymen accused of sexual abuse.

The records, which summarize the files of the clergy, show that for more than 75 years the Archdiocese shipped priests accused of abuse between therapy and new assignments, often ignoring parishioners' complaints.

The confidential files were released as part of the settlement talks in a civil suit with lawyers for 560 accusers. Much of the information has already been published in various forms, but the documents offer details in a number of cases.

Archdiocese and plaintiff attorneys had agreed earlier to release the information, but earlier this year attorneys for the accused clergymen succeeded in blocking the publication of the information, arguing it would violate their clients' privacy rights.

Posted by kshaw at 07:27 AM

Diocesan conflicts a barrier to large-scale settlements for victims

CHICAGO (IL)
San Luis Obispo Tribune

BY AMEET SACHDEV
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO - (KRT) - John Kirker has not held a job in over two years. The 34-year-old Internet software developer says he has trouble focusing on work. His life has been put on hold since he filed a lawsuit two years ago against the Milwaukee Archdiocese, alleging childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.

While some dioceses have settled some cases, hundreds of sexual abuse victims like Kirker have been left in the lurch as the Roman Catholic Church and its insurance carriers argue over the extent of coverage. Conflicts in a number of dioceses have emerged as a barrier to large-scale settlements.

The church has so far paid out an estimated $1 billion on cases dating back decades. With hundreds of abuse lawsuits still not settled, the church's liability could double or triple, according to Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic lay reform group. The potential costs of future settlements already have forced three U.S. dioceses into bankruptcy.

In most cases, the issue of who will pay - and how much - has stalled settlement efforts. In one diocese, the church caused a rift by promising to settle without consulting its insurance carriers. There are also cases of missing policies dating back decades and arguments over whether policies cover priests who the church knew were suspected molesters.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

Los Angeles Files Recount Decades of Priests' Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Spartaburg Herald-Journal

By JOHN M. BRODER
New York Times
Published October 12, 2005

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 - The confidential personnel files of 126 clergymen in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles accused of sexual misconduct with children provide a numbing chronicle of 75 years of the church's shame, revealing case after case in which the church was warned of abuse but failed to protect its parishioners.

In some cases, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and his predecessors quietly shuffled the priests off to counseling and then to new assignments. In others, parents were offered counseling for their children and were urged to remain silent.

Throughout the files, cases of child molesting or rape are dealt with by indirection or euphemism, with references to questions of "moral fitness" or accusations of "boundary violations." For years, anonymous complaints of abuse were ignored and priests were given the benefit of every doubt.

The personnel files - some of which date from the 1930's - were produced as part of settlement talks with lawyers for 560 accusers in a civil suit here. The church provided them to The New York Times in advance of their public release in the next few days. The archdiocese is releasing them in part to make good on a promise to parishioners to come clean about the church's actions in the scandal, church officials said. It also hopes that the release will spur settlement talks, which appear to have stalled in recent months.

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 AM

Archdiocese Frees Info From Clergy Files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
North County Times

By LAURA WIDES

LOS ANGELES - After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has released information from the personnel files of 126 clergy accused of sexual abuse.

The confidential records show that for more than 75 years the nation's largest archdiocese shipped accused priests between therapy and new assignments, often ignoring parishioners' complaints.

And, in many cases, there was little mention of child molestation. Instead, euphemisms such as "boundary violations" were used to describe the conduct.

The documents were released to The Associated Press late Tuesday as part of settlement talks with lawyers for more than 500 accusers in a civil lawsuit. The records, which summarize clergy personnel files, offer details in numerous cases, though much of the information has already been published in various forms.

Posted by kshaw at 07:16 AM

October 11, 2005

More allegations of abuse

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTVA

According to the Associated Press, a man is suing a former Anchorage Catholic priest he says molested him years ago.

The plaintiff is identified only as Joseph Doe in the lawsuit filed in Anchorage Tuesday against the Reverend Francis Murphy and church leaders in Anchorage and Boston, where Murphy was ordained.

The plaintiff is seeking more than 100-thousand dollars in the lawsuit. The man's attorneys say the plaintiff no longer lives in Anchorage and doesn't want to disclose his current whereabouts.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 PM

Dismantling of church postponed

CANADA
Canada News Wire

THUNDER BAY, ON, Oct. 11 /CNW/ - Plans to dismantle the Old Anglican
Mission House in North Caribou Lake First Nation have been postponed until
November 2005.
As advised October 7, 2005, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand
Chief Alvin Fiddler along with members of a Ralph Rowe Survivor Network had
originally planned to gather in North Caribou Lake First Nation Thursday
October 13, 2005 to dismantle the Old Anglican Mission House where Ralph Rowe worked as a priest and scoutmaster. On the request of some community members the event has been postponed.
Ralph Rowe was charged with 38 counts of indecent assaults and 34 counts
of sexual assault against a total of 28 male victims in nine different
settings, most of them northern First Nations, alleged to have taken place
between June 29, 1971 and May 1, 1986 (a 16-year span). The actual court
process began this year.

Posted by kshaw at 08:00 PM

Pell fights Catholic anti-celibacy moves

VATICAN CITY
NEWS.com.au

By Jill Rowbotham
October 12, 2005

ABANDONING celibacy as a condition of priesthood would be a serious error, Cardinal George Pell told the Rome Bishops Synod overnight, weighing into the escalating debate on whether removing the celibacy rule would revive the interest of young men in becoming priests.

Addressing a gathering of more than 250 senior Catholic churchmen from around the world, presided over by Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Pell attacked moves in the church to relax the no-sex requirement.

Australia's leading Catholic referred to "the ancient tradition and life-giving discipline of mandatory celibacy for the diocesan clergy as well as the religious orders".

"To loosen this tradition now would provoke confusion in the mission areas and would not strengthen spiritual vitality in the First World," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 PM

Pastor removed from ministry after sexual abuse allegation

ATLANTIC CITY (NJ)
New York Newsday

October 11, 2005, 4:43 PM EDT

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- An influential Roman Catholic priest has been permanently banned from the ministry after accusations that he sexually abused a teenage boy four decades ago.

The Diocese of Camden informed parishioners at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church last weekend that the Rev. Michael H. D'Amico had been removed over the 1964 sex abuse allegation.

D'Amico was removed in May, after a 54-year-old man told diocese officials about the abuse, a charge the diocese says was substantiated.

The abuse allegedly happened during D'Amico's first year in the priesthood, when he was assigned to Most Holy Redeemer Church in Westville in Gloucester County. The victim was 13 at the time, according to the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 PM

Sexual abuse survivors seek closure

CANADA
Wawatay Online

Members of the Ralph Rowe Survivor Network will gather in North Caribou Lake First Nation this November to demolish the old Anglican mission house where Rowe worked as a priest and scoutsmaster.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation communications officer Jenna Young said the demolition is part of a process to give the sexual abuse survivors closure. “The survivors would have an opportunity to have a go at tearing the building down,” she said.

Heavy machinery is also going to be used as part of the process, she added.

Posted by kshaw at 07:49 PM

A.C. Priest Removed from Ministry

CAMDEN (NJ)
NBC 6

October 11, 2005 - The Diocese of Camden has announced it has permanently removed an Atlantic City priest from the ministry.

The Diocese says Father Michael D'Amico was removed after a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The 65-year old D'Amico was pastor of St. Michael's Parish in Atlantic City.

Posted by kshaw at 07:46 PM

Archdiocese's review board identifies members

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Tribune

By Joline Gutierrez Krueger
Tribune Reporter
October 11, 2005

The board members who recommended further sanctions for former Albuquerque priest Ronald Bruckner after finding allegations he sexually abused boys credible have taken an unprecedented step:

They've attached their names to their recommendation.

It's the first time the Archdiocese of Santa Fe's Permanent Review Board has made the identities of its membership known since its inception in 1993.

Don Kawal, chairman of the board and a member for about eight years, said it was a logical step.

"I thought it was important at this particular point in time for me," said Kawal, president of Klinger Constructors. "I was already headed that way."

The nine-member board last month unanimously recommended to Archbishop Michael Sheehan that he place Bruckner on restricted status after it concluded its investigation into an allegation of sexual abuse the archdiocese received in March.

Posted by kshaw at 01:46 PM

Anglicans overhaul sex laws

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

By Linda Morris
October 12, 2005

Sunday school teachers, youth leaders and church wardens guilty of moral lapses including habitual drunkenness, adultery and financial impropriety could face the sack under proposals by Sydney Anglicans to widen church laws dealing with cases of sexual misconduct.

A single standard of wrongful conduct would apply for the first time to senior church workers of the conservative Sydney diocese as well as its clergy and bishops.

Wrongful conduct is defined as sexual abuse and child abuse, as well as "unchastity", drunkenness, scandalous conduct, the wilful neglect of duties, the failure to pay debts and any crime that carries a jail term of more than 12 months.

But teachers at Anglican schools are unlikely to be covered by the new disciplinary measures unless their school boards decide otherwise.

As in politics or in business, high standards of behaviour were expected by the church of its senior officers, said the law's architect, Dr Philip Gerber.

Posted by kshaw at 12:20 PM

A gay priest speaks on impending Vatican document

UNITED STATES
National

By JEFF SEVERNS GUNTZEL

The “anonymous gay priest” is getting a lot of attention lately. He is turning up in newspapers, on the radio, and he is getting calls from TV producers (complete with promise of fake mustache and altered voice). They are from both coasts and places in-between. Their take on recent news from the Vatican causes in them a variety of responses with some uniformity: They are hurt and they are scared.

NCR spoke with a gay priest who is active in an ethnically diverse urban parish on the East Coast. He was eager to speak out but just as eager to protect his identity and his vocation. In the interview that follows, this priest reflects on the possible release of a document barring -- or at least discouraging -- gay men from entering the seminary, news of a Vatican plan to send teams of investigators to each of the more than 200 American Catholic seminaries to gather “evidence of homosexuality,” and the internal struggle of a gay priest trying to stay true to his vocation in a church that is, at best, conflicted about homosexuality and, at worst, acting out a deep prejudice.

NCR: What was your initial reaction to word of a looming Vatican document barring -- or at least discouraging -- homosexuals from entering the seminary?
Priest: I was horrified. And like many other celibate gay priests I know, I was also angry and discouraged and sad.

Posted by kshaw at 12:18 PM

Before retiring, bishop should disclose all abuse

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

Give the Catholic Diocese of Superior credit for following the rules. In explaining why church officials failed to list the name of Father Ryan Erickson -- who authorities say murdered two men to squelch a child sex allegation before taking his own life -- in a mandated audit of accused priests, a top aide to Bishop
Raphael Fliss said it was because they didn't have to.

Apparently, that's true. Though the Rev. Philip Heslin initially told the News Tribune on Wednesday he hadn't heard of a 1994 allegation against Erickson to include in a 2004 survey by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he elaborated the next day to say reporting the accusation wasn't required because Erickson was in seminary at the time. Bill Ryan, a spokesman for the bishops' group in Washington, confirms that, saying, "Neither of them (the diocese audit and a study of clergy abuse by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice) report on seminarians."

So Bishop Fliss and the Superior Diocese are off the hook. Even though Fliss acknowledges receiving and responding to an alert by a Wisconsin district attorney about the 1994 allegation, and even though the claim, while never corroborated and resulting in no criminal charges, was serious enough to subject Erickson to a battery of psychological tests over the next eight years, and even as Fliss begs forgiveness from the Catholic faithful of the diocese for "not doing more to find out what really happened" in the sordid life and death of Erickson, he had no obligation to tell the bishops or anyone about it.

Posted by kshaw at 12:17 PM

Statement by Lou Beres

OREGON
Coalition.org

While I am grieved by the false allegations of my nephew, Richard Galat, I am attempting to determine the source of each claim. Once I learn who has made an allegation I will pursue the Biblical response and do all within my power to reconcile with that person. It is inappropriate to comment on allegations by unnamed people. Out of respect for all concerned, I must say that I will work to resolve all issues.

I deny any criminal conduct.

With respect to Richard Galat, I was contacted by his sister this morning and she apologized for his behavior. She has told me that she has contacted the media to inform them of her having close ties with my family. Her brother, Richard, has suffered for years from conditions that prevent him from being responsible in his speech and actions.

Posted by kshaw at 07:08 AM

Oregon Evangelical Leader Quits Amid Scandal

PORTLAND (OR)
KitsapSun.com

By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, Associated Press
October 11, 2005

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The longtime head of the Christian Coalition of Oregon said Monday that he is "withdrawing from public life," a day after news reports detailed accusations of sexual abuse against him by three female relatives.

"I am thankful for a family that loves and supports me, and intend to withdraw from public life until this is resolved," Lou Beres wrote in a statement posted on the organization's web site, at www.coalition.org.

Beres has denied any criminal misconduct and wrote that he will "pursue the Biblical response and do all within my power to reconcile with that person."

Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk told The Oregonian newspaper that officials are investigating the complaints against Beres.

Posted by kshaw at 07:04 AM

Christian Coalition leader steps back after allegations

SALEM (OR)
The Oregonian

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
MICHELLE COLE
SALEM -- The chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon said he will "withdraw from public life" until sexual abuse accusations made against him by three female family members have been resolved.

Louis Beres, 70, denied any criminal conduct in a statement posted Monday on www.coalition.org. Beres said he will pursue "the Biblical response" and do all within his power "to reconcile with that person."

He added: "Even Christ refused to be called 'good.' Who am I to proclaim my righteousness?"

Beres didn't respond to messages on Monday. In his statement, Beres blamed a nephew for spreading false information.

Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk told The Oregonian on Saturday that authorities are investigating complaints that Beres molested three relatives when they were in their pre-teens.

Posted by kshaw at 06:55 AM

Spokane Catholic Diocese Releases Bankruptcy Plan

SPOKANE (WA)
KVEW

Last updated: Monday, October 10th, 2005 10:45:56 PM

The headquarters of the Spokane Catholic Diocese could be sold, under a plan to get the church out of bankruptcy.

The Catholic Diocese of Spokane will sell its headquarters and the home of Bishop William Skylstad to settle claims of people who contend they were sexually abused by priests, according to a plan filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Monday. But the issue of who owns individual parishes, schools and other Catholic property in the diocese is still unresolved, so the plan carries few specifics on the amount of money that would be available for victims.

Attorneys for victims called the reorganization plan another delay tactic by the diocese, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last December. Diocese attorney Shaun Cross acknowledged that the plan to emerge from bankruptcy does not include the usual financial worth information because the issue of assets is not decided. But he says the plan "creates a framework for the resolution of all claims in a global way."

Posted by kshaw at 06:50 AM

Priest under house arrest injured in accident

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Babalo Ndenze
October 11 2005 at 01:40AM

The Cape Town Catholic cleric convicted of indecently assaulting two young boys while he was their parish priest and chaplain at a Green Point church school about 20 years ago has been injured in a car accident in Stellenbosch.

Patrick Thornton had been admitted to the Stellenbosch MediClinic on Sunday, department of correctional services spokesperson Eddie Johnson said on Monday.

Details of Thornton's injuries and of the accident could not be established, but Johnson said his condition was "stable".

He was under house arrest, but his parole officer had given him permission to go to the Boland town, the department of correctional services said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:41 AM

Priest to be tried for rape - 25 years later

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Latoya Newman
October 11 2005 at 03:23AM

A precedent was set at the Durban magistrate's court on Monday when a 76-year-old Roman Catholic priest was told he would stand trial for a rape he is alleged to have committed almost three decades ago.

In his ruling, magistrate Trevor Levitt said that although the priest's defence had argued prejudice should the man be forced to answer to the charges, he had found it "could hardly be classified as irreparable trial prejudice".

The Durban priest, who can only be named once he formally pleads to the rape charge, applied for a stay of prosecution more than a year ago. Court proceedings have been delayed owing to the man's frail health.

Posted by kshaw at 06:39 AM

DMN Journalists honored for legal reporting

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

05:52 AM CDT on Tuesday, October 11, 2005

From Staff Reports

Dallas Morning News journalists swept the three major newspaper categories Monday in the Dallas Bar Association's annual awards for excellence in legal reporting. ...

In the feature story category, the winner was The News' team of Brendan Case, Reese Dunklin and Brooks Egerton for their series on Catholic priests around the world who were accused of sexual abuse but not punished by the church or authorities.

Posted by kshaw at 06:34 AM

Spokane Church Forced to Sell Bishop's Home

SPOKANE (WA)
KitsapSun.com

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press
October 11, 2005

SPOKANE -- The Catholic Diocese of Spokane would sell its headquarters and the home of Bishop William Skylstad to settle claims of people who contend they were sexually abused by priests, according to a reorganization plan the diocese filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

But the issue of who owns individual parishes, schools and other Catholic property in the diocese is still unresolved, so the plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy carries few specifics on the amount of money that would be available for victims.

Lawyers for victims called the plan another delay tactic by the diocese, which filed for Chapter 11 protection last December, listing $11.1 million in assets and $81.3 million in liabilities, mostly sexual abuse claims.

"Instead of bringing closure to the bankruptcy case, the diocese's plan and disclosure statement promise years of fruitless court appeals and legal expense," said a joint statement issued by lawyers for sexual abuse victims who have filed lawsuits and those who have not.

Posted by kshaw at 06:21 AM

Another sexual abuse lawsuit to be filed against archdiocese

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

Monday, October 10, 2005 - by Angela Unruh

Anchorage, Alaska - Another claim of sexual abuse has been filed against the Catholic Church.

There is word today that a lawsuit will be filed against the Archdiocese of Anchorage tomorrow. The suit alleges that Monsignor Francis Murphy sexually abused the plaintiff, referred to as “Joseph Doe,” when he was a minor.

Posted by kshaw at 06:03 AM

Spokane Catholic Diocese Announces Properties To Be Sold

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

The Spokane Catholic Diocese is prepared to sell its downtown headquarters office building and Bishop William Skylstad's home to settle plaintiffs claims of sexual abuse by priests.

These disclosures were included in a plan filed in United States bankruptcy court, but nothing was mentioned about parish churches, schools, and other parish property.

The announcement brought some relief to parents whose children attend Catholic schools.

Posted by kshaw at 05:59 AM

October 10, 2005

Rector: Bishop Suppressing Sexual Misconduct Investigation

NEW YORK
The Living Church Foundation

09/16/2005

It has been more than three years since an unexpected visitor told the Rev. David Bollinger that a former rector at St. Paul’s Church in Owego, N.Y. “molested” him when the man was 12 years old during an unsupervised overnight trip. Since then Fr. Bollinger says others have come forward with similar complaints. The accused continues to be licensed as a non-parochial member in good standing of the Diocese of Central New York.

On May 31, the diocese served Fr. Bollinger with a 90-day notice of inhibition, charging him with possible criminal misuse of his discretionary fund. The inhibition was extended for another 90 days following a meeting of the standing committee on Sept. 8.

“This has been the summer from hell for me and my family,” Fr. Bollinger said. “My wife and I have borne the brunt of this madness. Every morning we strategize how we are going to get through the day.”

Fr. Bollinger denies misuse of any Church funds. “I have always operated above board and with the full knowledge and agreement of the vestry,” he said. “I have used that fund for much good in this community.”

The vestry at St. Paul’s unanimously agrees and distributed a letter to every congregation in the diocese, every bishop in the Episcopal Church and everyone else who received the notice of inhibition after the standing committee, citing concerns that it might prejudice its proceedings, refused to receive it for their meeting.

Posted by kshaw at 06:09 PM

Allow priests to marry, Vatican told

ROME
Times

From Richard Owen in Rome

LEADING bishops gathered at the Vatican have suggested that Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry as a way of overcoming the shortage of priests.

The question of celibacy, which was suppressed under Pope John Paul II, has come to dominate a three-week synod of more than 250 cardinals and bishops.Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Patriarch of Venice, who is seen as a potential future Pope and is chairing the discussion, raised the issue in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Scola said that some bishops had “put forward the request to ordain married faithful of proven faith and virtue, the so-called viri probati,” while maintaining his own support for celibacy. There is a shortage of priests, and reformers believe that allowing married priests would help to attract newcomers.

There is one priest for every 2,677 Catholics, compared with one for every 1,797 thirty years ago. In the United States, where the Church has been hit hard by the crisis involving sexual abuse by clergy, the number of priests has fallen from 58,909 to 42,528. Meanwhile, the number of American Catholics has risen from 48 million to 65 million.

Posted by kshaw at 06:04 PM

PRIEST WHO MADE SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGE IS INHIBITED BY CENTRAL NY BISHOP

SYRACUSE (NY)
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
http://www.virtueonline.org

SYRACUSE, NY (10/10/2005)--The Bishop of Central New York, Gladstone "Skip" Adams III has inhibited Fr. David Bollinger, priest for 20 years at St. Paul's, Owego, NY for supposed financial irregularities allegedly in order to shut the priest up after he had a dispute with the bishop at last year's diocesan convention following allegations of a sex abuse scandal, which the priest says Adams is trying to cover up.

Bollinger named Fr. Ralph Johnson as the unmarried priest for his alleged pedophile activities at St. Paul's parish in the 1970s and says that the inhibition, recently extended for a second term of three months, was also because of the cover-up of the Diocesan Controller's invasion of his private savings account.

"I believe I have been inhibited as a punishment for trying to seek the truth about Johnson's alleged pedophile activities when I received an affidavit from one of 16 victims of my parish charging the former parish priest with sexual abuse."

Bollinger sent the signed complaint to the bishop and pastoral response team. As a result of doing this, and because he blew the whistle on the former parish priest, the bishop turned on Bollinger and inhibited him and then accused him of misusing his Discretionary Fund, he says.

VirtueOnline contacted Fr. Johnson, now retired and living in Gibson, PA and asked him the following questions:

VIRTUEONLINE: "Fr. Johnson you have been identified as the priest at St. Paul's in Owego, NY who sexually abused some 16 boys in the 70s. Is that true?"

JOHNSON: "Not that I know of."

VIRTUEONLINE: A woman has stepped forward with evidence that you had a joint bank account with her son to cover up your sexual behavior? Is that true?

JOHNSON: "No way".

Posted by kshaw at 06:02 PM

Coalition leader faces sex abuse allegations

OREGON
The Oregonian

Sunday, October 09, 2005
MICHELLE ROBERTS
and JEFF MAPES

Law enforcement officials said Saturday they are investigating complaints that Louis Beres, longtime chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon, molested three female family members when they were pre-teens.

"There is an investigation of allegations that have been made," Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said Saturday.

The Oregonian talked to three of Beres' female relatives, including two who told reporters that he molested them. All three said they have been interviewed for several hours by detectives.

"I was molested," said one of the women, now in her early 50s. "I was victimized, and I've suffered all my life for it. I'm still afraid to be in the same room with (Beres)."

Beres, 70, whose group champions socially conservative candidates and causes, confirmed he is under investigation for alleged molestation. He blamed "personal and political enemies" for the reports and said, "I never molested anybody."

Two of the alleged molestations occurred decades ago and likely would not result in criminal charges because state law limits prosecution of certain crimes. For example, the statute of limitations on sex abuse expires after six years.

One case, however, may fall within statutory timelines, authorities confirmed. That investigation involves a female family member who was allegedly molested by Beres when she was in elementary school, authorities said.

Posted by kshaw at 04:13 PM

Christian Coalition leader faces sex abuse allegation

OREGON
OregonLive

10/10/2005, 7:50 a.m. PT
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The local leader of the Christian Coalition is facing sex abuse allegations after three female members of his family told detectives he molested them.

Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said officials are investigating the complaints against Lou Beres, the longtime chairman of the Christian Coalition.

The three women — now adults — allege they were abused by Beres as preteens. Their families called the child abuse hot line last month, after the three openly discussed the alleged abuse for the first time.

Posted by kshaw at 04:09 PM

Local Christian Coalition Official Did Molest, Family Members Tell 'The Oregonian'

NEW YORK
Editor & Publisher

By E&P Staff

Published: October 10, 2005 11:45 AM ET

NEW YORK After news broke that local law enforcement officials were investigating complaints that Louis Beres, longtime chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon, had molested three female family members when they were pre-teens, The Oregonian in Portland went out and interviewed Beres' family members.

Two told reporters that Beres, indeed, had molested them. All three said they have been interviewed for several hours by detectives.

"I was molested," said one of the women, now in her early 50s. "I was victimized, and I've suffered all my life for it. I'm still afraid to be in the same room with [Beres]."

The coalition led by Beres, 70, champions socially conservative candidates and causes. Its Web site describes the group as "Oregon's leading grassroots organization defending our Godly heritage." The group opposes abortion, gay rights, and stem cell research. It is affiliated with the national Christian Coalition, which was founded in 1989 by television evangelist Pat Robertson.

Posted by kshaw at 04:06 PM

Delivery of Ferns report imminent

IRELAND
One in Four

The much-anticipated report of the Ferns inquiry into the handling of clerical sex abuse allegations in that diocese is not expected to be delivered to the Department of Health until the end of this week. It is then expected to be referred it to the Attorney General.

There are concerns that perpetrators of abuse should not be identifiable from evidence recorded in the report, which could expose the State to legal action. The lengthy document is expected to be with the Attorney General's office for some time.

Under the chairmanship of Mr Justice Frank Murphy, the inquiry was set up following an investigation by George Birmingham SC into how allegations of clerical sex abuse in Ferns might best be inquired into by the State.

Mr Birmingham was asked to do so in April 2003 following the resignation of Bishop Brendan Comiskey, which followed a broadcast of the BBC Suing the Pope programme on child sex abuse in Ferns diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 03:31 PM

Accused ex-priest relieved of duties

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Tribune

By Joline Gutierrez Krueger
Tribune Reporter
October 10, 2005

Retired Albuquerque priest Ronald Bruckner has been relieved of remaining churchly duties a decade after he was first accused of sexually abusing minors.

An attorney for Bruckner says the Archdiocesan Permanent Review Board, which made the recommendation, hasn't had time to consider the underlying facts in the case. But an advocacy group for victims of priest abuse is asking why it took the board and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe so long to chastise Bruckner.

Bruckner, 72, was placed on restricted status effective Sept. 16 after a unanimous recommendation from the review board.

Archbishop Michael Sheehan said the board concluded "there were credible allegations" of sexual abuse of minors.

Under restricted status, Bruckner will not be allowed to wear a Roman collar or exercise priestly duties, but Sheehan said Bruckner still will receive his pension.

Posted by kshaw at 03:21 PM

Priest said he had concerns about priest accused of murders

LADYSMITH (WI)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

October 9, 2005

LADYSMITH, Wis. (AP) - A co-worker of a priest who was found by a judge to have likely killed two people to cover up his sexual misconduct said he had voiced concern about the priest's social habits to the Superior diocese bishop.

A judge last week ruled that the Rev. Ryan Erickson almost certainly shot to death funeral home director Dan O'Connell, 39, and employee James Ellison, 22 in 2002. St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson said evidence suggests the O'Connell had found out that the priest was sexually abusing someone, was providing alcohol to minors, or both.

The ruling came Oct. 3 after a so-called John Doe hearing requested by the victim's families. ...

According to a report by the Hudson Police Department, Anderson said Erickson's alcohol consumption worried him.

Anderson remembered once when Erickson brought a cooler full of alcohol to a popular drinking spot, "Beer Can Island,'' in Hudson and partied the whole weekend.

When Anderson voiced his concern to Erickson, Erickson responded, "I'm not a priest this weekend,'' the report said.

Anderson also said he heard allegations that Erickson put firecrackers in the mouths of fish and watched them blow up, the report said.

Anderson spoke with Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Superior Diocese to request that Erickson be transferred, partly because of his social habits.

Posted by kshaw at 10:19 AM

Singer Slams Gay Priest Witch Hunt

IRELAND
Rainbow Network

10 October 2005

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor has slammed what she calls the Catholic Church's "witch hunt" against gay priests, warning church leaders that they are “blasphemous” for criticizing gay people.

The controversial singer said she believes senior figures in the Catholic Church are now "preaching against love" in the campaign against lesbian and gay people.

The pope is thought to be considering a document that may ban gay men from joining the priesthood. In addition, a Vatican team is conducting a thorough review of US seminaries with a focus on identifying gay students and alumni.

Posted by kshaw at 10:15 AM

Judge says feuding neighbor has lost perspective

HAMPTON (NH)
Foster's Daily Democrat

HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a stalking complaint filed by real estate agent Kathy Hutchins against former Senate President Beverly Hollingworth's husband, William Gilligan.

Special Justice Thomas Rappa issued a nine-page decision Friday concluding that Mrs. Hutchins "has engaged in a course of conduct that is both provocative and harassing."

"The fact that (Gilligan) responded to this conduct with comments demonstrating his disdain for such actions does not constitute stalking as defined by the statute." ...

Hollingworth, 69, is a former New Hampshire Senate president who ran for governor three years ago. Hutchins, 47, won millions from the Roman Catholic Church on behalf of alleged victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 10:10 AM

Catholic group convenes to change the church

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Delfin Vigil, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, October 10, 2005

With their gray hair and their overwhelming preference for decaffeinated drinks, the nearly 100 members of the lay Catholic group Voice of the Faithful who gathered inside St. Matthew's Catholic Church gym in San Mateo on Sunday didn't look intimidating.

But theologian Sally Vance-Trembath of San Francisco said leaders of the Catholic Church see the group as a force to be reckoned with.

"Fifty years from now, the Voice of the Faithful will be remembered as the tiny pebble that rolled down the hill and became the biggest thing to hit the church," Vance-Trembath, 51, said before delivering a keynote address to the group, which gathered to discuss its potential role in choosing the next archbishop to lead the San Francisco archdiocese. ...

"Sexual abuse is not the biggest crisis in our church," Vance-Trembath said. "A bishop's deceit is the crisis -- because bishops did not tell the truth about priests abusing children. If we can have a say in who becomes bishop and what qualities they must have, we can end that crisis."

Jenkins said leaders of the San Francisco archdiocese have tried to stunt the group's growth.

Archdiocese spokesman Maurice Healy acknowledged Sunday that he rejected the group's attempt to buy an advertisement announcing the meeting in Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocese's monthly newspaper, which he edits.

Posted by kshaw at 10:07 AM

Priest's public ministry ends in scandal

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
USA Today

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Archbishop Michael Sheehan has forbidden a retired Albuquerque priest from participating in public ministry because of credible allegations of sexually abusing a minor.

Sheehan said Sunday he placed Ronald Bruckner on restricted status after a unanimous recommendation from the Archdiocesan Permanent Review Board, which concluded "there were credible allegations."

Bruckner, who is in his 70s, will not be allowed to wear a Roman collar, but Sheehan told the Albuquerque Journal that Bruckner still would receive his pension.

"We keep him in prayer and also the man alleging the misconduct," Sheehan said.

Sheehan said he connected Bruckner with a counseling service in Washington, D.C., where Bruckner is receiving care.

Posted by kshaw at 10:02 AM

What Will the Bishops Do Next?

UNITED STATES
Time

By JEFF ISRAELY/ ROME

Posted Sunday, Oct. 09, 2005
It no longer appears a question of if, but how the Vatican will try to restrict homosexuals from joining the priesthood. As 256 of the world's bishops gathered in Rome for a three-week synod--the first under Pope Benedict XVI--details filtered out to the Italian press that something a bit less draconian than a blanket ban was in the works. A long-shelved document providing specific admission instructions to seminaries is expected to be issued in November. The "instruction" from the Congregation for Catholic Education would add some teeth to a long-standing but often loosely enforced ban on the ordination of gays, but it would also allow seminary officials some leeway.

The new directive updates a 1961 document that bars from the priesthood "those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty." According to the leading Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, and other newspapers, the new instruction provides much more specific guidance on whom to exclude. First, it is said to eliminate from consideration anyone who has engaged in gay sexual relations in the previous three years. Second, it would bar those who openly declare their homosexuality or take part in gay life by, say, visiting gay-oriented websites and bookstores and gay-pride events. According to theAbuse Tracker , a third, more loosely defined strike would go against seminary candidates whose homosexual orientation is sufficiently "strong" and "permanent" as to make the all-male environment of a seminary a temptation to sexual activity. Gays already in the priesthood would not be affected by the new document, which was signed by Benedict in September, according to Corriere della Sera.

Posted by kshaw at 09:59 AM

Vatican would bar gays from seminaries

UNITED STATES
The Christian Century

by Stacy Meichtry

New rules that would bar gays from the Roman Catholic priesthood have been submitted to Pope Benedict XVI for approval, signaling a push for tightened regulations as the church prepares to review the sexual conduct of its seminarians.

Prepared by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, which has oversight of seminaries, the guidelines are based on a longstanding church teaching that terms homosexuality an "objectively disordered" condition that could impair priests in performing their ministry.

Critics of the move say homosexuality should be a nonissue since all priests—gay or straight—are called to celibacy. They accuse the church of using gay men as a scapegoat for the church's sexual abuse scandal.

A Vatican official, speaking to Religion News Service on condition of anonymity because Vatican policy prohibits public discussion of internal matters, confirmed that a document containing the new regulations had been submitted to the pope for approval. However, he stressed that the paper could still be returned to the oversight body for revision. If that happened, its publication could still be years away.

Posted by kshaw at 09:56 AM

Reports of Catholic priest abuses surface in Reno area

RENO (NV)
San Bernardino County Sun

Associated Press

RENO, Nev. - Reports of sex abuses by Roman Catholic priests have spread across the country since they first surfaced in Boston in 2002, and while the Reno area has not been a focal point of the scandal, it has not been spared.
In an extensive account published on Sunday, the Reno Gazette Journal reported:
After spending his life drunk to avoid the pain left by abuse, a man shares his childhood secret: A priest, claiming he was investigating concerns that the boy, then 12, might be gay, molested and raped him and demanded his silence.
Rwo women, now in their 50s, related how another priest took them as girls to a drive-in theater, and, while sitting between them with a blanket across their laps, allegedly molested them.
Another local woman told of a third Reno priest who she said repeatedly molested and raped her at the rectory, in his car and at a family cabin, leaving her emotionally devastated, addicted and suicidal.

Posted by kshaw at 09:54 AM

Church encircled by 200 seeking return of pastor

NEWTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Levenson, Globe Correspondent | October 10, 2005

NEWTON -- Parishioners linked hands outside Our Lady Help of Christians Church yesterday and demanded the return of their ousted pastor, the Rev. Walter H. Cuenin, moments after their new pastor criticized the way the removal was handled and pledged to find out how and why it happened.

''Reinstate Walter! Exonerate Walter!" parishioners chanted outside the church on Washington Street, after they had packed inside to hear the Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, a former spokesman for the archdiocese, celebrate Mass and deliver his first homily as the parish's new priest.

''My only agenda, my only plan, is to serve this faith community and, in time, to belong here," Coyne told parishioners during his homily.

But many parishioners, still fuming over Cuenin's removal, said that would not be easy for Coyne.

''We want to collaborate with anybody that will work with us to keep our parish strong, but we have to move forward on a basis of justice," said parishioner Margaret Roylance after chanting for Cuenin's return. ''We welcome [Coyne] as a priest, although the process by which he was sent to us and the process by which Father Cuenin was removed was unacceptable and unjust and we can't move forward on that basis."

Posted by kshaw at 09:51 AM

Abuse report isn't a liability for D.A.

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Thomas Fitzgerald
Inquirer Staff Writer

If you're a Philadelphia politician, you might want to avoid the risk of angering up to a third of the voters with an attack on their church.

Yet District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham is cruising to reelection, despite having issued - just seven weeks before Election Day - a scathing grand-jury report on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests that accused the church of an "immoral" coverup.

Seeking a fourth full term in office on Nov. 8, Abraham faces an unknown and underfunded Republican challenger, 41-year-old Louis S. Schwartz, a defense lawyer who handles traffic violations, DUI and drug cases.

Lawyers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said the three-year investigation into priest abuse was motivated by bigotry, but so far no groundswell has materialized against Abraham.

"You'd be astounded how many people come up to me and say - they put their hand on their chest and say, 'I'm Catholic and you did a great thing,' " Abraham, 64, said last week when asked about the report at a senior citizens meeting in the Northeast.

Posted by kshaw at 09:48 AM

Screening The Priests

UNITED STATES
Time

By DAVID VAN BIEMA, SEAN SCULLY/ PHILADELPHIA

Posted Sunday, Oct. 09, 2005
Thomas Plante asks the question roughly 20 times a year, and if it doesn't work, he's ready with the follow-up. "You say, 'Well, tell me what your dating history is like,'" explains the Santa Clara University psychology professor. "And usually they'll hand it to you on a silver platter. If they don't, you say, 'Well, do you find yourself more interested in involvement with women or with men?' If they say, 'I've never dated,' you say, 'Well, when you walk down the street, who catches your eye?" And so, gently but relentlessly, Plante, one of several dozen U.S. therapists who screen candidates for Roman Catholic seminaries, attempts to ensure that the church knows the sexual orientation of one more would-be priest.

For the past month, screeners like Plante have braced for a new directive from the Vatican. In the wake of the sexual-abuse scandal among U.S. clergy--in which some 80% of the victims were boys--the church seemed poised to carry out a blanket ban on admitting homosexuals, even celibate gays, to its seminaries. Italian newspapers, however, are now reporting that Pope Benedict XVI had signed a somewhat less extreme "instruction." (See accompanying story.) But while awaiting that edict, the psychologists like Plante, who (among other things) help determine whether prospective seminarians are gay, have been drawn into a debate about that particular aspect of their job. Predominantly Catholic but not necessarily ordained, most of these psychologists are quite comfortable with the notion of celibate gay priests. And most are quick to point out, as Plante does, that "being homosexual doesn't put you at higher risk for committing sexual offenses against kids."

Posted by kshaw at 02:35 AM

Long road to redemption

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

BY DESONTA HOLDER
dholder@herald.com

``I killed them over and over in my mind many, many, many times.''

That's how Abraham Joseph Thomas Jr. -- Miami husband, father, grandfather, man of God -- once dealt with the two people he says raped him at a Catholic boarding school in Louisiana. Now, after decades of soul-lacerating silence, he is opening his heart and his mouth, going public, taking his accusations to the pulpit, the police, the press. Cleansing his poisoned heart; healing his sick, woeful past.

Thomas says he wants to help others who have been raped, to let them know they're not alone, that there is hope for recovery. After all he's been through, he says, he could have, maybe should have, gone crazy. But, ``I'm still standing.''

His accused rapists, their faces seared deeply into his memory, are dead, and Thomas, at 58 an associate pastor at St. James AME Church in Liberty City, did not report the assaults to police until June, almost a half century after he says they occurred at Holy Rosary Institute in Lafayette, southwest of Baton Rouge. Lafayette police spokesman Mark Francis says that Thomas' complaint is the first his department has received about abuse at the co-ed school, which over the course of eight decades housed thousands of African-American children from elementary grades through high school. It closed, due to faltering enrollment, in 1983.

Posted by kshaw at 02:16 AM

Katherine Kersten: Heroes, warriors are welcome at this seminary

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune
October 10, 2005

Imagine this scene: It's 6 a.m. on a wintry day. More than 100 young men wipe the sleep from their eyes and gather in a dark chapel, heads bowed, for an hour of silent prayer.

An Irish monastery, circa 1450 A.D.? No, it's a typical morning at St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, a four-year college program for men considering the Catholic priesthood.

You'd think the recent bad press about clergy sexual abuse would have slowed the stream of potential priests to a trickle. But SJV, located at the University of St. Thomas, has an entering class of 49 -- the largest in 20 years. In fact, SJV has more college seminarians than any other Catholic seminary in the country. Young men flock here from 24 Catholic dioceses, from Alaska to Kentucky. To become priests, they must continue their studies at a graduate seminary after completing SJV's program.

Posted by kshaw at 02:11 AM

SNAP to leaflet at Catholic parish over alleged pedophile priest

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV

02:45 PM CDT on Saturday, October 8, 2005

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests will hand out leaflets tomorrow morning outside a parish where a suspected pedophile priest once worked.

The Reverend Joseph Monahan is named in a Philadelphia grand jury report that is critical of the Philadelphia Archdiocese for covering up accusations of sexual abuse by priests.

Monahan was accused in 2002 of sexually abusing an eighth-grade boy in 1969 when he was assistant pastor in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

Posted by kshaw at 02:02 AM

October 09, 2005

Man's abuse case against nun dismissed

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff | October 8, 2005

Only four days before it was set to go to trial, a state judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Taunton man who alleged that he was sexually and physically abused by nuns when he was a student at the now-defunct Boston School for the Deaf in the 1950s.

The suit by William Ross was the first of 18 brought by former students against officials at the school that are nearing trial in Suffolk Superior Court. But Judge Margot Botsford dismissed the complaint after issuing a ruling Wednesday that barred Ross's lawyer from presenting evidence of an ''air of lawlessness" condoned by the school principal.

Ross's lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, who also represents the 17 other former students of the school, said he intends to press on with their individual suits. But he said Botsford's ruling Wednesday quashing evidence ''certainly doesn't help" if he tries to make a similar argument in the other complaints.

Joseph L. Doherty Jr., who was representing the retired 93-year-old principal in Ross's suit and is involved in the 17 remaining claims, said that the dismissal was a ''tremendous victory" for the nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph and that the other suits are likely to suffer a similar fate.

''Mr. Garabedian himself chose this to be the primary case to put forward to trial," he said. ''We don't see that there's any true factual evidence to support any of the claims."

Ross, who has been deaf from birth, alleged that in 1951, when he was about 9 years old, a nun, Sister Teresita Corliss, force-fed him soup in the cafeteria, causing him to vomit, and slapped him in the face. Three years later, he said, she confined him to a dark room for an extended period.
Ross also alleged that another nun, Sister Mary Mark, had sex with him and repeatedly engaged in ''lewd and lascivious behavior" with him when he was about 16 years old. The sexual and physical abuse, he alleged, caused him to suffer emotional problems and to abuse alcohol.

Posted by kshaw at 11:11 AM

Judge tosses lawsuit alleging abuse by nuns at defunct Boston school

BOSTON (MA)
Foster's Daily Democrat

BOSTON (AP) — A judge dismissed the first of 18 lawsuits filed by former students of the now-defunct Boston School for the Deaf who allege they were sexually and physically abused by nuns decades ago.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford on Friday dismissed Michael Ross' complaint four days before the case was to go to trial. Botsford's move came two days after she ruled that the Taunton man's lawyer could not present evidence of an "air of lawlessness" condoned by the school principal at the time of the alleged abuse in the 1950s.

Ross's lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, who also represents the 17 other former students of the school, said he intends to continue with their individual lawsuits alleging abuse from the 1940s through the 1970s.

But Garabedian said Botsford's evidentiary ruling Wednesday "certainly doesn't help" if he tries to make a similar argument in the other complaints.

Joseph L. Doherty Jr., who was representing the retired 93-year-old principal in Ross's suit and is involved in the 17 remaining claims, said that the dismissal was a "tremendous victory" for the nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph. The other suits are likely to suffer a similar fate, he said.

Ross, who has been deaf from birth, alleged that in 1951, when he was about 9 years old, a nun force-fed him soup in the cafeteria, causing him to vomit, and slapped him in the face. Three years later, he said, she confined him to a dark room.

Ross also alleged that another nun had sex with him and repeatedly engaged in "lewd and lascivious behavior" with him when he was about 16 years old.

But because both nuns are deceased, Ross sued Sister Mary Carl Boland, who served as principal of the school from 1954 to 1966, Garabedian said. Boland lives in a Framingham nursing home for elderly nuns.

Posted by kshaw at 11:04 AM

Hudson parish prays through its grief

HUDSON (WI)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

BY STEVE SCOTT
Pioneer Press

HUDSON, Wis. — The Rev. John Parr of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson acknowledged the pained hearts and souls of his congregation Saturday as they came to Mass for the first time since one of their former associate pastors was found responsible for two murders in the city three years ago.

Parr, who was not a priest at St. Patrick's at the time of the tragedy, did not make specific reference to the late Rev. Ryan Erickson, who a judge said Monday most certainly shot and killed Dan O'Connell, who was a St. Patrick's parishioner, and intern James Ellison at O'Connell's funeral home in February 2002.

Speaking from the assigned Gospel reading of the day, Parr likened the congregation to guests coming to a wedding feast with tattered garments that must be mended.

"This past week and for many more weeks to come, the people of St. Patrick's must weave this garment … not out of whole cloth, but from the tatters of our hearts and souls,'' he said during his homily.

Posted by kshaw at 09:25 AM

Vatican official responsible for seminaries says priestly formation key

VATICAN CITY
North County Times

By: Associated Press

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican official responsible for an upcoming new document allowing gays in the priesthood under certain conditions told a meeting of the world's bishops that the education and formation of priests was key in helping Roman Catholics understand the Mass.

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, did not mention the pending document in his Friday speech to the Synod of Bishops, according to a summary of his remarks released Saturday.

But he said "there is still a lot of work to be done" in many seminaries to make sure priestly candidates are properly educated in all aspects of the Mass, from its theology to its liturgical norms and beyond.

"This formation of seminarians is of maximum importance and must be underlined, because the way the Eucharist is celebrated and the way it is perceived and lived by the faithful, depends principally on the priest," he said.

The Vatican confirmed in 2002 that Grocholewski's congregation was preparing new guidelines for seminaries that would address whether gays should be admitted. The issue had gained attention following the U.S. clerical sex-abuse scandal and surveys showing that most victims were adolescent boys.

Posted by kshaw at 09:22 AM

Michigan priest's book on homosexuality

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 8, 2005

Father Jeffrey T. Robideau, a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., has written a short 45-page book titled Homosexuality: A Look at Catholic Teaching. He has been gracious enough to allow me to print excerpts from his book, which is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

First excerpt:

Knowing that homosexuality is the desire for a perverted relationship with someone of the same sex, the Catechism states the 'psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.' We know that the problem lies in the thinking and in the heart as Scripture says in Mt 15:10. This leaves the question — Why and how does the heart come to desire homosexuality? This is the 'psychological genesis' that is unclear. There could be many explanations for the genesis of this disordered desire of the heart: Personal choice; Dominating Mother; Lack of a Father figure; Abused as a child; Peer pressure; Experimentation; Societal permissiveness; Misplaced trust in an authority figure; etc.

Posted by kshaw at 09:19 AM

Area woman surprised by allegations against priest

CAMPBELLSPORT (WI)
The Reporter

By Joann Schrauth
special to the reporter

CAMPBELLSPORT — Lisa Cherti says that what she is hearing these days about the Rev. Ryan Erickson does not sound like the boy she knew from Campbellsport High School.

Cherti, who now lives in Juneau, Wis., said she has been following recent news stories of the investigation that connects Erickson, a Campbellsport native, with the funeral home murders of two men in Hudson, Wis., and his own death by hanging in late 2004 at Hurley, Wis.

She said none of it makes sense to her. In an e-mail message sent to The Reporter, Cherti said, “It’s just ridiculous and absurd.”

She said she went to Campbellsport High School with Erickson. She left Campbellsport in 1991 and said Erickson graduated in 1992.

“For Halloween, he dressed up as a nun,” Cherti recalled. “I dressed as a bunny. He was so fun loving, so happy. He always wanted to help people.”

Posted by kshaw at 09:15 AM

Three men report alleged killer priest made sexual advances toward them

HUDSON (WI)
The Reporter

the associated press

HUDSON, Wis. — More witnesses emerged last week in apparent support of a judge’s ruling that a priest had likely killed two funeral home workers in 2002 to cover up his own sexual misconduct.

Hudson police said Friday that at least three men had reported that sexual advances were made toward them while they were teenagers by the Rev. Ryan Erickson, a priest who committed suicide in December at age 31, shortly after police questioned him in the killings. Erickson was a Campbellsport native and graduated from Campbellsport High School.

Police also said they received an anonymous letter, postmarked Oct. 4 from St. Paul, from a man who says he saw Erickson in his car about a half-block from the funeral home where the killings occurred.

The letter depicted Erickson in his car with a “glazed look” the night before funeral home owner Dan O’Connell, a St. Patrick’s parishioner, and mortuary intern James Ellison were shot to death, police said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:13 AM

Church targets gays in seminaries

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

The Christian faith is epiphany and inclusion. But the Catholic Church now is imposing categories of priestly vocations. Vatican-appointed inspectors will visit U.S. seminaries this month to look for ''evidence of homosexuality.'' Such exclusion is based on ''magisterium,'' not direct Biblical references. The witch hunt extends to seminarians whose last gay sexual activity was, perhaps, a decade ago. A sexual abacus is necessary to track activity with such chronological precision. According to the Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, the church must stay ''on the safe side,'' anticipating a Vatican document that decides whether gays should be barred from the priesthood. O'Brien heads the Archdiocese for Military Services.

The apostolic mission is more detective work than pastoral. The identification of ''same-sex-attraction seminarians,'' appears to be the leading concern. It is yet unclear how matters sexual can be detected and evaluated. It could be that the church has devised new clinical methodology.

Seminarians and professors leave certain protected rights at the door. The inquiry searches for dissenting voices in the faculty. A daunting challenge ahead is determining if the seminary is free from the influences of New Age and eclectic spirituality. Bishops will try to ascertain if students use the Internet, television, etc., ''with prudence and moderation.'' The church could find itself on shaky legal grounds in monitoring seminarians' behavior outside the seminary. Should one follow the American church's line of reasoning, heterosexual priests or candidates are exempt from carnal temptations, unlike their same-sex-attraction brethren.

Posted by kshaw at 09:07 AM

A plan to empower lay Catholics

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Kristin E. Holmes
Inquirer Staff Writer

Richard K. Taylor calls his plan a form of "tough love" for a family member that you cherish.

In this case, the family member is the Roman Catholic Church and the plan is a way to help parishioners have more influence over its affairs. At present, many lay Catholics serve on parish and diocese boards, but in a strictly advisory role. Church law mandates that final decision-making authority rests with the clergy alone.

Taylor's "Love in Action: A Direct Action Handbook for Catholics Using Gospel Nonviolence to Reform and Renew the Church" is a guide for Catholics who want to spur the church to more "accountability and transparency." It harks back to the 1960s, when Taylor marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Taylor intends the 12-point action plan to equip independent groups such as Voice of the Faithful, a 30,000-member lay organization to which Taylor belongs. The guide will likely be used by the organization as it finalizes its goals following a national convention held last July, said Bud Bretschneider, Voice of the Faithful chairman for Greater Philadelphia.

Taylor, 72, has been working on the handbook since January and it is now available in manuscript, coincidentally at a time when the Philadelphia grand jury has issued its report on clergy abuse and cover-ups in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He believes that the stunning revelations will propel Catholics into action.

Posted by kshaw at 09:01 AM

Clergy abuse scandal hits home

RENO (NV)
Reno Gazette-Journal

Martha Bellisle
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
Posted: 10/9/2005

After spending his life drunk to avoid the pain left by abuse, a man shares his childhood secret: A priest, claiming he was investigating concerns that the boy, then 12, might be gay, molested and raped him and demanded his silence.

Two women, now in their 50s, relate how another priest took them as girls to a drive-in theater, and, while sitting between them with a blanket across their laps, allegedly molested them.

Another local woman tells her story of a third Reno priest who she said repeatedly molested and raped her at the rectory, in his car and at a family cabin, leaving her emotionally devastated, addicted and suicidal, she recalls.

While the clergy sex-abuse scandal has raged in other parts of the country since the story broke in Boston in 2002 with news of multimillion-dollar settlements to hundreds of victims, the Diocese of Reno has seemingly remained an oasis in the crisis.

But recent interviews with six people who grew up in Reno and Carson City in religious families indicate that this community was not spared.

Posted by kshaw at 08:57 AM

Abuse victims lament slow pace of justice

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Melanie Peters
October 09 2005 at 05:00AM

Two men who were sexually molested by a Roman Catholic priest when they were boys say they are considering suing the church for their pain and suffering.

They and their families this week spoke out against what they said was a conspiracy of silence in the church when handling matters of sexual abuse among the clergy.

Last week Father Patrick Thornton, 76, pleaded guilty in the Wynberg Sexual Offences Court to six counts of indecent assault of two boys when he was a trusted parish priest in Green Point and a chaplain at Christian Brothers College, a church high school.

Thornton was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, fully suspended, subject to stringent conditions, for the abuse of the boys between 15 and 20 years ago. The victims, now adult men, came forward because they felt they could not let Thornton or the church get away with it.

Posted by kshaw at 08:53 AM

Dakin Mathews, prince of Old Globe

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Jennifer de Poyen
UNION-TRIBUNE ARTS CRITIC
October 9, 2005

A few years ago, when revelations of sexual abuse catapulted the Catholic Church into deep crisis, Dakin Matthews started scribbling in his notebook.

Much of the news coverage centered on the errant priests and their traumatized victims. But for Matthews, those accounts mostly skirted the fundamental question of how and why church leaders came to protect the small but pernicious group of men who preyed on children in their charge.

"Beyond the horrors and devastation of the abusers' actions, the really shocking thing was that just about a hundred percent of Catholic bishops participated in the cover-up," Matthews said during a recent conversation at the Old Globe, where his "Prince of L.A." – the play that resulted from all that soul-searching – is on view through Oct. 30.

Posted by kshaw at 08:51 AM

Tom Ferrick Jr. | Real reparation must dig deeper

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Tom Ferrick Jr.
Inquirer Columnist

The cardinal is sorry. Only this time he is really, really sorry.

Thus reads the new missive from Cardinal Justin Rigali to Roman Catholic faithful about the priest sex-abuse scandal in Philadelphia.

Writing from Rome, where he is attending a Vatican synod, the cardinal issued his second pastoral letter in recent weeks on the topic. The new letter has a more contrite tone than his first one, issued the day a Philadelphia grand jury presented its report on the abuse scandal.

In the first letter, Rigali apologized to the victims while rejecting the grand jury's finding that there was a cover-up by the archdiocese. At the same time, archdiocesan lawyers lambasted the report as vile, biased and anti-Catholic.

That good-cop/bad-cop routine offended most Catholics, who let their parish priests and church officials know it.

Hence, this new letter from Rigali, dated Oct. 4, which turns up the contrition dial considerably.

Posted by kshaw at 08:47 AM

October 08, 2005

Priest knew what he shouldn't have known

HUDSON (WI)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

October 9, 2005

HUDSON, WIS. -- The detectives were chatting with the Rev. Ryan Erickson at his church in a small Wisconsin border town one morning last fall when he suddenly made a stunning remark.

It was their first interview with the priest in a homicide case gone cold: the February 2002 deaths of Daniel O'Connell, 39, and James Ellison, 22, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson.

During the questioning, Erickson mentioned to Hudson detectives Shawn Pettee and Jeff Knotts two small details about the killings that had never been made public: the positions of the two bodies inside the funeral home and a description of how Ellison had been coming through a doorway.

The detectives listened in silent shock.

"We didn't look at each other," Pettee recalled. "We didn't dare."

Posted by kshaw at 08:31 PM

Visiting Priest Accused Of Raping Suburban Woman

GLENDALE HEIGHTS (IL)
NBC 5

GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. -- A Roman Catholic priest from Poland is accused of raping a 24-year-old woman in her bedroom at a home where he was staying.

The Rev. Tadeusz Ulman, 45, is charged with criminal sexual conduct, DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said. He was arrested Monday morning after the woman reported the alleged attack had happened early that day.

"He was invited into a home and he took advantage of that," Birkett said.

Ulman remained in DuPage County Jail early Friday morning with bail set at $500,000. Jail officials did not know if he had an attorney.

Ulman did not come to the Chicago area on official church business, said John Cullen, a spokesman for the Joliet Diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 08:20 PM

WUMC Community Begins Healing Process

WOODBURY (CT)
Voices

By: Anthony Oliveiri 10/08/2005

WOODBURY - The Rev. Dr. Earle B. Sanford, pastor at the United Methodist Church for the past 20 years, surrendered his orders last week due to allegations of sexual misconduct with unnamed women in the congregation.

When confronted by his boss, district superintendent Rev. George C. Engelhardt, Rev. Sanford did not deny the allegations.

According to Sandy Carlson, chairman of the communications committee and the church's spokeswoman on the matter, the church community appreciated Rev. Sanford's honesty, which avoided a church trial.

A trial, she said, would be hurtful to the church community because it would force the names of the accusers to be released.

Posted by kshaw at 07:57 AM

Berks man gets up to 5 years in prison in nude images case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By Hal Marcovitz
Of The Morning Call

Witnesses told Bucks County Judge Alan M. Rubenstein Friday that Keith Tiffany is a dedicated Christian youth leader, but the judge sentenced the Berks County man to a state prison term, suggested that putting Tiffany in charge of a church youth group is like ''sending Count Dracula to a blood bank.''

Tiffany was convicted by the judge in June for photographing a 19-year-old man in the nude at a quarry in East Rockhill Township. Tiffany told police that he took the photographs as part of his missionary work and planned to use the pictures to prove to Brazilian youths that Americans are not materialistic.

''You came up with a preposterous story,'' Rubenstein told Tiffany, 45. ''You find it impossible to come to grips with your illness and behavior. Clearly, these photos were taken by you for the purpose of your own sexual stimulation. There is no other conclusion.''

After his arrest, an examination of Tiffany's computer found images of several nude boys. Tiffany was subsequently convicted on more than 200 counts of sexual abuse of children — one count for each photo stored in his computer. He also was convicted of indecent exposure, open lewdness, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with minors, defiant trespass and possession of an instrument of crime, his camera.

Posted by kshaw at 07:46 AM

Family sues pastor accused of molestation

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 8, 2005

BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

A South Side pastor charged with molesting a young church member for several years is now being sued by his alleged victim.

The Rev. Bennie Chapman is the target of a suit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court seeking unspecified damages due to years of sexual abuse.

The victim says she came in contact with Chapman because his wife, Elaine, was her baby-sitter.

Chapman founded and is pastor of Holy Bethel Christian Church, 909 E. 75th St., where the girl and her family were members.

Chapman, 66, is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault for allegedly molesting the girl from 1997, when she was 11, through 2000, when she was 14, the lawsuit says.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 AM

5 men who were abused sue dioceses

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By TOM HEINEN
theinen@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Oct. 7, 2005
Five men who were abused as minors by a lay Catholic teacher in Kentucky have filed a negligence lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Madison, alleging that they suffered permanent injuries because the two dioceses failed to alert police or subsequent employers to the pattern of sexual abuse he had while teaching in Wisconsin.

The suit also contends that the archdiocese told the teacher to quietly leave town.

The man, Gary T. Kazmarek, was sentenced in Jefferson County, Ky., to 13 years in prison in early 2004 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing five of his former students and sports team members at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Louisville from 1968 to 1973. He apologized to his victims at the sentencing, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The suit here, filed Sept. 29, also includes as defendants two unnamed insurance companies believed to have had liability policies with the Milwaukee archdiocese and Madison diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:40 AM

Area priest removed after abuse claim

CAMDEN (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

Saturday, October 08, 2005
CAMDEN -- A Catholic priest has been permanently removed from the ministry following a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor while the priest was assigned to a Gloucester County parish 40 years ago.

The Rev. Michael H. D'Amico, 65, may no longer function or present himself as a priest, according to the Catholic Star Herald, published by the Diocese of Camden.

D'Amico is alleged to have sexually abused a child while assigned to Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Deptford Township, according to the Star Herald. D'Amico served at Most Holy Redeemer in 1964 and 1965, according to the Star Herald.

The alleged victim, now, 54, raised the issue in April.

The diocese has reported the allegation to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office as well as the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office. D'Amico was based in Atlantic County at the time the allegation was raised.

Posted by kshaw at 07:37 AM

Lawyers overbilling Spokane diocese, trustee says

SPOKANE (WA)
The Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

SPOKANE — A federal-court watchdog says lawyers in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane bankruptcy case are charging too much.

U.S. Trustee Ilene Lashinsky reviewed some of the early bills submitted to the diocese and contends in recent court filings that four firms overcharged $294,000 for such things as having multiple attorneys at court hearings and doing duplicative work.

The diocese on Monday will file a disclosure statement and plan of reorganization telling how it intends to settle sexual-abuse claims and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Posted by kshaw at 07:34 AM

Bayly: Instead of scapegoating, church ought to repent

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Michael J. Bayly
October 8, 2005

Pope Benedict seems certain to issue a directive barring gay men from ordination as Roman Catholic priests. For the majority of Catholics -- and in particular gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) Catholics -- such a development is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's a desperate, misguided and futile ploy -- and one that signals the need for urgent reform within a Catholic Church rapidly declining in credibility.

For a start, how credible is the Vatican's appeal to the language of psychology in justifying its ban on "disordered" gay men, when the mental health and medical professional associations do not consider homosexuality to be any type of "disorder"?

The Vatican's frequent claim of an intrinsic link between homosexuality and pedophilia is similarly devoid of any scientific backing and is thus erroneous. Reactionaries within the church, however, continue to bolster such a claim with "research findings" from groups such as theAbuse Tracker Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality (NARTH). Yet what isn't reported is that neither NARTH's findings nor its methodology are seldom, if ever, offered to peer-reviewed journals for critical analysis. In short, the group lacks any respect from the wider scientific community.

Posted by kshaw at 07:29 AM

Vatican won't ban gay priests

UNITED STATES
Boston Herald

By Marie Szaniszlo
Saturday, October 8, 2005

A pending Vatican ruling stops short of an outright ban on homosexuals in the priesthood, by allowing gay men who have been celibate for at least three years to be admitted to a seminary, a senior Vatican official said yesterday.

But the ruling stipulates that gay seminarians not take part in ``gay culture,'' such as attending gay-pride rallies, and that their sexual orientation must not make studying in an all-male environment a risk, said the senior official, who requested anonymity.

The ruling has yet to be released, even though Pope Benedict XVI approved the document over the summer, the Italian weekly Panorama reported.

Dean Hoge, a Catholic University of America sociologist who studies the priesthood, said the document ``is not too far from present policy,'' and ``an outright ban is not possible. There is no way of enforcing it.''

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

New Rules Affirm Pope Benedict's Stance Against Gays

ROME
Washington Post

By Daniel Williams
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 8, 2005; Page A15

ROME, Oct. 8 -- In the first five months of Pope Benedict XVI's reign, stern opposition to homosexuality in and outside the Roman Catholic Church has quickly become a prime public message for the Vatican.

The new pontiff plans to issue guidelines that attempt to inhibit homosexuals from entering seminaries to train for the priesthood. Church inspectors have embarked on a tour of U.S. seminaries and, according to their working papers, are tasked to ask: "Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary? (This question must be answered.)"

Benedict also has energetically fought legal recognition of homosexual couples.

For the church and for Benedict, taking a public stance on homosexuality is not unusual. Church observers have noted that for the quarter-century before becoming pope, Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, served as the Vatican's chief enforcer of orthodoxy, drafting official positions regarding homosexuality.

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 AM

Sexual abuse charge against priest at retreat centre

INDIA
Newindpress

Saturday October 8 2005 10:51 IST
KOZHIKODE: The State Women’s Commission has begun an inquiry into the complaint from a woman in judicial custody, lodged in the Kozhikode district jail, that a priest at a retreat centre in Thrissur district sexually exploited her. Police are investigating the case.

The woman was arrested by Elathur police in June this year in connection with a theft under the Elathur police station limits. The woman, a native of Aralam in Kannur, was in an advanced stage of pregnancy when remanded. Earlier, she had reportedly stayed at the retreat centre.

“She gave birth to a baby girl in the jail. Both are still in the jail as her remand is extended time and again as none turns up to bail her out,” said jail superintendent K. Radhakrishnan.

The woman sent petitions addressed to the district judge and the Women’s Commission from the jail. “She did not tell anything to us but sent a complaint to the judge,” Radhakrishnan said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:16 AM

Vatican reportedly ready to accept gay priests who've lived chastely

VATICAN CITY
The Seattle Times

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON

The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican document expected to be made public soon stops short of a sweeping ban on homosexuals entering the priesthood, allowing those who have lived chastely for three years to be candidates for the clergy, a senior Vatican official said yesterday.

The document, in the works for at least three years, will update Vatican policy, which has held that gays or men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained, regardless of whether they can remain celibate.

The new document would allow candidates who have lived a chaste life for at least three years before their admission to a seminary, said the senior official, who requested anonymity because the document has not been released.

Posted by kshaw at 07:12 AM

Vatican entitled to foreign immunity, judge rules

KENTUCKY
Ireland Online

08/10/2005 - 09:12:42

A judge in Kentucky has ruled that the Holy See is a foreign state that enjoys certain immunity protections, in an action by three men who claim the Vatican covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Judge John Heyburn of the US District Court in Louisville rejected the victims’ argument that the Holy See was an international religious organisation and ruled that it was a foreign state subject to provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The 1976 act restricts when foreign states can be sued in American courts, although it provides exceptions, such as when the states engage in commercial or certain harmful activities in the US.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

Judge says he'll set dates for trials

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

01:14 AM PDT on Saturday, October 8, 2005

By MICHAEL FISHER / The Press-Enterprise

LOS ANGELES - Citing months of fruitless settlement talks, a judge said Friday that he will start setting trial dates for some of the 140 clergy sexual-abuse lawsuits targeting the San Bernardino and San Diego Catholic dioceses.

Attorneys for the alleged molestation victims asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz on Friday to schedule at least 15 cases for trial by July, including a lawsuit filed by 20 men who claim they were abused by Edward Anthony Rodrigue.

Rodrigue, a twice-convicted child molester, now defrocked, was a priest in Coachella and Ontario in the 1970s.

Church lawyers argued at a hearing Friday that they would need substantially more than nine months to prepare for the trials.

Michael Webb, the lawyer for the Diocese of San Diego tapped to speak on behalf of both dioceses, cautioned Fromholz not to move forward on more than eight or 10 cases as he described the diocese's finances as "critical."

Posted by kshaw at 07:06 AM

Bishop Fliss expresses regret over handling of Erickson abuse allegations

WISCONSIN
Winona Daily News

By Shannon Fiecke Winona Daily News

The bishop who supervised the late Rev. Ryan Erickson apologized Thursday for not investigating more about the former Winona seminarian believed to have sexually abused children and murdered two funeral home workers, but according to church records, repeated psychological evaluations by the diocese concluded Erickson was healthy and would make a good priest.

“Ultimate responsibility for much of what has taken place rests upon my shoulders,” Diocese of Superior Bishop Raphael Fliss said Thursday in a three-page statement. “I am truly sorry for not doing more to find out what really happened.”

Fliss also shared what the diocese knew of sexual allegations against Erickson, before and after he was ordained in 1999, and the steps it took to evaluate him.

Posted by kshaw at 06:59 AM

Plaintiffs get 2nd chance in Holy See suit

VATICAN CITY
Lexington Herald-Leader

By Nicole Winfield
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY - A federal judge in Kentucky ruled yesterday that the Holy See is a foreign state that enjoys certain immunity protections in a lawsuit by three men who allege the Vatican covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Judge John G. Heyburn II of the U.S. District Court in Louisville, rejected the victims' argument that the Holy See is an international religious organization. Heyburn ruled that it is a foreign state subject to provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The 1976 act restricts when foreign states can be sued in American courts, although it provides exceptions, such as when the states engage in commercial or certain harmful activities in the United States.

The act also requires that service of a lawsuit follow strict protocols. In this case, it required documents to be translated into Latin and served to the Vatican foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo.

In his ruling, Heyburn said the suit had actually been sent to Lajolo's boss, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and that "strict compliance" with the act was necessary.

Posted by kshaw at 06:49 AM

Suit claiming cover-up by Vatican has setback

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

From AP and Staff dispatches

A federal judge in Louisville has ruled that the Holy See is a foreign state that enjoys certain immunity protections in a lawsuit filed by three men who accuse the Vatican of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II, issued Thursday, rejected the victims' argument that the Holy See is an international religious organization. He ruled that it is a foreign state subject to provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The 1976 act restricts when foreign states can be sued. It does provide exceptions, such as when the states engage in commercial or certain harmful activities in the United States.

William McMurry, attorney for the three men who filed the suit last year, argued that the Holy See engaged in both commercial and harmful activity in the United States.

McMurry, of Louisville, also represented 243 abuse victims in reaching a $25.7 million settlement with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville in 2003.

Lawyers for the Vatican filed motions this spring asking that Heyburn dismiss the suit against the Holy See because it did not follow the foreign immunities act, which sets strict protocols.

Posted by kshaw at 06:46 AM

Judge rules Vatican enjoys foreign immune protection

VATICAN CITY
The Hindu

Vatican City, Oct. 8 (AP): A US federal judge in Kentucky ruled that the Holy See is a foreign state that enjoys certain immunity protections in a lawsuit by three men who allege the Vatican covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Judge John G Heyburn II of the US District Court in Louisville rejected the victims' argument that the Holy See is an international religious organization and ruled on Thursday that it is a foreign state subject to provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The 1976 Act restricts when foreign states can be sued in American courts, although it provides exceptions, such as when the states engage in commercial or certain harmful activities in the United States.

The Act also requires that service of a lawsuit follow strict protocols. In this case, it required documents to be translated into Latin and served to the Vatican Foreign Minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo.

In his ruling, Heyburn said the suit had actually been sent to Lajolo's boss, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and that "strict compliance" with the Act was necessary.

Posted by kshaw at 06:44 AM

October 07, 2005

Vatican stops short of full gay ban

VATICAN CITY
Gay.com

by Christopher Curtis
PlanetOut Network

An Italian newspaper has divulged some contents of a soon-to-be released Vatican document that indicates the crackdown on gay men in seminaries will not be as severe as first feared.

The paper, Corriere della Sera, reported that gays in seminaries, who have lived chastely for at least three years, will be able to become priests.

In September, LGBT leaders feared an outright ban on all gay seminarians and an ensuing witch hunt, after news broke that the Vatican had drafted guidelines targeting gays in a current evaluation of 229 seminaries.

Posted by kshaw at 08:49 PM

Priests on the Couch

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

A Catholic priest who works with troubled clerics talks about seminaries, gay priests, and what's right with the priesthood.

Interview with Father Stephen Rossetti

Despite the news headlines, most Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. are well-adjusted and happy, says priest and licensed psychologist Stephen Rossetti--but that doesn't mean there aren't important problems to be addressed. Rossetti is president and CEO of the St. Luke Institute, which helps Catholic priests and other religious deal with issues such as anxiety, depression, sexual problems, overeating, and compulsive spending. He spoke with Beliefnet recently about gay priests, the upcoming inspection of U.S. seminaries, and the good news from his new book, The Joy of Priesthood.

The upcoming "apostolic visitation"—a kind of inspection of Catholic seminaries—will tackle many issues; homosexuality is only one of them. But to the extent that the visitors to the seminaries are concerned about homosexuality, is this about sexual abuse, about recruiting straight priests, or about something else? What are their major concerns?

I do know there have been complaints in the distant past about inappropriate homosexual behaviors in young seminarians. I was more aware of those in the 1970s and 1980s, frankly. In some ways, I think the visitation is about 20 years too late. I spend a lot of time with seminaries and I think they're pretty good now. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were some inappropriate things going on.

Posted by kshaw at 08:42 PM

Irish journalists tour Tent City

ARIZONA
Fox11AZ

05:23 PM MST on Friday, October 7, 2005

3TV and azfamily.com Staff

Kim Martinez reports

Members of the international press are giving Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Tent City Jail the once over.

The Rev. Patrick Colleary spent five weeks in Arpaio's custody when he faced charges of sexual abuse of a minor. Those charges, which went back to the 1970s and involved a 15-year-old boy, were dropped because the statute of limitations had run out.

Colleary returned to Ireland shortly after his release. While there, he was indicted on separate but similar sex-abuse charges and has been fighting extradition.

He reportedly has appealed to the Irish press and the Irish government, saying that U.S. prisons are inhumane.

Posted by kshaw at 08:39 PM

Group Calls On Catholic Church To Help Abuse Victims

OMAHA (NE)
TheOmahaChannel.com

POSTED: 5:45 pm CDT October 6, 2005
UPDATED: 6:24 pm CDT October 6, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. -- A national victims' advocacy group is calling for greater awareness of sex abuse within the ranks of the Catholic Church, and it called Thursday for change from the headquarters of the Omaha Archdiocese.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, brought two victims of alleged sexual abuse to its meeting in Omaha. The message came on the heels of another abuse lawsuit recently filed against Girls and Boys Town.

David Clohessy wants people sexually victimized by clergy to come forward and religious authorities to help them.

"Our goal is to help heal the wounded and help protect the vulnerable," Clohessy said.

Clohessy said he's among those victims.

Posted by kshaw at 08:31 PM

Failed logic in banning gay priests

UNITED STATES
Albany Times Union

First published: Friday, October 7, 2005

Andrew Greeley

Has anyone seen the document that alleges gay men cannot be priests?
No one apparently has seen it, read it, or is able to quote from it. Yet, based on one story in The New York Times, an epidemic of commentary on it has swept the country. How the heck, I wonder, can anyone comment on a document they haven't seen?

Editorial writers, columnists, cartoonists, conservative Catholics, liberal Catholics, letter writers, priests, gay and straight, Vatican II and John Paul II priests have all expressed firm and forthright and incisive opinions. A delegation of priests who are superiors in the men's religious orders (Jesuit, Dominican etc.) are rushing to Rome to protest, as if the Vatican gives a hoot about what American Jesuits think.

Only Richard John Neuhaus in his ultra-conservative journal, First Things, and John Allen, Rome bureau chief for theAbuse Tracker , have suggested there might be some exaggeration in the reactions to the document no one has seen. Allen did so in an op-ed piece in The New York Times.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 PM

Trustee says lawyers charging too much in diocese bankruptcy

SPOKANE (WA)
KGW

10/07/2005

Associated Press

A federal court watchdog says lawyers in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane bankruptcy case are charging too much.

U.S. Trustee Ilene Lashinsky reviewed some of the early bills submitted to the diocese and contends in recent court filings that four firms overcharged $294,000 for such things as having multiple attorneys at court hearings and doing duplicative work.

The diocese on Monday will file a disclosure statement and plan of reorganization telling how it intends to settle sex abuse claims and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In a bankruptcy case, the organization that files for protection generally pays the legal bills of lawyers on both sides of the case.

Posted by kshaw at 07:36 PM

Priest accused of sex abuse now at U.

PENNSYLVANIA
The Triangle

By Triangle News Desk
Published: Friday, October 7, 2005

University Government and Community Relations Assistant Vice President James Iannerella, a priest no longer active in the ministry, was accused of sexually molesting a 17-year-old Delaware County girl in 1999 according to Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham's grand jury report released Sept. 21.

The report cited that Iannarella, along with 62 other priests, were involved in sexual acts of misconduct against minors that were later covered up by the Roman Catholic Church.

Iannerella, who was 30 at the time of the alleged incident, was put on leave from St. Joseph's parish school, where he had served as a vicar, in Ashton, Delaware County after the diocese received a complaint about the alleged incident spanning from May to August 1999. Iannarella consequently underwent psychological evaluation at St. John Vianney Hospital in Sept. 1999 before being placed on leave. Iannerella has not been active in ministry since 2003 and has worked at the University since Nov. 2001.

"Mr. Iannarella's primary responsibilities focus on external initiatives and activities," Office of University Relations claimed in a written statement. "The University is unaware of any charges ever having been filed against him. However, the University has placed Mr. Iannarella on administrative leave with pay pending a review of recent developments."

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 PM

Vatican enjoys foreign immunity in abuse case

VATICAN CITY
USA Today

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A federal judge in Kentucky has ruled that the Holy See is a foreign state that enjoys certain immunity protections, placing restrictions on a lawsuit by three men who allege the Vatican covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

According to a ruling obtained Friday by The Associated Press, Judge John G. Heyburn II of the U.S. District Court in Louisville rejected the victims' argument that the Holy See is an international religious organization and ruled that it is a foreign state subject to provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The ruling is significant because it says that the Holy See's religious activity is irrelevant to the immunity protections it enjoys as a foreign state. It could have implications for other cases in which the Holy See is named as a defendant in the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

The 1976 act restricts when foreign states can be sued in American courts, although it provides exceptions, such as when the states engage in commercial or certain harmful activities in the United States.

The act also requires that service of a lawsuit follow strict protocols. In this case, it required documents to be translated into Latin and served to the Vatican foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo.

Posted by kshaw at 07:26 PM

Rigali takes a softer stance

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen
Inquirer Faith Life Editor

In a marked shift in tone, Cardinal Justin Rigali issued a pastoral letter to Catholics yesterday that repeatedly and apologetically acknowledges that archdiocese officials had mishandled cases of clerical sex abuse of minors.

Two weeks ago, in his first pastoral response to the grand jury's Sept. 20 report on sex abuse by priests, Rigali had called the report "unjustifiably critical" of former Cardinals Anthony J. Bevilacqua and John Krol and their church administrators.

That initial stance, and a church lawyer's dismissal of the report as "anti-Catholic," had drawn scorn from many parishioners and even some priests.

Yesterday's letter mentioned "the sinful actions of some priests," but Rigali also noted that "many Catholics are offended by the actions taken or not taken by those in authority. And now, as an archdiocese we are all experiencing great pain."

Posted by kshaw at 03:01 PM

Drexel official, accused in priest scandal, put on leave

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Robert Moran and Jim Remsen
Inquirer Staff Writers

A Drexel University assistant vice president and priest alleged in a scathing grand jury report to have sexually abused a teenage girl was placed on leave yesterday pending a university review.

James M. Iannarella, 37, was hired by the university in November 2001 as assistant vice president for government and community relations. In university newsletters, Iannarella is seen posing in photographs with such dignitaries as former U.S. Rep. James C. Greenwood and SEPTA chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr.

"The university is unaware of any charges ever having been filed against him," Philip Terranova, a university spokesman, said in a written statement.

"However, the University has placed Mr. Iannarella on administrative leave with pay pending a review of recent developments," Terranova said.

Iannarella did not respond to a phone call and an e-mail for comment yesterday.

The review follows a report in the Philadelphia Daily News that Iannarella now works as a Drexel administrator.

Posted by kshaw at 02:59 PM

Group urges reporting of clergy sex abuse

OMAHA (NE)
World-Herald

BY RICK RUGGLES

WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

A national organization urged anyone who knows of sexual abuse committed by former or current Girls and Boys Town staff members to come forward.

SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Thursday in front of the chancery of the Archdiocese of Omaha that agencies and individuals must be straightforward about sexual abuse.

"Kids are safe when predators are locked up," SNAP national director David Clohessy said.

SNAP held the press conference about a week after another lawsuit was filed by a former Boys Town resident alleging that a staffer or priest there sexually abused him years ago. In this lawsuit, Darren Boudreau, 34, alleged in Douglas County District Court that the Rev. Richard Colbert sexually assaulted him many times in 1985 and 1986.

Colbert, who was removed from Boys Town in 1988, is pastor at St. Ann Catholic Church in Warsaw, Mo. He is on administrative leave from the parish while he is investigated on the allegation.
Boudreau is at least the fifth former Boys Town resident who has sued the agency for troubled children, alleging sexual abuse. The suits all have been filed within the last three years.

John Melingagio, a Boys Town spokesman, showed up at the SNAP event and listened from the side. Melingagio said afterward that Boys Town has no tolerance for sexual abuse. Boys Town children's safety and security are vital, he said, and there will be no cover-ups.

Posted by kshaw at 11:08 AM

Archbishop stands by views on gay priests

IRELAND
One in Four

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, is standing by remarks he made recently that being gay should not mean a man could not become a priest.

In an interview published in the current issue of the English Catholic weekly, The Tablet, Dr Martin is quoted as saying "you don't write off a candidate for the priesthood simply because he is a gay man".

The Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education is currently finalising a document which is expected to ban even celibate gay men from training for the priesthood. It is to be published at the end of this month.

Dr Martin is in Rome attending a Synod of Bishops which began last Sunday and will continue for another two weeks.

Posted by kshaw at 10:57 AM

Archbishop runs against expected Vatican line on homosexual priests

IRELAND
One in Four

CANDIDATES for the priesthood should not be automatically disbarred simply because they are homosexual, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has said.

The comment is in direct contrast to a draft Vatican document that is likely to say gays should be barred from the priesthood.

Speaking to the influential British Catholic weekly, 'The Tablet', Archbishop Martin said: "You don't write off a candidate for the priesthood simply because he is a gay man."

It has been reported that the Vatican document is to be published within the next few weeks.

Posted by kshaw at 10:56 AM

Archbishop Martin takes up defence of gay priests

IRELAND
One in Four

The Pontificate of Benedict XVI has been relatively uneventful so far. This may be about to change.

It appears increasingly likely that a document banning homosexuals from joining the priesthood is about to be published, maybe before the end of the month.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has now entered the fray. At the end of a meeting of European Bishops in Brussels a fortnight ago, he was asked about the issue of homosexuals and the priesthood. His comments appear in the current issue of The Tablet, a Catholic weekly in Britain.

They appear to put him in direct opposition to the draft Vatican document and they would also appear to put him in the camp of those prelates who believe issuing the document would be counter-productive. He told The Tablet: "You don't write off a candidate for the priesthood simply because he is a gay man."

Posted by kshaw at 10:54 AM

Church reforms ripped by abuse survivors group

WISCONSIN
The Capital Times

By Pat Schneider
October 7, 2005

The handling by Catholic Church officials of Ryan Erickson, the Wisconsin priest uncovered as an accused sex abuser during a criminal investigation that found him a likely double murderer, raises doubts about the church's much-touted reforms, says a leader in a national support group for victims of clergy abuse.

"Where was the review board that was supposed to investigate reports of sexual abuse by priests?" Peter Isely, Midwest coordinator for SNAP -- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests -- asked Thursday. "Why didn't they review this file?"

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 adopted a policy requiring all dioceses to establish lay boards, separate from the church administration, to review charges of clergy sexual misconduct.

A St. Croix County judge on Monday found a high probability that Erickson killed two men at a Hudson funeral home in 2002. The 31-year-old priest hanged himself last December, several weeks after being questioned by police in connection with the killings and two days after church authorities say they first heard allegations of sexual misconduct by Erickson while he was a priest.

Posted by kshaw at 10:48 AM

Glaude asked to step down

CANADA
Seaway News

by , posted 07 Oct 2005

Justice Normand Glaude has been officially asked to recuse himself.
The request to recuse, signed by the Red Flag Committee executive and copied to all MPPs, was delivered to Justice Glaude’s office, Friday, September 30th, 2005.

Justice Glaude was appointed by Attorney General to head the long-awaited Cornwall sex abuse inquiry. The controversial appointment has raised questions regarding judicial independence and impartiality and further eroded respect for the judiciary and confidence in the administration of justice in Cornwall.

In the letter, the RFC addresses questions of judicial independence by detailing allegations and/or suspicions of cover-up relating to: (1) the illegal pay-off of a victim of clerical sexual abuse; (2) Chief Justice Lennox; (3) the Dunlop death threats; and (4) the 26 Project Truth files deposited with the office of the Attorney General. Suspicions are further fuelled by questions regarding the level of friendship which exists among several judges, a Crown attorney and/or Dalton McGuinty.

The RFC concludes that it is unacceptable to ask any Ontario judge to head the inquiry because that is tantamount to asking the office of the Attorney General to investigate itself. The problem is exacerbated by Justice Glaude’s age.

The issue of Justice Glaude’s impartiality is addressed with reference to: (1) family connections; (2) membership with the Ontario Police Commission; (3) Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher; (4) the Advocates Society; and (4) the Knights of Columbus.

Posted by kshaw at 10:45 AM

No ban on gays expected in Vatican document; will advise 'prudential judgement'

VATICAN CITY
National

By John L. Allen Jr.
A forthcoming Vatican document on homosexuals in seminaries will not demand an absolute ban, a senior Vatican official told NCR Oct. 7, but will insist that seminary officials exercise "prudential judgment" that gay candidates should not be admitted in three cases. Those three cases are:

If candidates have not demonstrated a capacity to live celibate lives for at least three years;

Posted by kshaw at 09:27 AM

Five sue Wisconsin dioceses in sex case

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

Four Louisville men and a Southern Indiana resident have sued two Roman Catholic dioceses in Wisconsin, alleging that officials there were negligent in failing to alert police to a sexually abusive teacher who later abused them in Louisville.

The lawsuit alleges that Gary Kazmarek abused numerous victims at Wisconsin parochial schools in the 1960s and that church officials knew, but failed to report him to police or do anything else to stop him.

Instead, the lawsuit alleges, they let him quietly leave for new schools in other cities each time he got into trouble.

"The negligent conduct of the two (dioceses) was a substantial factor" in Kazmarek later coming to Louisville and abusing more children, the five allege in the lawsuit, filed Monday in Milwaukee. The plaintiffs seek unspecified financial damages.

Kazmarek, 64, is serving a 13-year sentence at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex near La Grange after pleading guilty in 2003 to sexually abusing the five Louisville-area plaintiffs, all of whom were under 15 at the time.

Posted by kshaw at 09:03 AM

Visiting Polish priest charged with rape

GLENDALE HEIGHTS (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 7, 2005

BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter

A Roman Catholic priest visiting from Poland has been charged with raping a Glendale Heights woman whose family had allowed him to stay in their home, DuPage County authorities said Thursday.

The Rev. Tadeusz Ulman was charged with criminal sexual assault after he allegedly attacked the 24-year-old woman early Monday as she slept in a bedroom of the west suburban home where Ulman was staying.

Ulman, 45, is a Polish national who had been offered lodging by the family while he was in the area, officials said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:00 AM

Diocese explains steps it took in priest's case

WISCONSIN
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Superior on Thursday sent its pastors and the news media a series of responses to questions surrounding the career of the Rev. Ryan Erickson. Here is the text:

1. Did the Diocese of Superior require a psychological evaluation of Father Ryan Erickson before he was admitted to the seminary?

As is standard practice for anyone who enters the seminary, an initial psychological evaluation had been performed in July 1992. From this initial psychological screening, the diocese received a recommendation from the psychologist that Erickson was "problem free, appeared healthy, psychologically stable and would make an outstanding priest." Accordingly, he was recommended at that time for seminary training to the priesthood.

2. When did the diocese first learn of any allegations of Erickson's sexual misconduct?

In March of 1994, an investigator from the Vilas County district attorney's office phoned the bishop and the vocation director of the Diocese of Superior. The district attorney's office was in the process of conducting an investigation concerning allegations against Erickson of improper sexual behavior some years prior to 1994.

Posted by kshaw at 08:56 AM

Visiting Polish Priest Accused Of Raping Woman

GLENDALE HEIGHTS (IL)
CBS 2

(AP) GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. A Roman Catholic priest from Poland is accused of raping a 24-year-old woman in her bedroom at a home where he was staying.

The Rev. Tadeusz Ulman, 45, is charged with criminal sexual conduct, DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said. He was arrested Monday morning after the woman reported the alleged attack had happened early that day.

"He was invited into a home and he took advantage of that," Birkett said.

Ulman remained in DuPage County Jail early Friday morning with bail set at $500,000. Jail officials did not know if he had an attorney.

Posted by kshaw at 08:51 AM

An inadequate defense: So what if Burton’s a good councilor?

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Union Leader

RAY BURTON’S defenders are making one argument to justify keeping him in office: Yeah, he hired and rehired a convicted child sex offender, and escorted that offender on trips through his sprawling district, but he’s such a darn good executive councilor.

So, only ineffective politicians should resign for enabling child sex offenders?

People made similar excuses for Cardinal Bernard Law and Bishop John McCormack. Sure, those two let pedophiles run rampant throughout the church, but look at all the good things they did in the meantime, their defenders said.

The people of New Hampshire are supposed to excuse Ray Burton for parading a man he knew was a convicted child sex offender around the state — and possibly finding him state jobs — because Burton is such a hard worker for his constituents?

Sorry, but that just doesn’t wash. Burton’s effectiveness on the Executive Council does not enter into the equation. Whether he is good or bad at his job, the fact remains that he endangered the safety of New Hampshire children. And now he won’t say if his offenses were compounded by using his connections to get the child sex offender state jobs.

Posted by kshaw at 08:47 AM

Diocese: Minister can keep job if crime not made public

VIRGINIA BEACH (VA)
The Virginian-Pilot

By JON FRANK, The Virginian-Pilot
October 7, 2005

VIRGINIA BEACH — About 15 months ago, a lay minister at St. Nicholas Catholic Church was arrested and accused of trying to solicit sex from an undercover police officer – an adult male – in Red Wing Park.

Terrell L. Mailhiot, 56, minister of justice and peace at St. Nicholas, pleaded not guilty, but in May, he was found guilty of criminal solicitation, a felony.

Before Mailhiot’s sentencing, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond sent a letter to the judge presiding over his case. In that letter, the diocese said Mailhiot could keep his job if he were convicted of a misdemeanor and if the case did not become “public knowledge.”

Last month, Mailhiot received a suspended one-year prison sentence and a $785 fine. The church suspended Mailhiot from his job, according to the diocese’s attorney. Mailhiot appealed the conviction Monday.

A Richmond attorney who represents the diocese said the letter to Circuit Judge Patricia L. West expressed a standard business practice.

In the letter, the diocese’s human resources director, Dorothy G. Mahanes, said the question of whether Mailhiot kept his job depended, in part, on how much the public learned about the case.

Posted by kshaw at 08:39 AM

Gay men can be Catholic priests if celibate-paper

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican will allow gay men into the priesthood if they can show they have been celibate for at least three years, leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Friday.

But it said the Vatican will ban men who "publicly manifest their homosexuality" or show an "overwhelming attraction" to homosexual culture "even if it is only intellectually".

The Vatican views on gay priests are contained in a secret 16-page document which is expected to be released next month.

The document, an "instruction" by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, covers one of the most sensitive issues in the Roman Catholic Church.

Officials at the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Vatican press office could not be reached for immediate comment.

Posted by kshaw at 08:29 AM

Montoya's attorney: Too much time has passed

OGDEN (UT)
Standard-Examiner

Friday, October 7, 2005

By Loretta Park
Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau
lpark@standard.net

OGDEN -- The statute of limitations has run out on two charges filed in Weber County against Aaron Marcos Montoya, says Montoya's defense attorney.

Ed Brass filed a motion Thursday in 2nd District Court contending the two charges of first-degree aggravated sexual abuse of a child against Montoya were reported five years ago by the child to the Division of Child and Family Services.

The Weber County charges are in connection with allegations that Montoya inappropriately touched an 11-year-old girl on two occasions while riding a WaveRunner at Pineview Reservoir.

Judge Michael D. Lyon set Oct. 20 for a motion hearing. ...

Montoya, 33, of Syracuse, is serving four sentences of five years to life in the Utah State Prison. He was convicted by a jury in August on four counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Three girls, now ages 6 and 7, testified that Montoya touched them inappropriately when they were 5 and 6 in December 2004 in a Syracuse Primary class for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

Sex crimes suspect had extensive contact with kids

WISCONSIN
GM Today

By AL DUNN - GM Today Staff
October 7, 2005

Russell Roelke, a 45-year-old West Bend youth ministry director charged with four counts of child sex crimes, has been involved in a plethora of other youth service activities over the years, including as a Boy Scout leader, a Big Brother and a teaching assistant in the Brown Deer School District, according to a Washington County assistant district attorney.

Roelke, the youth ministry director at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church in West Bend, appeared before Washington County Circuit Court Judge Annette Ziegler on Wednesday to face charges of child enticement, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, exposing a child to harmful material and possession of child pornography.

In arguing for a large cash bond, Assistant District Attorney Holly Bunch said Roelke posed a "substantial flight risk" not only because of the serious nature of the crimes, but the enormity of prison time he faces if convicted.

"There is enough incentive for him to flee," she told Ziegler.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Bishop Fliss apologizes to diocese, plans to step down

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

BY SHELLEY NELSON
NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Catholic Diocese of Superior apologized Thursday to his "diocesan family and all the people of northern Wisconsin" for failing to uncover the truth behind the actions of the Rev. Ryan Erickson.

"In my role as bishop, I know that ultimate responsibility for much of what has taken place rests on my shoulders," Fliss said in a prepared statement.

Capping a turbulent week for his diocese, Fliss said Thursday he will resign later this month -- as required by the Catholic Church of bishops when they reach age 75. Fliss will be 75 on Oct. 25, he said.

The Diocese of Superior covers 16 counties in northern Wisconsin.

After a rare post-mortem hearing Monday, a St. Croix County Circuit judge said there was enough evidence to determine that Erickson had probably killed a funeral home director and his intern three years ago in Hudson, Wis. Erickson, 31, committed suicide in December while serving a parish in Hurley, Wis.

Posted by kshaw at 08:14 AM

Hunting homosexuals will hurt the Catholic Church

CANADA
Globe and Mail

By GILLES MARCHILDON

Friday, October 7, 2005 Posted at 3:13 AM EDT

Globe and Mail Update

Either the Catholic Church's leadership has got it all wrong, or it is a crafty political operator - or both.

It was recently reported that the Vatican will carry out a seminary review, called an "apostolic visitation" that will involve sending teams to conduct interviews with more than 4,500 students and faculty members in 229 seminaries. Their main task will be to uncover homosexuals.

Almost simultaneously, news leaked out that Pope Benedict XVI has approved a new Vatican policy document according to which, men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained as Catholic priests. The view is that homosexuality is a weakness, an intrinsic disorder that makes priests unable to serve in ministry.

The sums of these two items? Let the hunt begin. The Catholic Church has decided to purge gay men from its ranks.

It will not be a simple task. After all, the Catholic Church is probably the world's largest employer of homosexuals. The damage caused by these two initiatives will be profound: shattered lives and a weakened institution.

Posted by kshaw at 08:06 AM

Wilmington diocese paid $68,000 in sex abuse case

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER and STEVEN CHURCH
The News Journal
10/07/2005
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington on Thursday said it paid $68,000 to a Newark man last year and is negotiating another settlement with a Wilmington man, both of whom allege sexual abuse by a Wilmington priest in the early 1960s.

The late Rev. Alfred John Lind Jr. was ordained in 1960 and was serving at St. Catherine of Siena Church near Prices Corner when he is alleged by the Newark victim to have molested and performed oral sex on the then-altar boy in 1963 or 1964, when the boy was about 12 years old.

Lind was transferred in 1965 from St. Catherine to St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington, where he is alleged to have performed oral sex on a 14-year-old altar boy, according to the victim.

Diocese attorney Anthony Flynn would not say if Lind was on the list of 26 priests against whom the diocese says credible allegations have been made. That list includes 20 diocesan priests and six from private religious orders.

Diocese spokesman Robert Krebs, who last week acknowledged two Delaware priests who were listed on a Philadelphia grand jury report, said he would not comment on "individual names" Thursday.

Posted by kshaw at 08:03 AM

Superior bishop accused of coverup on Hudson priest

HUDSON (WI)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

October 7, 2005

HUDSON, WIS. -- A victims group demanded Thursday that the bishop who oversaw the Rev. Ryan Erickson "come clean," saying that the Diocese of Superior, Wis., withheld information on Erickson's background and has a history of "covering up for sex offenders."

A judge concluded this week that it was likely that Erickson shot two men to death in 2002 at a Hudson funeral home while he was associate pastor of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson. According to court reports, Erickson, who committed suicide last Dec. 19 at his new parish in Hurley, Wis., had sexually abused at least one boy.

Responding to charges by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the Rev. Philip Heslin said: "We're still in the blind. ... There isn't anything we've held back" about Erickson's history of sexual abuse. Heslin is the chief administrator of the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:55 AM

There's an alternative for gay men wanting to be priests

UNITED STATES
The Morning Call

When I was 18, the vocation director for the Roman Catholic archdiocese in which I lived took me to our parish cemetery. He sat me on a tombstone. And he told me that because I was gay I was not fit to be a priest. The moment is burned into my mind. ''I like you,'' he said, ''but I have to think of the Church.'' I had not asked to be ordained or even to go to seminary. I had asked only to join a group of college men who might be interested in seminary after graduation.

He knew I was gay only because, when a colleague of his had asked me about my sexual orientation during an interview earlier that month, I had told the truth. Thirty years later, I find it incredible that I did not foresee that the truth would do me in. All I knew was that the Church had been a home to me and a solace when, as a child, home and solace were hard to find. When the Church told me it loved me because God loved me, I believed it.

I know the rhetoric that claims that the Church did love me but could not dignify my propensity for what it considers to be evil. The official jargon is that we gay people are ''intrinsically disordered.'' The fact that we are affectively oriented toward others of our own sex is a character defect, even if we never act on it. I cannot describe the emotional and spiritual damage it does to a person, especially a young person, to be told that the most tender, most altruistic, most joyful stirrings of their hearts are evil.

Posted by kshaw at 07:52 AM

Priest likely committed murders

WISCONSIN
Barron News Shield

By: Eric Quade 10/06/2005

St. Croix Circuit Judge Eric Lundell said strong circumstantial evidence led him to conclude there was probable cause that Rev. Ryan Erickson killed Dan O'Connell and James Ellison back on Feb. 5, 2002.

Lundell made the ruling following an all-day hearing Monday at Hudson.
O'Connell, 39, and Ellison, 22, were killed at a funeral home in Hudson where prosecutors alleged Erickson shot O'Connell for confronting the priest about alleged past pedophilia. Ellison was thought to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lundell said he was very confident that Erickson was the killer.
"On a scale of one to 10, I would consider it a 10," Lundell said, regarding the case against Erickson.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Priest accused of sexual abuse; Women’s Commission begins inquiry

INDIA
Newindpress

Friday October 7 2005 13:51 IST
KOZHIKODE: The State Women’s Commission has begun an inquiry into the complaint from a woman in judicial custody, lodged in the Kozhikode district jail, that she was sexually exploited by a priest at a retreat centre in Thrissur district.

Police are investigating the case.

The woman was arrested by Elathur Police in June this year in connection with a theft under the Elathur Police station limits.

The woman, a native of Aralam in Kannur, was in an advanced stage of pregnancy when remanded. Earlier, she had reportedly stayed at the retreat centre.

Posted by kshaw at 07:33 AM

Bishop apologizes for Hudson tragedy

WISCONSIN
St. Paul Pioneer Press

BY STEVE SCOTT
Pioneer Press

The Superior, Wis., bishop who supervised the Rev. Ryan Erickson took responsibility Thursday for overseeing the young Roman Catholic priest's troubled-turned-tragic career.

"In my role as bishop, I know that ultimate responsibility for much of what has taken place rests upon my shoulders,'' Bishop Raphael Fliss wrote in a statement to pastors in the diocese that was subsequently released to news media.

Erickson this week was judged in St. Croix County Circuit Court to be the likely killer of two men at a Hudson, Wis., funeral home in February 2002.

"While I am truly sorry for not doing more to find out what really happened, I must apologize to the entire diocesan family and all the people of northern Wisconsin for these tragedies," Fliss said.

"I know the Lord is willing to forgive. I hope you will find it in your hearts to do the same.''

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 AM

Rigali acknowledges that archdiocese mishandled sex abuse cases

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NEPA News

The Associated Press October 06, 2005

Two weeks after calling a grand jury's report "unjustifiably critical" of his predecessors, Cardinal Justin Rigali issued a pastoral letter Thursday saying archdiocese officials had mishandled sex abuse cases.

The archbishop of Philadelphia noted that "many Catholics are offended by the actions taken or not taken by those in authority. And now, as an archdiocese we are all experiencing great pain."

The statement to Catholics was written from Rome, where Rigali is attending a monthlong synod of bishops.

Rigali's initial response to the grand jury's Sept. 20 report on sex abuse by priests said it was too critical of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Cardinal John Krol and church administrators. Bevilacqua, who is now retired, was Rigali's immediate predecessor as archbishop; Krol, who has since died, was the archbishop before Bevilacqua.

Rigali's first response drew strong criticism; some pastors refused to read his statement at Masses.

Posted by kshaw at 07:24 AM

Former Jesuit student files suit, saying a teacher molested him

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Friday, October 07, 2005

A former Jesuit High School student has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the school, saying that a teacher molested him in the late 1980s.

The former student, identified by the initials "J.T." in the lawsuit, claims that the Rev. John Schwartz engaged in various sex acts with him in 1986 and 1987.

John Kaempf, an attorney for Jesuit High School, issued the following statement:

"First and foremost, the Jesuit High School community condemns sexual abuse. In its nearly 50 years of educating students, Jesuit has never before had a priest accused of sexual abuse of a student. Jesuit's most important priority is the safety of its students.

Posted by kshaw at 07:21 AM

Five Louisville-area residents sue Wisconsin dioceses in sex case

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Duluth News Tribune

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Five men who were among 243 plaintiffs in a $25.7 million church-abuse settlement with the Archdiocese of Louisville are now suing two Roman Catholic dioceses in Wisconsin.

The men - Kenneth W. Hornback of Harrison County, Ind., and Dennis L. Bolton, Ronald W. Kuhl, David W. Schaeffer and Glenn M. Bonn, all of Louisville - allege that officials in Wisconsin were negligent in failing to alert police to a sexually abusive teacher who later abused them in Kentucky.

The lawsuit alleges that Gary Kazmarek abused numerous victims at Wisconsin parochial schools in the 1960s and that church officials knew, but failed to report him to police or do anything else to stop him.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Milwaukee. The plaintiffs seek unspecified financial damages.

Kazmarek, 64, is serving a 13-year sentence at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex near La Grange after pleading guilty in 2003 to sexually abusing the five plaintiffs, all of whom were under 15 at the time. The abuse occurred between 1968 and 1973 while Kazmarek was teaching and coaching at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School.

Posted by kshaw at 07:17 AM

October 06, 2005

Group Targets Abuse

OMAHA (NE)
WOWT

A national support group has targeted the Omaha archdiocese and Girls and Boys Town over the issue of alleged sexual abuse by priests. The group wants the church to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward.

The organization behind this is the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

SNAP leaders believe that if an abuse victim stays silent they can't heal.

A news conference on Thursday outside the offices of the archdiocese was designed to pressure Catholic leaders to be more open about past and, if any, future abuse allegations against priests.

A spokesperson for Girls and Boys Town says that organization is very pro-active, both with former and current residents.

Just three members of SNAP showed up for the sidewalk press conference but they say they carry the message of hundreds, perhaps thousands of others.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 PM

Fr. Erickson may have left several victims

WISCONSIN
KARE

Two more people have come forward claiming a Hudson priest sexually abused them. And the Bishop of the Diocese of Superior, Wis., issued a statement saying he is "sorry for not doing more to find out what really happened" in Hudson, where two people were murdered at a funeral home in 2002.

This news comes as a victims' rights group, SNAP (Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests) said there may be more victims of abuse who haven't yet come forward.

"Why was this man allowed to be ordained a priest? That's question number one," said Peter Isely, of SNAP, speaking on the steps of Hudson's city hall.

The concerns come three days after a judge ruled there's probable cause Erickson killed the two funeral home workers, after one of them, Dan O'Connell, appeared ready to make public allegations that Erickson had abused a teenage boy.

The judge also ruled Erickson "probably" killed O'Connell's intern, James Ellison.

Erickson committed suicide last December, less than a month after police questioned him for a second time about the murders.

Posted by kshaw at 07:26 PM

Jury verdict stands in Vosen lawsuit

WISCONSIN
Janesville Gazette

(Published Thursday, October 6, 2005 11:51:23 AM CDT)

By Mike DuPre'
Gazette Staff

A jury voted unanimously in August that a young Janesville man was telling the truth when he accused a parish priest of sexual assaulting him.

On Wednesday, the judge in the case refused to reverse the jury's decision.

In March 2004, the Rev. Gerald Vosen filed a defamation lawsuit against the 26-year-old man, who had told Catholic Church authorities that Vosen sexually assaulted him when he was in fifth and sixth grade at St. John Vianney Catholic School in Janesville.

In August, the jury scuttled Vosen's lawsuit when it determined that the young man's charges were substantially true.

Posted by kshaw at 07:11 PM

Vatican should not discard all good men

UNITED STATES
NorthJersey.com

Thursday, October 6, 2005

There are gay Catholic priests. It would be difficult to find a person of any age or faith shocked by that statement. Conservatives - and not just Catholics - want to purge homosexual clergy from churches. The Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II increasingly clamped down on the leadership roles played by homosexual men and women in the Church. Pope Benedict XVI, the dominant conservative voice behind John Paul II, is not changing course now that he is pope. Unfortunately, the pope is steering his ship into an iceberg, not toward open waters.

The Church was rocked by sex scandals because for generations predator priests were able to abuse children without legal consequences. These priests were shuffled from parish to parish, diocese to diocese, and in their wake left scarred children - predominately boys. The Church has a problem with pedophiles; it does not have a problem with homosexuals.

The Vatican does not see the difference. It is expected to soon release a document that would bar even celibate gay men from entering seminaries. This has caused a stir among clergy - particularly in the United States. A leading Jesuit official is working with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men to petition the Vatican to change its stance before the document is released. Religious orders have more freedom in how they screen candidates than diocesan seminaries. However, they too, must tow the line.

Posted by kshaw at 07:08 PM

Awaiting redemption

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Northeast Times

By William Kenny
Times Staff Writer

After the powerful accusations, the painful revelations, the admissions and the denials from the highest levels of Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic hierarchy, the mission is clear for parish-based priests across the city.
In the two weeks since the public release of a grand jury report detailing decades of sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy, the daunting task facing church leaders now is to facilitate the healing process.
While a series of local pastors contacted by the Northeast Times last week each described how parishioners have rallied around their neighborhood churches in a display of solidarity, the same church leaders concede that many challenges remain as local Catholics attempt to come to terms with the sex scandal.
The grand jury report, a product of a 40-month investigation conducted by the civilian panel at the direction of the district attorney’s office, named 63 former or current priests as sexual abusers of children and alluded to hundreds of victims. The report also accused the former leadership of Archdiocese of Philadelphia of covering up hundreds of sex abuse complaints.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 PM

Former priest won't contest child porn charge

LEESBURG (VA)
Daily Press

By the Associated Press
October 6, 2005
LEESBURG, Va. -- A former Roman Catholic priest pleaded no contest to felony child pornography charges, authorities said Thursday.

Robert Brooks, 72, was charged with attempting to possess child pornography after federal customs investigators allegedly found his name registered on a child pornography Web site in September 2003.

Agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement discovered evidence that he had used his credit card to pay for access to child pornography Internet sites. According to court records, Brooks allowed agents to search his computer and discovered 150 images considered to be child pornography.

Posted by kshaw at 06:57 PM

As Year of Eucharist ends, continue to pray for healing

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

10/06/2005 Archbishop John Vlazny

The Year of the Eucharist is ending this month. At the cathedral we shall conclude this yearlong observance at the 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Oct. 23. I look forward to thanking God for the blessings of the Eucharist in our lives and for the many graces that have been ours during this challenging time in the life of our archdiocesan church.

In many ways it was truly a blessing that the Year of the Eucharist concurred with a year of great frustration and concern for our people because of the declaration of bankruptcy in July 2004, the unfortunate result of the extensive litigation we experienced because of child sexual abuse by some of our own clergy. This has been a terrible scandal that has brought great shame to so many of us. It has been a time of humiliation for our church. It has also been a time of suffering for victims, for perpetrators, for families and friends of both. I thank God every day that Jesus gave us the gift of the Eucharist where we can still gather as sisters and brothers and pray for the graces of healing and reconciliation which are the only effective vehicles for bringing an end to all the pain.

At recent meetings with the Presbyteral Council, the Pastoral Council, the Finance Council and the Consultors, I have been reminded again and again about your anxiety and uncertainty throughout these months of bankruptcy. Many of you are worried about the impact this will have on your own parishes and ministries. Church employees are understandably concerned about their jobs. Some victims have been led to believe that the church is trying to avoid providing them with just compensation. Those who collaborate with me in providing leadership and pastoral care for the archdiocese are frequently accused of a lack of compassion for victims, incompetence in dealing with these complicated matters and failure to communicate with our people effectively and honestly.

First of all, you need to know that this archdiocesan church has been focused for the past five years on compensating all victims justly within our means. Remember that more than $50 million went to victims before we were forced into bankruptcy. It was only when insurance companies failed to provide the financial support owed us and lending institutions would no longer make funds available to us that we had to seek bankruptcy protection. We did this so that we could carry on the ministries of our church and provide compensation for as many victims as possible, not simply those first in line.

Posted by kshaw at 06:52 PM

Accused priest now at Drexel

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Daily News

By DANA DiFILIPPO
difilid@phillynews.com

A priest accused of sexually abusing a Delaware County teenager now works amid thousands of teenagers and young adults as a Drexel University administrator.

James M. Iannarella was one of 63 priests whom Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham named last month in a blistering report accusing the clerics of sexual perversions against children, and church authorities of a cover-up.

Iannarella, 36, works as an assistant vice president in Drexel's Office of Government and Community Relations. Although still a priest, he is not active in any ministry.

Abraham's report accuses Iannarella of molesting a 17-year-old female student from May to August 1999 at St. Joseph's parish school in Aston, Delaware County, where he was a parochial vicar.

Niki Gianakaris, a Drexel spokeswoman, said Iannarella has worked at Drexel since November 2001.

Posted by kshaw at 01:09 PM

Opinion | Undermining trust in the church

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Rev. Thomas Doyle

The Philadelphia grand jury report on sexual child abuse by Catholic priests is outrageous. It is also true. Both adjectives apply to the graphic descriptions of the unspeakable violations of the bodies and souls of the victims by Catholic priests in Philadelphia.

They also apply to the callous disregard for victims so blatantly consistent in the behavior of the church's leadership. Everything about the report is deeply disturbing especially the discrepancy between the rule of justice and the rule of law. Thankfully, the grand jurors addressed the issue head-on and left no doubt that the behavior of two cardinals and several lower clerical functionaries was truly criminal in substance and intent, and the only reason they escaped indictment was the woeful inadequacy of Pennsylvania law.

The response from the archdiocesan lawyers and therefore from the archdiocese itself, was even more outrageous. It is a classic example of narcissistic blame-shifting, name-calling, and denial. Civilized society reacts to sexual abuse of the young with abhorrence. The fact that the abusers in this case are among the most trusted members of society is even more abhorrent. The grand jury was presented with overwhelming evidence that the leadership of the archdiocese knew about the abuse and protected itself rather than the innocent victims and the faithful in general.

The response does not contain one shred of compassionate recognition of the emotional devastation and soul murder inflicted upon the many victims. It only confirms the worst conclusions of the grand jury: The archdiocese callously betrayed the trust of its faithful by ignoring the ongoing sexual abuse and even re-victimized victims by their cold and inquisitorial tactics. This response is an insult to the district attorney, her staff and the grand jurors. Worst of all, it is cruel and highly offensive to the victims.

Posted by kshaw at 01:05 PM

Vatican's ban of gay priests is a simplistic solution

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
News Gleaner

-In Our Opinion
In response to the scourge of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy, the Vatican is expected to announce a ban on homosexuals into the priesthood.
An overview of abuse cases certainly indicates the majority of assaults occurred on adolescent males, not pre-adolescent children. That, the church has concluded, means the problem is, in part, uncontrollable gay priests.
The church after Vatican II, no doubt pressured by the cultural permissiveness of the '60s and '70s, allowed gays into the priesthood provided they maintained the vow of celibacy.
The question remains: Did the homosexuality cause the abuse or was it the church's permissiveness?
According to a 2002 study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on sexual abuse by priests, "bishops breached their responsibilities as pastors and put their heads in the sand.... These leadership failures are shameful to the life of the church," said attorney Robert Bennett, head of the study's research committee.
The key problems, the report said, were bishops who failed to reach out to victims, a defensive attitude toward their priests, an over-reliance on psychiatry and a resistance to sharing information with other archdioceses which allowed problem priests and identified allowed the abuse to reach "epidemic proportions," Bennett said.

Posted by kshaw at 12:58 PM

In Hudson, anger and doubt

HUDSON (WI)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Paul Levy, Star Tribune
October 6, 2005

Members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson, Wis., are asking questions in anger and doubt. After learning that their former priest is presumed to have fatally shot two men and had an alleged history of sexual misconduct, "they're wondering what's left for them to believe in," the church's current priest said Wednesday.

"It's going to be a hurtful, painful and, perhaps, prolonged healing process," the Rev. John Parr said. "It's particularly stinging when good Catholics ask, 'How can we hold onto the faith?' And I don't have an answer other than hold onto one another and see what the good Lord supplies."

Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Catholic Diocese of Superior, Wis., expressed in a news release "embarrassment and sadness" by the conclusions of a St. Croix County judge that the Rev. Ryan Erickson fatally shot two men in a Hudson funeral home in February 2002 and that suspicions that he had sexually abused children dated to at least 1994.

It was the first public acknowledgment of wrongdoing by Erickson from his home diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 10:42 AM

Former policeman considers legal action over resignation

AUSTRALIA
ABC

A former Mildura policeman is now considering civil action against the Victoria police and the Catholic Church over his role in an investigation into child sex crimes 30 years ago.

Former detective Denis Ryan, who now owns a fruit block at Red Cliffs, says he was forced to resign as a result of efforts to prosecute a senior Catholic priest.

Mr Ryan had taken statements in the 1970s from 14 boys and two girls, alleging they had been sexually assaulted by Monsignor John Day.

Mr Ryan's solicitor, John Zigouras, says he is also continuing to gather evidence for a class action on behalf of victims.

Posted by kshaw at 10:40 AM

Excerpt from a police transcript with priest suspected of murder

HUDSON (WI)
Grand Forks Herald

Associated Press

Police in Hudson, Wis., say they started to look at the Rev. Ryan Erickson as a possible suspect in two murders after he mentioned some details about the crime scene that had not been made public, including that funeral home director Dan O'Connell was found behind a desk. Intern James Ellison also was killed.

Here is a transcript of an interview two detectives had with Erickson in November 2004:

A detective asked the priest if he knew where the victims were in the funeral home.

Erickson responded, "Yeah. I think James was going through a door and out a door? And Dan was behind his desk? I think that's what I, that's what I mean, if I had to say what took place, I would say James was at the door and, Dan was at the desk. But I, of course, have not, I wouldn't even know where his office was. Ah, when I was there, so I couldn't even tell you what it looked like. If it was his office, or I just heard he was behind the desk in his office. So I'm not sure if it was his office or not."

A detective asked whether the priest knew where he heard the information.

"Again, probably from the, from the news or something," Erickson responded.

Posted by kshaw at 10:38 AM

Lawsuit alleges abuse by priest

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Casper Star-Tribune

By DAVID A. LIEB
Associated Press writer Thursday, October 06, 2005

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Nebraska lawsuit filed by a Wyoming man accuses a Missouri priest of sexually abusing a student at a Roman Catholic boy's home there 20 years ago.

Darren Boudreau, 34, of Cheyenne claims in the lawsuit that he was "emotionally and mentally scarred for life" because of the alleged abuse by the Rev. Richard Colbert from approximately 1985 to 1989 at Father Flanagan's Girls and Boys Town in Omaha, Neb.

Colbert has served at St. Anne's parish in Warsaw, Mo., since 1999 and has worked at numerous other churches, many of which also are in the Jefferson City diocese. He was at a conference Tuesday and unavailable for comment, said St. Anne's secretary Jeanne Holloway.

Diocese of Jefferson City spokesman Mark Saucier declined comment, saying church officials were unaware of the lawsuit until Tuesday and had not yet seen it. The lawsuit was filed Sept. 26 in Douglas County (Neb.) District Court, but was promoted Tuesday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at 10:35 AM

Strong evidence against priest ends murder case

HUDSON (WI)
Rice Lake Chronotype

St. Croix County Circuit Judge Eric Lundell ruled Monday, Oct. 3 that a Catholic priest, Rev. Ryan Erickson, likely murdered Hudson funeral home director Dan O’Connell and employee James Ellison, a Barron native.

The ruling came at the conclusion of a daylong John Doe hearing held after police investigating the 2002 killings became convinced that Erickson was their prime suspect. Erickson hung himself from a fire escape at St. Mary’s Church in Hurley shortly after being questioned by police.

“I conclude that Ryan Erickson probably committed the crimes in question,’’ said Lundell Monday. “On a scale of one to 10, I would consider it a 10. It is a very strong case of circumstantial evidence.’’

St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson said evidence suggests the funeral home’s director had found out that the priest was sexually abusing someone, was providing alcohol to minors, or both.

At the hearing, a deacon testified that Erickson confided that he shot O’Connell, 39, and Ellison, 22.

Posted by kshaw at 10:30 AM

Police release records in double murder

HUDSON (WI)
Duluth News Tribune

BY ROBERT IMRIE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

HUDSON, Wis. - A priest who is believed to have killed two funeral home workers three years ago denied involvement during a police interview and instead suggested the mafia was involved, according to police records released Wednesday.

Police first interviewed the Rev. Ryan Erickson in November 2004 about the murders of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison on Feb. 5, 2002.

Erickson, 31, denied knowing anything about the fatal shootings, though he said he heard rumors that Dan O'Connell's father was caught up with the mafia and the mafia turned on him, Erickson said, according to a 58-page transcript released Wednesday.

Erickson, who killed himself in December soon after a second interview with police, said he couldn't remember who told him the rumor.

Dan O'Connell's father, Tom O'Connell, called Erickson's mafia theory absurd.

Posted by kshaw at 10:28 AM

Mom in St. Pat's scandal wins visitation rights

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY BARBARA ROSS and ADAM LISBERG
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

The parish secretary caught in an alleged affair with the former rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral has been cleared for overnight visits with her two kids - but not if the priest is around.

The agreement came as a judge dropped a temporary restraining order against a teary-eyed Laura DeFilippo, 46, who was caught on videotape in a Hamptons motel with her boss, Msgr. Eugene Clark, 79.

DeFilippo's estranged husband, Philip, had claimed she threatened to stab him when he confronted her with the tape, but yesterday withdrew his request for an order of protection in Westchester Family Court.

Laura DeFilippo is still not allowed back into their Eastchester home and has rented an apartment in White Plains. Under a temporary arrangement, the couple's 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son will spend every other weekend and some of the major holidays with her.

Posted by kshaw at 10:22 AM

Archbishop says priest's removal was not related to his views

LYNN (MA)
Boston.com

October 5, 2005

LYNN, Mass. --Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley denied Wednesday that the recent forced resignation of a Newton priest was related to his outspoken views that sometimes clashed with the church's positions.

The archdiocese said last week that the Rev. Walter Cuenin was being asked to step down as pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians for improperly accepting financial benefits from his parish that violated archdiocesan policies.

Cuenin's supporters have claimed he was being punished for criticizing former Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law's handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis, and for questioning some church teachings on gays and the ordination of women.

"That is not true," O'Malley said Wednesday in response to reporters' questions when he dedicated

Posted by kshaw at 10:16 AM

Details paint disturbing picture of priest

HUDSON (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By MEG JONES
mjones@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Oct. 5, 2005
Hudson - Pornography, alcohol, weapons, animal cruelty and homicide - they're all in the court documents that portray a troubling portrait of a Catholic priest believed to be the killer of two men in a funeral home.

If what authorities say is true, then Ryan Erickson, who served this community for almost three years, was not the man most thought him to be.

The 31-year-old priest served hundreds of beers and shots of alcohol to teenage boys, kept pornographic pictures on his computer under the label "holy Mass prayers," sexually assaulted an altar boy as many as 10 times and carried a handgun in his car, according to testimony and documents released this week.

He also pointed a gun out a church window at people he didn't like, beat his dog, drank so much alcohol another priest requested Erickson be transferred from the parish and placed firecrackers in the mouths of fish and watched them blow up, according to police documents.

Erickson hanged himself last December three days after authorities seized his computer and questioned him in the killings.

During the years he spent in a Minnesota seminary and in Wisconsin parishes as a priest, psychological and alcohol evaluations were ordered of Erickson, who was accused of sexually assaulting a minor at a Vilas County resort in 1992. The Vilas County district attorney decided not to charge Erickson; a county investigator later told officials that although he felt a crime may have occurred, it would have been difficult to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Posted by kshaw at 10:12 AM

Priest accused of abuse is placed on leave

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A Roman Catholic priest accused in a Nebraska lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy 20 years ago was placed on administrative leave Wednesday by the Jefferson City Diocese.

The Rev. Richard Colbert will remain on leave from St. Ann parish in Warsaw and Sts. Peter and Paul Mission in Cole Camp while the allegations in the lawsuit are investigated, diocesan officials said.

A diocese spokesman said officials there were unaware of the lawsuit filed Sept. 26 against Colbert until it was brought to their attention Tuesday. A victims advocacy group sent a letter Wednesday to Bishop John Gaydos to urge that Colbert be suspended immediately.

A lawsuit by Darren Boudreau, 34, of Cheyenne, Wyo., accuses Colbert of abusing him as a teenager at Omaha's Girls and Boys Town from about 1985 to 1989.

Posted by kshaw at 10:07 AM

Archdiocese settles abuse claim

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

BY STEVE SCOTT
Pioneer Press

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has reached an out-of-court settlement with a Wisconsin woman who alleged she was sexually abused by a White Bear Lake priest more than two decades ago.

Anne Bonse, 33, of Glenwood City, Wis., said she was molested between the ages of 5 and 11 by Gilbert Gustafson, then a priest at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church.

In a lawsuit filed in November 2002, she also alleged she was "re-victimized" by a "callous, dismissive and inadequate" response in February 2000, when she told the Rev. Kevin McDonough, the archdiocese's chief of staff, of the alleged abuse. Additionally, she claimed that Archbishop Harry Flynn refused to meet with her to discuss the case.

As part of a settlement — announced Wednesday by Bonse and her attorney, family and friends in front of church headquarters — the archdiocese agreed to apologize in writing to Bonse, who also will receive an undisclosed amount of cash. The suit had sought at least $50,000.

Posted by kshaw at 10:03 AM

Possible motions aired in abuse trials

GREENFIELD (MA)
Republican

Thursday, October 06, 2005
By BILL ZAJAC
wzajac@repub.com
GREENFIELD - Lawyers and a judge involved in the consolidated cases of Catholic clergy sexual abuse yesterday began assembling a schedule of how the cases should proceed through the courts.

After listening to possible motions that could be filed in the cases and concerns surrounding discovery, Franklin Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini agreed to meet with all parties Oct. 14 to continue moving the case along. However, after the proceeding, a lawyer for several of the alleged sexual abuse victims expressed frustration, saying the complainants have become "the forgotten people" in the case.

"Judge Agostini is doing the best he can, but they are talking about a process that will be taking us to the end of 2006 at least. Some of the victims have been waiting since 2002 to get some justice," said Boston lawyer Carmen Durso.

Posted by kshaw at 09:54 AM

Woman settles sex-abuse lawsuit against archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Bob Von Sternberg, Star Tribune
October 6, 2005

A 33-year-old woman who says she was sexually abused as a child by a White Bear Lake priest has settled a lawsuit she filed three years ago against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

"The only thing I ever wanted was to be taken seriously, to be believed," Anne Bonse said Wednesday. "Child molesters don't belong in the church, certainly."

Bonse, who now lives in Glenwood City, Wis., spoke during a news conference called by her attorney on the steps of the archdiocesan chancery in St. Paul.

Under terms of the settlement, Bonse will receive an undisclosed sum of money. "There will be no talking about money because if she does that's all that's going to be talked about," attorney Jeff Anderson said.

In addition, she is to receive a written apology from the Rev. Kevin McDonough, the archdiocese's vicar general, who she said did not initially believe her allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 09:51 AM

Column: Papal bull

ILLINOIS
Daily Illini

By Sam Harding-Forrester
Published: Thursday, October 6, 2005

The Catholic Church is still reeling in the wake of an outpouring of sexual abuse claims which peaked in 2002, bringing the number of US priests accused of sexual misconduct to around four percent of all U.S. priests, or about 2,125. This scandal was exacerbated by revelations that the Church often shuffled offending priests between parishes until statutes of limitations had expired, or new victims had been abused.

In the wake of the scandal, the late Pope John Paul II initiated an investigation into Church policy on homosexuality, which has now culminated into a draft document banning homosexual men from ordination as priests. As Catholics await Pope Benedict XVI's imminent publication of the directive, there is also word of an "apostolic visitation" to American seminaries, during which Church investigators will search out "evidence of homosexuality" even in the form of "particular friendships."

While official Church policy has technically rejected homosexual candidates for the priesthood since 1961, these developments reflect an unprecedented effort to enforce such exclusions, departing from the previously dominant practice of accepting homosexuals on the condition of celibacy. The new directives are in large part responses to a study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which found that 81 percent of the victims molested by a priest from 1950 to 2002 were male. The percentage of priests who are homosexual is often estimated at upwards of 30 percent, and Catholic leaders have increasingly invoked such figures in explaining the scope of priestly abuse.

It is tempting to condemn the Church's post-scandal initiatives as bigoted conflations of homosexuality with pedophilia. Yet pedophilia, strictly defined, was only part of the abuse scandal. The John Jay study found that 51 percent of victims were aged 11 to 14, while 27 percent were aged 15 to 17. The Church must be faulted for seeking to address the entire spectrum of priestly misconduct by concentrating on homosexuality alone and also for producing a directive that targets all prospective homosexual priests rather than focusing on the minority likely to abuse. Countless studies confirm that no connection exists between healthy homosexuality and same-sex child abuse, and many homosexual priests have harmlessly put Catholicism's notorious eroticism to good use with other adult men. But it seems clear that some sizeable minority of the Church's abuse cases were expressions of troubled homosexuality, as opposed to pedophilia.

Posted by kshaw at 09:48 AM

Judge: Verdict stands

JANESVILLE (WI)
Baraboo News Republic

By Brian Bridgeford

JANESVILLE - A Rock County judge Wednesday denied Father Gerald Vosen's request for damages in a defamation lawsuit.

Janesville attorney Patrick K. McDonald, who is representing the Baraboo Catholic priest, appeared in Janesville circuit court, according to court records. He asked the judge to overturn a jury verdict that found sexual assault allegations made against Vosen were credible. As a result of the decision in August, the jury rejected Vosen's demand for $1.1 million in damages against alleged sexual abuse victim Peter J. Arnold, and his parents, Leland R. and Nancy S. Arnold.

Court documents show the Arnolds contacted Catholic Church authorities in Madison during summer 2003. They testified Vosen sexually abused Peter while Vosen was a priest at St. John Vianney Catholic Church and school in Janesville between 1989 and 1991.

Vosen has denied having any sexual contact with Peter Arnold. In May of 2004 he filed a defamation civil suit charging the Arnolds' statements were untrue, damaged his reputation and resulted in his suspension from his work at Baraboo's St. Joseph Catholic Parish.

Posted by kshaw at 09:45 AM

Accused priest won't be removed

POTSDAM (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

By Martha Ellen
Times Staff Writer
Thursday, October 06, 2005

An accusation of sexual abuse of a former Potsdam resident by a priest more than 30 years ago is unsubstantiated, so the accused clergyman will remain behind the altar.

The determination, made by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham on the recommendation of a lay review panel and backed up by a report by private investigator Joseph R. Lightfoot, was given by telephone to accuser Susanne H. Davis this week.

"They told me they've gone as far as they can go," she said. "I don't think they're mean-spirited. I just think they're dumb."

Although dissatisfied with the results, Ms. Davis, who lives in Boston and Englewood, Fla., won't continue to pursue her allegation that she was coerced into performing oral sex on a priest.

Posted by kshaw at 09:41 AM

Cuenin belongs in Newton

NEWTON (MA)
The Heights

By Heights Editorial Board
Published: Thursday, October 6, 2005

The Issue: Archdiocese forces priest out after accepting stipends
What we think: Church misses mark with forced resignation

It was wrong for the Archdiocese of Boston to force the Rev. Walter Cuenin from his post as pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians parish for reasons of "financial impropriety."

The official line is that Cuenin was removed from his job because he ignored archdiocese regulations when he accepted an additional stipend approved by his Newton parish's council. In all, it amounted to about an additional $75,000 over 12 years. It was also wrong, the archdiocese said, for the parish to have allowed Cuenin to lease a Honda Accord with church funds. The additional money was a small token from his parishioners meant to compliment a meager salary.

By all accounts, Cuenin is an excellent priest. He led a multi-million dollar capital campaign to restore his century-old church. He reached across faiths and offered his assistance to a Jewish synagogue after it was vandalized in 1997, and encouraged his parishioners to also show their support. He stabilized his church's leadership, establishing strong parish councils that gave lay people a greater voice in the governance of their faith. He stood up and criticized Cardinal Bernard Law for his handling of the sexual abuse crisis, and preached a need for tolerance and understanding of those that have been marginalized by the Catholic Church. Perhaps, when all is said and done, that's really why the archdiocese wrongly sent Cuenin packing.

Posted by kshaw at 09:38 AM

Juries likely to hear sex-abuse claims

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Thursday, October 06, 2005
STEVE WOODWARD
Dozens of priest sexual-abuse claims appear headed for jury trials following the crash-landing of recent settlement talks between plaintiffs and the Archdiocese of Portland.

A lawyer for the archdiocese told a U.S. bankruptcy judge Wednesday that 16 out of 60 plaintiffs agreed to confidential dollar amounts during negotiations. But most of the 16 have locked horns with the archdiocese over the question of what happens if the church fails to make good on its promise to pay.

"That issue is still the stumbling block between the parties," said Thomas V. Dulcich, one of the lawyers defending the archdiocese against lawsuits alleging child sex abuse by its priests.

Dulcich also reported that 14 additional claimants were still in discussions, two failed to appear and two "passed away." Two men scheduled for mediations committed suicide in recent months, prompting the archdiocese and plaintiffs' attorneys to jointly ask the bankruptcy court for permission to pay for emergency counseling for other plaintiffs.

Dulcich added that 26 other plaintiffs who had sued the state of Oregon, as well as made claims against the archdiocese, withdrew from settlement talks. Those 26 are mostly former inmates of the state's former MacLaren School for Boys, now known as the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, who allege abuse by prison chaplains.

Posted by kshaw at 09:35 AM

October 05, 2005

Judge will rule on 'repressed memories'

OMAHA (NE)
World-Herald

Published Saturday
October 1, 2005

BY KEVIN COLE
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

A Douglas County District Court judge heard closing arguments Friday on whether a former Boys Town resident's "repressed memories" of abuse should be allowed at trial.

Todd Rivers of Omaha has said that he was sexually abused by a family teacher, Michael Wolf, and by the Rev. James Kelly while living at Boys Town in the 1980s.

Rivers, 36, alleges that a repressed memory prevented him from recalling the sexual abuse until three years ago. He has since sued Boys Town and Kelly. Wolf died in 1990. Kelly and Boys Town deny that any sexual abuse occurred.

Judge Sandra Dougherty will issue a written ruling on whether expert testimony on repressed memory will be allowed in the yet-to-be-scheduled trial.

The concept of repressed memory is generally defined as a condition in which a person cannot remember a traumatic event.

Posted by kshaw at 10:40 PM

Church failed to help victim

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

THE sex abuse victim who helped push former governor-general Peter Hollingworth from office says the Anglican Church still fails to understand her plight.

Beth Heinrich has rejected a $100,000 compensation offer from the church after being sexually abused in the 1950s by Anglican priest Donald Shearman at a church boarding school at Forbes.

Just before Dr Hollingworths appointment as governor-general in April, 2001, Ms Heinrich approached the then Brisbane Anglican archbishop for assistance.

She said he had fobbed her off, suggesting she had in fact instigated the abuse.

In 2002, Dr Hollingworth, on ABC televisions Australian Story, appeared to condone the sexual relationship between Mr Shearman and the then 15-year-old girl in his care, saying it was “not sex abuse” and she was not a victim.

Posted by kshaw at 10:20 PM

Former Priest To Be Sentenced In December To Pornography Charge

LEESBURG (VA)
Leesburg Today

Dan Telvock

Oct 05, 2005 -- A former priest at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg pleaded no contest today in Loudoun Circuit Court to a charge of attempting to possess child pornography, avoiding a jury trial that was scheduled to begin Oct. 13.

Robert Brooks, 73, was originally charged with possession of child pornography, but Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman explained that investigators had difficulty identifying the ages of the people exposed in the pictures found on Brooks’ computer. Plowman said proof of ages is necessary to obtain a conviction on the possession charge.

“The issue was what was the age of the kids,” he said, “and we’ve got to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Plowman said he does not believe the charge was reduced because the punishment for the crime remains the same as a class 6 felony. Brooks’ attorney, Rodney Leffler, said he did not want to comment on why the decision was made to avoid the trial with the plea until after Brooks is sentenced Dec. 12.

Posted by kshaw at 10:17 PM

Church knew of priest's past: Sexual misconduct accusations surfaced after attending school in Winona, before Hudson funeral home murders

HUDSON (WI)
Winona Daily News

By Robert Imrie / The Associated Press

HUDSON, Wis. — Catholic officials were informed years ago of allegations of sexual misconduct by a priest who is believed to have killed two people to keep his behavior secret and then committed suicide, court records suggest.

The Catholic Diocese of Superior learned of sexual misconduct allegations against Ryan Erickson in 1994 and 1996 while he was attending seminary before he was ordained a priest, according to the records.

The records also show a prosecutor decided not to file charges against Erickson in 1994, and the church had him undergo several mental health exams.

Prosecutors submitted a general outline of Erickson's life to St. Croix Circuit Judge Eric Lundell during a so-called John Doe hearing Monday for him to consider as evidence in the 2002 deaths of two funeral home workers in Hudson.

Posted by kshaw at 09:37 AM

Wyoming man sues priest alleging abuse

JEFFERSON (MO)
Billings Gazette

Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Nebraska lawsuit filed by a Wyoming man accuses a Missouri priest of sexually abusing a student at a Roman Catholic boy's home 20 years ago.

Darren Boudreau, 34, of Cheyenne, Wyo., claims in the lawsuit that he was "emotionally and mentally scarred for life" because of the alleged abuse by the Rev. Richard Colbert from approximately 1985 to 1989 at Father Flanagan's Girls and Boys Town in Omaha, Neb.

Colbert has served at St. Anne's parish in Warsaw, Mo., since 1999 and has worked at numerous other churches, many of which also are in the Jefferson City diocese. He was at a conference Tuesday and was unavailable for comment, said St. Anne's secretary Jeanne Holloway.

Diocese of Jefferson City spokesman Mark Saucier said church officials were unaware of the lawsuit until Tuesday and had not yet seen it. The lawsuit was filed Sept. 26 in Douglas County (Neb.) District Court, but it was promoted Tuesday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The lawsuit claims Colbert developed "unhealthy, psychologically dependent relationships" with male students "to recruit them for sex." It also names Girls and Boys Town as a defendant, claiming it knew - or should have known - what Colbert was doing and should have better supervised him. Although Boudreau is the only defendant, the lawsuit claims Colbert also molested other unnamed students.

Posted by kshaw at 09:34 AM

Plan to change hiring at church is exemplary

DUNEDIN (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

A Times Editorial
Published October 5, 2005

The pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Dunedin has apologized to his parishioners for hiring a man with a questionable past to work for the church.

It was important for Father Tom Madden to say he was sorry, and he seems filled with sincere regret about hiring William Forte early last year.

But even better than the apology is that Madden has promised to change the church's hiring procedures, an important step toward avoiding poor judgment in future hiring decisions.

Our Lady of Lourdes is enduring a public police investigation and a lot of pain among its congregants - problems that could have been avoided if the church never had hired Forte.

Posted by kshaw at 09:25 AM

Some answers for a grieving community

HUDSON (WI)
Pioneer Press

Once in a while a horrific crime with a multitude of tentacles reaches into a community and shakes it to its roots. Even after a legal resolution, questions remain. The community slips back into its routines, but never forgets. Closure is too strong a word for such a situation, but the answers help the community come to terms with its losses.

After almost three years of police investigation, a Wisconsin judge ruled this week that it is almost certain that the Rev. Ryan Erickson, former associate pastor at St. Patrick's Church, murdered owner Dan O'Connell and mortuary intern James Ellison in a Hudson funeral home in February 2002. The murders, the first in Hudson in more than two decades, shocked and frightened the close-knit St. Croix River town.

Complicating the investigation was Father Erickson's death by suicide in 2004, after he was questioned by police in connection with the killings of O'Connell and Ellison. Judge Eric Lundell said after a "John Doe" hearing this week that circumstantial evidence presented by the St. Croix County prosecutor strongly pointed to Erickson as the killer, including testimony from a church deacon who said that the priest, 31, admitted that he "did" something and would be caught.

Posted by kshaw at 09:23 AM

The Sins of the Father

HUDSON (WI)
Minneapolis City Pages

BY BRUCE RUBENSTEIN

When Father Ryan Erickson celebrated Mass at St. Patrick's Church in Hudson, Wisconsin, the show was on and he was the star.

As he put it in an e-mail to his congregants, he liked his rituals "rich and mysterious"--a stark change from the "orgy of handshaking and hugs" to which they had become accustomed. The way Erickson hoisted the host over his head and held it aloft for a minute or more made a vivid contrast to the perfunctory elevation that the senior priests favored. Tears rolled down his cheeks during the ceremony. The monk's cassock he affected billowed theatrically, hiding the bulge at his waist from the pistol he always packed there.

Erickson's energetic performance got mixed reviews. The parishioners who were wowed by his histrionics became known as "kneelers," because they knelt during Consecration. The "standers" were either uncomfortable with his act or oblivious. Mostly they suffered in silence or opted to attend another church. The parish's spiritual life, they believed, was being hijacked by the born-agains, people they wearily referred to as "holy rollers," in reference to the way they demonstrated their fervor. Alternately, they called them "chirpers," after a retreat group that Father Ryan led named CRHP--Christ Renews His Parish.

Among the standers was 39-year-old Dan O'Connell, a member of one of Hudson's most prominent families and the owner of O'Connell Funeral Home. O'Connell was married and had two elementary school-aged children. Several generations of O'Connells had worshiped at St. Patrick's. Dan was no exception, but he wasn't very religious. O'Connell was also a Rotarian and a volunteer ambulance attendant. He served hot dogs at the annual North Hudson Pepper Fest and rode in the Dutch Days parade in nearby Baldwin. He was gregarious and sociable, and not much went on in Hudson that he didn't hear about. He saw the schism in his church firsthand every Sunday. He may have fretted about it privately, but people on both sides were buried out of his funeral home, and he had no interest in getting involved.

Posted by kshaw at 09:16 AM

Was diocese forthright about alleged priest-killer?

WISCONSIN
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 4, 2005

Was the Roman Catholic Diocese of Superior, Wis., always forthright about the late Father Ryan Erickson?

Consider the following items:

In an Oct. 4 story that reveals the diocese did in fact know about past allegations of sexual misconduct against Erickson, Robert Imrie of the Associated Press quotes Father Philip J. Heslin, moderator of the curia and a spokesman for the diocese, as saying:

"It is just a human condition. What do you look for? We screen all the seminarians. We give them psychological testing. Obviously [Erickson] passed all that."

Posted by kshaw at 09:08 AM

Shelby man indicted in federal court

ALABAMA
Shelby County Reporter

By ASHLEY VANSANT/Special Assignments Editor

A well-known member of the Shelby County homeschool community has been indicted by a federal grand jury for interstate transportation of children for illegal sex acts.

William Flynn Walker, 48, of Shelby, was charged in a seven-count indictment filed last week in U.S. District Court in Birmingham.

Walker is charged with transporting three different children across state lines between 1984 and 2004 and engaging in illegal sexual acts with them. ...

Walker is known in homeschool circles for his role in the founding of Evangel Christian School, a Helena-based organization formed as a ministry of Evangel Church, PCA.


Posted by kshaw at 09:06 AM

Church should focus on pedophiles, not homosexuals

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

JANET BAGNALL
The Gazette

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Whoever succeeded Pope John Paul II was going to get stuck with the problem of pedophile priests. What first surfaced as dark hints a quarter-century ago has become a scandal that will not fade, much less go away.

The church, especially in the United States, stands accused of shifting pedophiles from one parish to the next in the vain attempt to protect its reputation - all the while ignoring its duty to defend the innocent in its care. As many as 100 of the 43,300 priests in the U.S. are alleged to have sexually abused the children and youths they came into contact with. Their victims number in the thousands. The U.S. Catholic church faces having to pay hundreds of millions in legal damages.

Canada has also been affected. In Ontario, for example, the church and the province signed a $40-million package in 1992 to compensate 1,600 men who were abused as children at two training schools. Both church and government were aware of the abuse for years but did not act to end it.

Pedophiles, with their all but incurable sexual fixation on pre-pubescent children, seek out positions that put them in contact with the objects of their desire. They show up in summer camps, schools, after-school activities, daycare centres and, it should not have come as a surprise, in the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by kshaw at 09:03 AM

Priest Had History Of Sexual Abuse Allegations

HUDSON (WI)
WCCO

Nelson Garcia
Reporting

(WCCO) Hudson, Wis. Police files in the case of the Hudson, Wis. funeral home murders show a priest who likely killed two people had a history of sexual abuse allegations.

The investigation files, totaling thousands of pages, were opened after a judge ruled Rev. Ryan Erickson likely killed Dan O'Connell, 39, and James Ellison, 22, inside the O'Connell Family Funeral Home more than three years ago.

In the end, the investigation files all point to Erickson, but Hudson Police Chief Dick Trende said what is most interesting in the files is what happened before the murders.

"The alcohol issue, providing alcohol in the rectory, I was surprised by that," Trende said.

The files show Erickson admitted to bringing underage boys to the rectory of St. Patrick's Church and served them alcohol.

Posted by kshaw at 09:00 AM

Teenager tells Pottsville court 'nobody would have believed me'

POTTSVILLE (PA)
The Morning Call

By Chris Parker
Of The Morning Call

A sobbing Pottsville Catholic high school graduate testified Tuesday that her former track coach sexually assaulted her but she kept it secret because he was so well respected in the community.

''Nobody would have believed me,'' the girl said through her tears.

In fact, the girl said that when Daniel M. Shields was suspended for five days in February when another student accused him of inappropriate touching, her mother supported Shields and called the Allentown Catholic Diocese to complain.

After about an hour of testimony from the nervous girl, Shields, 61, of 30 Bryn Mawr Ave., Pottsville, was ordered to face Schuylkill County Court on charges of aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Shields also will face trial on charges of sexual abuse of children, corruption of minors and invasion of privacy for allegedly secretly videotaping the girl who testified and at least two other girls undressing at Pottsville Nativity BVM High School.

Posted by kshaw at 08:57 AM

Companies reject diocese claims

GREENFIELD (MA)
Republican

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
By BILL ZAJAC
wzajac@repub.com
GREENFIELD - Some insurance companies are stating that they are not responsible for paying any money used by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield to settle claims by those who said they were sexually abused by clergy, according to court documents.

A status conference for the consolidated Catholic clergy abuse cases scheduled for 2 p.m. today in Hampden Superior Court will be held in Franklin Superior Court, where Judge John A. Agostini is sitting this month. The decision was made in December 2003 to have Agostini handle all pending sexual abuse cases filed against the diocese.

Meanwhile, several insurance companies have submitted documents to the court stating they are not responsible for any monetary obligations to the diocese regarding the claims.

Also, Centennial Insurance Co. and Lloyd's of London have asked the court to dismiss a suit filed by the diocese in June seeking money from seven insurance companies to settle pending claims and reimburse the diocese for previous settlements with alleged clergy abuse victims.

The insurance companies also want the court to reimburse them for legal expenses, according to the documents that have been filed in the past few days.

Posted by kshaw at 08:54 AM

Abuse victim says no thanks

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

By Greg Roberts
October 05, 2005

ANGLICAN Church negotiations with the sex abuse victim who brought about the downfall of former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth have collapsed.

Beth Heinrich has attacked the Anglican Church, claiming it has not acted in good faith in the negotiations for a substantial compensation package.
Mrs Heinrich revealed that the church had offered $100,000 in compensation for the abuse she suffered as a teenage girl at the hands of an Anglican priest, Donald Shearman, at a church boarding school in the NSW town of Forbes in the mid-1950s.

"It's outrageous, really, when you consider everything I've been through and am still going through as a result of the church's failure in its duty of care with me," Mrs Heinrich said.

"It's petty cash to them. They say they've offered a six-figure sum, but it wouldn't be six figures if it was one cent less."

Posted by kshaw at 08:51 AM

Sex abuse victim rejects church's payout

AUSTRALIA
ABC

The Anglican Church's negotiations with the sex abuse victim, whose case was linked to the 2003 resignation of former governor-general Peter Hollingworth, have broken down.

Before he stood down, Dr Hollingworth defended his inaction on Beth Heinrich's case while he was the archbishop of Brisbane.

Ms Heinrich says the church does not seem to understand the impact of the abuse she suffered in the mid-1950s at the hands of Donald Shearman.

At the time Mr Shearman, who has since been defrocked, was the head of an Anglican boarding school in the New South Wales town of Forbes.

"They don't seem to realise that I was denied my education, and that priest lied to my parents and started a rumour around town that I was promiscuous," Ms Heinrich said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:49 AM

Lawsuit alleges abuse by priest

BELLINGHAM (WA)
Everett Heraldl

By Jim Haley
Herald Writer

A Bellingham man has filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle for allegedly allowing a Roman Catholic priest assigned to Immaculate Conception Parish in Everett to sexually abuse him over 11 years starting in 1956.

The man, now 63, was identified only as M.P. in the lawsuit filed Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The lawsuit alleges that the archdiocese knew or should have known that the Rev. Edward Boyle was a pedophile, and it failed to supervise the priest.

The archdiocese Tuesday had no comment on the lawsuit.

Spokesman Greg Magnoni said he was unaware of this particular allegation until now. "I do know there have been allegations against (Boyle) in the past," he added

Boyle died in 1987, Magnoni said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:46 AM

Sex charges go back years

HUDSON (WI)
Pioneer Press

BY STEVE SCOTT and KEVIN HARTER
Pioneer Press

Roman Catholic Church officials knew a decade ago of sexual-misconduct allegations against a then-seminarian now presumed to have fatally shot two men in a Hudson, Wis., funeral home, according to court records released this week.

A two-page investigative report by Hudson police outlining the key events in the Rev. Ryan Erickson's life did not offer details about the abuse allegations, and he was not charged.

But court records in testimony Monday before a St. Croix County judge indicated that Vilas County investigators in northern Wisconsin contacted officials at the Diocese of Superior in 1994 about Erickson, who was attending the seminary at St. Mary's University in Winona, Minn.

After an investigation of a sexual-misconduct allegation, which involved an incident at a summer resort frequented by Erickson as a young man, the county informed the diocese no charge would be filed. Bishop Raphael Fliss acknowledged that decision in a letter in July 1994.

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

Cardinal removes priest who once served at St. Gertrude

ILLINOIS
Franklin Park Herald-Journal

BY CHUCK FIELDMAN
STAFF WRITER

The Rev. Alfred Corbo of St. Gertrude Church in Franklin Park has never met the Rev. Raymond Skriba.

But Corbo said he "felt bad for the man" after learning that Skriba, a former associate pastor at St. Gertrude, is one of 11 priests permanently removed by Cardinal Francis George from public ministry because of sexual misconduct with children.

"I feel very bad about this, and I pray that it doesn't happen again," Corbo said of the news about Skriba.

Skriba worked as an associate pastor at St. Gertrude approximately 40 years ago. Corbo has been at St. Gertrude for about 18 years.

Skriba, 73, had been pastor since 1984 of St. Joseph Church in Round Lake.

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 AM

October 04, 2005

Man gets 11 years for child porn

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

KYTJA WEIR AND KEN GARFIELD
Staff Writers

A former Myers Park Presbyterian Church youth volunteer was sentenced Monday to spend more than 11 years in prison on child pornography charges and the rest of his life under supervision.

Russell Earl Miller also was ordered to pay a total of $17,500 to two girls whose pictures and names were sent over the Web.

Monday's hearing in the federal courthouse in uptown Charlotte marked the final stage of a more than yearlong waiting game for both his family and those of the two girls who will receive the money for therapy.

U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad spoke of the eloquent letters he received from the destroyed families.

On one side, he heard about a religious man who volunteered his time for senior citizens, not just children.

On the other, he heard from a father who said his daughter was taken away. And a mother who worries whenever she walks with her daughter in a mall that someone might recognize the girl from the Internet images.

Posted by kshaw at 06:33 PM

Blind Faith

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Weekly

by Tim Whitaker

Reaction is still rolling in.

Happily, all but a small fraction of it embraces the position taken in this space last week that DA Lynne Abraham and the grand jury deserve the city's admiration and gratitude for their blistering indictment of the decades-long priest molester scandal and cover-up.

The support has come most passionately from active Catholics, who cite their credentials clearly before expressing their disgust and outrage with the molesting priests and their church supervisors.

"I'm a white Republican woman-and a Catholic," said one typically infuriated caller to our offices.

Like so many, the woman went on to register her support of our hard-line discourse, encouraging us to keep railing against church leadership. Then she said the five chilling words we heard echoed all week in letters and in conversations with readers:

They still don't get it.

For weeks now Philadelphia Catholics-practicing and lapsed alike-have been living in a state of disbelief.

Posted by kshaw at 06:29 PM

News You Can Lose

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Weekly

by Steve Volk

The Inquirer's coverage of the Catholic Church molestation scandal carries with it a special poignancy for reasons that resonate both inside and outside the newsroom.

When a Philadelphia grand jury recently released a scathing report documenting the church's systematic cover-up of sexual abuse by priests, the Inquirer delivered the kind of exhaustive coverage only a daily newspaper its size can provide: four full pages the first day, four the second and a whopping seven on Sunday-1,800 column inches in total, filled with both the facts and the pathos of an undeniably compelling story.

The Inquirer also performed its work against a bleak backdrop, given parent company Knight Ridder's earlier announcement that 75 newsroom positions must be trimmed before the year is out. "It's painful," says Nancy Phillips, one of the main reporters covering the church scandal. "In a way I was lucky, because this story broke, and I've been so focused on doing my job that I haven't had time to think about what's happening here. But you can't completely overlook it. There's a sadness around the place right now."

As Phillips carried out her work on the church scandal, a colleague seated nearby made phone calls too-about job openings elsewhere. "There's a lot of talent we're about to lose," says Phillips.

And once that talent walks out the door, will the Inquirer still be able to rise to the occasion of such a big story?

Posted by kshaw at 06:26 PM

Superior bishop notes shock, shame and sadness in Hudson priest case

WISCONSIN
Pioneer Press

BY STEVE SCOTT
Pioneer Press

Acknowledging the shame Monday's court ruling brings upon the church, the Roman Catholic bishop of Superior, Wis., nonetheless insisted he had believed statements by the Rev. Ryan Erickson that the priest was not responsible for the murders of two men in Hudson three years ago.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Bishop Raphael Fliss said he was "shocked and greatly saddened" by Monday's court finding of overwhelming evidence that Erickson killed the men in a Hudson funeral home.

"As bishop,'' said Fliss, who oversaw the three parishes where Erickson served, "I recognize and acknowledge the shame this decision brings upon the church. In the name of the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Superior, I express the embarrassment and sadness that all of us rightly feel.''

But Fliss said he had no reason to doubt a statement made by Erickson two days before the priest committed suicide last December, in which Erickson reportedly said, "I have peace of mind because I know I had nothing to do with those murders in Hudson. God knows I'm telling the truth.''

Posted by kshaw at 04:53 PM

The packin' priest

WISCONSIN
City Pages

There has been no shortage of speculation about the mysterious double slaying that occured at a Hudson funeral home nearly four years ago. Naturally, given the morbid aspects of the crime, much of it has been utter hooey. Remember the theory that the poor mortician and his assistant were victims of anti-embalming zealots? Or the one that attributed the killings to drug crazies who wanted to rob the funeral home of embalming fluids for the purpose of making "wet sticks?"

After yesterday's John Doe hearing in St. Croix County Courthouse, it appears that the murders were every bit as sordid as imagined; it's just the particulars that differ. The most credible evidence points to the conclusion that the late Rev. Ryan Erickson was the culprit.

Though I haven't read it yet, I expect Bruce Rubenstein's upcoming cover story for City Pages should make for a lurid and compelling read.

But there is one astounding detail that didn't surface until yesterday's hearing and, therefore, I am told, was only hinted at in the CP story: The Rev. Erickson evidently suffered from more than that garden variety affliction of the priesthood, a sexual weakness for minors; apparently, he was a major gun nut.

As noted in today's Strib piece, Erickson, who hanged himself as investigators closed in, was packing a virtual arsenal in his last rectory of residence, which was located in Hurley, Wisconsin. From the Strib: "Police also said they found 16 firearms belonging to Erickson at the rectory in Hurley. Eight of them were handguns, including two 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistols, the same type used in the murders."

Posted by kshaw at 04:51 PM

Pew news . . .

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

October 4, 2005

BY MICHAEL SNEED SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Illinois Appellate Court Justice Anne Burke, who on Monday night received the U.S. Catholic Award for Furthering the Cause of Women in the Church, tells Sneed she is very concerned about the future of the laity in the church.

"It wasn't until the worst crisis in the history of the church hit did the church hierarchy come to the laity for help," said Burke, who was the head of the national review board charged with investigating the clergy sex abuse crisis.

"It was when they were pushed to the wall that they [bishops] came to us to get out of it, and now I'm afraid they are retreating," Burke said. "The role of the laity in the church is very important and we must remain vigilant."

Posted by kshaw at 04:45 PM

Sex abuse victim rejects compo

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

October 05, 2005

THE Anglican church sex abuse victim who brought about the resignation of Governor-General Peter Hollingworth has turned down a $100,000 sex abuse compensation offer from the church.

Beth Heinrich was sexually abused as a teenager in the 1950s by Anglican priest Donald Shearman at a church boarding school in Forbes, central-west NSW.

Mrs Heinrich said she turned down a $100,000 compensation offer from the church, accusing it of failing to act in good faith in negotiations.

She had requested $500,000 and accommodation in Canberra, but the church said it could put only $100,000 on the table, News Ltd newspapers reported today.

"It's outrageous really, when you consider everything I've been through and am still going through as a result of the church's failure in its duty of care with me," Mrs Heinrich said.

"This is the church trying to get me to do what it wants, not what I want. It is hoping I'll just get sick of this."

Posted by kshaw at 02:56 PM

Church wants trial moved

DENVER (CO)
Loveland Reporter-Herald

The Associated Press

DENVER — In its first official response to nearly a dozen claims of clergy sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Denver on Monday asked the case be moved to federal court because of constitutional questions surrounding claims it did nothing regarding a priest who had been accused of abusing children.

At least 10 men have filed lawsuits in Denver District Court alleging they were abused as boys by Harold Robert White starting in the 1960s. The lawsuits name only the archdiocese as the defendant.

In court documents filed in U.S. District Court regarding two of the lawsuits, the church asks the cases be heard in federal court because the issues are “inextricably intertwined with the First Amendment,” which guarantees the right to freely practice religion. It said a judicial evaluation of the archdiocese’s policies regarding clergy misconduct requires the court to pass judgment on the archdiocese’s canonical function as the chief ecclesiastical executive and chief ecclesiastical legislator.

Posted by kshaw at 02:53 PM

Church sex abuse talks fail

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Greg Roberts
October 05, 2005
ANGLICAN Church negotiations with the sex abuse victim who brought about the downfall of former governor-general Peter Hollingworth have collapsed.

Beth Heinrich has attacked the Anglican Church, claiming it has not acted in good faith in the negotiations for a substantial compensation package.

Mrs Heinrich revealed that the church had offered $100,000 in compensation for the abuse she suffered as a teenage girl at the hands of an Anglican priest, Donald Shearman, at a church boarding school in the NSW town of Forbes in the mid-1950s.

"It's outrageous, really, when you consider everything I've been through and am still going through as a result of the church's failure in its duty of care with me," Mrs Heinrich told The Australian.

Posted by kshaw at 02:51 PM

Biased media surveillance of sex abuse distorts views

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Temple News

By Erin Cusack
Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2005

After three years of a Grand Jury investigation, a 423-paged report issued Sept. 21 revealed the negligence of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in handling sexual abuse allegations against members of its clergy for decades.

The details have made national and local news reports, the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer and entries on every web log. There is no doubt the perpetrated abuses are revolting; but the limited media surveillance has branded the issue as a religious ill when it clearly embodies a larger societal crime that demands immediate attention.

Disproportionate media coverage has misled the public into thinking Catholic priests are the primary perpetrators of pedophilia and other sexual assault crimes. What is distinctly absent in the media is a discussion of clergy abuses in other denominations or other high-risk professions, informative statistics regarding reported cases and remedial proposals for an improved relationship between law enforcement and the community.

"We would be naive and dishonest if we were to say this is a Roman Catholic problem and has nothing to do with us because we have married and female priests in our church," said the Rev. William Persell, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, in a 2002 Good Friday sermon. "Sin and abusive behavior know no ecclesial or other boundaries."

Posted by kshaw at 02:50 PM

The dark side of Fr. Erickson

HUDSON (WI)
Ironwood Daily Globe

Published Tuesday, October 4, 2005 2:14:50 PM Central Time

HUDSON, Wis. -- Testimony at Monday's John Doe hearing into the deaths of two Hudson men revealed that the Rev. Ryan Erickson, a Catholic priest, had a dark side to his private life involving sexual contact with young boys.

A judge concluded after Monday's hearing that there was probable cause to conclude that Erickson murdered Hudson funeral director Dan O'Connell and his intern, James Ellison.

Father Erickson served St. Patrick's Church in Hudson at the time of the murders in 2002. He later was transferred to Ladysmith and then St. Mary's in Hurley. He hanged himself in December of 2004 soon after being questioned by Hudson police.

According to an account of Monday's testimony in the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Erickson professed a love of God, but he was described by witnesses as a man who downloaded hardcore pornography, much of it involving boys. Authorities said one computer file labeled "Holy Mass/Prayers" included 40 pornographic photos.

Posted by kshaw at 02:48 PM

Files on Hudson killings closed

HUDSON (WI)
Ironwood Daily Globe

Published Tuesday, October 4, 2005 2:14:49 PM Central Time

By MARGARET LEVRA
Globe Staff Writer

HUDSON, Wis. -- Following key testimony by Deacon Russell Lundgren of Hurley and other witnesses, St. Croix Circuit Judge Erick Lundell ruled Monday that there was probable cause to believe the Rev. Ryan Erickson murdered a Hudson funeral home director and his intern on Feb. 5, 2002.

"I conclude that Ryan Erickson probably committed the crimes in question," Lundell said at the end of a day-long John Doe hearing. "On a scale of one to 10, I would consider it a 10. It is a very strong case of circumstantial evidence."

Lundgren of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hurley told of a conversation he had with Erickson shortly after Hudson police had questioned Erickson about the murders of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison.

"I've done it, and they are going to get me," Lundgren said Erickson told him.

Posted by kshaw at 02:47 PM

Rome annuls defrocking of cleric alleged to have abused man

IRELAND
One in Four

A DECISION of an Irish Catholic Church court to defrock a priest because of an allegation of child abuse has been overturned by a court at the Vatican.

The civil authorities here had already decided not to charge the priest. The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, is now obliged to 'restore him as a priest in good standing'. He has not yet done this, meaning he could yet have his hand forced by Rome if the priest takes further action.

The case, which was decided in April, is one of the only recent examples of Rome acquitting a cleric accused of child abuse, rather than convicting him.

The priest concerned was alleged by a man to have abused him in a series in incidents in the 1980s. The allegations did not come to light until 1997, when gardai probed the case.

Posted by kshaw at 09:26 AM

Former local priest pleads not guilty

NEWBURGH (IN)
Henderson Gleaner

By Gleaner staff
October 4, 2005

The former Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church priest who was charged with public indecency after he was allegedly caught exposing himself to an undercover police officer at a park in Newburgh, Ind., pleaded not guilty in a Warrick County, Ind., court Monday.

Ralph E. Patterson, 47, Henderson, entered the plea to the misdemeanor charge in Superior Court 2 at the Warrick County Judicial Center. Judge Robert L. Aylsworth set the trial for Dec. 1 at 1 p.m.

Patterson, who has been relieved of his duties at Holy Name, was an associate pastor there. He was arrested around noon Aug. 1 at Overlook Park at the Newburgh Lock and Dam.

Posted by kshaw at 08:59 AM

Dead priest likely killed two others

HUDSON (WI)
Fond du Lac Reporter

the associated press

HUDSON, Wis. — A judge found enough evidence Monday to suggest a Catholic priest killed a funeral home director and his intern more than three years ago.

St. Croix County Circuit Judge Eric Lundell’s finding closes the case. The Rev. Ryan Erickson killed himself in December after police questioned him about the slayings at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson on Feb. 5, 2002.

“I conclude that Ryan Erickson probably committed the crimes in question,” Lundell said at the end of a daylong, closed-door hearing into the case. “On a scale of one to 10, I would consider it a 10. It is a very strong case of circumstantial evidence.”

Erickson, a former Campbellsport resident, cannot be charged in the case.

Posted by kshaw at 08:50 AM

Parishioners protest archdiocesan ouster of pastor

NEWTON (MA)
National

By CHUCK COLBERT
Newton, Mass.

The ouster of a beloved parish priest and the assignment of a chancery insider to replace him has triggered another eruption of anger and hurt among the laity of the Boston archdiocese.

Fr. Walter H. Cuenin, pastor of the Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Newton, told parishioners that the archdiocese forced his resignation with allegations of financial practices that a chancery press statement said “do not comport with archdiocesan policy, canon law or archdiocesan statutes.”

The alleged financial improprieties include parish payment of a stipend to Cuenin, as well as the use of a Honda that the church leased for use by him and other priests. The finance committee and pastoral council had approved both practices, which had been in place for years.

On Sept. 26, the archdiocese announced that Cuenin’s replacement would be Fr. Christopher J. Coyne, who has served as archdiocesan spokesman under Cardinal Bernard Law and Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley.

During the peak of the sex abuse crisis, Cuenin had been outspoken in his criticism of Law’s handling of the scandal. Over the years, Cuenin also had encouraged dialogue about the ordination of women, and Our Lady Help of Christians was known for welcoming divorced and remarried Catholics, gay and lesbians, and others who felt alienated from the Catholic church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

On The Hunt For A Story

NEW YORK
The Jewish Press

Posted 10/3/2005
By Editorial Board
Readers of the Jewish Press will recall our recent series of editorials and articles concerning the Rabbinical Council of America`s expulsion of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler from its membership rolls. Separate and apart from what we called the "inappropriate process" employed by the RCA in this matter — which as another editorial this week points out, continues to this day — we explored the extraordinary lengths to which The Jewish Week and the Forward went, in order to construct a story of rabbinic abuse when they had no real evidence. Thus, we noted the use of such reportorial devices as "unnamed sources," "informed sources" "sources close to the investigation," "persons who have seen the (investigative) report" "persons who have spoken to the accusers" and the like. Indeed, one quote cited by The Jewish Week was that although there was no specific evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Rabbi Tendler, "where there is smoke there is fire." In addition, accusers were either unnamed or where named, their accusations were palpably not credible and disproven.

Sadly, the RCA was not up to the challenge presented by these publications and allowed itself to be stampeded into abandoning halachic propriety and victimizing the rabbi in order to avoid being labelled as "soft" on sexual abuse. Unfortunately, last week, The Jewish Week was at it again. This time it mounted what appears to be an effort to bulldoze the RCA into targeting another member of the RCA who is alleged by some to have penned an article critical of the Gaza disengagement under the pseudonym, "S.A. Halevy."

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

News in brief from Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Penn Live

10/4/2005, 7:00 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic high school changed the name of a scholarship fund endowed by a priest identified in a Philadelphia grand jury report as a child molester.

Brother Tim Ahearn, principal of West Catholic High School, said he told the 68-year-old Rev. Francis A. Giliberti that the name of the school's $100,000 Gilberti scholarship fund was troublesome since Giliberti had been one of 63 priests identified as perpetrators in the grand jury report.

He said Giliberti, who lives under supervision in a church retirement home, agreed, but pointed out that he had endowed the fund in memory of his father.

Posted by kshaw at 08:37 AM

Scholarship is renamed to break its link to priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen
Inquirer Faith Life Editor

The Rev. Francis A. Giliberti was one of their benefactors. And, unbeknown to them, he was also a child molester.

In a postscript to the Philadelphia grand jury report on Catholic priest abuse, West Catholic High School officials have renamed the school's $100,000 Giliberti scholarship fund to distance it from the school's onetime chaplain, who was one of 63 priests identified as perpetrators in the report.

Brother Tim Ahern, the school's principal, said he told the 68-year-old priest last week that the name of the Giliberti Fund had become a problem. Giliberti - who lives under supervision in a church retirement home - agreed, but noted that he had endowed the money in his father's memory.

So the fund has been recast as the Michael and Anna Giliberti Scholarship Fund, in his parents' names. The school, which administers the fund, will still award scholarships from it to needy students - but no longer in the priest's name, which Ahern said would be "inappropriate" because of the credible abuse allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 AM

Scouts, church facing lawsuit

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Post

By Tony Cook
Post staff reporter

Local scout leaders and the sponsor of a troop - the Archdiocese of Cincinnati - should have prevented two teens from sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy during two separate camping trips.

That's the central allegation in a lawsuit filed Monday against the Boy Scouts of America, the Dan Beard Council, St. Veronica Catholic Church in Mount Carmel and the archdiocese on behalf of the abused boy's parents.

The lawsuit - which uses pseudonyms for both plaintiffs and defendants - alleges two teens 13 to 14 sexually abused the boy during scouting trips to Camp Friedlander in Clermont County and a camp in Ripley in the summer of 2003 of Troop 135, sponsored by St. Veronica.

Posted by kshaw at 08:28 AM

Grand jury findings

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National

By RALPH CIPRIANO
Philadelphia

A Philadelphia grand jury that investigated the Philadelphia archdiocese for more than three years has concluded that two former archbishops orchestrated a systematic cover-up spanning four decades that managed to successfully shield from prosecution 63 priests who had sexually abused hundreds of children.

In a 418-page report issued Sept. 21, the grand jury said that the two archbishops -- the retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and the late Cardinal John Krol -- “excused and enabled the abuse” by “burying the reports they did receive and covering up the conduct ... to outlast any statutes of limitation.”

The grand jury used blunt language to describe the sex abuse uncovered during the investigation, which they said was often recorded by the archdiocese in more than 45,000 pages of documents from secret archdiocese archives with such “delicate euphemisms” as “inappropriate touching.”

“We mean rape,” the grand jury report said. “Boys who were raped orally, boys who were raped anally, girls who were raped vaginally.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:24 AM

Bishops, where to we go from here?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National

The deeply disturbing grand jury report on sexual abuse of children by priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese delves into a prolonged and shocking crisis. It reveals the flaws of the system established to protect children and the related extent of the corruption that has seeped into the church’s hierarchical structures.

The Philadelphia report, in an unprecedented way, details the level of deception and misuse of law employed to protect known repeat abusers, including rapists, within the Catholic clergy. The district attorney’s office in Philadelphia, with the benefit of more than 45,000 pages of subpoenaed documents and testimony from more than 100 witnesses gathered over a three-year investigation, fashioned a narrative showing a clergy and hierarchical culture so intent on protecting itself that it placed hundreds of children at risk of cruel exploitation.

If this watershed moment in this awful chapter of modern church history passes without dramatic action on the part of church authorities, then we have to wonder how we can continue to call ourselves Christian, or a church.

We urge you to read the report (available at www.philadelphiadistrictattorney.com/pages/1) as well as the archdiocese’s response to the report (at www.archdiocese-phl.org/grandjury.htm) and the district attorney’s rebuttal to that response.

Posted by kshaw at 08:22 AM

John Grogan | On the contrary: Father O'Sullivan

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John Grogan
Inquirer Columnist

They called themselves the Philadelphia Rovers. They were altar boys at St. Monica's Parish in South Philadelphia, and the Rovers was their social club, founded by the boys' spiritual leader, Father Raymond O. Leneweaver.

The priest rewarded the boys for their service to the church by taking them sledding and swimming. He made up custom T-shirts for them and taught them wrestling moves.

The parents were thrilled. What better role model for boys growing up on the streets of South Philly in the 1970s?

As Lou Mosca, of Sewell, N.J., who was a member of the group, told me by e-mail: "My parents loved this guy. They were thrilled that a parish priest took the time to take their son swimming, to dinner, to the movies. Unfortunately they did not live to see what a monster he really was."

Yes, there was a dirty secret.

Posted by kshaw at 08:20 AM

Priest blasts 'gay' colleagues

ARLINGTON (VA)
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 3, 2005

Father James Haley of the Diocese of Arlington, Va., the whistle-blower priest whose story has been featured in the Washington Times, is once again speaking out.

He issued the following (edited) statement on Oct. 3:

"The 'trial,' if you do not realize it by now, is a sham. But since I have been silenced, and since all the proceedings are secret, both horrendous injustices, no one knows this. And, of course, that information does not come from me. However, whenever, if ever, this trial (sham) is completed, everything will become public. This is the Church's final opportunity to do the right thing — the moral thing — about its homosexual problem before the explosion of some very extensive and damning information.

"As I have often said, if there is nothing wrong with gay seminarians, gay priests and gay bishops, then let us finally meet them all. Why do they insist on remaining anonymous if there is nothing wrong with their 'priestly' lives?

"As for me, my sexual orientation is very public. I am the heterosexual priest, the one who stood in the chapel at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary and 'promised, vowed and sweared' to remain celibate (unmarried), chaste and modest for the sake of God's Kingdom. On that day, I, a heterosexual, gave up not only sex with women, but all the intimacies and joys of a life lived together with a woman and the family we could create together.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Wisconsin Catholic priest likely killed two-judge

WISCONSIN
Reuters

Mon 3 Oct 2005 10:32 PM ET
CHICAGO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - A judge in Wisconsin ruled on Monday that a Roman Catholic parish priest found hanged in an apparent suicide likely killed two people, perhaps because one of them had uncovered evidence of sexual abuse, according to a published report.

St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell found there was a very high probability that the Rev. Ryan Erickson killed two men at a funeral home in Hudson, Wisconsin, in February 2002.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune said the judge felt prosecutors had presented a very strong case of circumstantial evidence, including indications that on at least 10 occasions Erickson touched a young man inappropriately.

The ruling came as the Vatican is reportedly considering a ban on the admission of homosexuals to the clergy, and is conducting an inspection of more than 200 U.S. seminaries to check for homosexual activity and the way that candidates for the priesthood are being taught to practice celibacy.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Keeping Homosexuals From the Priesthood Not the Answer

UNITED STATES
New University Paper

by: Yolanda Vo
According to various news sources, the Vatican is preparing a document that would bar homosexual men from entering seminaries as a response to sexual-abuse incidents. However, the word “homosexual” is not clearly defined. The document has been outlined since 2001, but there is no evidence of the document, nor is it fully known if this document will be proclamated by the Vatican; still, it has many individuals stirred up.

The sexual-abuse scandals in the United States have had many individuals and the Roman Catholic Church infuriated, saddened and embarrassed. Many conservative Catholics blame homosexual priests for the scandal and feel that the church should “stay on the safe side” by restricting homosexual candidates for priesthood.

To start off, I am a Catholic. Knowing that fact, you may have already formed preconceptions of me. However, I hope you will delve into what I have to say, as unsophisticated as my opinions may be.

The background to the scandal is that there have been accusations of priests sexually abusing adolescents. These accusations came from the parents or guardians of the victims, and were then presented to the bishops within their diocese. Rather than removing the accused priests from their priesthood, the bishops relocated them to different parishes and notified no one of the accusations. As a result, more young children were placed at risk.

Posted by kshaw at 08:14 AM

Raiding the Catholic closet

UNITED STATES
The Daily of the University of Washington

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Live on pay-per-view, the Roman Catholic Church will duke it out with (gasp!) The gays! Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it one more time for the hypocrisy of religion.

Late last month The New York Times reported that Pope Benedict XVI plans to sign a document barring homosexuals from the Catholic priesthood. The issue of homosexuality in the church has been a hot topic for years, but this document evidently aims to end that debate by placing a rigid ban on ordaining any additional homosexual priests, even if they are celibate.

Understandably, the Vatican wants to clean up its image after that whole child molestation freak show. And although the gay man does make an ideal scapegoat, the church has clearly nailed the wrong opponent.

Posted by kshaw at 08:11 AM

Archdiocese seeks federal venue

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Associated Press
October 4, 2005

In its first official response to nearly a dozen claims of clergy sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Denver on Monday asked the case be moved to federal court because of constitutional questions surrounding claims it did nothing regarding a priest who had been accused of abusing children.

At least 10 men have filed lawsuits in Denver District Court alleging that they were abused as boys by Harold Robert White, starting in the 1960s.

In court documents filed in U.S. District Court regarding two of the lawsuits, the church asks the cases be heard in federal court because the issues are "inextricably intertwined with the First Amendment," which guarantees the right to freely practice religion.

Posted by kshaw at 08:10 AM

Judge: Priest was funeral home killer

HUDSON (WI)
Pioneer Press

BY KEVIN HARTER
Pioneer Press

HUDSON, Wis. — There is overwhelming evidence that the Rev. Ryan Erickson killed two men in a Hudson funeral home in 2002, a St. Croix County judge said Monday after a day of testimony revealed the priest to be a man consumed by guns, alcohol and gay pornography.

"I conclude that Ryan Erickson probably committed the crimes in question," Judge Eric Lundell said. "On a scale of one to 10, I would consider it a 10. It is a very strong case of circumstantial evidence."

Erickson, 31, was an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson when Dan O'Connell, 39, and intern James Ellison, 22, were shot to death Feb. 5, 2002. The priest had the "motive and opportunity" to commit the murders, Lundell said.

St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson said at least nine pieces of circumstantial evidence — including a confession to a church deacon — connected Erickson to the slayings. He laid out that evidence in a so-called John Doe proceeding, held to close the lengthy homicide investigation with a judge's opinion about who committed the crimes.

Posted by kshaw at 08:02 AM

Grim details leave Hudson unsettled

HUDSON (WI)
Pioneer Press

BY EMILY GURNON
Pioneer Press

HUDSON, Wis. — Dan Klatt has a photo in his office at the Hudson Bowl that he looks at every day.

It shows the bowling alley owner with his longtime friend, Dan O'Connell, ice fishing with their children at Balsam Lake — a place they'd been going to since they were kids themselves.

O'Connell's violent death at a local funeral home more than three years ago shook Klatt, 43, to the core. And Monday's determination by a judge that the evidence pointed overwhelmingly to the Rev. Ryan Erickson did little to ease Klatt's pain.

"It doesn't make it feel any better," he said Monday afternoon. "I thought it would."

Evidence shows that the 2002 shooting deaths of O'Connell, director of the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, and James Ellison, a University of Minnesota intern from Barron, Wis., were carried out by Erickson, St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell said Monday.

Posted by kshaw at 08:00 AM

Diocese molestation lawsuit settled

NEW ULM (MN)
Pioneer Press

A settlement has been reached in a molestation lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, an attorney representing the plaintiffs said.

Two women had filed a civil suit against the diocese, alleging that the Rev. David A. Roney had molested them while serving the Church of St. Mary in Willmar from 1967 to 1980. The priest is now dead.

Attorney Jeff Anderson said the diocese and his clients had reached a settlement. The women were identified only as Jane Doe 43-A and Jane Doe 43-B.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 AM

Haunted by Carol Ann Dougherty's murder

PENNSYLVANIA
Bucks County Courier Times

J.D. Mullane

The sexual abuse Joan McCrane endured from Father Joseph Sabadish began, she said, innocently. "Tickling," she said. "He'd put his hands on my shoulders. Then, on my chest. Then, down my pants."

It was 1960. She was 7.

Sabadish, in his early 40s at the time, was a priest stationed at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Levittown, where McCrane attended grade school.

"He told me that it was our secret and that I was never to tell anyone or we'd both go to Hell. I never said anything because I was a little girl and I was scared to death," she recalled.

Her younger brother, Bill Nelis, said Sabadish molested him, too, beginning when he was 10. The abuse ended when he hit puberty.

"Sabadish said this is how he showed his love for me," Nelis recalled, his voice curdling into disgust. "He'd always give me candy. The glove compartment of his car was always filled with it. He'd tell me candy fairies had put it there."

Posted by kshaw at 07:56 AM

Wisconsin Catholic priest may have killed two

HUDSON (WI)
Pravda

15:42 2005-10-04
A judge in Wisconsin ruled on Monday that a Roman Catholic parish priest found hanged in an apparent suicide likely killed two people, perhaps because one of them had uncovered evidence of sexual abuse.

St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell found there was a very high probability that the Rev. Ryan Erickson killed two men at a funeral home in Hudson, Wisconsin, in February 2002.

According to The Minneapolis Star Tribune the judge felt prosecutors had presented a very strong case of circumstantial evidence, including indications that on at least 10 occasions Erickson touched a young man inappropriately.

The ruling came as the Vatican is reportedly considering a ban on the admission of homosexuals to the clergy, and is conducting an inspection of more than 200 U.S. seminaries to check for homosexual activity and the way that candidates for the priesthood are being taught to practice celibacy.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

October 03, 2005

Judge says there is probable cause Rev. Erickson killed two men

HUDSON (WI)
Pioneer Press

BY KEVIN HARTER
Pioneer Press

There is probable cause to conclude the Rev. Ryan Erickson killed two men at a Hudson funeral home in 2002, a St. Croix County judge said Monday afternoon.

Judge Eric Lundell said that on a scale of 1 to 10, the case laid out Monday against Erickson was so convincing, he'd rate the probable cause the Erickson committed the crimes a 10.

Lundell gave his opinion after a day-long hearing at which District Attorney Eric Johnson asked questions of numerous people who made the case against Erickson. At the time of the killings on Feb. 5, 2002, Erickson was assigned to St. Patrick's Church in Hudson.

Earlier in the day, a church deacon testified that Erickson blurted out that he committed the killings at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home and that he expected to be arrested.

Posted by kshaw at 06:15 PM

Report could shake church hierarchy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

From Scituate to Needham, from Gloucester to Salem, 62 parishes across the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston have been closed and sold to help raise the $85 million it owes to hundreds of victims of clergy sex abuse.

But in six other Boston parishes the lights have stayed on, in open defiance of Archbishop Sean O'Malley.

Angry at the prospect of seeing their parishes closed - and furious at the abuse and cover-ups that forced the closings - parishioners are camping out in their sanctuaries, holding prayer vigils, and even conducting lay-led services with Communion consecrated by sympathetic priests.

"What you are seeing is a profound rejection of the [archbishop's] right to call the shots," activist Ann Doyle of Reading, Mass., said last week.

Could it happen here?

A recent Philadelphia grand jury report, revealing that two previous archbishops had covered up the crimes of as many as 169 abuser priests, could damage the moral authority of local bishops, some observers say.

But others say the traditional conservatism of Philadelphia Catholics suggests that no revolution is likely here, despite an initial public uproar about the revelations.

Posted by kshaw at 05:59 PM

Applaud all those who served well

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Phil Joyce

In the flurry of news stories coming out of the Philadelphia grand jury report on sexual abuse by priests, I see a church I don't recognize.

I have been down the road with that church. It has served me well. I expect it will be doing the same for many others long after I and the scandal are gone - proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.

In the years since my first Holy Communion in 1935, I had 16 years of Catholic schooling. I was a choirboy (not a good one) for four years and an altar boy for six years. As an adult, I was president of my parish council for several years.

As child and adult, I have known literally hundreds of members of the Catholic clergy - priests, nuns, brothers and deacons. I have grown to admire them for their devotion and dedication to the teachings of Christ. They have always treated me and my family with decency and respect.

In all that time, I have not seen or heard personally of any sexual abuse committed by any priest, nun, brother or deacon.

Posted by kshaw at 05:56 PM

New lawsuit alleges sex abuse at school

KENT (WA)
The Seattle Times

By Christine Clarridge
Seattle Times staff reporter

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of eight men who claim they were the victims of "horrific" physical and sexual abuse at the now-defunct Briscoe Memorial School, an orphanage and day school that operated in Kent.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, claims that vulnerable boys were abused at Briscoe under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle and the Congregation of Christian Brothers, a Catholic order.

The suit is the fourth filed by local attorney Michael Pfau against the order and the archdiocese, representing the claims of 38 men.

The most recent suit also contends that a ninth plaintiff was sexually abused at O'Dea High School in Seattle in the mid-1970s, and that the high school took no action against the alleged abuser even after that boy's parents told the school about it. The Christian Brothers operate O'Dea.

Posted by kshaw at 05:54 PM

Deacon says priest admitted killing two in Hudson

HUDSON (WI)
Minnesota Public Radio

October 3, 2005

Hudson, Wis. — (AP) A deacon testified Monday at an investigative hearing that a priest told him he killed a funeral home director and an intern.

Deacon Russell Lundgren, from St. Mary's Church in Hurley, said he talked to Rev. Ryan Erickson after police interviewed him about the fatal shootings of Dan O'Connell, 39, and intern James Ellison, 22, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson on Feb. 5, 2002.

He said Erickson was angry.

"He tells me that 'I done it and they were going to catch me," Lundgren testified Monday during a so-called John Doe hearing, which is expected to last three days and involve 15 witnesses.

The hearing was closed to the public, but a few reporters were allowed to attend. ...

A Somerset man also testified Monday that Erickson served him alcohol when he was 16 or 17 years old and sexually fondled him in the priest's bed in 2000 and 2001. He said it happened about 10 times after the two met when he was training to become an altar boy.