November 30, 2005

Is the Pope unchristian?

The Boston Phoenix

The Roman Catholic Church, which for the last 20 years or so has taken so many wrong-headed positions on social issues, has just made another disastrous mistake: as expected, it has reinforced and extended its ban on gay men — even if they are celibate — becoming priests.

On a simple but nevertheless very real level, the idea is absurd. The Catholic Church, for almost 1600 years, has either discouraged or forbidden its priests from marrying. It has always denied women ordination. As a result, it bars women from its most powerful administrative roles. It is no surprise, then, that the Church is without a doubt the world’s largest gay bureaucracy. As Damian Thompson, a devout Catholic, wrote recently in England’s arch-traditional Spectator (no doubt with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek): "In addition to being Europe’s smallest state, the Vatican also boasts the highest proportion of homosexuals per square foot."

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the ban is a rebuke — if not an outright condemnation — of the years of service and devotion that gay priests living and dead have faithfully rendered to their church. Even the memories of such conservative icons as the late cardinals O’Connell, Spellman, and Wright (who may or may not have been faithful to their vows of celibacy but who would certainly today be recognized or outed as being gay) are devalued.

Posted by kshaw at 10:44 PM

Lawsuits allege sexual abuse by priests, nun from Peoria diocese

PEORIA (IL)
WQAD

PEORIA, Ill. New allegations of sexual abuse in the Peoria Catholic Diocese are based on incidents dating back to the 1950s.

Civil lawsuits filed today in Peoria accuse five priests and a nun of abuse. The nine alleged victims -- now ages 39 to 55 -- say they were as young as six and as old as 18 when the abuses happened.

The diocese says three of the priests were removed from active ministries in 2002 after allegations of abuse were made.

One of the accused priests called the allegations preposterous. The diocese says he was removed in the 1980s, but it was not related to abuse allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 10:42 PM

Casey's accuser made similar unproven claims against others

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent

The child abuse allegation, which has led to former Bishop of Galway Dr Eamon Casey standing aside from active ministry in an English parish, was made by a woman now living in the UK who has made similar unproven allegations against others in the past.

It is also understood she has endured bouts of ill-health over recent years.

The middle-aged woman, who is believed to have known Dr Casey most of her life, made the allegation for the first time last week concerning an incident she claimed took place over three decades ago in Ireland.

Her allegation was conveyed to a person in the south of Ireland who had been designated to deal with such claims. The child protection office in the southern English Catholic diocese of Arundel and Brighton, where Dr Casey has been serving as a curate, was contacted immediately and Dr Casey was informed.

Posted by kshaw at 08:07 PM

Settlement fund still on target

CANADA
Anglican Journal

STAFF

The Anglican Church of Canada’s Indian residential schools settlement fund, with a goal of $25 million, remains on target, having collected $16.8 million as of the third quarter of 2005, according to General Synod’s financial office in Toronto.
The church’s 30 dioceses and General Synod, the national office, began in 2003 to contribute to the fund. It pays damages to claimants who are able to prove they suffered sexual or physical abuse at Anglican-run schools that were part of a nationwide system of boarding schools for native children. As of Oct. 17, 2005, a total of $6.6 million had been paid to claimants.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 PM

Witch-hunt fears after Vatican's ruling on homosexuality

VATICAN CITY
New Zealand Herald

01.12.05

VATICAN CITY - Catholic liberals have slammed the Vatican's decision to bar "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies from the priesthood in the first major ruling by Pope Benedict XVI.

Opponents have said the ruling could trigger a witch-hunt and force gay clergy underground but Catholic leaders stressed it was merely emphasising the need for all candidates for the priesthood to be mature enough to control their sexuality.

The document said that practising homosexuals, those with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or those who support "gay culture" should be weeded out by bishops and principals of theological colleges.

However, the "instruction" by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education said that candidates who had experienced homosexual leanings during a passing phase could be ordained if they had clearly overcome them for at least three years.

Conservatives argued the reform is necessary as theological colleges in the West have adopted an increasingly relaxed attitude to homosexuality, reflecting changes in social attitudes.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 PM

Seven new claims of sex abuse made against former bishop

IOWA CITY (IA)
WQAD

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- More allegations of sexual abuse have been made against a priest who was in the Davenport Diocese and later became the bishop of Sioux City.

Seven men claim they were sexually assaulted by former Bishop Lawrence Soens. They want to settle their cases through mediation rather than the courts.

The men's attorney, Craig Levein, says the cases were turned over to attorneys for the diocese and Soens last week. The diocese acknowledged receiving the cases, but says church officials and attorneys haven't had time to investigate.

The cases are the latest allegations against Soens, who is already defending himself in state court against lawsuits filed by two other victims.

Posted by kshaw at 07:57 PM

Gay Journos to Media: Watch Your Language on Vatican's Gay Priest Policy

CHICAGO (IL)
Editor & Publisher

By E&P Staff

Published: November 30, 2005 5:30 PM ET

CHICAGO Gay men are being portrayed inaccurately and unfairly in coverage of the Vatican's guidance on the role of gay men in the Roman Catholic Church, theAbuse Tracker Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) says in an "open letter to the news industry."

"Some of those reports have included references to sexual 'preferences,' and reporting without verification parishioner statements that most of the priests involved in the Church's sex-abuse scandal were gay," the letter, addressed to "fellow journalists," states. "Also, factually incorrect opinions that assert a cause-and-effect link between gay men and pedophilia are being reported without challenge."

The letter is signed by NLGJAAbuse Tracker President Eric Hegedus, a page designer for the New York Post, and the association's executive director, Pamela Strother.

Posted by kshaw at 07:55 PM

U.S. Catholic church responds to Vatican

UNITED STATES
Myrtle Beach Sun

RICHARD N. OSTLING
Associated Press

U.S. Roman Catholic leaders praised the contributions of celibate gay priests in response to a new Vatican pronouncement against homosexuals in the priesthood, a move that could imply some dioceses and religious orders want flexibility in applying church policy.

Two key American statements - one from the president of the U.S. bishops and the other representing religious orders - quickly followed the Vatican's "instruction" on gay clergy and supported it on several points: Priests should uphold the church's teaching against gay sex, personally maintain a celibate lifestyle and avoid support for "the so-called 'gay culture'."

The potential question involves what happens to candidates who meet those requirements but also have a continuing gay orientation.

The decree, released Tuesday by the Vatican's education agency with approval from Pope Benedict XVI, applies worldwide but is crucial for the United States, where clerical sex abuse crisis erupted and the gay rights movement is strong.

Posted by kshaw at 07:52 PM

Ban on Homosexual Men From Priesthood Was Always in Place - Decision from 810 A.D. Cited

ROME
LifeSite

ROME, November 30, 2005 (CWNews.com/LifeSiteNews.com) - A Vatican consultant, in an interview with the I Media news service, has observed that the Church has always taught that homosexuals should not become priests, since they suffer from a "structural incoherence" in their approach to human sexuality. The question of whether homosexual men should become priests has been raised repeatedly by Church leaders, and always answered negatively said Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a French Jesuit who is a consultant to the Pontifical Council on the Family. The French priest-psychologist cited decisions by the Council of Paris in 819, and the 3rd and 4th Lateran Councils in 1169 and 1215.

Writing in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, in an article that appeared alongside the newly released instruction on homosexuality and the priesthood, Msgr. Anatrella wrote that the new Vatican Instruction barring homosexuals from Catholic seminaries was necessary because "homosexuality has become an increasingly worrisome problem," adding that the acceptance of homosexuality could have a "destabilizing" effect on the lives of individuals and on society at large.

Msgr. Anatrella said that homosexuality is "a tendency and not an identity." The Catholic Church, he argued, has a duty to warn against the acceptance of an "incomplete and immature" approach to human sexuality.

Posted by kshaw at 04:57 PM

AS THE DUST SETTLES, VATICAN DOCUMENT ON GAYS HOLDS PROMISE OF A RENEWAL

Spirit Daily

It was not the way it should have been released. For weeks now, there have been leaks about the contents of the Vatican instruction on homosexuals in the priesthood, which stripped it of its drama and thus some of its power.

But all is well that ends well and the crux of the media spin after official dissemination Tuesday seems to be that it is a tough document.

"The Vatican's long-awaited new guidelines on homosexual seminarians were released yesterday, barring even celibate homosexuals from seminary," reported The Washington Times, while liberal newspapers, citing upset in the gay community, went into a bit of apoplexy.

In an especially ironic twist, The Boston Globe -- which first and gleefully exposed the scandal of sex abuse -- now complains that homosexuals, who were responsible for an estimated 81 percent of that abuse, should not be singled out.

Posted by kshaw at 04:55 PM

Vatican paper attacks gays

Herald Sun

Reuters
01dec05

THE Vatican newspaper says homosexuality risked "destabilising people and society", had no social or moral value and could never match the importance of a relationship between a man and a woman.

The remarks were contained in a long commentary published yesterday to accompany the official release of a long-awaited document that restricted the access of homosexual men to the Roman Catholic priesthood.
The article by Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a French Jesuit and psychologist, said homosexuality could not be considered an acceptable moral alternative to heterosexuality.

Posted by kshaw at 04:37 PM

Anger at Vatican document's 'homophobic' priest ban

IRELAND
Irish Independent

David Quinn
Religious Affairs Correspondent

ANGRY members of Ireland's gay community branded a controversial Vatican document as "homophobic".

The document bans homosexuals who have been sexually active over the last three years from becoming priests.

Editor of Gay Community News Brian Finnegan accused the Church of trying to shift the blame for the paedophile scandals on to homosexuals.

But, this has been strongly denied by president of the national seminary Mgr Dermot Farrell.

He said the document makes "no connection between homosexuality and paedophilia," and that he personally did not believe there was any connection.

Posted by kshaw at 04:22 PM

Ex-Bishop Casey withdraws from UK ministry

IRELAND
RTE News

30 November 2005 20:06
The former Bishop of Galway, Dr Eamon Casey, has withdrawn from active ministry in West Sussex in England.

The Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Dr Kieran Conry said Dr Casey ceased working in the parish of Hayward's Heath after an allegation appeared to have been made in Ireland against him.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Bishop Conry said he was told about the apparent allegation by a child protection officer in England who had been given information from Ireland.

Posted by kshaw at 02:21 PM

Casey colleague says allegations are unclear

IRELAND
Online.ie

A colleague of Dr Eamon Casey has said details of the allegation which led to him stepping down from clerical duties in England last week are still unclear.

Kieron Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, told RTE radio today that a child protection officer had informed him of an allegation made in Ireland against the former Bishop of Galway, but that Dr Casey had yet to be contacted by the authorities.

"My information from him is that the police have not approached him. There has been no formal allegation made to him," he said. After the claim, Fr Casey had withdrawn from ministry and gone to live in private accommodation.

"He has been very cooperative. In light of what appears to be an allegation he has withdrawn," he said.

Bishop Conry said he would "wait and see" what develops, and that he did not feel it was appropriate to make further inquiries until a formal allegation was presented by the authorities. After speaking to Dr Casey some days ago, Mr Conry did not believe he had any plans to return to Ireland.

Posted by kshaw at 02:20 PM

Brady refuses to comment on Eamon Casey allegation

IRELAND
Online.ie

The Catholic Primate of Ireland has refused to comment on media reports about an allegation made against the former Bishop of Galway, Eamon Casey.

Reports this morning said Dr Casey had stood aside from his ministry in England and was planning to return to Ireland to contest the allegation.

The reports contained no detail about the allegation in question.

Posted by kshaw at 02:18 PM

Victim of priest abuse is charged with rape

HAWAII
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

By Tom Finnegan
tfinnegan@starbulletin.com
LIHUE » A Hawaii man who recently received an apology and court settlement from a Catholic priest who molested him 29 years ago was arrested and charged yesterday with raping a girl nine years ago.

Eugene Saulibio, a 44-year-old father of three, was arrested by Kauai detectives at his Aiea home and charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault. If convicted, each felony count carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

On Nov. 8, in a highly publicized court settlement of Saulibio's civil lawsuit, the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III and his order, the Fathers of Sacred Hearts, apologized for Bukoski's sexual abuse of Saulibio in 1976.

According to Kauai police, the charges against Saulibio stem from assaults in 1996, when the then-14-year-old girl was on vacation and staying in Saulibio's former Kauai home. She was friends with one of Saulibio's relatives, and was assaulted while staying there, police said.

Posted by kshaw at 02:16 PM

Church to publish protection guidelines

IRELAND
RTE News

30 November 2005 17:00
The Catholic Primate of All-Ireland, Archbishop Seán Brady, has said the Church will publish its new guidelines on child protection before Christmas.

The Archbishop and a delegation of bishops briefed the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Brian Lenihan, on the guidelines this morning.

Dr Brady said the Church was actively seeking a chairperson to oversee the implementation of its new child protection policy.

Posted by kshaw at 02:14 PM

Vatican paper attacks gays

Herald Sun

Reuters
01dec05

THE Vatican newspaper says homosexuality risked "destabilising people and society", had no social or moral value and could never match the importance of a relationship between a man and a woman.

The remarks were contained in a long commentary published yesterday to accompany the official release of a long-awaited document that restricted the access of homosexual men to the Roman Catholic priesthood.
The article by Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a French Jesuit and psychologist, said homosexuality could not be considered an acceptable moral alternative to heterosexuality.

Posted by kshaw at 02:12 PM

Ferns Inquiry has cost State €2.4m so far

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

30/11/05

By Harry McGee, Political Editor
STATE inquires into sexual abuse of children by priests in the Ferns Diocese has cost the State a total of €2.4 million to date.

Tánaiste and Health Minster Mary Harney has informed Labour Party finance spokeswoman Joan Burton that the costs of the inquiries into abuse in the Diocese had reached €2,379,264 as of this month.

However, invoices for legal representation have also been received from the Diocese of Ferns and from one other individual.

The Government has not made a decision on the contentious matter of paying costs to the Diocese.

Ms Harney said the Cabinet had sought the advice of the Attorney General on the matter and would make a final decision “in due course.”

Posted by kshaw at 02:05 PM

Vatican gay guidelines - Stance will force priests into closet

IRELAND
Irish Independent

PERPLEXING paradoxes underlie Vatican guidelines reaffirming the ban on active homosexuals and “supporters of gay culture” becoming priests.

Redolent of an edict from another era, it appears to equate homosexuality with paedophilia, a cancer plaguing the Church as evidenced by the damning report on the scandal of clerical child abuse in Co Wexford.

Not surprisingly, the gay community is outraged over the thrust of the document, describing it as a blatant bid to scapegoat them for the problems besetting the church.

Objecting to its language and tone, they see it as “hateful” and “hurtful”.

Most of all, they resent the Vatican’s claim that homosexuality obstructs gay people from having what it calls a “correct” relationship with men and women.

Posted by kshaw at 02:03 PM

Diocese of Ferns to face €5m bill for child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah Murphy

THE Diocese of Ferns is facing a compensation bill of €5m in the coming year due to ongoing clerical sex abuse claims, the Irish Independent has learned.

It was revealed at the closed Annual General meeting of the diocese's finance committee in Enniscorthy last night that their compensation bill has risen by 50pc on last year's settlements, which totalled €2.8m in 17 cases.

The Church is currently in active negotiations with the Department of Education over the sale of St Peter's seminary in Wexford town, which is currently being used by Carlow Institute of Technology as an outreach centre.

The sale of the Bishop's Palace, which is conservatively estimated to be worth between €1m and €2m, is also now a distinct possibility.

The 19th century Bishop's Palace at Summerhillpalace was bought by the diocese from the Devereauxs, a prominent sea merchant family,in the latter half of the 1800s as it was believed at the time to give the best views of Wexford Harbour. Four bishops have lived there.

Posted by kshaw at 02:02 PM

Eamon Casey to return home 'to clear name' over allegation

IRELAND
One in Four

Former Bishop of Galway Dr Eamon Casey is to return to Ireland from the UK to contest an allegation made against him in Ireland which emerged recently.

Mass-goers at Our Lady of Fatima church in Staplefield, west Sussex, were told on Sunday that Dr Casey (known there as Fr Casey) had stood aside from ministry and moved to another premises owned by the diocese of Arundel and Brighton to prepare for his return to Ireland to deal with the allegation.

No details of the allegation were available yesterday from the diocese of Arundel and Brighton, to which Dr Casey has been attached since 1998. A spokesman said yesterday he believed it "dates back some time". He said the former bishop was returning to Ireland so he could "clear his name".

Posted by kshaw at 02:00 PM

Vocations and orientations

One in Four

In the first major ruling of his seven-month papacy, Pope Benedict has reaffirmed unambiguously and unapologetically Catholic Church teaching on the incompatibility of the priesthood with practising homosexuality and its prohibition from the priesthood on those who "show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture".

The much-leaked Instruction from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education will be welcomed by many who will find comfort in the unwavering assertion of old certainties. But for many Catholics, in Ireland and throughout the world, the document will cause much soul-searching and even pain as, once again, their church stigmatises brothers, sisters and friends in gay relationships as moral outcasts living in "grave sin".

For what matters as much as the precise rules governing the accession to Holy Orders, in the end a matter for the church alone, is what the church is saying about homosexuality as a human phenomenon. In reinforcing the prejudices that have made up a social climate traditionally deeply hostile to equal treatment of gays the church contributes to perpetuate discrimination even as yesterday's Instruction explicitly condemns it.

Posted by kshaw at 01:59 PM

Church's views on gays a sign of deep-rooted misjudgment

IRELAND
One in Four

The most likely outcome to the Vatican's instruction on homosexuals and the priesthood will be to damage further the authority of the papacy, writes Religious Affairs Correspondent Patsy McGarry

There is, the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us, a time for everything under heaven. "A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted"

Following yesterday's publication - finally - of the Vatican's much-leaked Instruction concerning the criteria of vocational discernment regarding persons with homosexual tendencies, considering their admission to seminary and to Holy Orders, let us be grateful. For it is time.

Posted by kshaw at 01:56 PM

One in Four comments upon newly published Vatican report on Gay Priests

IRELAND
One in Four

One in Four, the national charity that supports women and men who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence, today called upon the Vatican to make a clear statement that demonstrates their understanding that there is no link between clerical paedophilia and homosexuality. The Charity is concerned that the Roman Catholic Church continues to “blame” recent clerical sexual abuse scandals on homosexuality, therefore deflecting from and denying the institutional failure that is in fact responsible for clerical sexual abuse.

Speaking today, Colm O'Gorman, Director of One in Four, said, “Who the Roman Catholic Church or any other faith chooses to ordain to ministry is appropriately a matter for them, our only concern is that any admission to ministry should centrally consider child protection. We are concerned that the Vatican has thus far failed to respond to the findings of the Ferns Report which held the Vatican responsible in part for clerical sexual abuse in the Diocese of Ferns, instead we have seen comment upon issues as diverse as Harry Potter and now the ordination of homosexuals.”

Posted by kshaw at 01:54 PM

Archbishop downplays Vatican statement on homosexuality

SANTA FE (NM)
KOBTV

Last Update: 11/30/2005 10:10:49 AM
By: Associated Press

SANTA FE (AP) - Archbishop Michael Sheehan says there isn’t a lot of new teaching in a Vatican policy statement designed to keep men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies from becoming priests.

The Vatican document was officially released Tuesday. It’s the first major policy statement of Pope Benedict’s papacy.

Posted by kshaw at 01:47 PM

New Erickson interviews are revealing

WISCONSIN
KSTP

Updated: 11/29/2005 09:33:43 PM

Recently released video of the Hudson Police Department’s interviews with Father Ryan Erickson reveal a disturbed priest who admitted to having prior suicidal thoughts.

Hudson police interviewed Erickson for three hours about the murder of two men at a local funeral home. Erickson denied involvement in their deaths, but was later found guilty in a trial conducted after he committed suicide.

Erickson seemed visibly shaken toward the end of his interview. When a detective asked him if he was upset he was considered a suspect, he replied “Well, I’m nervous that I would be considered a suspect because I really am not. I mean, I know that I didn’t kill them and it bothers me there might be evidence that points to the fact I did.”

Posted by kshaw at 01:44 PM

HOW TO IGNORE THE VATICAN'S RULING ON GAY PRIESTS.

The New Republic

by Michael Sean Winters

Only at TNR Online | Post date 11.30.05

he unfortunately named (and unfortunately issued) Vatican document "Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders" is the first major document of Pope Benedict XVI's reign, but it has occasioned a very old Catholic pastime: finding ways to misinterpret, twist, or just plain ignore a Vatican ruling.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the archbishop of Westminster, adopted the most straightforward approach: pretending that the Vatican didn't mean to say what it just said. The English cardinal issued a statement that said, "The Instruction is not saying that men of homosexual orientation are not welcome in the priesthood." In fact, the entire point of the document is to say that homosexuals are not welcome in the priesthood.

The Swiss Bishops' Conference tried a slightly different maneuver: focusing on the dicta. The Vatican document contains much high falutin' language about the priest conforming himself to Christ, alongside its bigoted and arcane notions about human sexuality; and the Swiss bishops chose to emphasize the former while downplaying the latter. "At the heart of our reflections on becoming a priest," they wrote (translation mine), "there is no question of sexual orientation but instead the responsibility to follow Christ in a coherent manner." Okay, I can live with that.

Posted by kshaw at 01:42 PM

Bishop sorry for church sex abuse

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

The Associated Press

Published: November 30, 2005
Last Modified: November 30, 2005 at 04:44 AM

FAIRBANKS -- The bishop of the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese published an open letter apologizing to victims of sexual abuse by church representatives.

In a full-page advertisement Sunday in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Bishop Donald Kettler offered to work toward bringing healing to those harmed by child sexual abuse and to update the diocese's efforts to prevent abuse from happening again.

"For any actions contrary to the mission of the Catholic Church by representatives of the Diocese of Fairbanks, I am sincerely sorry and will pray and work for the emotional and spiritual healing of those affected," Kettler wrote in the letter.

Posted by kshaw at 10:56 AM

D’Arcy’s statement on new ‘Instruction’

FORT WAYNE (IN)
News-Sentinel

I am in full support of the recent statement on Criteria for the Discernment concerning Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders.

The Church bears the serious responsibility of establishing criteria concerning who should be admitted to the seminary and ordained to the priesthood, and who should be helped to some other vocation in life. Recent events have shown when the Church does not do this well, the pastoral care of souls suffers, the parishes are torn apart and the people lose confidence in the leadership of that Church.

The priest calls his people to a life of holiness and they rightly expect that he, himself, is living such a life, both in public when they see him and in private when they do not.

Posted by kshaw at 10:52 AM

Gay priests – another view

AUSTRALIA
Online Catholics

By Alan Gill
About eight years ago a former British child migrant, who had been raised in the notorious Christian Brothers’ orphanage known as Boys’ Town, Bindoon, sent me a clipping from a Perth newspaper which he clearly found shocking, and expected me to be suitably horrified as well.

The article told the story of a priest, then working among AIDS sufferers and other disadvantaged people in the north-western corner of the state, who had “outed” himself as gay.

I was, indeed, surprised by the article, though not quite in the way my correspondent intended. On glancing at the photo which formed part of the clipping I recognised the features of a man whom I not only knew well, but had formally received me into the Catholic Church – after 40-odd years as a moderately high church Anglican – some three or four years earlier.

The article took pains to say that the MSC priest was celibate – indeed, it quoted him as saying he had not had sex for 15 years; all of which my correspondent in Perth seemed to have overlooked.

Posted by kshaw at 10:49 AM

Open Letter to the News Industry on the Coverage of Gay Priests in the Catholic Church

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Newswire

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following is a letter fromAbuse Tracker Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association President Eric Hegedus, and Executive Director Pamela Strother:

Dear Fellow Journalists:

Today, Tuesday, November 29th, the Vatican issued new guidance to its dioceses on the role of gay men in the Catholic Church. Members of theAbuse Tracker Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) have noticed a number of inaccurate and unfair portrayals of gay men in the reporting of this document, which has been widely leaked in advance of today's release date. Some of those reports have included references to sexual "preferences," and reporting without verification parishioner statements that most of the priests involved in the Church's sex-abuse scandal were gay. Also, factually incorrect opinions that assert a cause-and- effect link between gay men and pedophilia are being reported without challenge.

As journalists and leaders of NLGJA, we acknowledge our job to report assertions by Catholic officials that the presence of gay clergy has resulted in sexual abuse cases, and even stated beliefs that link pedophilia and gay men. However, if similar statements were made about other minority and stigmatized groups, reporters and editors would feel obliged to find sources to challenge those allegations, and to otherwise provide factual information to do so. NLGJA urges that the same professional standards be applied to stories concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In addition, it's important to point out that the term "sexual preference" implies that sexuality -- whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual -- is the result of a conscious choice. That is a politically charged suggestion. In order to be accurate and neutral, journalists should use terms such as "sexual orientation," "sexuality" or "sexual identity" as appropriate.

Posted by kshaw at 10:46 AM

Vatican wants "ex-gay" priests

PlanetOut

by Wayne Besen
November 29, 2005

A new Vatican "instruction" on gay priests says the Catholic Church can admit those who have clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years. But practicing homosexuals, those with "deep-seated" gay tendencies and those who support a gay culture should be barred. In essence, the Vatican has adopted an "ex-gay" viewpoint, stealing a page from evangelical Christianity.

The Vatican is completely out of touch with reality. There is no such thing as "overcoming homosexual tendencies." However, people can bury themselves deep in the closet, which is what the Vatican is ordering priests to do.

All sexuality -- homo or hetero -- is "deep-seated," so the Vatican's document is essentially meaningless. What it really is is a gag order meant to crush dissent within the church. What the church unrealistically seeks is an official, ironclad position that sweeps disagreement under the carpet while making church sexual abuse scandals vanish.

Posted by kshaw at 10:40 AM

Activists hit out at Vatican ban on gays

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
GAY rights activists have accused the Vatican of incitement to hatred in an official Catholic Church directive banning homosexuals and their supporters from the priesthood.

The “Instruction” issued from Rome yesterday excludes from seminaries “those who practice homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.”

It restates the Church view that homosexual practices are “intrinsically immoral and contrary to natural law.” The only concession it makes is to candidates for the priesthood who have “overcome” their homosexual tendencies at least three years before ordination.

Eoin Collins, director of policy change with the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, said the order was “invidious” and harked back to a time when it was believed homosexuality was a problematic condition that could be cured.

Posted by kshaw at 10:37 AM

VATICAN BANS HOMOSEXUALS

PBS

A directive released by the Vatican Tuesday banned practicing homosexuals, men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies and those who support gay culture from entering the Catholic priesthood. After a background report, two Catholic priests with differing views on the announcement discuss the implications.

Posted by kshaw at 10:34 AM

Kicanas praises edict on gay clergy

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.30.2005

Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas on Tuesday praised a Vatican document that bars gay men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from entering the priesthood as a succinct summary of church teaching on homosexuality.
But he added that it's unclear whether timing of the document was a response to the increasingly high-profile debate over gay rights, or to the sexual-abuse crisis of priests abusing children in the United States, or a response to something else. The document applies to Catholics worldwide, not just those in the United States.
"It's worded very abstractly. But this is a significant issue today in the culture and in some ways it's time for the church to articulate its position," said Kicanas, chairman of the communications committee for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and former rector of Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill..

Posted by kshaw at 10:24 AM

Vt. church will keep gay priests

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

November 30, 2005

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

Vermont Catholic Bishop Salvatore Matano will stand by gay priests as long as they stay celibate and teach that "homosexual activity is immoral."

The Vatican, in an announcement Tuesday, said the worldwide Catholic Church won't ordain men who are active homosexuals, have "deep-seated tendencies" or support "gay culture."

In response, Matano said the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington would obey the instruction in regard to men in seminaries, but won't question Vermont's 82 current priests.

"For those ordained and who find themselves with a homosexual tendency, it should be noted that this does not affect the validity of Holy Orders," Matano said in a statement. "Priests are expected to be celibate and to teach that homosexual activity is immoral. If a homosexually inclined priest is celibate, faithfully conveying church teaching, this instruction places no added burden upon him."

Posted by kshaw at 10:11 AM

Catholics polarized by ruling against gays becoming priests

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, November 30, 2005
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

In the Dallas area, as in the nation, Catholics were deeply divided about Tuesday's Vatican ruling that men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies should not be allowed to become priests.

For Bob Rowland, a conservative Catholic, the first major policy statement under Pope Benedict XVI was long overdue.

"The success of the new directive rests on the rapid application of decisive punishment for disobedience," said Mr. Rowland, a technical writer and retired Air Force officer in Irving.

But for Victor Kralisz, president of Dignity Dallas, a group of about 70 openly gay Catholics, the document is "a very sad business that undermines the good work and dedicated lives of a huge number of gay priests in this country and around the world."

Posted by kshaw at 10:08 AM

Vatican Directive On Homosexuality Triggers Debate

Spotlighting News

Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop John M. D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington. Chester Gillis, professor and chairman of the theology department at Georgetown University. Peter Tatchell, member of OutRage!, gay rights group.

They all have something in common, their view on the directive given by the Vatican, currently headed by Pope Benedict XVI, concerning recommended Catholic attitude toward homosexuality within church ranks.

Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, considers that according to the new Vatican directive, the first major policy statement since Pope Benedict XVI became Pope, men that are attracted to the same sex can be ordained as priests as long as they control their impulses and are not "consumed by" them. Below is a fragment of the interview he gave to The Washington Post:

"I think one of the telling sentences in the document is the phrase that the candidate's entire life of sacred ministry must be 'animated by a gift of his whole person to the church and by an authentic pastoral charity. If that becomes paramount in his ministry, even though he might have a homosexual orientation, then he can minister and he can minister celibately and chastely.'"

Posted by kshaw at 09:58 AM

Vatican document on gays: US, some welcoming, others critizising

UNITED STATES
EiTB24

The Vatican's tougher stand on homosexuality has divided American Catholics, with some welcoming it as a renewal of a Church plagued by scandal and others warning it would further alienate Catholic leaders.

Reflecting the divisions foreseen by some churchmen and scholars, a Catholic priest in Arizona announced his resignation because of "aggressive anti-gay positions" at the Vatican and the U.S. Church.

"I could no longer stay in that institution with any amount of integrity," Rev. Leonard Walker, 58, told the Arizona Republic after resigning from the Queen of Peace Church.

Apparently trying to defuse controversy over the eight-page Vatican document officially released on Tuesday, the president of the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, Bishop William S. Skylstad, said priests with "homosexual inclinations" can be good priests and should not fear discussing the issue.

Posted by kshaw at 09:55 AM

Vatican's stance on gays debated

NEW YORK
New York Newsday

BY CAROL EISENBERG
STAFF WRITER; This story was supplemented with wire service reports.

November 30, 2005

As a long-awaited Vatican document prohibiting the ordination of men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" was released yesterday, a Mesa, Ariz., priest resigned in protest, while U.S. bishops offered differing views on whether it was a de facto ban.

Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said psychologically mature gay candidates who showed themselves capable of lifelong celibacy and selflessness would still pass muster.

"I think there has been an overreaction to the document," he said in an interview. "There's nothing really new in it. The focus is on discerning a man's affective maturity and his ability to live out of a sense of authentic pastoral charity."

Other Catholic leaders, including Bishops William Murphy of Rockville Centre and Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, said the document clearly restates the church's long-standing bar on homosexual priests, which both said they already applied. "Documents of the Holy See from 1961 on have repeated cautionary admonitions about accepting known homosexual men into the seminary to study for the priesthood," Murphy said in a written statement.

Posted by kshaw at 09:52 AM

Vatican document praised

COLORADO
The Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
November 30, 2005

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput praised as "common sense" a Vatican document that greatly restricts homosexuals from the clergy, but he stopped short of saying he would categorically bar all seminary applicants who continue to experience same-sex attractions.

"It falls to every bishop - supported by seminary rectors and formation teams - to examine and discern the suitability of every candidate for priesthood on a case-by-case basis that respects the dignity of the individual," Chaput wrote in Tuesday's Denver Catholic Register. Chaput oversees two Denver seminaries that have 94 men enrolled.

The long-awaited Vatican document, released Tuesday in its official English translation, definitively bars from the priesthood practicing homosexuals, those who support the gay culture and those with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies."

However, many church leaders, including Chaput, appear to regard another passage as much less black and white. It identifies "transitory" homosexual tendencies arising from, for example, delayed adolescence.

Posted by kshaw at 09:50 AM

Church reacts to gay-priest edict

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

While a new Vatican document says men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" should not be priests, Archdiocese of Louisville officials say each applicant will be evaluated carefully and not by a "checklist, a litmus test, or simple yes or no questions."

The document, released by the Vatican yesterday after years of preparation, says those with a "transitory problem" with homosexuality may be ordained if they have overcome it for at least three years.

It states that those who support the "gay culture," which is not defined, should not be priests.

The document does not have the force of church law.

Supporters say the document brings the priest-preparation process in line with Roman Catholic teachings, which say homosexuality is a disorder.

Posted by kshaw at 09:39 AM

Gays decry Vatican ban; priest quits

Gay.com

Christopher Curtis, GAY.COM/PlanetOut.com Network
Wednesday 30 November, 2005 10:19

After many weeks of leaks and speculation, the Vatican on Tuesday published its instruction on gays in the clergy.

The document has angered LGBT rights advocates and prompted one US priest to resign in protest.

Men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies should not be ordained, according to the nine-page document, but those with a "transitory problem" can be ordained if they have overcome their feelings for three years.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the instruction August 31st, making it one of the first major documents he has approved for publication since being elected pope April 19th.

Posted by kshaw at 09:26 AM

Gay priest ruling adds fuel to fire

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez and Manya A. Brachear, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune news services contributed to this report
Published November 30, 2005

The Vatican issued a long-awaited document Tuesday on the explosive issue of homosexuality in the priesthood, but the document banning men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" added more heat than light to the controversy.

In fact, several scholars said that the text of the document--which largely restates long-standing Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality--matters less than its timing and prominence. It marks the first major policy statement since Pope Benedict XVI took office in April, and it comes at a time when Vatican officials are inspecting U.S. seminaries, while the sexual abuse scandal still reverberates in the church.

Almost immediately, there was heated debate and stark disagreement about the potential impact of the document in Catholic seminaries, to whom the "instruction" from the Congregation for Catholic Education is addressed.

Posted by kshaw at 09:19 AM

Catholic Church's policy on gays isn't enlightened

Yahoo! News

By Joan Garry

I was raised Catholic. I never sat in a classroom without a crucifix on the wall. Catholic grammar school, Catholic high school and Catholic college. I sang Kumbaya while playing my guitar at Folk Mass.

I sang at my dad's funeral, too, with his barbershop chorus. The song was Be Not Afraid. For one person in the church that dark day, the song was filled with irony. The priest who said the Mass was under scrutiny for sexual abuse allegations. Not long after the funeral, he was gone.

There is no question that Pope Benedict XVI has a big mess on his hands. People are calling it a sex abuse scandal, but let's be honest - it's about abuse of power.

And now we also have an element of emotional abuse as seminarians all across the USA assess Tuesday's final mandate from the pope. When will they knock on my door? What will they ask? What will I say?

Posted by kshaw at 09:09 AM

Priest Who Committed Suicide Named In Sex Abuse Lawsuit

PUEBLO (CO)
TheDenverChannel.com

PUEBLO, Colo. -- A sexual abuse lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pueblo was the first to name a former priest who committed suicide following allegations he molested a teenager.

Andrew A. Burke, a pastor at St. Piux X in Pueblo, left the ministry around 1973 due to a "psycho-sexual behavior disorder," according to the lawsuit.

Burke shot himself in the heart Sept. 21, coroner's officials said. His wife found him dead in their yard. He was holding a newly-purchased gun that still had the price tag on it.

Last year officials of the diocese told police a prisoner alleged that in the 1970s, Burke would make him strip down to his underwear, blindfold him, tickle him, then take a wet towel from a freezer and lay it across his chest.

The man alleged Burke then would masturbate or straddle him while rubbing his genitals against him, sometimes giving him alcohol.

Posted by kshaw at 09:07 AM

Wineke: Vatican statement confuses gay policy

Wisonsin State Journal

Bill Wineke Wisconsin State Journal

The Vatican on Tuesday issued its long-awaited statement on gay priests, and the statement may raise more questions than it answers.

This is what it says:

"The church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so- called 'gay culture.' "

The first requirement is hardly controversial. The Catholic Church requires a celibate priesthood, so it stands to reason that it also will not admit to seminary or to holy orders those who practice heterosexuality. If you want to have sex, you can't be a priest.

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

Victim advocates critical of decree on gay priests

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Kathleen A. Shaw TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kshaw@telegram.com

The Vatican yesterday released a long-awaited document stating that the Roman Catholic Church will bar openly gay men, or men with marked homosexual tendencies, from becoming priests.

The Vatican believes the proliferation of actively gay priests is one cause of the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the church in recent years, because many of the victims were teenagers and not pre-pubescent children.

Phil Saviano, formerly of East Douglas, said the Vatican is merely establishing a “don’t ask, don’t tell” atmosphere that will allow more cover for abusive priests. Mr. Saviano received a settlement from the Worcester Diocese after he alleged abuse by the Rev. David Holley during the 1960s at St. Denis Church in East Douglas. Rev. Holley is now in jail in New Mexico after pleading guilty to abusing boys in that state.

Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus, who until coming to Worcester in 2004 was rector of Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Rhode Island, is away this week and was unavailable for comment on the document, according to Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan spokesman.

Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, commented that sexual orientation is now widely discussed and that the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education expressed “Christian realism” about what the church expects in candidates for priesthood. “This realism understands the challenges of our time,” he said in a statement.

The bishop said it is “not acceptable if a candidate practices homosexuality or, whether active or not, if he identifies himself principally by a homosexual inclination or orientation.” He added that a candidate for priesthood should also not support the “gay culture,” or be “so concerned with homosexual issues that he cannot sincerely represent the Church’s teaching on homosexuality,” he said.

Mr. Saviano, a founder of the New England Chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said that as a gay man he finds the Vatican’s directive

“highly insulting.”

He said: “The problem to be addressed is not sexual orientation, but bad behavior. And the biggest problem has been bishops who perpetuate the bad behavior by covering it up, instead of enforcing consequences.

“If the Vatican is serious about cleaning house, and sending a positive message to parishioners, it should start with the bishops who coddled and protected abusers for decades and put thousands of children in harm’s way.”

Mr. Saviano, who has led support groups, said 40 percent of those coming to meetings are female victims of clergy sexual abuse. The number of women and girls abused by clergy has been vastly underreported, he said.

“How will a ban on gay priests protect little girls?” he said. “What is the message to victims of priests like Father Robert Kelley, who admits to having molested over 50 young girls in the Worcester Diocese?”

George “Skip” Shea of Uxbridge, who is married with children, said he will address the “gay issue” in his one-man show called “Catholic (Surviving Abuse and Other Dead End Roads)” scheduled Saturday at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

“How can this be a gay issue? The obvious answer is it isn’t a gay issue,” he said. He said he has attended support meetings where he was the only man present. The others were women. Mr. Shea settled a lawsuit with the Worcester Diocese within the last year after he made allegations that he was sexually abused starting at age 11 by the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar and Rev. Robert Shauris at St. Mary’s Parish, Uxbridge, during the 1970s.

“So if we are going to ban homosexuals from the priesthood, using their logic, I guess we should ban heterosexuals too, as there are a staggering number of female victims.

“And further continuing with their logic, maybe they should just ban men, as that is the only true common denominator, and let women run the church for a while,” he said.

The Rev. Richard McBrien, a theologian and professor at the University of Notre Dame, said the causes of the sexual abuse crisis “are far deeper than the existence of gay priests.” He described the “two elephants in the living room” as obligatory celibacy for priests and the church’s teaching on human sexuality in general.

Bernadette Brooten, Kraft-Hiatt professor of Christian studies at Brandeis University who trained as a Catholic theologian, said the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages has put more weight on same-sex issues, rather than looking at causes or issues related to sexual abuse.

Ms. Brooten said the church has avoided discussion of women who are abused by priests. A vulnerable woman may seek out a priest for counseling that results in an inappropriate sexual relationship.

“The woman has no recourse in the church, and they don’t get anywhere in the courts,” she said. Such relationships, she said, are dealt with severely by doctors and psychologists.

She said it appears the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is continuing a long-standing pattern of avoiding important issues of abuse, while concentrating on homosexuality.

“Galileo lives,” said Boston lawyer Carmen L. Durso, a College of the Holy Cross graduate who has represented clergy sexual abuse victims in Worcester and throughout the state. “Once again the church has decided to ignore science.”

Gay men and women do not choose to be homosexual, Mr. Durso said, but they are “destined by their DNA.”

He cited an examination of American clergy done by the Rev. Donald Cozzens in his 2000 book, “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.” Rev. Cozzens suggested that half of the diocesan priests in the United States are homosexual, while estimates for priests in religious orders are about 60 percent.

Posted by kshaw at 09:00 AM

Counseling offered after sentencing of parish priest

FALL RIVER (MA)
Providence Journal

By C. EUGENE EMERY JR.
Journal Staff Writer

FALL RIVER -- The Diocese of Fall River has said it will offer professional counseling to parishioners who feel they need it in the wake of this week's sentencing of Father Stephen A. Fernandes, 55, on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

A statement released by the diocese says Bishop George Coleman "is concerned, first and foremost, for the parishioners of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford, where Father Fernandes was serving at the time of his arrest, as well as for the people of other parishes where he served."

Fernandes was sentenced to serve eight mouths at the Duke's County House of Correction on Martha's Vineyard and will be eligible for parole in three months. Investigators found about 650 pictures and 114 videos on his laptop of children engaging in sex acts.

Fernandes remains on administrative leave, as he has since his arrest a year ago. While on leave, he is not allowed to function as a priest.

Posted by kshaw at 08:59 AM

Geisel was 'friend to have sex with'

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

First published: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

One of the teens who slept with former teacher Beth Geisel described his 42-year-old instructor as "a friend to have sex with" while appearing on "Inside Edition," a syndicated tabloid magazine television show, on Monday.

The teen, identified only as Michael, said he had sex with Geisel 10 or 11 times. His mother, identified as Tina Marie, said, "Never in a million years would I expect my son to have sex with his teacher."

Earlier this year, Geisel was found in a car in Cohoes with a 17-year-old.

An investigation showed the teacher had sex with students at Christian Brothers Academy, including a 16-year-old.

Geisel eventually pleaded guilty to third-degree rape. Last week, during her sentencing, Albany County Court Judge Stephen W. Herrick said she crossed the line from "teacher to consort," but also said she was as much a victim as the teens. Herrick said Geisel was a vulnerable woman who was being used and passed around.

Posted by kshaw at 08:54 AM

Sex offender faces penalty for working near children

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Richard Wronski
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 30, 2005

A judge will be asked to revoke the probation of a convicted sex offender found volunteering at a Mt. Prospect church where children attended preschool, officials said Tuesday.

Gregg A. Bornhoeft, 49, is scheduled to appear in Cook County court Dec. 9 on a charge of violating a provision of the Sex Offenders Registration Act, which prohibits offenders from working at or associating with any facility or program involving children.

Bornhoeft was a volunteer until last month at Community Presbyterian Church, 407 N. Main St., doing part-time electrical and carpentry work, said Cmdr. John Palcu of the sheriff's sex offender unit.

He also was undergoing counseling with the church's pastor, Rev. Gregory Rykse.

Posted by kshaw at 08:52 AM

Protest vigil targets bishop

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

First published: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

ALBANY -- Clergy sex abuse victims, family members and friends parked themselves outside Bishop Howard Hubbard's office on Tuesday for a 12-hour vigil.

"We are here for those who have not received justice, who the diocese, up to this moment, have refused to deal with," said vigil organizer Mark Lyman, of the Albany chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. "Because victims of clergy sexual abuse have been left out in the cold for too long."

He pulled a rented Ryder truck up to the 40 N. Lake Ave. Pastoral Center. Inside was a picnic table, chairs and lights. Despite rain, protesters hunkered down for the long haul.

They carted blue portable folding chairs, hand-lettered posters and coolers. Pizza arrived later, as did police dogs and two city officers on horseback.

Posted by kshaw at 08:47 AM

Bishops, seminary officials react to document on gays and priesthood

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

By Agostino Bono
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Vatican document putting restrictions on admitting homosexuals to seminaries and ordaining them to the priesthood has drawn both praise and criticism from U.S. bishops and seminary officials.

While some praised it as a reaffirmation of church teaching on sexual morality and the need to assure the commitment to celibacy by candidates to the Latin-rite priesthood, others said the document is also hurtful to priests and seminarians who are homosexual and celibate.

Several bishops and seminary administrators said that the criteria in the Vatican document about judging homosexuals is already compatible with what is being done in the United States and noted that the document does not offer any specific procedures for screening seminarians, leaving bishops and religious superiors with flexibility in applying the criteria.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

Gay priests – another view

AUSTRALIA
Online Catholics

By Alan Gill
About eight years ago a former British child migrant, who had been raised in the notorious Christian Brothers’ orphanage known as Boys’ Town, Bindoon, sent me a clipping from a Perth newspaper which he clearly found shocking, and expected me to be suitably horrified as well.

The article told the story of a priest, then working among AIDS sufferers and other disadvantaged people in the north-western corner of the state, who had “outed” himself as gay.

I was, indeed, surprised by the article, though not quite in the way my correspondent intended. On glancing at the photo which formed part of the clipping I recognised the features of a man whom I not only knew well, but had formally received me into the Catholic Church – after 40-odd years as a moderately high church Anglican – some three or four years earlier.

The article took pains to say that the MSC priest was celibate – indeed, it quoted him as saying he had not had sex for 15 years; all of which my correspondent in Perth seemed to have overlooked.

Posted by kshaw at 08:36 AM

Pope's gay priest ruling is hailed by moderates

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent and Richard Owen in Rome

A VATICAN ruling on homosexuals entering the priesthood received a surprising welcome from leading Roman Catholics in Britain yesterday after it became clear that it was not as severe as had been feared. However, gay pressure groups and liberal Catholics were critical.

Senior Catholics said that the ruling showed a slight softening of Pope Benedict XVI’s hard line against gays. The instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education said that ordination was not permissible for men with “deep-seated” gay tendencies but was permissible for those who could show they had overcome “transitory” homosexuality for three years. It does not apply to those already ordained.

The instruction was welcomed by moderates because it is not an outright ban on all men of homosexual orientation, celibate or not, but it will disappoint traditionalists because it does not call homosexuality a “tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil”, a phrase used by the Pope in his previous post as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac MurphyO’Connor, said: “A priest is primarily a witness to Jesus Christ. Anything that detracts from this impedes that witness.

Posted by kshaw at 08:33 AM

DA says he can't prosecute recently reported priest-abuse cases

DENVER (CO)
9 News

DENVER (AP) - A Denver prosecutor says he can't bring charges in six recent complaints by men accusing priests of sexually abusing them as children.

District Attorney Mitch Morrissey says the alleged attacks happened too long ago and outside Denver. But he's keeping the complaints on file because the men could be called as witnesses if new allegations surface.

State law allows criminal charges in child sex-abuse cases until the alleged victim turns 28.

Morrissey can prosecute only cases in the city and county of Denver. Morrissey's spokeswoman, Lynn Kimbrough, says the recent reports came from Sterling, Estes Park, Hugo and Englewood.

Posted by kshaw at 08:31 AM

Vatican call to weed out practising gays

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 30/11/2005)

A long-awaited Vatican document that bars men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies from the priesthood was officially published yesterday in the first major ruling of Pope Benedict XVI's reign.

The document, which has been widely leaked, earned the fierce opprobrium of liberals who said that it could trigger a witch-hunt and force gay clergy underground.

But Roman Catholic leaders in Britain played down its impact, saying that it was merely emphasising the need for all candidates for the priesthood to be mature enough to control their sexuality.

The document said that practising homosexuals, those with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or those who supported "gay culture" should be weeded out by bishops and principals of theological colleges.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

Vatican document on priesthood raises questions

MINNESOTA
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Warren Wolfe, Star Tribune
Last update: November 29, 2005 at 9:07 PM

The key to enforcing a new Vatican document that bars homosexuals from entering seminaries or the priesthood could hinge on interpreting the phrase "deep-rooted homosexual tendencies."

"It's a new term for us, and it's going to take awhile to figure out exactly what it means, how to measure it," the Rev. David Kohner said Tuesday, hours after the Vatican officially released the document. A copy of it was widely disseminated last week.

As director of spiritual formation at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Kohner is one of the people the Vatican says are responsible for enforcing the teaching.

The instruction from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education says the church "may not admit to the seminary and Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture."

Posted by kshaw at 08:20 AM

Gay priest rules

AUSTIN (TX)
American-Statesman

By Eileen E. Flynn
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A long-awaited Vatican document that gives instructions on seminary admission standards for gay men does not decree an outright ban on homosexual clergy and upholds traditional church teaching, Catholic officials say.

But the Vatican's guidelines have spurred an angry response from some Catholics and have prompted one Austin priest to consider leaving the priesthood.

After reading the Vatican's instructions on seminary admission standards for gay men, formally issued Tuesday, the Rev. John Markey, an Austinite, said he is considering taking a leave of absence from his Dominican Order. Markey, who is gay, said the rules paint the church hierarchy as 'cynical and cowardly.'

The document, leaked last week and officially released Tuesday, instructs church leaders to ban from seminaries sexually active gay men as well as those who "present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture."

Those are the guidelines the Rev. Arturo Cepeda, vocations director for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, said the church has followed all along.

But the Rev. John Markey, a Dominican Order priest who lives in Austin, said he smells a witch hunt.

The document, he said, reflects a "cynical and cowardly" church hierarchy bent on purging gay people from the church or at least silencing them.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Gay-priest ban is foregone fact for seminaries

Star-Ledger

Wednesday, November 30, 2005
BY JEFF DIAMANT AND MARK MUELLER
Star-Ledger Staff
At the nation's second-largest Catholic seminary, Mount St. Mary's in Maryland, Monsignor Steven Rohlfs is blunt about the kind of men who will be accepted to study for the priesthood.

Straight men.

Homosexuals, with all due respect, need not apply.

Rohlfs said it has been that way at Mount St. Mary's -- and at other big seminaries across the nation -- for at least three years now, since the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church prompted seminaries to re-examine how they recruit, accept and train candidates for the priesthood.

Which is why Rohlfs was a bit surprised by all the drama surrounding yesterday's release of Vatican guidelines barring most gay men from becoming priests.

"It's just not that much of an issue to us because the matter has already been addressed," said Rohlfs, the seminary's rector. "I think in the vast majority of seminaries that's the case."

Posted by kshaw at 08:16 AM

2 more men accuse form Anchorage priest of sexual abuse

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - by Megan Baldino
Anchorage, Alaska - Two more men have added their names to a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by former Anchorage priest, Monsignor Francis Murphy.

According to the complaint, Joseph Doe II says in 1964, when he was 15, Murphy rubbed the teen’s body with lubricant. In the complaint, Joseph Doe III claims he was fondled by Murphy on at least three separate occasions. Both join Joseph Doe I in the lawsuit and the victims are seeking more than $100,000 in damages.

Posted by kshaw at 08:11 AM

Will Vatican policy 'make closet bigger'?

FLORIDA
St. Petersburg Times

By TAMARA LUSH and WAVENEY ANN MOORE
Published November 30, 2005

Within hours of issuing a document that bars openly gay men from entering the Catholic priesthood, the Vatican on Tuesday defended the new policy, saying that homosexuality is a "sexual tendency not an identity."

Conservatives say this new policy may help reverse the "gay culture" of many U.S. seminaries, while liberal critics say the restrictions will create morale problems among clergy and lead to an even greater priest shortage in the United States.

"I'm afraid all it will do is make the closet bigger in the church," said Father Steve Rosczewski, a gay man who officiates services at the Holy Spirit Ecumenical Catholic Church in Largo after being dismissed as parish priest at a church in St. Petersburg.

The Rev. Len Plazewski, director of vocations for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, said he believes the Vatican document reflects standards already in place in most U.S. seminaries.

Posted by kshaw at 08:10 AM

Vatican Issues Guidelines on Gay Priests

ROME
Los Angeles Times

By Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer

ROME — The Vatican on Tuesday formally released instructions that block actively gay men from the priesthood, a long-anticipated document that already has opened a debate over how it will be applied and whether it will have a healing, or detrimental, effect on the Roman Catholic Church.

Church conservatives are applauding the document for taking a strong stance against what many see as an immoral "gay subculture" within seminaries and church life, and for establishing clearer restrictions on who is suitable to become a priest.

But liberals said they feared the rules would be used to keep qualified men out of a depleted priesthood because of their sexual identity, even when celibate.

This is the first major instruction to be issued by Pope Benedict XVI, and the fact that it focused on homosexuality reflected the German pontiff's concern over morals he sees being eroded by Western secular culture.

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, author of the eight-page document as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said Tuesday that it was crucial for the church to speak out now.

Posted by kshaw at 08:08 AM

Seminary Ban Angers Gay Leaders

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

November 30, 2005
By FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, Courant Staff Writer

Gay leaders denounced the Vatican's policy that would ban homosexuals from seminaries and the priesthood, while Roman Catholic Church leaders said the instructions published Tuesday were a clarification and "restatement" of existing policy.

"God is neither sexist nor homophobic," said Frank O'Gorman of People of Faith for Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights. "Sexual maturity, not sexual orientation, should be the criteria."

The Vatican guidelines would bar men "who are actively homosexual or show deeply seated homosexual tendencies," and who "support gay culture or are so concerned with homosexual issues that he cannot sincerely represent the church's teaching on sexuality," said Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Men who for three years have "clearly overcome" homosexual tendencies that were a "transitory problem" during adolescence can be eligible to become priests, according to the instructions, which were approved by Pope Benedict XVI and released by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education.

Posted by kshaw at 08:06 AM

A church confused over sexual issues

Boston Globe

By Bernadette J. Brooten | November 30, 2005

IF THE VATICAN aims to prevent clergy sexual abuse by barring gay men from the priesthood, it is profoundly misguided. Most strikingly, the latest Vatican statement doesn't ever name clergy sexual abuse as a problem. Instead, the Vatican refers ever so obliquely to the ''contemporary world," which must mean ''a world in which even priests have sex with boys."

The Vatican needs to address head-on the dual problem of priests abusing their power and their bishops protecting them. Otherwise, Catholics and non-Catholics will live with shaken confidence in the Roman Catholic Church, an important social institution by any measure. This document diverts attention away from Catholic bishops who have worked mightily to avoid just settlements with sexual abuse survivors, to open their financial records, or to include clergy as mandated reporters of child sexual abuse.

By defining homosexuality as the problem, the Vatican also masks the fact that numerous priests have had, and are having, sexual relations with adult women. Unlike therapists or physicians, priests are not usually legally prohibited from having sexual relations with the women whom they counsel. Women whose trust priests have betrayed have rarely been able to sue for damages, and the media have therefore seldom reported their stories.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 AM

Bishop welcomes ban on gay priests

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 30, 2005 12:00 AM

The Phoenix Diocese will make no changes to the way it chooses priest candidates because its practices already are in line with a Vatican document banning gay men from seminaries, the diocese's vocations director said Tuesday.

"The bishop is not going to ask me to change anything," said the Rev. Don Kline, vocations director for six years for the diocese.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, in a brief written statement, said he "welcomed" the document, which the Vatican released Tuesday. It rejects candidates who are "actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture." advertisement

The document offers no specifics on how dioceses, religious orders or seminaries should implement its conclusions.

Posted by kshaw at 08:00 AM

Gay-ordination ban affirms local practice

DENVER (CO0
Denver Post

By Eric Gorski
Denver Post Staff Writer

For the 94 men studying for the priesthood at Denver's two Roman Catholic seminaries, a long-awaited Vatican document released Tuesday barring the ordination of active homosexuals is a confirmation of sorts.

The two seminaries - which over the past few years have attracted national attention and scores of candidates for their philosophy of staying faithful to church teachings - employ an intense screening process.

It is a process "very much in accord" with the new document, said the Rev. Michael Glenn, rector of St. John Vianney Seminary, which opened in 1999.

"I don't think this document changes in any way the way our seminary is going to function," Glenn said Tuesday. "We have a great respect for the human person. But we are also very careful and discerning of all the aspects that make them who they are."

Posted by kshaw at 07:56 AM

Vatican officially releases document banning gays from priesthood

VATICAN CITY
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Victor L. Simpson
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican defended a policy statement designed to keep men with ''deep-seated'' homosexual tendencies from becoming priests, but said there would be no crackdown on gays who are already ordained.
The Vatican document, the first major policy statement of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, was officially released Tuesday after being leaked earlier. Conservatives have said it may help reverse the ''gay culture'' of many U.S. seminaries, while liberal critics complain the restrictions will create morale problems among clergy and lead to an even greater priest shortage in the United States.
Matt Foreman of America'sAbuse Tracker Gay and Lesbian Task Force called the document ''appalling,'' saying it was an affront to thousands of gay priests. He accused the Vatican of ''a calculated campaign to blame gay men for the church's own criminal conduct in fostering and covering up decades of sex abuse.''
Bishop George H. Niederauer, leader of Utah's 200,000 Catholics, and Monsignor Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, were unavailable for comment. Several other priests contacted by The Salt Lake Tribune did not return phone calls.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

D’Arcy believes gays shouldn’t be ordained

FORT WAYNE (IN)
The Journal Gazette

By Kelly Soderlund
The Journal Gazette

The bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Roman Catholic Diocese says he has long been following a new policy adopted by the Vatican that says men with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies should not be ordained as priests.

Although Bishop John D’Arcy wouldn’t comment on how many gay candidates he has turned away, he said Tuesday during a news conference that it’s been his practice since becoming a bishop 20 years ago not to ordain those he believes cannot overcome their homosexuality, or who support gay culture.

“I do know that it has been a problem for some time,” D’Arcy said. “I think that in this diocese it’s been my policy since I came because of my experience in the seminary and my convictions and reading the documents. I think it’s been more of a problem in the seminaries than people realize.”

Posted by kshaw at 07:47 AM

Sex-abuse claimants seek archdiocese's dismissal from suits

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Jason Riley
jriley@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

Dozens of plaintiffs who filed claims alleging that they were sexually abused at Catholic orphanages and schools have asked that the Archdiocese of Louisville be dismissed from the lawsuits.

The requests, which will be heard in several different courts on Monday, are an effort to focus the 49 lawsuits on the group the plaintiffs consider responsible for the alleged abuse: the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

"The day-to-day operations of that orphanage, the welfare of those children, were entrusted to the Sisters of Charity," said William McMurry, an attorney representing most of the plaintiffs.

The motions, filed Monday, also request that Catholic Charities of Louisville, a social service agency of the archdiocese, be dismissed from the lawsuits.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

STATEMENT OF BISHOP ROBERT BAKER ON VATICAN DOCUMENT

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Post and Courier

CHARLESTON, November 29, 2005 - Today the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education released a much-awaited Instruction concerning the admission of men to the priesthood who exhibit homosexual tendencies. In an official statement the Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, greeted the release as a timely affirmation of his Pastoral Letter, "The Redemption of our Bodies" (May 29, 2005).

Bishop Baker's statement follows:

The document released today by the Holy See, entitled "Instruction on the Criteria for Vocational Discernment with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders" is both timely and necessary. It reiterates the constant teaching of the Catholic Church through the ages and reinforces teachings given in my recent Pastoral Letter, entitled "The Redemption of Our Bodies."

We wish to underline at the outset the pastoral concern of the Church to the people discussed in this instruction and the importance of extending to them understanding and friendship. As the Church has compassion upon all people, it sees the person suffering from same-sex attraction no less than anyone else as a child of God. "We, as a Christian community, should reach out to those suffering from a homo-erotic inclination so that they may be surrounded by the love of friendship. Those who suffer from a homosexual orientation should not be abandoned to loneliness or despair" ("The Redemption of Our Bodies").

Posted by kshaw at 07:35 AM

LOCAL COMMENT: Church wrong to exclude gay priests

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

November 30, 2005

BY the Rev. THOMAS J. O'BRIEN, SJ

I am coming out as a gay, chaste Jesuit priest because it hurts too much not to.

I deeply love the church and the Jesuits.

I have experienced unconditional love from Cardinal Adam Maida in granting me permission to function as a priest in this archdiocese.

I have experienced unconditional love from my Jesuit brothers -- especially those who know me well.

I have experienced unconditional love from my friends and family.

Being a priest in the Society of Jesus has been a joy for me.

Posted by kshaw at 07:25 AM

Catholics call church statement confusing

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

November 30, 2005
BY DAVID CRUMM and JACK KRESNAK
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS

A long-awaited Vatican document on homosexuality contains as many questions as answers about the church's effort to bar sexually active gay men from the priesthood, said Catholics who read the text released Tuesday.

"The worst thing about this document is that it's vague and uses phrases that people just don't use today, so it's hard to understand what they're even talking about," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit based in California who is an expert on the structure of the church. "Who uses a phrase like 'homosexual tendencies' except a document like this? And what does it mean?

"Conservatives will be able to interpret this statement as saying that all gays should be thrown out of seminaries. Or other bishops can interpret it as saying that homosexuals still can be ordained, if they're ready for a celibate life."

The key phrase in the document, issued by the Vatican agency that oversees Catholic schools, states that church leaders "cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture.' "

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

Bishop affirms pope's stand on gays

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/30/2005
The Vatican affirmed Tuesday its position that homosexual acts are grave sins, "intrinsically immoral," and no one who practices them or supports the "gay culture" should be ordained to the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church.

Opportunity was acknowledged, though, for those with "transitory" homosexual tendencies if they have been overcome for at least three years before ordination.

The instruction, released by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, had been leaked by an Italian Catholic news agency about a week ago. Its content came as no great surprise.

Posted by kshaw at 07:21 AM

Judge orders diocese to turn over records

SCRANTON (PA)
The Citizens Voice

By:Mike Race 11/30/2005

SCRANTON - A federal judge has ordered the Diocese of Scranton to disclose new information in a civil suit involving sexual abuse allegations against the Rev. Albert M. Liberatore.
Father Liberatore pleaded guilty last year to nine criminal counts in two jurisdictions stemming from a sexual relationship he had with a then-teenaged altar boy while serving at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Duryea. The civil suit, filed a year ago, seeks damages against the diocese and several of its officials for allegedly failing to act once they learned of the abuse.
Since the suit was filed, lawyers for the diocese and the victim - identified in court papers only as "John Doe" - have been tussling over how much information the diocese must provide about its knowledge of Father Liberatore's actions and his treatment by a psychologist.

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 AM

Judge rules against repressed memories

OMAHA (NE)
Sioux City Journal

OMAHA (AP) -- A Douglas County district court judge has declared that repressed memories are not reliable enough for filing claims of sexual abuse years after an alleged incident at Boys Town.

On Monday, Judge Sandra Dougherty ruled that Todd Rivers of Omaha could not present expert testimony that Rivers had repressed memories of abuse.

In his lawsuit, Rivers said a priest molested him in the 1980s.

Rivers' expert, Dougherty said, did not prove that such a diagnosis is scientifically valid.

Even if the memories do exist, the condition may not apply to Rivers, Dougherty said.

Rivers alleges that the Rev. James Kelly of Girls and Boys Town made him drop his pants during confession and re-enact how he would masturbate. Rivers also alleged that Kelly touched his crotch after he pulled up his pants.

Rivers said he didn't remember the incident until he "recovered" it in a dream nearly 20 years later, in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at 07:15 AM

Vermont bishop takes stand on gay priests

VERMONT
Times Argus

November 30, 2005

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

Vermont Catholic Bishop Salvatore Matano will stand by gay priests as long as they stay celibate and teach that "homosexual activity is immoral."

The Vatican, in an announcement Tuesday, said the worldwide Catholic Church won't ordain men who are active homosexuals, have "deep-seated tendencies" or support "gay culture."

In response, Matano said the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington would obey the instruction in regard to men in seminaries, but won't question Vermont's 82 current priests.

"For those ordained and who find themselves with a homosexual tendency, it should be noted that this does not affect the validity of Holy Orders," Matano said in a statement. "Priests are expected to be celibate and to teach that homosexual activity is immoral. If a homosexually inclined priest is celibate, faithfully conveying church teaching, this instruction places no added burden upon him."

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 AM

Sacred Heart officials hail Vatican gay policy

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News

DETROIT Sacred Heart Major Seminary officials hailed the long-awaited Vatican document released Tuesday that reaffirmed the church's ban on practicing homosexual priests and required those considering the vocation with such tendencies to overcome them three years prior to ordination.

"It"s going to be an enormous help, said the Rev. Steven Boguslawski, rector and president of the Archdiocese of Detroit seminary. We will study this document seriously and will critique our own admissions processes and formulation policies.

The document, released by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, says it cannot admit to the seminary men who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture

Posted by kshaw at 07:06 AM

Past student settles suit against Jesuits, high school for $95,000

OREGON
The Oregonian

Wednesday, November 30, 2005
ASHBEL S. GREEN
A former Jesuit High School student who claimed that a teacher molested him in the 1980s has settled his lawsuit for $95,000.

The anonymous plaintiff, who sued under the initials "J.T.," settled with the school as well as the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, the Northwest branch of the Catholic religious order commonly known as the Jesuits.

The Rev. John Schwartz, whom J.T. accused of sexual abuse, was a Jesuit priest who taught at the school.

Schwartz, who left the school in 1987, denies wrongdoing.

Schwartz is no longer a member of the Jesuits and was working as a parish priest in Marin County in the Archdiocese of San Francisco when J.T. filed his suit in Multnomah County in October.

Posted by kshaw at 06:57 AM

Catholic stand on gays lauded, criticized

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

By JOHN CHADWICK
STAFF WRITER

The Roman Catholic Church's declaration Tuesday that men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" shouldn't become priests is drawing praise from traditionalists who believe gay sex is a sin and alarm from critics who think the church has gone too far.

The long-awaited document - which sets a standard seen by many as far more restrictive than what has been in force for decades at the nation's seminaries - also bans from the priesthood men who support the "gay culture" and reaffirms the church's prohibition against practicing homosexuals.

"Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women," said the document, issued by the Vatican's Conference for Catholic Education. "One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies."

Posted by kshaw at 06:55 AM

Sex abuse victim arrested in attack

HAWAII
Honolulu Advertiser

By Curtis Lum and Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Staff Writers

A 44-year-old O'ahu man who recently settled a molestation lawsuit against a Catholic priest was arrested yesterday on charges that he sexually assaulted a minor girl in 1996.

Eugene Saulibio was indicted Nov. 21 by a Kaua'i grand jury on four counts of first-degree sexual assault. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest last Wednesday and state sheriff's deputies arrested him yesterday morning at his 'Aiea home.

Saulibio was flown to Kaua'i, posted $80,000 bail, and returned to O'ahu. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Kaua'i Circuit Court tomorrow.

Posted by kshaw at 06:47 AM

November 29, 2005

D’Arcy to speak on gay priests

FORT WAYNE (IN)
News-Sentinel

By Nicole Lee
nlee@news-sentinel.com

A document released by the Vatican today has, as expected, ignited further debate on the stance of the Roman Catholic Church regarding homosexual men and the priesthood.

The question remains, however: Will the document ultimately bridge or create further schisms within Catholicism?

Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is expected to discuss the document at an 11:30 a.m. press conference held at the Archbishop Noll Center.

The document, released by the Congregation for Catholic Education, a regulatory body for seminaries and schools, was approved by Pope Benedict XVI on Aug. 31.

Posted by kshaw at 01:13 PM

Kiddie porn priest joins prince at cushy island jail

MARTHA'S VINEYARD (MA)
Boston Herald

By Laurel J. Sweet
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - Updated: 12:12 PM EST

Prince Bader Al-Saud, meet the Rev. Stephen Fernandes.

Fernandes, 55, a New Bedford Catholic priest convicted of child pornography charges, was sentenced yesterday to eight months in the “country club” of cans — the tony Dukes County Jail and House of Correction on Martha’s Vineyard.

At Fernandes’ request, and over the staunch objection of Bristol District Attorney Paul F. Walsh Jr., Barnstable Superior Court Judge Robert Kane banished the pervert priest to the island retreat that earlier this month became the new home of Al-Saud, a 23-year-old Saudi royal who pleaded guilty to motor vehicle homicide while drunken driving.

“It’s sickening,” an outraged Walsh said yesterday. “Could we do anything more for this defendant (Fernandes)? Why don’t we get him a computer while we’re at it?”

Fernandes stockpiled on the rectory computer hundreds of images and videos with sound effects of young boys undressing and having sex. The Our Lady of Fatima Church priest also pretended to be a girl online so that a teenage boy would frolic nude for him in front of a camera. He will be eligible for parole in three months.

Posted by kshaw at 01:05 PM

David Huskins selected as presiding bishop of International Communion of Charismatic Churches

GEORGIA
Cedartown Standard

11/29/05
By JONATHAN INGRAM, Standard Staff Writer

The International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC) College of Bishops elected Bishop David Huskins as their new presiding bishop at a meeting in Rome on Nov. 17 and 18.

Huskins, who serves as Bishop over the Fellowship of Vineyard Harvester Churches, a nationwide fellowship that includes Cedar Lake Christian Center, had been serving as vice president of the ICCC. He will now assume the helm of the largest charismatic ecclesiastical order of bishops in the world.

“My goal is to seek to bring integrity and accountability back to the office of Presiding Bishop,” said Huskins. ...

The ICCC College of Bishops met under a cloud of accusation surrounding its former Presiding Archbishop Earl Paulk.

Paulk was asked by the group recently to resign after allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct surfaced from longtime staff members and close associates of Paulk, who all alleged his patterns of abuse had continued for many years.


Posted by kshaw at 12:07 PM

Vatican official: Norms not aimed at transitory homosexual episodes

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- New Vatican norms aim to bar from the priesthood men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies, not those who may have experienced and overcome transitory episodes, a Vatican official said.

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, head of the Congregation for Catholic Education, strongly defended the document in an interview with Vatican Radio Nov. 29, the day it was officially released at the Vatican. Vatican Radio posted the transcript of the interview.

Cardinal Grocholewski said the document's distinction between deep-seated and transitory homosexual tendencies was important.

"Obviously, if we speak of deep-seated tendencies, this means that on the other hand there can also be transitory tendencies or transitory cases that do not constitute an obstacle," he said. "For example, some curiosity during adolescence; or accidental circumstances in a state of drunkenness; or particular circumstances, like someone who was in prison for many years."

Posted by kshaw at 09:51 AM

Vatican rules against gay priests

The Guardian

Staff and agencies
Tuesday November 29, 2005

The Vatican today published its long-awaited statement on homosexuals and the priesthood, affirming that those with "deep-seated" gay tendencies should not be ordained.

The document also bans supporters of gay culture from entering the priesthood, but says that men who have "overcome" their homosexuality for at least three years would be accepted as priests.

The instruction from the Vatican does not affect men who are already priests but only those entering seminaries to prepare for the priesthood. Gay rights groups say this may force new clergy members to hide their homosexuality, burying the issue rather than confronting it.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the document at the end of August, but it was only officially released after it was leaked on an Italian Catholic news agency website last week.

The document confirms the Catholic church's view that deep-seated homosexual tendencies are "objectively disordered" and "grave sins". It also says heads of seminaries have a serious duty to see to it that candidates for the priesthood do not "present disturbances of a sexual nature which are incompatible with the priesthood".

Critics say the instruction may alienate gay men who would make excellent priests and would be able to honour their vow of celibacy.

Posted by kshaw at 09:49 AM

Ex-nun in botched rape case bids to clear name

IRELAND
Irish Independent

David Quinn

NORA Wall, the ex-nun who had her life sentence for rape quashed six years ago, is applying to the Court of Criminal Appeal for a certificate declaring a Miscarriage of Justice.

Her case appears before the court on Thursday and if she obtains the certificate, the way will be cleared for her to sue the State.

In 1999, Ms Wall sensationally became the first woman in the history of the State to be found guilty of rape. She also became the first person of either sex to receive a life sentence for the offence.

The sentence was quashed after just four days when it emerged that a key prosecution witness had given evidence despite an instruction from the Director for Public Prosecution that she not be permitted to do so. A number of other errors in their June 1999 trial also emerged.

Posted by kshaw at 09:22 AM

Abuse victims welcome bold and brave State move

IRELAND
Irish Independent

In February 1998 a number of men who had been abused by John Hannon, a former Franciscan Brother at the primary school they attended in Clara, Co Offaly, gathered in Tullamore District Court to see Hannon sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 16 sample charges from an original total of 39, which included 28 counts of indecent assault, nine of buggery and two of attempted buggery.

Those men looked that day to the court for justice. They sought a response from this State to the crimes to which they had been subjected at a primary school run by the Third Order of St Francis, the so-called Brothers of the West. What they had not known was that the State was only too aware of the former Brother Hannon's propensity to abuse children, both boys and girls.

Files from the period show that both the congregation and the Department of Education were informed of allegations at Hannon's former school in Clifden, Co Galway and that there were concerns at a third school in Cummer, Co Galway.

Posted by kshaw at 09:20 AM

Franciscans may repay cost of sex abuse trial

IRELAND
One in Four

THE Franciscan Brothers are expected to agree to repay the State some of the hundreds of thousands of euro it cost to compensate two men for sexual abuse they suffered as schoolboys.

The State, through the Department of Education, initially accepted liability for the men’s ordeal at the hands of former Franciscan John Hannon, as the department had been made aware of complaints against him before he went on to commit abuse at a midlands primary school in the 1970s.

Awards running to six figure sums were made to each man and substantial legal costs were incurred, all of which was met by the department.

However, the State Claims Agency (SCA) has since taken over the case file, and is demanding the Brothers pay their share.

Posted by kshaw at 09:17 AM

Judge rules against repressed memories

NEBRASKA
World-Herald

BY TODD COOPER
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

A Douglas County District judge has declared the notion of repressed memory unscientific and unreliable - effectively gutting a former Boys Town student's lawsuit claiming that a priest molested him in the 1980s.

In an order filed Monday, Judge Sandra Dougherty ruled that Todd Rivers of Omaha could not present expert testimony that he had repressed memories of abuse. She said Rivers' expert had not proved that such a diagnosis is scientifically valid.

But even if repressed memories do exist, Dougherty said, she questions whether such a diagnosis applied to Rivers.

Rivers alleges that the Rev. James Kelly made him drop his pants during confession and re-enact how he would masturbate. Rivers alleged that Kelly touched his crotch after he pulled up his pants.

Posted by kshaw at 08:54 AM

Don't hide sexuality: Pope

The Australian

Jill Rowbotham, Religious affairs writer
November 30, 2005
THE Vatican has warned young homosexual Catholics who want to be priests against hiding their sexual preferences in order to enter the church.

"It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality in order to proceed, despite everything, towards ordination," say long-awaited instructions released yesterday.

The sternly worded document, authorised by the Pope, said "such a deceitful attitude" contradicted the required personality of a priest, which should be characterised by a "spirit of truth, loyalty and openness".

Details in the document have been leaked in recent months, so it was no surprise that one key condition for eligibility was that a candidate should have been celibate for three years before being ordained a deacon. It also reminded prospective candidates that their own feeling of vocation was secondary to other considerations.

Posted by kshaw at 08:48 AM

Priest found not guilty on sex charge

CANADA
CBC News

Last updated Nov 28 2005 01:40 PM NST

A Roman Catholic priest has been found not guilty on a charge of sexual assault.

Ambrose Hynes, 60, was charged last June, after a former altar boy claimed Hynes had assaulted him more than 20 years ago.

The complainant was 12 years old at the time.

Hynes was the parish priest in St. Anne's parish, in the Codroy Valley.

In his decision, Supreme Court judge Alan Seaborn said he does not disbelieve the evidence of either the former altar boy or of Hynes.

Posted by kshaw at 08:42 AM

Vatican flight from reality

The Age

By Michael B. Kelly
November 29, 2005

THOSE red-blooded heterosexuals in the Vatican have finally done it. After decades of increasingly shrill condemnations of homosexuality, they have actually banned gay priests. You almost wonder what took them so long.

A document expected to be issued in Rome this week by the Congregation of Catholic Education intensifies the church's stance against gay priests. The document, reported to have been approved by Pope Benedict XVI on August 31, prohibits from the priesthood active homosexuals, those judged to have deep-seated homosexual tendencies and those who support "gay culture".

The Italian newspaper Il Giornale recently quoted the document as saying the church should avoid discriminating against gays, but it could not ordain them. For a priest, it said, homosexuality represents "a situation that impedes the building of correct relationships with men and women".

Posted by kshaw at 08:40 AM

Mass. priest sentenced for child pornography

BARNSTABLE (MA)
Providence Journal

01:00 AM EST on Tuesday, November 29, 2005
BY C. EUGENE EMERY JR.
Journal Staff Writer

The Rev. Stephen A. Fernandes, the 55-year-old New Bedford priest who pleaded guilty in September to child-pornography possession and distribution charges, was sentenced in Superior Court yesterday to eight months at the Duke's County House of Correction on Martha's Vineyard.

He will be eligible for parole in three months.

Bristol County District Attorney Paul F. Walsh Jr. said his office had sought a three-year sentence after investigators found about 650 pictures and 114 videos on his laptop computer of children engaging in sex acts.

They were discovered after Father Fernandes took the computer to a Fall River repair shop because it was running slowly. A technician at DEG Associates found the movies and pictures and the company notified the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River, which passed word on to Walsh's office.

Posted by kshaw at 08:38 AM

Fernandes gets 8 months

BARNSTABLE
The Herald News

Gregg M. Miliote, Herald News Staff Reporter 11/29/2005

BARNSTABLE -- A Diocese of Fall River priest was sentenced to eight months in jail Monday, two months after pleading guilty to storing hundreds of child pornography images on a computer and coercing a 16-year-old boy into filming himself performing a sex act.

Father Stephen A. Fernandes, 55, was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography and posing a child in a state of nudity.

Fernandes stored child pornography on his computer and used an online instant messenger service to pretend he was a 19-year-old woman in a successful effort to coerce a boy to perform a filmed sex act.

He will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from jail.

Posted by kshaw at 08:29 AM

Priest charged with storing child porn on computer gets eight months

BARNSTABLE (MA)
WHDH

BARNSTABLE (AP) -- A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges earlier this year will spend eight months in prison.

The Reverend Stephen Fernandes was suspended from his post as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Church in New Bedford last year.

In court this past September, he admitted to charges of storing hundreds of images of children engaging in sexual acts on his computer.

Posted by kshaw at 08:22 AM

Man wanted in child-rape case turns himself in

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

By Peyton Whitely
Seattle Times Eastside bureau

A man accused of taking part in a five-year pattern of child rape on the Sammamish Plateau turned himself in to authorities Monday and is being held in the King County Jail.

Justin Kirkland, 20, was booked at the jail in downtown Seattle shortly before 3 a.m. and is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail, according to jail records.

Kirkland was charged Dec. 23, 2004, in King County Superior Court with first-degree child rape in connection with incidents that allegedly took place between 1998 and 2003 at a home in the 21500 block of Southeast 39th Street that police said was being used as a "religious home," according to charging papers. Other accounts have described it as part of a breakaway sect of the Catholic Church.

The charge was brought after an investigation that began when a woman told Bellevue police in April 2004 that her son had been sexually abused while at the home, court records indicate.

The woman told police the home was the location of a religious cult where only males were allowed to live, the charging papers say. She said she was allowed to visit her son only twice a year.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

HOMOPRIESTS, HUMANAE VITAE, AND MASCULINITY

Kath.net

A comment by Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg, psychologist: "Candidates for the priesthood should be well-balanced heterosexual men"

1. In the end, the American scandals of priests abusing youngsters and even children –to remember: in 20% of the cases the victims were prepubescents, mostly boys- could not be disguised any longer, as it is a present-day social-psychological law that such practices go on relentlessly until the ecclesiastical authorities have to capitulate to the pressure of publicity. This is not specifically an American law; we have several times been witnesses of its operation in Holland (and other European countries) too, concerning prominent priests, even in the case of a bishop.

In fact, everyone could know for quite a time what was happening and how it eventually would end, but those priests who discretely warned their bishop or seminarians functioning as “bell ringers” within their seminary were usually silenced, made suspect, or intimidated. So, shameful as it is, the present, still half-hearted, cleaning up has been cranked up by the media, thus from the outside, revealing a generalized neglect of duty on the part of the bishops and their counsel, a few laudable ones excepted. Alas, alas, alas, much more is at stake than a neglect of duty regarding the ominous homosexualization within the Church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 AM

Vatican edict tests faith, gay group says

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

BY CARA BUCKLEY
cbuckley@herald.com

True to Catholic tradition, Joe Mele marched a crucifix to the altar ahead of the priest this past Sunday, rang the Sanctus bell at the right times and pressed a wine-filled chalice to the lips of the faithful during Communion, solemnly intoning the words ``the blood of Christ.''

But when asked what he thought about the Vatican, which is expected to issue an edict today barring most gay seminarians, Mele, 58, arched a bushy eyebrow and wryly asked, ``Who?''

Hard feelings toward the Vatican run strong among congregants at the weekly services held by Dignity USA, a national organization for gay and lesbian Catholics that is not recognized by the Archdiocese of Miami, nor, at a national level, by the Roman Catholic Church.

Mele is one of 40 or so members of the group's Fort Lauderdale chapter. Like them, he struggled with the Vatican's hard line against homosexuality, before reaching the heartfelt conclusion that he was entitled to practice his faith as a homosexual, regardless of what the church's highest earthly authority said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 AM

Vatican edict tests faith, gay group says

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

BY CARA BUCKLEY
cbuckley@herald.com

True to Catholic tradition, Joe Mele marched a crucifix to the altar ahead of the priest this past Sunday, rang the Sanctus bell at the right times and pressed a wine-filled chalice to the lips of the faithful during Communion, solemnly intoning the words ``the blood of Christ.''

But when asked what he thought about the Vatican, which is expected to issue an edict today barring most gay seminarians, Mele, 58, arched a bushy eyebrow and wryly asked, ``Who?''

Hard feelings toward the Vatican run strong among congregants at the weekly services held by Dignity USA, a national organization for gay and lesbian Catholics that is not recognized by the Archdiocese of Miami, nor, at a national level, by the Roman Catholic Church.

Mele is one of 40 or so members of the group's Fort Lauderdale chapter. Like them, he struggled with the Vatican's hard line against homosexuality, before reaching the heartfelt conclusion that he was entitled to practice his faith as a homosexual, regardless of what the church's highest earthly authority said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 AM

Gay-inclined are cut some slack

San Francisco Chronicle

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Roman Catholic priests and seminary students with "homosexual inclinations" can be good priests and should not fear discussing the issue with their superiors, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement scheduled for release this morning.

As head of church leadership in the United States, Skylstad sets the tone for how Vatican edicts are carried out in this country.

Skylstad made the statements in a news release timed to today's planned release in the Vatican of a document called an "instruction" that clarifies the church's stand on whether gay men can enter the priesthood.

The Vatican instruction -- according to a leaked copy posted on the Catholic World News Web site -- prohibits the ordination of men to the priesthood who "are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture."

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 AM

Vatican restricts gays in Catholic priesthood

VATICAN CITY
Boston.com

By Philip Pullella | November 29, 2005

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In the first major ruling of Pope Benedict's reign, the Vatican on Tuesday imposed restrictions on homosexuals entering the Catholic priesthood, saying men must first overcome any "transitory" gay tendencies.

The ruling came in a long-awaited eight-page document that has already sparked controversy after widespread leaks in the past few weeks.

Its strict line on the place of gays in the clergy has won praise from conservatives and condemnation from liberals, and set off heated debate beyond the Catholic Church by confronting an issue that has divided Christian congregations worldwide.

The document says practising homosexuals should be barred from entering the priesthood along with men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies and those who support gay culture.

The "instruction" by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education makes a distinction between deep-seated homosexual tendencies and "the expression of a transitory problem."

Posted by kshaw at 07:49 AM

Bishop apologizes to victims of abuse

ALASKA
Fairanks News-Miner

By MARY BETH SMETZER, Staff Writer

The bishop of the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese published an open letter in Sunday's newspaper apologizing to victims of sexual abuse by church representatives.

The Bishop Donald Kettler reaffirmed his promise to bring healing to those harmed by child sexual abuse and to update the diocese's efforts to prevent abuse from happening in the future.

"For any actions contrary to the mission of the Catholic Church by representatives of the Diocese of Fairbanks, I am sincerely sorry and will pray and work for the emotional and spiritual healing of those affected," Kettler wrote in the letter, which appeared in a full-page ad in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

In a telephone interview Monday, Kettler said he decided to write the letter, addressed to "the People living in the Diocese of Fairbanks," because the diocese now has something to tell people about educational efforts being made to prevent future abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 07:47 AM

Murder trial pushed back in case of pedophile priest

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER— The trial of the man charged in the prison slaying of defrocked pedophile priest John J. Geoghan has been postponed until Jan. 9.

Jury selection in the case of Joseph L. Druce was slated to begin yesterday in Worcester Superior Court, but was put off because of a scheduling conflict involving a defense witness, according to Mr. Druce’s appointed lawyer, John H. LaChance. Mr. Druce, 40, is charged with murder in the Aug. 23, 2003, strangulation and beating death of the 68-year-old Mr. Geoghan in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center on the Lancaster-Shirley line.

Mr. LaChance is raising an insanity defense on his client’s behalf, maintaining Mr. Druce was not criminally responsible for his actions. Under Massachusetts law, a person accused of a crime may be found not guilty by reason of mental illness if a trier of fact determines that the accused suffered from a mental disease or defect at the time of the offense that substantially affected the defendant’s ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his or her conduct or to control his or her behavior.

At the time of the killing, Mr. Geoghan was serving a sentence of 9 to 10 years for molesting a 10-year-old boy. Mr. Druce was serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder of a man he believed was gay. He raised an unsuccessful insanity defense in that case.

Mr. Druce, who has publicly identified himself as a childhood victim of sexual abuse, allegedly confessed to the killing of Mr. Geoghan, a central figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese. A state police detective testified during a September hearing in the case that Mr. Druce told him he killed the ex-priest because “ ‘he was talking about getting out and skinning other children, and I just couldn’t let that happen.’ ”

Detective David Napolitano said Mr. Druce told him he snuck into the defrocked priest’s cell, jammed the cell door with a book and a pair of nail clippers, knocked Mr. Geoghan to the floor and strangled him with a pair of socks. The detective’s testimony came during a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence that was later denied by Judge Timothy S. Hillman.

Mr. LaChance said Mr. Druce’s trial had to be postponed because an expert witness for the defense would otherwise not have been available to testify. The trial, which will include testimony about Mr. Druce’s mental state from expert witnesses for both the defense and prosecution, is expected to last about two weeks.

Mr. Druce remains in custody in the health services unit at the state prison in Walpole after recently swallowing a piece of television cable in what authorities said was an apparent suicide attempt.

Posted by kshaw at 07:43 AM

Priest resigns over "hostile" stand against gay priests

MESA (AZ)
KVOA

MESA, Ariz. The Roman Catholic pastor of Mesa's Queen of Peace Church has resigned in protest of the church's tougher and what he calls "hostile" stand against gays in the priesthood.

The Reverend Leonard Walker's departure comes before the Vatican's formal release today of a document expressly barring homosexuals and those with homosexual tendencies from entering seminaries.

Walker, who is homosexual, says his own sexuality is not the issue.

Posted by kshaw at 07:32 AM

Vatican Responds to Priest Sex Abuse Scandal With New Instruction

BOSTON (MA)
Christian News Wire

BOSTON, Nov. 29 /Christian Wire Service/ -– "The clergy sex abuse scandal exposed the Church to a deep rooted internal problem which Pope Benedict XVI could not ignore," said former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Raymond L. Flynn. "Significant and decisive reforms were demanded by Catholics throughout the United States. In fact, two dramatic new changes have taken hold, pedophile priests will be turned over to the police for prosecution and men with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies will no longer be ordained. Both of these policy changes will ultimately make the Catholic Church stronger."

"The new policy is in place, the Pope did what he said was needed to be done. Hopefully a sad chapter has ended and its now time for faithful Catholics to support the changes and move on. In this advent season, let the healing begin," said Flynn.

Posted by kshaw at 07:29 AM

USCCB President Calls Vatican Instruction 'Timely'

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Newswire

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the Instruction of the Holy See on the admission of men with deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies to seminaries and to Holy Orders "a timely document."

The document, titled "Instruction on the Criteria for Vocational Discernment with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders," is signed by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and was issued on November 29.

In his statement on the release of the Instruction, Bishop Skylstad said, "We live in an era when the issue of sexual orientation is much discussed." He went on to say that the Church affirms "the dignity of all human beings and the respect that should be shown all people irrespective of sexual orientation," while also teaching that "God has given this gift (of sexuality) to humanity to bring about a loving relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong union of a marriage open to the creation of new life."

Bishop Skylstad said that, in the Instruction, "the Congregation for Catholic Education is exercising a Christian realism about what is expected in candidates for the priesthood. This realism understands the challenges of our time."

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 AM

Ex-minister faces 4th sex-abuse count

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Sun News

By Kelly Marshall
The Sun News

A former Murrells Inlet minister already facing accusations of molesting children in Georgetown County was arrested Thursday in Williamsburg County and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Troy Taylor, 36, of Murrells Inlet, also faces a charge of second-degree criminal sexual misconduct with a minor and two counts of lewd act on a minor because of previous accusations.

He was released from the Williamsburg County jail Thursday on a $50,000 cash surety bond, a jail official said.

Taylor is being represented by lawyer Scott Joye, who has said Taylor is not guilty.

It is the fourth time since 2003 Taylor has been charged with molestation-related counts.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 AM

Diocese of Ferns faces assets sale to fund sex abuse claims

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Neans McSweeney, South-East Correspondent
THE Diocese of Ferns is to consider selling the Bishop’s Palace as it struggles to meet mounting clerical sexual abuse compensation claims.

Diocesan spokesman Fr John Carroll last night confirmed the future use of assets owned by the Church would be discussed at a special meeting of the 10-member Diocesan Finance Committee tonight in Enniscorthy.

“The bishop will address the diocesan AGM. Included in that will be discussion on child sexual abuse claims and how they will be financed.

“The situation regarding the future use of non-parish fixed assets is on the agenda. We would hope to be in a position to issue a statement to parishes on Sunday and a media statement will follow,” Fr Carroll said.

The Bishop’s Palace, an imposing, two-storey building across from St Peter’s College on the edge of Wexford town, would fetch more than €2 million, according to local auctioneers.

Four bishops have lived in the building at Summerhill over the years, chief among them, Dr Brendan Comiskey, the former Bishop of Ferns who resigned over his handling of clerical sexual abuse in the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:06 AM

Vatican renews ban on gay priests

BBC News

The Vatican has published long-awaited guidelines which reaffirm that active homosexuals and "supporters of gay culture" may not become priests.

But it treats homosexuality as a "tendency", not an orientation, and says those who have overcome it can begin training to take holy orders.

At least three years must pass between "overcoming [a] transitory problem" and ordination as a deacon, the rules say.

All Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy, regardless of orientation.

The guidelines make no reference to current priests, but only to men about to join a seminary.

Posted by kshaw at 07:01 AM

Anti-gay edict stirs priest to step aside

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 29, 2005 12:00 AM

A Catholic priest in Mesa has resigned as a pastor because of "aggressive anti-gay positions" coming from the pope in Rome and bishop in Phoenix.

The Rev. Leonard Walker, 58, who as pastor was chief executive of Queen of Peace church, is the first priest in the Phoenix Diocese to resign over church treatment of gay men, specifically a new Vatican document aimed at keeping gay men out of the priesthood.

Walker declined to disclose his sexual orientation, but he said he was no longer comfortable "wearing the uniform" of the priesthood. advertisement

"It's like a Jew wearing a Nazi uniform," Walker said. "I could no longer stay in that institution with any amount of integrity."

His decision comes on the eve of the release of an instruction from the Vatican that limits entrance into seminaries primarily to heterosexual men.

Posted by kshaw at 06:59 AM

Abuse victims request papal apology

VATICAN CITY
Tracy Press

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Victims of sexual abuse by a former California priest brought a letter to the Vatican on Monday asking Pope Benedict XVI to apologize to all victims of clergy abuse and dismiss any official involved in covering up the scandal.

The Rev. Thomas Doyle, a Dominican priest, lawyer and longtime advocate for sex abuse victims, briefly entered one of the Vatican’s gates to deliver the letter, which also asks the pope to instruct bishops to cooperate in the investigation of suspected abuse cases.

“I just put it in a blue box up there. I didn’t know what else to do,” Doyle told The Associated Press after delivering the letter.

Posted by kshaw at 06:49 AM

November 28, 2005

Ex-priest pleads guilty to child sex

AUSTRALIA
Townsville Bulletin

By Luke Sayer
29nov05
A FAILED priest who preyed on teenage boys for more than a decade pleaded guilty to a string of child-sex offences yesterday.

Paul Ronald Goldsmith, 60, who now lives in the Hobart suburb of Lenah Valley, molested 20 boys between 1976 and 1987 at his homes at Ulverstone and Port Sorell in Tasmania's North-West and on camping trips around the state.

He also attacked boys while coaching athletics at Marist Regional College in Burnie.

In the Supreme Court in Burnie he pleaded guilty to four counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under 17 years, one count of aggravated sexual assault, one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and 36 counts of indecent assault.

Posted by kshaw at 05:40 PM

Priest sentenced to eight months in jail on child porn conviction

BARNSTABLE (MA)
Boston.com

November 28, 2005

BARNSTABLE, Mass. --A Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to storing hundreds of images of child pornography on his computer and coercing a 16-year-old boy into filming himself performing a sex act was sentenced Monday to eight months in jail.

Prosecutors had recommended a three-year prison sentence for the Rev. Stephen A. Fernandes, 55, who was suspended as pastor of Our Lady Fatima Church in New Bedford.

Bristol District Attorney Paul Walsh criticized Superior Court Judge Robert Kane for handing Fernandes a lighter sentence. He will serve the eight-month sentence at a jail on Martha's Vineyard and is eligible for parole in three months.

"The court may see this as a victimless crime, but I don't," Walsh said in a written statement. "When I look at the terrible pictures of more than 500 kids, I see 500 victims."

Posted by kshaw at 05:34 PM

Vatican's Dubious Assumptions In Rejecting Gays

The Day

By TOM TEEPEN
Published on 11/28/2005

If you are of a mischievous mind, you could have good sport with parts of the recently leaked Vatican policy on homosexuality and the priesthood.

The policy is still officially only pending but, by common account, it apparently is settled and inevitable, along the lines of a recently leaked document.

To no one's surprise — key points had been publicly bandied about at least for months — the Roman Catholic Church will forbid ordination to all but the small number of putatively gay applicants who can convince church authorities that any homosexual occasion in their life was at least three years in the past and only a muddled, fleeting attraction and that the candidate can live a celibate life henceforth indifferent, if not outright antagonistic, to “gay culture,” whatever that may be.

Together, these points build a very high bar indeed, as plainly was meant to be the case. In erecting that bar, the church effectively buys into the hoary canard — discredited in experience and in research — that links homosexuality and pedophilia.

Posted by kshaw at 01:21 PM

CATHOLICS TRUE TO REVELATION: HOMOSEXUALITY

MichNews

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
MichNews.com
Nov 25, 2005

Society’s whims change. Political correctness is not divine revelation. Trends come and go. But according to the Christian, the Word of God does not change. It is eternal. Therefore, its truths cannot bend according to fads and fancies.

Therefore, when the Roman Catholic Church gives forth with the divine truth regarding homosexuality, then it is in league with the everlasting.

According to Meghan Clyne of the New York Sun: "A new document refining the Vatican's position on homosexuals in the priesthood will place greater pressure on American bishops, seminary rectors, and local clergy, and may inflame tensions among leaders of the Catholic Church in America, observers said yesterday.

"Despite criticism from some quarters, those supportive of the document's stipulations said it might also result in more careful attention being paid to the process by which young men become priests, ultimately proving beneficial to the church."

The worldwide church is forever in the process of cleansing. Hopefully the Holy Spirit and not mere church councils and opinions of mankind order such cleansing. When it comes to Christian ethics, the Scripture is the only guide reliable.

Posted by kshaw at 01:20 PM

Do right by church sex-abuse victims

COVINGTON (KY)
Cincinnati Enquirer

The lawyers finally can cite a number - though not the final number - of claimed sex-abuse victims in a class-action lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington. Last week's deadline established there are 373 potential claimants for compensation. Although that number will likely drop, it should speed a settlement of a related federal lawsuit to force insurers to pay their part of the $120 million settlement.

A few claimants from other cities seem to have mistakenly applied for payouts from Covington Diocese. Ineligible claimants will be excluded. Plaintiffs, insurers and the diocese should quickly weed out false claims, clear up unknowns and award fair compensation so victims and the diocese can heal and move on.

The attorneys say a settlement with the insurance companies is already close. A firmer number helps. Plaintiffs' lead attorney Stan Chesley had estimated the number of victims could reach as high as 1,000, while church officials reported priests had abused 205 people since the 1950s. But in June the class action was expanded also to include victims abused by lay people employed by the diocese. About 60 claimants chose not to join the class action. If added to the 373, the total rises to 433.

In contrast, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's $3 million victim-compensation fund initially drew 134 claimants. Besides the vast difference in dollar amounts for the two funds, Cincinnati's was not a class-action settlement, but rather established as part of a no-contest plea deal to five misdemeanor charges of failing to report a felony.

The Covington Diocese agreed to pay up to $40 million for any sex abuse cases not covered by insurance policies. If the full $120 million were paid out, it would make this church sex-abuse settlement the largest in the nation, but given the lower number of claimants, payouts are likely to total well short of the cap.

Posted by kshaw at 01:19 PM

Column: The Prada Papacy

Daily Illini

By Eric Naing
Published: Monday, November 28, 2005

A Vatican decree, to be issued on Nov. 29, aims to rid the Catholic Church of priests who have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or "support so-called gay culture." If so, then why is the new pope running around in Gucci sunglasses, red Prada loafers and shiny sequin vestments?

The Catholic Church has been plagued by scandal and charges of corruption. Here I was thinking that the problem was pedophilia and a corrupt Catholic leadership that did nothing to stop it, but I guess I was mistaken. At least according to the Vatican, the real problem all along was with those dastardly homosexuals.

According to the decree, which was leaked to the press last week, men who display so-called homosexual tendencies or even support homosexuality would not be allowed into seminaries. Those with "transitory" homosexual tendencies must remain celibate for three years until they are allowed to become deacons.

Many critics have noted that it will be exceedingly difficult to actually enforce such a decree. The Rev. Eugene Lauer of theAbuse Tracker Pastoral Life Center told the News & Observer: "I have no idea how they will apply it. It will be just a nightmare."

And there very well may be Church leaders and Vatican officials who themselves are homosexuals. Considering the loose definition of "homosexual tendencies," anyone could he accused of being gay. As the Rev. Donald Cozzens of John Carroll University warns, "the hunters may turn out to be the hunted."

Take, for example, Pope Benedict XVI. Judging by his fashion sense, he seems to have fully embraced the concepts of high fashion and true fabulousness. Shunning the tailors who have dressed popes for more than 200 years, this chic Catholic has turned to a much younger fashion house, which, according to Newsweek, "has provided the pope with dazzling new vestments (some with shimmering, sequinlike details)."

This fashionista father has also been seen sporting a pair of Gucci sunglasses and bright red Prada loafers while cruising around in his Popemobile. Seriously, who does the Pope think he is in those red shoes and sequins robes, Judy Garland? Liberace?

Posted by kshaw at 01:18 PM

The Vatican's new directives

Scripps Howard News Service

By DAVID YOUNT
Scripps Howard News Service
28-NOV-05

The Vatican's new directives on seminary reform, if followed strictly, will discourage capable gay men from studying for the priesthood. Worse, the directives fail to confront the church's real problem, which has bankrupted dioceses and cost many millions of dollars paid to victims of child abuse by clergy.

That problem is pedophilia, which must not be confused with homosexuality. Pedophiles are sexual predators, attracted to boys, girls or both. A pedophile can be either straight, gay or bisexual.

By contrast, ordinary gays and straights are capable of distinguishing between right and wrong. They have consciences. Whereas pedophiles are sociopaths, blissfully unaware of doing any harm. They can be almost infinitely patient, "grooming" an intended victim for many months before molesting the child.

A tendency toward pedophilia is not easily unmasked or tested. Pedophiles suffer from cognitive dissonance, a distorted view of reality, producing simultaneously held beliefs that are inconsistent, producing conflict between belief and behavior.

There is no indication that there are more pedophiles entering the Catholic priesthood than exist, proportionally, in the general population.

Posted by kshaw at 01:11 PM

Sex-abuse victims want apology from pope

VATICAN CITY
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By ARIEL DAVID
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

VATICAN CITY -- Victims of sexual abuse by a former California priest brought a letter to the Vatican on Monday asking Pope Benedict XVI to apologize to all victims of clergy abuse and dismiss any official involved in covering up the scandal.

The Rev. Thomas Doyle, a Dominican priest, lawyer and longtime advocate for sex abuse victims, briefly entered one of the Vatican's gates to deliver the letter, which also asks the pope to instruct bishops to cooperate in the investigation of suspected abuse cases.

"I just put it in a blue box up there, I didn't know what else to do," Doyle told The Associated Press after delivering the letter.

The appeal was signed by Ann Jyono and Nancy Sloan, two victims of defrocked Irish priest Oliver O'Grady, who admitted molesting as many as 25 children while a parish priest in Northern California. He served seven years in prison for abusing two brothers and was deported to Ireland in 2001.

Posted by kshaw at 01:03 PM

Trial for Geoghan's alleged killer delayed until January

WORCESTER (MA)
Boston.com

November 28, 2005

WORCESTER, Mass. --The trial for the alleged killer of pedophile priest John Geoghan has been delayed until January because of a scheduling conflict involving a witness.

Jury selection had been scheduled to begin Monday in the murder trial of Joseph Druce, a prison inmate accused of beating and strangling Geoghan inside the former priest's cell at the state's highest-security prison.

The trial is now scheduled to begin Jan. 9 because of a scheduling conflict with a psychiatrist scheduled to testify for the defense.

A new judge was also appointed to oversee the trial. Superior Court Judge Francis Fecteau will replace Judge Timothy Hillman, who has been appointed to the federal bench.

Investigators have said Druce made a detailed confession after Geoghan's body was found inside his cell at the Souza-Baranowski prison in Shirley in August 2003. The 68-year-old Geoghan, a central figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal, was in prison for molesting a 10-year-old boy.

Posted by kshaw at 12:42 PM

Bishop's house may be sold to pay claims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE Catholic diocese of Ferns may still be forced to sell the bishop's house in Wexford town due to ongoing claims against the Church involving clerical sexual abuse.

The annual general meeting of the diocese is to take place in Co Wexford tomorrow night when it is expected that the fixed assets to be sold to meet claims will be made public.

A total of €2.8m has been paid to 17 victims to date, the Church claims, and, with a string of other cases pending, the hierarchy continues to consider the sale of the bishop's house.

A vast amount of the sum already paid out by the Church involves legal fees.

The sale of the residence, which is worth between €1m and €2m, was first mooted at a finance committee meeting last year.

Posted by kshaw at 12:39 PM

Vatican edict on gays, priests

Denver Post

A new edict from the Vatican makes it clear that homosexuals are not welcome to join the Roman Catholic priesthood, but the document from Pope Benedict XVI seems studiously nuanced - it makes a distinction between homosexual acts and personal tendencies - leaving room in the priesthood for gay men who maintain celibacy.

The document to be officially unveiled next week is a response to the church's ongoing sex abuse scandal, in which hundreds of men have claimed they were molested by priests when they were boys.

The document released by the Catholic news agency in Italy is loaded with questionable assumptions - for example, its consideration of homosexuality as a "transitory problem" to be overcome with abstention. It sets an arbitrary three years from the time "adolescent" acts may have occurred to the time when it's OK to become a priest.

The rules implicitly blame the sex scandals on gay priests, overlooking any heterosexual abuses and cover-ups condoned by church leaders, saying, "One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies."

Posted by kshaw at 12:36 PM

John Grogan | A terrific year for turkeys

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John Grogan
Inquirer Columnist

Dear Lord,

It's me, back once again, to offer my post-Thanksgiving prayer of gratitude.

As a newspaper columnist, I depend on a steady parade of clowns and curmudgeons, buffoons and bullies, prevaricators and panderers, lechers and leeches, to keep the material flowing.

And, believe me, 2005 has been one nonstop turkey shoot. As I say often, "I couldn't make this stuff up."

So as I pause today to eat one final microwaved dish of Thanksgiving leftovers, let me bow my head to offer my deep and heartfelt appreciation for all the plump, wide-eyed turkeys you sent my way. Oh, where to begin?

Why not with State Rep. Daylin Leach, the Upper Merion Democrat who thought it would be the height of hilarity to crack jokes on his Web site about middle-aged men preying on minor girls for sex. Fish in a barrel, Lord; fish in a barrel.

Thank you for Robert Baldwin, the self-employed engineer from Blue Bell arrested after a Philly-bound flight on which he allegedly harassed a black couple sitting in front of him in first class, muttering racial epithets and kicking their seats.

Thank you for Cardinal Justin Rigali, the only American cardinal to celebrate Mass in Rome with disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, a central figure in the clergy sex cover-up.

Slay the messenger

Thank you for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's lawyers slamming District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham as anti-Catholic for doing her job.

Posted by kshaw at 12:33 PM

Jury selection in Geoghan slaying scheduled to begin

WORCESTER (MA)
WPRI

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) -- Jury selection is scheduled to begin today for the trial of Joseph Druce, the state prison inmate charged with the murder of defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan (GAY’-ghen).

Investigators have said that Druce made a detailed confession after Geoghan was found strangled and beaten in his cell at Souza-Baranowski prison in Shirley in August 2003.

The 68-year-old ex-priest was serving a sentence for sexually abusing a ten-year-old boy. He was one of the key figures in the clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the Boston archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 12:21 PM

Abuse victims deliver letter to Vatican requesting meeting with pope

VATICAN CITY
WOI

VATICAN CITY Victims who suffered abuse at the hands of a former priest are asking for a meeting with Pope Benedict.

The Reverend Thomas Doyle made the request in a letter today. He's a Dominican priest, lawyer and advocate for sex abuse victims.

The letter also asks the pope to apologize to all victims of clergy abuse and to dismiss any officials involved in covering up the scandal.

The letter was signed by two victims of defrocked Irish priest Oliver O'Grady. He admits molesting as many as 25 children while he was a parish priest in California.

Posted by kshaw at 12:18 PM

Diocese passes self audit of abuse protections

ERIE (PA)
Erie Times-News

The Catholic Diocese of Erie is complying with the rules established by bishops to prevent and respond to sexual abuse of children, according to an annual audit.

A self audit determined that, for the third year in a row, the diocese was in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, according to a news release.

The charter, established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002, calls for yearly audits to ensure that dioceses are meeting its provisions. The charter contains procedures for addressing abuse allegations, for reconciliation, healing and accountability, and to prevent future abuse.

The Erie diocese's first two audits were done by an independent team from the Gavin Group Inc. of Boston, which directed the process this year. The diocese was allowed to do the self audit because of successful findings the past two years, according to the release.

Posted by kshaw at 12:05 PM

GOUGE AWAY: Vatican gives another example of bigotry against gay people

The Ball State Daily News

Jonathan Titchenal
November 28, 2005

It’s official. According to the Vatican, your priest will be straight, will act straight and will not support gay-related things in any way — or else.

According to a Tuesday Associated Press article, the Vatican is set to issue a document which states that the Roman Catholic Church, “while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture.”

Let me repeat that. Not only can you not be a priest if you are gay, you aren’t allowed to join the club if you even act gay or support anything in any way related to gay things.

The document went on to say: “Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies.”

Where, exactly, is the “deeply respecting” in this?

Posted by kshaw at 11:57 AM

Victim advocates seek shift in law

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Monday, November 28, 2005
By BILL ZAJAC
wzajac@repub.com
A local priest who was abused by his parish priest as a minor and a local clergy abuse activist have embarked on a campaign to support legislation to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children.

The Rev. Bruce N. Teague, a Springfield Diocesan priest who has worked as a chaplain in Boston the past few years, and Peter C. Pollard, the head of the Greater Springfield chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said they hope the state Legislature will act on the issue within the next year or so.

They said a combination of the current law in which criminal charges of child sex abuse have to be filed within 15 years of the crime and the fact that most victims of child sexual abuse are not ready to initiate accusations until their mid-40s allows for many abusers to escape accountability and to continue to abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 11:48 AM

Catholics conflicted over gays

Cincinnati Enquirer

By Jessica Brown
Enquirer staff writer

Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Catholics continue to debate the role of homosexuals in the church as the Vatican prepares to release rules Tuesday to limit the ability of gay men to become priests.

Some Catholics said they did not have a problem with gay priests, as long as they remained chaste.

Others said they believe gay men should be banned from the seminary because their sexual preferences conflict with the Bible.

Some went further, saying most priests accused of molesting teenage boys were homosexual. That, they said, should be the rationale for continuing to limit gays' access to the priesthood.

Regardless of their views, most Catholics were glad the Vatican is addressing the issue because it will bring some clarity to the hotly debated subject.

Posted by kshaw at 11:47 AM

Questioning tradition leads to priest's exile

FREMONT (CA)
Inside Bay Area

By Jonathan Jones, STAFF WRITER

The Rev. Tim Stier, former pastor of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fremont, spent more than 25 years ministering to local parishioners as a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland.
Now, Stier is in exile.

He's still a priest, and he insists he is not leaving the church. But now he is living with his parents in Oakland, is no longer active in the diocese and is openly challenging the church on celibacy, the ordination of women and the lack of responsibility of bishops for their roles during the abuse scandal.

Stier said he hopes to send a signal of public solidarity with "those who have no voice in the church," including victims of clergy abuse, gays and lesbians, and divorced Catholics.

The decision to no longer represent the Diocese of Oakland was precipitated by diocese officials' failure to address — or discuss — the underlying causes of the priest shortage

Posted by kshaw at 11:44 AM

Priest sex scandal shocks Brazil

BRAZIL
Sydney Morning Herald

By Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro and John Hooper in Rome
November 29, 2005
A GROWING sex abuse scandal is rocking the world's largest national Catholic congregation.

A Brazilian priest has been given a long jail sentence after a court heard extracts from a diary that read like a pedophile priest's how-to manual. A magazine earlier published evidence that, according to estimates by Vatican investigators, one in 10 of Brazil's priests was involved in some form of sexual misdemeanour.

The signs of abuse in a country that is home to about 125 million Catholics will be of particular concern to the church hierarchy. Until now Catholic leaders comforted themselves with the belief that, no matter how battered its reputation in rich nations such as the US, the church continued to be held in high esteem in the developing world.

Regina Soares Jurkwicz, author of Unveiling the Politics of Silence: Sexual Abuse of Women by Priests in Brazil, said the nation could now be facing a problem of even greater dimensions than that uncovered in the US in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at 11:27 AM

Sex predator's reign of terror

AUSTRALIA
The Mercury

By LUKE SAYER
29nov05
A FAILED priest who preyed on teenage boys for more than a decade pleaded guilty to a string of child-sex offences yesterday.

Paul Ronald Goldsmith, 60, who now lives in the Hobart suburb of Lenah Valley, molested 20 boys between 1976 and 1987 at his homes at Ulverstone and Port Sorell in Tasmania's North-West and on camping trips around the state.

He also attacked boys while coaching athletics at Marist Regional College in Burnie.

In the Supreme Court in Burnie he pleaded guilty to four counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under 17 years, one count of aggravated sexual assault, one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and 36 counts of indecent assault.

Hobart-born Goldsmith trained as a priest but was never ordained.

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

State sues Franciscans for portion of child abuse costs

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Liam Reid, Political Reporter

The State has begun a legal action against the Franciscan Brothers order to force it to pay a proportion of a compensation bill to two men abused by a Franciscan brother at a primary school in the 1970s.

The unprecedented move marks a tougher approach by the State towards church authorities and orders in relation to abuse compensation claims that are not covered by the controversial indemnity deal. The new approach has been instigated by the State Claims Agency, which in September took over the handling of 200 compensation claims from victims of child abuse, mostly relating to primary and secondary schools.

"The State Claims Agency will be protecting the interests of the taxpayer in ensuring that they are not paying out in respect of abuse claims where the abuse has been by committed by members of religious orders, congregations and the church generally," a spokesman for the agency told The Irish Times.

He confirmed that as part of this approach the agency was now pursuing the Franciscan Brothers for costs in relation to compensation claims involving a former brother, John Hannon, who served eight years for child sexual abuse at two schools in the 1970s and 1980s. It was the first time the State had initiated such proceedings against a religious order, he said. The State has admitted partial liability, as the Department of Education was aware of complaints dating back to the early 1970s against Hannon before the two men were abused as boys in Co Offaly. It has now made six-figure compensation payments to both.

Posted by kshaw at 08:10 AM

Abuse victim deriving art from anger

UXBRIDGE (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

By Kathleen A. Shaw TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kshaw@telegram.com

UXBRIDGE— George “Skip” Shea will be taking his one-man multimedia show — “Catholic (Surviving Abuse and Other Dead End Roads)” — to New York City this weekend.

Mr. Shea, who settled a suit against the Catholic Diocese of Worcester in which he alleged that he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar and the Rev. Robert Shauris during the 1970s at St. Mary Parish in Uxbridge, will debut his production at the Bowery Poetry Club at 9 p.m. Saturday.

His intent is to reach out to a general audience to “change the way we look at the clergy abuse scandal that has rocked the country and the world.” He recently presented the performance at the center for peaceful living in Uxbridge. The local production was a profound personal experience because for the first time, he told his story to people in his own town. It is now time to move to a wider audience, he said.

Mr. Shea wants to take what he calls “an unprecedented look” into the mind and soul of a survivor. He will include his original artwork, poetry and a rant about what it was like growing up Irish and Catholic in a small mill town while keeping the dark secret of his sexual abuse by priests. He no longer is a member of the Catholic Church.

His artwork has been exhibited in a number of places, including the center for peaceful living gallery in Uxbridge, the Culture of Peace touring exhibit with a group of national and international artists and poets; and in “Miraculous: Contemporary Exvotos Paintings,” exhibited at ChezTGN in Brooklyn, N.Y.

He has used his poetry to cope with the abuse he has experienced.

An excerpt from “1971” —

My right hand extended finger tips just out of reach of the door

my left hand trying to pull his left arm from around my waist

his right hand over my mouth whispering

with liquor on his breath

with tobacco on his breath

God doesn’t want to see you cry

God doesn’t want to see you cry

and the collar he wore made it true

Mr. Shea said he was abused by the priests starting in 1971.

“I think it is important to point out — which is something I think gets lost — it’s not only the horror of the physical abuse, but the horror of the mental abuse,” he said.

“God and the guilt that the Catholic Church already ascribes to a kid is magnified by these priests,” he said. The effect of both God and the guilt eventually created the path his life would take, he said.

Because he believed he could tell no one about the abuse, he carried the secret.

“The absolutely terrifying moment when it began, eventually turned to acceptance that this was my role with these members of the church. This secret was what I was here for. They had me believing that. Somewhere in me I knew that was completely wrong. But these men were priests and had a direct line to God. It was impossible for me to reconcile as a kid,” he said.

Mr. Shea said he was 11 when he was first abused by Rev. Teczar at St. Mary Church, and it continued until Rev. Teczar was reassigned in 1972. The next priest into the parish was Rev. Shauris. This priest continued the abuse until about 1977, or shortly after Mr. Shea received the sacrament of Confirmation, he said.

Rev. Teczar, who currently faces criminal charges alleging he sexually abused a boy in Texas, and Rev. Shauris were placed on leave several years ago by the diocese after allegations of sexual abuse of minors were made.

Mr. Shea said he also did yardwork at the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville, where he described further abuse but could not name the abusers. “It was years later that I discovered that there was some sort of networking happening. I often wondered why I was targeted and not others,” he said. The House of Affirmation’s executive director was the Rev. Thomas A. Kane, who was assigned to St. Mary before Rev. Teczar.

The diocese settled Mr. Shea’s suit for $10,000 about a year ago. He said the diocese has clung to the state’s charitable immunity law to avoid paying more to victims. “I thought this was so little until I found out other victims in this diocese got even less,” he said.

The abuse took its toll on Mr. Shea. He turned to drugs and alcohol. “I’ve been sober now for seven years. It has strained my relationships. It has had a profound effect on my ex-wife and present wife and all of the children involved because they had an active alcoholic in their lives. I’ve attempted suicide. I’ve been put in a daily outpatient mental health program. I could go on and on,” he said.

He is still haunted by the death of his daughter Shawna, a twin who died in a car accident a few years ago. “She was 16. I had only been sober for 13 months. That is all she ever had of a sober Dad. I don’t know how to reconcile that. The drinking served its purpose in burying the history of my abuse, but look at everything else that was lost with it. I don’t lay all of the blame of that on the church. I figured it out. I got sober. But not soon enough,” he said. He credits his therapist at Riverside in Upton with saving his life and helping him get on a healthier path.

The show also has helped in his healing, he said. “I have been an artist my entire life. As I looked back on a lot of it, I could see that it was a tremendous and healthy way of coping,” he said. But it took a long time for him to explain to others why he was doing the poetry and art and what it was really all about. “I wanted them to know, and was simultaneously terrified they would find out. Doing the show, I am giving my voice a chance to be heard and to eliminate the secret,” he said. The show is a way of “deconstructing” the entire episode in his early life. “Then I can rebuild it the way I want it to be.”

Mr. Shea, who has become active in helping other clergy abuse victims in the diocese, has been a regular at the demonstrations being held at the College of the Holy Cross, organized by the Rev. Robert L. Hoatson of the Newark, N.J., Diocese, to get the name of the Millard Art Center changed. Rev. Hoatson is acting on behalf of Patricia A. Cahill of Lancaster, Pa., who said she was sexually abused by the priest for whom the center is named. Mr. Shea also worked with Daniel E. Dick of Worcester, the victim support coordinator for Worcester Voice of the Faithful.

Mr. Shea said he has met twice with Bishop Robert J. McManus. “We have had some good moments and some bad. But in speaking from my experience, he has been good to me. I have tried not to be an adversary, and he has tried the same,” Mr. Shea said. While the bishop has responded to him on a personal level, Mr. Shea said he does not understand what is happening at an institutional level in the church.

“I still don’t see the kind of outreach that could truly help heal. They may have to deal with some angry people, but they should understand that. I think a genuine public display of concern is still warranted. We were talking about a program like this, but that seems to be going nowhere presently,” he said.

Mr. Shea said he believes the bishop still “has to toe a party line.”

“That’s his job. It seems to be the same everywhere, so I won’t lay all of the blame at his feet. I believe he is doing what he is told to do,” he said.

Art and poetry for Mr. Shea were his ways of coping. “It has saved my life,” he said.

During the showing of his work in Uxbridge, he met Marshall and Judy Cohan, who helped him bring the show to New York. They were at Martha’s Vineyard at the time, and he knew their daughter, he said. “They thought the message was so powerful that they became patrons. I am incredibly grateful to them. Their faith in me and this project means the world to me.”

While Mr. Shea’s own healing will continue and he will continue his work on behalf of other victims, he hopes his show will give them hope to move on. His advice to victims of sexual abuse is to not wait as long as he did to get help. He didn’t go public about the abuse suffered until this year. “The path ain’t easy, and it is a lot of difficult work, but it is worth it. I am not a good example of being the healthiest survivor. Part of why I am doing this is because we have lost some folks,” he said.

“The only way they could cope was by checking out,” he said. He will not judge badly those who commit suicide because he understands the pain, but he said he hopes by “showing my messed-up, angry art and reading my messed-up, angry poetry, others will say, ‘Well if he can find a way to work with this path, so can I,’ ” Mr. Shea said.

There are many ways of coping, he said. For some it might be growing a beautiful garden. Others help to organize survivors meetings. “It can come from just taking a walk. Whatever. My message is to try to learn to live again. Try is the most important word in the sentence,” he said.

Tickets for “Catholic (Surviving Abuse and Other Dead End Roads)” are $10 and available online at www.virtuous.com and at the Bowery Poetry Club on the night of the event. The Bowery Poetry Club ( www.bowerypoetry.com) is at 308 Bowery St. in New York City.

Posted by kshaw at 07:50 AM

U.S. Catholics Are Divided Over New Directive on Gays

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

NEELA BANERJEE and KATIE ZEZIMA
Published: November 28, 2005
Grappling with the implications of a Vatican directive issued last week that would bar most gay men from seminaries, Roman Catholics at several parishes around the country yesterday offered sharply contrasting interpretations of its impact on the priesthood, on the potential for sex abuse by clergy members and on the church itself.

More than three dozen interviews at churches in Los Angeles and around Boston, Washington and Austin, Tex., underscored that Catholics were as divided as the rest of the country in their attitudes about gay men and lesbians. Roughly half the Catholics interviewed praised the Vatican document as upholding church teachings, which consider homosexuality "objectively disordered." But just as many parishioners criticized it as unfair to gay men, saying that a priest's commitment to celibacy should be the issue, not his sexual orientation.

Similarly, some Catholics said that because the majority of victims in the scandals involving sexually abusive priests were boys, barring gay men from the priesthood would reduce the likelihood of such abuse in the future. But others said there was no link between homosexuality and pedophilia, especially many parishioners in Boston, an archdiocese profoundly affected by the sexual abuse scandal.

Posted by kshaw at 03:46 AM

Owego rector denies finance allegations

OSWEGO (NY)
Press & Sun-Bulletin

BY NANCY DOOLING
Press & Sun-Bulletin

An Episcopal parish in Owego has been without its long time rector for nearly six months while church leadership in Syracuse pursues an investigation into allegations of misuse of money at St. Paul's Church.

David Bollinger, St. Paul's rector for more than 20 years, said central New York diocesan officials broke into his personal bank account using identity theft and that Bishop Gladstone Adams' allegations of financial impropriety against him are without merit.

Bollinger also said the investigation is being conducted in retaliation for Bollinger's claim that the diocese mishandled a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse from a former parishioner against another rector.

Posted by kshaw at 12:22 AM

November 27, 2005

Catholic Charities still struggling to make up fundraising losses

MASSACHUSETTS
Salem News

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

At the depths of the scandal, the news could not have been worse for Catholic Charities. Priests were guilty of abusing children, and Cardinal Bernard Law, the region's spiritual father, had known about it and done little to stop it.

The outrage touched many churchgoers. And it threatened to taint anything connected to the church, including Catholic Charities, an organization that serves the needy regardless of their religion, while relying on the donations of ordinary people here on the North Shore to cover a vital 13 to 15 percent of its local expenses.

Today, as a new Christmas season begins, Virginia Doocy, the agency's North Shore director, says the collection plate still is not as full as it was before the scandal.

So far this year, donations to Catholic Charities North are $50,000 short of what they were in 2001, the year before the priest abuse scandal exploded.

Posted by kshaw at 03:31 PM

GLAAD Calls on Media to Scrutinize Vatican Policy Barring Gay Seminarians

247Gay.com

11.27.05

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has called on the nation's media to carefully examine the implications of a leaked Vatican document that seeks to bar gay men from becoming seminarians and priests.

On Wednesday, Nov. 22, an Italian Catholic news Web site called Adista leaked a copy of "Instruction Concerning The Criteria Of Vocational Discernment Regarding Persons With Homosexual Tendencies In View Of Their Admission To Seminaries And Holy Orders." The document, which Vatican officials have said will be released Nov. 29, says that the Catholic Church "cannot admit to seminary or holy orders those who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture."

VIGOROUS QUESTIONING, SCRUTINY OF DOCUMENT'S CLAIMS

"This is a situation with tremendous potential for inaccurate and even defamatory coverage," said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano. "And while coverage to date has been generally good, there have been incidents where media have presented without basic scrutiny the Vatican's latest attempt to scapegoat honorable gay priests for the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church."

Posted by kshaw at 03:28 PM

Womanizing priests just as bad as gays — bishop

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard

By Jaime Pilapil

IF the entry of homosexual priests is a big no-no for the Catholic Church ministry, womanizers and those with too much “machismo” are equally banned from being ordained as priests.

“If homosexuals are no longer allowed to enter the seminary, then those who are too macho or well-known womanizers are equally not allowed to,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said over a radio interview on dzRV, a Catholic-run network.

Cruz said those filled with “machismo” are not good candidates for priesthood, and would most probably create scandals during their parochial ministry. “Womanizers or macho males would only victimize female church workers.”

Cruz gave this warning after Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Clergy, earlier said that his office will abide by the Vatican directive banning the entry of homosexuals to the seminary and their ordination to priesthood.

Meanwhile, Cruz defended Pasig Bishop Francisco San Diego, who was accused by a group of laymen for womanizing and living lavishly.

“It is impossible for Bishop San Diego to be dishonest on money. What he built was not his. On the sex scandal, he is already 70 years old. Whatever you do with it, it will not do any damage. In fact, he is limping already,” Cruz told reporters.

Posted by kshaw at 02:47 PM

‘Disobedient priest’ behind smear drive vs bishop?

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard

PASIG Bishop Francisco San Diego yesterday broke his silence over an allegation that he was having an illicit affair with a church benefactor. He said a “disobedient priest” might be behind the smear campaign.

“This is an absolute lie. Someone is accusing me of an immorality. This accuser might be the one doing it. There is a priest who is disobedient. If he wants, he could transfer to another diocese or choose his own bishop,” San Diego said on dzRV, a Catholic-run radio.

San Diego did not name the priest who allegedly fed the information last week to a group of Catholic laymen, the Crusaders of the Diocese of Pasig (CDP).

The 70-year-old San Diego said he sent a letter to Papal Nuncio Antonio Franco and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo denying allegations of womanizing and living an extravagant lifestyle.

“I told the nuncio that the allegations are all lies. If I indulged in womanizing, I should have done it when I was younger. I have been a bishop for 22 years and 42 years as a priest. I am already 70 years old. After establishing my reputation, how could I destroy it? In my lifetime, I have never disobeyed my superior.”

Posted by kshaw at 12:02 PM

Ahern wrong to put church on a pedestal

IRELAND
One in Four

The Taoiseach has not recognised that for many who stood by the Republic, it was necessary to clash with the Catholic Church, writes Jaime Hyland.

The Taoiseach's opinion article in last Friday's Irish Times is worrying.

He seems to have entirely misread the demands of those who have called for an end to the special relationship between the church and the State. He defends both institutions against accusations that no one is making, while ignoring completely the seriousness of what has happened in Ireland over the past couple of weeks, and its implications for his representative role as Taoiseach.

He is adamant that both he personally and the Government have worked hard on child abuse, but nobody seems to be arguing with him on that.

Indeed, he and his Government have been almost universally commended on finally starting a process of investigation that may lead to the uncovering of the greatest child-protection scandal in the history of the State.

Posted by kshaw at 09:18 AM

Arrested priest is guilty until proven innocent

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Repubolic

Nov. 27, 2005 12:00 AM

Ed Montini

No one charged with a crime in Arizona is "innocent until proven guilty," especially if he is a priest. Not after all the arrests, all the lawsuits, all the news reports.

A suspect may be presumed innocent in a courtroom, but out in the world it's pretty much just the opposite.

We live in a county where the most popular politician is a sheriff who revels in making life miserable for those in his jails. When told once that two-thirds of his inmates are pretrial defendants who are "presumed innocent" he said, "They are criminals. We don't run a first-class and a second-class section." He's been re-elected three times. advertisement

In civics classes, American children learn a principle of justice described by writer Sir William Blackstone, who said, "It is better that 10 guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

Outside of school, we no longer seem to believe that there are innocents.

Last week, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced that his office had filed a 10-count criminal complaint against Monsignor Dale Fushek accusing him of indecent exposure, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and assault against five boys and two young men in the 1980s. The complaint listing the misdemeanor charges described a series of lurid encounters alleged to have taken place between Fushek and the boys while he was pastor of St. Timothy's Church in Mesa.

Fushek's attorney, Michael Manning, said that the incidents "never happened" and that Fushek will fight them at trial.

Posted by kshaw at 09:10 AM

Gay priest: Vatican edict will force others away

NEWARK (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

Sunday, November 27, 2005
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
He left the Catholic priesthood in 1998, he said, because he was tired of shielding his identity as a gay man from a church that condemns homosexuality.

The Rev. Mariano Gargiulo, now an Episcopal priest in the Newark Archdiocese involved in a long-term relationship, said he believes an expected Vatican edict this week banning most gay men from entering the seminary also will force many priests from the clergy.

Gargiulo, who said he remains friends with dozens of gay Catholic priests from his days in the Archdiocese of Newark, predicted the ruling, while not applying to current priests, will heighten tensions within the church.

Posted by kshaw at 08:58 AM

Two women sue their priest father

LOWELL (MA)
Boston.com

November 26, 2005

LOWELL, Mass. --Two 20-year-old women have filed a lawsuit in Lowell Superior Court alleging that their father, a Catholic priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Lowell, has refused to acknowledge them as his daughters and has subjected them to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

The Rev. Lucien Richard has acknowledged that he is the twins' father, but denies allegations that he rejected and abused them.

When the twins were young, the order was told that Richard had fathered the two girls and about the alleged abuse. Nevertheless, the order continued to support Richard as a priest and "failed to take steps to terminate or reduce his abuse," according to the lawsuit.

The twins, whose only address is listed in court documents as Hampshire County, are suing Richard and the Oblates for more than $200,000, according to court documents.

Posted by kshaw at 06:20 AM

Covington Abuse Case Has Maximum of 373 Claimants

BURLINGTON (KY)
ChallengerNYK

BURLINGTON - There are more than 370 potential plaintiffs in a class-action sex abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, attorneys said Monday, but that number may drop before a settlement is finalized.

Among the 373 preliminary claims filed by Sunday's deadline, some are from people who previously settled, while others are from people who were allegedly abused at churches in other dioceses, attorneys said.

"For example, we got one from a man who was out of state," said Bob Steinberg, an attorney representing the plaintiffs. "Obviously, he won't be eligible."

The figure was released during a short hearing in the case Monday in Boone County Circuit Court in Burlington. It was the first time a rough number of possible plaintiffs had been attached to the case.

Posted by kshaw at 06:15 AM

November 26, 2005

High-Ranking Priest Arrested and Charged with Sexual Misconduct Involving Boys and Young Men

PHOENIX (AZ)
Newsinferno

Date Published: November 26, 2005
Source: Newsinferno News Staff

Monsignor Dale Fushek, the former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, has been arrested on charges he fondled boys and young men and questioned them about their sex lives while pretending to be conducting confessions.

As vicar general, the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop, Fushek, 53, is one of the highest-ranking priests to be implicated in the widespread sex scandal that just won’t go away.

He has been charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure. Since each charge is a misdemeanor, Fushek faces a total of three years and nine months in jail.

Fushek has been placed under house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for monitoring until his arraignment on December 6. He also had to surrender his passport and was ordered not have contact with anyone under age 18.

Posted by kshaw at 02:21 PM

Child abuse letter rocks Anglicans

AUSTRALIA
The Sunday Mail

PAUL WESTON
27nov05
GOLD Coast pensioner Richard "Tommy" Campion has a horrifying, clear picture of what his lawyers believe will be one of the worst cases of child abuse in an Australian orphanage.

His nightmares have led him to write a five-page letter to the Anglican Church in which he graphically details the sadistic treatment he and fellow orphans suffered at the church's North Coast Children's Home at Lismore in northern NSW in the 1950s.

The instances of "cowardly physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse from the staff, clergymen and matron" have been corroborated by many other victims who contacted Mr Campion's Brisbane lawyer, Simon Harrison.

As part of his campaign to gain an apology and compensation for the victims, Mr Campion, 58, agreed to be photographed outside the grounds of the home this week. He later asked the new owners' permission to visit the old dormitories.

Posted by kshaw at 12:34 PM

Disgraced priest dies

ALABAMA
Montgomery Advertiser

By Alvin Benn
Montgomery Advertiser

Alex Sherlock, forced to resign as an active Catholic priest in the wake of sexual abuse claims against him, was a Biblical scholar and a superb fundraiser, said those who remember him fondly.

Sherlock's body was found at his house in Mobile on Wednesday. Authorities said his death was from natural causes. He was 65.

While friends and relatives attended a funeral for him in Mobile on Friday, a former member of his Montgomery congregation and a fellow priest who attended the same seminary described Sherlock in positive terms.

"In the time I knew him, he was a great guy and a great minister," said Carl Barranco of St. Peter's Catholic Church. "It was most unfortunate to have heard about his past."

Posted by kshaw at 12:31 PM

Deacon named interim director

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

WORCESTER — Deacon Anthony R. Surozenski has been appointed by Bishop Robert J. McManus as interim director of the Diaconate of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester.

He was assistant director of formation for the program and his wife, Alice, is coordinator of diaconal family activities.

He is filling a vacancy left by the Rev. James J. Aquino, who headed the program until he was placed on administrative leave late last month by the bishop. The move came after public disclosure that Rev. Aquino had been detained by vice squad police officers in Las Vegas, who alleged he had committed a public lewd act with another man.

He was initially cited for lewd conduct and giving false information, but was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct after doing 50 hours of community service and getting counseling.

Posted by kshaw at 09:44 AM

Sex offender will serve six months

JOLIET (IL)
The Herald News

By Bill Bird
SPECIAL TO THE HERALD NEWS

JOLIET — A one-time high school teacher and Aurora-area church youth leader will surrender to authorities early next year to begin serving a jail sentence for sexually molesting two teenage boys at his former home in Naperville.

Lloyd D. Jones, 44, of Michigan City, Ind., will serve six months in Will County Jail beginning Jan. 6 for abusing the youths in 2002 and 2004.

At the time of the molestations, Jones lived in the 2800 block of Gypsum Circle, on Naperville's far southwest side.

He pleaded guilty April 14 in Will County Circuit Court to two felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Judge Carla Alessio-Goode this month sentenced Jones to jail, followed by four years of probation. Jones also must register with state police as a convicted sex offender.

Jones is a former drafting teacher at Kennedy High School on Chicago's southwest side. He also was a volunteer youth leader at Calvary Church in Aurora.

Posted by kshaw at 09:39 AM

Sex abuse panel chief resigns in allegations' wake

JOLIET (IL)
The Herald News

from staff reports

JOLIET — The head of the panel that reviews allegations of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet resigned after two brothers accused him of molesting them.

Dr. James Carger, a clinical psychologist from Riverside, stepped down from the Diocesan Review Board on Sept. 28 when the brothers reported the accusations to the diocese. Carger has denied the allegations.

Carger was appointed to the review board in 2002 and named chairman in May 2003, said Sister Judith Davies, diocese chancellor.

Posted by kshaw at 09:33 AM

Wrongs will never make the world right

The Daily Dispatch

We've long been told that two wrongs don't make a right. And no amount of wrongheadedness can make the world right, either.

The Catholic Church has dropped a Brazilian singer who promoted condom use in an anti-AIDS campaign from the lineup of next month's benefit Christmas concert at the Vatican. Daniela Mercury was dismissed because her statements in the public health campaign went “against the moral doctrine of the church,” said Eligio Ermeti, a spokesman for the agency organizing the event.

There's no doubt that is true. The Catholic Church disapproves of contraceptives - and, of course, premarital sex - so telling someone to use a condom flies in the face of the church's beliefs. And we suppose it is unsurprising, though unnecessarily rigid, for the church to drop Mercury from its performance.

However, the Vatican felt the move was necessary because of the crass actions of American singer Lauryn Hill two years ago at the same concert. Hill deviated from the script to criticize the church and its leaders over much-publicized child sex abuse by certain Catholic priests.

It is impossible to defend the church in the sex abuse allegations. Evidence clearly shows that some priests abused young parishioners, and that the church often took action to cover up the abuse while keeping the rogue priests in service.

Posted by kshaw at 09:30 AM

New gay priest edict widely condemned

CANADA
Toronto Star

Nov. 26, 2005. 01:00 AM
LYNDA HURST
FEATURE WRITER

A new Vatican instruction on banning homosexual men from entering the priesthood won't be officially released until Tuesday, but its leaked contents are being condemned on a wide range of fronts by a wide range of critics.

They say it is:

Hypocritical, given that repeated studies show that 25 to 50 per cent of already ordained Catholic priests are homosexual — some celibate, some not.

A smokescreen, targeting gay clergy for the sexual abuse scandals that rocked the U.S. church in 2002, while covering up the hierarchy's failure to deal with them.

Scientifically out-of-date, ignoring evidence that sexual orientation is innate, and continuing to teach that "the psychological genesis of homosexuality remains largely unexplained."

Lamentably short-sighted. The number of new priests is in free fall and more than half the rest, at least in North America, are past retirement age.

Posted by kshaw at 09:28 AM

Sex-abuse scandal shocks Brazil's Catholics

BRAZIL
Mail & Guardian

26 November 2005 09:42

A growing sex-abuse scandal is rocking the world's largest national congregation of Catholics. This week, a Brazilian priest was given a lengthy jail sentence after a court heard extracts from a diary that read like a paedophile priest's how-to manual. A magazine earlier published evidence that, according to estimates by Vatican investigators, one in 10 of Brazil's priests is involved in some form of sexual misdemeanour.

The signs of abuse in a country that is home to about 125-million Catholics will be of particular concern to the church hierarchy. Until now, Catholic leaders have comforted themselves with the belief that, no matter how battered its reputation in rich nations such as the United States, the church continued to be held in high esteem in the developing world.

Next week, the Vatican is expected to publish formally details of a clampdown on the recruitment of gay priests aimed at quelling concerns that the church has become a refuge for paedophiles. However, in Brazil many of the claims relate to heterosexual abuse.

Regina Soares Jurkwicz, author of Unveiling the Politics of Silence: Sexual Abuse of Women by Priests in Brazil, said the South American country could now be facing a problem of even greater dimensions than that uncovered in the US in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at 09:27 AM

Diocese Sells Land To Stanwich School

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Citizen

By PATRICIA Mc CORMACK
mailto:pmccormack@bcnnew.com

An early Thanksgiving present of an unusual sort was bestowed on the Stanwich School Board of Trustees Friday when the Diocese of Bridgeport sold 25 acres of its property to the school for what is believed to be $15 million. That is what the Catholic diocese headed by the Most Rev. William Lori, bishop of Bridgeport, had been asking for the land that abuts 17 acres owned by St. Agnes Church at 247 Stanwich Road. The diocese needs the money to help pay off a $21 million recent settlement with victims of sexual abuse by priests.
Disclosure of the sale to the school rather than to unnamed developers who had been in the running was greeted with joy by the school founder, Pat Young. "We are just very excited," she said. It means for the first time the school, founded in 1998, will actually own land. The highly thought of coeducational independent school now goes to grade nine. Classes are held in leased space at Greenwich Reform Synagogue near St. Agnes Church and at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Riverside.

What the school paid for the parcel remains in limbo. Neither buyer nor seller disclosed the price tag. However, the amount of money that changed hands will be open to public view when the property transfer is recorded in official land transfer records of the Town of Greenwich. Stanwich has a student body of 350. At the synagogue location, students in grades K to 6 are taught. Students in grades 7 to 9 are taught at the Riverside location.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 AM

Faithful investigator One Priest’s Journey

CALIFORNIA
Times Leader

By CHRIS KNAP Knight Ridder Newspapers

SANTA ANA, Calif. — In bright sunlight, Patrick Wall walked in darkness.

Lost in the secular world.

After 11 years as a Benedictine monk — six as a priest — he had renounced his vows and left St. John’s Abbey.

Disheartened by sexually abusive monks, restricted by rigid superiors and convinced his vow of celibacy would fail, Wall finally won his freedom from the Rule of Benedict.

It was the scariest possible outcome for a man who once considered the abbey his life.

At St. John’s, everything was provided: food, clothing, health care, cars. Now he had none of those.

His training was in Latin and Italian, in divine texts and church history. Now it seemed of little use.

“When you leave the monastery you are completely disconnected,” Wall says. “You have no idea where you are going to go, what you are going to do, or even if you can fit in.”

Posted by kshaw at 07:48 AM

Will Imesch deposition be opened?

WHEATON (IL)
The Herald News

By Ted Slowik
staff writer

WHEATON — A newspaper is asking a DuPage County judge to unseal a secret deposition given in August by Joliet Diocese Bishop Joseph Imesch for a sexual-abuse lawsuit against the diocese and a former Joliet priest.

The Chicago Tribune is arguing that First Amendment rights trump the diocese's claims that it needs to protect the identities of alleged victims.

"The public interest in litigation relating to allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests is great," Tribune attorney Don Craven wrote to the court. "Questions are raised about faith in local priests, faith in the governance structure of the Catholic Church, and faith in the judicial system, civil and criminal, to respond to these allegations of wrongdoing."

Imesch testified under oath for several hours Aug. 11. The transcript of that deposition, however, is sealed from public view by order of DuPage County Judge Stephen Culliton.
Culliton is presiding over a Glen Ellyn man's lawsuit against the diocese and former priest Ed Stefanich, who was defrocked after being convicted of sexually abusing a Woodridge girl in the 1980s.

To date, this is the only civil lawsuit against the Joliet Diocese that has not been tossed out of court because of when the alleged molestations occurred. The man claims he only recently recalled the abuse alleged to have happened 35 years ago, and repressed memory claims are exempt from the statute of limitations.

Posted by kshaw at 07:46 AM

Priest: I fathered twins, but I didn't abuse them

LOWELL (MA)
Lowell Sun

By LISA REDMOND, Sun Staff

LOWELL -- Theadora and Alexandra Peterson say their father abused and rejected them years ago.

Their father just happens to be a priest.

The twins, now 20, have filed a lawsuit in Lowell Superior Court alleging that Rev. Lucien Richard, a priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Lowell, has refused to acknowledge them as his daughters, yet subjected them to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Richard admits he fathered the girls during an affair with a college student two decades ago, but denies allegations that he rejected and abused them.

When the twins were young, the Oblates were advised that Richard had fathered the two girls and about the alleged abuse. Nevertheless, the community continued to support Richard as a priest and “failed to take steps to terminate or reduce his abuse,” according to the lawsuit.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 AM

November 25, 2005

Inuit orgs praise residential school deal

CANADA
Nunatsiaq nEWS

JIM BELL

Three of Canada’s regional Inuit organizations are praising a $2 billion comprehensive settlement deal for aboriginal residential school survivors that Anne McLellan, the deputy prime minister, announced at a press conference in Ottawa this past Wednesday.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuvialuit Regional Council, and the Makivik Corp. all said this week that they support the agreement, which offers compensation to all Inuit, Métis and First Nations survivors of residential schools associated with the federal government.

The deal is partly based on a report done by the Assembly of First Nations in the fall of 2004, which sought to find ways of fixing the federal government’s ailing dispute resolution plan for residential school survivors.

Posted by kshaw at 05:54 PM

Officials, aboriginal leaders open talks

CANADA
Arizona Daily Sun

KELOWNA, British Columbia (AP) -- Indigenous leaders came to this former frontier town Thursday to hash out with Canadian officials a multibillion-dollar plan to fight poverty and disease on native reserves and settle damage claims for mistreatment.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, participating in the two-day summit along with the premiers of Canada's 13 provinces and territories, got a jump on talks Wednesday by proposing a $1.7 billion payment for aboriginal victims of sexual and psychological abuse during forced Christian schooling.

Some 100,000 children were required to attend such residential schools over the past century, and the sad history of their abuse has long been cited by Indian leaders as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reserves.

Posted by kshaw at 05:51 PM

UNITED CHURCH WELCOMES RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS AGREEMENT

CANADA
CCN Matthews

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 23, 2005) - In response to today's government announcement regarding an Agreement in Principle toward a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, The United Church of Canada has released the following statement:

The United Church of Canada welcomes the Agreement in Principle on a comprehensive resolution package for former students of Indian Residential Schools announced this morning by the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

The agreement is the result of a negotiation process launched under the Political Accord of May 30, which appointed the Hon. Frank Iacobucci as the federal negotiator and mandated him to recommend a lasting and fair resolution package. The negotiations included the federal government, the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations, the churches, and legal counsel for former students.

The United Church is pleased that the resolution package not only addresses the issues of compensation to former students for the common experience of attending the schools and compensation for individual abuses, but also provides resources for healing programs, a truth and reconciliation process, and commemoration. The United Church is committed to fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.

Posted by kshaw at 05:47 PM

Residential schools settlement reached

CANADA
The B.C. Catholic

By DEBORAH GYAPONG

OTTAWA (CCN) – An offer by 41 Catholic religious orders and dioceses is included in a historic Nov. 23 agreement-in-principle to settle Indian residential schools abuse claims.

“This is a total, complete, comprehensive settlement of everything involved with residential schools,” said Saskatoon lawyer Rod Donlevy, who represented the 41 Catholic entities in the negotiations. “This is a good thing for everybody.”

“Residential schools is an issue that’s been tearing up people for years,” he told CCN in a telephone interview from his office after the announcement.

Posted by kshaw at 05:42 PM

$2B in compensation for abused natives

CANADA
Metro News

The federal government is offering $2 billion in reparation payments to ease the plight of aboriginals who fell prey to rape, beatings and emotional abuse in church-run residential schools.

Though the agreement in principle must still be approved by the courts, native leaders and government officials said the compensation package will help mitigate what one called “the terrible and tragic legacy of our shared past.”

“Today is an historic milestone on the path towards reconciliation and healing for the thousands of First Nation individuals who have suffered and who continue to suffer from the effects of residential schools abuse,” said Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Posted by kshaw at 05:16 PM

Reorganization plan may be abuse claimants’ best bet

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

11/25/2005 Ed Langlois
Sex-abuse claimants will get paid much sooner, and possibly more, if they accept a reorganization plan set out by the Archdiocese of Portland last week.

Waiting for resolution in a dispute over parish and school ownership will delay payment of claims perhaps for years. And if the archdiocese prevails, the compensation will be only about half as much as under last week’s proposal.

The likely pool of funds to pay disputed compensatory claims would shrink from $40.5 million to $21.5 million, says a disclosure statement filed by the archdiocese.

In the statement, the archdiocese said engaging the property dispute is in no one’s best interest, since the case could take years to go through appeals.

The archdiocese’s plan “provides the best opportunity for the claimants to receive compensation for their claims without delay,” said archdiocesan attorney Tom Stilley, adding that claims that cannot be settled in the process can still be filed in District Court.

Posted by kshaw at 05:05 PM

Advent teaches we’re not in control — God’s light can help

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

11/25/2005 Archbishop John Vlazny

Advent is as long as it can possibly be this year — four full weeks. It all begins on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27. Advent, that wonderful season of hope, provides us with a time to celebrate quietly and purposefully the coming of the Lord Jesus among his people. Advent is a time of great expectation. It is a time when the prophets speak to us in Scripture about the one who comes with justice and peace. Parents see expectation in the faces of their children. We all long to teach them about the birth of Jesus as they wait for the coming of Santa Claus.

Last year in Advent I heard about the situation in Ireland back in the 17th century when the English armies were occupying the country. The King’s army had been sent to suppress the “Roman” religion of the Irish peasants. Priests were outlaws. They were all forced to minister on the run and celebrate the sacraments in secret.

But the Irish were not easily intimidated. When Christmas came, they placed burning candles in their windows and left their doors unlocked. The occupation troops were suspicious and wanted to know what this was all about. The people explained that the candles were lighted and the doors left open so that Mary and Joseph, looking for a place to stay on Christmas Eve, would find their way to their homes where they would be welcome. Of course the English thought this was just another silly “superstition” and they let it go. But the lighted candles were really a signal to any priest in hiding that this was a “safe” house where he could come in and offer Mass on that most holy night. ...

On the first Wednesday of Advent, Nov. 30, we shall be observing our first Ember Day of the new liturgical year. This is a time I have asked all the Catholics of western Oregon to set aside for prayer and fasting. Our intention once again is for the healing of the victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and their eventual reconciliation with the church. We pray too for our perseverance in continuing the evangelizing mission of the church, in spite of all the obstacles and distractions.

The unremitting anxiety, unexpected longevity and mounting frustration that have accompanied the scandal have made life challenging for all of us. We like to be in control. Clearly we are not in control this time. When you stop to think about it, a major problem of the human family right from the very beginning was its desire to be in control, to be like gods. That’s what led to the downfall of Adam and Eve. It can lead to our downfall as well.

Posted by kshaw at 04:55 PM

Cash for residential schools a temporary fix

CANADA
The Province

Friday, November 25, 2005

For years, First Nations people in Canada have endured a silent pain. A pain that no one can possibly understand unless you have been there.

The federal government's agreement to compensate those who attended residential school shows a little more understanding to why we have so many problems in modern society.

Money is the only means by which modern-day government can try to deal with the pain and suffering of those lost in the cities, homes and their own cultures.

The sad reality is the products and services that the money will provide will be temporary.

Posted by kshaw at 04:40 PM

Aboriginal settlement welcomed

CANADA
Western

By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer

Church leaders have heralded as historic a $2-billion package aimed at compensating tens of thousands of Aboriginal people who were forced into residential schools.

"I agree with the Assembly of First NationsAbuse Tracker Chief Phil Fontaine that this truly is a historic moment, a moment for the ages for sure," said Providence Sister Gloria Keylor, spokesperson for a coalition of 41 religious communities with a stake in the residential schools debacle.

"I think this is a fair package. I think it is a package that will bring closure to the past. That's our prayer, that this will bring closure to the past and allow us to open a new door to the future."

Posted by kshaw at 04:38 PM

Residential school cash from federal libs?

CANADA
Kamloops This Week

By DALE BASS
Staff reporter
Nov 25 2005

As the First Nations community celebrated a settlement package announced by the federal government for residential school survivors, Evelyn Camille wasn't feeling very satisfied.
The survivor of the Kamloops Residential School said she is unhappy the agreement-in-principle doesn't help the families of survivors who have died.
"They still matter," she said of those who are ineligible because of death. "Their children should continue to fight for their rights because what happened affected everyone in the family. They've also had to live with what happened to their parents."
Camille lived at the Kamloops school run by the Roman Catholic Church from 1945 to 1955 and said she endured many indignities. Her braids were cut, she was doused in a chemical "to supposedly kill bugs," beaten and sexually assaulted. The insistence by school staff that the children only speak English and adhere to non-First Nations customs "took our language and our culture."

Posted by kshaw at 03:58 PM

Liberal Government reaches deal on residential schools

CANADA
Liberal.ca

November 25, 2005

The Government of Canada has reached an Agreement in Principle with the Assembly of First Nations, legal representatives of former students of Indian residential schools and representatives of the churches involved in running those schools regarding a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian residential schools.

The agreement, which still requires court approval, includes a $1.9-billion payment package as well as a variety of measures to help abused Aboriginals and their families with healing and reconciliation.

“It is my sincere belief, and that of the Government of Canada, that all of these elements taken together will promote reconciliation and the resolution of the Indian residential school legacy,” said Public Security Minister Anne McLellan.

Posted by kshaw at 03:55 PM

Report of the Acting General Secretary

CANADA
The Anglican Church of Canada

For Action:
Prayer support for Residential Schools negotiations
That this Council of General Synod, with the full support of the Plan B Task Force, call the church to prayer on behalf of all those involved in the negotiations between the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, legal counsel for former students, the Assembly of First Nations, and legal counsel and others representing Church entities, that these negotiations will result in a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada.

Rationale:

On May 30th, 2005, the Government of Canada announced the appointment of the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as the Government’s negotiator to lead discussions toward a just and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools (see Appendix 1). At the same time, the Government of Canada signed a Political Agreement with the Assembly of First Nations, naming the AFN as playing a key role in the negotiations (see Appendix 2).

Posted by kshaw at 03:54 PM

Sex Abuse Investigator Accused Of Molestation

JOLIET (IL)
CBS 2

(AP) JOLIET The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet says a clinical psychologist who reviewed sexual abuse complaints against its priests has resigned after himself being accused of molesting two boys nearly 30 years ago.

The psychologist, James Carger of Riverside, has denied the allegations, but says he resigned to avoid impeding the work of the Diocesan Review Committee. Carger has led that committee since May of 2003.

Posted by kshaw at 03:48 PM

Area minister arrested and charged with abuse

MARYLAND
Catonsville Times

A Woodlawn minister with an international following has been arrested in connection with five cases of alleged child abuse that date between June 2001 and July 2004.

Gerald Fitroy Griffith, 39, of the 1300 block of Peach Tree Court in Bowie, was taken into custody on an arrest warrant Nov. 15 at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Baltimore County police said.

He is charged with sexual abuse to a minor, perverted practice, sodomy, a number of other sex offenses and assault, according to county police.

Posted by kshaw at 03:47 PM

GAY ANGLICAN BLASTS VATICAN

New York Post

November 25, 2005 -- STOCKHOLM — U.S. Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson, who is gay, said yesterday that a new Vatican document barring homosexuals from becoming priests unless they've resisted their sexual tendencies for three years will force people to sin — by lying.

"It's very clear that if you want to be a priest in the Roman Catholic Church and you know you're gay, you have to lie about it," said Robinson. Post Wire Services

Posted by kshaw at 08:47 AM

Sex priests sent to Workington after college abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Times & Star

A CATHOLIC college sent two priests to work at the same church in West Cumbria, despite both admitting that they had sexually abused young boys.

Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire dispatched Father Piers Grant-Ferris and Father Gregory Peter Carroll to Our Lady and St Michael’s Church in Workington after becoming aware of their indecent behaviour.

Father Carroll, now 66, was suspended in 1987 after admitting his crimes to the school’s headmaster.

He was sent to Workington, where he worked as parish priest for 14 years from 1987. Carroll was jailed for four years in September for sexually abusing boys.

Now it has been revealed that Father Piers Grant-Ferris, 72, who served in Workington between 1978 and 1989, had also abused boys at Ampleforth a decade before.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

Vatican Keeps Blurring the Issue

Los Angeles Times

Steve Lopez

The Vatican has spoken, and once again we can only marvel.

If you've got "deep-rooted homosexual tendencies" or practice a "gay culture," the church says, don't bother knocking on the seminary door.

Unless, of course, your "transitory" homosexual tendencies have been driven into submission and "overcome" for at least three years.

I'm not sure how to translate any of this, but let me try.

If you have short-rooted gay tendencies rather than the deep-rooted variety, enjoy the theater but don't get carried away, or if you're capable of living in denial for periods of three years or longer, grab a robe and a pair of sandals and let's talk.

Frankly, I can't tell whether this is a sign of progress or further retreat into the Dark Ages. Church leaders might have been better off continuing to pretend there were no gays in the priesthood, or they could have stuck with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that's made for hundreds of years' worth of comfortable hypocrisy.

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 AM

Pope Benedict, why isn't celibacy enough?

Los Angeles Times

By R. John Kinkel, R. JOHN KINKEL, a former priest, teaches sociology at Baker College in Michigan and is the author of "Chaos in the Catholic Church" (Xlibris, 2005).

THE CATHOLIC Church seems to be unraveling at an astonishing rate. The latest threat to its future comes next week, when the Vatican's Congregation on Catholic Education officially begins scapegoating gay priests — believed to make up 30% or more of the U.S. Catholic clergy — for its sex abuse scandals.

That's when the Vatican has said it will issue regulations banning men who are actively homosexual or have "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from the priesthood. Catholic seminarians — priests in training — who say they are gay will be ordained, under the new rules, only if they have not had sex with another man for four years..

As a former priest who left the church to marry and raise a family, I am sadly sympathetic to gay priests who may quit rather than put up with these absurd and unenforceable homophobic requirements for ordination.

Isn't it enough that the church insists on a celibacy vow? Must it now also insist — for gays only — on celibacy even before entering the priesthood?

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

Gays help expose online predators

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Blade

By LOU CHIBBARO, JR.
Friday, November 25, 2005

Gays involved with a group that conducts controversial online sting operations against adult men who solicit sex from underage teenagers of both sexes are calling on the gay community to take a more visible stand against the sexual exploitation of children and teens.

Perverted Justice, the group some have criticized as vigilante, participated in a Nov. 4 nationwide broadcast of the weekly program “Dateline NBC,” which used hidden cameras to show men arriving at a house in Fairfax County, Va., for that they believed were meetings with underage teens of both sexes for sexual encounters.

Instead, much to their shock and horror, they were greeted by “Dateline NBC” reporter Chris Hansen, who informed them that the “teens” between the ages of 12 and 15 with whom they thought they were about to have a sexual tryst were actually adults members of a group called Perverted Justice. ...

Among those ensnared the Fairfax sting was 55-year-old Rabbi David Kaye, who worked for a national youth group in Rockville, Md. Kaye, believing he was exchanging messages with a 13-year-old male, sent the “teen” a nude photo of himself, Hansen reported.

He also offered to perform oral sex on the youth. The adult who impersonated the teen accepted Kaye’s offer, according to transcripts of instant messages between Kaye and the fictitious minor.

The “teen” then invited Kaye to his house, saying his mother was deceased and his father was away on a trip. When Kaye arrived, he was greeted by Hansen, who began pressing him with questions about why he came to the house to have sex with a 13-year-old.

Several hidden television cameras recorded the encounter between Kaye and Hansen. “Dateline NBC” reported that even before the episode aired, Kaye resigned from his job at the Institute for Jewish Leaders & Values. He also reported finding online a photo of Kaye with two other rabbis later convicted of sexual misconduct.

Posted by kshaw at 08:12 AM

Keeping dark secrets won't heal wounds of priest-abuse victims

DELAWARE
The News Journal

11/25/2005
When Catholic Church officials refuse to release the names of priests who molested children, they call it "privileged information."

Everyone else knows it for what it really is: old-fashioned stonewalling.

Committing grievous crimes and then covering them up for decades doesn't bestow privilege on anyone. So it would best if the secret keepers stopped pretending their stand is based on high-minded principle.

Victims and their families, naturally, view this tragedy a betrayal of trust, as dramatically shown in a recent series of News Journal articles. Unfortunately, in Delaware the legal system failed them too.

Posted by kshaw at 08:11 AM

Former Montgomery Priest Found Dead In His Mobile Home

MONTGOMERY (AL)
WFSA

Nov 24, 2005, 10:56 PM EST

A former well known and controversial priest at Montgomery's St. Peters Catholic Church is dead.

The Archdiocese of Mobile confirms Alexander Sherlock was found dead at his Mobile home Tuesday morning.

The cause of death is not known, but the Archdiocese says Sherlock had been battling cirrhosis of the liver.

Sherlock had been a well-respected priest in Mobile and in Montgomery who often spoke out against the sex-abuse cases rocking the catholic church.

Eventually he resigned from the church admitting he sexually abused at least three minors while serving in Mobile.

Posted by kshaw at 08:06 AM

Canadian natives win £1bn for 70 years' abuse

CANADA
The Times

From David Charter in Washington

CANADA announced yesterday that it will pay Can$2 billion (£1 billion) to former pupils of government boarding schools that were set up to “Christianise” the children of native Indians but which are blamed for decades of physical and emotional abuse.

About 80,000 Canadian aborigines will qualify for a share of the biggest pay-out in the country’s history, which marks a fresh attempt by the Government to atone for systematically trying to strip native children of their language and culture over a period of 70 years.

Native leaders said that the money should be just the first step towards redressing a national tragedy that had left generations spiritually bereft and fuelled deep and continuing social problems.

Canada’s 700,000-strong indigenous communities, known as the First Nations, suffer epidemic rates of alcoholism, drug addiction and sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 AM

LDS CHURCH LOSES SUIT: When lay clergy counsel abuse victims, church is responsible

UTAH
Salt Lake Tribune

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it follows state laws - which vary across the country - on reporting child sexual abuse.
But a jury in Washington state, where the law does not require clergy to report sex-abuse cases, has nevertheless ordered the church to pay at least $2.5 million to two sisters who contend that local church leaders failed to help them when they reported being abused by their stepfather.
It is the first time that a Washington jury has held a religious organization liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress for failing to either report child sexual abuse or to urge the victim to report it to authorities. The LDS Church plans to appeal.
The jurors apparently believed that when religious leaders are in positions where they counsel members of their congregations in such serious matters as sexual abuse, they must do more than strictly adhere to the letter of the law. We agree. They have a responsibility to report the abuse, even when reporting is not required.

Posted by kshaw at 07:55 AM

Reviewer of abuse claims is accused

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 25, 2005

A clinical psychologist who reviewed sexual abuse complaints for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet has resigned amid allegations that he molested two brothers when he worked for the DuPage County Health Department almost 30 years ago.

Dr. James Carger of Riverside resigned immediately after the allegations surfaced in September but vehemently denies that any abuse took place. "There is no truth to it at all," he said.

Carger resigned, he said, because he did not want to impede the work of the Diocesan Review Committee, a volunteer panel that assesses the credibility of abuse allegations against priests. No criminal charges have been brought against him, and no civil lawsuit has been filed.

Kevin Tretter, 31, and Thomas Tretter, 32, contend that Carger molested them during government-subsidized counseling in 1979 shortly after their mother filed for divorce. Carger's work was not connected with the church at that time.

Posted by kshaw at 07:34 AM

Vatican document on homosexuals and seminaries-- full text

Catholic World News

Nov. 22 (CWNews.com) - The following is an unofficial translation by CWN of the full Vatican document.

Congregation for Catholic Education

Instruction concerning the criteria of vocational discernment regarding persons with homosexual tendencies, considering their admission to seminary and to Holy Orders

Introduction

Following the teaching of Vatican II and, in particular, the decree Optatam Totius on priestly formation, the Congregation for Catholic Education has published different documents to promote an adequate formation integral of future priests, offering guidance and precise norms regarding their several aspects. In the meantime also the Synod of Bishops in 1999 reflected on the formation of priests in the present circumstances, with the intent to bring to fulfillment the conciliar doctrine on the subject and to render it more explicit and incisive in the contemporary world. Following this Synod, John Paul II published the post-Synodic apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

Mixed emotions for residential school survivors

CANADA
Kenora Daily Miner

By Mike Aiken
Miner and News
Thursday November 24, 2005

“There’s both happiness and sorrow,” said residential school survivor Louis Cameron.
After learning about the news of a compensation award from the federal government, the Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) First Nation band member said he was happy the wait was over, but sad for the memory of all his family members, who didn’t live long enough to hear it for themselves.
Elder Julia Keewatin of Grassy Narrows agreed. Speaking through an interpreter, she said, “Since the announcement of reparations, many people have died. Do it now, before any more of our people die.”
On Wednesday morning, the federal government announced it would spend $2 billion to compensate those who attended residential schools. An initial award of $10,000 would be distributed to those who simply attended, with another $3,000 for each year of attendance.
The decision does not preclude further action for those who claim for physical or sexual abuse, said Kenora lawyer Doug Keshen, who was at the negotiating table Sunday, when the deal was reached.

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 AM

Ex-teacher, church volunteer gets jail for abusing teens

JOLIET (IL)
The Beacon News

By Bill Bird
STAFF WRITER

JOLIET — A one-time high school teacher and Aurora-area church youth leader will surrender to authorities early next year to begin serving a jail sentence for sexually molesting two teen-age boys at his former home in Naperville.

Lloyd D. Jones, 44, of Michigan City, Ind., will serve six months in Will County Jail beginning Jan. 6 for abusing the youths in 2002 and 2004.

At the time of the molestations, Jones lived in the 2800 block of Gypsum Circle, on Naperville's far southwest side.

He pleaded guilty April 14 in Will County Circuit Court to two felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Judge Carla Alessio-Goode this month sentenced Jones to jail, followed by four years of probation. Jones also must register with Illinois State Police as a convicted sex offender.

Jones is a former drafting teacher at Kennedy High School on Chicago's southwest side. He also was a volunteer youth leader at Calvary Church in Aurora.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

Charges shed light on church: Eastside `cult' is likely hiding members accused of sex abuse, police say

WASHINGTON
King County Journal

2005-11-25
by Noel S. Brady
Journal Reporter

The shadowy history of an Eastside church, recognized by many as a cult, has come into focus with new charges of child molestation and an admission by one former member that he molested an 8-year-old boy.

Steven A. Belzak told King County prosecutors that he began sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy at a home in Sammamish for male members of the Tridentine Latin Rite Church. In his confession, he said the abuse went on for three years, beginning in 2000.

Another church member, 20-year-old Justin Kirkland, is charged with first-degree child rape and first-degree child molestation. And last week prosecutors charged a third man, Michael W. Muratore, 21, with first-degree child molestation.

Kirkland and Muratore remain at large, and investigators believe the so-called cult that reared them is protecting them from prosecution.

``It's most likely that the cult is shielding or hiding them,'' said King County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart. ``This breakaway group is not recognized by the (Roman Catholic) church. They're a cult.''

Posted by kshaw at 07:03 AM

Vatican paper on gays slammed as hypocritical

VATICAN CITY
IOL

November 24 2005 at 02:37AM

Vatican City - A new Vatican document on homosexuality in the Catholic priesthood has touched off a storm of criticism from those who say the church is missing the point and using gays as scapegoats for its sex scandals.

The document, which says the church can admit those who have clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years, is due to be released officially next week.

But it said practising homosexuals and those with "deep-seated" gay tendencies and those who support a gay culture should be barred, a stand which was welcomed by conservatives both in the Catholic Church and in other religions.

Posted by kshaw at 06:58 AM

Judge may drop abuse charges against priest

ROCHESTER (NY)
Star-Gazette

By MICHAEL ZEIGLER
Gannett News Service
November 25, 2005

ROCHESTER - A judge reserved decision Wednesday on a request to dismiss charges that a Roman Catholic priest molested a 14-year-old boy at a Rochester church.

Rochester City Court Judge John E. Elliott said he'll decide Dec. 21 whether misdemeanor charges of third-degree sexual abuse and forcible touching should stand against the Rev. Dennis R. Sewar, 54.

Sewar, who is on sabbatical from St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport, is charged with molesting the boy from 1999 to 2001 when Sewar was pastor of Church of the Annunciation in Rochester.

The accuser, now 20, claimed Sewar touched his clothed genitals about 50 times while he and Sewar watched baseball on a big-screen television in Sewar's private quarters in the church rectory.

Sewar's lawyer, John F. Speranza, asked Elliott to dismiss the charges on the ground that a document filed by police to bring Sewar to court was legally defective. The document is supposed to be called an accusatory instrument but was titled warrant application.

Posted by kshaw at 06:46 AM

Can gays be priests?

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

Timothy Radcliffe

The long-awaited Vatican document on homosexuality in the priesthood, due to be published next week, has been substantially leaked. Here the former Master of the Dominicans assesses what it has to say about gay men and their suitability for holy orders

TWO WEEKS AGO I was in Nova Scotia, giving a retreat for the bishops and priests of eastern Canada. A priest sent up a piece of paper with a question that he was too shy to ask publicly: “Will this document on the admission of gays to the priesthood mean that I am not welcome anymore? Does it mean that people like me are second-class priests?” I have heard this same question, in one form or another, from priests all over the world. The forthcoming Vatican document on homosexuality and the priesthood (see page 40) is the focus of intense anxiety, which is why we must attend to exactly what it says.

There are two principles to bear in mind: first, we must give it as positive an interpretation as possible. This is not a matter of putting a positive spin on documents but of trying to discern what are the true intentions of the authors. Our media are filled with accusation and this document will be denounced as another attack on gay people. This denunciation also occurs within the Church. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has often given tendentious interpretations of the writings of theologians. Theologians, in turn, give the most negative possible interpretation to Vatican documents. Nothing good can come from Rome! As a Church we must find another way of listening to each other, which really attends to what is said. Justice and truthfulness demand this.

Posted by kshaw at 06:42 AM

November 24, 2005

Registration case ruling is delayed

Posted: Thursday, Nov 24, 2005 - 09:38:54 am PST
By KEITH KINNAIRD
News editor
IDAHO
Bonner County Daily Bee

SANDPOINT -- A ruling was put off Wednesday in a case of a Sagle man accused of failing to register as a sex offender in Idaho after being convicted of a misdemeanor offense in Washington.

Judge Barbara Buchanan heard argument from attorneys on both sides of the case during a preliminary hearing, but opted to issue a written ruling after she's had a chance to pore over Idaho and Washington's registration requirements.

"This situation is way too important to make a decision today," she said.

Barry Lee Johnson, the 51-year-old pastor of New Song Bible Church, is accused of failing to register as a sex offender after moving to Idaho in the mid-1990s. Johnson, according to Prosecutor Phil Robinson, was convicted in 1992 of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes in Benton County, Wash.

The offense was classified as a gross misdemeanor. Johnson's Coeur d'Alene attorney, Clark Peterson, argued the crime his client was convicted of in Washington is not substantially comparable to anything in the list of offenses in Idaho that warrant registration. Moreover, the state of Washington did not require Johnson to register as a sex offender at the time of his conviction, he said.

Posted by kshaw at 03:17 PM

Church should have heeded lesson of history on child abuse

IRELAND
One in Four

The Catholic Church might appear to be facing its gravest and most desperate hour. Not so.

Historian JF Loughlin of Catholic Encyclopaedia fame wrote of the challenges that confronted Pope Adrian VI upon his investiture in 1522: “His Holiness had to reform a court that thrived on corruption and detested the name of reform.”

In his first major address to his Christian flock, Pope Adrian launched a scathing attack on the Church, which was rocked by scandals of all sorts. He declared: “So much had vice become the accepted norm that those who are polluted are no longer aware of the stench. I ask you, my brethren, where will it end?”

He warned that if God permitted the persecution of the Church it was because of the sins of men, and especially those of prelates and clergy. Among the sins that Adrian listed was sexual abuse of children by men of the cloth.

Posted by kshaw at 01:24 PM

Put them on trial

IRELAND
One in Four

Public want Cardinal and bishop to face courts

Eight out of 10 Irish people believe Cardinal Desmond Connell and Bishop Brendan Comiskey should stand trial for failing to protect child abuse victims.

A new survey for the Star found that the public strongly feels that in the wake of the Ferns Inquiry into sex abuse by priests, all senior clerics who covered up for child abusing colleagues should face the rigours of the law.

Posted by kshaw at 01:15 PM

Catholic Religion Teacher and Alleged Locutionist Accused Of Possessing Child Porn

NEW JERSEY
Spirit Daily

HAMMONTON, N.J. -- A New Jersey high school teacher [and alleged locutionist] is under arrest, charged by the federal government with possessing child pornography. Michael McColgan, 34, is a religion teacher and a coach at St. Joseph High School in Hammonton. The FBI said that McColgan sent child pornography to an undercover agent while talking in an online chat room. They later raided his Blackwood home and found 40 images of child pornography on his computer. McColgan is not only a religion teacher, but he is also a coach of golf, soccer and bowling. Students found it hard to believe McColgan would be accused of such a crime. "Shocking. Very shocking. He had to be the most holy man I ever knew," said one student. "He was such an influence on us.

Posted by kshaw at 12:54 PM

Diocese considers future of vicar general

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Dustin Lemmon

The Catholic Diocese of Davenport is considering the future of Monsignor Drake Shafer and whether he’s suitable for ministry.

Shafer, the diocese’s vicar general, has denied the allegations made by a West Burlington, Iowa, man, who is identified in court records as “John Doe.” The abuse allegation is the only one against Shafer in his 30 years as a priest.

According to a diocese press release issued Tuesday, a review board met with Shafer, his attorney, his accuser, the accuser’s attorney and several witnesses Nov. 5.

Posted by kshaw at 12:45 PM

Group says convicted priest lives too close to day care

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post-Dispatch

By Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/23/2005

An advocacy group for victims of priest sex abuse is calling for a criminal investigation into whether the Rev. Thomas Graham, convicted in August of sodomy, broke the law by living too close to a Shrewsbury day-care center.

Graham's lawyer says his client did not break the law and was complying with the conditions of his bond, which ordered him to stay at Regina Cleri, a home for retired priests on South Laclede Station Road.

On Aug. 31, a St. Louis jury found Graham guilty of sodomizing a young boy in the rectory of the Old Cathedral sometime in the late 1970s.

Under Missouri law, a person convicted of certain sexual offenses, including statutory or forcible rape, statutory or forcible sodomy and child molestation, is forbidden from living within 1,000 feet of a school or child care facility.

Posted by kshaw at 11:08 AM

Canon law system is compromised

IRELAND
One in Four

The church shelters child molesters and accused child molesters, writes Jason Berry

The Ferns report raises a question: should the Vatican enjoy the exemptions of international law in its handling of clergy sex offenders? Would diplomatic correspondence between the papal nuncios in Dublin and their Vatican superiors shed light on possibly illegal strategies? Such questions have relevance in light of the church's canon law system.

It can penalise priests who abuse, yet is hopelessly compromised.

Consider Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State. This autumn Cardinal Sodano invited Fr Marcial Maciel - who faces 20 allegations of paedophilia - to a prestigious religious conference at Lucca in Italy.

The cardinal has a history of helping the disgraced Mexican founder of the Legionaries of Christ, a religious congregation with a house of studies at Leopardstown in Dublin. Cardinal Sodano pressured Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to halt a 1998 canon law case seeking Fr Maciel's excommunication. It was initiated by eight former legionaries at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Posted by kshaw at 10:22 AM

Redress board urged to alert victims

IRELAND
One in Four

The Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB) has been criticised for not being more vigorous in alerting people to the fact that its closing date for compensation applications to the board is December 15th.

Questions have also been raised about reports that the average settlements have dropped from €78,000 to €76,500.

Tom Cronin, of the Irish Survivors of Institutional Abuse group, said there were still former residents who were not aware they were entitled to compensation and who were unaware their legal and other costs would be covered if they applied to the board. He knew such people.

Posted by kshaw at 09:50 AM

Innocent priests need to be protected

IRELAND
One in Four

Things are rarely as simple as they seem. Today most people probably agree that as soon as an allegation of child abuse is made against someone, that person should be suspended from their job while an investigation takes place.

The trouble is, even if the person is cleared, lasting damage will have been done to his or her reputation. Frankly, it would be better to be suspected of murder than of child abuse.

With this kind of thinking in mind, it has been decided in Britain that teachers accused of child abuse will not be automatically suspended while an investigation takes place.

One of the teachers' unions has said staff must be given more protection against "false and malicious claims which are destroying careers and reputations".

What of priests? Should they be automatically suspended or not?

Posted by kshaw at 09:34 AM

Brazil priest sentence fuels pedophilia scandal

BRAZIL
The Union Tribune

By Raymond Colitt
REUTERS

10:38 a.m. November 23, 2005

BRASILIA, Brazil – A Brazilian court has sentenced a Catholic priest to 14 years and eight months in prison for his second pedophilia conviction amid concern of a looming child abuse scandal in the world's largest Catholic country.
Father Tarcisio Tadeu Spricigo was convicted of sexually abusing two boys in the city of Anapolis, in the central Brazilian state of Goias, a local court said Wednesday.

"He enticed needy children with money and promises to help with their homework," the sentencing judge, Ana Maria Rosa, told Reuters.

The incidents involved a 13-year-old altar boy, who lived in the parish house with Spricigo between 2001 and 2002, and a 5-year-old boy, Rosa said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:30 AM

$2b residential school deal a start, Knockwood says

CANADA
The Chronicle Herald

By JENNIFER STEWART Staff Reporter and The Canadian Press

It is difficult to put a dollar amount on the abuse and cultural genocide thousands of native children suffered at residential schools across Canada, survivor Noel Knockwood said Wednesday in Dartmouth.

The 73-year-old is a former student at the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia. He said the more than $2 billion in payments and healing programs the federal government is proposing for survivors isn’t enough, but it’s a start.

"It’s pretty difficult to measure a cultural loss and it is rather hard to put a dollar figure on any kind of an issue such as that," Mr. Knockwood said. "Regardless, it’s a start and it might be the beginning of something a little bit better."

The settlement, announced in Ottawa on Wednesday, has yet to be approved in court, but if it is, the survivors of rapes, beatings and cultural isolation would likely be paid by the end of next year. Most survivors now average 60 years old and many are sick or dying.

Posted by kshaw at 09:25 AM

Jacquelynne Willcox: Purge of gays will not help Vatican

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

November 25, 2005
AT a time when a significant group of thinkers in the Catholic Church are seriously searching for ways to make priestly vocations more user friendly, others are on a witch-hunt to make them less attractive to a core group ideally suited to the lifestyle: gay men.

Indeed, there must certainly be a significant group of Australian priests and brothers busily praying for divine protection from the church's latest crusade to rid its parish of the hordes of homosexuals its own princes only recently encouraged.

For it is only 10 years or so since some Sydney seminarians were being told not to worry about their homosexuality. Like married and even women priests, the progressives asserted, homosexuality would be overtly, rather than covertly, accepted as an optional priestly lifestyle. I understand that policy relaxation has recently been abandoned, in Sydney seminaries at least.

In the meantime, the wise men at the Vatican who ordered, and are carrying out a purge of homosexual - celibate and active - men appear to have confused homosexuality with pedophilia and sexual abuse. In their zeal to correct and avoid the sins of their past, they have set upon a group particularly well suited to the extraordinary counter-culture that the priesthood is. That is to say, a life without women and children.

Posted by kshaw at 09:22 AM

Vatican document on homosexuals raises series of delicate questions

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A long-awaited Vatican document drew a sharp line against priestly ordination of homosexuals, but in the process raised a series of delicate questions for church leaders and seminary officials.

The six-page instruction, prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education, said the church cannot ordain men who are active homosexuals, who have "deeply rooted" homosexual tendencies or who support the "gay culture." Those who have overcome "transitory" homosexual tendencies, however, could be ordained, it said.

The document, expected to be released at the Vatican in late November, was published online Nov. 22 by an Italian news agency.

Posted by kshaw at 08:34 AM

Vatican 'Gay' Priest Ban Forcing Dissidents Out of the Closet

ROME
LifeSite

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, November 23, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The leak of what has been confirmed by various sources as the Vatican document barring from entering the Catholic priesthood men who are homosexual, has spurred comments from various leaders within the Catholic church. Some of those comments have exposed the commentators as willingly and resolutely opposed to the Catholic teaching on the matter of homosexuality and the priesthood.

In addition, faithful Catholics both within the hierarchy and among the laity have spoken up to defend the Vatican's statements, despite animosity from the media guardians of political correctness.

Apart from the usual anti-Catholic groups, which to no-one's surprise used the leaked document as yet another opportunity to bash the Church, Catholic priests opposed to the Vatican stand have publicly exposed their dissent from Christian moral teaching. In addition to Rochester, NY, Bishop Matthew H. Clark, and Rev. Timothy Radcliffe, the former international leader of the Dominican Order, who came out against the long-standing Vatican position in recent weeks (see coverage http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/nov/05111406.html ), the controversial Archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has, through the diocesan spokesman, not surprisingly also come out against Catholic teaching as re-emphasized by the Vatican document.

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

Christian brother admits to 10 sex assaults on students

AUSTRALIA
Catholic News

A Melbourne Christian Brother has admitted he sexually assaulted 10 students at a Catholic high school in Melbourne more than 30 years ago.

The Age reports that Peter John Toomey, then a teacher at Trinity Regional College in Brunswick, would order his victims, aged 11 and 12, to sit on his knee while he fondled them.

The County Court heard that Toomey would also watch his pupils change for swimming and sports classes, and two victims recalled his students being made to line up naked — inspected on the basis they were "being checked for mud".

Toomey, now 56, of Brunswick, yesterday pleaded guilty to 10 counts of indecent assault in the 1970s. One victim regarded Toomey as "a cruel figure" who would strap the boys "for almost anything".

Posted by kshaw at 08:27 AM

Indigenous Canadians taken from families awarded compensation

CANADA
ABC

Reporter: David Mark
TONY EASTLEY: The Canadian Government has announced a $2.2 billion compensation package for children who were taken from their families and educated in church run schools.

Around 90,000 people will be eligible for the compensation, receiving a minimum of $11,500 plus an extra $3,000 for every year they spent in the residential schools.

Many who claim they suffered psychological and sexual abuse at the schools will receive much larger packages.

The package is being hailed by Canada's Indigenous community for bringing comfort and a sense of victory for the survivors of the residential schools, most of which were shut down by the mid 1970's.

Posted by kshaw at 08:20 AM

Natives leery of compensation

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

By BROOKES MERRITT, EDMONTON SUN

Former students of notoriously abusive residential schools for aboriginal children are leery of Paul Martin's $4-billion compensation promise, and wonder if it's just pre-election posturing.

And they worry the federal package might overshadow the other guilty parties in this whole ordeal - the churches who ran the schools.

The package is expected to provide any child who attended a residential school - whether or not they were the victim of sexual or physical abuse - with $10,000 for their first year at the school, and $3,000 for every year after that.

"No amount of money can bring back what was taken from us," said Mel Buffalo, head of the Indian Association of Alberta.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Priests Citing New Problem in Gay Policy

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: November 24, 2005
A day after the disclosure of a new Vatican directive that deters most gay men from joining the priesthood, some priests say they are shocked by one easily overlooked clause. It says that spiritual directors and confessors in seminaries "have the duty to dissuade" any candidates "who show deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from joining the priesthood.

These priests said this would turn the confessional and spiritual counseling sessions, which seminarians previously regarded as private and supportive meetings, into a tool for weeding gay men out of seminaries.

"The relationship between a seminarian and his confessor or his spiritual director should not be about enforcing church documents, but to serve as spiritual guides," said the Rev. Michael Herman, a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago who has recently publicly identified himself as gay in order to speak out against the Vatican's action.

"They've gone so far as to say your confessor's and spiritual adviser's role is to talk you out of" becoming a priest, Father Herman said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Pastor, wife face molestation raps

PHILIPPINES
Daily Star

BY GILBERT BAYORAN
A pastor and his wife charged for the molestation of a 16-year-old high school student, and a Bago resident accused of raping his niece, were arrested separately in the upland areas of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, the police said yesterday.

Nabbed by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Moises Nifras in Brgy. Prosperidad, San Carlos City on Nov. 22 were Efren Tachado, 41, a pastor of the Christian and Ministry Alliance, and his wife, Shalem, 39.

Senior Inspector Victorino Romanillos, acting police chief of San Carlos, yesterday said the Tachado couple was charged in court for three counts of sexual abuse, under Section 5(b), Article 3 of RA 7610.

Police investigations show that the victim who was staying at the house of the couple, was allegedly molested twice by Efren on Jan. 29 and Feb. 14 this year.

Posted by kshaw at 08:05 AM

Ex-priest surrenders license

MENDHAM (NJ)
Observer-Tribune

MENDHAM — A former Catholic priest who served as a social worker at the Daytop drug rehabilitation center and faces charges of sexually abusing children, doesn’t have the “makeup to sexually abuse anyone,” his defense attorney said on Monday.

The former priest, Richard J. Mieliwocki, 58, of Madison, faces five to 10 years in prison for endangering the welfare of a child and 18 months for criminal sexual contact.

Mieliwocki was charged in 2004 with the abuse of four boys at the Daytop facility located off Route 24 in Mendham. Mieliwocki’s attorney, Thomas C. Pluciennik of Morris Plains, rejected a plea offer in October and said he is waiting for crucial criminal information or “discovery,” to help prepare for trial.

“This is my third request for discovery from the prosecutor’s office. We aren’t going anywhere in this case until I receive discovery. This will be an interesting case when it goes to trial,” Pluciennik said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:02 AM

Pope's edict prohibits gay priests

ROME
The Guardian

John Hooper in Rome
Thursday November 24, 2005
The Guardian

Gay activists reacted with dismay yesterday to a document, endorsed by the Pope, telling Roman Catholic seminaries worldwide they had a duty to weed out homosexual candidates for the priesthood.

The only exceptions allowed were for those with "homosexual tendencies" that were "merely the expression of a transitory problem such as ... uncompleted adolescence". And candidates would need to show such urges had been "clearly overcome" years before being ordained.

The guidelines, stricter than earlier reported, were welcomed by conservative Catholics. George Weigel, a leading American lay theologian, said the church was obliged "to make sure the men it ordains are capable of living lives of celibate chastity".

Campaigners said the uncompromising policy would pave the way for more sex abuse. Richard Kirker, general secretary of Britain's Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said it would encourage candidates to deny their sexual orientation during selection. In the US, Joe Solomonese, of the Human Rights Campaign, said: "When the church should be taking responsibility for the harm created by a devastating sex abuse scandal, they are instead using gay people as scapegoats."

Posted by kshaw at 07:52 AM

Vatican's document on gays sparks anger

VATICAN CITY
Cape Times

November 24, 2005

By Philip Pullella

Vatican City: A new Vatican document on homosexuality in the Catholic priesthood has touched off a storm of criticism from those who say the church is missing the point and using gays as scapegoats for its sex scandals.

The document, which says the church can admit those who have clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years, is due to be released officially next week.

But it said practising homosexuals and those with "deep-seated" gay tendencies and those who support a gay culture should be barred, a stand which was welcomed by conservatives both in the Catholic Church and in other religions.

"This looks like a diversionary tactic to deflect public attention away from the Vatican's real problem which is child sex abuse by clergy," said Peter Tatchell of the British gay pressure group OutRage!

"The Pope should be tackling paedophiles within the church, not witch-hunting gay people," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Gay and Lesbian Catholics: Everything & Nothing -- More Questions Than Answers!

CHICAGO (IL)
All American Patriots

CHICAGO, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Catholics worldwide have reacted angrily to the leaked text of the Vatican's "Instruction Concerning the Criteria of Vocational Discernment Regarding Persons With Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to Seminaries and Holy Orders."

New Ways Ministry USA, the US Rainbow Sash Movement, and the Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, based in London, UK have issued a joint reaction claiming that the document says everything and nothing, raising more questions than answers.

What is now assumed to be the definitive text appeared two days ago on the website of Adista, a progressive Catholic news agency in Rome, with a headline, "Ethical Cleansing."

The "Instruction" was signed by the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (CCE), Polish Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, and its Secretary, Canadian Archbishop Michael Miller, on November 4. The document received approval from Pope Benedict XVI on August 31, then ordering its publication. The text has been prepared jointly by the CCE and the Congregation for Divine Worship & the Discipline of the Sacraments. Significantly, the Vatican's department dealing with religious communities, as well as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, do not appear to have had prime roles in its formulation.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 AM

Judge reserves ruling in abuse case against priest

ROCHESTER (NY)
Democrat & Chronicle

Michael Zeigler
Staff writer

(November 24, 2005) — A judge reserved decision Wednesday on a request to dismiss charges that a Roman Catholic priest molested a 14-year-old boy at a Rochester church.

Rochester City Court Judge John E. Elliott said he would decide Dec. 21 whether misdemeanor charges of third-degree sexual abuse and forcible touching should stand against the Rev. Dennis R. Sewar, 54.

Sewar, who is on sabbatical from St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport, is charged with molesting the boy from 1999 to 2001 when Sewar was pastor of Church of the Annunciation on Norton Street.

The alleged victim, now 20, claimed Sewar touched his clothed genitals about 50 times while he and Sewar watched baseball on a big-screen television in the church rectory.

Sewar's attorney, John F. Speranza, asked Elliott to dismiss the charges on the ground that a document filed by police to bring Sewar to court was defective. The document is supposed to be called an accusatory instrument but was titled "warrant application."

Posted by kshaw at 07:27 AM

U.S. Catholics disagree over new Vatican decree against gays in the priesthood

UNITED STATES
The Detroit News

By Richard N. Ostling / AP Religion Writer

A new Vatican decree against gays in the priesthood has brought mixed reactions from U.S. Roman Catholic observers, with some seeing notable benefits and others predicting morale problems and a worsening clergy shortage.

The decree, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, is set for release next week. The Italian text was leaked Tuesday, and a Vatican official confirmed its accuracy to The Associated Press.

It says men should not be admitted to seminaries or ordained as priests if they practice homosexuality, have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or "support so-called gay culture." Those with only "transitory" homosexual tendencies must be celibate three years before being ordained as deacons, the step before priesthood.

Some observers said it will be difficult to define what is meant by "deeply rooted" or "transitory" tendencies.

Posted by kshaw at 07:21 AM

Faith, Pope and chastity

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 25, 2005
Page 1 of 3 | Single page
Despite the Vatican's new ban on gay priests, the Catholic Church's struggle with homosexuality is far from over, writes Linda Morris.

BEFORE a Catholic seminarian becomes a deacon, the penultimate step towards priesthood, he makes a vow of chastity. In the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Strathfield, the candidate makes an oath of fidelity to live a life in union with the church and then, wearing a white alb, pledges before the altar:

"I [name], standing here before God and this community, acting with my own free will, declare I will undertake the commitment of celibacy for the rest of my life to serve God and his people through the sacrament of Holy Orders."

The vow has such solemn, binding force in the Catholic Church that the priest can break his vows of chastity only by receiving a formal annulment.

Posted by kshaw at 07:16 AM

Nov 22 Abuse Victims Testify

OHIO
WCPO

Reported and Web Produced by:
Laure Quinlivan
Photographed by: Phil Drechsler
Updated: 11/22/05 19:22:27

(ANCHOR)
VICTIMS OF PRIEST SEXUAL ABUSE ARE PRESSING FOR A CHANGE IN OHIO LAW THEY SAY WILL BETTER PROTECT CHILDREN AND HOLD CHURCH LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE.

OHIO SENATORS HAVE ALREADY PASSED THE BILL, AND TODAY THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TOOK ACTION.

THE I-TEAM'S LAURE QUINLIVAN HAS AN EXCLUSIVE REPORT WITH A LOCAL MAN WHO MADE THE TRIP TO COLUMBUS.

(Laure Quinlivan on set)
TODAY IS THE FIRST TIME THIS 38-YEAR OLD WEST SIDER HAS SPOKEN IN PUBLIC ABOUT HIS ABUSE. HIS WIFE IS ACTIVE IN CHURCH AND HIS KIDS ATTEND CATHOLIC SCHOOL. BUT HE CAN NO LONGER STOMACH CHURCH LEADERS WHO HE BELIEVES ARE FAILING TO PROTECT CHILDREN.

Posted by kshaw at 01:36 AM

November 23, 2005

Local theologian says gays ruling will have 'little impact'

AUSTRALIA
Catholic News

Professor Neil Ormerod of the Australian Catholic University has said that the instruction banning practising homosexuals from admission to Catholic seminaries is not as radical as earlier drafts and would likely have little impact on recruitment practices.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Pope Benedict has approved the instruction, which was leaked early yesterday on the internet before next week's official release and will be sent to seminaries around the world.

"Most of all it still seems to me a negative response to the sexual abuse crisis in our church," Professor Ormerod told the paper.

"What it is doing is presenting a position consistent with the church's teaching on homosexuality," he said. "They are asking for a commitment on the part of seminary candidates to respect the church's teaching."

Posted by kshaw at 10:28 PM

Priest charged with sexual molestation

PHOENIX (AZ)
Monsters and Critics

Nov 23, 2005, 14:34 GMT

PHOENIX, AZ, United States (UPI) -- A Roman Catholic priest in Phoenix who founded an international organization for young people 20 years ago has been charged with molesting teenage boys.

Monsignor Dale Fushek was arrested Monday. He was released on bail and required to wear an electronic monitor and to stay away from anyone under the age of 18.

Fushek faces 10 misdemeanor counts, including indecent exposure, endangering a minor and assaults on teenagers and young men. He denies the charges.

Posted by kshaw at 02:50 PM

County attorney praises cooperation of diocese

PHOENIX (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
November 23, 2005
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, a Catholic, didn’t flinch Monday when he compared the two past Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix bishops and their levels of cooperation in prosecuting priests.

The one with the Midas touch is Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, who arrived in December 2003 to replace Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien, who led the diocese for 21 years.

At a news conference about the 10-count indictment of one-time vicar-general and Mesa priest Monsignor Dale Fushek, Thomas praised the help his office had gotten under Olmsted’s leadership.

"It is striking contrast from the behavior of the prior bishop and his regime of stonewalling and avoiding responsibility for the crimes committed on his watch," Thomas said.

O’Brien was an adversary to former County Attorney Richard Romley, who threatened to charge O’Brien with obstruction of justice unless O’Brien was more forthcoming about decades of misconduct and the reassignment of priests accused of abuse from one parish to another.

Posted by kshaw at 01:16 PM

Ex-Mesa priest named in sex offenses

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths and Mike Branom
Tribune
November 22, 2005

Monsignor Dale Fushek, a dynamic, fiercely popular East Valley Catholic leader once eyed as the next Phoenix Diocese bishop, was arrested Monday on 10 charges of sexual misconduct with men and boys.

Fushek, 53, is the highest-ranking official in the Phoenix Diocese accused of sexual misbehavior. Under Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien, he held the No. 2 leadership role as vicar general.

He also is co-founder of Life Teen, the largest international Catholic program for youth, headquartered in Mesa. It reaches more than 125,000 young people in 950 parishes in 18 countries.

"This is like seeing Mary’s Jesus crucified," said Yvonne Gefroh, a parishioner of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa, where Fushek served for more than 20 years. She and a couple of hundred others came to a special Mass at the church Monday night to pray for him. Some wore buttons reading, "I support Msgr. Dale."

Posted by kshaw at 01:09 PM

Ex-pastor arrested on third charge

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Sun News

By Kelly Marshall
The Sun News

A former Murrells Inlet minister who was indicted last year on two charges of molesting boys was arrested Tuesday on an additional charge of second-degree criminal sexual misconduct with a minor.

Troy Taylor, 36, who led Low Country Community Church in Murrells Inlet, surrendered Tuesday afternoon at the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Neil Johnson.

A bond hearing will be today at the Georgetown County jail, Johnson said.

Taylor's lawyer, Scott Joye, said his client has maintained his innocence on all charges.

"I can't comment, other than to say that Troy has maintained all along that he is not guilty of these charges," Joye said. "He is going to await his day in court."

Posted by kshaw at 12:11 PM

Charges against priest darken rising star

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
November 23, 2005
By 2003, Monsignor Dale Fushek’s star was rising so fast, the Tribune named the Mesa priest one of the "10 People to Watch" in the coming years. It may have been prophetic. The pastor of the dynamic St. Timothy’s Catholic Community was preaching to 8,000 a weekend.

He had just gained the coveted monsignor title and had been been advanced to vicar-general for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. He oversaw construction of the stately Diocesan Pastoral Center. He co-founded the international Catholic youth program, Life Teen, and launched the highly
respected Paz de Cristo homeless kitchen and ministry in Mesa.

He designed the worship service for Pope John Paul II’s Mass in Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium in 1987, then chaperoned Mother Teresa in 1989 in her Valley search for a Missionaries of Charity house site.

And it looked as if Fushek, with his sparkling credentials and personable gifts, was the heir-apparent for bishop appointed by the pope for this diocese.

It was not to be.

Now, the 53-year-old priest is under house arrest in his Phoenix apartment, ordered to have no contact with youth, stripped of his passport, and no longer holding an assignment in the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 11:58 AM

Judge delays call in abuse case against priest

ROCHESTER (NY)
Democrat & Chronicle

Michael Zeigler
Staff writer

(November 23, 2005) — A judge reserved decision today on a request by a Roman Catholic priest to dismiss charges that he molested a 14-year-old boy at a Rochester church.

Rochester City Court Judge John E. Elliott said he'll decide Dec. 21 whether misdemeanor charges of third-degree sexual abuse and forcible touching should stand against the Rev. Dennis R. Sewar, 54.

Sewar, who is on sabbatical from St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport, is charged with molesting the boy from 1999 to 2001 when he was pastor of Church of the Annunciation on Norton Street.

The alleged victim, who is now 20, claimed Sewar touched his clothed genitals about 50 times while he and Sewar watched baseball on a big-screen television in Sewar's private quarters in the church rectory.

Posted by kshaw at 11:53 AM

A Source of Scandal

Beliefnet

By Fr. Gerard Thomas

The recently leaked Instruction concerning the entrance of gay men into seminaries and religious orders was far worse than what I had expected.

Contrary to some media reports that focused on the Vatican’s banning of "sexually active" gay men from the seminaries (anyone--straight or gay--who enters the seminary must be celibate) and stories that zeroed in on "transitory" gays (another way of speaking about basically straight men), the document has a far simpler and more wide-ranging goal: the banning of any man who understands himself as gay. The document explicitly bars those who have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies.”

This is about as broad a ban as you could imagine.

Posted by kshaw at 11:38 AM

Worcester Faithful saddened with reality of actions by Bishop McManus.

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Voice

The continued backlash from the Fr James Aquino scenario continues to grow. Catholics who are and have been faithful to Worcester Bishops have now no room for accommodations. The sad reality that protection of the clergy, and reputation of the Worcester Dioceses comes before what is known to be wrong and inexcusable actions have deluded any chance for reunification of the dioceses.

Some faithful have questioned the ability of Bishop Robert McManus to run the dioceses of Worcester, while others have sought his removal.

The sad reality of the Worcester dioceses remain as such. The Worcester dioceses has paid the lowest clergy abuse settlements in the nation. Clergy abuse victims who the Worcester diocese publicly states were treated with dignity and respect, report being terrorized by Attorney Joanne Goulka of the law office of Griffin and Goulka who represents Travelers Insurance company.

Posted by kshaw at 11:36 AM

Protester Sentenced to Picking Up Trash

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The man who handcuffed himself to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's chair during Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in June was sentenced to 30 days of picking up trash.

James C. Robertson, 58, of Los Angeles pleaded no contest to disturbing a religious service. He was ordered to stay at least 300 yards from Mahony, the cathedral and the Los Angeles Archdiocese's headquarters.

Robertson, who is suing the archdiocese for failing to protect him from two allegedly abusive Catholic brothers, is picking up trash in lieu of 45 days in jail. He was also placed on three years' probation.

Posted by kshaw at 11:19 AM

Vatican: Seminaries must ban active gays from the priesthood

ROME
The Seattle Times

By Daniel Williams and Alan Cooperman
The Washington Post

ROME — The Vatican is ordering seminaries to bar candidates for the priesthood who "practice homosexuality," have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or support "gay culture," according to a document published Tuesday by Adista, a Catholic news agency in Rome.

The long-awaited instruction to seminary directors was scheduled for official release next week. It has been the subject of numerous leaks that have sparked intense debate and led some Catholic leaders, including the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to defend the place of celibate gay priests in the church. But until Tuesday, a full text had not been published.

"The church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture," said the five-page document, which a Vatican official said appeared to be the authentic, final version.

The instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Vatican department in charge of seminaries, is not entirely new. Previous Vatican documents dating back to 1961 have called homosexuality an "intrinsically disordered" condition and have declared gays ineligible for ordination.

Posted by kshaw at 09:57 AM

Accused sex abuser wants to return to diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

November 23, 2005

The top administrative officer for the Davenport Catholic Diocese, accused of child sexual abuse, is seeking to return to duties as a priest.

The Davenport diocese said Tuesday it has empaneled a special 10-member review board to consider the request of Monsignor Drake Shafer .

Shafer was vicar general, second in command in the diocese, when a West Burlington man sued him and the diocese alleging the priest sexually assaulted him in the 1970s. Identified only as John Doe, the plaintiff said he was 14 or 15 at the time.

An April 2002 e-mail Shafer sent to the victim was read in a court hearing on March 19, 2004 . In the message, Shafer said he was drunk on the night in question and apologized for hurting the victim.

"I did not intend to abuse you that night or any other," the e-mail said.

Shafer denied the allegations, but later settled the lawsuit. The diocese also settled with the victim as part of a $9 million settlement in 2004 with several plaintiffs.

Posted by kshaw at 09:52 AM

Vatican paper surfaces, puts limits on gays in priesthood

VATICAN CITY
USA Today

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY
A leaked version of an upcoming Vatican document says men with a homosexual orientation should be denied training for the Roman Catholic priesthood unless they can prove they've been celibate for at least three years and promise to teach Catholic doctrine that gay sex is always wrong.

Seminaries should refuse admission to sexually active gay men or those who "support so-called gay culture," according to a version of the document published Tuesday by the Italian Catholic news service Adista. The Associated Press says an official for the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education authenticated the version scheduled for release next Tuesday.

The document, which has been in the works since 1974, is intended to guide bishops and seminary directors on choosing, training and ordaining priests. Pope Benedict XVI signed off on it in August, according to the AP, but the document doesn't have the standing of an infallible teaching.

The church teaches that people with a homosexual orientation deserve love and respect but that gay sex is "intrinsically disordered."

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

In Strong Terms, Rome Is to Ban Gays as Priests

ROME
The New York Times

By IAN FISHER and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: November 23, 2005
ROME, Nov. 22 - A new Vatican document excludes from the priesthood most gay men, with few exceptions, banning in strong and specific language candidates "who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called 'gay culture.' "

The long-awaited document, which has leaked out in sections over the last few months, was published Tuesday in Italian by an Italian Catholic Web site, AdistaOnline.it.

The document appears to allow ordination only for candidates who experienced "transitory" homosexual tendencies that were "clearly overcome" at least three years before ordination as a deacon, the last step before priesthood. It does not define "overcome." Several critics worried that that language would make it nearly impossible for men who believe their basic orientation is gay - but who are celibate - to become priests.

The anticipation of the document has divided Catholics, especially in the United States, igniting contentious debate over whether this is an appropriate response to the recent sex scandals and whether celibate gay men can still be good priests.

Posted by kshaw at 08:08 AM

INSTRUCTION

VATICAN CITY
Bishop Accountability

CONCERNING THE CRITERIA OF VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT REGARDING PERSONS WITH HOMOSEXUAL TENDENCIES IN VIEW OF THEIR ADMISSION TO SEMINARIES AND HOLY ORDERS

INTRODUCTION

In continuity with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and, in particular, with the decree Optatam totius on priestly formation, the Congregation for Catholic Education has published various documents to promote an adequate integral formation of future priests, offering guidelines and precise norms concerning its different aspects. The Synod of Bishops in 1990 also reflected on priestly formation in the current circumstances, with the intention of complementing the conciliar teaching on this issue and make it more explicit and incisive in the contemporary world. Following this Synod, Pope John Paul II published the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis.

In light of this rich teaching, the present Instruction does not intend to dwell on all the issues in the affective or sexual realm that require attentive discernment throughout the entire period of formation. It contains norms regarding a particular issue, made more urgent by the current situation, and that is the admission or not to Seminaries and Holy Orders of candidates that have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

Posted by kshaw at 08:02 AM

Ottawa to unveil $4B for native school abuse

CANADA
CTV

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The federal government is set to compensate thousands of people who suffered abuse and cultural isolation in native residential schools.

Sources say the price tag could top $4 billion for a deal that would see Ottawa offer lump-sum payments to about 86,000 surviving students or descendants of those who have died.

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan is expected to join native leaders for a news conference today.

It's the latest in a whopping list of Liberal funding announcements as MPs prepare to hit the election campaign trail next week.

And it's in addition to at least $4 billion to be committed to fight aboriginal poverty when the prime minister attends a first ministers summit later this week in Kelowna, B.C.

Posted by kshaw at 07:50 AM

US sex charges for Trini pastor

TRINIDAD
Trinidad News

Mark Bassant mbassant@trinidadexpress.com

Wednesday, November 23rd 2005

WELL known Trinidadian pastor Gerald Fitzroy Griffith faces 17 counts of sexual abuse after he was arrested last week in Maryland, Baltimore while waiting to board a flight to London from the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Public information officer Michael Hill of the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) told the Express that Griffith, 39, faces the following sexual charges: three counts of sexual abuse of a minor, five counts of second degree assault, five counts of fourth degree sexual offence, one count of third degree sexual offence, one count of second degree sexual offence, one count of perverted practice and one count of sodomy.

If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in jail.

The charges were all laid by Detective Charles Allan of the Family Crimes Division attached to the BCPD.

They involved four male victims ages 16-23 and one 19-year-old female victim.

Posted by kshaw at 07:40 AM

Site details Vatican policy against gays in priesthood

ROME
Boston Globe

By Tracy Wilkinson and Maria De Cristofaro, Los Angeles Times | November 23, 2005

ROME -- Men who have ''deep-rooted homosexual tendencies" or who sustain a ''gay culture" may not be trained to become Roman Catholic priests, the Vatican says in a new document posted yesterday on a Catholic news website.

However, the church says, if a man had ''transitory" homosexual tendencies that have been ''overcome" for at least three years, he may be admitted to a seminary, the school that trains priests.

The document was quickly criticized by some gay rights sympathizers, who say the church does not understand homosexuality.

Many details of the document had leaked out in advance of the Vatican's official release of the new instructions, scheduled for Nov. 29, most recently in the daily newspaper Il Giornale of Milan nearly two weeks ago. But the Internet publication yesterday by Adista, an Italian Catholic news service, represented the first time the document in its entirety has been disclosed.

The new instructions are basically a reaffirmation of the church's long-standing ban on ordaining active gays into the priesthood. They repeat a 1961 condemnation of homosexual acts but provide more specific guidelines that were ordered partly in response to the sexual abuse scandal plaguing the church.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

12th sex-abuse lawsuit filed against Denver archdiocese

COLORADO
Denver Post

A former student at a Roman Catholic school in Sterling filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the Denver archdiocese of turning a blind eye to child sexual abuse that took place decades ago, the 12th such lawsuit against the archdiocese in recent months.

The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe No. 2, alleges that former priest Harold Robert White sexually abused him in 1968 in a darkened storage room at St. Anthony's Catholic School while he helped White set up tables and chairs for a church event.

The lawsuit filed in Denver District Court alleges that the archdiocese continued to give White unfettered access to altar boys and other children despite being alerted to allegations against him as early as the 1960s.

An archdiocesan spokeswoman said the archdiocese takes seriously any sex abuse allegation and responds "with care for all those involved."

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 AM

Vatican says active gays not welcome in priesthood

VATICAN CITY
Malaysia Star

By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Practising homosexuals should be barred from entering the Roman Catholic priesthood, the Vatican says, taking a strict line on the place of gays in the clergy, an issue that has divided the faithful worldwide.

An eagerly awaited Vatican document said the Church would also bar men with "deep-seated" gay tendencies and those who support gay culture but would admit those who clearly overcame homosexual tendencies for at least three years.

Key excerpts from the official English-language version of the document, to be issued next week, were read to Reuters late on Tuesday by a Vatican prelate in possession of the document.

The document reinforces standing policy that many in the Church believe has not been properly enforced. Its urgency has been highlighted by the 2002 sexual abuse scandal in the United States, which involved mostly abuse of teenage boys by priests.

Posted by kshaw at 07:16 AM

Lewisburg priest loved his parishioners

LEWISBURG (PA)
The Daily Item

November 23, 2005

By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG — The Rev. Patrick Shannon loved his parishioners and would want them to persevere in faith, the Most Rev. Kevin Rhoades, bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese, said during a healing Mass Tuesday evening in Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

The Rev. Shannon was recently removed as priest of Sacred Heart and of St. George's Mission in Mifflinburg after letters were received by the Harrisburg Diocese and the Oblates about an alleged sexual incident involving the priest and a juvenile about 32 years ago or when the priest would have been about 33.

"We need to pray for Father Shannon, his accuser and the Oblate superior," the Rev. Rhoades told a crowded church where many parishoners stood. "We need to support one another in faith, hope and charity."

Before the Mass, Jo Odronic of Lewisburg echoed the mood of many in the congregation about their priest of the past 12 years.

When the announcement came after Mass about two weeks ago of the Rev. Shannon's removal, she said "My heart went right to my throat and my whole body went stiff. I could feel my face drop and the rest of the day was ruined. I couldn't get a grip on myself. I felt we had lost a leader. I was a sheep without a shepherd. We didn't have a chance to say goodbye to him."

Posted by kshaw at 07:14 AM

Abuse victims need support

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/23/2005
Whether the perpetrator was a priest, a baby sitter, a teacher, a family member or a total stranger, victims of child sexual abuse need help to recover from the trauma, experts say.

"The fact is, with trauma -- you can only keep it down so long without its presenting itself somehow in your life," said Valerie Marek, executive director of Survivors of Abuse in Recovery, a nonprofit agency that offers counseling and support to those who have been abused.

Victims -- the ones who are becoming healthier survivors -- say so, too.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

Catholic Document on Priests And 'Gay Culture' Stirs a Debate

WASHINGTON (DC)
New York Sun

By MEGHAN CLYNE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
November 23, 2005

WASHINGTON - A new document refining the Vatican's position on homosexuals in the priesthood will place greater pressure on American bishops, seminary rectors, and local clergy, and may inflame tensions among leaders of the Catholic Church in America, observers said yesterday.

Despite criticism from some quarters, those supportive of the document's stipulations said it might also result in more careful attention being paid to the process by which young men become priests, ultimately proving beneficial to the church.

The document, first made public by an Italian Catholic news agency, Anista, was issued by the church's Congregation for Catholic Education, a group of cardinals and bishops whose responsibilities include overseeing the training of new priests. It provides "instruction concerning the criteria of vocational discernment regarding persons with homosexual tendencies in view of their admission to seminaries and holy orders," and won praise from some orthodox Catholics as an important affirmation of central church teaching on the matter of homosexuality.

Posted by kshaw at 07:04 AM

Vatican closes door on gay seminarians

VATICAN CITY
Albany Times Union

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press
Last updated: 11:18 p.m., Tuesday, November 22, 2005

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican is toughening its stand against gay candidates for the priesthood, specifying in a new document that even men with "transitory" homosexual tendencies must overcome their urges for at least three years before entering the clergy.
Advertisement

A long-awaited "Instruction," due to be released next week, was posted Tuesday on the Internet by the Italian Catholic news agency Adista. A church official who has read the document confirmed its authenticity; he asked that his name not be used because the piece has not been published by the Vatican.

Conservative Roman Catholics who have decried the "gay subculture" in seminaries will likely applaud the policy because it clarifies what the Vatican expects of seminarians and their administrators.

Critics of the policy warned that, if enforced, it will likely result in seminarians lying about their orientation and will decrease the already dwindling number of priests in the United States. Estimates of the percentage of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a research review by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, an author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood."

Posted by kshaw at 07:00 AM

Vatican Reaffirms Restrictions On Gay Clergy

ROME
The Day

By TRACY WILKINSON
& MARIA DE CRISTOFARO
& LOS ANGELES TIMES
Published on 11/23/2005

Rome— Men who have “deep-rooted homosexual tendencies” or who sustain a “gay culture” may not be trained to become Roman Catholic priests, the Vatican says in a new document posted Tuesday on a Catholic news Web site.

However, the church says, if a man had “transitory” homosexual tendencies that have been “overcome” for at least three years, he may be admitted to a seminary, the school that trains priests.

The document was quickly criticized by some gay rights sympathizers, who say the church does not understand homosexuality.

The new instructions are basically a reaffirmation of the church's long-standing ban on ordaining active gays into the priesthood. They repeat a 1961 condemnation of homosexual acts but provide more specific guidelines that were ordered partly in response to the sexual abuse scandal plaguing the church.

Posted by kshaw at 06:58 AM

Vatican closes door on gay seminarians

VATICAN CITY
Dominican Today

VATICAN CITY.– The Vatican is toughening its stand against gay candidates for the priesthood, specifying in a new document that even men with "transitory" homosexual tendencies must overcome their urges for at least three years before entering the clergy.

A long-awaited "Instruction," due to be released next week, was posted Tuesday on the Internet by the Italian Catholic news agency Adista. A church official who has read the document confirmed its authenticity; he asked that his name not be used because the piece has not been published by the Vatican.

Conservative Roman Catholics who have decried the "gay subculture" in seminaries will likely applaud the policy because it clarifies what the Vatican expects of seminarians and their administrators.

Posted by kshaw at 06:56 AM

Sisters win $4.2 million in abuse lawsuit

WASHINGTON
The News Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: November 23rd, 2005 02:30 AM

Two college-age sisters have been awarded $4.2 million in a lawsuit against the Mormon church, a judgment prompted partly by the way a bishop dealt with sexual abuse committed by their stepfather while they were children.

Jessica Cavalieri, 24, and her younger sister, Ashley Cavalieri, 19, were abused at their home in suburban Federal Way during the 1990s. The decision Friday by a King County Superior Court jury could be a landmark in sexual abuse litigation against religious institutions in Washington state, lawyers said.

It’s the first sex-abuse verdict by a jury in a lawsuit against a church in the state and could affect settlements in other abuse cases, including those against the Roman Catholic Church, said Timothy Kosnoff, a lawyer for the Cavalieris.

“The size of the verdict is particularly newsworthy. I think the jury is making a statement,” Kosnoff said.

James Rogers, a lawyer who has represented people claiming they were abused by Catholic priests, agreed.

The Mormon Church would “aggressively pursue an appeal,” said Gordon Conger, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted by kshaw at 06:54 AM

Clerical abuse victims press legislators to lift limit on lawsuits

COLUMBUS (OH)
Toledo Blade

By JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - "Where was the outcry? Where was the outrage?" asked Mike Chakers yesterday as he stood next to his two adult sons.

Both, he told the Ohio House Judiciary Committee, were sexually abused by the same Cincinnati priest more than 20 years ago, and he said he's still listening for the outrage from the Catholic Church.

"My youngest son confided in me not long ago that his first sexual experience when he was just a young boy came literally at the hands of a priest," Mr. Chakers said. "How terribly sick and perverted."

More than 100 people, many of them claiming to be victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy, attended a day-long hearing to voice support for a bill establishing a one-time, one-year window to revive civil cases for which the statute of limitations has long expired.

They told the committee that the bill is about receiving an overdue apology, getting justice, restoring self-respect, and publicly exposing accused members of the clergy. But they also admit that sometimes it's about money.

Posted by kshaw at 06:49 AM

Vatican says active homosexuals unwelcome in priesthood

VATICAN CITY
Napa Valley Register

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 1:08 AM PST

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican says homosexuals who are sexually active or support "gay culture" are unwelcome in the priesthood unless they have overcome their homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.

The long-awaited document is scheduled to be released by the Vatican on Nov. 29. A church official who has read the document confirmed the authenticity of the Internet posting by the Adista news agency. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the document has not yet been officially released by the Vatican.

The document said that "the church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture."

"Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies," it said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:46 AM

November 22, 2005

Mormon church must pay $4.2 million to women abused by stepfather

SEATTLE (WA)
The Olympian

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- Two college-age sisters have been awarded $4.2 million in a lawsuit against the Mormon Church, a judgment prompted partly by the way a bishop dealt with sexual abuse committed by their stepfather while they were children.

Jessica Cavalieri, 24, and her younger sister, Ashley Cavalieri, were abused at their home in suburban Federal Way during the 1990s. The decision Friday by a King County Superior Court jury could be a landmark in sexual abuse litigation against religious institutions in Washington state, lawyers said.

It's the first sex abuse verdict by a jury in a lawsuit against a church in the state and could affect settlements in other abuse cases, including those against the Roman Catholic Church, said Timothy D. Kosnoff, a lawyer for the Cavalieris.

Posted by kshaw at 03:17 PM

Vatican: Sexually active gays unwelcome

VATICAN CITY
Boston.com

November 22, 2005

VATICAN CITY --The Vatican says homosexuals who are sexually active or support "gay culture" are unwelcome in the priesthood unless they have overcome their homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.

The long-awaited document is scheduled to be released by the Vatican on Nov. 29. A church official who has read the document confirmed the authenticity of the Internet posting by the Adista news agency. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the document has not yet been officially released by the Vatican.

The document said that "the church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture."

"Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies," it said.

Posted by kshaw at 03:16 PM

Pope acts on Little Pebble priest

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

By Amy Coopes
November 22, 2005

A NEW South Wales priest excommunicated from the Catholic Church has been stripped of his holy orders and responsibilities by the Pope because of his association with William Kamm's religious sect.

Kamm, known to his followers as The Little Pebble, was last month jailed for at least three-and-a-half years for indecently assaulting a then 15-year-old member of his outlawed Order of St Charbel, at Cambewarra, near Nowra on the south coast.

Malcolm Broussard, who has been with the sect for 20 years, is a self-proclaimed bishop and major superior residing in the Cambewarra community known as Gethsemene.

Posted by kshaw at 02:10 PM

Sex case teacher chided in court

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By MICHELE MORGAN BOLTON, Staff writer
First published: Tuesday, November 22, 2005

ALBANY -- Having sex with a teenager was improper, unethical and illegal, a judge said Monday as he sentenced a former Christian Brothers Academy writing instructor to jail.

"You crossed the line from teacher to consort, something that is totally unacceptable in our society," Judge Stephen W. Herrick told Sandra Beth Geisel during a brief hearing in Albany County Court.

Not only will Geisel, 42, never teach children again, her conviction as a sex offender will follow her always, Herrick said.

But the judge also blamed the 16-year-old and other students at the exclusive Colonie Catholic high school for manipulating Geisel's lack of self-esteem and tendency toward alcohol abuse to get what they wanted from her.

Posted by kshaw at 11:20 AM

High-level Phoenix priest accused of sex abuse

PHOENIX (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Michelle Roberts
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.22.2005

PHOENIX - The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on misdemeanor charges alleging he fondled teenage boys and young men and asked detailed questions about sex misrepresented as part of confession.
Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.
Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure.
All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months total.

Posted by kshaw at 11:00 AM

Feds end church sex case

BOSTON (MA)
Newsday

BY CAROL EISENBERG
STAFF WRITER

November 22, 2005

A federal prosecutor has ended a probe of the protection of sexually abusive priests by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston without seeking indictments of former top officials, including William Murphy, now bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned as Boston archbishop almost three years ago.

In lieu of criminal prosecutions, U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said he has reached an unprecedented agreement with the archdiocese, imposing intensive training and public disclosure requirements.

"In many ways I share the frustration that many have expressed about the conduct of decisionmakers of the Archdiocese of Boston," Sullivan said in an interview yesterday.

"But the bottom line is I think this settlement will have a much greater benefit going forward than a successful prosecution, with the consequences of maybe a fine for the organization, if we were successful."

The settlement ends a nearly two-year federal investigation that targeted Murphy's role on May 12, 1999, in certifying that a now-retired Boston priest had nothing in his background to disqualify him from a job as a federal military chaplain. At the time Murphy signed the document, the church had several memos warning about the Rev. William J. Scanlan's infatuation with boys, as well as other signs of instability.

Posted by kshaw at 10:57 AM

Monsignor in Phoenix arrested on sex charges

PHOENIX (AZ)
USA Today

PHOENIX (AP) — The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.

Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure. All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months in all.

At his initial court appearance, Fushek was placed under house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for monitoring. He also was ordered to surrender his passport and not have contact with anyone under age 18. Fushek's arraignment was set for Dec. 6.

Posted by kshaw at 10:50 AM

Pastor arrested in sex abuse case dies in fall at national park

CALIFORNIA
The Mercury News

Associated Press

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - A Porterville minister accused of sexually abusing two teenage parishioners fell 400 feet to his death at Moro Rock, aAbuse Tracker Park Service official said Monday.

The Rev. Santos Teixeira's fall Sunday was under "uncertain circumstances," requiring the Park Service to notify the FBI of its investigation, said Alexandra Picavet, a SequoiaAbuse Tracker Park spokeswoman.

Picavet said park investigators have yet to determine the manner of death and cautioned it was standard procedure to notify the FBI about the case, which occurred on federal land.

Teixeira, 56, fell to his death late Sunday afternoon from the summit of Moro Rock, a 6,500-foot-tall granite dome. Picavet said a person believed to be a parishioner and other bystanders were in the area, adding those eyewitnesses have been interviewed.

Teixeira's family has asked the Park Service to look into the pastor's death, Picavet said. A telephone number for the family could not be located.

Posted by kshaw at 09:22 AM

Geisel to spend another month in jail

ALBANY (NY)
Troy Record

Robert Cristo, The Record 11/22/2005

ALBANY - A former Christian Brothers Academy teacher was sentenced to six months behind bars Monday. At the same time, the judge in the case said her underage victim wasn't totally innocent for his role in the sex scandal that drew national attention.

With time already served, Sandra Beth Geisel, 42, of Latham, is expected to spend another month behind bars on charges she recently pleaded guilty to - one count of rape for having numerous sexual encounters with one of her 16-year-old male students.
Upon release, Geisel will then spend the next 10 years on probation. She must register as a sex offender and will have to attend a court-mandated substance abuse program.
Geisel has been behind bars ever since her bail was revoked in August after she was arrested on DWI charges.

Posted by kshaw at 09:14 AM

Brookfield lawyer wins $10M for abuse victim

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The News Times

By Karen Ali
THE NEWS-TIMES

BRIDGEPORT — A Brookfield lawyer won a $10.9 million verdict on behalf of a former Bridgeport man who says he was abused by a landscaper at St. Theresa's Church in Trumbull more than 30 years ago.

Helen L. McGonigle, the lawyer who represented 47-year-old Michael Powel, called the judgment "wonderful." Yet she is not sure whether she will be able to collect the money from the landscaper, Carlo D. Fabbozzi.

"It's certainly validation for Michael Powel. It's just going to be a question of what we can get," McGonigle said.

Fabbozzi, who did not show up for his Superior Court trial, has claimed he has a small checking account, has exhausted his savings, and is living off Social Security and odd jobs.

Posted by kshaw at 09:10 AM

Bishop on L.I. Is Challenged After Decision in Boston

BOSTON (MA)
The New York Times

By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: November 22, 2005
Federal prosecutors have ended a criminal investigation into whether the Catholic Church covered up complaints against a priest in Boston, a case that focused on the central role played by a prelate who is now the bishop of Long Island.

Prosecutors in Boston announced on Friday that they would not indict anyone. But in return for the government's dropping the case, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston agreed to adopt new safeguards to prevent sex abuse.

Critics accused the prosecutors of letting the church and the bishop off easy.Abuse Tracker groups like Bishop Accountability and Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests called the safeguards insufficient and said the case should have gone to trial.

The prosecutors were considering charging the archdiocese with giving the government false information in the background-check form that the bishop, William F. Murphy, sent in 1999 recommending a priest's appointment as a military chaplain.

Bishop Murphy, who was vicar general in Boston at the time, marked "no" to the form's question "Do you have any adverse information?" about the priest. The bishop also sent a letter, described as a "testimonial" for the applicant, calling him "a priest in good standing."

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

Suspicion shapes a new approach

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By GARY SOULSMAN
The News Journal
11/22/2005
Soccer coach Jeff Weyl remembers when he was the only adult present as his seventh- and eighth-graders practiced their drills.

That's no longer possible at St. Matthew Catholic School in Newport.

For the past two years, because of the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the church, Weyl consistently calls on other adults to attend practice.

Posted by kshaw at 08:52 AM

Monsignor in Phoenix arrested on sex charges

PHOENIX (AZ)
USA Today

PHOENIX (AP) — The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.

Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure. All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months in all.

At his initial court appearance, Fushek was placed under house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for monitoring. He also was ordered to surrender his passport and not have contact with anyone under age 18. Fushek's arraignment was set for Dec. 6.

Posted by kshaw at 08:48 AM

Monsignor in Phoenix arrested on sex charges

PHOENIX (AZ)
USA Today

PHOENIX (AP) — The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.

Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure. All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months in all.

At his initial court appearance, Fushek was placed under house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for monitoring. He also was ordered to surrender his passport and not have contact with anyone under age 18. Fushek's arraignment was set for Dec. 6.

Posted by kshaw at 08:47 AM

Priest accused of sex crimes

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 22, 2005 12:00 AM

Monsignor Dale Fushek, once one of the most popular and powerful priests in the Phoenix Diocese, was accused Monday of sexual misconduct with teenage boys and young men.

In announcing Fushek's arrest on 10 misdemeanor criminal counts, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said, "It's troubling any time a person in a position of public trust violates that."

Thomas said the investigation is continuing and that more serious charges are possible.

Fushek, 53, is accused of indecent exposure, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and assault involving five minors and two young adult men.

His attorney, Michael Manning, said Fushek insists the incidents "never happened" and will fight the charges. . The teenage boys and young men appear to have been associated with Life Teen, a popular youth ministry that Fushek founded in 1985. Authorities say the incidents occurred from 1984 to 1994 and took place at St. Timothy Church in Mesa. Fushek was an influential and well-liked pastor there for 20 years.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

Sides to vet abuse claims

COVINGTON (KY)
The Cincinnati Post

By Paul A. Long
Post staff reporter

With more than 370 people seeking their share of a $120 million fund created from the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the Diocese of Covington, attorneys now must go through the laborious process of validating those claims.

That will mean meeting with people to listen to their stories of alleged abuse at the hands of diocesan priests and employees, then trying to determine where they fit into a matrix established to quantify their abuse and put a dollar figure on it.

The plan calls for payments of $5,000 to as much as $450,000 for extraordinary cases.

During a hearing Monday in Boone Circuit Court, attorneys told Special Judge John Potter they had received 373 claim forms, the first time a specific number was put on the class-action lawsuit alleging that diocesan officials perpetrated a decades-long cover-up of the sexual abuse of children by priests and other church employees. Nov. 10 was the deadline for people who wanted to make claims in the class-action.

Posted by kshaw at 07:29 AM

Father Jim Poole speaks about sexual abuse accusations

ALASKA
KTUU

Monday, November 21, 2005 - by Megan Baldino • Watch the video...

Warning: Some of the content of the story is graphic in nature and not suitable for children.

Anchorage, Alaska - She came forward as Jane Doe I, suing the Catholic Church and Rev. James E. Poole, claiming he sexually abused her as a child. The lawsuit settled for around $1 million. But much of the case was under a gag order, including the deposition of Father Poole. But with the permission of Elsie Boudrea, formerly Jane Doe I, the public will hear Poole's disturbing admissions.

For decades he was one of the most popular priests in Alaska. Father Jim Poole was the radio priest, responsible for starting KNOM in Nome and preaching the gospel of the Lord across Western Alaska. Now in his 80s, he sits accused of sexually abusing five women when they were children. Poole has been stripped of his priestly responsibilities in Fairbanks.

Attorney John Manley asked the questions in an interview with Poole. Manley has handled hundreds of clergy sex abuse cases across the country, including in Alaska. The deposition was taken in September 2004 and up until now, no one has seen it. The case Jane Doe I v. Father Jim Poole had been placed under a gag order. In it was damaging admissions given by Poole himself.

“He said there had been some allegations and that he wanted to know whether or not I had ever indulged in French kissing with Elsie, and I said yes,” said Poole.

In the deposition, Poole admits again and again to French kissing Boudreau when she was a child visiting her family in Nome. But he claims it was never sexual.

Posted by kshaw at 07:24 AM

Church liable in girls' abuse

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

By Bob Young
Seattle Times staff reporter

In a decision that could reverberate through clergy sexual-abuse cases everywhere, a King County Superior Court jury has awarded $4.2 million to two sisters who were sexually abused for years by their stepfather, a Mormon priest.

The civil jury found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon church, liable for intentional misconduct and negligence and ordered the church to pay most of the award. The remainder of the award would be paid by the girls' abuser, Peter N. Taylor, who is no longer their stepfather or a priest.

"The size of the verdict is particularly newsworthy. I think the jury is making a statement," said Timothy Kosnoff, a lawyer for the girls who were abused in their Federal Way home during the 1990s.

Kosnoff said the verdict, handed down late Friday afternoon, was the first sexual-abuse decision against a church in Washington state. He said it could affect settlement values in abuse cases against the Catholic Church here and in other states.

Posted by kshaw at 07:15 AM

November 21, 2005

Monsignor in Phoenix Is Arrested

PHOENIX (AZ)
San Francisco Chronicle

By MICHELLE ROBERTS, Associated Press Writer

Monday, November 21, 2005

(11-21) 16:11 PST PHOENIX (AP) --

The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.

Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure. All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months in all.

Fushek "used a relationship of trust to perform criminal acts, including but not limited to sexual activities, improper sexual discussions and physical contact, upon vulnerable minor and adult victims," prosecutors said in court papers.

Prosecutors said Fushek committed the acts between 1984 and 1994 at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa or on property belonging to the church. The alleged victims were seven young men and boys.

Fushek resigned as pastor of St. Timothy's in April after someone claimed to have recovered a repressed memory involving sexual improprieties by Fushek in 1985. He has denied the allegations and remains on administrative leave.

His attorney, Michael Manning, was out of the country and couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Posted by kshaw at 06:57 PM

Coalition Forms to Challenge Cardinal

Los Angeles (CA)
Yahoo!

Monday November 21, 5:30 pm ET

WHEN: Tuesday, November 22, 2005

TIME: 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Archdiocese of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2202
213 637 7000

WHO: Representatives from three different groups, Anchorhold
Affiliate of Voice of the Faithful, Stones of Silence and
Survivors of Silence will gather at the Archdiocese office TO
DELIVER A LETTER TO Cardinal Roger Mahony.

WHY: These groups have come together to ask the Cardinal to respond
to a number of important issues relating to the clergy sexual
abuse cases here in Los Angeles.

The recent incident involving survivors being physically bullied outside of a local Catholic Church has brought these representatives together asking the Cardinal to direct all Archdiocese Churches to openly decry the recent violence against victims and supporters of clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 06:49 PM

LifeTeen founder arrested

PHOENIX (AZ)
Catholic World News

Phoenix, Nov. 21 (CWNews.com) - Msgr. Dale Fushek, the fouder of the popular LifeTeen youth program, was arrested today in Mesa, the Arizona Republic has reported. He will face several charges of assault, indecent exposure, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Posted by kshaw at 05:10 PM

Activists say convicted priest lives too close to child-care facility

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KansasCity.com

JIM SALTER
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS - For nearly three months after his conviction for sexually abusing a boy in the 1970s, a retired Roman Catholic priest lived in a retirement home next to a child-care facility in St. Louis County, apparently in violation of state law.

On Monday, the St. Louis Archdiocese said it has moved the Rev. Thomas Graham to a different facility, away from children.

The announcement came after the activist group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) revealed earlier Monday that Graham was living at the Regina Cleri retirement home in Shrewsbury, a suburb of St. Louis.

The Berry Patch child-care facility is separated from the retirement home by a wooded area, but is on the same sprawling property as the retirement home. State law forbids convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school or child-care facility.

Posted by kshaw at 04:03 PM

Former Our Lady of the Lake priest arrested for inappropriate conduct

MANDEVILLE (LA)
Slidell Sentry-News

BY SUZANNE LE BRETON

ST. TAMMANY NEWS

MANDEVILLE - The former priest at a Mandeville church was arrested Sunday evening after he was found in a restroom stall with another man at a truck stop in St. Charles Parish.

According to St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne, the Rev. Dean Robins, 57, 337 Bentolino Drive, Kenner, admitted to conducting crime against nature. He and Marbin Tursios, 35, of 184 Riverbend Drive, St. Rose, were found in a single stall at the St. Rose Travel Center "engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct."

Posted by kshaw at 03:55 PM

Insurance, past donations to cover clergy sex settlement

CONNECTICUT
Journal Inquirer

By Alex Wood, Journal Inquirer November 21, 2005

Insurance companies will pay more than half the $22 million that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to pay to 43 people who alleged that priests sexually abused them, an archdiocesan spokesman says.

The rest of the money will come from the archdiocese's self-insurance fund and from its savings, according to the spokesman, the Rev. John P. Gatzak.

"It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that the self-insurance and savings come, at one time or another, from the generosity of parishioners," Gatzak said last week. "The church is the people of God."

And money spent for one purpose can't be spent for something else, he acknowledged.

But Gatzak said no Catholic schools will be closed or otherwise affected by the settlement -- and that it won't cause the closing or merger of any parishes.

Posted by kshaw at 03:51 PM

Allegations cloud memories of deceased Enfield, Manchester pastor

CONNECTICUT
Journal Inquirer

By Alex Wood, Journal Inquirer November 21, 2005

When Monsignor Edward J. Reardon died in 1991, more than 200 parishioners and dozens of clergy gathered for his funeral at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Manchester, where he had served as pastor for 13 years before his retirement in 1976.

Before coming to the Manchester parish, Reardon had served from 1950 to 1963 as pastor at St. Bernard Church in Enfield.

But 14 years after his death, Reardon's name has come back into the news in a very different context.

The Archdiocese of Hartford last month named him as one of 14 priests against whom child sexual-abuse allegations had been made. Those allegations led the archdiocese to agree to pay a total of $22 million to 43 people.

Hartford lawyer Hubert J. Santos represented Reardon's accuser. Contacted by telephone, Santos said he would ask his client about the possibility of an interview with the Journal Inquirer. But a subsequent call to Santos' office wasn't returned.

Posted by kshaw at 03:48 PM

Catholic Monsignor Arrested in Phoenix

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Guardian

Monday November 21, 2005 9:16 PM

PHOENIX (AP) - The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and asked them questions about sex that he misrepresented as being part of confession.

Monsignor Dale Fushek becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.

Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure.

Fushek ``used a relationship of trust to perform criminal acts, including but not limited to sexual activities, improper sexual discussions and physical contact, upon vulnerable minor and adult victims,'' prosecutors said in court papers.

Prosecutors said Fushek committed the acts between 1984 and 1994 at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa or on property belonging to the church. The alleged victims were seven young men and boys.

Posted by kshaw at 03:41 PM

Roman Inquisition

Mother Jones

Unlike some Catholics of a certain age, who moan that the sex abuse scandal that burst onto the front pages almost four years ago shattered their faith in the presumed purity of priests, I didn’t grow up with the notion of priests as saints. Those in my acquaintance ate too much, smoked like stacks, bet on horses, and earned our allegiance, or didn’t, by the quality of their hearts. Saints, in any case, were dead, and I was vaguely aware of my own childish hubris in aspiring to be one. It was much later that I realized many of the saints weren’t even saints, in the colloquial sense of the word. As if to underscore that fact, in the midst of the scandal, in 2002 Pope John Paul II canonized a man who not only wrestled with devils, flagellated himself to bleeding, fasted to the point of collapse, and bore the stigmata but was also accused of having had sexual dalliances with women and of pomading his hair, perfuming his body, and wearing makeup. The Vatican once forbade Padre Pio, or Saint Pio da Pietrelcina as he is now called, from teaching teenage boys and hearing the confessions of women.

Posted by kshaw at 03:37 PM

Ampleforth child abuse scandal hushed up by Basil Hume

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post Today

Exclusive
Mark Branagan

PUPILS at a leading Roman Catholic school suffered decades of abuse from at least six paedophiles following a decision by former Abbot Basil Hume not to call in police at the beginning of the scandal.
Hume, the future Cardinal and guiding light of Catholicism in Britain, was Abbot of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire when he received a complaint from parents in 1975 about Father Piers Grant-Ferris, the son of a Tory peer.
It was alleged that Grant-Ferris – son of the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Lord Harvington – had "inappropriately touched" a boy at Ampleforth College's former prep school, Gilling Castle.
Hume dealt with the matter internally by moving Grant-Ferris from Gilling Castle, where he was second year form master, to Workington parish in Cumbria.

Posted by kshaw at 01:44 PM

Monk admits assaulting schoolboys

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A monk has been warned he will probably be jailed after admitting 20 counts of indecent assault on young schoolboys.

Father Piers Grant-Ferris, 71, taught at Gilling Castle Preparatory School, a feeder for Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Benedictine monk was arrested after a police investigation into Ampleforth Abbey, which is linked to the college.

At Leeds Crown Court Grant-Ferris denied six other counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency.

Posted by kshaw at 01:43 PM

MONK ON SEX RAP

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

A MONK who taught at a leading Catholic prep school faces jail after admitting indecently assaulting 15 pupils.

Father Piers Grant-Ferris, 72, admitted 20 charges involving boys under 12 and 13 between 1966 and 1975 but denied seven other charges, which the prosecution accepted.

Judge Ian Dobkin said there was a high probability he would go to jail.

Posted by kshaw at 01:41 PM

Sex shame of priests

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post Today

EVIDENCE of widespread child sex abuse by priests has mushroomed over the past few years and has rightly shaken the faith of the global community of Roman Catholics, not in God but in their own clergy.
The latest manifestation of this is the case of Piers Grant-Ferris, respected priest and schoolmaster at Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire, who used his position of responsibility to abuse young boys on a regular basis.
The case is shocking, however, not only in Grant-Ferris's exploitation of the opportunities which his job gave him, but also for the way in which his crimes were apparently covered up by Church authorities.
The fact that the then abbot of Ampleforth was Basil Hume, who later became head of the Church in England and Wales, is of particular concern. Doubly so, given the police belief that senior college staff were aware of Grant-
Ferris's activities when he was sent away to work as a priest in Workington, and the fact that other members of the Ampleforth community went on to abuse pupils in later years.

Posted by kshaw at 01:39 PM

Sex shame of priests

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post Today

EVIDENCE of widespread child sex abuse by priests has mushroomed over the past few years and has rightly shaken the faith of the global community of Roman Catholics, not in God but in their own clergy.
The latest manifestation of this is the case of Piers Grant-Ferris, respected priest and schoolmaster at Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire, who used his position of responsibility to abuse young boys on a regular basis.
The case is shocking, however, not only in Grant-Ferris's exploitation of the opportunities which his job gave him, but also for the way in which his crimes were apparently covered up by Church authorities.
The fact that the then abbot of Ampleforth was Basil Hume, who later became head of the Church in England and Wales, is of particular concern. Doubly so, given the police belief that senior college staff were aware of Grant-
Ferris's activities when he was sent away to work as a priest in Workington, and the fact that other members of the Ampleforth community went on to abuse pupils in later years.

Posted by kshaw at 01:39 PM

Police inquiries into past crimes complicated by school bonds

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post Today

Mark Branagan
POLICE investigations into crimes from years gone by are never easy – and in this case were complicated by the setting of one of England's leading Roman Catholic schools presided over by an order of Benedictine monks.
More than 30 officers, plus social workers, were involved in the 15-month inquiry at Ampleforth.
Ampleforth College – motto God Protect Him – is buried in the countryside near Helmsley. Old boys include Cardinal Basil Hume, Andrew Parker-Bowles, Rupert Everett, the Today TV programme presenter Edward Stourton, and Philip Lawrence, the murdered head of St George's RC School in Maida Vale, London.
There had been a case against a monk in 1996, and the school's former finance chief was jailed in 2000 for downloading child porn, but there seemed no cause for further concern until 2002 when a complaint was referred to them about housemaster Christian Shore.

Posted by kshaw at 01:37 PM

Police inquiries into past crimes complicated by school bonds

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post Today

Mark Branagan
POLICE investigations into crimes from years gone by are never easy – and in this case were complicated by the setting of one of England's leading Roman Catholic schools presided over by an order of Benedictine monks.
More than 30 officers, plus social workers, were involved in the 15-month inquiry at Ampleforth.
Ampleforth College – motto God Protect Him – is buried in the countryside near Helmsley. Old boys include Cardinal Basil Hume, Andrew Parker-Bowles, Rupert Everett, the Today TV programme presenter Edward Stourton, and Philip Lawrence, the murdered head of St George's RC School in Maida Vale, London.
There had been a case against a monk in 1996, and the school's former finance chief was jailed in 2000 for downloading child porn, but there seemed no cause for further concern until 2002 when a complaint was referred to them about housemaster Christian Shore.

Posted by kshaw at 01:37 PM

Monk admits abusing boys at Ampleforth prep school

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

By Andrew Norfolk

A PRIEST from one of Britain’s leading Roman Catholic families yesterday admitted 20 offences of sexual abuse against boys at Ampleforth College near York.

Father Piers Grant-Ferris, 72, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting 15 boys, all aged under 12, during a nine-year period when he was a teacher at Gilling Castle, Ampleforth’s prep school.

Grant-Ferris, a Benedictine monk at Ampleforth Abbey, North Yorkshire, was told by the judge at Leeds Crown Court that he faces jail, even though his crimes were committed more than 30 years ago.

The priest, a former Irish Guards officer and a keen mountaineer, is the son of the late Lord Harvington, who as Sir Robert Grant-Ferris was a Conservative MP for 31 years and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. Lord Harvington, a wartime fighter pilot, was regarded as the voice of the Vatican in Westminster.

Posted by kshaw at 01:34 PM

373 file claims of abuse with Covington Diocese

COVINGTON (KY)
The Cincinnati Post

By Paul Long
Post staff reporter

More than 370 people have filed claim forms saying they were abused in the past decades by priests and employees of the Diocese of Covington, and they are seeking to be part of a class-action settlement.

Lawyers for the diocese and the class today told Special Judge John Potter in Boone Circuit Court they had 373 submissions as of the Nov. 10 deadline.

None has been checked out, and a few are obviously invalid - such as the claims of abuse in another diocese - but attorneys expect most are legitimate.

"A significant number, we're not going to have any questions that they are valid," said Carrie Huff, a Chicago attorney who represents the Diocese of Covington. "I don't think we'll have a problem with many of these claims."

Posted by kshaw at 01:29 PM

Former top official in Phoenix diocese arrested

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 21, 2005 11:33 AM

A charismatic priest who once held a high position with the Diocese of Phoenix was arrested this morning.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, once the highly popular, magnetic pastor of St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa, was being booked at the Madison Street Jail, according to Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

Fushek founded Life Teen, a popular Catholic youth ministry that swept the nation, in 1995. He also served as vicar general under former Bishop Thomas O'Brien. advertisement

Posted by kshaw at 01:16 PM

Cloaked in red, Catholics protest ouster

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Thomas Caywood
Monday, November 21, 2005 - Updated: 10:51 AM EST

Hundreds of Newton Catholics – already seeing red over the ouster of their popular priest – yesterday tried wearing it.

Several busloads of Our Lady Help of Christians parishioners, outraged by the removal last month of their pastor, the Rev. Walter Cuenin, showed up for Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston decked out in scarlet outfits in protest. ...

“He clearly violated archdiocese policy,” church spokesman Terrence Donlan said, adding, “We certainly appreciate the heartache people are feeling. He was a beloved pastor.”

But outraged parishioners claim Cuenin got the heave-ho for signing a letter critical of the archdiocese’s handling of the clergy abuse scandal and because he openly ministered to gays. As he closed the Mass, the Rev. John Connolly Jr. recognized the crowd of red-clad protesters packing the pews. He thanked them for coming and said, “We know this is not an easy time for you.”

Posted by kshaw at 01:13 PM

Former top diocesan priest in Phoenix arrested

PHOENIX (AZ)
KOLD

PHOENIX A former top official in the Phoenix Catholic diocese was arrested today.

Word of the arrest of Monsignor Dale Fushek _ co-founder of a large youth group and former Number Two man in the Phoenix diocese _ comes from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

A spokesman for the office declines to give details pending a 1:30 p-m news conference.

It was announced in April that Fushek was resigning as pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church in Mesa amid allegations of sexual improprieties.

In a letter to parishioners, Fushek denied the allegations against him but said he resigned in order to protect his parishioners from the "ordeal."

Posted by kshaw at 01:11 PM

High-ranking Catholic official arrested

PHOENIX (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Associated Press
November 21, 2005

PHOENIX - The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which disclosed the arrest and scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon, would not immediately say what Monsignor Dale Fushek was accused of.

Fushek resigned as pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church in Mesa in April after someone claimed to have recovered a repressed memory involving sexual improprieties by Fushek in 1985.

Posted by kshaw at 01:09 PM

Geisel will be out of jail next month

ALBANY (NY)
Capital News 9

Updated: 11/21/2005 11:16 AM
By: The Associated Press

The former CBA teacher charged with raping an underage student will be out of jail next month.

Sandra Beth Geisel, 42, was sentenced to six months in jail on one count of rape. The sentence includes time already served. She was originally charged with three counts, but that was reduced under a plea agreement that was worked out with the District Attorney's office.

The mother of four was fired from her teaching job at Christian Brothers Academy in June, after police caught her with a 17-year-old student.

Posted by kshaw at 12:42 PM

Sex abuse in Brazil: Abuser priest provides check-list for selecting victims

By John L. Allen, Jr.
National

A Brazilian newsmagazine has reported that two priests recently convicted for sexual abuse of minor boys kept diaries of their experiences, often featuring graphic sexual details, as well as in one instance a set of "rules" for selecting victims -- such as that the target be a young male from a poor family and preferably without a father.

The magazine also names two other Brazilian priests recently arrested for abuse of minors, including one caught in early November in a hotel room in northeastern Brazil with four young boys. In that case, the priest has denied charges of abuse.

The Brazilian newsmagazine Istoè, a nationally circulated newsweekly, published these findings on Nov. 16, suggesting that they represent a broad pattern of sexual misconduct among Brazilian clergy. The Istoè report was given prominent treatment Nov. 21 in Corriere della Sera, the leading Italian daily newspaper.

Corriere della Sera's coverage suggested that sexual abuse of minors by priests is no longer a phenomenon associated largely with the United States, pointing to scandals in England, France, Croatia and Ireland, in addition to Brazil.

Posted by dcoday at 12:38 PM

Catholic school faces series of lawsuits over sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Ian Cobain
Saturday November 19, 2005
The Guardian

Ampleforth College, the country's most celebrated Roman Catholic public school, is facing a series of lawsuits after it emerged that dozens of boys were sexually abused there over a 30-year period.
A number of former pupils who were abused by monks who taught at the college are preparing to take action.

Ampleforth is at the centre of the most serious child sex scandal that the Roman Catholic church has faced in England and Wales, after police discovered that Cardinal Basil Hume failed to alert them to abuse, both while he was Abbot of Ampleforth and after he became Archbishop of Westminster.

Police say they discovered clear evidence that Cardinal Hume became aware of abuse as early as 1975, but chose not to contact them or social services. They believe that the subsequent two decades of assaults on pupils at Ampleforth and its prep school might have been avoided if he had alerted the statutory authorities.

Posted by kshaw at 09:56 AM

Ex-CBA Teacher To Be Sentenced Monday For Sexcapades

ALBANY (NY)
North Country Gazette

ALBANY--Sandra "Beth" Geisel could be home for Christmas.

The former English teacher at Christian Brothers Academy, charged with raping one of her willing underage male students, will be sentenced Monday, Nov. 21 in Albany County Court by Judge Stephen Herrick.

Sandra 'Beth" Geisel, 42, of Latham, pleaded guilty in September to having sex with a 16-year-old student at the Colonie Catholic prep school.

As part of the deal reached in September between prosecutors and her attorney, Donald Kinsella, Geisel will be sentenced to six months of jail time. She will be required to register as a sex offender, will be placed on probation for 10 years and be required to undergo alcohol and mental health counseling. Geisel will only have to serve two thirds of the sentence or 120 days with time credited for good behavior meaning that with credit for the time she has served in Albany County Jail since her arrest in for DWI in August that she will be out of jail next month. She waived her right to an appeal.

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 AM

TEACHER CHARGED IN SCHOOL SEX SCANDAL TO BE SENTENCED TODAY

ALBANY (NY)
Newswatch 50

A former Catholic school English teacher arrested for having sex with a 16-year-old student will be sentenced today in Albany.

Under a plea deal, 42-year-old Sandra Beth Geisel will be sentenced to 6 months in jail. She'll also have to register as a sex offender and will be on probation for 10 years.

The mother of 4 was fired from her teaching job at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany in June, after police caught her with a 17-year-old student.

During the investigation, a 16-year-old boy came forward and said he had sexual intercourse with Geisel on 2 occasions, leading to the charges against her.

Posted by kshaw at 06:15 AM

Christians in Grenada stunned by pastor’s arrest

GRENADA
Caribbean News Net

by Kishawn Thomas
Caribbean Net News Grenada Correspondent
Email: kishawnthomas@hotmail.com
Monday, November 21, 2005
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada: The Christian community in Grenada was shocked on Thursday after receiving news of the arrest of a Baltimore County, Maryland, pastor on sexual abuse charges.

Gerald Griffith, who visited Grenada on two occasions after Hurricane Ivan, opened the eyes of many here who attended his crusades. But despite the bad news many believe that Pastor Griffith is innocent.

Caribbean Net News understands that Baltimore County police have arrested Griffith, 39, and charged him with several counts of child abuse.

Police said they were contacted by the victims about alleged sexual abuse. It was noted that an investigation found that Griffith was sexually abusing the victims during counselling sessions in the church office.

Posted by kshaw at 06:06 AM

Parishioners, priests endure shadow of accusation

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/21/2005
Rae Stabosz hates the pain caused by the clergy sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church -- the pain of victims, the pain of priests, the pain of devout parishioners.

The 56-year-old mother of nine, who is a member of Holy Family parish near Newark and president of Catholic Scholars of Delaware, sees the anguish from many angles.

She has a friend who is a priest and was relieved of his ministry for one charge. She has other friends who have been victims of sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Other friends are ministering faithfully -- day in, day out.

Posted by kshaw at 06:00 AM

Impact extends beyond sex abuse victims

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/21/2005
When priests sexually abused kids like John Dougherty, Doug McClure and Tom English, the damage they did extended far beyond those boys.

They damaged the boys' futures, too -- their marriages, their friendships, their families, their faith in God, their trust in people. The effects can extend for generations.

"Abuse destroys relationships," said psychologist Diane Langberg in her book "On the Threshold of Hope," written for survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. "Instead of being known, we are hidden. Instead of being loved, we are used. Instead of having a voice, we are silenced. ... Relationships become painful, frightening, chaotic places."

Posted by kshaw at 05:58 AM

Naive adoration; a lifetime of pain

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/21/2005
Father Edward B. Carley walked into the fourth-grade classroom at St. Ann's Catholic School in Wilmington and 10-year-old Johnny Dougherty felt a surge of hope.

The nuns had prepared the class for the visit from two new priests at the parish -- Carley and the Rev. Paul Fallers. And John thought it a most welcome change to have a man at the front of the classroom.

"It was like Jesus was coming through the door," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 05:54 AM

Betrayal by trusted figures leaves scars

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/21/2005
The sexual abuse of children -- no matter who commits the crime -- can twist the lives of survivors and leave them with chronic psychological and physical problems, experts say. And when children are abused by a trusted person -- a parent, a teacher, a doctor, a minister -- the effects are compounded.

The secrecy, isolation, emotional manipulation, and mental, physical and spiritual anguish all take their toll.

Abuse by a parent is the hardest on kids, said Dr. Mark Borer, a Dover psychiatrist with almost 20 years of experience in treating victims, including children, adolescents and adults. Next-hardest is abuse from a special cadre of people.

Posted by kshaw at 05:46 AM

November 20, 2005

Victims of sexual abuse by nuns to pamphlet parishioners after Mass

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WBAY

MILWAUKEE Three women who allege they were sexually abused by nuns planned to hand out flyers this morning to parishioners after Mass at St. John Cathedral in Milwaukee.

The women are members of the group called SNAP, or Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The group is urging others who have been abused by nuns to come forward.

It is also calling on Archbishop Timothy Dolan to order the superiors of religious orders of the archdiocese to report all information of abuse no matter when the incidents took place.

Posted by kshaw at 03:33 PM

Feds Want To Keep Close Eye On Boston Archdiocese

BOSTON (MA)
CBS 4

(CBS4) BOSTON From now on, the federal government is going to keep closer tabs on the Boston archdiocese and its priests.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan has cut an unprecedented deal with the archdiocese. It requires extensive background information on priests who want to work as government chaplains and the government will keep an eye on the Archdiocese Child Protection Program.

In exchange, the archdiocese won't be held criminally responsible for not revealing sexual abuse allegations about a priest who was transferred to California in 1999.

Advocates for church sex abuse victims aren't happy.

"The U.S. attorney has cut a toothless deal," said Anne Barrett Boyle, of bishopaccountability.org. "He believes this agreement will result ultimately in greater protection for children than indictments would have. Sadly, evidence suggests he is wrong."

Posted by kshaw at 09:08 AM

The moral hypocrite in the Vatican

Los Angeles Times

By Jason Berry, Jason Berry's books include "Lead Us Not Into Temptation" and, with Gerald Renner, "Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II."

CONSERVATIVE Catholics rejoiced at the election of Pope Benedict XVI because, as a cardinal, he had famously decried "moral relativism."

Now, however, the pope appears to be backtracking and, worse yet, he is tolerating a scandalous moral relativism by the Vatican secretary of state.

In 1986, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent a global letter to bishops denouncing homosexuality as a "moral disorder." The language was harsh, much to the delight of conservatives.

But now that Ratzinger is pope, the church says that homosexual seminarians are to be treated with "respect and delicacy" if they are chaste, according to the newspaper Il Giornale, quoting from a leaked copy of a recently completed Vatican document on homosexuals in the seminary. That's a reasonable position, albeit a retreat from Ratzinger's denouncement of gays in 1986.

Perhaps more troubling for conservatives should be the pope's tolerance of the behavior of the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Six years ago, Sodano persuaded Ratzinger to halt a canon law case seeking the excommunication of a friend of his, an alleged pedophile, Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ order in Mexico.

Posted by kshaw at 09:05 AM

Secret list was compiled, then later destroyed

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By STEVEN CHURCH
The News Journal
11/20/2005
When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a study of priest abuse in 2002, America's bishops began searching through the "secret archives" they are required to keep on every Roman Catholic priest under their authority.

The goal was to count the number of priests who had "credible allegations" of abuse made against them from 1950 through 2003.

One of the largest religious orders in Delaware, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, searched their confidential files to put together a list of names. The head of the order, the Rev. Joseph G. Morrissey, then sent the initials of one or more priests, along with their dates of birth, to researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Posted by kshaw at 08:37 AM

Suffer the little children under 'canon law'

OREGON
The Oregonian

Sunday, November 20, 2005
Desperate times require desperate measures, and if you think bankruptcy was the full measure of the Portland Archdiocese's desperation, I have a brief addendum.

Lawyers for the Archdiocese . . .

Wait. I best be more specific, as the Archdiocese has five different law firms involved in bankruptcy negotiations, five firms that generated $5.38 million in legal fees through October.

Archdiocese lawyers at Sussman Shank filed a brief last week, begging U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Elizabeth Perris to rule quickly on church assets.

At issue is whether $600 million or more in church property belongs not to the Archdiocese but to the individual parishes, thus placing it beyond the reach of the "creditors," the men and women who say they were repeatedly abused as children by Catholic priests.

Although that property is deeded in the name of the Portland Archbishop, a "corporation sole," lawyers contend the real estate is being held in trust for the parishes, a cozy arrangement under "canon law" that is guaranteed by the First Amendment and protected from the bankruptcy court.

Posted by kshaw at 08:37 AM

Priest admits prior abuses

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Pasadena Star-News

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - An attorney for a Roman Catholic priest expected to stand trial next week on child molestation charges said his client had molested 13 boys more than 20 years ago.

The lawyer for Michael Wempe made the admission Friday during a hearing in a criminal case in which the former priest is accused of molesting a boy when he was chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Defense attorneys Leonard Levine and Donald Steier opted to acknowledge previous clergy abuse in hopes of limiting damaging testimony about old cases.

Jurors probably "will say to themselves, `We don't care. We are not going to find him guilty for what he did 20 years ago,"' Levine told the court.

Wempe, 64, has pleaded not guilty to five charges that he sexually abused a boy over a five-year period.

Posted by kshaw at 08:35 AM

US pact with archdiocese called 'toothless'

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

November 20, 2005

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and BishopAccountability.org, a national group that collects documents pertaining to the clergy sexual-abuse scandal, yesterday criticized as ''toothless" a deal reached by US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston on Friday. The agreement will require intensive scrutiny of local priests who seek to work as federal chaplains and mandate that the archdiocese publicly report assessments of its child protection programs. But Ann Hagan Webb, cocoordinator of SNAP, said the agreement, which spares the Catholic Church a federal criminal indictment, fails to hold the church accountable, allows the church control of its own audits, and thus, too much leeway. Anne Barrett Doyle, codirector of the Internet group, added that a criminal trial and indictments would have provided a greater sense of security for children.

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

Tormented by broken trust

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By DAVID F. LEDFORD, Executive Editor
11/20/2005
The case of Barry Lamb illustrates how the Catholic Church's Wilmington Diocese has handled allegations of sexual abuse since the 1950s. Lamb was 15 in 1985 when he told church officials that the Rev. Edward Dudzinski had sexually abused him while on a trip to Virginia. Dudzinski was removed as an associate pastor at St. Mary Magdalen parish in Fairfax.

The church helped Lamb get counseling. It did not report Dudzinski to police, nor did it help arrange for Lamb and his parents to speak with authorities.

"They said, 'You are not planning on having him arrested, are you, and causing any legal problems for us?' " Lamb recalled.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Diocese kept abuse cases secret

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By STEVEN CHURCH
The News Journal
11/20/2005
Michael Schulte remembers being in the family bomb shelter at the height of the Cold War when he told his parish priest about being raped as a middle school student.

Father Douglas W. Dempster had come to Schulte's New Castle County home in the Milltown development of Sherwood Park to investigate the teenager's claim that a Roman Catholic priest had sodomized him during overnight trips to Philadelphia and Virginia.

Schulte had kept the sexual assault secret for two years, until the day he saw his attacker get out of a car with a young boy from his neighborhood. When Schulte finally came forward, church officials didn't call police or hire a counselor for him. It was the early 1960s, and those tactics would not become standard until 2002 -- when the abuse scandal in Boston became national news.

Posted by kshaw at 08:06 AM

Parents see value in altar serving

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By GARY SOULSMAN
The News Journal
11/20/2005
Altar server Brian O'Shaughnessy is the image of innocence as he carries the cross in for worship at St. Catherine of Siena, near Prices Corner.

It's a Saturday Mass and the 11-year-old also prepares the table for Holy Communion.

Altar servers are lay assistants to clergy and help with worship chores such as carrying candles and holding the missal, a liturgical book with texts for the celebration of Mass.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 AM

Archdiocese, Prosecutors Agree to Deal over Withheld Information

BOSTON (MA)
Bishop Accountability

By Denise Lavoie
Associated Press
November 18, 2005

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/11/18/
archdiocese_prosecutors_agree_to_deal_over_withheld_information/

[Links to the cited documents, which are publicly filed, have been provided by BishopAccountability.org. We have made additional redactions to the documents to keep confidential the name of an alleged victim and the name of a patient. We have also redacted the accused priest's social security number.]

BOSTON --The Boston Archdiocese on Friday agreed to increase openness about its priests' backgrounds as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors investigating whether the church transferred a priest without revealing an allegation he'd "fooled around with kids."

The church was accused of withholding information about the Rev. William Scanlan from federal authorities when Scanlan became a chaplain at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1999.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan agreed to end a grand jury investigation without bringing charges against the archdiocese, if the church agreed to new reforms and reporting requirements.

Posted by kshaw at 02:30 AM

For the record

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

Correction: Because of an editing error, a story in Tuesday's City & Region section about abuse charges against a priest, the Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote, who had served in Providence, misidentified the defendants in a lawsuit by the teenager who accused Cote of sexually abusing him. The teenager is suing Cote, the Dominican order, and the Archdiocese of Washington.

Posted by kshaw at 01:43 AM

'Imprimatur' or not, 'Voice' grows among Catholics

ORMOND BEACH (FL)
The Daytona Beach News-Journal

By JIM HAUG
Business Writer

Last update: November 19, 2005

ORMOND BEACH -- The Voice of the Faithful began in 2002 when Roman Catholics in Massachusetts met in a church basement to vent their anger over the sex abuse scandals.

The group has since grown to 30,000 members with chapters in every state. A local chapter has just formed but without the endorsement of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando.

Ten members representing parishes in Volusia and Flagler counties had their first meeting at the Ormond Beach Public Library because they were not allowed to use church property or use the church bulletins to make announcements.

No explanation was given, but member Rose Keane surmised that "(church leaders) see us in opposition. We aim to rebuild the church, not tear it down."

The Diocese of Orlando declined to comment for this story. On an informal and individual level, "there has been a lot of support from the clergy," said Bob Keane, a member of the local chapter.

Posted by kshaw at 01:31 AM

Judge's order will allow suits vs. diocese to proceed

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Onell R. Soto
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
November 19, 2005

A judge has lifted a 2½-year-old order freezing several lawsuits accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego of condoning or ignoring staff members who sexually abused children over the past few decades.

The move is a first step toward getting the claims of sexual abuse before juries, said a lawyer for people who say they were abused by priests and others who worked for the San Diego diocese.

"The judge has made it clear these cases are going to trial," lawyer Irwin Zalkin said.

Micheal Webb, a lawyer for the San Diego diocese, said the judge's order is narrow and only allows limited litigation.

Posted by kshaw at 01:28 AM

November 19, 2005

Falsified Federal Document Posted Today by BishopAccountability.org

WALTHAM (MA)
Bishop Accountability

Waltham MA - Nov 19, 2005 -- Today, one day after the US Attorney in Boston announced the first settlement ever between federal prosecutors and the Catholic Church, BishopAccountability.org announced that it has posted online 16 hard-to-find church documents related to the federal probe.

These documents include the federal form falsified by Bishop William Murphy, now head of the Rockville Centre NY diocese. Bishop Murphy was accused of withholding adverse information on a government document, which is a federal offense.

The newly posted documents are from the "secret files" that Murphy kept when he was Vicar General of the Boston archdiocese. The files include an account of the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl by accused Boston priest William J. Scanlan.

The new postings also include Cardinal Law's deceitful reassurance that Scanlan was fit for a military chaplaincy. Law wrote that the priest "had nothing in his background which would render him unsuitable to work with minor children."

Posted by kshaw at 05:41 PM

Ashwell ejected from priesthood

WASHINGTON
Whidbey News Times

By Jessie Stensland
Nov 19 2005
Barry Ashwell, former pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Oak Harbor, was defrocked by Pope Benedict XVI over child sexual abuse allegations, the Archdiocese of Seattle announced this week.
Ashwell, 62, could not be reached for comment, but he has adamantly denied any wrongdoing in the past. Ashwell was pastor of St. Augustine from 1978 to 2000.
Greg Magnoni, spokesman for the Archdiocese, said Ashwell was dismissed from the clerical state, or laicized, which means he can no longer function in any way as a priest. He’s not allowed to perform last rites, marriages or other sacraments.
Under federal law, Ashwell will retain his retirement plan.
The Archdiocese placed Ashwell on administrative leave in September 2001 after an initial allegation of sexual abuse.
Magnoni said four men have accused Ashwell of sexually abusing them as children. The Archdiocese has settled one lawsuit involving Ashwell and two others are pending. Three of the alleged incidents occurred in the 1970s, before Ashwell came to Oak Harbor.

Posted by kshaw at 01:35 PM

Archdiocese of Boston Enters Agreement Resolving Federal Criminal Allegations, Reports U.S. Attorney

BOSTON (MA)
PRNewswire

BOSTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Attorney's Office and
the Archdiocese of Boston have entered an agreement to resolve allegations
that the Archdiocese knowingly provided false information to the federal
government regarding one of its priests. The agreement, which is the first of
its kind in the nation, imposes rigorous disclosure and reporting requirements
for priests applying for federal service as chaplains, new reporting
requirements for Archdiocesan personnel suspected of committing federal
crimes, enhanced internal and external auditing of the Archdiocese's programs
for the protection of children, and pathbreaking work to evaluate the
effectiveness of programs designed to protect children in religious and
educational settings.
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Jeffrey G. Hughes, Special
Agent in Charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector
General for the Northeast Field Office; and Kenneth W. Kaiser, Special Agent
in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England, announced
today that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston, a Corporation Sole
("Archdiocese of Boston"), entered into an agreement today to resolve
allegations that the Archdiocese knowingly provided false information to the
Office of Personnel Management in response to a background investigation of a
priest who had been hired as a Veterans Affairs ("VA") chaplain.

Posted by kshaw at 09:27 AM

Ex-Church Aide Charged With Molesting 2 Boys

REDWOOD CITY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A former church youth director was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges he molested two teenage boys.

Christopher Fouts, 27, has pleaded not guilty to five felony charges.

The alleged attacks occurred between January and June while Fouts served as the director of Middle School Ministries at Redwood City's Peninsula Covenant Church, prosecutors said. The victims are ages 13 and 14.

Posted by kshaw at 08:01 AM

Ex-attorney who lied about abuse gets prison term

PORTLAND (OR)
The Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

PORTLAND — A disbarred Virginia lawyer has been sentenced to 37 months in prison after he falsely claimed to have been abused by a now-deceased Catholic priest.

Thomas E. Smolka, 57, attempted to defraud the Portland Archdiocese by claiming he had been abused as a child by the late Rev. Maurice Grammond in Oregon.

Grammond is accused of abusing more than 50 children in several Oregon parishes and is a focal point of lawsuits filed against the Catholic church.

Smolka, a former Virginia Beach lawyer, fled his home state after pleading guilty in Richmond to federal charges for having defrauded 17 clients out of at least $110,000 by taking retainers but failing to deliver legal services.

Posted by kshaw at 07:52 AM

Fight Over Priests' Files Headed for High Court

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

Lawyers for Cardinal Roger M. Mahony say they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a court order forcing the archdiocese to disclose the confidential personnel files of two former priests accused of child molestation.

The state Supreme Court let stand without comment an appellate court order that the archbishop must give the documents to a grand jury.

The church argued that disclosure would represent government infringement on religious freedom, but the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles ruled in July that the file release "will not result in excessive [government] entanglement."

In a letter dated Thursday, attorney Jeffrey S. Koenig asked the appellate court to delay its final order while the church appeals to the highest court.

"If the privileged documents are turned over to the grand jury, our efforts to obtain further appellate review will be rendered moot," he wrote in a two-page letter to Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 AM

Alaska Women Also Allege Abuse

STEBBINS (AK)
Los Angeles Times

By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer

STEBBINS, Alaska — Joseph Lundowski is not the only Catholic missionary accused of molesting Eskimo children on St. Michael Island during the 1960s and '70s.

Four Alaska native women alleged in a lawsuit filed earlier this year that Anton Smario sexually abused them as young girls in Stebbins and St. Michael parishes.

Now 84, Smario denies any sexual misconduct, although he said he had been naked in front of the girls who came to his catechism classes.

Smario and Lundowski, who is accused of molesting 40 Eskimo boys, lived in the villages for seven years, beginning in 1968. Though not ordained clerics, they stayed in the rectories and performed nearly the same duties as priests, according to villagers.

Smario said that at the time he served in Alaska, he was a lay member of the Franciscan order. Working in Anchorage, he said he met Father George Endal, who offered him volunteer work at the two St. Michael Island parishes.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 AM

Suing priest for sexual molestation

CONNECTICUT
WTNH

(WTNH, Nov. 18, 2005 6:03 PM ) _ He's accused of sexually molesting a former altar boy. Now, years later, Father Daniel McSheffery is being forced to answer to those allegations. It was captured in a taped deposition that has been obtained by News Channel 8.

by News Channel 8 investigator Alan Cohn
The lawyer representing Father McSheffery is furious that we have this video tape. The alleged victim in this case isn't just suing McSheffery, he wants him prosecuted criminally.

"What is your name?"
"Daniel McSheffery."

It's hard to believe, says one of the alleged victims of Father Daniel McSheffery, this is the same man. The same 6'4" charismatic priest that used to deliver sermons from the pulpit of Saint Augustine's Church in North Branford.

"He had this big booming voice and he seemed like a really confident man of God."

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 AM

Ex-Priest Admits Old Sex Charges

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

The attorney for a former Los Angeles priest admitted Friday that his client had molested 13 boys in the 1970s and 1980s, an unusual public acknowledgment of guilt in the hundreds of sexual abuse cases against the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Michael Edwin Wempe's lawyer made the admission during a hearing in a criminal case accusing the former priest of molesting another boy in the 1990s when he was chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The lawyer did so for strategic reasons in an attempt to limit damaging testimony about old abuse cases while he continues to fight the current charges. Wempe's case is being watched closely because he is one of three priests accused of molesting children after Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, responding to abuse complaints, sent him to therapy and returned him to ministry.

The archdiocese has been sued by more than 560 people for allegedly failing to protect children from abuse, but the cases have long been mired in settlement talks and only a handful of the allegations have been tested in court.

The Wempe case has a tangled history: The former priest was originally charged with 42 counts stemming from decades-old molestations, one of which involved two brothers. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the California law allowing prosecution of old child abuse cases violated the statute of limitations, and the charges were dismissed.

Posted by kshaw at 07:08 AM

Missionary's Dark Legacy

ST. MICHAEL (AK)
KTLA

By William Lobdell
Times Staff Writer

November 19, 2005

ST. MICHAEL, Alaska — Peter "Packy" Kobuk has to walk past the old Catholic church to get almost anywhere. To fill a drum of heating oil. To take his children to school. To wash his clothes at the only laundromat in this Eskimo village of 370.

"I think about burning it down, but I have to block that out," says Kobuk, 46. "It all comes back to me right away each time I have to see it."

The decaying wood-frame building also haunts John Lockwood, a married father of nine. Its bell tower, which rises above the village's 90 plywood shacks and prefabricated houses, is one of the first landmarks he sees when returning home in a longboat from hunting seals in the Bering Sea.

"It brings back a lot," says Lockwood, whose weathered face reflects a life spent in the Alaska outdoors. "He did all those bad things to us little kids there, and no one did nothing to stop it."

Even after 30 years, the men can't shake their memories of the late Joseph Lundowski, a volunteer Catholic missionary who arrived in their village in 1968.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 AM

Church asks court to shield its files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

Associated Press

The nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese asked an appeals court not to release the confidential personnel files of two former priests accused of sex abuse, despite a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this week that gave prosecutors access to the documents.

In a letter filed Friday with the 2nd District Court of Appeal, attorney Jeffrey S. Koenig said the Archdiocese of Los Angeles plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case within the next few weeks.

"If the privileged documents are turned over to the grand jury, our efforts to obtain further ... review will be rendered moot," the letter said.

Tod Tamberg, archdiocese spokesman, didn't immediately return a call Friday, nor did other attorneys for the archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:04 AM

Archdiocese, prosecutors agree to deal over withheld information

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer | November 18, 2005

BOSTON --The Boston Archdiocese on Friday agreed to increase openness about its priests' backgrounds as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors investigating whether the church transferred a priest without revealing an allegation he'd "fooled around with kids."

The church was accused of withholding information about the Rev. William Scanlan from federal authorities when Scanlan became a chaplain at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1999.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan agreed to end a grand jury investigation without bringing charges against the archdiocese, if the church agreed to new reforms and reporting requirements.

Under the deal, the church is required to provide background information on priests in the military, the VA and federal prisons to federal prosecutors. The church must also provide detailed information about chaplain candidates, audit its policies for child protection, promptly report allegations of abuse and implement other anti-abuse programs and internal controls.

Posted by kshaw at 06:51 AM

Charges avoided in case of priest

BOSTON (MA)
Mercury News

By Denise Lavoie
Associated Press

The Boston Archdiocese avoided federal charges Friday by agreeing to be more open about priests' backgrounds as part of a settlement with prosecutors investigating whether the church transferred a priest to a Menlo Park Veterans Affairs hospital without revealing accusations that he ``fooled around with kids.''

The church was accused of withholding information from federal authorities about the Rev. William Scanlan when he became a Veterans Affairs chaplain at the Peninsula hospital in 1999.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan agreed to end a grand jury investigation if the church agreed to new reforms and reporting requirements.

Department of Veterans Affairs and San Francisco archdiocese officials have said they were never told about sex abuse claims against Scanlan from the late 1980s or that he had been ordered into psychiatric treatment. Scanlan also occasionally celebrated Mass in Redwood City, but retired in 2002 and apparently moved back to the East Coast.

Under the deal, the church is required to provide background information on priests in the military, the Veterans Affairs and federal prisons. It also must provide detailed information about chaplain candidates, audit its policies for child protection, promptly report allegations of abuse and implement other anti-abuse programs and internal controls.

The Boston archdiocese said in a statement that it is pleased with the settlement and ``has consistently maintained that there was no basis for a criminal prosecution.''

Posted by kshaw at 06:46 AM

Fake abuse plaintiff sentenced to 3 years

OREGON
The Oregonian

Saturday, November 19, 2005
NOELLE CROMBIE
Thomas Edward Smolka may have been on the lam during the nine months he was in Oregon in 2003 and 2004, but that didn't mean he wasn't busy.

Smolka, 58, dreamed up a raft of scams, from filing claims with an airline for lost luggage to getting prescription drugs at a discount using a dead veteran's identity, according to federal prosecutors. But it was posing as a victim of sex abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest that landed him in trouble with federal authorities.

When deputy U.S. marshals traced him to a Pearl District loft, they discovered Smolka had done extensive research into priest sex abuse cases in Oregon and especially on Oregon's most notorious priest pedophile, the Rev. Maurice Grammond. Authorities say Smolka had checked out more than 30 case files on clergy abuse from the Multnomah County Circuit Court, and he had a handbook for sex abuse victims.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown sentenced Smolka to three years in prison for mail and bank fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

The sentence was at the high end of federal sentencing guidelines, though Brown said she considered handing down an even higher sentence given what she called the "reprehensible" nature of the fraud he committed.

Posted by kshaw at 06:42 AM

Groups get abuse inquiry access

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By MARK BELLIS

CORNWALL -- A dozen applicants have been granted standing at an inquiry into allegations of systemic sexual abuse in Cornwall.

The long-awaited inquiry into allegations of abuse at the hands of priests, lawyers and doctors in Cornwall is set to begin early next year.

Police spent years trying to get to the bottom of the claims in an investigation named Project Truth. But of 15 men charged, only one was convicted. Two of the 14 groups or individuals who applied for standing at the inquiry were denied yesterday.

Justice Normand Glaude said the estate of Ken Seguin will not be allowed standing, noting the Ministry of Correctional Services, Seguin's former employer, can represent him.

Posted by kshaw at 03:31 AM

Asking the right questions about 'touching'

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By George Weigel

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, is almost certainly going to get himself in hot water with the U.S. Bishops Conference Office of Child and Youth Protection. That's entirely to his credit.

In the midst of the Long Lent of 2002, the conference passed a "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" (which was revised and reissued this last June). Article 12 of the charter requires dioceses to "maintain 'safe environment' programs...to be conducted cooperatively with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations." The charter also specifies that these programs "be in accord with Catholic moral principles."

More than a few parents in more than a few dioceses have raised serious questions about whether many of these programs meet that standard. Bishop Vasa evidently agrees. In a recent pastoral letter, he listed the questions he thought needed to be answered before he was prepared to implement Article 12 of the Charter:

"Are such programs effective? Do such programs impose an unduly burdensome responsibility on very young children to protect themselves, rather than insisting that parents take such training and take on the primary responsibility for protecting their children? Where do these programs come from? Is it true that Planned Parenthood has a hand [in] or at least a huge influence on many of them? Is it true that other groups, actively promoting early sexual activity for children, promote these programs in association with their own perverse agendas?

Posted by kshaw at 02:13 AM

California high court boosts Los Angeles D-A's effort to see ex-priests' files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KFOR

LOS ANGELES California's Supreme Court has given a boost to the Los Angeles District Attorney's effort to see the personnel files of two ex-priests accused of sexual molestation.

The high court refused to overturn a lower court ruling that orders Cardinal Roger Mahony to release the records.

But the three-year battle in the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese may not be over. An attorney for the former priests says he may appeal to the U-S Supreme Court. Mahony has argued that opening the files would violate the church's constitutional right of religious freedom.

Posted by kshaw at 01:56 AM

Healing the Church

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CST on Friday, November 18, 2005

The U.S. Catholic bishops wrapped up their fall meeting yesterday in Washington after two days of closed-door sessions. Traditionally, the bishops don't discuss the substance of these meetings, but it's a fair guess that the fallout from the ongoing sex abuse scandal was on the secret agenda.

Recent major developments in the abuse story haven't gotten much play nationally, but they offer more sobering evidence about this crisis. In September, a Philadelphia grand jury issued a scathing report from its three-year investigation into the role that city's archdiocese played in aiding and abetting the rape of hundreds of children by pederast priests. The report placed blame "all the way to the top" – to the city's past two cardinal archbishops.

A stunnedAbuse Tracker editorialized that if ordinary Catholic males had shown the same indifference to the welfare of children as the city's Catholic leadership did, they'd be in jail.

Posted by kshaw at 01:42 AM

Archmere grad sues, claiming abuse by priest

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By STEVEN CHURCH and BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/18/2005
A Navy officer sued Archmere Academy and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington on Thursday, claiming he was sexually molested by a priest while he was an Archmere student in the mid-1980s.

In his federal lawsuit, Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell, 37, of Quantico, Va., said the Rev. Edward Smith sexually abused him while they were on ski trips in Vermont in 1984 and 1985. At the time, Smith was an English teacher at Archmere and later went on to serve as treasurer of the Claymont school's board of trustees from 1997 until 2001, according to Archmere officials.

Posted by kshaw at 01:23 AM

Ahern 'disturbed' by abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

CAMPAIGNER Colm O'Gorman said the Taoiseach had expressed a "sense of disappointment and betrayal" over the church child abuse saga.

The leader of the One in Four group said Mr Ahern expressed upset: "Not just in relation to clerical sexual abuse, but the failure to prevent that abuse once people had been properly alerted to it."

Mr O'Gorman met the Taoiseach, his advisers, and Minister of State for Children Brian Lenihan at Government Buildings yesterday.

Afterwards Mr O'Gorman was at pains to point out that that he knew of no differences between the Taoiseach and himself in relation to the need for the institutional church to be held fully accountable for the abuse which happened in Ferns and elsewhere.

He said as a first step he believed the three all party Oireachtas committees dealing with the key areas of Health and Children, Education, and Justice Equality and Law Reform should now examine in detail the contents of the Ferns report.

Posted by kshaw at 01:15 AM

Mesa priest guilty of abusing boys

MESA (AZ)
Tucson Citizen

The Associated Press

MESA – A Catholic priest will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty yesterday of sexually abusing boys in his Arizona parishes.

His trial also included testimony from four Indiana men who said they were molested by the priest years before.

Jurors found the Rev. Paul LeBrun guilty after three weeks of testimony. LeBrun, 49, has been jailed since 2003, and now faces 81 to 110 years in prison.

Although he has been stripped of his priestly duties, LeBrun remains a member of the Catholic clergy.

The Diocese of Phoenix released a statement yesterday afternoon calling the process “a long and arduous journey for all involved in this case.” The statement said the diocese hopes the trial’s end brings “closure, healing and reconciliation.”

Posted by kshaw at 01:00 AM

November 18, 2005

Vatican nearing gay priest ban?

UNITED STATES
Washington Blade

By ELIZABETH WEILL-GREENBERG
Friday, November 18, 2005

A group of Catholic priests has created a new organization to support gay clergy and parishioners, just days before the Vatican is expected to announce a formal ban on gays entering into the priesthood.

The Italian newspaper Il Giornale reported that the document articulating the ban is to be released on Nov. 29, apparently confirming long circulated rumors.

The eight-page document is called, “Instruction on the criteria for determining the vocation of candidates with homosexual tendencies who stand to be admitted to the priesthood and the sacred orders,” according to the Italian newspaper’s report.

“The church may not admit to the priesthood those who practice homosexuality, present deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support so-called ‘gay culture,’” the document will say, according to Il Giornale.

Posted by kshaw at 05:02 PM

Priest Relieved of Duties

PENNSYLVANIA
WNEP

Friday, November 18, UDPATED: 4:47 p.m.
By Norm Jones

A Roman Catholic priest from our area has been stripped of his pastoral duties after allegations of sexual misconduct with a child.

Father Patrick Shannon has been removed from duties at churches in Lewisburg and Mifflinburg and people in Union County are shocked.

While Fr. Shannon served Sacred Heart Church in Lewisburg and St. George Mission Church in Mifflinburg he apparently had skeletons in his closet from more than three decades ago.

The leaders of his religious order in Philadelphia said Friday they received a letter describing the alleged sexual abuse. The church investigated, found the allegations believable, then removed him from his duties last week.

Posted by kshaw at 04:08 PM

Appeal rejected

UNITED KINGDOM
Croydon Guardian

By Court reporter

A Hindu priest, serving a 12-year jail term after a jury convicted him of twice raping a worshipper, has had his appeal against the convictions thrown out.

Ramanathan Somanathan, 42, of Colvin Road, Thornton Heath, claimed evidence from two women of his sexual advances to them should never have been heard by the jury.

In a test case on the use of "bad character" evidence in criminal trials, his lawyers argued the judge's decision to allow the women's evidence made his convictions unsafe.

However, Lord Justice Kennedy, sitting at London's Appeal Court with Mr Justice Bell and Mrs Justice Dobbs, said Somanathan could have no complaint and dismissed his appeal last Friday.

Posted by kshaw at 04:07 PM

Priest's appeal against rape convictions thrown out

UNITED KINGDOM
icSouthlondon

Nov 18 2005

A HINDU priest serving nine years for raping a woman from his temple has had his appeal against the conviction thrown out.

Ramanathan Somanathan, 42, of Colvin Road, Thornton Heath, lodged an appeal against the guilty verdict at his trial, saying that the jury heard evidence from two women about sexual advances he made towards them which made the conviction unsafe.

However, Lord Justice Kennedy, sitting at London's Appeal Court with Mr Justice Bell and Mrs Justice Dobbs, threw the case out saying Somanathan could have no valid complaint.

Posted by kshaw at 04:05 PM

Priest guilty in Valley molestations

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

By Gary Grado, Tribune
November 18, 2005
A Mesa jury convicted an Indiana priest Thursday of molesting young boys while he worked at West Valley parishes from 1986 to 1991.

The Rev. Paul Le Brun, 49, is the first of nine priests to be tried on sexual offenses they were indicted on in 2003 after a yearlong investigation into sexual misconduct in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

Le Brun faces 81 to 111 years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 13.

A 12-count grand jury indictment alleged that Le Brun molested six boys while he was at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tolleson and St. John Vianney Parish in Goodyear.

Deputy Maricopa County attorney Rachel Mitchell said four other men from Indiana whose allegations weren’t part of the indictment also testified against Le Brun.

Posted by kshaw at 04:02 PM

Irish Sex Abuse Report Criticizes Catholic Church Handling of Allegations

IRELAND
Ms. Magazine

A panel convened by the Irish government has released a report outlining failures by both the Roman Catholic Church and the state to protect children from sexual abuse over a 40-year period, provoking ire and leading to calls for an end to the close church-state relationship that characterizes Irish public life, reports the New York Times. The nearly 300-page “Ferns Report” is the result of a three-year investigation into 100 claims of sexual abuse against 21 priests in the Ferns diocese. According to the Times, the report has been widely praised by victims’ advocacy groups for breaking the tradition of silence with its analysis of the failures of both the Church and the government to address allegations of sexual abuse.

The Times reports that 95 percent of Irish elementary schools receive state funds while they are run by the Catholic Church. The report outlines the failure of the police and public health officials to respond adequately to allegations of abuse, given the influence the Church has in Irish society. The Ferns report also notes the influence of the Vatican on the failure of the Irish Church to adequately respond to the allegations, reports the Times.

Posted by kshaw at 03:59 PM

Shining light on darkness

MASSACHUSETTS
Natick Bulletin & Tab

By Mary Kate Dubuss/ Staff Writer
Friday, November 18, 2005

Every Sunday, Terence McKiernan leaves his Natick home before dawn, so he can attend the 8 a.m. Mass at an East Longmeadow church. Though the trip to the parish of St. Michael's in western Massachusetts takes him an hour and a half each way, McKiernan says it is one of the only places he can go these days.

"It's gotten really hard to go to Mass, unless I feel the guy is courageous," McKiernan said.

His respect for Rev. Jim Scahill is rooted in the priest's own battle against the Springfield Archdiocese. He was the only pastor who spoke out and refused to send collection money on to the archdiocese when it kept a convicted child molester - Richard Lavigne - on the payroll.

Like many Catholics, McKiernan has struggled on many fronts since the sexual abuse crisis broke in 2002. He wanted to work on behalf on the scores of victims who were abused by children, which is now what he does as a full-time job.

His goal is to answer the "Watergate questions - what the bishops knew and when they knew it," through the examination of internal and public documents.

Posted by kshaw at 03:58 PM

Archdiocese, Prosecutors Agree To Deal

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel.com

POSTED: 1:18 pm EST November 18, 2005
UPDATED: 1:25 pm EST November 18, 2005

BOSTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston on Friday agreed to reforms and new reporting requirements in a settlement with federal prosecutors who were investigating charges that the church provided false information about an abusive chaplain.

The church was accused of withholding information from the U.S. Attorney's office in 1999 about a Veteran's Administration Chaplain who allegedly abused boys.

Under the deal, which U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan's office said was the first of its kind in the nation, Sullivan agreed not to bring charges against the archdiocese if the church agreed to the new reporting requirements.

The church is now required to provide background information on priests in the military, the VA and federal prisons to federal prosecutors. The church must also provide detailed information about chaplain candidates, audit its policies for child protection, promptly report allegations of abuse and implement other anti-abuse programs and internal controls.

The archdiocese released a statement saying it was pleased with the resolution of the case.

"The Archdiocese has consistently maintained that there was no basis for a criminal prosecution," the statement said. "By reaching a resolution and avoiding a prolonged and costly dispute, we can devote our energies and resources toward the advancement of our goal of protecting children and fulfilling the Church's mission in this Archdiocese."

Posted by kshaw at 02:15 PM

Boston diocese settles with prosecutors

BOSTON (MA)
UPI

BOSTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. prosecutors and Boston Catholic officials resolved allegations the diocese lied about a priest who was applying to be a Veterans Affairs chaplain.

Boston archdiocesan officials are accused of "knowingly providing false information" in May 1999 to the federal Office of Personnel Management in response to a background check of a VA priest.

Further, the archdiocese failed to properly notify the priest's VA supervisor of a new allegation of sexual misconduct in May 2000, prosecutors said Friday.

The archdiocese agreed to numerous remedial measures, including giving detailed background information to prosecutors on all priests serving as chaplains in the military, Veterans Affairs and federal prisons.

Posted by kshaw at 02:12 PM

Largest Individual Judgment in Sex Abuse Case Nets Florida Man $10.9 Million Judgment

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
PRNewswire

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A 47-year-old Florida man,
Michael J. Powel, won a $10.9 million dollar judgment in Connecticut Superior
Court against a former maintenance worker for the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Bridgeport, Carlo D. Fabbozzi. The jury agreed Fabbozzi repeatedly molested
Powel between the ages of 9 and 13. Fabbozzi, now 78, was in his mid-40s at
the time. The abuse took place in the late 60s and early 1970s on church
property.
Powel repressed his painful memories of the abuse by Fabbozzi until year
2000, only to regain them while recuperating from removal of a life
threatening malignant brain tumor. More than 68 scientific studies support
the existence of full or partial repression, otherwise known as dissociative
amnesia, following trauma like childhood sexual abuse.
Powel's account of the molestations was corroborated by the testimony of
two other male victims. After initially defending the claims and invoking the
Fifth Amendment privilege of self-incrimination as to his involvement in child
molestations, Fabbozzi failed to appear at trial electing not to contest the
claims. In July, 2000 a jury of four men and two women, four of whom were
Roman Catholic, returned a verdict of $5 million dollars ($2 million economic,
$3 million non-economic damages) and authorized the award of punitive damages.
With the punitive damages, interest and costs assessed by Judge Edward F.
Stodolink, the judgment totals $10,937,538.80.

Posted by kshaw at 12:26 PM

US victims may sue Irish training dioceses

IRELAND
One in Four

Lawyers representing US clerical child sex abuse victims have indicated they may initiate multi-million-dollar lawsuits against Irish dioceses that trained paedophile priests.

They say that if a test case against an Irish diocese, probably Cashel and Emly, is successful, other cases will follow.

Manly & Maguire, a California law firm which has handled hundreds of clerical abuse cases, has said it is currently putting a test case together under Californian contract law. Other law firms are expected to follow suit after recent disclosures that 18 Irish priests are facing abuse charges in California.

According to attorney Patrick Wall, Manly & Maguire will argue Irish seminaries were hired by US dioceses to train priests and were negligent in their duties. He said the students in Irish seminaries were already "quasi-employees" of US dioceses and that the Irish seminaries had a legal duty to inform the US dioceses about any potential paedophiles.

Posted by kshaw at 10:46 AM

Vatican's silence on Ferns criticised

IRELAND
One in Four

Seanad Report:

The Government should contact the Papal Nuncio and demand that the Vatican issue a view on the Ferns report, Joe O'Toole (Ind) said.

Given that the report was the worst they had seen on a Catholic diocese on the issue of child sex abuse, it was unacceptable that there had been an absolute silence from Rome.

"As the leader of the Irish diplomatic corps in the Vatican, the Irish Papal Nuncio should recognise that he has a role to play in this regard. We need to hear from him on this matter."

Posted by kshaw at 10:44 AM

State 'must probe Elphin sex claims'

IRELAND
One in Four

THE STATE has been told it must investigate the handling of clerical sex abuse claims in the diocese of Elphin, writes David Quinn.The call from Colm O'Gorman, the head of victim-support group One in Four, came after it emerged that the Bishop of Elphin, Dr Christopher Jones, knew about a sex-abuse allegation against one of his priests three years ago.

He only asked him to stand aside from his ministry last month following consultations with the Health Service Executive.

Mr O'Gorman said: "A case like this suggests that the diocese isn't properly abiding by the 1996 framework document" - which outlines how bishops should deal with such allegations. "The case demands an investigation by the State into how the diocese is dealing with sex abuse allegations generally."

Posted by kshaw at 10:42 AM

First duty of Taoiseach is to the state, not his faith

IRELAND
One in Four

It is interesting to note just how many commentators and public representatives have told us in recent days that while there had been a "special relationship" between the Irish State and the Roman Catholic hierarchy, that relationship is now largely a matter of history, writes Colm O'Gorman

But is it really? It may be true that no member of the current Cabinet has responsibility for clearing legislation through the Archbishop's Palace, as was the case for many decades, but does the fact that such a blatant corruption of our democratic process no longer exists mean that we have become a more independent republican democracy, or does the State and its citizens continue to show undue deference to the church?

I was in Wexford last Thursday, meeting with many of those directly affected by the issues dealt with in the Ferns report. I was contacted at 4.30pm by a journalist seeking my response to an Taoiseach's "robust defence" of the Catholic Church. My initial reaction was one of disbelief.

Our Taoiseach rarely, if ever, seriously misjudges public opinion and while he had never condemned the Vatican for its role in Ferns, I never expected that he would defend or seek to somehow excuse that appalling failure by suggesting that it should be somehow judged in the context of the great amount of good the church has done in the past.

I was amazed to hear the elected leader of this republican democracy, the head of a Government which derives its powers not from Rome, but from us individually and collectively as citizens, fail to roundly condemn the institutional church, but instead rise to its defence.

Posted by kshaw at 10:39 AM

100 protest outside primate's residence

IRELAND
One in Four

Approximately 100 lay Catholics took part in a one-hour protest outside the residence of the Catholic primate, Archbishop Seán Brady, in Armagh yesterday.

Calling for justice for priests "victimised by bishops" because they expressed concern about inappropriate behaviour by other clergy, the group handed in a letter for Dr Brady, with whom they are seeking a meeting.

They carried placards reading: "We will not accept any more injustice from the bishops in the light of recent disclosures" and "Justice for all priests who protect youth". Group spokesman Roger Kennedy, from Cashel, Co Tipperary, said they travelled to Armagh from all over Ireland, with some journeying by a bus from Limerick and picking up people on the way.

Posted by kshaw at 10:37 AM

New file goes to DPP over abuse claims

IRELAND
One in Four

Gardaí have sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions following further sexual abuse complaints against a number of Brothers of Charity by former residents of the order's home at Lota in Glanmire outside Cork city.

According to a Garda source, complaints and allegations of sexual abuse made by 14 former residents have been forwarded to the DPP in respect of a number of retired Brothers who worked at the home between the 1950s and 1970s.

Gardaí have interviewed three surviving Brothers about the allegations and have travelled to Britain to meet at least one of them. It is understood the Brothers of Charity have co-operated fully with the Garda inquiry.

Posted by kshaw at 10:35 AM

Church showdown

IRELAND
One in Four

Bertie Ahern and the leader of a sex-abuse victims’ charity held a tough-talking showdown yesterday over the scandal of paedophile priests.

One in Four boss Colm O’Gorman said he vented “his sense of outrage” over the Taoiseach’s description of the Ferns Report as “disappointing”.

And he described his audience with Mr Ahern and Minister for Children Brian Lenihan at Government Buildings yesterday as “constructive”.

Posted by kshaw at 10:32 AM

North-South talks on child audit

IRELAND
One in Four

Tánaiste and Minister for Health Mary Harney has had talks with her Northern counterpart about the Government's audit on child protection measures in Catholic dioceses which cross the Border.

The meeting between Ms Harney and Minister Shaun Woodward took place in Belfast last Tuesday. It has also emerged that a meeting on the issue between Department of Health officials and the Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland took place on November 8th last.

Meanwhile, a meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin yesterday between the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and representatives of the One in Four group was described later as "very, very amicable, constructive, and very helpful" by Colm O'Gorman, the One in Four director.

Posted by kshaw at 10:30 AM

D.C. rabbi quits after reported sex sting

WASHINGTON (DC)
Cleveland Jewish News

By: MATTHEW E. BERGER JTA

An official with an educational program for Jewish high school students has resigned after allegedly searching the Internet for liaisons with underage boys and sending naked pictures of himself.

Rabbi David Kaye resigned from Panim on Oct. 31, several days before being featured on “Dateline NBC” seeking a sexual encounter with an underage boy he met in a chat room.

“He told me he was going to be on a program on national TV that would identify him engaging in inappropriate behavior,” said Rabbi Sid Schwarz, founder and president of Washington-based Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.

Panim has never received a complaint against Kaye, and he is not accused of doing anything wrong in relation to his work there. But the incident is likely to revive concerns about the possibility of sexual misconduct between rabbis and other Jewish officials who have contact with minors.

Posted by kshaw at 10:24 AM

Aretakis weighs Bruno challenge

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

First published: Friday, November 18, 2005

John Aretakis, the controversial attorney who has carved a niche representing people who say they've been abused by priests, confirmed to Inside Politics Thursday he has "not ruled out" challenging Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, next year.

Aretakis, 45, a self-described "life-long Democrat," said he has been approached several times over the past year by people asking if he'd consider a run against Bruno. He didn't say who. But interest in him intensified, he said, after a number of Republican losses on Election Day in Bruno's district raised murmurs the senator's power may be ebbing.

"This is not a subject that I myself have thought about or broached," Aretakis said. "I have always believed that the moment when I entered politics would be the moment I would sell everything that's good about myself."

Posted by kshaw at 10:18 AM

Group wants alleged abusive priests' names released

ALCOA (TN)
WVLT

Alcoa, Blount County (WVLT) - A Tennessee organization wants Catholic Church leaders to make public the names of priests found to have sexually abused children.

Our Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb has more on what these people are asking.

Knoxville Diocese officials say they've identified one priest but will not release his name because like the victims, they say, he, too has rights.

Members of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or "SNAP," were outside Alcoa's Lady of Fatima Church with a man who says he was abused during the mid and late 1960's by a priest assigned then to the Blount County area.

"There has to be other victims, other people who haven't come forward, haven't reached out for the help they want or need, thinking maybe they're still alone," says Mike Hitch, who says he was allegedly abused by priest.

Posted by kshaw at 10:11 AM

‘Outside’ priests were excluded from Ferns investigation

IRELAND
New Ross Echo

The catalogue of abuse drawn up by the Ferns inquiry of over 100 allegations of clerical sexual abuse against children by priests operating within the Diocese of Ferns could have run into far greater numbers had the Inquiry investigated all of the clergy operating within the Diocese.

Speaking at a public meeting held on Thursday night, founder of One in Four, Mr. Colm O’ Gorman spoke of the frustration of many victims of abuse who contacted the organisation in 2002 on learning that the Ferns Inquiry had interpreted one of its terms of reference in a way that excluded from investigation a number of the religious operating within the diocese.

Addressing some 19 people who attended the meeting in the Talbot Hotel in Wexford, Mr. O’ Gorman said that the Ferns Inquiry’s interpretation of the words ‘operating under the aegis of the Diocese’ had excluded religious orders, seminarians and priests ordained outside the parish from investigation.

“There’s a term of reference in it,” said Mr. O’ Gorman, “that says the inquiry is to investigate complaints, allegations and suspicions of clerical sex abuse made against priests operating under the aegis of the diocese of Ferns.

Posted by kshaw at 09:37 AM

Denial is still rife

IRELAND
New Ross Echo

Mary Frances Ryan

She was speaking during a debate on the Ferns Report in Dáil Éireann last Wednesday.

Ms. McDonnell claimed the Catholic Church’s record was such that the State could not accept that it would be truthful or capable of self-regulation.

She said that in a democracy all views could be heard but that there should be no special relationship; that this extremely influential relationship should end absolutely.

“The Church is neither democratic nor accountable. In many ways it is a secret organisation,” said Ms. O’Donnell.

She described the deference shown to the Church as the “root cause of society’s failure to stop the Church’s systematic maladministration and dereliction of duty to protect children”.

Posted by kshaw at 09:35 AM

Appalling shadow over diocese

IRELAND
New Ross Echo

Welcoming the recommendations set out in the Ferns Report for dealing with issues arising in the area of child protection, several councillors at the monthly Wexford Corporation meeting questioned whether the Department of Health will put in place the funding necessary to see that these are enacted.

“There has been an appalling shadow over the Diocese of Ferns for too many years,” said Cllr. Joe Ryan, “but what we now need to do is ensure that the recommendations concerning child protection are acted upon.

“These recommend-ations should not just be applied to the Catholic Church, they also need to be applied to all the other organisations operating within areas where children are concerned.

Posted by kshaw at 09:24 AM

Witness: Girls told her they'd been molested

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By RAMONA SMITH
smithra@phillynews.com

Yvette Odom's friend had barely moved into Odom's house with five of her children when Odom heard allegations of sexual abuse against the director of a gospel group in which the women sang.

The first night the family moved in, Odom's friend's teenage daughter came to the kitchen and told the two women that choir director Otis Joseph had molested her, Odom said yesterday in Common Pleas Court.

The 17-year-old "said that Otis had come downstairs to her bedroom" when the family still lived in his West Oak Lane home, said Odom. The teen said Joseph had climbed into bed with her and "tried to engage her in a sexual act," Odom testified at Joseph's trial on charges of sexually assaulting that girl and two of her sisters between August and October 2003.

"[She] was upset. She just kept saying, 'I don't believe it. I'm just glad to be out of there,' " said Odom, who, with her husband, took in the friend and her children for a few weeks in fall 2003, after they had left Joseph's house.

Later, Odom said, a younger daughter interrupted a phone conversation between the two women with more bad news: "Mommy, Otis did this [abused her] to me."

The Daily News is withholding the names of the three sisters and their mother because the newspaper does not identify the alleged victims of sex crimes.

Joseph, 29, once a rising star in gospel-music circles in the city, was dismissed as choir director at West Oak Lane Church of God and later at Bright Hope Baptist Church, as sexual-abuse allegations began to surface.

Posted by kshaw at 09:21 AM

Woodlawn pastor is charged with sexually abusing teens

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Nick Shields
Sun reporter
Originally published November 17, 2005
A pastor at a Baltimore County church has been charged with sexually abusing teenagers during counseling sessions, police said yesterday.

Gerald Fitroy Griffith, a pastor in the Woodlawn area, was charged with multiple counts of child abuse and sexual abuse of a minor, and with several other sex offenses, according to Baltimore County police.

Griffith, 39, of Bowie, who has traveled internationally with his ministry, was arrested Tuesday while waiting to board a previously scheduled flight to London at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, police said.

After five people contacted police about alleged sexual abuse, police began an investigation that led to a warrant being issued for Griffith's arrest.

Posted by kshaw at 09:17 AM

Diocese, Stanwich seal deal

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Time

By Keach Hagey and Hoa Nguyen
Staff Writers

Published November 18 2005

The Diocese of Bridgeport sold 25 acres to Stanwich School yesterday, ending the school's more than seven-year search for a permanent home while generating money the diocese says it will use to pay off a 2003 settlement reached with victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Diocese and school officials inked the deal yesterday for the undeveloped parcel on Stanwich Road adjacent to St. Agnes Church and Greenwich Reform Synagogue, where the school now leases space. Diocese and school officials declined to disclose the sale price. When the diocese put the property up for sale last year, the asking price was $15 million.

Diocese officials said they needed to sell the land to cover the cost of a $21 million settlement reached two years ago and which has since been paid to victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 09:10 AM

Plausible reasoning by Bishop McManus doesn't protect Catholics from sexual abuse.

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Voice

In an attempt to delude the actions his actions exposed by the media, to which most believe were wrong, Bishop McManus used the Worcester Dioceses, Catholic Free Press to further explain his position in the Fr Aquino case.

This comes after failing to address numerous media inquires, letters and telephone calls in request of explanation of the "new information"

Bishop McManus has failed to address any reasoning for the failed lines of communication, his lack of investigational procedures in the Aquino case and most of all his absence from admission of his sins.

How can the leader of the dioceses confirm he failed without taking full responsibility.

Posted by kshaw at 09:05 AM

Understanding 'the documents'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

Editor's note: What documents are being sought by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office as it investigates allegations of sexual abuse? Which documents are involved in the settlement of abuse lawsuits? Why does the Archdiocese continue to assert that certain documents are confidential?

The answers to these questions are straightforward enough, but have been confused by some, including members of the local media. In an effort to set the record straight, attorneys for the Archdiocese recently sat down with The Tidings and explained the documents issue.

"The first thing that people need to be clear about is that there are two separate legal processes going on," said Michael Hennigan, lead attorney for the Archdiocese. "One is civil and the other is criminal."

Posted by kshaw at 09:04 AM

Understanding 'the documents'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

Editor's note: What documents are being sought by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office as it investigates allegations of sexual abuse? Which documents are involved in the settlement of abuse lawsuits? Why does the Archdiocese continue to assert that certain documents are confidential?

The answers to these questions are straightforward enough, but have been confused by some, including members of the local media. In an effort to set the record straight, attorneys for the Archdiocese recently sat down with The Tidings and explained the documents issue.

"The first thing that people need to be clear about is that there are two separate legal processes going on," said Michael Hennigan, lead attorney for the Archdiocese. "One is civil and the other is criminal."

Posted by kshaw at 08:54 AM

Asking the right questions about 'touching'

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By George Weigel

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, is almost certainly going to get himself in hot water with the U.S. Bishops Conference Office of Child and Youth Protection. That's entirely to his credit.

In the midst of the Long Lent of 2002, the conference passed a "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" (which was revised and reissued this last June). Article 12 of the charter requires dioceses to "maintain 'safe environment' programs...to be conducted cooperatively with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations." The charter also specifies that these programs "be in accord with Catholic moral principles."

More than a few parents in more than a few dioceses have raised serious questions about whether many of these programs meet that standard. Bishop Vasa evidently agrees. In a recent pastoral letter, he listed the questions he thought needed to be answered before he was prepared to implement Article 12 of the Charter:

"Are such programs effective? Do such programs impose an unduly burdensome responsibility on very young children to protect themselves, rather than insisting that parents take such training and take on the primary responsibility for protecting their children? Where do these programs come from? Is it true that Planned Parenthood has a hand [in] or at least a huge influence on many of them? Is it true that other groups, actively promoting early sexual activity for children, promote these programs in association with their own perverse agendas?

Posted by kshaw at 08:52 AM

Priest accused of sex abuse: Navy officer alleges molestation in ’80s while student

WILMINGTON (DE)
Newszap

By Drew Volturo, Delaware State News

WILMINGTON — A U.S. Navy commander filed a federal lawsuit Thursday alleging that he was sexually molested by a priest while attending a Claymont Catholic school in the 1980s and began pushing for legislation to extend the time limit for victims to bring civil suits in Delaware.

In a 23-page suit filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell said the Rev. Edward J. Smith molested him during two ski trips to Killington, Vt., in 1984-85, when he was a student at Archmere Academy.

However, Mr. Whitwell said Thursday that the abuse went far beyond the two alleged incidents, lasting for nine years.

“I was a typical victim, a quiet, shy, 14-year-old freshman,” said Mr. Whitwell, wearing a Navy dress uniform with his wife Amy by his side.

“He carved me out of the pack, so to speak. He befriended me by paying attention to me. He was my religion teacher and befriended my family.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:47 AM

Group: Church covering up abuse cases

ALCOA (TN)
Knoxville Sentinel

By ROBERT WILSON, rlwilson2594@msn.com
November 18, 2005

ALCOA - SNAP of Tennessee on Thursday exhibited its chain of alleged sexual abuse victims outside a Roman Catholic church to call attention to what the organization says is a wide-scale cover-up of abuse cases across Tennessee.
SNAP is the acronym of a national organization that stands for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

As part of its media event Thursday, SNAP of Tennessee exhibited a chain that had purple plastic silhouettes of people - some named, others shown as John Does - who the group says they have documented as victims of sexual abuse by priests in Tennessee.

The Tennessee chapter's current campaign, "Breaking the Silence in Tennessee," seeks to identify both predator priests and their victims and to persuade the church to reveal what SNAP State Director Susan Vance says is a "secret list" of priests who have committed acts of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 08:45 AM

Reaction from Paul Lebrun's trial

MESA (AZ)
WNDU

Story filed by NewsCenter16 Reporter
Stephanie Stang

Mesa, AZ - A jury in Mesa, Arizona convicted Father Paul Lebrun on six counts, in the sexual molestation of young boys Thursday.

Lebrun shook his head as the verdicts were read aloud; a trusted priest, now a convicted child molester.

“During the trial I felt he didn't think they would find him guilty. He never once didn't smile,” said one of the victim’s mothers.

The Michiana community knows Lebrun from his years at the Little Flower Church in South Bend, during the 1990's. Indiana State Police investigated allegations of abuse here, but because of statute of limitations, no charges were filed.

Lebrun later moved to Arizona where he was accused of molesting six young boys from his church. During the trial four Indiana men testified.

“He said throughout this process was in the hands of God,” said Kenneth Huls, Lebrun’s attorney.

Posted by kshaw at 08:40 AM

Reluctant victim sees priest get 20 years

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post-Dispatch

By Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/17/2005

The man never wanted to be first to come forward about his sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest decades ago.

"All along I said I didn't want to be the first person," the 43-year-old emphasized Thursday, the day the Rev. Thomas Graham was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Cowed by pain, shame and fear, he said, he had waited for others to step forward - and was ready to support them.

But during a search for his biological father's grave, he happened upon the church where Graham was then serving and saw him surrounded by adults and children. That prompted the man to report his abuse to the St. Louis Archdiocese in 1994. The church said later it could not substantiate the claim.

In 2002, after the priest sex abuse scandal broke in Boston and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce asked victims to come forward, the man stepped up.

Posted by kshaw at 08:34 AM

Open The Bridgeport Files

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Hartford Courant

November 18, 2005
The Bridgeport Diocese should give up its battle to block the release of documents stemming from a priest sexual abuse scandal settled four years ago.

Four newspapers, including The Courant, sued to gain access to the sealed files. Superior Court Judge Robert F. McWeeny ordered the documents released three years ago, but the diocese appealed. Now the state Supreme Court has backed Judge McWeeny, citing an important presumption that court records are open to the public. The case was returned to Superior Court for a new hearing.

Catholic Church prelates have proclaimed a new era of openness and accountability regarding the sexual abuse of youths by priests. But that commitment means little if the church continues to hide behind, in the words of Judge McWeeny, a technical "fig leaf" to shield files that likely would shed light on the despicable actions of a small minority of clergy members.

Posted by kshaw at 08:29 AM

Lessons of a seminary

CALIFORNIA
Long Beach Press-Telegram

The California Supreme Court has settled the matter of whether Cardinal Richard Mahony should give prosecutors the files of two former priests accused of molesting children. Lesson learned, or so you might think.

Think again. The church has said its lawyers will review their case, although so far it has gone absolutely nowhere, and the lawyer for the two priests says he might appeal further to the U.S. Supreme Court. The most credible response comes from the district attorney, Steve Cooley, who says he expects to get the files he subpoenaed immediately.

The D.A.'s office further expects that the court's ruling also means prosecutors finally would get their hands on the archdiocese's secret files of more than 200 priests who are the targets of 560 legal claims alleging one kind of sexual abuse or another.

Even as the fight between churchmen and prosecutors plods on, further installments of this sad story unfold. The L.A. Times revealed Thursday that St. John's Seminary, which for 66 years has supplied priests for the archdiocese and other dioceses and is the alma mater of the cardinal himself, has a list of horrors among its priestly alumni.

Posted by kshaw at 08:26 AM

Priest convicted of Valley sex abuse

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh and Aaron Royster
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 18, 2005 12:00 AM

The only Valley Catholic priest to risk trial on child-abuse charges paid dearly on Thursday when jurors found him guilty of six sex crimes that carry an 81-year minimum sentence.

The Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, a former youth minister, shook his head as jurors announced they had found him guilty of sexual abuse of six 11- to 13-year-old boys in the West Valley from 1986 to 1991.

"These young men were very courageous in coming forward and testifying before 16 strangers," including four alternate jurors, Deputy County Attorney Suzanne Cohen said. advertisement

LeBrun has been barred from handling priestly duties since 1999 and was charged in 2003, but has not been defrocked.

Since the priest scandal erupted in the Valley in 2002 and 2003, three priests have been pleaded guilty to charges, one died and three are sought by authorities in foreign countries. LeBrun is the first case to go to a jury.

Posted by kshaw at 08:16 AM

Archmere grad sues, claiming abuse by priest

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By STEVEN CHURCH and BETH MILLER
The News Journal
11/18/2005
A Navy officer sued Archmere Academy and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington on Thursday, claiming he was sexually molested by a priest while he was an Archmere student in the mid-1980s.

In his federal lawsuit, Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell, 37, of Quantico, Va., said the Rev. Edward Smith sexually abused him while they were on ski trips in Vermont in 1984 and 1985. At the time, Smith was an English teacher at Archmere and later went on to serve as treasurer of the Claymont school's board of trustees from 1997 until 2001, according to Archmere officials.

Posted by kshaw at 08:05 AM

'Global resolution' would bring quicker aid to priests' victims

OREGON
The Oregonian

Friday, November 18, 2005
Many church services include a moment for what is known as passing the peace. Some variation on "Peace be with you" erupts from the pews as friends hug, strangers shake hands and shyer parishioners stand with frozen smiles, waiting for the moment to pass.

It always does.

The Archdiocese of Portland's $40 million settlement estimate, offered this week to victims of sexual abuse who are claimants in its bankruptcy case, will be seen, coldly, as a business deal. And of course it is. Yet this is also a moment of proffered peace. It's tentative and awkward, trembling with the possibility of rejection and with something else -- real hope for a rapprochement.

True, there's nothing settled about this settlement estimate. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris will scrutinize it and decide whether it is fair. It will also be subject to approval by claimants in the case. They can respond. Or they can let this moment pass.

Many victims of sexual abuse will, of course, judge this settlement estimate to be woefully insufficient, even something close to an insult and certainly no more than a starting point. Some victims, sadly, aren't even around to object. In the past year, as The Oregonian's Steve Woodward has reported, two victims of sexual abuse who were claimants in the archdiocese's bankruptcy case committed suicide. A third is considered an apparent suicide.

Posted by kshaw at 07:50 AM

Prosecutors win access to clergy files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CNN

Friday, November 18, 2005; Posted: 8:11 a.m. EST (13:11 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- California's Supreme Court has upheld an appeals court ruling that forces the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese to turn over the personnel files of two former priests accused of molestation.

The ruling issued Wednesday is the latest development in a battle between the Los Angeles County district attorney, who subpoenaed the private files three years ago, and the archdiocese.

Archbishop Roger Mahony has argued that opening the files would violate the church's constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Donald Steier, an attorney for the former priests, said he was considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling means prosecutors could scour personnel files for evidence that could result in criminal charges against additional clergy and possibly even Mahony himself.

Posted by kshaw at 07:45 AM

November 17, 2005

Priest cleared of sex charges

SOUTH AFRICA
The Star

November 18, 2005

By Winnie Graham

A foreign Catholic priest has been cleared of sexual abuse charges by both a South African court and the Church.

Father Justin Nnaji, a member of the Society of the Missionaries of St Paul in Abuja, Nigeria, was charged with rape and sexual abuse in the Clocolan (Free State) Magistrate's Court on October 11 last year, refused bail and held in custody for more than five months.

In a statement released by the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, the Right Reverend Hubert Bucher, the Bishop of Bethlehem, said he was relieved that this tragic episode in the history of his diocese had come to an end.

Posted by kshaw at 09:36 PM

Navy doctor sues church officials, claiming sexual abuse

VIRGINIA
WVEC

11/18/2005

By RANDALL CHASE / Associated Press

A Navy doctor filed a federal lawsuit Thursday alleging that he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager, and that church officials did nothing to protect him.

Lt. Commander Kenneth Whitwell, 37, claims he was abused for several years by the Rev. Edward J. Smith while attending Archmere Academy, a Catholic high school in Claymont.

Whitwell alleges that Smith, who now works at a Norbertine Order priory in Middletown, began molesting him in 1982, when he was a 14-year-old freshman and Smith was his religion teacher.

According to the lawsuit, Smith had been removed from his job as principal at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia two years earlier amid allegations of sexually abusing children and was "hidden" by church officials in Maryland before being transferred to Delaware.

Posted by kshaw at 09:33 PM

Sex-abuse bill: first things first

OHIO
The Plain Dealer

Thursday, November 17, 2005
Aheartfelt debate about one important detail threatens to thwart a good bill that would help protect youngsters from sexual abuse. That must not happen.

The core of Senate Bill 17 is an uncontroversial provision that requires clerics to report sexual abuse (unless the reporting violates a sacred trust) just as doctors, teachers and social workers must do. The Ohio Senate approved it and has sent it along to the House.

The controversy involves the inclusion in the bill of a temporary relaxation of the two-year statute of limitations for civil suits in abuse cases. The measure would extend the statute of limitations for suing in abuse cases to 20 years after a victim's 18th birthday, but it would do so only for a 12-month window. After that, the two-year statute of limitations would return.

Fearing multimillion-dollar suits, several Catholic bishops are chucking rocks at that window with the vigor of rowdy schoolkids.

Victims and supporters say the two-year statute of limitations handcuffs traumatized youngsters who may take years to find the courage to face an abuser.

Posted by kshaw at 08:00 PM

Jesuits say half of Alaskan claims not theirs

ALASKA
Catholic Sentinel

11/17/2005 Ed Langlois
About half of the more than 80 sex-abuse lawsuits the Jesuits are facing in Alaska involve two diocesan volunteers who were never in the Society of Jesus or under its governance.

That is why the religious community is denying legal responsibility in those cases, says the head of the Northwest’s Jesuits.

“While we have worked towards healing with those we believed were harmed by Jesuits, we believe it would be an injustice to take responsibility for actions by those who were not our members or responsible to the Province,” says the provincial, Father John Whitney.

The Oregon Province of Jesuits covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Most of the abuse allegedly took place in remote Alaskan villages, where the Jesuits run missions they founded more than a century ago.

The Jesuits are seeking relief from more than 40 cases against one lay mission volunteer and two against another. Both were in the employ of the Diocese of Fairbanks.

Posted by kshaw at 07:55 PM

Priest convicted on sex abuse, faces 100-plus years in prison

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 17, 2005 01:15 PM

A jury Thursday found a Catholic priest guilty on six counts in the sexual abuse of boys when he was stationed in the West Valley after a trial that included powerful testimony from four Indiana men who said that they, too, were victimized by him.

The Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, was found guilty after three weeks of testimony in a Mesa courtroom. LeBrun, awaiting trial in the Maricopa County Jail since 2003, was the first priest to be judged on sexual charges by a Valley jury since the Catholic sex scandal broke nearly four years ago. Other cases ended in plea bargains or, in two cases, the accused fled to other countries and have not been extradited.

LeBrun, who could face more than 100 years in prison, has been stripped of his priestly duties, but has not been defrocked. He stood trial on eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation. Jurors deadlocked on five counts and acquitted LeBrun on a sixth; one other count was dropped.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 PM

Sex Abuse Investigation Into Pastor Expands

TOWSON (MD)
TheWBALChannel.com

POSTED: 5:22 pm EST November 17, 2005
UPDATED: 8:26 pm EST November 17, 2005

TOWSON, Md. -- Police said new allegations have arisen against a pastor accused of sexually abusing children and teenagers inside his church office.

WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter Barry Simms reported Baltimore County police have expanded its investigation into more possible sexual abuse victims who have come forward.

Officers arrested Gerald Fitroy Griffith on Tuesday before he left for a flight to London, charging him with sexual abuse to a minor, perverted practice, sodomy, second-degree sex offense, third-degree sex offense, fourth-degree sex offense, and second-degree assault.

Griffith, 39, of Bowie, is the senior pastor of the Redemption Christian Fellowship, which is located in the 6500 block of Dogwood Road in Woodlawn. According to his World Wide Ministries Web site, Griffith refers to himself as Apostle Gerald Griffith.

Posted by kshaw at 07:40 PM

Once a rabbi, always a rabbi Kaye quits rabbinic assn.; retains title

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Jewish Week

by Eric Fingerhut
Staff Writer

Rabbi David Kaye has resigned from Conservative Judaism's rabbinical association, but the title of "rabbi" cannot be taken away from him.

Such a designation is earned when one graduates from rabbinical school, according to leaders in the Conservative and Reconstructionist movement.

Kaye submitted his resignation to the Rabbinical Assembly a few days before the airing of the Nov. 4 Dateline NBC hidden camera investigation of sexual predators on the Internet in which he was ensnared.

A former rabbi at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Kaye also resigned his position with the teen educational group Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values due to the Dateline program.

Rabbi Joel Meyers, the R.A.'s executive vice president, said that giving up membership in the organization essentially means that Kaye is "no longer a member of the Conservative rabbinate" and "can't function as a Conservative rabbi."

Posted by kshaw at 07:34 PM

Defense, prosecutors react to conviction of priest

MESA (AZ)
KVOA

MESA, Ariz. The Phoenix Diocese says the trial of former Catholic Priest Paul LeBrun was "a long and arduous journey for all involved."

Jurors found LeBrun guilty today of sexually abusing boys in his care.

In a statement this afternoon, the Catholic diocese says it hopes the trial's end brings "closure, healing and reconciliation."

Prosecutors alleged that LeBrun took advantage of young boys in Arizona and Indiana whose parents were abusive, divorced or who were abandoned by their fathers.

Posted by kshaw at 07:29 PM

Settlement reached in priest abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

By Theresa Gutierrez
November 17, 2005 - A settlement has been reached in connection with a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse. At least six adults claimed father John Powell abused them in the late 60's and 70's. No criminal charges were filed against Powell but the priest has admitted to the abuse.

Two of the former Chicago Jesuit priest John Powell's victims spoke out Thursday. Patrice Regnier says Father Powell -- a former Loyola University professor -- started abusing her when she was 12 years old. She just received a settlement.

"The idea people found from me speaking the truth that they could come out themselves and speak the truth is a good thing," said Patrice Regnier, victim of sexual abuse.

Diane Ruhl says she was abused at 17 years old by Father Powell on the Loyola campus when she was a student. She confronted him 30 years later by writing him. He responded and admitted to the abuse in his letters.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 PM

Priest convicted on sex abuse charges

MESA (AZ)
KOLD

MESA, Ariz. A jury has convicted a former Catholic priest on six counts in the sexual abuse of boys when he was stationed in the West Valley.

During his trial, 49-nine-year-old Paul LeBrun sat in a courtroom in Mesa and listened to the testimony of men who say they were victimized by a man they looked up to.

LeBrun could face more than 100 years in prison.

He was stripped of his priestly duties, but has not been defrocked.

LeBrun stood trial on eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation.

Posted by kshaw at 07:17 PM

Silence and secrecy at school where child sex abuse went on for decades

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Ian Cobain
Friday November 18, 2005
The Guardian

In 1997, near the end of his life, Cardinal Basil Hume sat down to write a theology book for children, which he called Basil in Blunderland. Given that the book was aimed at very young children, the title of the final chapter - Death - must have surprised some of the cardinal's readers.

These pages saw Cardinal Hume, the leader of 4 million Roman Catholics in England and Wales, anticipating his own passing. "In a very bad moment I think about the relief my demise will bring to some people," he wrote. "I do worry about the insensitive and clumsy ways I have handled some people, about my selfishness ..."

Cardinal Hume did not explain further, but some former pupils at Ampleforth college, the country's most celebrated Catholic public school, may believe he was referring to them.

For three decades between 1966 and 1995, a number of boys at the school endured sexual abuse at the hands of some of the monks who taught there, assaults that ranged from relatively minor incidents to, allegedly, rape. These were the decades during which Cardinal Hume was first the Abbot of Ampleforth, and then Archbishop of Westminster.

Exactly how many young boys were abused is difficult to say. Police say they have identified between 30 and 40 victims, although former pupils estimate the true tally could reach three figures.

Posted by kshaw at 07:14 PM

Abuse Survivors Want Names of Molesting Priests

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG

Nov 17, 2005, 08:46 AM EST

MEMPHIS -A group of victims gather in Memphis to speak out about Catholic priests who allegedly molest. S.N.A.P., Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, displayed its chain of victims outside Catholic High and St. Peter Villa in Midtown. The exhibit is called "Breaking the Silence". The group wants the Catholic Church to turn over the names of all known abusers to them. They want to use the information to warn the various communities where the priests now live.

The groups visit to Memphis comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by a week ago by a Memphis man against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and Father Paul St. Charles. St. Charles now lives in Nashville. The Diocese tells us he is now suspended and cannot perform any duties for the Catholic Church.

Posted by kshaw at 01:33 PM

O'Gorman in 'constructive' meeting with Ahern

IRELAND
RTE News

17 November 2005 17:52
Colm O'Gorman of the One in Four group has described his meeting with the Taoiseach this afternoon as very amicable and constructive.

He said Bertie Ahern had made it very clear that he acknowledged the sense of disappointment and betrayal which followed the Ferns Report.

Mr O'Gorman said he welcomed this statement, and also acknowledged the work the Taoiseach and the Government had done on the issue of clerical abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 12:15 PM

Ahern to meet with victim support group

IRELAND
U.TV

The Taoiseach is to meet with victim support group One In Four this afternoon.

The first meeting between it`s founder Colm O`Gorman and Bertie Ahern comes as he once again defends the role of the Catholic Church.

Posted by kshaw at 12:13 PM

O’Gorman repeats criticism of Taoiseach’s church defence

IRELAND
IOL

17/11/2005 - 13:49:39

The director of the One In Four support group for child abuse victims has reiterated his criticism of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's recent comments supporting the Catholic Church.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin this morning, Bertie Ahern defended his remarks supporting the role of the church in Irish education.

Mr Ahern's remarks were widely criticised as ill-timed and insensitive, given the recent Ferns Report on clerical child sex abuse in Co Wexford.

One In Four director Colm O'Gorman said at the time that the good deeds of many priests should never be used to balance out the crimes committed by others.

Posted by kshaw at 12:12 PM

Pedophile priest convictions quashed

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

By Charisse Ede

November 17, 2005

A FORMER Catholic priest and convicted pedophile has had three child sex charges quashed and his jail term for a series of others substantially reduced.

Michael Charles Glennon, 59, was sentenced in October 2003 to 18 years prison, with a 15 year minimum, in relation to almost 30 molestation charges against four victims between 1983 and 1991.

The term was increased to 20 years by adding on two years of the sentence he was already serving.

Most of the offences were committed at youth camps held at Karaglen, a rural property at Lancefield, north of Melbourne, which Glennon helped establish and operate.

The charges were dealt with in two separate trials in 2003, with the first being suppressed until the conclusion of the second.

Posted by kshaw at 12:05 PM

Prosecutors: Priest won't face charges

WEST LIBERTY (KY)
WKYT

WEST LIBERTY, Ky. -- A suspended priest who was accused of misconduct with a minor won't face criminal charges, prosecutors announced.

The Rev. Pete Richardson was barred from public ministry in August after the accusation surfaced.

Prosecutors said there was "no evidence of criminal wrongdoing."

"I'm very delighted by this news, and I know Father Pete is very happy about it, too," said Karen Hurley, communications director for Glenmary Home Missioners, with which Richardson is affiliated. "I consider this very good news."

Posted by kshaw at 12:03 PM

4th day of deliberations today in priest sex trial

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

MESA - Jurors return today for a fourth day of deliberations in the trial of a former West Valley priest accused of molesting six boys more than a decade ago. On Wednesday, the jurors asked two questions that were considered routine, but gave no hint of how much progress they've made. advertisement

The Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, who has been stripped of his priestly duties but has not been defrocked, is the first Valley priest to have sex charges against him go before a jury.

LeBrun is accused of committing sex acts at St. John Vianney Church in Avondale and Blessed Sacrament Church in Tolleson, and at campgrounds with boys from 11 to 16 years old between 1986 and 1991.

Posted by kshaw at 12:02 PM

Bishop: no delay dealing with sex abuse allegation

IRELAND
The Sligo Champion

By Leo Gray

Bishop Jones told The Sligo Champion he asked the priest at the centre of the allegations to stand aside as soon as there was sufficient information on the matter available to him.

He said a priest would be asked to stand aside when there was 'reasonable suspicion of abuse' against him but this did not apply in the first statement made to the Diocese of Elphin concerning the priest who served in Los Angeles between 1957 and 1965.

Identity not given

Bishop Jones confirmed that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles contacted him by letter of September 18th, 2002, advising that an allegation of 'inappropriate conduct with a minor' had been directed against a priest of the Elphin diocese who had served in LA

He stressed that no further detail of the complaint was provided and the identity of the complainant was not given.

Posted by kshaw at 11:59 AM

Pedophile priest has sentence slashed

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

By Patrick O'Neil
November 18, 2005

A PEDOPHILE priest described as evil and callous yesterday had his sentence slashed by five years and won the right to a retrial.

Michael Charles Glennon, 61, had been convicted of a series of charges, including rape, against children as young as seven from 1986 to 1991.

But the Victorian Court of Appeal ordered a retrial in one of Glennon's cases because they found the judge did not give sufficient directions to the jury and improperly questioned the solo defence witness, Glennon's cousin.

Glennon initially received a 15-year minimum jail term, but the judgment, by Justices Frank Callaway, Peter Buchanan and Geoffrey Eames, reduced the sentence to a minimum of 10 years.

He will remain in prison and his other convictions will stand.

Posted by kshaw at 11:58 AM

Barring gays from priesthood not discrimination, say Italian bishops

ITALY
Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

ASSISI, Italy (CNS) -- Deciding not to accept as candidates for the priesthood men with "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" would not be an act of discrimination, said the general secretary of the Italian bishops' conference.

The bishops, meeting in Assisi, approved new norms for seminary admittance and the formation of priests, including the rejection of mandatory psychological testing of candidates.

While they provided some information about their discussion, the bishops said they would not release the text of the norms until the Vatican had approved them.

Bishop Giuseppe Betori, conference general secretary, told reporters Nov. 15 the text includes the key passages cautioning against admitting homosexual candidates for the priesthood found in an instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Posted by kshaw at 11:56 AM

Priest sentenced to 20 years for abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post-Dispatch

By Robert Patrick
POST-DISPATCH
11/17/2005

The Rev. Thomas Graham was sentenced to 20 years in prison this morning for sodomizing a young boy in the rectory of the Old Cathedral in St. Louis in the late 1970s.

But Graham is not likely to spend any time behind bars soon.

Graham was released on a $500,000 appeal bond posted by the St. Louis Archdiocese the day he was convicted of the sodomy charge and that bond will remain in effect.

Graham was not handcuffed after Circuit Judge Angela Turner Quigless sentenced him, and was scheduled to be released later in the morning.

Graham’s lawyer, Christian Goeke, vowed to appeal the case, challenging both the trial and the constitutionality of the 1969 statute used to prosecute Graham.

Posted by kshaw at 11:54 AM

Organization alleges clergy abuse

MEMPHIS (TN)
WMCT

They call themselves SNAP: Survivors Network Abused by Priests. Their message Wednesday was to encourage other victims to come forward. And because of one mans claim, a new investigation will open into claims against a priest who's served Memphis for more than 50 years.

A string of paper silhouettes at a protest Wednesday represented people who claim abuse by Catholic priests in Tennessee. People like Michael Hitch, who came to Memphis from Iowa with his brother, a priest, to tell his story.

Hitch claims he was abused by a Memphis Priest while on a trip to Florida in 1966. He is concerned there are others with similar stories in Memphis.

Posted by kshaw at 11:52 AM

Rev. Teczar faces indecent assault charges in Texas

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Kathleen A. Shaw TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kshaw@telegram.com

The Rev. Thomas H. Teczar, a priest of the Worcester Diocese, is expected to face criminal charges involving indecent assault on a teenage boy from Ranger, Texas, in an Eastland, Texas, criminal court early next year.

A spokesman for Eastland County District Attorney Russ Thomason said yesterday the case is on the docket for Jan. 16. Jury selection is expected to start Jan. 13. He is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, which is a felony in Texas.

Rev. Teczar, a Dudley resident who returned to Texas in 2003 for arraignment, has been free on $30,000 bail. He was first arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant at his Dudley home in December 2002, and was arrested again in March 2003 on a governor’s warrant. Rev. Teczar has denied that he fled the state to avoid prosecution or that he has abused the man, identified only as John Doe II.

John Doe II was represented in a civil suit by Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas, in which the man settled the suit several months ago for $2.75 million. The suit, which alleged the man was sexually abused by Rev. Teczar in Ranger, was settled by the Worcester and Fort Worth dioceses, although the money came from the Fort Worth Diocese.

Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus said after the settlement that Rev. Teczar never received permission from the Worcester bishop, who at the time was Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, to take the priestly assignment in the Fort Worth Diocese. The late Bishop Joseph Delaney of Fort Worth did give him permission to function as a priest and assigned him to St. Rita’s parish in Ranger, which is where the abuse allegedly happened.

Rev. Teczar, who has not been defrocked, was permanently barred from ministry in the 1980s by Bishop Harrington after allegations of sexual abuse of minors were made to the diocese, and his right to function as a priest was never restored by Worcester.

David A. Lewcon of Uxbridge, an alleged victim of Rev. Teczar in this area, said yesterday he will be attending the trial and that he is asking other alleged victims of Rev. Teczar from this area also to go to Texas.

Mr. Lewcon received a settlement from the Worcester Diocese after alleging Rev. Teczar sexually abused him when he was a teenager during the early 1970s. He sued Rev. Teczar in 2002. The Worcester Superior Court jury found that Rev. Teczar abused Mr. Lewcon and damaged him, but declined to award any money.

Posted by kshaw at 11:50 AM

Ore. Archdiocese May Settle Suits for $42M

PORTLAND (OR)
Los Angeles times

By WILLIAM McCALL, Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland said it hopes to settle all pending sex abuse claims it faces for about $42 million, according to court documents released Wednesday. The archdiocese faces 129 unresolved claims, it said in a bankruptcy reorganization plan filed Tuesday.

The archdiocese was the first Catholic diocese in the nation to declare bankruptcy when it filed for protection from creditors in July 2004. Archbishop John Vlazny said the reorganization plan "provides for fair and just compensation to victims who have been sexually abused."

Vlazny said the plan was made possible with insurance and loans that were not available before bankruptcy, along with "whatever financial support might be forthcoming from friends of the Archdiocese in the form of gifts or loans."

Attorneys and activists representing alleged sex abuse victims criticized the proposal, saying $42 million is too little and that the church is trying to cover up sex abuse cases by keeping them out of court.

Posted by kshaw at 11:38 AM

Church elder convicted of raping sisters in congregation

VIRGINIA
WVEC

11/17/2005

Associated Press

A Jehovah's Witnesses elder was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for raping two sisters in his congregation.

Oscar Omar Osorto Sr., 47, of Liberty was convicted and sentenced Wednesday for sexual assault charges including statutory rape and attempted rape of a child.

Osorto abused the girls, now 16 and 17, from 2000 to 2004, telling their mother he would take them out to eat, but then raping them in the Siler City congregation's Kingdom Hall, his car and possibly other places, prosecutors said .

A third sister also accused Osorto of abuse, but no charges were filed.

Osorto was removed from the congregation after the allegations were made.

Posted by kshaw at 11:35 AM

Church Financial Disclosure Bill Hits Snag

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel.com

BOSTON -- A bill requiring religious organizations to disclose their finances ran into opposition in the House after leaders of smaller religious denominations said they feared becoming "collateral damage" in the Roman Catholic church's clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The bill was set to be debated by the House on Wednesday, the last scheduled day of formal debate for the year, but at the last minute the vote was put off.

Backers of the bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last week, said religious groups should be held to the same reporting requirements as other public charities.

They argued that financial secrecy helped the Catholic church in Massachusetts hide the burgeoning clergy sexual abuse scandal, even as church officials shuffled abusive priests from parish to parish.

But representatives of smaller religious organizations say the bill violates the constitutional separation between church and state and unfairly sweeps them into the middle of a dispute between the Catholic church and disgruntled parishioners.

Posted by kshaw at 11:32 AM

Panel continues deliberating fate of former priest

MESA (AZ)
KPHO

MESA, Ariz. Jurors met for a third day today, but still haven't reached a verdict is the sex abuse case against a former Valley priest.

Forty-nine-year-old Paul LeBrun is accused of molesting six boys more than a decade ago.

LeBrun has been stripped of his priestly duties.

Posted by kshaw at 11:30 AM

Suit prompts diocese to suspend priest

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

09:49 AM EST on Thursday, November 17, 2005

BY TOM MOONEY
Journal Staff Writer

Read the complaint filed against Rev. Aaron J. Cote (pdf)

PROVIDENCE -- The Providence diocese suspended a priest at St. Pius V Church yesterday after an 18-year-old Maryland man filed a civil lawsuit claiming the priest had sexually molested him.

The Rev. Aaron J. Cote, a member of the religious order of Dominicans, has served as youth minister and associate pastor at the Elmhurst Avenue church since 2003.

Earlier that year, Father Cote had worked in churches in Washington, D.C., and in Germantown, Md., until Dominican officials transferred him to Rhode Island.

At the time of his transfer, diocesan and Dominican officials said yesterday, they were aware of sexual allegations lodged against Father Cote.

But they said they believed officials from the Montgomery County Police Department and Maryland child-protective services officials had closed their investigations without bringing any criminal charges.

"We felt he had been cleared," said the Rev. Paul D. Theroux, a diocesan spokesman, "that there was no basis to the charges."

Indeed, "that investigation was closed without making an arrest," Officer Derek Baliles, spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department, said yesterday afternoon, hours after members of a national group of survivors of priest sexual abuse announced the filing of the civil suit against Father Cote.

Posted by kshaw at 11:29 AM

Has the Catholic Church Put the Clergy Abuse Problem Behind It?

UNITED STATES
FindLaw

By MARCI HAMILTON
hamilton02@aol.com

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005

At the meeting of the Catholic Conference of Bishops this week in Washington, the Church continued to harp on its recent theme that clergy abuse is behind it. Last year, their former president, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, similarly referred to the "terrible history" of child abuse by priests, as if it were merely an episode from the past.

Perhaps even more offensively, this week the Conference's current president, Bishop William Skylstad, told his fellow bishops this week that "[t]here is no question, brothers, that these past few years have taken a great toll on us." Adding insult to injury, he not only relegated the church's abuse to the past, but suggested the Church itself was somehow a helpless victim of its own crimes.

What the Church must do to truly separate itself from this history of abuse, involves much more than rhetoric alone. It involves revealing to the public the identity of the abusers that were, and are, in its midst, and who remain undisclosed. It is abundantly clear that the only way that is going to happen is if the law forces such disclosures -- Congress should exert financial pressure on the states to make it happen.

Posted by kshaw at 11:26 AM

State high court denies LA Archdiocese bid over internal records

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Monterey Herald

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - The state Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it has declined to hear arguments from the Los Angeles Archdiocese on why personnel files of priests accused of sexual abuse should not be turned over to a grand jury.

The Supreme Court's Web site said the petition by the nation's largest archdiocese was denied.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has been seeking the personnel files as it investigates alleged sexual abuse.

The archdiocese has objected to turning over the files, citing constitutional issues. The archdiocese faces hundreds of lawsuits alleging that its priests sexually molested children.

A state appellate court in July ordered Cardinal Roger Mahony to turn over the internal church records of two ex-priests accused of sexually abusing children. The 2nd District Court of Appeal in its 49-page ruling upheld a previous judge's decision that the church documents involving allegations of clergy sexual abuse should be released to the grand jury.

Posted by kshaw at 11:25 AM

Trail of Abuse Leads to Seminary

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Paul Pringle, Times Staff Writer

Any examination of the sexual abuse crisis afflicting the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles leads inevitably to a bell-towered campus in the rolling hills of Camarillo: St. John's Seminary.

The 66-year-old institution has trained hundreds of clerics for the archdiocese and smaller jurisdictions across Southern California and beyond. It is the alma mater of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod Brown and other prominent prelates. Former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada, now the Vatican's chief enforcer of doctrine, taught at the school.

But St. John's, the only seminary operated by the archdiocese, also has produced a disproportionate number of alleged sexual abusers as it prepared men for a life of ministry and celibacy, records show.

About 10% of St. John's graduates reported to have been ordained in the Los Angeles Archdiocese since 1950 — 65 of roughly 625 — have been accused of molesting minors, according to a review of ordination announcements, lawsuits, published reports and the archdiocese's 2004 list of alleged abusers. In two classes — 1966 and 1972 — a third of the graduates were later accused of molestation.

The St. John's figures are much higher than the nationwide rate of alleged molesters in the American priesthood, as calculated by a church-commissioned survey. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice study found that 4% of priests and deacons between 1950 and 2002 have been accused of abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 11:22 AM

Former altar boy sues priest in R.I.

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff | November 17, 2005

PROVIDENCE -- A Dominican priest was removed from public ministry here yesterday and moved to another city after a former altar boy he allegedly molested in Maryland four years ago filed suit against the priest, according to the Dominican order and the Archdiocese of Washington.

The priest, the Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote, had been transferred to a church in Providence in 2004 after Brandon Rains, who is now 18, accused Cote of molesting him when he was 14.

The family decided to go public and to file suit against Cote after learning about two months ago that church officials had allowed him to continue functioning as a priest and working with children, Rains's mother, Toni McMorrow, said yesterday. Cote functioned as youth minister and associate pastor at St. Pius V Parish in Providence.

''The important thing is that he is no longer at St. Pius," said the Rev. Raymond Daley, an official at regional Dominican headquarters in New York. ''He has been asked . . . to come to a different community of our province pending the outcome this whole thing. He will not function publicly as a priest until this is resolved."

Posted by kshaw at 11:18 AM

Liz O’Donnell touches nerve on Church role!

IRELAND
The Southern Star

WHILE both An Taoiseach Mr. Ahern and former minister of state Liz O’Donnell, TD, of the PD party, have been accused of ‘sloppy language’ in their comments about Church-State relations over the past week, there is no doubt that the controversy has opened up a debate about what Ms. O’Donnell calls the ‘traditional deference shown to the Catholic Church’ and its role in many areas of Irish life such as education and to a lesser extent, the health services.

In calling for an end to the ‘special relationship’ between the Church and the State, Ms. O’Donnell was, technically, in error because in formal terms, that relationship was ended by the December 12th, 1972 referendum whereby the Irish people, by a majority of 4 to 1, voted to abolish the reference in Article 44.1.2 of the Constitution. This had stated that ‘the State recognises the special position of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church as the guardian of the Faith professed by the great majority of citizens.’

Posted by kshaw at 11:16 AM

Sex scandal ignites student oposition

PENNSYLVANIA
The Keystone

Laura Dowhie
News Writer, The Keystone

KUTZTOWN—Students are speaking out about the ongoing Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s sex scandal. A large number of the population here at KU is from the Philadelphia area and this has impacted their views on religion in general.

Allison Ackerman, a sophomore Elementary Education major from the Philadelphia area, said, “It is a shame, but I get the feeling that the other priests in the Archdiocese know they have to rebuild their reputations.”

Elena Columbo, a sophomore Psychology major, said, “If you can’t trust the priests at your church, then who can you trust? What they did was wrong and they got away with it.”

The Christopher House declined to comment.

Posted by kshaw at 11:15 AM

Ex-Daytop priest turns over social work license

MENDHAM (NJ)
Daily Record

BY PEGGY WRIGHT
DAILY RECORD

A former Roman Catholic priest, accused of sexually abusing four male teenagers he counseled as a social worker at Daytop-NJ in Mendham, voluntarily agreed on Wednesday to a suspension of his social work license while the criminal charges are pending.

Richard J. Mieliwocki, a 58-year-old Madison resident, was set to have a hearing on Wednesday before the state Board of Social Work Examiners, but he agreed instead to surrender his social work license until further order of the board, said Jeff Lamm, a board spokesman.

The Morris County Prosecutor's Office has offered Mieliwocki a plea bargain of between five and seven years in prison to resolve charges of child endangerment and criminal sexual contact.

Mieliwocki was indicted in August on charges of misconduct with four youths between the ages of 16 and 18 between March 8 and Dec. 6, 2004, while he worked as a counselor at the inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation facility in Mendham. He allegedly asked three about the size of their genitals and whether they masturbated. He also is accused of touching the buttocks of one boy, the genitals of a second, and getting a third teenager to take off his clothes so he could spank his bare buttocks.

Posted by kshaw at 11:13 AM

Priest sex-abuse study launched

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A prominent Catholic advisory group has tapped two New York colleges to spearhead a $3 million study on sexual abuse of children by priests.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Fordham University have been asked by theAbuse Tracker Review Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to team up to examine the roots of the pedophilia crisis.

The board said it wants to "more fully understand the problem" and improve the church's response.

John Jay College President Jeremy Travis called the study "enormously important" and vowed the school was up to the task.

Posted by kshaw at 11:12 AM

Diocese settles with mother of abuse victim

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

By GREGORY D. KESICH, Portland Press Herald Writer

A Boothbay Harbor woman who claimed that she suffered harm because a Roman Catholic priest molested her son agreed to a settlement of her lawsuit on Wednesday.

The amount of the settlement was described as "small" by a family spokesman, and is not being revealed by either side.

Still, advocates for victims of abuse call the case a victory. They say it recognizes that the damage caused by sexual molestation of children is felt by whole families, not just the victims.

It also could open the door to lawsuits that families file to help victims who cannot sue because of the state's statute of limitations.

Posted by kshaw at 11:10 AM

Priest Removed From Job After Suit Alleging Abuse

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Washington Post

By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 17, 2005; Page B06

A Roman Catholic priest was removed from his job at a Rhode Island parish after being accused yesterday in a D.C. Superior Court lawsuit of sexually abusing a Germantown teenager over several months in 2001 and 2002.

The Rev. Aaron Joseph Cote, 54, associate pastor at St. Pius V Church in Providence, was put on administrative leave, according to the vicar provincial of Cote's religious order, the Dominicans. "He'll be marking time until this is resolved," said the Rev. Raymond Daley.

Cote's removal from ministry came hours after the parents of the alleged victim, Brandon Rains, announced at a sidewalk news conference that their son, now 18, had filed a lawsuit against Cote.

The conference, which was arranged by the victims' advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, took place outside the downtown Washington hotel where U.S. bishops were holding their semiannual meeting.

Posted by kshaw at 11:09 AM

Former Calvert Hall priest pleads guilty to abuse

MARYLAND
North East Reporter

11/17/05
By MARY T. ROBBINS

A former priest and head chaplain of Calvert Hall College High School has pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse.

Jerome Toohey, 59, of Lutherville, entered the plea Nov. 8 in Baltimore County Circuit Court. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and will be sentenced Feb. 7.

Toohey originally was charged with 10 counts of child abuse in connection with sexual abuse of a former student at the Towson high school in the late 1980s.

Usually the names of victims of sex abuse are withheld from publication.

Posted by kshaw at 11:07 AM

Judge orders LA monsignor to submit to deposition questions

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KESQ

LOS ANGELES A judge has ruled that a monsignor in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles must submit to deposition questions in the far-reaching clergy abuse case.

In his order, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz writes that Monsignor Michael Lenihan cannot assert "clergy privilege" to avoid revealing whether he heard confessions of a deacon accused of sexual abuse.

Fromholz writes that "the penitential privilege protects 'a communication made in confidence'" but "does not prohibit the disclosure of the fact that the communication occurred."

The church argued that all communications between a priest and a bishop are privileged. A church attorney said some priests might continue to refuse to answer questions despite the ruling.

Posted by kshaw at 11:05 AM

Sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Archmere, Diocese of Wilmington

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By STEVEN CHURCH
The News Journal
11/17/2005
A U.S. Navy officer filed a lawsuit today against Archmere Academy and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, claiming that he was sexually molested while he was an Archmere student in the 1980s.

Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell, 37, of Virginia, said the Rev. Edward J. Smith sexually abused him while they were on ski trips in Vermont in 1984 and 1985. At the time, Smith was an English teacher at Archmere in Claymont. He later went on to serve as treasurer of the school’s Board of Trustees from 1997 until 2001, according to Archmere officials.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington and demands at least $75,000 in damages from Smith, Archmere Academy Inc., the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and the Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli, the bishop of Wilmington. The religious order that serves Archmere, the Norbertine Fathers, was not sued.

Smith was working for the Norbertine’s business office on the Archmere campus in 2002 when he was accused of sexually abusing children in the late 1970s while he was assigned to Bishop Neumann High School in Philadelphia. He was put on administrative leave in 2002 and not allowed to engage in active ministry under the Catholic Church’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Posted by kshaw at 11:04 AM

Providence Diocese suspends priest accused of molesting teenager

PROVIDENCE (RI)
ABC 6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) November 17,2005

The Diocese of Providence has withdrawn a priest accused of molesting a Maryland teenager from his duties at a Rhode Island parish.

The diocese says it withdrew the accused priest, Aaron Joseph Cote, from Saint Pius the Fifth Parish in Providence yesterday after learning that a lawsuit had been filed in a Washington D-C court accusing Cote of child sexual abuse.

The lawsuit was filed by Brandon Rains, an 18-year-old who has accused Cote of sexually molesting him in 2001 and 2002 while Cote was serving at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown, Maryland.

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

Mistrial declared in Milan pastor sex-abuse case

TOWANDA (NY)
Daily and Sunday Review

By: Aaron Cahall 11/16/2005

TOWANDA - A mistrial was declared Tuesday in the case of a Milan pastor accused of sexually abusing a female parishioner, after prosecutors said the defense claimed inadmissible evidence in their opening statement.

Bradford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jeffery Smith granted the prosecution's motion for a mistrial, "based on things said in the defense's opening statement that would not be admissible in court," according to Bradford County First Assistant District Attorney Albert Ondrey.
Ondrey declined to elaborate, adding only "things were claimed as evidence that would not be admissible." Smith and Arthur Agnellino, cited in court documents as attorney for the accused, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Posted by kshaw at 05:42 AM

November 16, 2005

Editorial: Is a priest guilty until proven innocent?

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Oakville-Mehlville Journal

11/16/2005

Merely the word of an accuser — without any physical evidence — recently was sufficient for a jury to find a Catholic priest guilty of sodomizing a minor.

It happened to Father Thomas J. Graham, a highly-respected priest of the St. Louis Archdiocese — and the same could happen to any clergyman in this era of suspicion against Catholic priests.

The St. Louis circuit attorney's case against him rested solely on the shaky and inconsistent testimony of an accuser who could not keep his "story" straight.

Observers of the four-day trial — including several attorneys, retired lawmen and a veteran court deputy — walked away shaking their heads in disbelief that the 30-year-old case had been brought to trial and that the jury could have found the accuser credible.Advertisement

A steady flow of Father Graham's supporters, lifelong friends and former parishioners attended the trial as observers or witnesses. All were stunned by the verdict.

The jury found Father Graham on Aug. 31 guilty of one count of sodomy and recommended 20 years in prison — in essence a life sentence for the 72-year-old priest.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 PM

Pastor Arrested On Sexual Abuse Charges

LINTHICUM (MD)
ABC 7

Wednesday November 16, 2005 5:15pm

Linthicum, Md. (AP) - Baltimore County police have charged the pastor of the Redemption Christian Fellowship in Woodlawn with sexually abusing children he was counseling.

Police say 39-year-old Gerald Fitroy Griffith, of the 1300-block of Peach Tree Court in Bowie, is charged with several counts of child abuse.

Police say they were contacted by five victims about alleged sexual abuse. Police say an investigation found that Griffith was sexually abusing the victims during counseling sessions in the church office.

Posted by kshaw at 05:16 PM

Providence Diocese suspends priest accused of molesting teenager

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WPRI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The Diocese of Providence has withdrawn a priest accused of molesting a Maryland teenager from his duties at a Rhode Island parish.

The diocese says it withdrew the accused priest, Aaron Joseph Cote, from Saint Pius the Fifth Parish in Providence today after learning that a lawsuit had been filed in a Washington D-C court accusing Cote of child sexual abuse.

The lawsuit was filed by Brandon Rains, an 18-year-old who has accused Cote of sexually molesting him in 2001 and 2002 while Cote was serving at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown, Maryland.

Cote, a Dominican priest, was assigned by the Providence diocese to Saint Pius in 2003.

Posted by kshaw at 05:12 PM

GAYS IN THE PRIESTHOOD

WASHINGTON (DC)
PBS

Catholic bishops met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the Vatican's plan to screen U.S. seminaries for applicants who might be gay. A report from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Maryland explains the process.

JUDY VALENTE: These candidates for the priesthood have just arrived at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Maryland. The seminary is nearly 200 years old and one of the largest in the country. Like other seminaries and schools of theology, it will soon be visited for several days by one of the teams of American bishops and priests selected by the Vatican.

MONSIGNOR STEVEN ROHLFS: They have been asked to interview all of the seminarians, every single one. They've been asked to interview all of our faculty, all of the administration. We had to provide all of the coursework that we teach, all the outlines, all the bibliographies; they'll interview all of the professors.

Posted by kshaw at 05:10 PM

Bishops Task Force to Meet With Lawmakers

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Guardian

By RICHARD N. OSTLING
AP Religion Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - America's Roman Catholic bishops spent half of Tuesday and all Wednesday in unusual private discussions. By policy, even the topics considered were supposed to be secret, but it is certain the sex-abuse scandal was among them.

Patricia Ewers, head of theAbuse Tracker Review Board, a lay panel that monitors the church's efforts to prevent sexual abuse, told the bishops about research plans. But some $2 million of the $3 million for a study authorized by the bishops has yet to be raised.

Separately, New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice said it would work Fordham University on research about the ``causes and context'' underlying the abuse crisis.

Issues to be investigated include the ``prominence of young adolescent males among the victims'' and seminaries' admission policies, according to John Jay. A Vatican pronouncement on gays in seminaries is expected shortly.

A confidential Oct. 3 memo notified bishops that executive sessions might be used to discuss the review board's work and their efforts to deal with abuse issues.

Posted by kshaw at 05:08 PM

Police Arrest Pastor On Child Abuse Charges

TOWSON (MD)
TheWBALChannel.com

TOWSON, Md. -- Baltimore County police arrested a pastor on Tuesday and charged him with several counts of child abuse.

Police said Gerald Fitroy Griffith, 39, of Bowie, is the pastor of the Redemption Christian Fellowship. The church is located in the 6500 block of Dogwood Road in Gwynn Oak.

Investigators said five victims about alleged sexual abuse contacted them -- alleging that Griffith was sexually abusing them during counseling sessions in the church office.

Griffith was arrested at Baltimore-Washington International airport on late Tuesday afternoon, as he was getting ready to board a flight to London. Police said has been charged with sexual abuse to a minor, perverted practice, sodomy, second-degree sex offense, third-degree sex offense, fourth-degree sex offense, and second-degree assault.

Posted by kshaw at 01:36 PM

Bishops'Abuse Tracker Review Board Picks John Jay College of Criminal Justice to Conduct Sex Abuse Causes and Context Study

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Newswire

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The U.S. Bishops'Abuse Tracker Review Board, which advises the church on the handling of clergy sexual abuse of minors, has selected the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York to conduct a major study of the causes and context of the problem. John Jay College will work with Fordham University and other experts across the United States to carry out the research.

The decision was announced Nov. 16 by Patricia Ewers, Ph.D., chair of the board, during a meeting with the U.S. bishops in Washington.

Jeremy Travis, the president of John Jay College, when informed of the decision said: "John Jay College is honored to have been selected to carry out this enormously important research project. We commit ourselves to conducting the research with scrupulous objectivity and scientific rigor to advance society's understanding of the causes and context of the problem within the Church."

The study, Causes and Context of the Sexual Abuse of Children and Youth by Catholic Clergy in the United States, was called for by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which was passed by the U.S. bishops in Dallas in 2002. According to the Charter, "To understand the problem more fully and to enhance the effectiveness of our future response, theAbuse Tracker Review Board will commission a comprehensive study of the causes and context of the current crisis."

Posted by kshaw at 01:21 PM

Judge tells AG to release church records in abuse cases

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2005

By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Church records and documents connected with the state's criminal investigation into claims of past clergy sex abuse by Catholic priests in Vermont can't be kept confidential, a Chittenden County Superior Court has ruled.

Judge Ben Joseph, presiding over 13 cases alleging past sexual abuse of children by priests, said the release of the documents is needed to understand the extent of the purported misconduct and what the state's Catholic diocese did about it.

"The public interest in the disclosure of information about the alleged sexual abuse suffered by the plaintiff and others, as well as the effective administration of justice, outweighs the desire for confidentiality," Joseph wrote in his ruling released late Monday.

Jerome O'Neill, the attorney for the alleged 13 victims, praised the decision. He said until now, the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has been less than forthcoming in responding to his pre-trial disclosure requests.

Posted by kshaw at 01:18 PM

Bishop refines his case

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

Dianne Williamson
dwilliamson@telegram.com

T&G STAFF

Bishop Robert J. McManus has decided to bypass the secular skeptics and preach to the converted.

After more than two weeks of silence to lingering questions about the Rev. James Aquino case, he opted to respond to the 17,000 subscribers of The Catholic Free Press, the diocesan newspaper in which he writes an occasional column under his trademark motto, “Christ, The Splendor of Truth.”

In doing so, the bishop relieved himself of the burden of answering questions about inconsistencies in his handling of the case, which is surely his prerogative and no great surprise, as the church hierarchy rarely considers itself answerable to the populace.

Specifically, reporters have been calling Bishop McManus repeatedly in an effort to understand why he initially supported the Rev. Aquino after the priest was charged with lewd conduct last year in Las Vegas, then suddenly relieved him of his duties last month after the issue broke in the press.

OK, so damage control is hardly rocket science, and it seemed apparent that the bishop responded to the scandal after he could no longer contain it. Except that’s not what the bishop said when he removed Rev. Aquino Oct. 30. Then, Bishop McManus claimed that “I did not possess the whole truth” about the incident until recently, even though he learned about Rev. Aquino’s conduct in February.

To recap, Rev. Aquino was charged with lewd conduct after police say they saw him masturbating another man in a Las Vegas porn theater Oct. 21, 2004. The bishop was informed in February of this year. In March, Rev. Aquino pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was ordered to perform community service. On Sept. 6, the case was dismissed.

Last month, as the case broke on the Internet and local reporters began making inquiries, Rev. Aquino called an extraordinary meeting of his parishioners at Our Lady of Loreto Parish and vehemently denied engaging in any sex act. Rather, he blamed the charge on police eager to target a priest. And his lawyer told parishioners that Bishop McManus has been “very supportive of Father and very pleased with how the matter was handled,” saying he felt no need to discipline him.

Six days later, Bishop McManus felt a need to discipline him. His feelings had changed, the bishop said. Suddenly, he considered the case “a source of great scandal” for the church, he told parishioners.

Pesky reporters — as well as many in the public — were confused. What had changed? What new facts had come to the bishop’s attention?

Finally, we know. Well, we sort of know. Actually, we’re still not quite sure, but let’s hear what the bishop has to say. In fairness to him, I won’t paraphrase his main points and instead quote him directly:

“Shortly before I spoke at the parish I received an unredacted copy of the initial police report, which included the name of the individual alleged to have been involved in sexual activity with Father Aquino,” the bishop wrote in the Free Press. “The police report I had been given in February did not include that full name. Second, I learned of the admission of sexual activity by the other consenting adult, when it was reported on NECN-TV. Third, I learned that an additional Las Vegas law enforcement official publicly supported the findings of the initial police report.”

It’s not clear why the name of the man alleged to have engaged in sex with the priest was pertinent to the bishop’s understanding. As for the “additional Las Vegas law enforcement official,” I believe he was referring to a Las Vegas police sergeant I interviewed by picking up the phone and calling him. This cop simply explained that Rev. Aquino had been caught in a raid, and he scoffed at his protestations of innocence.

In his homily to parishioners, Bishop McManus claimed that he had “tried my best to discern the truth” about the Aquino incident. In his recent column in the Free Press, he indicated that he relied on the priest and his lawyer for information, surely not the most exhaustive of investigative techniques. What sort of effort is expended by taking an accused man at his word, let alone the word of his lawyer? Bishop McManus spoke to the Las Vegas district attorney in February — how can he now insist that he didn’t know the truth?

These questions will remain unanswered. And the bishop’s claim that his actions “did not constitute a coverup, as some have suggested,” must go unchallenged, because he has declined to make himself available. Instead, he’s obviously more comfortable pontificating in the Free Press.

So be it. I don’t mean to pile on, but I figured that the bishop’s explanation deserved a bigger audience than the one provided by the diocesan newspaper. And I’ll simply note here that if the Free Press claims “the truth shall set you free,” it can also tie you up in knots.

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

Posted by kshaw at 01:15 PM

Trial date set in Geoghan slaying

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER— Jury selection is scheduled to begin Nov. 28 in Worcester Superior Court for the trial of the man charged with the prison slaying of defrocked pedophile priest John J. Geoghan.

Joseph L. Druce is raising an insanity defense to a charge of murdering the ex-priest on Aug. 23, 2003, in Mr. Geoghan’s cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center on the Lancaster-Shirley line.

The 68-year-old former priest, who was beaten and strangled, was serving a sentence of 9 to 10 years for sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy when he was killed. Mr. Druce was serving a life sentence for the murder of a man he believed was gay.

State Police Detective David Napolitano testified at a Sept. 16 suppression hearing in the case that Mr. Druce eagerly confessed to the killing after being advised of his Miranda rights. The detective said Mr. Druce told him he killed the defrocked priest because Mr. Geoghan was “talking about getting out and skinning other children and I just couldn’t let that happen.”

The detective testified that Mr. Druce told him he snuck into Mr. Geoghan’s cell, jammed the door with a book and other items to prevent anyone from intervening, knocked the ex-priest to the floor and strangled him with a pair of socks. At various points during the interview, Mr. Druce said he saw the killing as an “honorable” thing and that he viewed the ex-priest as a “prize,” according to Detective Napolitano.

The hearing was on a motion filed by Mr. Druce’s appointed lawyer, John H. LaChance, seeking the suppression of the reported confession. The motion, which was opposed by Assistant District Attorney Lawrence J. Murphy, remains under advisement.

Judge Timothy S. Hillman, who will preside over Mr. Druce’s trial, set the Nov. 28 date for the start of jury selection during a hearing yesterday.

At the outset of the hearing, Mr. Druce, who recently swallowed a piece of television cable in what prison officials said was an apparent suicide attempt, was asked by Judge Hillman how he was feeling.

“I’m not feeling too good. I got some stuff sticking out of my stomach,” Mr. Druce responded as he lifted his shirt to reveal scarring from his recent emergency surgery.

Mr. LaChance told the judge that his client said he swallowed the cable and later ingested a piece of his eyeglasses, so he could get off the “10 Block” at the state prison in Walpole, where he said he had been housed with a number of his “documented enemies.” Mr. LaChance said Mr. Druce had been threatened by other inmates and that urine and feces had been thrown at him.

“He’s terrified to be there,” the lawyer said.

Judge Hillman said he would consider Mr. LaChance’s request that Mr. Druce be remanded to the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction in West Boylston while his trial is pending.

Posted by kshaw at 01:13 PM

Still no verdict in LeBrun trial

MESA (AZ)
WNDU

Posted: 11/15/2005 10:15 pm

Mesa, AZ - The jury in the molestation trial of former South Bend priest Paul LeBrun has yet to reach a verdict.

LeBrun is accused of child molestation at his church in Mesa, Arizona.

The jury started deliberating Monday but has still not reached a decision.

Posted by kshaw at 08:56 AM

Madison pastor charged with possession of child porn

WISCONSIN
ABC 7

November 15, 2005 - The Dane County district attorney Tuesday charged a Mazomanie pastor with possessing child pornography.

Jerald Schara has been held in Dane County Jail since his arrest last Friday.
Schara is the minister at both Saint Paul's and Saint John's Lutheran churches near Mazomanie.

The sheriff's department is not saying whether the arrest is connected to a larger case.

Bishop George Carlson of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin-Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americas says he's saddened by the arrest.

He says Schara has been suspended while the legal process continues.

Posted by kshaw at 08:50 AM

Pastor Allegedly Downloaded Porn Pics of Young Girls

WISCONSIN
NBC 15

Updated: 7:07 AM Nov 16, 2005
Zac Schultz

Madison: A rural Mazomanie pastor has been officially charged with possession of child pornography.

Rev. Jerald Schara was unshaven as he made his initial appearance in Dane County Court. He's been in jail since his arrest last Friday–and he's now been charged with possession of child pornography.

According to the criminal complaint Schara confessed to detectives that he has been downloading images of pre–pubescent girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The complaint says during one binge of downloading kiddie porn near Halloween Schara downloaded a Trojan Horse Virus that locked up his computer. When he took it to a computer shop to get fixed the technician found the child porn and called the Sheriff's Department.

Schara is already out on bond. "Mr. Schara you'll be released from jail on a signature bond. There are conditions of your release. You're not to have any unsupervised contact with any female juveniles," says Court Commissioner Todd Meuer.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

Jury selection in Geoghan slaying to begin November 28th

WORCESTER (MA)
WPRI

WORCESTER, Mass. Jury selection is scheduled to begin November 28th in Worcester Superior Court for the trial of the man charged with the prison slaying of defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan (GAY'-gun).

Judge Timothy Hillman set the date yesterday during a hearing on several defense motions.

Joseph Druce is charged with murdering Geoghan in 2003. The ex-priest was beaten and strangled in his cell.

Posted by kshaw at 08:39 AM

Churches oppose disclosure

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
By BILL ZAJAC
wzajac@repub.com
As the state House of Representatives gets ready to vote on a bill requiring charitable organizations such as churches to file annual financial disclosure statements, local battle lines continued to be drawn yesterday by opponents of the legislation.

A Catholic lay organization that supports the bill yesterday accused the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, the bishop of the Springfield diocese, of passing along misinformation about the bill in letters trying to generate opposition.

The accusation was denied yesterday by a diocesan spokesman.

Meanwhile, a group of Springfield Protestant clergy plan to meet today to discuss their opposition to the bill.

The Rev. Talbert W. Swan, organizer of the meeting, expressed surprise the bill could be voted on as soon as today in the House.

"I'm shocked. The Senate just passed it last week. It makes you wonder why it is being rushed through the House," Swan said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:36 AM

Beres won't face criminal charges

OREGON
The Oregonian

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
JEFF MAPES
Law enforcement officials have ended an investigation against Louis Beres, a longtime leader of the Oregon Christian Coalition, after concluding that the sexual molestation alleged against him by family members occurred too long ago to be considered for prosecution.

"The allegations we have received are beyond the statute of limitations," Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said Tuesday, adding that there is "no open investigation."

Beres' attorney, Stephen Houze, declined comment beyond noting that the investigation has been closed.

Posted by kshaw at 08:33 AM

Ferns Report sparks surge in calls to rape helplines

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

The publication of the Ferns Report into clerical child sex abuse in the Wexford area has reportedly sparked a surge in calls to rape crisis centres across the country.

This morning's newspapers said the Rape Crisis Network had reported a 50% increase in calls to helplines nationwide since the document was made public.

Posted by kshaw at 08:30 AM

Archdiocese reveals plan today

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
STEVE WOODWARD
The Archdiocese of Portland's long-awaited, much-anticipated plan for emerging from its 16-month-old bankruptcy will be made public today.

A late Tuesday afternoon filing just met the deadline imposed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris, who had already granted a year's worth of extensions.

Lawyers involved in the bankruptcy have said they expect the archdiocese's plan to offer a settlement fund of at least $20 million to pay more than 200 pending child sexual-abuse claims. The number of claims may continue to decrease as the archdiocese challenges the validity of nearly 100 claims, 30 of which have been thrown out by the court.

Posted by kshaw at 08:28 AM

Monsignor's resignation stuns

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Newsday

BY CAROL EISENBERG
STAFF WRITER

November 16, 2005

A well-regarded priest who oversaw the seminary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre for five years announced in a prayer service Friday that he was stepping down immediately, stunning faculty and students.

Msgr. Francis Schneider, 49, told those gathered in the chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington that he was resigning for personal reasons, citing stress. He said Msgr. Robert Emmet Fagan would become interim rector.

But the timing surprised some faculty members - coming a few weeks after a Vatican-ordered evaluation of the seminary, which was part of a nationwide review in response to the U.S. clergy sex abuse crisis. It also came just a few weeks before the end of the semester.

Posted by kshaw at 08:22 AM

Canon Law gave Bishop of Ferns the freedom to pursue errant priests

IRELAND
New Ross Echo

The Vatican never, at any time, directly intervened in the affairs of the Diocese of Ferns whilst it operated under the aegis of Bishops Donal Herlihy and Brendan Comiskey, a former professor of Canon Law this week stated.

And the reason it didn’t is because Rome knew nothing of the allegations of abuse surfacing in Ferns.

Speaking on Thursday, Monsignor Maurice Dooley told The Echo that the structure of the Church is such that each diocese acts as an independent republic, whose head, the bishop, seldom, if ever, consults with Rome over problems arising in his diocese.

A former representative of the Pope on the Bioethics Committee of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Monsignor Maurice Dooley lectured on Canon Law at St. Patrick’s College in Thurles prior to being made parish priest of Loughmore in 1992.

Posted by kshaw at 08:19 AM

Why is the church still running our schools?

IRELAND
Indymedia

by Sean Maguire - WSM Wednesday, Nov 16 2005, 10:57am
national / rights and freedoms / news report

It's taken decades for the mask of evil to finally be fully exposed. The report by the inquiry into child sexual abuse by pervert priests in the Ferns diocese has at last exposed the suffering endured by huge numbers for people. Now all across the country the truth is finally being told.

One of the principal reasons why priests were able to get away with their rape and abuse of children for so long was because the state abdicated its responsibility to protect children. This is most obvious in relation to control of education. Again and again in the Ferns report it emerges that priests were able to use their position on management authorities of primary schools to gain access to the children they abused. For example, in Monageer Fr. James Grennan abused 10 young girls during confirmation classes. Local gardai 'lost' the investigation files and this evil predator was allowed to continue to abuse children. And he was able to use his position as chair of the management board of the local primary school to gain access to his victims.

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

Watsonville molestation suspect faces new rape charge

WATSONVILLE (CA)
Santa Cruz Sentinel

By Cathy Smith
sentinel staff writer
A former Watsonville pastor and school district employee facing trial next month on charges of molesting a teen was back in court Monday on a new allegation — that he raped a 24-year-old woman in 1998. Prosecutors claim the victim was a vulnerable immigrant from El Salvador.

Steven Montez Martinez, 48, was arrested in November in connection with acts allegedly committed in the early 1990s.

His trial on four counts of committing lewd acts on girl under age 16 is set for Dec. 6.

While investigating those allegations in September, another alleged victim surfaced, investigators say, who told them of a 1998 rape. It reportedly occurred in Sacramento County, where the woman now lives.

Posted by kshaw at 08:12 AM

Man Files Suit Over Sex Abuse Claims

LAKE WALES (FL)
The Ledger

Gene Francis, a former pastor at the Church of the Nazarene in Lake Wales, is being sued by a man who claims Francis molested him in 2001, when he was 17.

The man, whose identity and age are not disclosed in court documents, filed the lawsuit Monday against Francis, the church and church officials.

In addition to claims of sexual abuse by Francis, the lawsuit alleges church officials were negligent in hiring Francis and "made only a pretense of investigating the charges."

Posted by kshaw at 08:09 AM

Judge orders release of priest sex abuse records

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- A judge has ordered the release of church records and documents relating to the clergy sexual abuse scandal that are held by the attorney general's office.

Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph said disclosing the files to a lawyer representing 13 people charging they were sexually abused in the past by priests "is clearly in the 'public interest.'"

Jerome O'Neill, the attorney for the alleged 13 victims, praised the decision. He said until now, the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has been less than forthcoming in responding to his pretrial disclosure requests.

Posted by kshaw at 08:05 AM

Molestation trial winds down for ex-priest

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 15, 2005 12:00 AM

MESA - The monthlong trial for a former West Valley Catholic priest accused of molesting boys neared its end Monday, as his attorney and the prosecutor gave their closing arguments.

Paul LeBrun, 49, could face more than 100 years in prison if jurors decide to convict him of molesting six boys in Arizona after the trial in a Mesa courtroom.

LeBrun, 49, already stripped of his duties, preyed on vulnerable young boys whose parents were abusive, divorced or abandoned by their fathers in Arizona and Indiana, prosecutor Suzanne Cohen said. advertisement

"He was basically a wolf in sheep's clothing," Cohen said during closing arguments Monday. "Everything he did was to get close to these little boys. Everything he did was to abuse these little boys."

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 AM

Catholic Bishops Approve Proposals on Lay Workers

WASHINGTON (DC)
The New York Times

By NEELA BANERJEE
Published: November 16, 2005
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a set of recommendations for lay workers in the church on Tuesday but did not publicly address a number of contentious issues at its meeting here this week.

Many church experts said they expected issues of personal morality and sexuality, of urgent concern, to be discussed by the bishops at closed-door sessions over the next two days.

Among the questions facing the church are these: Should Roman Catholic politicians who support abortion rights be given Communion? How will the Vatican rule on gay men in the priesthood? And how are the large financial settlements being paid to victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests affecting dioceses?

The conference, which meets twice yearly, does not reveal its agenda for private sessions. But the public session underscored some problems in the Catholic Church, including the chronic shortage of priests. On Tuesday, as the public session ended, the bishops approved a set of recommendations to guide dioceses in dealing with the rise of lay workers in the church. The lay people do much of what priests did a generation ago, like running youth ministries and organizing prayer services.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

Bishop downplays pain

WASHINGTON (DC)
Boston Herald

By Boston Herald editorial staff
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The head of this nation’s Roman Catholic bishops may find comfort in playing a numbers game over the perpetrators of clergy sexual abuse, but this is one community that won’t forget.

Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., told a meeting of American bishops Monday that a “handful” of abusive priests has caused the rest of the clergy “to endure an avalanche of negative public attention.” That’s an insult to those victims who have endured years of pain because of the betrayal they suffered at the hands of their priests and those within the church hierarchy who covered up their crimes.

It is estimated that Roman Catholic dioceses in this country have paid out more than $1 billion in acknowledgment of some 11,500 claims of sexual molestation – claims documented by our own attorney general and his counterparts around the country, most recently in Philadelphia.

Posted by kshaw at 07:47 AM

Catholic bishops do most work in private

WASHINGTON (DC)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/15/2005

WASHINGTON

In the day-and-a-half of their annual fall meeting this week that the news media were allowed to observe, the U.S. Catholic bishops covered a lot of ground. But in their few public sessions this week, they steered clear of the issues that have made headlines around the country in the last year.

Those topics, said religion scholars and church-reform advocates, would probably be discussed behind closed doors after the prying members of the secular news media had returned to their newsrooms.

In front of reporters and other observers, the bishops talked about Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, the role of the Catholic laity in public ministry, a reaffirmation of the church's opposition to the death penalty, changes to the order and language of the Mass, financial and spiritual support for the church in Africa, a new religious alliance against pornography and a report by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

And yet among grumbling reporters and advocates of church transparency, more attention was paid to the topics the bishops did not take up, at least in public: Catholic politicians and Holy Communion, a forthcoming Vatican document on homosexuals in the priesthood, U.S. seminary inspections, financial fallout from the clergy sex abuse crisis, and a recent three-week international meeting of bishops in Rome at which the worldwide shortage of priests was the main topic.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 AM

Priest faces 31 more charges

CANADA
London Free Press

By BRIAN CLEEVE, SPECIAL TO THE FREE PRESS

CHATHAM -- A former Chatham priest is facing 36 charges of child sexual abuse, dating as far back as 1954.

Charles Sylvestre, 83, was released on $2,000 bail after his first court appearance on 31 new charges yesterday and is to return to court here Jan.

Five other charges of sexual offences against children were laid against Sylvestre in July.

Appearing sometimes dazed, the retired cleric sat through the 20-minute hearing in the prisoner's box, frequently looking at family members gathered in the courtroom.

Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said he is waiting to see the Crown's case before Sylvestre makes any decisions about how it will be dealt with.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 AM

Defrocked priest vows fight to clear name in abuse case

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By CLAUDIA ROWE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

On a sunny Saturday in 1969, G. Barry Ashwell and David Jaeger, schoolmates for 11 years, were ordained into the priesthood together. More than three decades later -- also on the same day -- the Seattle Archdiocese announced that the Vatican had defrocked both priests after numerous allegations that they sexually abused children.

But here, their paths diverge. Jaeger -- most recently known for his sensitive ministry to AIDS patients -- has confessed and requested to be "released from the clerical state," while Ashwell remains unrepentant. Defiant, he is now preparing to defend himself in court.

"These people claim to be victims, and they very well might be -- but not by me," he said Tuesday in a rambling, hourlong interview that revealed a man stunned by his ostracism after a long and storied career.

"Did I do anybody any good, ever? Where are they all? No one speaks to me at all now. Everybody runs for cover. I'm a hermit."

Posted by kshaw at 07:39 AM

Priest released on bail

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

By CP

CHATHAM, Ont. -- A former southwestern Ontario priest facing 36 sexual abuse charges is out on bail.

Charles Sylvestre, 83, was released on $2,000 bail without deposit after a hearing yesterday.

Crown Attorney Paul Bailey consented to the release on a number of conditions. Sylvestre is not allowed to communicate with the 31 alleged victims, must reside in nearby Belle River, stay in Ontario, and is banned from being alone with anyone under 16 years of age unless in the presence of his surety.

Posted by kshaw at 07:36 AM

Poll finds doubts on abuse response

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia still has a way to go to restore public confidence in its handling of clergy sex abuse, a new Temple University/Inquirer poll has found.

A majority of adults polled said they believe archdiocesan leaders continue to put the church's reputation ahead of protecting children.

While many of those interviewed said the archdiocese has improved its handling of clergy sex abuse in recent years, 43 percent of Catholics - and 63 percent of non-Catholics - polled said they felt archdiocesan officials are first concerned with the church's reputation when confronted with abuse allegations.

The poll indicated that a significant number of non-Catholics continue to have doubts about Catholic priests and prelates.

Posted by kshaw at 07:34 AM

More time sought to file sex abuse suits

TENNESSEE
Tennessean

Victims of sexual abuse by priests would have a second chance to file suit against the church or abusive clergy under a law change being sought by members of a victims' rights group.

During a news conference yesterday, members of the Tennessee chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests announced they have found two lawmakers to support a bill that would temporarily reopen the statute of limitations on lawsuits against pedophiles.

Generally, state law gives a victim of sex abuse one year from the incident to file a civil suit against the abuser. Those abused as children generally have until age 19 to file the suit.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 AM

AG must share abuse files on priests

VERMONT
Times Argus

November 16, 2005

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

A judge has ordered the state Attorney General's Office to share its priest misconduct files with a lawyer suing Vermont's Catholic Church.

Burlington attorney Jerome O'Neill has filed civil lawsuits in Chittenden Superior Court on behalf of 13 clients charging five former Vermont priests with child sexual abuse.

As part of the lawsuits, O'Neill asked the court to require the Attorney General's Office and the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington to share their paperwork about alleged priest misconduct.

Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph has yet to rule whether the diocese must turn over its files. But in a decision this week, the judge has ordered the Attorney General's Office to give O'Neill most of its findings, stating "the release of these materials to the plaintiff is clearly in the 'public interest.'"

The documents include transcripts of interviews with people claiming priest misconduct; correspondence between the Attorney General's Office, the diocese and clergy; and church personnel files obtained by the state during its ongoing investigation of sexual abuse charges spanning a half century.

Posted by kshaw at 07:23 AM

Temple/Inquirer Poll: Public Reaction to Priest Abuse Scandal

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
PRNewswire

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Catholics in the Philadelphia region
are deeply dissatisfied with the church leadership's handling of sexual abuse
and cynical about the motives of church leaders, according to the latest
Temple/Inquirer Poll, conducted by Temple University's Institute of Public
Affairs (IPA) in collaboration with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The survey results come after a grand-jury report and weeks of news
accounts about sexual abuse by priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
"The Temple/Inquirer Poll found that large majorities in the Philadelphia
metropolitan area are highly critical of the church's leaders, and in many
respects Catholics are as critical as non-Catholics," said IPA director
Michael Hagen, an associate professor of political science at Temple. "Few
Catholics believe that the church has been treated unfairly, either in a
recent grand-jury report or in the news coverage that followed."
The poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted between Oct.
24 and Nov. 6 with a scientifically selected random sample of 1,500 adult
residents of the nine-county Philadelphia metropolitan area (five southeastern
Pennsylvania counties and four New Jersey counties). The overall margin of
error attributable to sampling is 3 percentage points.

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 AM

Priest suspended amid 'misconduct' probe

IRELAND
U.TV

A priest has been suspended in Co Monaghan after allegations of misconduct against children in Northern Ireland more than 20 years ago, it emerged today.

The Bishop of Clogher Joseph Duffy informed churchgoers in the Irish Republic of the development at the weekend.

In a statement the diocesan office said: "Bishop Duffy told parishioners that as a precautionary measure to protect children he had requested the priest concerned to step down and he had agreed.

"The priest is now on administrative leave, pending the outcome of investigations by the relevant civil authorities to whom the case has been referred."

Posted by kshaw at 06:36 AM

Police lay 31 more sex abuse charges against retired priest

CANADA
Brandon Sun

By: The Canadian Press Email Story Printer Friendly Version

CHATHAM, Ont. — A retired southwestern Ontario priest is behind bars after 29 more women came forward with complaints of childhood sexual abuse.

Chatham-Kent police laid 31 new counts against Charles Sylvestre on Monday, bringing the total sexual abuse charges the 82-year-old faces to 36.

Sylvestre, who lives in nearby Belle River, is charged with 29 counts of indecent assault, three charges of rape, three counts of sexual intercourse with a female under 14 years of age and one charge of attempted rape, said Det.-Const. Kate McArthur.

All of the alleged victims are females and were between the ages of nine and 14 at the time of the alleged incidents, McArthur said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:29 AM

Meath Chronicle

IRELAND
The Meath Chronicle

THE Catholic Church in Ireland has been enduring a torrid time over the past month following the publication of the report into sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Ferns. And now Ireland finds itself divided on where Church and State relations should go from here.

The revelations of child sexual abuse contained in the report and reported upon extensively in the media for the past several weeks have appalled, horrified and disgusted all right-thinking people and the culture of cover-up by the religious authorities that it exposed has left many contemplating their faith in the institutions and hierarchy of the Church. As the fallout continues, there have been calls for a clear division to be created between Church and State that have been fuelled by the strong attack on the Church by former PD junior minister Liz O’Donnell last week.

Ms O’Donnell, in one of the strongest attacks on the Catholic Church in Ireland ever, said people should not accept the fact that the Church would be truthful or capable of self-regulation and she demanded an end to the traditional deference shown to it by Government. She furthermore denounced the “unbelievable immoral silence” of the Vatican following the publication of the Ferns Report.

Posted by kshaw at 06:25 AM

Bishops' gathering draws protest

WASHINGTON (DC)
Boston Globe

By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff | November 15, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Families of two Wisconsin men who were apparently killed by a Catholic priest in 2002 yesterday said church officials were responsible for the deaths because they had evidence that the priest was sexually troubled but did not bar him from the priesthood.

Relatives of Daniel O'Connell and James Ellison made the accusations on the sidewalk outside the annual meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in protest of what they said was a failure of church leaders to take responsibility for their role in the deaths.

''Red flags were raised, action was not taken, and because of this James and Dan are dead," said Sally Ellison, James Ellison's mother. ''I don't think they would be dead if the bishops had done their jobs."

According to the families, the shootings occurred after O'Connell confronted the Rev. Ryan Erickson, 31, about allegations that the priest was abusing children. Erickson shot O'Connell, 39, the next day, the families said, then killed Ellison, an intern at the O'Connell family's funeral home, because he witnessed the first slaying.

Posted by kshaw at 12:58 AM

Molestation trial winds down for ex-priest

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 15, 2005 12:00 AM

MESA - The monthlong trial for a former West Valley Catholic priest accused of molesting boys neared its end Monday, as his attorney and the prosecutor gave their closing arguments.

Paul LeBrun, 49, could face more than 100 years in prison if jurors decide to convict him of molesting six boys in Arizona after the trial in a Mesa courtroom.

LeBrun, 49, already stripped of his duties, preyed on vulnerable young boys whose parents were abusive, divorced or abandoned by their fathers in Arizona and Indiana, prosecutor Suzanne Cohen said. advertisement

"He was basically a wolf in sheep's clothing," Cohen said during closing arguments Monday. "Everything he did was to get close to these little boys. Everything he did was to abuse these little boys."

Posted by kshaw at 12:45 AM

Priest investigation dropped

KENTUCKY
Cincinnati Enquirer

A criminal investigation has been dropped against a priest who was accused in August of sexual misconduct with a minor. No evidence of wrongdoing was found against the Rev. Pete Richardson, who now lives at Glenmary Home Missioners' headquarters in Fairfield, Glenmary announced Monday. The allegations - which Richardson denied - were investigated by prosecutors in Morgan County, Ky., where the accuser said the abuse occurred. Richardson was director of Glenmary's department of pastoral services, in Nashville, Tenn., when the allegations surfaced. He was then moved to the headquarters. His status will not change until a decision by the Glenmary Review Board, which awaits a report from Praesidium, a Texas risk management firm Glenmary hired to investigate. He was pastor at parishes in West Liberty, Ky., and Owingsville, Ky., from 1994 to January 2004. Glenmary, founded in 1939, works to spread Catholicism in small towns and in rural America.

Posted by kshaw at 12:09 AM

November 15, 2005

Priest, deacon accused of misconduct

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Martha Woodall and Christine Schiavo
Inquirer Staff Writers

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia yesterday reported that it has restricted the duties of a Bucks County priest and asked a deacon and teacher at St. Joseph's Preparatory School to resign in response to allegations of inappropriate physical contact with minors.

Msgr. Charles J. Schaeflein, 86, who spent 25 years in archdiocesan high schools and 12 as pastor of St. Andrew parish in Newtown, has been barred from performing pastoral duties while the archdiocese and the Bucks County District Attorney's Office investigate recent allegations that he sexually abused a minor more than 15 years ago.

And the Rev. Mr. Charles Ginn Jr., an ordained deacon, was asked to resign last week from St. Joseph's Prep in North Philadelphia as a result of allegations he had inappropriately kissed and hugged three students in 1996. Ginn, who as deacon is capable of performing several priestly duties, including baptism, had taught history at the prestigious Jesuit boys' school for 29 years.

Donna Farrell, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said the church was investigating the allegations against Ginn and would report the allegations to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Posted by kshaw at 08:54 PM

The courage to talk plainly

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National

One of the hallmarks of the sex abuse crisis was silence.

It went hand in hand with the secrecy of the culture of hierarchy.

Everyone in the club knew there were reasons for not saying anything. It was just a few bad apples. It would damage the church. It would cause scandal. It would harm the reputations of all the good priests. And on and on.

So it was refreshing to read of Fr. Robert McLaughlin, pastor of St. Basil the Great in Kimberton, Pa., part of the Philadelphia archdiocese, who was as angry and betrayed by the scandal as are most priests, especially when it hits home.

When the devastating report of the Philadelphia Grand Jury came out (NCR, Oct. 7), he was one of those -- and we understand there were at least a few others -- who, this time, refused to buy the line from the chancery office.

Posted by kshaw at 06:30 PM

Alleged victims say archdiocese reorganization plan inadequate

PORTLAND (OR)
OregonLive

11/15/2005, 12:36 p.m. PT
By WILLIAM McCALL
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Portland has proposed placing an overall $40 million limit on damages that can be paid to alleged victims of priest sex abuse as part of its bankruptcy organization plan, an attorney for victims said Tuesday.

The proposed limit is a fraction of more than $400 million that is being sought by people who say they were abused by priests.

David Slader, an attorney for alleged victims, contended the proposed reorganization plan would pit victims against each other for a share of the settlement money and allow the church to cover up most of the abuse by avoiding public trials.

"This plan, which has taken a year and a half to put together, is a step backwards," Slader said.

He noted that nearly $9 million would go to claims already settled but not yet paid, leaving only about $32 million to share among more than 100 pending claims.

Posted by kshaw at 06:26 PM

HSE to review Galway abuse inquiry

IRELAND
One in Four

Following an announcement that the HSE is to set up a review of a six-year -old inquiry into abuse in Co Galway there has been a call for the resignation of the Brothers of Charity director of services in the county, Patrick McGinley.

The HSE said it is seeking to establish why the inquiry by health authorities into child abuse at Brothers of Charity institutions for the physically and intellectually disabled has being going on for six years. This "inquiry into an inquiry" is expected to be completed "at the earliest possible date", a HSE statement said.

In 1997 and 1998 allegations of past child abuse were made by former residents at institutions run by the Brothers of Charity Services in the (then) Western Health Board area. In December 1998 Mr McGinley brought concerns about the allegations to the health board. An inquiry by the health board began in April 1999 concerning allegations from 1965 to 1998. It is ongoing.

Posted by kshaw at 05:30 PM

Armagh protest over bishops' inaction

NORTHERN IRELAND
One in Four

As many as 100 people are expected to demonstrate outside the Armagh residence of Catholic primate Archbishop Seán Brady from noon tomorrow at the ill-treatment of priests who suffered for trying to alert bishops to concerns about clerical sex abuse.

An ad-hoc group of members of rosary and prayer groups around the country are angry at the treatment of Fr Gerard McGinnity and other whistleblower priests who were banished for trying to alert the bishops to concerns about abuse.

Speaking to The Irish Times from Mullingar last night, Sarah Anne McGivney said: "The bishops have to be accountable for their treatment of good priests." Fr McGinnity "had been victimised and was entitled to have his position back. He was put through hell for 20 years and has suffered an awful lot. There are other priests too," she said.

Posted by kshaw at 05:28 PM

Church 'as much part of Bertie's genealogical map as Fianna Fail'

IRELAND
One in Four

BERTIE Ahern's unique selling point is his ordinariness. He could be any one of us.

On the surface, he's an uncomplicated, amiable fellow - happy to work hard and enjoy his football and pints. However, there has to be more to him. Or else we'd all be the Taoiseach.

The magic ingredient in the Bertie mix is his landlubber's terror at the thought of rocking the boat. Safety comes first.

His conciliatory impulses make him an excellent negotiator, and he has carried this reputation all the way from the industrial storms in the Department of Labour to the Northern peace process. Just don't expect him to challenge the consensus. However, oddly for a socialist, he has no appetite for iconoclasm. ...

Like vast numbers of Catholics, he bears it familial goodwill. It is as much a part of his genealogical map as Adam and Fianna Fail.

After the Ferns scandal exploded in 2002, the Taoiseach announced that negligence in dealing with child abuse by priests was "a matter for the Church", when any other State would have been summoning the Papal Nuncio for what is euphemistically called a frank exchange.

While the promised inquiry into the Dublin archdiocese had run into its third year of delayed start-up, the Taoiseach spent last summer investigating the hours spent teaching the Koran in a north Dublin Muslim school.

Posted by kshaw at 05:26 PM

Victims' sex abuse claims set to top 12,000 mark

IRELAND
One in Four

THE number of compensation claims from survivors of institutional child abuse will top 12,000 when the deadline for applications expires next month.

The final figure is double the number of applications predicted when the Residential Institutions Redress Board scheme was launched in 2002.

The surge in claims is also expected to push up the overall cost of the scheme to at least €900 million. Legal fees are expected to cost an additional €100m.

Posted by kshaw at 05:22 PM

Taoiseach to meet One in Four

IRELAND
One in Four

One in Four, the national charity that supports victims of sexual violence, will meet An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern this Thursday to discuss his recent comments on the relationship between the State and the Roman Catholic Church.

One in Four director Colm O’Gorman requested the meeting following Mr Ahern’s comments suggesting there was a sense of “disappointment” in the wake of the publication of the Ferns Report and that the Irish education system would become unmanageable without the continued involvement of the Church.

Posted by kshaw at 05:18 PM

Pastor Charged With Child Pornography

MARXVILLE (WI)
Channel 3000

By Angela Bettis,
Staff Writer

POSTED: 8:35 pm CST November 14, 2005
UPDATED: 8:52 pm CST November 14, 2005

MARXVILLE, Wis. -- Members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Marxville met Monday night to discuss the recent arrest of their minister.

The Dane County Sheriff's Department said the Rev. Jerald Schara was arrested Friday on a tentative charge of possession of child pornography.

Schara has been the minister at the church for 10 years.

Posted by kshaw at 05:04 PM

Families Try, Fail to Talk to Bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 15, 2005; Page A02

Two Wisconsin families who believe their sons were killed by a Roman Catholic priest failed yesterday in their attempt to meet with members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

But after initially being ejected from the downtown hotel where the 350 bishops had gathered for their semiannual meeting, the families were invited back into the lobby for an informal 10-minute conversation with a member of the bishops' staff.

The parents, brothers and sisters of Daniel O'Connell and James Ellison squeezed around a coffee table, sitting on the cushions and arms of a couch and two stuffed chairs. Security guards waved away reporters as the nine family members spoke quietly, with heads bowed and hands pressed between knees, to Teresa Kettelkamp, executive director of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection.

They gave her color photographs of the mustachioed O'Connell, 39, and movie-star-handsome Ellison, 22.

Posted by kshaw at 04:58 PM

Pastor charged with sexual misconduct

LAKE CRYSTAL (MN)
KARE

A Lake Crystal area pastor was charged Monday with two felony counts of sexual misconduct for alleged acts with a teenage member of his church.

James Michael Holthus, 51, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Bail was set at $200,000, with certain conditions, prosecutor Patrick McDermott said.

Defense attorney Christopher Rosengren of Mankato said Holthus "adamantly asserts his innocence" and looked forward to trial. He said Holthus' congregation at Trinity Lutheran Church had already started a legal defense fund.

The boy and his family attended that church in Lake Crystal, according to the criminal complaint. The abuse allegedly began when the boy was 13 and ended in 2002 when he was 16.

Posted by kshaw at 04:52 PM

Accused priest could get 100-year sentence

MESA (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 14, 2005 06:29 PM

MESA - A former west Valley Catholic priest faces more than 100 years in prison if jurors decide to convict him of molesting six boys in Arizona after a monthlong trial in a Mesa courtroom.

Rev. Paul LeBrun, 49, already stripped of his priestly duties, preyed upon vulnerable young boys whose parents were abusive, divorced or abandoned by their fathers in Arizona and Indiana, prosecutor Suzanne Cohen said.

"He was basically a wolf in sheep's clothing," Cohen said during closing arguments Monday. "Everything he did was to get close to these little boys. Everything he did was to abuse these little boys." advertisement

But defense attorney Ken Hulls said the victims, which included four more boys in Indiana, didn't come forward for decades and are motivated by greed.

Posted by kshaw at 04:44 PM

U.S. bishops disagree over changes in liturgy

WASHINGTON (DC)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON -- At a meeting where the sexual abuse scandal was not on their public agenda, the U.S. Catholic bishops repeatedly raised the topic in matters ranging from their budget to an acrimonious discussion about proposed changes to the English liturgy.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago noted that a long-standing division between bishops who prefer standard American English and those who want a literal rending of Latin has become more complex. Some bishops on both sides have realized that the current English text is more familiar and meaningful to many Catholics than the centuries-old Latin text once was, he said.

"There are those who have been quite critical of the present translation, but who are now saying that we don't want to disturb the people, especially in the situation of weakened episcopal authority we have now," he said, referring to distrust of bishops who failed to remove child molesters from the priesthood.

Conference president Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., spoke of different credibility issues related to the scandal. While surveys show that 90 percent of priests love the priesthood and more than 90 percent of parishioners say parish priests do a good job, bishops fare less well. Priests fear that bishops will remove innocent priests.

"Only 42 percent believe they will be dealt with fairly if they are accused; 58 percent do not. Only 27 percent believe that accused priests have been treated fairly," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 04:26 PM

Catholic priest's faith nearly dead

ARLINGTON (VA)
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
November 14, 2005

Father James Haley of Arlington, Va., had the following (edited) quasi-response to a Nov. 14 Washington Post story regarding the families of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison. O'Connell and Ellison were allegedly shot to death by the late Father Ryan Erickson in 2002.

"Amazingly, after four years, I have still not heard anything significant about my 'trial.' In fact, from what I understand, my case has still not been received by the Vatican, where it may sit for many more years. And again, this is a trial about my behavior, not the bishop's, nor the chancellor's, nor the behavior of so many homosexual priests.

"I believe all is lost unless some wealthy individual gives me the necessary funding to do a real exposure — the money being used primarily for my predicted legal defense because the Church will do, and has done, everything to prevent their dirty 'little' gay secret from being exposed. And the last thing I want is to end up in prison worrying about homosexual rape; I had too many 'roving' eyes in the priesthood.

"So it looks like the evil men have won. A priest for ever — utter nonsense! A Church that teaches the fullness of truth in faith and morals — total baloney! And the good people in the pews? Simple, blind, stupid sheep who are still totally culpable every time they pay a dime to the Church without first insisting on the fullness of truth about this horrendous moral tragedy. A brief 'instruction' from the Vatican will do nothing to solve this outrageous moral dilemma, nor prevent the infiltration of future homosexual men; in fact, it will probably encourage even more to join.

Posted by kshaw at 04:23 PM

Priest accused of having sex in truck stop

ST. ROSE (LA)
ABC 13

(11/15/05 - ST. ROSE, LA) - A 57-year-old priest has been arrested and booked with crime against nature after being accused of having sex with another man in the bathroom stall of a Saint Rose truck stop.

The Reverend Dean Robins of Kenner, who has served as pastor of the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, was booked along with 35-year-old Marbin Tursios of Saint Rose.

A sheriff's deputy from Saint Charles Parish noticed two men in one stall Sunday.

Rev. William Maestri, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, says Robins has been placed on administrative leave.

Posted by kshaw at 03:06 PM

Views vary on bishop's column about gay priests

GENEVA (NY)
Finger Lakes Times

By CRAIG FOX
Finger Lakes Times
cfox@fltimes.com

GENEVA — Joanne Bienvenue of Waterloo wasn’t surprised to hear this morning that Bishop Matthew Clark recently wrote a column assuring homosexual priests that they are welcome in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

Bienvenue, a former longtime parishioner of St. Mary’s Church in Waterloo, knew that the bishop had been supportive of homosexual priests and seminarians, and gays and lesbians, in the past.

While she believes in being tolerant of gays, Bienvenue disagreed strongly with Clark’s views, which he made clear in a column that appears in this week’s Catholic Courier.

“I don’t support a lot of things that the bishop has supported. I don’t know about some of the things that the Rochester Diocese has come out with.

Posted by kshaw at 03:03 PM

Closing arguments begin in LeBrun trial

MESA (AZ)
WNDU

Posted: 11/15/2005 11:31 am
Last Updated: 11/15/2005 11:31 am

Jurors in the trial of former priest Paul LeBrun heard the start of closing arguments on Monday.

LeBrun faces eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation in Arizona where he served from 1986 to 1991.

Posted by kshaw at 02:59 PM

Retired priest faces 36 charges

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

By CP

CHATHAM, Ont. -- A retired southwestern Ontario priest is behind bars after 29 more women came forward with complaints of childhood sexual abuse.

Chatham-Kent police yesterday laid 31 new counts against Charles Sylvestre, bringing the total sexual abuse charges the 82-year-old faces to 36.

Sylvestre, who lives in nearby Belle River, is charged with 29 counts of indecent assault, three charges of rape, three counts of sexual intercourse with a female under 14 years of age and one charge of attempted rape, said Det.-Const. Kate McArthur.

All of the alleged victims are females and were between the ages of nine and 14 at the time of the alleged incidents, McArthur said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:37 AM

Pastor to be Charged With Possessing Child Porn

MADISON (WI)
NBC 15

Updated: 6:28 PM Nov 14, 2005
Zac Schultz

Madison: A local pastor is currently in Jail and will be charged in Dane County Court Tuesday afternoon.

The Sheriff's Department made the arrest last Friday. Schara is the minister at both St. Paul's and St. John's Lutheran Church outside Mazomanie.

"On Friday Dane County Deputies arrested Jerald Schara from Mazomanie on tentative charges of possession of child pornography and he's currently being charged in the Dane County Jail," says Dane Co. Sheriff's Department Spokesperson Elis Schaffer.

The Sheriff's Department isn't saying if this child porn bust is connected to a larger case. "That would all be part of the investigation I'm not sure at this point if they're connecting this to anyone else or not," says Schaffer.

Paster George Carlson is Bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin-Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. "I was deeply saddened to hear of the arrest of the Rev. Jerald Schara on charge of pornography or obscene material. The Evangelical Church in America does not tolerate sexual exploitation or misconduct and we consider these charges very serious. Rev. Schara has been suspended from his pastoral duties as the legal process continues."

Posted by kshaw at 09:27 AM

Bishop denies sex cover-up

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Kathleen A. Shaw TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kshaw@telegram.com

WORCESTER— Bishop Robert J. McManus maintains he never attempted to cover up an incident of lewd conduct involving the Rev. James J. Aquino in Las Vegas, but was led to believe the charges brought by police were inaccurate and the case would be dismissed.

That belief changed in late October, he said, when news of the incident became public, police and court documents from Las Vegas were posted on a Web site, and Rev. Aquino stood on the altar of Our Lady of Loreto parish to relate his account, saying the bishop had asked him to remain quiet about the incident.

The bishop’s response was in a column he writes for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press, on Nov. 11. He had not responded to e-mails, faxes and phone requests for clarification placed over the past 10 days on what new information he had received late last month that prompted him to reverse his earlier position and remove Rev. Aquino from active ministry.

“Some have asked if I made a mistake when I left Father Aquino in ministry until recently,” Bishop McManus states in the latest issue of the Free Press. “In recent weeks, I have asked myself this same question,” he said.

He said his decision to leave Rev. Aquino in the ministry for several months after learning of the Oct. 24, 2004, incident was based on what Rev. Aquino and his lawyer had told him.

Bishop McManus said that although Rev. Aquino originally was charged more than a year ago, he did not learn of the incident until February. He said he talked with David Roger, district attorney for Clark County in Las Vegas, and was given a copy of the police report that was redacted, adding that he was assured by Rev. Aquino and his lawyer that the police report was inaccurate and that the charges would be dismissed.

Apparently the only redacted portion of the police report forwarded to the bishop was the name of the other man involved in the incident.

Rev. Aquino had said that he wasn’t involved in sexual activity when he was detained by Las Vegas vice squad officers the previous year in the Adult Superstore, but did acknowledge some wrongdoing. Bishop McManus said he “learned of the admission of sexual activity by the other consenting adult” when it was reported in the news media.

In addition, he said, “I learned that an additional Las Vegas law enforcement official publicly supported the finding of the initial police report,” he said. A spokesman for Las Vegas police told the Telegram & Gazette this month that Rev. Aquino paid $8 to enter a theater and adult book store and was observed during a raid.

“Finally, I was troubled by the manner, as reported in the press, by which Father Aquino denied the allegations at the public meeting he called. I was also disturbed by inappropriate statements made against the investigating police officials in Las Vegas, and strongly expressed my appreciation for law enforcement officials in my homily to the parishioners.”

Rev. Aquino’s lawyer, Anthony A. Froio, told the parishioners that police did not become interested in Rev. Aquino until finding out he was a priest.

“Following the meeting, I reconsidered the facts of the case and the previous explanations given to me since last February,” the bishop wrote in his column.

Rev. Aquino, who was vacationing in Las Vegas, was detained along with the other man in the adult entertainment store. Vice squad officers said they observed the priest masturbating the other man during a movie.

When escorted outside by police, Rev. Aquino gave a false Social Security number and later admitted he did that because he was a priest, according to officers who conducted the raid. He was issued a criminal citation for lewd conduct and giving false information.

In March, he was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct after he provided proof that he had done 50 hours of community service work and attended counseling. The case was dismissed from the Justice Court in Las Vegas Sept. 6.

“In this entire matter there was no attempt to impede justice. No documents were concealed. At no time did I ask the district attorney to intervene to the benefit of Father Aquino,” the bishop said.

Philip M. Hymanson, an Athol native and former prosecutor, now a lawyer for the Las Vegas Diocese, said last week that his diocese was contacted by Mr. Roger after Rev. Aquino was charged, and was told there was “a priest in trouble.”

Mr. Hymanson said the Las Vegas Diocese had no role after it was determined Rev. Aquino was from the Worcester Diocese. Mr. Roger said in a recent interview that he has a good working relationship with the Las Vegas Diocese and generally informs them when allegations are made against priests.

Bishop McManus said he was “very disheartened” by the incident in Las Vegas. “Notwithstanding the immoral character of the incident and his wrongful presence in an adult entertainment store, I am mindful that this case is different from that of a priest abusing his office when another person knows that he is a priest, particularly since this incident involved a consenting adult,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:24 AM

Pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct

CRYSTAL LAKE (MN)
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Robert Franklin, Star Tribune
Last update: November 14, 2005 at 4:42 PM

A pastor in Lake Crystal, Minn., has been charged with criminal sexual conduct involving a young parishioner he was counseling.

The Rev. James Michael Holthus, 51, appeared Monday in Blue Earth County District Court in Mankato. He was held on $200,000 bail by Judge Kurt Johnson.

Holthus, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lake Crystal, was arrested Thursday following a search of his home and church office during which a computer was seized.

Chris Rosengren, the pastor’s attorney, said Holthus “adamantly” asserts his innocence, looks forward to clearing his name in a trial and wants to thank those supporting and praying for him. Parishioners have started a defense fund, he said.

Posted by kshaw at 09:22 AM

Bishop supports gay priests in writing

ROCHESTER (NY)
Democrat & Chronicle

Marketta Gregory
Staff writer

(November 15, 2005) — While the world awaits a controversial Vatican document that could ban gays from the priesthood, Bishop Matthew Clark assured gay priests and seminarians on Sunday that they are welcome in Rochester's Roman Catholic diocese.

"We deeply value your ministry," Clark wrote in his weekly column in the Catholic Courier, referring to priests who are gay and dedicate their lives to service. And to gay men considering becoming priests: "We try to treat all inquiries fairly. You will be no exception."

Clark was at a meeting of bishops in Washington, D.C., and couldn't be reached on Monday, but his column, which is distributed at parishes throughout the 12-county diocese, was apparently sparked by his concern over two recent events: Vatican officials visiting seminaries to study how students are being prepared for priesthood and a life of celibacy; and the soon-to-be-released Vatican document that deals with whether gay men should be allowed to become priests.

The content of the Vatican document has provided grist for the rumor mill. Some media reports claim the document, which was years in the making, dissuades gays from joining the priesthood; others say it gives bishops authority to look at each applicant on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, people in the pews are talking about it.

Posted by kshaw at 09:14 AM

Priests, death penalty, lay ministers on agenda on bishops' first day

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Catholic bishops opened their annual fall meeting Nov. 14 with encouragement for the nation's priests and preliminary discussion of topics ranging from the death penalty to children's Masses, from lay ecclesial ministers to budget matters.

In his presidential address, Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., called priests "the treasures who safeguard the church as a eucharistic community" and said they deserve the gratitude, support, esteem and collaborative respect of the bishops.

Attention stemming from publicity about sexual abuse cases and how the church has handled them was not about the "wonder, commitment, dedication and perseverance" of priests, but about "the darkness and sin which overwhelmed some," he said. "It has been a personally painful time for the vast majority of priests who did nothing to deserve that pain."

Posted by kshaw at 09:14 AM

Public pays price for deal with orders

IRELAND
One in Four

TAXPAYERS will be aghast next month when they finally learn the full cost to the public of the Coalition’s highly unsatisfactory exemption deal with religious orders involved in institutional child abuse.

By next month, compensation will be due to more than 12,000 survivors before the Residential Institutions Redress Board, double the predicted figure.

Thanks to a Fianna Fáil-inspired deal with the orders, their liability was limited to €128 million. With the final bill expected to exceed €900m, taxpayers will have to pick up the balance.

Posted by kshaw at 02:23 AM

Bishop let cousin in sex probe work on as priest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

A BISHOP knew for three years that an allegation of sex abuse had been made against one of his priests, who is also his cousin.

He only asked him to stand aside two weeks ago.

The bishop also took three years to order an examination of diocesan files to determine whether or not any other allegations had been made against him.

In addition, neither the Garda nor the local health authority was told about the allegation until two months ago.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has confirmed to the Irish Independent it informed the Bishop of Elphin, Dr Christopher Jones, that an allegation of sex abuse had been directed against the priest.

The priest served in Los Angeles between 1957 and 1964.

Posted by kshaw at 02:15 AM

Catholic bishops say they've responded to abuse crisis

WASHINGTON (DC)
KFOR

WASHINGTON The U-S Conference of Catholic Bishops insists steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence of the clergy abuse crisis.

At a meeting in Washington, Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas (kik-AN'-is) says there's now increased screening of applicants for the priesthood to ensure that children aren't put at risk. He adds that U-S bishops now refer allegations to civil authorities for investigation.

Kicanas' diocese recently emerged from bankruptcy caused by molestation claims.

Posted by kshaw at 02:12 AM

Families of 2 slain in Hudson give bishops letter

WASHINGTON (DC)
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Aaron Blake, Star Tribune
Last update: November 14, 2005 at 8:08 PM

WASHINGTON - The families of two men killed in a Hudson, Wis., funeral home in 2002 delivered to a Catholic bishops conference on Monday a proposal for dealing with sexual abuse in the church. But they were disappointed at not getting to speak with bishops in person.

Six relatives of Dan O'Connell and three relatives of James Ellison met privately for 15 minutes at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fall meeting with Teresa Kettelkamp, the executive director of the conference's Office of Child and Youth Protection.

The families had been told they couldn't meet with the bishops, so they held a news conference outside the Hyatt Regency hotel, where the bishops were meeting, and walked inside to try to deliver their five-part plan to the bishops.

Kettelkamp said she would give the families' letter and photos of the victims to Spokane, Wash., Bishop William Skylstad, the president of the conference.

Posted by kshaw at 01:42 AM

Two more Seattle priests dismissed from clerical state for sex abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
The Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

SEATTLE — Two priests from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle have been laicized, or dismissed from the clerical state, because of child sex abuse allegations, Seattle Archbishop Alex J. Brunett said Monday.

George Barry Ashwell and David P. Jaeger, both 62, had already been removed from public ministry while the archdiocese awaited word from the Vatican on their fate.

Jaeger's laicization was voluntary; he admitted in the mid-1990s that he inappropriately touched a 13-year-old boy at a youth camp in 1978. Ashwell had denied inappropriately touching boys in his care.

In all, three priests from the Seattle Archdiocese have now been laicized, a process that can only be completed by the Vatican. The other is John Cornelius, who served in the Seattle Archdiocese from 1975 to 2002 and was defrocked by the Vatican last fall. More than 20 men lodged sexual assault complaints against him.

Posted by kshaw at 01:40 AM

Bronx nun, 68, goes public about being abused by priest in 1950s

LARCHMONT (NY)
Newsday

By JIM FITZGERALD
Associated Press Writer

November 14, 2005, 10:29 PM EST

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- A 68-year-old nun who is an accomplished educator and counselor told a crowd of Catholics on Monday night that she was abused from the age of 11 by a priest who took advantage of her grief when her big sister died in a car crash.

"He would hug me ... and then he would be all over me," Sister Claire Smith said. "It was the 1950s, and I was an Irish Catholic girl from the Bronx. I thought priests were almost godlike."

The abuse continued until she was 18, she said, and "I was robbed of my growing up."

Smith, who has multiple sclerosis and broke her legs in an accident two weeks ago, spoke from a motorized wheelchair at the Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church to the local chapter of Voice of the Faithful, an organization that supports victims of priests' abuse and seeks a larger voice in church governance.

Posted by kshaw at 01:24 AM

November 14, 2005

U.S. Catholic bishops to meet behind closed doors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Monday, November 14, 2005

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The U.S. Catholic bishops will hold most of this week's 31/2 day meeting behind closed doors.

While long executive sessions and closed retreats have been common at their smaller June meetings, their major meeting each November in Washington, D.C., has normally had one half-day executive session.

The lengthy closed session worries some advocates of accountability.

"Whatever became of all those pledges to be more open and transparent?" said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. "I would have hoped that, out of respect for Catholic lay people if nothing else, they would conduct less of their business behind closed doors."

Russell Shaw, a former communications director for the bishops, believes they have done "pretty well" at discussing sexual abuse in public, but that other topics have been taken more and more behind closed doors.

Posted by kshaw at 10:41 PM

Families of Murder Victims Bring Five Point Reform Plan to US Bishops

HUDSON (WI)
AXcess News

By Staff

(AXcess News) Hudson WI - At a news conference outside the meeting of all US Catholic bishops in Minneapolis, the families of two men who were murdered by a Catholic priest will unveil a five point plan for sexual abuse healing and prevention including a proposal to discipline bishops who ordain troubled seminarians to the priesthood.

In an unusual "John Doe" hearing last month, a St. Croix County judge determined that Fr. Ryan Erickson, 31, shot and killed two men in Hudson, Wisconsin in February 2002. One of the victims had confronted Erickson with allegations that the priest was molesting kids. Last December, Erickson hanged himself from a fire escape at his Hurley, Wisconsin church after being questioned by police about the murders.

The Rev. Philip Heslin, moderator of the Curia for the Catholic Diocese of Superior, the equivalent of the diocese's chief operating officer, said Erickson hanged himself.

Police in Hudson questioned Erickson about the murders of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison, but the priest denied any involvement, Heslin said.

O'Connell and Ellison were found shot to death in an office at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson in February 2002. O'Connell was the director of the home, and Ellison was an intern there.

Posted by kshaw at 10:33 PM

Two Families Seek Church Accountability in Abuse Cases

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 14, 2005; Page A03

Sally Ellison does not have an appointment with the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. She is not even a Catholic. But she is flying 900 miles from her home in Wisconsin to Washington today for a meeting of U.S. bishops, and she thinks they should hear what she has got to say.

"Because of their negligence, my son is dead. I think that's a pretty good reason for them to listen to me, don't you?" she said.

After an unusual hearing last month, a judge in Hudson, Wis., ruled that a Catholic priest, the Rev. Ryan Erickson, "probably" murdered James Ellison, 22, and Daniel O'Connell, 39, on Feb. 5, 2002.

The troubled and troublesome priest, who had a penchant for real handguns and for pretending to shoot people with his thumb and index finger, avoided prosecution by hanging himself from a rectory fire escape last year.

But at the conclusion of the "John Doe hearing" -- a form of trial without a defendant that is allowed in just five states -- St. Croix County Circuit Judge Eric J. Lundell said he was convinced that Erickson, 31, shot the two men after O'Connell accused him of molesting children.

Posted by kshaw at 10:22 PM

Priest’s court battle expands

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

BY CHRIS BIRK STAFF WRITER 11/14/2005

A court battle is shaping up over psychological records of a Diocese of Scranton priest accused of sexually abusing a teenage parishioner.

Attorneys in the federal lawsuit against the Rev. Albert M. Liberatore are also pushing the diocese to release documents detailing all claims and investigations of sexual misconduct against diocesan priests or employees over the past 20 years.

Father Liberatore has already pleaded guilty to nine criminal counts in two jurisdictions stemming from a sexual relationship he had with a former sacristan at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Duryea. Filed a year ago this month in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the civil suit on behalf of now college-age John Doe and his family levies a host of charges against the priest and diocesan officials, including assault and battery and failure to protect.

While his name is disclosed in court papers, it is the policy of The Times-Tribune not to identify victims of sexual assault.

Posted by kshaw at 09:38 PM

Memphis Catholic Diocese Hit With Another Sex Suit

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG

MEMPHIS - A lawsuit spells out the abuse a 41-year-old Memphis man says he repressed for years. It was only after watching a news story about a former Memphis priest, Paul St.Charles that the victim remembered being molested. The victim says he was molested at the Church of Ascension on Ramill in Memphis when he was 15 or 16 years old. Then a teenager, he was spending the weekend at the rectory with Father St. Charles. He says the priest gave him wine and whiskey to drink and told him because they were in a church it was not wrong.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 PM

Murder victims' families press bishops on reform, meeting

WASHINGTON (DC)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

FREDERIC J. FROMMER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The families of two men believed to have been killed by a Roman Catholic priest in Hudson, Wis., gave the nation's bishops a plan Monday aimed at preventing sexual abuse by priests.

The family members also asked the bishops to arrange a meeting for them with Pope Benedict XVI.

A Wisconsin judge last month ruled 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 O'Connell learned the priest was sexually abusing someone, providing alcohol to minors, or both. Erickson committed suicide last December after being questioned about the murders.

Families of the victims have contended their loved ones might still be alive if the church had properly disciplined Erickson after old accusations of abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 06:54 PM

Pastor Charged With Sexual Misconduct

MINNESOTA
WCCO

(AP) Mankato, Minn. A Lake Crystal area pastor was charged Monday with two felony counts of sexual misconduct for alleged acts with a teenage member of his church.

James Michael Holthus, 51, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Bail was set at $200,000, with certain conditions, prosecutor Patrick McDermott said.

Defense attorney Christopher Rosengren of Mankato said Holthus "adamantly asserts his innocence" and looked forward to trial. He said Holthus' congregation at Trinity Lutheran Church had already started a legal defense fund.

The boy and his family attended that church in Lake Crystal, according to the criminal complaint. The abuse allegedly began when the boy was 13 and ended in 2002 when he was 16.

Posted by kshaw at 06:50 PM

Row erupts over Church-State relationship

IRELAND
Irish Emigrant

Comments by Progressive Democrat TD Liz O'Donnell about the relationship between the Catholic Church and the State sparked a rebuke by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. This in turn led to further media debate. During a Dáil debate on the Ferns Report on clerical sexual abuse, Ms O'Donnell criticised the Church on all fronts but particularly its role in education. She called for an end to the "cosy phone calls" between All Hallows seminary, which is in the Taoiseach's constituency of Drumcondra, and Government Buildings. She demanded that there should be no further consultation on a range of issues. Among those she mentioned were abortion services, stem-cell research, in-vitro fertilisation, homosexuality and adoption. Ms O'Donnell also proposed that the Church's finances should be the subject of a State audit.

The Taoiseach responded forcefully, defending his relationship with All Hallows, where his father had worked for a half-century. He accused Ms O'Donnell of misunderstanding the role of All Hallows and the Vincentian Order. The seminary, he said, had educated young priests not for Ireland but for dioceses around the world. Mr Ahern added, "The Church is an important part of civil society and is critical to the faith, values and identity of many citizens". He went on to acknowledge the Church's contribution to education over the years, saying it had contributed greatly in the development of the country. He noted the Church's role in managing some 3,000 primary schools, "If they were to pull out tomorrow, we wouldn't be able to manage the education system".

Posted by kshaw at 08:31 AM

Church usher charged with sex abuse of teen

PATCHOGUE (NY)
Newsday

BY CHRISTINE ARMARIO
STAFF WRITER

An usher at a Patchogue church was arraigned yesterday in the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old parishioner, police said.

Pastor Javier Feliciano, of Spanish Pentecostal Church, said he was told by the child's family that usher Junior Esteves, 28, of Medford, allegedly abused a child he was driving home from a rehearsal for a skit in which both dressed in fatigues and played soldiers of Christ.

Esteves was arrested Saturday at the church around 4:30 p.m. and charged with second-degree sexual abuse, which includes inappropriate touching of a child under 14. If found guilty, punishment is up to a year in jail.

"We're hurt," said Feliciano, leaving the church after yesterday's morning Mass. "We never expected this."

Feliciano said Esteves and the child, whose name and gender are being withheld by police, were going to be in a five-minute sketch with other church members for a special Saturday Mass to be officiated by the children from the church group.

Posted by kshaw at 08:23 AM

Dublin Archdiocese next for abuse inquiry

IRELAND
Irish Emigrant

Following the report into the response to allegations of clerical child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Ferns, a similar State-commissioned investigation into the Dublin Archdiocese is beginning. The 18-month inquiry will follow up on a representative sample of allegations made against 67 Dublin priests between 1975 and 2004. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has promised full co-operation with the investigation.

The four-member Commission of Investigation will be headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, who sits in the Circuit Criminal Court. It will examine and report on the responses of the Catholic Church, the State and the public to allegations of child sex abuse. Judge Murphy has been asked to complete her report within 18 months. The inquiry can be directed by Minister of State for Children Brian Lenihan to extend its investigations to other dioceses if it appears that a bishop has not implemented the 1996 rules published by the Bishop's Advisory Committee on Child Sexual Abuse by Priests and Religious.

Posted by kshaw at 08:11 AM

Hudson victims' families turn to media to get bishops' attention

WASHINGTON (DC)
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Last update: November 14, 2005 at 7:26 AM

Unsuccessful in their effort to meet with Catholic bishops gathered in Washington, families of two Hudson, Wis., funeral home workers who were apparently killed by a priest will speak at a news conference this afternoon to tell the bishops "to get their act together."

"We haven't had a card, a note, a phone call from our own bishop, so we have to try to get their attention another way," said Tom O'Connell. His son, Dan, and intern James Ellison were shot and killed on Feb. 5, 2003, at the O'Connell funeral home in Hudson.

The Rev. Ryan Erickson, a priest in Hudson at the time, probably killed the men because O'Connell was about to confront the priest over allegations that he sexually abused a teenage boy, a judge ruled last month. Erickson, who had been moved twice by his bishop after the killings, hanged himself last December.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opens its annual fall meeting in Washington today. Most of the sessions are closed to the public.

"They have their charter saying they will protect young people from abuse, but what are they doing?" Tom O'Connell said Sunday.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 AM

Sex-abuse suits embroil Jesuits in Northwest

OREGON
The Oregonian

Monday, November 14, 2005
ASHBEL S. GREEN
In the long shadow of the Archdiocese of Portland bankruptcy, an Oregon-based Jesuit province faces a growing priest-abuse litigation crisis of its own.

In the last few years, as many as 100 people have filed sex-abuse lawsuits accusing more than a dozen priests and volunteers of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.

The Northwest Jesuits are separate from the Portland Archdiocese and report to superiors outside the Vatican in Rome. The province covers five states -- Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska -- but the bulk of the alleged abuse occurred in remote Alaskan Eskimo villages that during the long winters are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world.

"There's no one to tell, no one to turn to, no one to talk to," said Elsie Boudreau, an Anchorage woman who was sexually abused by a Jesuit priest when she was a girl. Boudreau settled her case for $1 million in April.

The Rev. John D. Whitney, the Portland-based provincial superior, admitted that the Rev. James Poole had committed sexual abuse and apologized to Boudreau.

Posted by kshaw at 07:55 AM

Sex-abuse suits embroil Jesuits in Northwest

OREGON
The Oregonian

Monday, November 14, 2005
ASHBEL S. GREEN
In the long shadow of the Archdiocese of Portland bankruptcy, an Oregon-based Jesuit province faces a growing priest-abuse litigation crisis of its own.

In the last few years, as many as 100 people have filed sex-abuse lawsuits accusing more than a dozen priests and volunteers of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.

The Northwest Jesuits are separate from the Portland Archdiocese and report to superiors outside the Vatican in Rome. The province covers five states -- Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska -- but the bulk of the alleged abuse occurred in remote Alaskan Eskimo villages that during the long winters are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world.

"There's no one to tell, no one to turn to, no one to talk to," said Elsie Boudreau, an Anchorage woman who was sexually abused by a Jesuit priest when she was a girl. Boudreau settled her case for $1 million in April.

The Rev. John D. Whitney, the Portland-based provincial superior, admitted that the Rev. James Poole had committed sexual abuse and apologized to Boudreau.

Posted by kshaw at 07:35 AM

Sex-abuse suits embroil Jesuits in Northwest

OREGON
The Oregonian

Monday, November 14, 2005
ASHBEL S. GREEN
In the long shadow of the Archdiocese of Portland bankruptcy, an Oregon-based Jesuit province faces a growing priest-abuse litigation crisis of its own.

In the last few years, as many as 100 people have filed sex-abuse lawsuits accusing more than a dozen priests and volunteers of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.

The Northwest Jesuits are separate from the Portland Archdiocese and report to superiors outside the Vatican in Rome. The province covers five states -- Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska -- but the bulk of the alleged abuse occurred in remote Alaskan Eskimo villages that during the long winters are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world.

"There's no one to tell, no one to turn to, no one to talk to," said Elsie Boudreau, an Anchorage woman who was sexually abused by a Jesuit priest when she was a girl. Boudreau settled her case for $1 million in April.

The Rev. John D. Whitney, the Portland-based provincial superior, admitted that the Rev. James Poole had committed sexual abuse and apologized to Boudreau.

Posted by kshaw at 07:33 AM

Faith holds firm despite ferns

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Pól Ó Muirí

14 November 2005
The Catholic Church in Ireland has certainly found itself at the centre of attention over the last number of weeks and that attention shows no sign of waning.

Media and politicians have been to the fore in highlighting, rightly, the sexual abuse of young children in the Ferns Diocese.

While that inquiry has drawn to a close - insofar as the report has been published - the horror of what was done by some priests will not be as easily forgotten.

Indeed, the Republic's Government have announced another inquiry into the Arch-Diocese of Dublin, though even that may not be enough with some politicians urging a nation-wide audit of the Church.

The bad news for the Church is that while "what" happened in Ferns (and in other dioceses) is known; why it happened is still not clear.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 AM

Catholic Bishops Gather for D.C. Meeting

WASHINGTON (DC)
San Francisco Chronicle

By RICHARD N. OSTLING, AP Religion Writer

Sunday, November 13, 2005

(11-13) 09:52 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops are gathering for a meeting with an unusually light agenda — in public, that is.

Church leaders were planning to open the event to media and observers from the first session Monday morning through midday Tuesday. But after that, the bishops will air opinions behind closed doors for another day or two — perhaps treating delicate topics such as Catholic politicians, the sex-abuse crisis or the ongoing review of seminaries.

As a result, it promises to be the most secretive November session since the bishops decided to open up their gatherings in 1972. The hierarchy also meets each June, and occasionally those sessions have been entirely private.

The unusual degree of closed-door deliberations this time is not a policy change but rather the product of an unusually short list of items that require formal action, said Monsignor Francis Maniscalco, spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by kshaw at 02:06 AM

November 13, 2005

Irish children abused in a land of deference

IRELAND
Irish Independent

IT IS difficult to overstate the importance of the Ferns Report. It is a landmark document in the context of child sexual abuse - abuse compounded in its gravity because the actors were members of the most trusted group in our society.

The victims suffered not only sexual, physical and psychological abuse, but also the betrayal and inaction of a church that placed the protection of the most vulnerable below the priority of protecting themselves.

I heard a chilling description of what these abusive clergy did to their victims as the equivalent of "eating their souls". Unlike other forms of ill-treatment, sexual abuse of children by priests, and the subsequent disbelief of their stories is uniquely destructive of the individual spirit. Given the scale and brutality as outlined in the Ferns Report, the capacity to heal and even forgive among some victims is awesome.

The report, however, is a landmark in another aspect. It will change forever the special relationship that has existed for many decades between church and state.

This cannot happen unless the old relationship ends: the unrelenting deference, which constituted relations between state and church. Only then can the State act as it should - objectively.

Posted by kshaw at 08:52 PM

New Rochelle nun speaks about childhood abuse

NEW ROCHELLE (NY)
The Journal News

By GARY STERN
gstern@thejournalnews.com
THE JOURNAL NEWS

A 68-year-old Ursuline nun will speak publicly for the first time tomorrow about being sexually molested by a parish priest when she was a girl, an experience that silently shaped her entire life.

Sister Claire Smith of New Rochelle said that childhood shame was one reason she joined a religious community in 1956.

"I just felt I was used goods," she said. "Who would want me? I had this secret I couldn't tell anybody. These were the days when you didn't say anything."

Smith, who went on to become a noted educator and counselor, will address the Southern Westchester chapter of Voice of the Faithful, a national Catholic lay group that formed in Boston during the sex-abuse scandal of 2002.

Posted by kshaw at 08:27 PM

Gay Priests Conflicted As Church Leaders Set To Discuss Restrictions

UNITED STATES
The Day

By RACHEL ZOLL
& ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published on 11/13/2005

The Rev. Fred Daley, a gay, Roman Catholic priest, had grown increasingly disturbed by Vatican pronouncements over the years that homosexuals were unfit for the clergy.

Then the situation escalated — some church leaders suggested that gays were responsible for the clergy sex abuse crisis. Daley was so angry, he did something last year that almost no other gay Catholic cleric in the country has done: He came out to his bishop, parishioners and his entire community to show that homosexuals were faithfully working in the church.

“I'm as much a member of the church as anybody else,” said Daley, of St. Francis de Sales Church in Utica, N.Y., who was ordained in 1974 and said he has never considered leaving the priesthood. “I love being a priest.”

Researchers have estimated that thousands of homosexual clergy across the United States have dedicated their lives to a church that considers them “intrinsically disordered” and prone to “evil tendencies.” Soon, the Vatican will back up that teaching with a document that could set new restrictions on candidates for the priesthood — a pronouncement U.S. bishops may discuss in private during their national meeting starting Monday in Washington.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 PM

Irish Report on Sexual Abuse by Priests Stokes Outrage

IRELAND
The New York Times

By BRIAN LAVERY
Published: November 13, 2005
DUBLIN, Nov. 12 - An independent report on sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in Ireland has led some members of Parliament to call for a severing of the formal ties between the Irish government and the Roman Catholic Church and has led the justice minister to promise new child-protection laws and a nationwide audit of how the church handles such cases.

The report, by a three-member panel appointed by the Irish government, showed that the Catholic Church hierarchy in Ireland was only one part of a system that enabled cover-ups allowing known sexual predators to retain their positions within the church - and their access to young victims.

Before 1990, the panel found, the police were reluctant to investigate claims of sexual abuse by the clergy because they were fearful of challenging the privileged position of Roman Catholic Church authorities.

Most schools in Ireland are run by the Catholic Church, so even lay teachers found it difficult to sound alarms. In addition, public health authorities failed to follow up on some accusations of abuse and cut short other inquiries.

Posted by kshaw at 08:21 PM

Priest sued for child support

CANADA
London Free Press

Sun, November 13, 2005

Sandra Ring-Morse of Ingersoll is also suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of London and the religious order priest Jason Martin belongs to. He denies he is the father of her youngest son.

By JANE SIMS, FREE PRESS JUSTICE REPORTER

Sandra Ring-Morse of Ingersoll is also suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of London and the religious order priest Jason Martin belongs to. He denies he is the father of her youngest son.

For a while, Sandra Ring-Morse thought she was living a real-life fairy tale.

Just months after her infant daughter was born dead and her marriage failed, a high school sweetheart rushed back into her life, vowing to leave his life in the Roman Catholic priesthood and promising true love and a lifetime of happiness, she says.

For seven months, Ring-Morse says, they lived together blissfully. They were engaged and had set a wedding date.

But what began with such whirlwind promise has evaporated into the stuff only soap opera writers might dream up.

Jason Martin, the man who had so quickly appeared in her life, abruptly left her in July 2004 and disappeared back into the priesthood, she says.

Two weeks later, the 31-year-old Ingersoll woman, already severely stressed by his departure, found out she was pregnant.

Posted by kshaw at 08:09 AM

Vatican to Define Its Policy on Gay Seminarians

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is preparing to release a document, years in the making, that will bolster the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine against admitting gay men into the priesthood.

Despite an acute shortage of Catholic priests in many parts of the world, church leaders under Pope Benedict XVI are advocating a more careful screening of aspiring clerics to keep out homosexuals. However, rather than an absolute ban feared in some circles, the pope is expected to adopt a somewhat more nuanced approach in the final document.

The Vatican announced in 2002 that a year earlier it had begun revising guidelines on whether gays should be allowed to enroll in seminaries. Officials were responding to two concerns: what some Catholics saw as a growing gay subculture within seminaries and in church life, and the explosion of sexual abuse scandals in the United States and elsewhere, the majority of whose victims were boys.

Benedict has been clear in upholding church teachings that condemn homosexuality as "disordered" and potentially evil, both in his decades as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's chief doctrinal enforcer, and since his election as pontiff in April. He has repeatedly emphasized traditional moral doctrine, condemning same-sex marriages and other perceived crises of values in the secular world.

Posted by kshaw at 07:42 AM

Ahern placates abuse victims

IRELAND
The Sunday Times

THE taoiseach is to meet with Colm O’Gorman, the director of One in Four, a support group for sexual abuse victims, in an attempt to defuse the row over his defence of the Catholic church.

Bertie Ahern will hold a meeting on Thursday with O’Gorman, who was abused by Sean Fortune, one of Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priests, to explain why he has been so supportive of the church following the Ferns report.

Last week Liz O’Donnell, a Progressive Democrat backbencher, called for an end to the the “special relationship” between the church and state and the “cosy phone calls from All Hallows to Government Buildings”.

Ahern responded furiously: “Yes, I do ring All Hallows,” he said, adding that the state owed religious communities “a great debt of gratitude”.

Ahern, who only referred to a sense of “disappointment” at the evidence of the Ferns inquiry, pointed out that the church made an indispensable contribution to Irish education.

Posted by kshaw at 07:39 AM

Church stumbles over its self-preservation instinct

IRELAND
Irish Independent

LAST WEEK, it was revealed that 43 primary and post-primary teachers have been suspended from work over the past 10 years because of sex abuse allegations.

There was hardly a murmur of reaction. The same day that news of the suspended teachers broke in the Irish Independent, the Government announced the terms of reference for the inquiry into child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese and the airwaves filled up with this topic again. The teachers didn't get a look-in.

Why the seemingly endless interest in clerical sex abusers, and the nearly zero interest in other categories ofchild abusers?

The chief reason, one presumes, is the former over-arching power of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

This power not alone provided cover for the abusers in its ranks, it also made it almost impossible for their abuse to be revealed.

Posted by kshaw at 07:36 AM

Of church scandal, forgiveness and fairness

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Jim Remsen
is Inquirer Faith Life editor

A respected Catholic priest is exposed as a child molester. A venerable pastor is shown to have once been a church administrator who failed to blow the whistle on abuse.

The church teaches forgiveness, but can a molester ever really be forgiven, let alone restored to public good graces? And has the administrator forfeited his right to be a parish pastor, or to receive public honors for his other, good works?

What is fair?

To Jim Post, it's "an exquisite moral dilemma."

As a founder of the activist group Voice of the Faithful, Post has watched as Catholics across the country absorb the shock of local priest abuse - then struggle with how to regard their once-trusted clerics, and the officials who minimized or enabled the problem.

Posted by kshaw at 07:31 AM

3 more claim abuse at closed Catholic school

PUEBLO (CO)
Denver Post

Three more men claim they were abused by a former band director at a Roman Catholic high school during the 1960s.

A law firm representing the men said they electronically filed lawsuits against the Diocese of Pueblo on Friday. The filings couldn't be confirmed because the courts were closed for Veterans Day.

Eight suits already have been filed against the diocese and the Marianist religious order by men alleging they were abused by Brother William Mueller at the now-closed Roncalli High School.

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 AM

November 12, 2005

Clergy get tips on identifying child abuse

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
The Grand Rapids Press

Saturday, November 12, 2005
By Juanita Westaby
The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS -- Speaking to Catholic clergy and lay ministers, child abuse experts said it is important to play it cool and get the facts when a child discloses abuse.

But it is equally important to follow through and report it to Child Protective Services.

"The law mandates that you talk to Child Protective Services, not (necessarily) police," said Darlene Szumko, a local attorney and child advocate. "If there's doubt, report. It's Child Protective Services' job to sort that all out."

Nearly 90 priests, parish workers and religious educators gathered Friday at the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids' offices at 600 Burton St. SE for "mandated reporter" training.

Posted by kshaw at 09:53 AM

LA Priest in Sex Abuse Charge

IRELAND
Irish Voice

By Sean O' Driscoll

A Sligo parish priest has “stepped aside” from his duties as a result of a child sexual abuse case in the U.S.

The resignation of Father Brian Bernard Hanley follows an internal church examination as a result of the recent Ferns report on child sexual abuse in Ireland.

Father Hanley, who has not been named in Irish newspapers, is to remain away from his ministry until the church finishes an investigation into allegations made in Los Angeles. A mother has accused him of sexually abusing her son and daughter in 1965.

One Sligo person familiar with the case said Father Hanley was known as an “old school fire and brimstone priest” who strongly disapproved of unmarried couples living together. He has strongly rejected the allegations made in Los Angeles.

The Bishop of Elphin in Ireland, Dr. Christopher Jones, stressed that no investigation had yet been launched and that guilt or innocence had yet to be determined.

Posted by kshaw at 09:16 AM

Gov’t Steps Up Abuse Inquiry

IRELAND
Irish Voice

By Mairead Carey

A second major inquiry into clerical sexual abuse was launched by the Irish government on Tuesday.

Circuit Court judge Yvonne Murphy will chair a Commission of Investigation into the abuse of children by Dublin priests and religious.

The inquiry falls short of what was conducted in the Ferns diocese. Every case will not be investigated. Instead the commission will examine a sample of abuse allegations between 1975 and 2004 and the church’s handling of those cases.

The cases will be selected on the grounds that “strong and clear suspicion” existed at the time that Dublin clergy had been involved in child sex abuse.

The commission will then investigate “the nature of the response to those sample complaints or allegations on the part of the authorities to which those sample complaints or allegations were reported.”

Posted by kshaw at 09:12 AM

Bishop backs end to Church's 'cosy' dealings with State

IRELAND
Irish Independent

ONE of the country's most outspoken bishops has supported former junior minister Liz O'Donnell in her row with the Taoiseach about the State's special relationship with the Catholic Church.

Bishop of Killaloe Dr Willie Walsh said the Church should be treated by the State like any other lobby group.

"The relationship has been quite a close one over the years and it's very often simply that politicians know people involved in Church at a personal level.

"I would be happy if it was a more formal relationship - like trade unions, for example, have with the State - where there would be occasional meetings with discussion of matters of mutual interest."

Posted by kshaw at 07:27 AM

Church and State - Review of clerical role is long overdue

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

THE row between Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Tánaiste Mary Harney and PD Deputy Liz O’Donnell over the involvement of the Catholic Church in the primary education system has rekindled arguments over the relationship between Church and State in Ireland.

Following Ms O’Donnell’s forthright call to end the Church-State special relationship, sharp differences have emerged in the Coalition.

On one side of the argument, Mr Ahern no doubt had an astute eye on the clerical vote when the Fianna Fáil leader strongly defended the Church’s role in education. On the other side of the battle, PD leader Ms Harney has backed her party colleague, saying she strongly supports many of the sentiments expressed by Ms O’Donnell.

Over-arching these political divisions are the damning conclusions of the investigation into child sex abuse by priests in the diocese of Ferns.

Posted by kshaw at 07:22 AM

More abuse suits against school nuns dropped

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff | November 12, 2005

One month after a Taunton man dropped a lawsuit alleging that nuns sexually and physically abused him when he was a student at the now-defunct Boston School for the Deaf, three more former students have abandoned similar claims.

Mitchell Garabedian, lawyer for the four former students and 14 others with pending claims, said yesterday that Suffolk Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford's recent ruling barring him from presenting evidence of what he called an ''air of lawlessness" at the school left him no choice but to drop the three suits.

''These cases, which include hearing-impaired and speech-impaired victims, cannot continue because of legal technicalities, and not because the abuse to the individuals did not actually occur," said Garabedian, a Boston lawyer.

He said he intended to scrutinize the remaining 14 claims to determine whether to press on. Asked whether he was optimistic any would go to trial, he replied, ''I just don't know."

Posted by kshaw at 07:18 AM

Steps taken by Bishop Walsh

IRELAND
Gorey Echo

STEPS HAVE been taken by Bishop Eamonn Walsh to overcome most, if not all, the factors militating against an appropriate response to any allegations or suspicions of abuse, according to the Murphy Report.

It says that he extended and improved the Diocesan filing system, which had been updated under the direction of his predecessor, Bishop Comiskey.

He promulgated norms of conduct to govern the relationship between priests (of the Diocese) and children; he also encouraged clergy and faithful to notify the church authorities in the event of any departure from those norms or of any case of child sexual abuse whether current or historical.

He also, the Report goes on, informed the priests (of the diocese) as to the seriousness of the problem and the actions that would have to be taken.

Posted by kshaw at 07:12 AM

Fall in donations is taking toll at church

MENDHAM (NJ)
Observer-Tribune

By MARIA VOGEL-SHORT Staff Writer 11/11/2005

MENDHAM —- Weekly contributions are down by 30 percent and St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church officials said Monday the church is having trouble meeting its operating expenses.

In a Oct. 17 letter to church members, Monsignor Joseph T. Anginoli asked parishioners to give 25 percent more to the church each week to offset the cost of a new addition to the school, a dwindling surplus and increased energy, staffing and roof charges.

The request for greater giving comes at a time when most Roman Catholic churches across the area are having a difficult time managing expenses. Weekly contributions are not keeping up with the expenses of running a church, K-8school and parish, church officials said.

But in affluent Mendham, it is unusual for a church located near some of the wealthiest homes in the county to have money problems. ...

Dolan and Thompson said past problems with priests at Mendham is another factor behind the financial woes. A former pastor at St. Joseph’s, James Hanley, was embroiled in a church scandal for allegations of sexual abuse. The diocese paid out $5 million to alleged victims to settle that lawsuit.

Later, the Rev. Philip Briganti, a former military chaplain who was appointed after Monsignor Kenneth Lasch retired last year, was quickly removed from the church with little explanation after police were advised that someone wanted to extort money from Briganti for photos he sent over the Internet.

Posted by kshaw at 07:06 AM

Deadline on diocese deal passes

COVINGTON (KY)
The Kentucky Post

Post staff report

Thursday was the deadline for those who want to participate in a class-action settlement against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

Any victims of sexual abuse at the hands of diocese priests or employees who wanted to be part of the settlement had to file a census form.

Carrie Huff, who represents the Covington diocese in its case, referred comment to Special Judge John Potter, who is hearing the case. He was not available for comment on Thursday evening.

Attorney Stan Chesley, who represents the plaintiffs, also could not be reached for comment.

Posted by kshaw at 07:01 AM

Influx of calls to Rape Crisis Centre in the wake of Ferns

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Evelyn Ring
CALLS to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) increased by 75% in the wake of the Ferns Inquiry into the allegations of clerical sexual abuse was published, the centre has revealed.

During one three-hour period alone the centre received 40 new calls from people from the diocese of Ferns and other parts of the country regarding clerical sexual abuse.

DRCC chief executive Irene Bergin said the dramatic response that left their telephone counsellors “snowed under” came as no surprise - they experienced a similar surge in calls when the level of institutionalised child abuse was exposed in the mid-90s.

Ms Bergin said the centre would expect half of the callers to follow up their call with a face to face meeting with a counsellor provided by an appropriate service in their locality.

The DRCC also noted that the report had recommended that the Department of Health and Children should launch and repeat from time to time a nation-wide campaign in relation to child sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 06:58 AM

3 more suits filed against diocese

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
New lawsuits filed against the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo on Friday include allegations that a school administrator was aware of accusations by a student that he was being sexually abused by a brother at Roncalli High School in the late 1960s.

Three suits were filed electronically on Friday by the Miami law firm of Herman & Mermelstein, but aren't likely to appear in court records until Monday because courts were closed Friday for Veterans Day. The new filings bring to 11 the total number of suits brought against the diocese and the Marianist religious order during the past two months over allegations that Brother William Mueller molested students at Roncalli between 1966 and 1971.

Each of the suits filed in Pueblo alleges that Mueller gained the confidence of students on the pretense of performing scientific experiments. When he was alone with the boys, Mueller allegedly used ether to render them helpless, then sexually assaulted them.

Posted by kshaw at 06:54 AM

Priest fights extradition on sex abuse charges

ROME
Leading the Charge

Staff and agencies
11 November, 2005

Fri Nov 11,10:18 AM ET

ROME - The lawyer for a fugitive American priest wanted in the United States on charges of sexually molesting boys urged an Italian court on Friday not to send his client home because he risked being killed in prison.

Father Joseph Henn, 56, wanted by authorities in Arizona since 2003, has been living under house arrest at the headquarters of his religious order in Rome.

"If he is extradited to America he risks his life because prisoners in Arizona do not like priests accused of paedophilia," the lawyer, Michele Gentiloni Silverij, told reporters at an extradition hearing.

Henn, who has dismissed the charges against him, was not present at the hearing.

Posted by kshaw at 06:52 AM

Vatican policy on priests said to prohibit gays

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Ralph Ranalli, Globe Staff | November 12, 2005

The Vatican's new policy on gays in the priesthood will bar men who practice homosexuality, who have ''deeply rooted" homosexual tendencies, or ''who support the so-called gay culture," according to an Italian newspaper.

The report by the conservative daily Il Giornale of Milan, based on what the newspaper said was the text of the Vatican's policy on gays in the priesthood, provides the most concrete details of the plan, which for weeks has been the subject of speculation, anonymous leaks, and conflicting reports in the US and Italian news media.

The newspaper quoted the report as saying that gay men or those who support gay culture are in a situation that ''presents an obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women."

The policy also demands, however, that homosexuals be ''treated with respect and delicacy" and said necessary steps should be taken to avoid ''any sign of discrimination," the newspaper reported.

Posted by kshaw at 06:50 AM

Safe haven no more: Risky world makes church security a top mission

TENNESSEE
Jackson Sun

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

Across 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 might move from church to church.

Posted by kshaw at 06:48 AM

November 11, 2005

PRIEST GETS 30 YEARS FOR RAPE

SOUTH AFRICA
Vaal Weekly

EVATON.- Samuel Lempe, an Evaton priest who was found guilty of raping and murdering an eight year old Delisile Dlamini in August of 2004 has been sentenced to thirty years in prison. He was sentenced at the Vereeniging High Court last week. The story made headlines on Vaal Weekly (8-14 September-2004).

Lempe has been sentenced to twenty years for murder while another ten years for sodomy another crime which he stood trial off. Delisile, a learner at Setlabotjha primary school was found in a veld three days after she was kidnapped. She was strangled and her hands were broken. Lempe, a Heavens Church priest and a close family friend of the Dlamini's was arrested shortly after the discovery.

Posted by kshaw at 09:28 AM

Archbishop re-states that child protection is top priority

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary has responded to a story published on Monday which stated that a teacher accused of sexually abusing children was subsequently promoted to the post of principal of a large national school in the Archdiocese.

The front page story in Monday’s Irish Independent stated that the teacher in question has been allowed to retain his position despite a Health Board conclusion that he had “probably” abused an eight year-old boy.

It went on to say that the Health Board were so concerned about the situation that the board of management of the school in question had been informed of the allegations. The allegations were first reported to Gardai in the mid 1990s and a file was sent to the DPP but it was decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

A senior counsel was appointed by the then Minister for Education Michael Woods to carry out an investigation. The investigation took over two years and reported in 2001. The report found that “on the balance of probabilities” it was not safe to conclude that assaults on two eight-year-old boys had occurred.

Posted by kshaw at 09:23 AM

Providence diocese bars accused priest from celebrating Mass

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WPRI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Diocese of Providence has ordered a priest accused of child abuse to stop saying Mass.

Louis Diogo had been saying Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church in East Providence for several years, but the diocese was not aware of it, Monsignor Paul Theroux said.

Diogo officially retired and moved out of state in 1993, after his cousin Ana Farias told the diocese that he had abused her and her sister in the 1950s and 1960s.

The statute of limitations had run out by the time Farias came forward, and Diogo was never charged criminally. He has denied the accusation, but Theroux said the diocese found Farias credible.

Posted by kshaw at 09:21 AM

Priest to face sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Mercury

12nov05
A FORMER Tasmanian priest has failed in a bid to stop child-sex charges against him from proceeding.

Father Gregory Laurence Ferguson, 68, had applied to the Supreme Court in Hobart for a permanent stay on the charges, which related to alleged events more than 30 years ago.

Justice Ewan Crawford dismissed the application yesterday but stayed one charge of indecent assault.

Father Ferguson now faces four charges of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17 and one count of indecent assault.

Justice Crawford said it was not appropriate to publish his reasons for refusing the application.

Posted by kshaw at 09:19 AM

Ahern refuses to answer questions on church-state links

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has walked out on reporters who questioned him about his defence of the church's relationship with the State.

Yesterday, Mr Ahern defended the church's involvement in the Irish education system and its overall role in Irish society following stinging criticism earlier this week from Progressive Democrats TD Liz O'Donnell.

Ms O'Donnell said the church could not be trusted to tell the truth in the wake of the clerical child sex abuse scandal in Ferns.

She also said the church's involvement in education should be re-examined and its finances should be independently audited.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 AM

Ohio sex-abuse bill raises questions

COLUMBUS (OH)
Toledo Blade

By JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - The future of an Ohio bill allowing lawsuits by victims of child sex abuse as long as 35 years ago may be determined by a constitutional issue before victims get to play what they consider to be their ace, their stories.

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday heard from three constitutional law experts offering differing opinions as to whether the bill that unanimously passed the Senate in March unconstitutionally changes the rules for both past victims as well as the clergy or churches they plan to sue.

"This legislature has passed a whole bunch of laws that looked pretty unconstitutional and said, 'Let the courts decide,' and I voted against a lot of them," said state Rep. Dale Miller (D., Cleveland). "But I'm unclear in this area."

The committee's chairman, Rep. John Willamowski (R., Lima), plans to take an informal head count soon to determine the beliefs of committee members.

"The way I see it, we'll either have the votes and it's constitutional, or I won't have the votes and it's not constitutional," Mr. Willamowski said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:49 AM

Fury as Ferns diocese now rejects posters against elderly abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE Ferns Diocese, still reeling from a damning report into clerical abuse, was under fire last night over refusing to display posters highlighting the abuse of the elderly.

Reachout, an elderly welfare umbrella group, criticised the diocese for turning down a request to put its posters in church porches. Last night, a church spokesman said the diocese was open to meeting the group's representatives.

Reachout said it contacted various dioceses around the country asking bishops for permission to display posters for its helpline and highlighting dangers of abuse of the elderly.

Reachout says over 20,000 older people suffer abuse - physical, psychological, financial and sexual. Since its helpline, at 1800 940010, was set up last May, it has received over 2,000 calls. Jack Keaveney, chairman of the group's subcommittee on abuse of the elderly, said they got a "very fulsome" response from many dioceses, including the Archbishops of Dublin and Armagh.

Posted by kshaw at 08:46 AM

Diocese rejects calls for public meeting

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The diocese has confirmed it will not hold a public meeting in Ballindaggin despite requests made by a number of parishioners.

The requests were made following protests at recent weekend masses where three parishioners heckled Parish Priest Fr. John Sinnott and demanded to know 'who knew what and when' since he took over from the late Canon Martin Clancy, a serial abuser of young girls who fathered a child by a 14-year-old.

Spokesman John Carroll said the Bishop, the delegate and the outreach support person has made contact with individuals from the parish and the diocese remains committed to meeting with individuals who suffered abuse (and their families) as the priority at present.

'An invitation remains open for persons affected by abuse, or representative groups, to come forward to discuss concerns,' he added.

Posted by kshaw at 08:44 AM

Extending abuse law argued

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Cincinnati Post

Associated Press

COLUMBUS - The chairman of the Ohio House Judiciary Committee said he hadn't decided what to do next about a bill that would give victims of past sex abuse a new chance to sue.

After 60 minutes of debate Thursday, doubts remained about the legality of a provision to open a one-year window in which a victim could bring a lawsuit over sexual abuse going back as far as 35 years.

Chairman John Willamowski, R-Lima, said he'll gauge the opinions of committee members before deciding what to do next. Only two of the members said they supported the bill as written.

The Senate-passed bill is opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, which already has paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits stemming from sex abuse by priests.

Posted by kshaw at 08:42 AM

Deadline in abuse settlement

KENTUCKY
The Cincinnati Post

Post staff report

Thursday was the deadline for those who want to participate in a class-action settlement against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington to postmark their census forms.

Any victims of sexual abuse at the hands of diocese priests or employees who wanted to be part of the settlement had to file a census form.

In 2003, Mike Allen, then-Hamilton County Prosecutor, rea-

ched a $3 million agreement with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to compensate alleged victims.

Carrie Huff, who represents the Covington diocese in its case, referred comment to Special Judge John Potter, who is hearing the case.

Posted by kshaw at 08:24 AM

Priest Admits Abusing Students Decades Ago, Says He Doesn't Remember Details

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WAVE 3

By Maureen Kyle

(LOUISVILLE) -- A former Louisville priest ordered last month to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican. Entered a plea agreement on sexual abuse charges today. Edwin Scherzer's victims were part of the 2003 civil settlement with the Archdiocese of Louisville. Several were in court Thursday, and call his confession in court half-hearted. WAVE 3's Maureen Kyle was there.

Fifty years ago, Father Edwin Scherzer stood in front of congregations at St. Edward and St. Therese Parish.

On Thursday, he sat alone outside a courtroom, signing papers indicating his guilty plea to allegations he sexually abused boys from those two churches decades ago.

Scherzer is living in an assisted-living home in Louisville. The exact charges against him were indecent or immoral acts or practices with a child less than 15.

Posted by kshaw at 08:21 AM

U.S. priest fights extradition on sex abuse charges

ROME
Reuters

11 Nov 2005 13:14:14 GMT

Source: Reuters

ROME, Nov 11 (Reuters) - The lawyer for a fugitive American priest wanted in the United States on charges of sexually molesting boys urged an Italian court on Friday not to send his client home because he risked being killed in prison.

Father Joseph Henn, 56, wanted by authorities in Arizona since 2003, has been living under house arrest at the headquarters of his religious order in Rome.

"If he is extradited to America he risks his life because prisoners in Arizona do not like priests accused of paedophilia," the lawyer, Michele Gentiloni Silverij, told reporters at an extradition hearing.

Henn, who has dismissed the charges against him, was not present at the hearing.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Former altar boy settles lawsuit accusing Naples priest of abuse

NAPLES (FL)
Tallahassee Democrat

Associated Press

NAPLES, Fla. - A man who accused a former Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing him as a 10-year-old altar boy has settled his lawsuit against the priest and the archbishop of Miami, his attorney said Thursday.

The man, who is identified as A.B. in court documents, accused William Romero of abuse in a Coral Gables church in 1975. The lawsuit named Romero and Archbishop John Favalora.

Romero denied knowing the man, according to depositions from 2004.

"My client made a decision to settle based upon considerations of his family, his personal life as well as to a determination as to what was being offered as a fair settlement," said Ron Weil, a Miami attorney representing the man, who is now in his 40s and living in New York state.

Posted by kshaw at 07:32 AM

Church abuse response presents mixed picture

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen and David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writers

We're moving forward.

That is the message the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has stressed as it seeks to recover from the recent grand jury revelations of priest abuse and official cover-ups.

Cardinal Justin Rigali and archdiocesan lawyers complained that the scathing report failed to credit the archdiocese for the various reforms it has put in place to protect children.

"I pledge that we will do whatever is humanly possible so that no child ever comes to harm again," Rigali said at a news conference hours after the grand jury report was released.

The church reforms operate on several fronts. Besides immediately reporting any abuse allegations to law enforcement officials, the archdiocese now has an office to assist victims of priest abuse, a "Safe Environment" training program for students and workers, a review board to evaluate abuse allegations, and a system to supervise priests suspended for credible abuse accusations.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 AM

Issue of retroactivity unresolved after committee hearing

COLUMBUS (OH)
Canton Repository

Friday, November 11, 2005 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The chairman of the Ohio House Judiciary Committee said he hadn’t decided what to do next about a bill that would give victims of past sex abuse a new chance to sue.

After 60 minutes of debate Thursday, doubts remained about the legality of a provision to open a one-year window in which a victim could bring a lawsuit over sexual abuse going back as far as 35 years.

Chairman John Willamowski, R-Lima, said he’ll gauge the opinions of committee members before deciding what to do next. Only two of the members said they supported the bill as written.

The Senate-passed bill is opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, which already has paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits stemming from sex abuse by priests.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 AM

Man, archdiocese settle priest abuse suit

NAPLES (FL)
Naples Daily News

By JANINE A. ZEITLIN, jazeitlin@naplesnews.com
November 11, 2005

A man accusing a former Naples priest of sexually abusing him as a 10-year-old altar boy recently settled a lawsuit with Catholic Church officials, his lawyer said.

William Romero, now 68, and South Florida's Catholic hierarchy have faced a handful of lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct in his three decades as a priest in South Florida.

He worked at St. Ann school and church in Naples in 1975-1976.

"Being involved in litigation always has an element of anxiety," said Ron Weil, a Miami attorney who represented the man who is now in his 40s and living in New York state.

"My client made a decision to settle based upon considerations of his family, his personal life as well as to a determination as to what was being offered as a fair settlement."

Posted by kshaw at 07:11 AM

Louisville priest pleads guilty to abusing boys

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Gregory A. Hall
ghall@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

The Rev. Edwin Scherzer, a Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville, pleaded guilty yesterday to abusing four boys between 1956 and 1966, agreeing to spend five years under house arrest.

One of the victims, Tom Weiter, said in a telephone interview last night that, as a boy, he "was taught to love Father Scherzer because he was a priest."

Scherzer was "a good priest and a family friend," Weiter said, but also "a guy who used children for his own sexual gratification."

Scherzer, 80, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of indecent or immoral practices with a child under 15, the equivalent of what would be called sexual abuse under current Kentucky law, said Steve Tedder, a spokesman for the commonwealth's attorney's office.

Posted by kshaw at 06:58 AM

Churchman elevated

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
November 11, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI named Denver Archdiocese Vicar General -Msgr. Ralph Walker Nickless to be the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, church officials said Thursday.

Nickless, 58, is a Denver native and has been in the Archdiocese of Denver for 27 years. He was in Sioux City on Thursday taking a tour of the area before heading to his first meeting of the U.S. Conference of Bishops this weekend.

As bishop-elect, he said he will not have voting power in the conference until officially ordained Jan. 20 in Sioux City. ...

One thing he will inherit is part of the priest sex abuse scandal that has swept up dozens of dioceses throughout the country and has led at least three to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In the Diocese of Sioux City, the number of pending clergy sexual abuse lawsuits this past spring dropped to six after several cases were settled, according to the Sioux City Journal.

Posted by kshaw at 06:55 AM

Vatican document restricts gays in priesthood: paper

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A new Vatican document will bar from the priesthood practicing homosexuals, men whose gay tendencies are "deeply rooted," or who openly espouse a gay culture, a leading Italian newspaper reported on Friday.

Il Giornale of Milan printed what it said were excerpts from the eagerly awaited document, expected to be issued at the end of this month.

"The Church cannot admit to the priesthood those who practice homosexuality, have deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or those who support the so-called 'gay culture,'" the newspaper quoted the document as saying.

In recent months there have been numerous leaks about the contents of the document but Il Giornale's report by its respected religious affairs correspondent Andrea Tornielli appeared to be the first with direct quotes.

Posted by kshaw at 06:51 AM

November 10, 2005

Denver priest named Iowa bishop

SIOUX CITY (IA)
Denver Post

By Eric Gorski
Denver Post Staff Writer

A longtime Denver priest was named today as the new bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, the latest in a series of prelates from the northern Colorado diocese to be promoted to a leadership position elsewhere.

Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment of Monsignor R. Walker Nickless, a 58-year-old Denver native who has served as a priest here for 27 years.

"In addition to the immediate sensation of humility, I consider it a great honor to work with the clergy and people of the Diocese of Sioux City, and I look forward to it," Nickless said in a statement. "I want to be a good pastor, father and shepherd." ...

As Denver's vicar for clergy in the 1990s, Nickless was the archdiocese's point person for dealing with child sexual abuse allegations, including responding to accusers of Harold Robert White. Since allegations against White first arose in July, the archdiocese has faced 10 lawsuits alleging that it did not protect victims from White.

Posted by kshaw at 05:01 PM

Lawsuit: archdiocese knew of abuse charges as it moved priest

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
The Wabash Plain Dealer

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 9, 2005 11:16 PM EST

INDIANAPOLIS - The Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis knew about six allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest when it placed him in a rural parish where he molested again, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleged.

The archdiocese, meanwhile, fended off a call by an abuse survivors group to appoint a non-attorney as its staff member who coordinates aid to sexual abuse victims.

The lawsuit, the fifth in two months to accuse the Rev. Harry E. Monroe of molesting young male parishioners, was filed in Marion Superior Court against the former priest and the 240,000-member archdiocese. The unidentified plaintiff alleges Monroe molested him at St. Paul Parish in Tell City over the two years before the archdiocese removed him from ministry in 1984.

The litigation against Monroe and the archdiocese took a darker turn with the latest complaint, however, because it alleges church leaders were aware of at least six molesting complaints against Monroe when they transferred him to arguably the most remote corner of the 39-county diocese, a small Ohio River community midway between Louisville, Ky., and Evansville.

Posted by kshaw at 04:59 PM

Prosecutor might quiz nun during priest's trial

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By ROBIN ERB
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Toledo nun who has accused a former priest of abusing her when she was a girl may appear as a witness in a homicide trial involving another priest, the Rev. Gerald Robinson.

Father Robinson, 67, is accused of killing a nun, Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, in the chapel at Mercy Hospital near downtown in 1980. The case went unsolved until last year when investigators said they took a new look at evidence and arrested Father Robinson.

He has been charged with aggravated murder in the case, which has attracted international attention. Twice, the trial has been delayed and is now scheduled for April 17, nearly two years after his arrest.

In court documents, prosecutors say they may call Sister Ann-Marie Borgess, a Notre Dame nun, to challenge any defense evidence about Father Gerald Robinson's "good character."

Dean Mandros, head of the criminal division of the Lucas County prosecutor's office, would not say why Sister Ann-Marie was named as a possible witness nor describe her connection to Father Robinson.

Posted by kshaw at 04:17 PM

Denver priest named bishop for Sioux City

SIOUX CITY (IA)
Des Moines Register

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 10, 2005

The pope has named Monsignor Ralph Nickless, currently the vicar general in Denver, as bishop in Sioux City, the Vatican announced today.

Nickless, 58, is a native of Denver and was ordained a priest there in 1973.

He studied theology in Rome at the North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University, and held a series of positions in Colorado parishes before being named vicar general in Denver in 1993.

Nickless succeeds Bishop Daniel DiNardo, who is coadjutor under Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas. DiNardo left the Sioux City diocese in March 2004.

Like bishops around the country, Nickless will have to deal with allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against the Sioux City diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 10:53 AM

PAEDOPHILIA: PRIEST ON TRIAL IN MARCH

ITALY
AGI

(AGI) - Como, Nov. 10 - He has always pleaded innocent, denying any accusation of sexual violence. He pleaded innocent at the preliminary hearing before Judge Nicoletta Cremona who referred the case to trial accused of being a paedophilic priest. His trial commences in Como March 28. Thirty eight year old Priest, Don Mauro Stefanoni, is accused of luring a 14 year old disabled boy into sexual relations. The trial will not only hear from the 14 year olds teachers, but also from a priest with whom the young boy confided. Alarming anomalies in his behaviour also emerged at school at the beginning of the year. Don Mauro, represented by defence lawyers Marinelli and Bonparola, has been under house arrest since May 2005 at his parents home in Cantu'.

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

Former Oak Lawn priest dies

ILLINOIS
Chicago Daily Southtown

Thursday, November 10, 2005

By William Lee
Staff writer

A former Oak Lawn priest who was thrown out of the ministry for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor has died.

Donald Mulsoff died Nov. 3. Mulsoff was one of 11 area priests removed from ministry by the Archdiocese of Chicago for sexual conduct dating back to the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

In September, the Vatican affirmed Cardinal Francis George's decision to remove the priests from public ministry.

While the archdiocese did not release the names of the 11 priests, the Chicago Sun-Times confirmed that Mulsoff was among them.

Posted by kshaw at 08:59 AM

For Bishop Angell, past five years a test of faith

VERMONT
Times Argus

November 10, 2005

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

Listen to Vermont Catholic Bishop Kenneth Angell sermonize and you might think he's against everything.

He's against war. Against abortion. Against assisted suicide. Against the death penalty.

Angell sees it differently.

"I'm pro-life," he'll say with a gentle smile.

But life hasn't been easy lately for the leader of Vermont's largest church, who retired Wednesday. He has fought against gay and lesbian marital rights in the first state to ratify same-sex civil unions. He's tried to curb a priest shortage at the same time his diocese faces another round of misconduct lawsuits against its clergy.

Posted by kshaw at 08:57 AM

Vatican confirms Matano as new Catholic bishop for Vt.

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Thursday, November 10, 2005

By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Newly named Bishop Salvatore R. Matano said Wednesday that the state's Roman Catholic diocese faces "turbulent waters" ahead but he intends to go slow on any plans to close parishes or sell church property.

Matano, whose ascension to bishop was assured when he was named the diocese's co-adjutor bishop in April, said his priority as the ninth bishop of the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington will be to re-energize support for the church among Catholics in Vermont.

Matano officially replaced retiring Bishop Kenneth A. Angell on Wednesday when Pope Benedict XVI accepted Angell's retirement request. ...

Angell, 75, also wrestled with ongoing sex abuse scandals involving priests who allegedly molested children in the past. In the mid-1990s, the church confronted claims by more than 100 former orphanage residents that they were physically abused or molested by nuns, church personnel or priests at the facility in the decades before it was closed in 1974.

Posted by kshaw at 08:55 AM

Fifth lawsuit brought against former priest

TERRE HAUTE (IN)
Tribune-Star

By Ken Kusmer/Associated Press/Indianapolis

The Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis knew about six allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest when it placed him in a rural parish where he molested again, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleged.

The archdiocese, meanwhile, fended off a call by an abuse survivors group to appoint a non-attorney as its staff member who coordinates aid to sexual abuse victims.

The lawsuit, the fifth in two months to accuse the Rev. Harry E. Monroe of molesting young male parishioners, was filed in Marion Superior Court against the former priest and the 240,000-member archdiocese. The unidentified plaintiff alleges Monroe molested him at St. Paul Parish in Tell City over the two years before the archdiocese removed him from ministry in 1984.

The litigation against Monroe and the archdiocese took a darker turn with the latest complaint, however, because it alleges church leaders were aware of at least six molesting complaints against Monroe when they transferred him to arguably the most remote corner of the 39-county diocese, a small Ohio River community midway between Louisville, Ky., and Evansville.

Posted by kshaw at 08:51 AM

No charges expected against rabbi 'Dateline' reaction one of sadness

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Jewish Week

by Eric Fingerhut
Staff Writer

Sadness and shock seem to be the most common reactions to the news that Rockville Rabbi David Kaye was ensnared in a Dateline NBC hidden camera investigation of sexual predators on the Internet.

A former rabbi at Potomac's Congregation Har Shalom, where he had worked for 16 years, Kaye resigned last week as vice president of program after three years at the Rockville-based teen educational group Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.

Leaders of both groups say that they never received a complaint about his behaving inappropriately with a child during his employment with their organizations.

The Dateline program, which aired last Friday evening, reported that Kaye had set up a meeting over the Internet with someone he thought was a 13-year-old boy ‹ with the intent of having a sexual encounter. The rabbi was then confronted on camera by a Dateline reporter at the Herndon house where the meeting was scheduled to take place (see sidebar, page 25).

Despite the impression left by the report, though, Kaye does not appear to be in legal jeopardy. A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department said Monday that the department does not anticipate filing any charges against Kaye or many of the other men identified as potential predators in the NBC broadcast.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

Church torn down over abuse allegations

CANADA
Globe and Mail

Thursday, November 10, 2005 Page A12

North Caribou Lake First Nation; Ontario -- A group of people allegedly abused by a minister have torn down a Northern Ontario church where he once worked.

Ralph Rowe worked as a minister and Scout master at the Old Anglican Mission House in North Caribou Lake First Nation between 1971 and 1986.

Mr. Rowe, who lives in Surrey, B.C., faces six dozen charges, including sexual assault, involving 28 people. CP

Posted by kshaw at 08:21 AM

Cowen hits back at attack on Church/State relationship

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

A Government backbencher’s calls to end the special relationship between the state and the Catholic Church were today rebuked in the Dáil by Minister for Finance Brian Cowen.

Progressive Democrat TD Liz O’Donnell yesterday launched a scathing attack on bishops and priests and said the damning Ferns Report on clerical child sex abuse should finally end the cosy ties between the Government and the Catholic hierarchy.

She added that the Catholic Church was like a secret society which had failed to protect the nation’s children and couldn’t be believed anymore.

But Mr Cowen, speaking on behalf of the Government, today told the Dáil that the state’s relationship with the Catholic Church should be dispersed to include mature dialogue with all faiths and religions.

Mr Cowen also described yesterday’s calls by Coalition colleague Ms O’Donnell to cut ties with the Catholic hierarchy as illiberal.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Adults must act to avert child abuse

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

S. Renee Mitchell

Thursday, November 10, 2005
The Rev. Matt Hennessee will get past this difficult moment. Eventually.

He will probably regain the trust of many of those who respect and admire all that he has accomplished in the Portland area.

As Hennessee did with his troubled upbringing, he will probably extract whatever lessons that God is trying to teach him and use it for good.

He will survive.

But if Hennessee had his way, no one would know that he was accused of sexually abusing a close relative for several years, starting when she was 12 or 13.

Whatever happened is a private matter, he and his church members say. It was 15 years ago. He has earned forgiveness.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Rabbi Quits After Reported Sex Sting

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Jewish Times

Matthew E. Berger
Special to the Jewish Times

NOVEMBER 10, 2005
Washington

An official with an educational program for Jewish high school students has resigned after allegedly searching the Internet for liaisons with underage boys and sending naked pictures of himself.

Rabbi David Kaye resigned from Panim on Oct. 31, several days before being featured on "Dateline NBC" seeking a sexual encounter with an underage boy in a chat room.

"He told me he was going to be on a program on national television that would identify him engaging in inappropriate behavior," said Rabbi Sid Schwarz, founder and president of the Washington-based Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.

Panim has never received a complaint against Kaye and he is not accused of doing anything wrong in relation to his work there. But the incident is likely to revive concerns about the possibility of sexual misconduct between rabbis and other Jewish officials who come into contact with minors.

Posted by kshaw at 08:12 AM

Rabbi Quits After Reported Sex Sting

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Jewish Times

Matthew E. Berger
Special to the Jewish Times

NOVEMBER 10, 2005
Washington

An official with an educational program for Jewish high school students has resigned after allegedly searching the Internet for liaisons with underage boys and sending naked pictures of himself.

Rabbi David Kaye resigned from Panim on Oct. 31, several days before being featured on "Dateline NBC" seeking a sexual encounter with an underage boy in a chat room.

"He told me he was going to be on a program on national television that would identify him engaging in inappropriate behavior," said Rabbi Sid Schwarz, founder and president of the Washington-based Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.

Panim has never received a complaint against Kaye and he is not accused of doing anything wrong in relation to his work there. But the incident is likely to revive concerns about the possibility of sexual misconduct between rabbis and other Jewish officials who come into contact with minors.

Posted by kshaw at 08:12 AM

Senate approves bill requiring churches to disclose finances

BOSTON (MA)
Milford Daily News

Thursday, November 10, 2005

BOSTON -- Churches and other religious organizations would be required to disclose their finances like other nonprofit groups under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate yesterday. Supporters of the bill, which has met opposition from the Catholic church, say there's no reason to exempt religious groups. They say the secrecy helped the Catholic church in Massachusetts hide the burgeoning scandal from public view. One way to prevent a repeat of the scandal is to bring the finances out into the light, backers of the bill said.

"We have a law that enables that darkness," said state Sen. Marian Walsh, D-Boston, chief sponsor of the bill, which was approved 33-4 in the Senate. "Moral transparency and financial transparency are inextricably linked."

Critics and parishioners have demanded greater transparency since the church began paying out sex abuse settlements. The sexual abuse crisis that struck the church worldwide started with the release of documents in Boston.

Archbishop Sean O'Malley last month pledged "full disclosure" of the archdiocese's finances, including the sources of all clergy sex abuse payments and the fiscal health of every parish, comparing the self-imposed rules to the disclosures required of public corporations.

Posted by kshaw at 08:02 AM

Senate OK's rules for church disclosure

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press | November 10, 2005

Churches and other religious organizations would be required to disclose their finances like other nonprofit groups under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate yesterday.

Supporters of the bill, which was approved on a 33-4 vote over opposition from the Catholic Church, say there is no reason to exempt religious groups. They say the secrecy helped the church in Massachusetts hide the sex abuse scandal from the public.

One way to prevent a repeat of the scandal is to bring the finances out into the light, said backers of the bill, which now heads to the House.

''We have a law that enables that darkness," said state Senator Marian Walsh, a Boston Democrat and chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

''Moral transparency and financial transparency are inextricably linked," she said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 AM

Former church counselor acquitted of molestation

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

A Marion Superior Court jury on Wednesday acquitted a Fishers man of five counts of felony child molestation.

R.H. Duncan Jr., who was a counselor at his father's Eastside church, Greater One Way Apostolic Church, 5840 E. 16th St., at the time the charges were brought, had been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl who attended the church from December 2003 to March 2004.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 AM

A legal legend finally is defeated

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY JAMES T. MADORE
STAFF WRITER

November 9, 2005

Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon's stalwart and strident opposition to abortion always made him a standout among Long Island politicians.

Yesterday, the Democratic opponent who had made an issue of Dillon's unyielding abortion stance appeared headed to have unseated him and prevented his election to a ninth consecutive term.

Late last night, with more than 95 percent of election districts reporting, Democrat Kathleen Rice maintained a 51 to 49 percent advantage. ...

In the late 1980s, he came under fire for finding no criminal activities in county officials' handling of leases for county-owned land at Mitchell Field - deals that he said cost taxpayers $2 billion. More recently, he was criticized for not prosecuting priests after the sexual abuse scandal in the diocese of Rockville Centre.


Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

Abuse victims oppose appointee

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

Star report
A group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, called on the Indianapolis archdiocese today to replace its victims assistance coordinator because she's a lawyer rather than a therapist.

Susan Yakimchick, according to SNAP, is trained to be combative and adversarial, not a supportive and compassionate listener who still-hurting victims of priest molestations can turn to.

According to SNAP, dioceses in Sacramento, Seattle, New York, Boise, and other cities have come under fire, including lawsuits, for using lawyers in this role.

Posted by kshaw at 07:45 AM

Ruling advances area clergy abuse cases

CALIFORNIA
The Press-Enterprise

11:39 PM PST on Wednesday, November 9, 2005

By MICHAEL FISHER / The Press-Enterprise

A judge is allowing 23 of the 140 clergy sexual-abuse lawsuits targeting the San Bernardino and San Diego Roman Catholic dioceses to move forward toward trial, ending three years of legal limbo and failed settlement talks.

The order issued late Tuesday by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz names 14 priests, including six who have worked in Inland parishes. Fromholz's order, which did not set trial dates, came a day after he issued a similar ruling allowing 43 lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to move forward.

Instead of heading for courtrooms and trials, the 850 clergyabuse cases filed in Southern California have spent years in limbo as attorneys met privately to try to reach settlements.

The Diocese of Orange settled its 86 pending cases for $100 million last year but talks between the accusers' attorneys and the other dioceses stalled.

Fromholz's order "is a significant step forward in bringing these cases to an ultimate resolution and, hopefully, some peace of mind for our clients," said lawyer Raymond Boucher, who represents hundreds of the clergy accusers. "Those people whose cases are involved are excited about the prospects of moving forward. For those who have cases that aren't part of the list, there is probably some disappointment."

Posted by kshaw at 07:39 AM

Former altar boy outlines alleged sex assault

GREENSBURG (PA)
Connellsville Daily Courier

By Chris Foreman
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, November 10, 2005

A former altar boy at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg has written a letter to about 2,000 parishioners outlining accusations that a priest repeatedly raped him in the 1970s and urging a change in the state's statute of limitations for sexual abuse of minors.

The letter was written by Brian G. Guarino, of Laurel, Md., who filed a civil lawsuit this year in Westmoreland County against the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg and retired Bishop Anthony G. Bosco.

In his lawsuit, the 42-year-old former Greensburg resident alleges the Rev. Roger J. Trott raped him while he was an altar boy at the North Main Street church from 1973-76. The case is pending.

"I was so ashamed and devastated, but moreso because I couldn't come forward since I thought God was doing this to me," Guarino wrote in the letter, which was mailed Tuesday to parishioners. "The experience so traumatized me I blocked the whole thing out of my mind for years."

Posted by kshaw at 07:31 AM

Cleric's Memory at Issue in Report of Alleged Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

Three years ago, a Catholic woman reported to her pastor that Father Michael Nocita had molested her when she was in high school.

Now that pastor, Msgr. Michael Lenihan, says he cannot recall how church officials handled her complaint. And the woman's lawyers have asked the court to force him to answer their questions as part of litigation over claims that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

Church lawyer Don Woods said Lenihan, 79, testified truthfully during a July deposition. "Ask him the same questions and he would give the same exact answer," the attorney said.

But lawyers suing the archdiocese accused Lenihan of trying to protect the church.

"It's a way for the church to continue to keep secrets about what has been told to them by numerous victims abused by Catholic priests," said attorney Katherine K. Freberg, who represents the woman and 127 other plaintiffs suing the archdiocese.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley J. Fromholz tentatively ruled Wednesday that Lenihan, pastor emeritus at St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach, must answer questions about two other accused former priests — Michael S. Baker, whom he once supervised, and John Lenihan, his nephew — but not about Nocita. A final ruling is expected as early as today.

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 AM

Irish abuse victims to help each other

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Local London

By Kerry McQueeney

Croydon residents who claim they were victims of emotional, physical and sexual abuse while they were in Irish state institutions are hoping to form a support network for other survivors in the borough.

Last month the Croydon Guardian revealed how a Purley woman was seeking compensation for the violence she suffered in a children's home in Ireland.

The article sparked calls from other Irish-born Croydon residents who went through the same thing.

The victims are hoping to set up a support group with others in Croydon who were affected by the abuse.

Last month Mary Connor*, from Purley, spoke about her appalling abuse while she was growing up in two orphanages in Ireland.

Posted by kshaw at 07:26 AM

Church use of lawyer decried

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

By Robert King
robert.king@indystar.com
A national support group for victims of abuse by priests said Wednesday that the Indianapolis Archdiocese's use of a lawyer to field molestation claims was a "deceptive" practice that could work against victims who take the church to court.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, called on Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein to replace victim assistance coordinator Suzanne L. Yakimchick with someone "more appropriately and pastorally trained."

"The worst-case scenario is that a victim who pours out their heart and soul in hopes of getting a molester suspended or their therapy paid for may unwittingly give away information that makes a legal case for them impossible," SNAPAbuse Tracker Director David Clohessy said.
The archbishop's office defended Yakimchick's role, saying she does not defend the church in lawsuits.

Posted by kshaw at 07:24 AM

Priest abuse victims rally behind bill in Columbus

COLUMBUS (OH)
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Thursday, November 10, 2005
Julie Carr Smyth
Plain Dealer Bureau
Columbus - Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests descended on Columbus on Wednesday to plead with state lawmakers to pass a bill making abuse reporting mandatory and lawsuits against the church easier.

For two hours, victims and parents told heart-wrenching tales of rape, molestation and sodomy - some dating back to the 1960s - in an effort to attract the attention of state representatives poised to begin discussion of Senate Bill 17 today.

A panel discussion will be held and no victim testimony is scheduled.

They favor the reporting mandate, but victim advocates' keenest interest is in a provision to create a 12-month window during which the current statute of limitations for suing in abuse cases would be extended from two years after a victim's 18th birthday to 20 years after.

"We don't lose these cases on merit. We lose them on statute of limitations," said Claudia Vercellotti of the Toledo chapter of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "If this problem has really been fully vetted and solved, then the church should be sitting like the Maytag repairman for a year with nothing to do."

Posted by kshaw at 07:22 AM

November 09, 2005

Local seminary under scrutiny

CHICAGO (IL)
Hyde Park Herald

By ERIN MEYER

A Catholic priest living in Hyde Park will probably not be defrocked, even if paternity tests determine that he is the father of an 8-month-old living in Canada, Fr. Thomas Phillips, provincial superior of a regional Carmelite order, told the Herald Monday.
“This certainly is not a fait accompli,” said Phillips, from his office in Milwaukee where he oversees the Midwest regional Carmelite order. “The media has only heard one side of the story.”
Phillips was referring to a Nov. 3 press conference staged in front of the Edith Stein House, 5345 S. University Ave., in which a religious watchdog group charged Fr. Elijah (Jason) Martin with fathering the child and shirking his financial responsibilities.
Martin lives in the Stein House but has refused to talk to the press. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) held the event before several TV news cameras.
“I am sad it has gotten to this point,” said the mother, who in an interview with the Herald last week, asked to remain anonymous to protect the child. “But the church won’t act unless they are shamed publicly into doing so.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:03 PM

New Book Links Clergy Sexual Abuse to Mandatory Celibacy

FREEPORT (ME)
U.S. Newswire

FREEPORT, Maine, Nov. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A revolutionary new book entitled "The Bingo Report" links sexual abuse to mandatory celibacy in the Roman Catholic priesthood for the first time. According to the new groundbreaking study conducted by the Center for the Study of Religious Issues (CSRI), the longer a priest remains in the priesthood, the more likely he will struggle with mandatory celibacy both biologically and psychologically, and the more likely he will act on his struggles and become deviant or criminal in his actions.

Documentable evidence indicates a "nurture rather than nature effect" on priests in the subculture of the clerical priesthood. The only exception according to prior research would be if he were celibate by design, representing only 2 percent of the priesthood (Sipe, 1990).

The controversial study that includes a priest study update, a victim study and a literary study also reveals that the church has been aware of the effect of forced celibacy for a long time; indeed it does not end with priests. Through its own professional research, the church knows that priests cannot biologically or psychologically live up to their vows.

According to The Bingo Report author Louise Haggett of the Center for the Study of Religious Issues, "For years, the church denied that clergy sexual abuse was more than a few isolated cases. The people now know the truth. Since 2002, the church has continued to deny that mandatory celibacy is linked to clergy sexual abuse. Ten years of sociological research say differently. The evidence is so strong that we can predict a continuation of the crime against women and children as long as mandatory celibacy exists in the Roman Catholic priesthood."

Posted by kshaw at 07:47 PM

Lawsuit filed against Sarasota Catholic priest

SARASOTA (FL)
NBC 15

Last Update: 11/9/2005 10:14:21 AM

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - A lawsuit says a former alter boy at a Sarasota church was molested 20 years ago by a Catholic priest.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday, is against 65-year-old George Brennan and the Diocese of Venice.

It says the alleged abuse took place when the man was 11. The lawsuit claims it occurred for more than a year while Brennan was a seminarian at the Incarnation Catholic Church.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 PM

Church knew of abuse, suit claims

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

Associated Press
The Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis knew about six allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest when it placed him in a rural parish where he molested again, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleged.

The archdiocese, meanwhile, fended off a call by an abuse survivors group to appoint a non-attorney as its staff member who coordinates aid to sexual abuse victims.

The lawsuit, the fifth in two months to accuse the Rev. Harry E. Monroe of molesting young male parishioners, was filed in Marion Superior Court against the former priest and the 240,000-member archdiocese. The unidentified plaintiff alleges Monroe molested him at St. Paul Parish in Tell City over the two years before the archdiocese removed him from ministry in 1984.

The litigation against Monroe and the archdiocese took a darker turn with the latest complaint, however, because it alleges church leaders were aware of at least six molesting complaints against Monroe when they transferred him to arguably the most remote corner of the 39-county diocese, a small Ohio River community midway between Louisville, Ky., and Evansville.

“He was taken and placed and in a rural parish where I’m sure the archdiocese thought that he couldn’t get them in trouble,” said attorney Patrick Noaker of Minneapolis, who represents each of the plaintiffs suing Monroe.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 PM

Mass exodus

CANADA
CBC News

CBC News Viewpoint | November 9, 2005 | More from Vicki Robertson

Local headlines claim that more Catholic churches are closing their doors, this time in Cape Breton. One building is in such poor condition that it requires hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs. Twenty-some years ago, a priest told me that the church walls wouldn't collapse if I skipped mass. Guess he was wrong.

Growing up Catholic, I sometimes wondered about the dogma. In 1991, the Michael Harris book, Unholy Orders: Tragedy at Mount Cashel, turned innocent doubt into sickened outrage. I didn't want to believe that priests could be that deviant and the church that devious, but Harris's book was a slap in the face.

For decades, the church had kept a clean house by simply moving the dirt around from school to school and parish to parish. Its actions were no more pious than Enron's accounting practices.

The scandal shook my faith at a deeper level. It is decreed that the Pope is infallible: Catholics dare not question the church's teachings, beliefs or traditions, but after the realization that the church was awash in hypocrisy, the floodgates opened in front of me. I was liberated. I questioned everything. Evolution seemed a lot more plausible than a six-day marathon of world building, and Immaculate Conception sounded like hooey. Was it all just a fairy tale to create a civil society?

Posted by kshaw at 03:09 PM

MCC moderator challenges Pope Benedict XVI on purge of gay men from priesthood

UNITED STATES
The Empty Closet

One day after openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson criticized the Roman Catholic Church’s stance on gay clergy as “vile,” the Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), the world’s largest predominantly gay Christian denomination, echoed the bishop’s words and issued a challenge to Pope Benedict XVI.

The comments by the Reverend Nancy L. Wilson came as the Vatican prepares to issue “Instrumentum Laboris,” a document that recommends a purge of seminaries of all gay men preparing for the priesthood. According to Vatican officials, the purge is designed to address the causes of priestly sexual abuse of minors.

“Metropolitan Community Churches strongly condemns the sexual abuse of minors, and also condemns this scapegoating of an already marginalized and demeaned population within the Church and larger society,” said Wilson.

In 1987, Wlson became one of the first openly gay rights leaders to meet Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger now Pope Benedict XVI, when she represented Metropolitan Community Churches as an ecumenical observer at the Bilateral Dialogue of the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches in Columbia, South Carolina.

Posted by kshaw at 03:07 PM

Baltimore Priest Pleads Guilty To Sex Abuse

TOWSON (MD)
WJZ

Dennis Edwards
Reporting

(WJZ) TOWSON, Md. A former Catholic priest pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing a Baltimore County high school student in 1987.

Jerome Toohey Junior faces up to 15 years in prison for abusing Thomas Roberts, who is now a prominent CNN anchor, when Toohey was a priest and chaplain at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson.

Roberts tells Eyewitness News' Dennis Edwards "I think it will be a real injustice, a further injustice, to allow what he did to me to continue to take stuff away."

Posted by kshaw at 02:51 PM

O'Donnell calls over Church-State relationship

IRELAND
RTE News

09 November 2005 19:56
The Progressive Democrats backbench TD, Liz O'Donnell, has said the systematic failures of the Catholic Church outlined in the Ferns Report means that the special relationship which it had with the State must end.

Ms O'Donnell also told the Dáil that there should be an official audit of the Church's wealth, using legal discovery orders if necessary.

She said that given the extent of its wrongdoing against citizens the Catholic Church should be obliged to open up its books.

Posted by kshaw at 02:39 PM

Priest pleads guilty to abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Jennifer McMenamin
Sun reporter
Originally published November 9, 2005
With his eyes closed and his head tipped back, Thomas Roberts listened yesterday morning in court to the painful details of the evenings and mornings he spent with his high school chaplain - details that have haunted him since the late 1980s.

Only this time, the 33-year-old former Calvert Hall College student heard them with a sense of relief, exhaustion and vindication.

In the moments before Baltimore County prosecutors read into the record the facts of the case, Jerome F. Toohey Jr., a priest and chaplain at the Towson boys school, had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Roberts for six months after the high school sophomore came to him in 1987 for counseling.

"Father Jeff confessed his guilt and in doing so, there's no question about what he did," Roberts, now a news anchor for CNN in Atlanta, said quietly after yesterday's hearing. "No one can question it. It happened."

Posted by kshaw at 10:53 AM

Church Insurers Suit Is Put on Hold

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles judge Tuesday put on hold a lawsuit filed by the church's insurers accusing Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of withholding information about claims that the archdiocese failed to protect children from sexually abusive priests.

Four of the 15 insurers — Employers Reinsurance Corp. and three members of American International Group Inc. — Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania, Granite State Insurance Co. and American Home Assurance Co. — had sued to obtain documents that they said could show that the archdiocese had forfeited its insurance coverage by covering up for child molestation by clergy.

The companies also said they needed the documents — including the archdiocese's assessment of the strength of the cases, and its analysis of its potential liability — to decide whether settlement demands from the alleged victims were reasonable.

But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley J. Fromholz said that forcing the issue would "prejudice the archbishop" and delay three-year efforts to settle more than 500 sex-abuse suits against the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

In two lengthy opinions, the judge said there was no evidence that the archbishop had withheld information inappropriately.

Posted by kshaw at 10:50 AM

Nun ‘called’ to support reforms of abuse laws

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By ROBIN ERB
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Her childhood memories come in excruciating flashes.

In one, she is 6. It is noon recess. She wears pigtails, a school uniform, and the pain of the rape minutes earlier.

In another, she is 9. Her abuser — a priest, she said — hands her an oatmeal cookie. She is a “good girl” that day, he tells her.

Now, more than three decades later, Sister Ann-Marie Borgess is a longtime nun with the Sisters of Notre Dame in West Toledo. She was a teacher at Ladyfield Catholic School until it closed earlier this year.

So when she takes the microphone today at a news conference planned by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, she becomes an unlikely ally for victims of clergy abuse — a voice from within the church’s walls.

Posted by kshaw at 09:33 AM

Federal government, churches liable in residential school abuse: top court

CANADA
The First Perspective

By John Ward

OTTAWA (CP) - The Supreme Court of Canada laid out what may be far-reaching legal parameters Friday in a case about abuse in a church-run residential school for native children.

In doing so, however, it demolished the appeal brought by a survivor of abusive conditions in the school and sparked disappointment among some.

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan called it “a very important decision.”

“I think this is a very positive step and probably establishes some pretty important principles that apply well beyond residential schools,” she said.

In a unanimous, 9-0 decision the high court overturned a B.C. Court of Appeal finding that the United Church, which ran the school, has immunity against liability.

Posted by kshaw at 08:36 AM

Senior church leaders to face new probe

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE role of senior churchmen in dealing with allegations of child sex abuse in the Dublin diocese will come under scrutiny in a new investigation.

A statutory inquiry into child sex abuse in the country's largest diocese has been given a €5.7m budget for a major 18-month probe into victims' complaints and official cover-ups.

The Commission of Investigation, headed by Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Murphy, will examine cases in Dublin going back to 1975. But the Government has set its face against a "grand inquisition" which would cover the whole country.

A total of 67 priests of the Dublin archdiocese have allegations of abuse against them - three times the number of clerics the Ferns inquiry had to investigate.

Posted by kshaw at 08:33 AM

Youths plead guilty of blackmailing local priest

SPAIN
Typically Spanish

By h.b.
Nov 9, 2005, 08:16

The case got underway behind closed doors in Valencia yesterday against two men who are charged with blackmailing a local priest. It seems the two youths had threatened to distribute pictures of the priest taken with other people; allegedly the pictures had a high sexual content. They had demanded 15,000 € to keep quiet.

Posted by kshaw at 08:23 AM

Judge to head Dublin child abuse probe

IRELAND
RTE News

08 November 2005 22:16
There is to be a full investigation into child sex abuse by Catholic clergy in the biggest diocese in the country, the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Murphy is to head up a statutory inquiry into how senior churchmen in Dublin - including Cardinal Desmond Connell - handled abuse allegations over more than three decades.

The inquiry is to select a sample of complaints or allegations between 1975 and 2004 to examine.

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

Appointment process for Hennessee faulted

OREGON
The Oregonian

Wednesday, November 09, 2005
HARRY ESTEVE
Allegations of sexual abuse against Matt Hennessee might have come to light and prevented him from attaining high positions in state government if Oregon's vetting process wasn't so vague and secretive, state Sen. Vicki Walker charged Tuesday.

But a spokeswoman for Gov. Ted Kulongoski said the governor's office asked Hennessee whether there was anything in his background that might cause trouble, and "he said 'no.' "

Kulongoski appointed Hennessee to the board of Saif, the state's worker compensation insurer. Hennessee resigned from the board in August. At the time, The Oregonian was investigating allegations that he sexually abused a close relative more than a decade ago, when the girl was 12 or 13 to 16. ...

Hennessee is a Baptist pastor and chief executive officer and president of Quiktrak, a Beaverton-based inventory auditing company. Monday, the Quiktrak board placed him on indefinite administrative leave. The church is standing behind him.

Posted by kshaw at 08:13 AM

Tuam diocese embroiled in new sex abuse allegation

IRELAND
Western People

A Mayo school is at the centre of the allegations of child sexual abuse laid against a school principal whose appointment has been confirmed by Archbishop Michael Neary, the school patron.
The allegations against the teacher were proved to be “on the balance of probabilities” unfounded, following an investigation by a senior counsel appointed by then Education Minister Michael Woods.
The teacher had denied the allegations which related to a period when he was on the staff at another school in the county.
The issue re-surfaced again following a front page story in the Irish Independent yesterday in which a senior health board childcare officer is reported as contradicting the findings of the senior counsel.

Posted by kshaw at 08:10 AM

Isle priest admits to sex abuse of boy

HONOLULU (HI)
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

By Mary Adamski and Rosemarie Bernardo
madamski@starbulletin.com | rbernardo@starbulletin.com

A KAUAI-BORN Catholic priest admitted to sexually abusing a teenage boy 29 years ago and will pay a portion of his income for the next 10 years to his accuser in the settlement of a lawsuit.

An apology for the misconduct of the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III, 52, was read aloud yesterday before Circuit Judge Bert Ayabe, who accepted the settlement agreement between the priest, his religious congregation and his accuser.

"I'm relieved the truth is now out," said Eugene Saulibio, a 44-year-old father of three children. "When I was 15 years old, Father Joseph Bukoski gave me drugs and alcohol, waited until I passed out and then sexually assaulted me.

"He caused me a lot of harm to me and my family," said the Aiea man who was near tears in a courthouse news conference. "It's really important to me that everybody starts healing -- not only me and my family, but all Catholics."

Posted by kshaw at 08:08 AM

Former Catholic Priest Pleads Guilty To Sexually Abusing Student

BALTIMORE (MD)
ABC 7

Tuesday November 08, 2005 11:37pm

Baltimore, Md. (AP) - A former Catholic priest pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing a high school student in Baltimore County in 1987.

Jerome Toohey Junior faces up to 15 years in prison for abusing the student between 1987 and 1988 when Toohey was a priest and chaplain at Calvert Hall College high school in Towson, officials said.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in February in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Former Calvert Hall student Thomas Roberts said he went public and hopes other victims will do the same. Roberts, now a news anchor for CNN, said Toohey apologized.

A John Carroll High School student first accused Toohey of sexual child abuse in 1993. A civil lawsuit by that student was dismissed because civil suits must be filed within three years of an alleged incident. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors won't pursue those allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 AM

Attorney for sex offender priest offers an apology

HONOLULU (HI)
KHON2

Neither Bukoski nor his attorney was in court on Tuesday.

But the attorney for The Fathers of the Sacred Hearts -- Bukoski's order -- was in court.

And he, too, read a public apology.

"The Fathers of the Sacred Hearts sincerely apologize for the sexual abuse suffered by Eugene Saulibio while at our seminary, and for all the harm we caused Eguene Saulibio after he came forward to help us appreciate what had happened. We also apologize to the Saulibio family, the members of Maria Lanakila Parish, and all Catholics for not stepping in earlier in putting a stop to this," says Paul Schraff, The Fathers of the Sacred Hearts attorney.

"Joe Bukoski has agreed not to attempt to apply for or work with children in any capacity in the future, and The Fathers of the Sacred Hearts have agreed not to put him in contact with children," says Margery Bronster, Saulibio's attorney.

Posted by kshaw at 07:56 AM

Ex-altar boy sues Sarasota priest, claims sex abuse

SARASOTA (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

By CHRIS TISCH, Times Staff Writer
Published November 9, 2005

SARASOTA - A St. Petersburg man is suing a Catholic priest who he says sexually abused him when he was an altar boy 20 years ago.

The man filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Sarasota County naming the Rev. George E. Brennan as his abuser. The suit also alleges a coverup of the abuse and names Bishop John J. Nevins, who oversees the 10-county Venice diocese, as a defendant.

The St. Petersburg man is not identified in the suit. He is a local businessman in his early 30s, said his attorney, Joseph H. Saunders.

The man claims Brennan sexually abused him around 1984 when he was 11 years old. The suit says Brennan sodomized the boy about four times at Incarnation Catholic Church in Sarasota while he was a seminarian.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 AM

Priest apologises after 30yrs

HONOLULU (HI)
News 24

09/11/2005 07:55 - (SA)

Honolulu - A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old seminarian on Oahu nearly 30 years ago apologised as a lawsuit filed by the now 44-year-old victim was about to go to trial.

After initially denying the allegation, the Reverend Joseph Bukoski III acknowledged harming Eugene Saulibio, who didn't continue on to become a priest.

"I am truly sorry for all you have gone through and suffered as a result of my actions. I should have apologised much sooner," Bukoski said in a letter.

Saulibio accepted the apologies.

"I am relieved that the truth is now out," he said. "He caused a lot of harm to me and my family and a lot of the Catholic faithful, and it's really important for me that everybody start healing," Saulibio said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

Archbishop 'sorry' for not reporting abuse

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

November 09 2005 at 01:41AM

By Dominique Herman

The Catholic Archbishop of Cape Town received a verbal lashing from members of the Camps Bay Catholic Church on Tuesday night for not reporting a paedophilic priest to police.

Former parish priest Patrick Thornton was convicted in September of indecently assaulting teenage boys more than a decade ago.

Archbishop Lawrence Henry said he had not told police of Thornton's confession of sexual abuse in January 2004, because he did not know he was "required to report it".

'I don't think I have done anything grossly wrong'
"It was a first for me," he said. "I'm sorry about the non-action and the slow process of the protocol. If this happens again, we will deal with these things expeditiously. I will put pressure on the protocol committee to get their act together," the Archbishop said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:45 AM

Man brings sexual abuse allegations against Sarasota priest

SARASOTA (FL)
Bradenton Herald

LAURA FIGUEROA
Herald Staff Writer

SARASOTA - After more than 20 years, a Sarasota man has come forward with allegations that the Rev. George E. Brennan of St. Patrick Catholic Church sodomized him when he was an 11-year-old altar boy at the Church of Incarnation in Sarasota.

The man, now in his early 30s, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Brennan and John J. Nevins, bishop of the Diocese of Venice. The lawsuit claims Brennan sodomized the boy "approximately four times" in 1984.

However, the Diocese of Venice is disputing the claims, saying that Brennan was not at the Church of Incarnation until May 1987. Gail McGrath, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Venice, said Brennan was a seminarian from 1983 until 1987. During those years, she said, he was studying to become a priest at St. Vincent De Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach. She said he spent the summers of 1983-1986 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bradenton.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 AM

Cape archbishop 'sorry' for not reporting paedophile

SOUTH AFRICA
Mail & Guardian

Johannesburg, South Africa

09 November 2005 10:11

Cape Town's Catholic archbishop received a verbal lashing from Camps Bay church members for not reporting a paedophilic priest to police, the Cape Times website reported on Wednesday.

It said Archbishop Lawrence Henry apologised to his critics at a meeting on Tuesday night, saying he did not tell police because he did not know he was required to report it.

Former parish priest Patrick Thornton made a confession of sexual abuse in January 2004. In September this year, he was convicted of indecently assaulting teenage boys more than a decade ago.

Henry said: "It was a first for me. "I'm sorry about the non-action and the slow process of the protocol. If this happens again, we will deal with these things expeditiously."

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 AM

Priest apologizes to sex abuse victim

HAWAII
Honoluly Advertiser

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

A Catholic priest and the order that employs him yesterday apologized to a man who accused the priest of sexually abusing him nearly 30 years ago.

"I am relieved that the truth is now out," said Eugene Saulibio, who said he was 15 when the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III gave him drugs and alcohol and then molested him in the summer of 1976.

The apology was part of a settlement reached yesterday in a lawsuit filed by Saulibio in 2003 against Bukoski and The Fathers of The Sacred Hearts.

Saulibio also alleged that The Fathers of The Sacred Hearts disregarded knowledge of the priest's sexually inappropriate behavior and continued to employ him. Saulibio, 44, was a student at Saint Louis School at the time.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

November 08, 2005

Victims are concerned after former priest files for bankruptcy

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News-Democrat

BETSY TAYLOR
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS - A defrocked priest who agreed to make payments to four victims of sexual abuse has filed for bankruptcy, making it more difficult for those men to collect from him.

Advocates for the victims said on Tuesday that they fear it's possible the men may not be paid, though legal action is being pursued to try and enforce the earlier agreements.

Four men filed three lawsuits against the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the former Rev. Robert Yim in St. Louis Circuit Court, alleging separate instances of sodomy or other sexual abuse when they were children in the 1970s through 1990s, said their lawyer Ken Chackes.

The archdiocese agreed to settlements totaling roughly $300,000 in 2004 and early 2005, made those payments, and knows of no other pending cases related to Yim, said a lawyer representing the archdiocese, Bernard Huger.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 PM

Priest Pleads Guilty To Child Abuse

TOWSON (MD)
TheWBALChannel.com

POSTED: 11:46 am EST November 8, 2005
UPDATED: 12:09 pm EST November 8, 2005

TOWSON, Md. -- The Rev. Jerome Toohey Jr., a former employee of Calvert Hall and John Carroll high schools, pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse Tuesday morning

Toohey was charged in connection with sexual abuse allegations brought by a former student of Calvert Hall.

The priest is free on bail pending his sentence on Feb. 7. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Posted by kshaw at 08:04 PM

Parish pushes for information on ouster

NEWTON (MA)
National

By CHUCK COLBERT
Newton, Mass.

Members of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, convinced that an ousted pastor is not going to return, continue to press the Boston archdiocese for a further explanation of the action taken against him, for greater transparency regarding procedures used in his case and his reinstatement in “meaningful ministry.”

Recent developments at Our Lady Help of Christians also indicate that Fr. Walter H. Cuenin’s ouster and replacement by a chancery insider, Fr. Christopher J. Coyne, may have been in the planning for months before the switch actually occurred.

At a recent meeting of the parish council, Coyne said that he had been asked by archdiocesan officials back in June if he would consider accepting the pastor’s job at Our Lady. That was two months before the completion of a financial audit that the chancery officials say led to their asking for Cuenin’s resignation. ...

Increasing numbers of people believe that Cuenin was targeted for removal because of his outspoken criticism of Cardinal Bernard Law during the sex abuse crisis, his welcome for gays and lesbians and divorced and remarried Catholics, and his encouragement of dialogue about the ordination of women.

The new revelation at a parish council meeting only fuels those suspicions. Minutes of that council meeting in fact indicate that when asked when he first knew of Cuenin’s forced ouster, Coyne said “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.”

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 PM

Circuit Court judge to chair abuse commission

IRELAND
IOL

08/11/2005 - 18:25:56

A Circuit Court judge will chair a commission investigating the handling of allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy in the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, it was confirmed tonight.

In the aftermath of the shocking Ferns Inquiry into clericalchild sex abuse, the Government nominated Judge Yvonne Murphy of the Circuit Court as chair of the commission of investigation, along with three other members.

The commission will also investigate any Catholic diocese in the State, if it is notified by Minister for Children Brian Lenihan that it may not be implementing church guidelines in relation to child sexual abuse by a priest, or that it may not be following the recommendations of the Ferns Report.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the commission was appointed to look at the grave situation which arose in the Dublin Archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:56 PM

Report chronicles abuse, cover-up in rural Irish diocese

IRELAND
National

By JOHN COONEY
Dublin, Ireland

The Catholic church in Ireland is in free fall after the first government inquiry into its internal affairs has revealed that in the small rural diocese of Ferns in Country Wexford on the southeast coast between 21 and 28 priests raped and sodomized young boys and girls over a 40-year period.

The report, released Oct. 25, says that priests used their access to primary schools to prey on defenseless victims. In one instance, the late Fr. Jim Grennan sat near the altar molesting 10 submissive girls as they knelt before him to make their pre-confirmation confessions. One editorial writer here, in the wake of the report, described the diocesan seminary as “an academy of debauchery.” Two bishops covered up these heinous crimes because they put loyalty to Rome and its Code of Canon Law above the welfare of children, the report claims.

The core of the 271-page report of Justice Frank Murphy catalogs a litany of abuse that reads like pornography. It tells how when the late Bishop Donal Herlihy, a former rector of the Irish College in Rome and a man famed for his Romanitas and for his knowledge of the classics and fine wines, discovered that the priest science teacher in St. Peter’s College had been abusing boys, he arranged with the archdiocese of Westminster in England for Fr. Donal Collins to spend two years there for his “penance” -- and did not alert the Westminster authorities to the priest’s pedophilia. On his return, Collins was promoted by Herlihy to the vice presidency, and later by Herlihy’s successor, Brendan Comiskey, to the presidency of the college.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 PM

Vigilance called for when Legion priests visit

UNITED STATES
National

A reader from the Southwest e-mailed recently to inform us that two priests who are members of the Legionaries of Christ recently celebrated Mass at his parish. This reader was concerned that the order might have designs -- as it has demonstrated elsewhere -- on taking over a parish school.

The fear is justified. In too many cases the Legion has moved in with congregations unaware. We have reported on several instances where the order has taken over a school, revised curriculum, set up some rather strange ways of getting their message across and fired long-standing professionals -- from administrators to teachers -- who raised questions (NCR, Nov. 3, 2000).

There are, undoubtedly, good and sincere priests who belong to the Legion.

There are also, undoubtedly, good reasons why several bishops have banned the order and its ancillary groups from operating in their dioceses. Too often those groups come off as sneaky and underhanded in the way they operate, and some of the practices that have been reported in the way they run their schools are bizarre.

Any bishop or pastor who invites the Legion in should require that the order practice maximum transparency, being clear about its aims and informing education officials and the bishop of all of their activities. Parishioners should have a say in whether a school would be placed in control of the Legion, and there should be opportunities for public dialogue if the order intends to propose changes in personnel or curriculum. Given past history, any involvement of Legionaries’ clergy or Regnum Christi members in a Catholic school ought to be disclosed. No one should wake up feeling that the Legionaries have “taken over” their child’s school.

Posted by kshaw at 07:50 PM

Judge places LA church abuse cases on track for 2006 trial

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Mercury News

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - A judge placed 44 child sex abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles on track for trial next year following three years of unsuccessful settlement talks.

The cases are the first abuse allegations against Los Angeles priests to progress this close to a jury trial.

Monday's order by Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz could result in the first detailed public airing of allegations that church officials shuttled around priests who were accused of molestation rather than turning them over to police or warning parishioners.

Trial could force the church to turn over documents showing how it handled alleged abusers. Cardinal Roger Mahony had vowed to settle all 562 abuse cases against diocesan personnel.

Posted by kshaw at 07:00 AM

One in Four Public Meeting – Talbot Hotel Wexford 7.00 p.m. Thursday November 10th

IRELAND
One in Four

One in Four, the national charity that supports women and men who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence, will hold a public meeting at The Talbot Hotel in Wexford this Thursday, November 10th at 7pm.

The event has been arranged in the wake of the recently published Ferns Report. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to engage with the charity, which has been centrally involved in the Ferns Inquiry process. “It is our hope that this process of public dialogue will help to inform One in Four’s view of the way forward; the steps necessary to move through and beyond the issues central to the Ferns Report”, said Colm O'Gorman, Director of One in Four who will speak at the meeting. “We hope to begin a new kind of public discussion that allows the voices of all those affected by sexual abuse in the Diocese to be heard. That of course includes victims of abuse, their loved ones, their communities as well as those not directly affected by abuse but who have nevertheless been impacted upon by the Ferns Report.”

Posted by kshaw at 06:55 AM

Talks to resume in ex-pastor's sex-abuse case

HONOLULU (HI)
Honoluly Advertiser

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Attorneys are expected to return to court today in an effort to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit against the former pastor of a Lahaina church.

The lawsuit was filed in May 2003 by Eugene Saulibio against the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III, Catholic social worker Sister Claudia Wong and The Fathers of The Sacred Hearts. The suit alleges that Bukoski sexually assaulted Saulibio in 1976 when the then-15-year-old was a student at Saint Louis School and Bukoski was a priest at The Fathers of the Sacred Hearts in Kane'ohe.

Jury selection was set to begin yesterday morning in Circuit Judge Bert Ayabe's courtroom. But prospective jurors were sent home and the lawyers for the parties spent most of the day negotiating in Ayabe's chambers.

At about 4:30 p.m., the attorneys left, but said they would return at 9:30 this morning to resume talks. They declined further comment.

Posted by kshaw at 06:21 AM

'My career is ruined,' suspended teacher says

NEW JERSEY
Press of Atlantic City

By TOM NAMAKO Staff Writer, (856) 794-5115
Published: Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Updated: Tuesday, November 8, 2005

BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP-Frank Hudson is waiting, waiting for St. Augustine Prep and law-enforcement officials to conclude investigations into alleged sexual misconduct 30 years ago.

In the meantime, though, he said he's suffering.

"My career is ruined," Hudson, 61, said in the offices of Hudson Associates on Monday, where he is a certified drug and alcohol counselor. He believes the media has already convicted him in the court of public opinion. He's upset that members of the local press are photographing his Vineland home.

Hudson was never charged last year when accusations of abusing a student at St. Mary's Parish in Gloucester City, in 1975, were made. Since statutes of limitations have expired, it's unlikely Hudson could ever be charged for the allegations.

In his office, Hudson stressed that he is innocent until proved guilty.

Thirteen parents who gathered Monday to watch an afternoon football game at the campus of St. Augustine Prep in the Richland section of Buena Vista Township declined to comment or give their names when commenting on the situation. A slight majority expressed support for the school's decision to remove Hudson, while others said the accusations don't jibe with Hudson's role as a trusted counselor at the school.

Posted by kshaw at 06:18 AM

Cabinet to give go ahead for sex abuse inquiry

IRELAND
eircom

From:ireland.com
Tuesday, 8th November, 2005

The Cabinet will today clear the way for a State inquiry into child sex abuse allegations against priests in the Dublin Catholic archdiocese dating back over 30 years.

However, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell has decided not to launch an inquiry along the lines of the one in Ferns into every other Catholic diocese.

Instead, the inquiry will be asked to make sure that all Catholic dioceses are abiding by rules agreed by the Catholic Bishops' Advisory Committee on Child Sexual Abuse by Priests and Religious nearly 10 years ago.

Dioceses, other than the Dublin archdiocese, found to be in breach of the 1996 regulations will be investigated more deeply if they are subsequently "red flagged" by the Minister of State for Children, Brian Lenihan. However, no past allegations will be examined for now in dioceses outside of the Dublin archdiocese by the inquiry, which will be probably headed by a retired High Court judge.

Posted by kshaw at 06:14 AM

Jury Selected for Two Separate Child Molestation Cases

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
WISH

By Tony Perkins
24-Hour News 8

Attorneys chose people to serve in two disturbing jury trials in Indianapolis. The potential jurors found each case had something sadly unusual in common.

Ramon Taylor faces six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. The alleged victim is a 15-year-old boy.

Prosecutors say Taylor was a choir director at St. John's Missionary Baptist Church. Attorneys asked potential jurors if they thought hearing the details of a child molestation case would bother them.

The judge excused Jim Ellars from serving on the Taylor jury. "I think the only issue in the case that really would be a bother to me was the issue of the age of the people involved,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:09 AM

43 teachers have been suspended

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SOME 43 teachers have been suspended or put on "administrative leave" in the past 10 years over abuse claims.

The Department of Education revealed that 24 teachers have been put on administrative leave since 1995 in primary schools. ...

The figures emerged in the wake of the furore over the promotion of a primary teacher in the Tuam diocese to the position of principal.

Posted by kshaw at 06:02 AM

U.S. gay Episcopal bishop slams Vatican

UNITED KINGDOM
Gay.com

by Ben Townley
Gay.com U.K.

The Anglican Communion's first gay bishop continued to cause a stir during his visit to the United Kingdom over the weekend, criticizing the Catholic Church for its stance on gay issues.

The bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, said the Vatican's stance on gay clergy was "vile" and called for it to modernize its ideas of diversity.

His speech sparked a standing ovation among supporters at the meeting of the Changing Attitudes lesbian and gay Christian group.

He also said that the new hard-line tactics in the Catholic Church have resulted in priests switching to the Anglican Communion.

"We are seeing so many Roman Catholics joining the church," he told the audience during his impassioned speech. "Pope Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church."

He singled out the Vatican's proposed attempts to bar gay men from entering seminaries, which Catholic leaders have suggested is a way of ending the ongoing child abuse scandals amongst churches in America. The proposal has been slammed by liberal religious leaders and gay activists, who have criticized the Vatican for drawing links between gay men and pedophilia.

Posted by kshaw at 06:00 AM

Abuse victim suing Catholic priest

HAWAII
KHON2

Manolo Morales

Court records show that Catholic priest, the Reverend Joseph Bukoski, admits he had a sexual relationship with a Honolulu teenager back in 1976. A civil lawsuit accuses his religious order of failing to protect the victim.

Eugene Saulibio was 15 years old and attending St. Louis High School when the alleged attack happened. The accused is Reverend Joseph Bukoski, who was a priest-in-training at the time. A court deposition addresses the incident that happened in the summer of 1976.

Saulibio's attorney asked Father Bukoski: "And Gene was 15, right?"

"Yes, sir," said Bukoski.

Then the attorney asked, "And you ended up having sex with him that summer?"

Bukoski said, "Correct, sir."

Posted by kshaw at 05:56 AM

High noon for Catholic church

IRELAND
l'express

The Catholic church has been a pillar of Irish society. Now it is being rocked to its foundations by allegations of clerical child abuse

Candles were lit at St Mary’s Cathedral in Dublin a few days before a report was published on child abuse.

The news itself was not new. But its horrific nature woke Irish society from its autumnal slumber. An investigation into just one diocese in the south of Ireland disclosed over 40 years of clerical child abuse, which claimed over 100 victims. 21 priests were implicated in sexual abuse of children in their care. Another five cases did not figure in the inquiry because their late inclusion prevented in depth scrutiny. The Ferns Report, named after the diocese, ran 271 pages long, detailing the extent of sexual cruelty and exploitation suffered by children between 1962 and 2002. It also reveals the nature of the cover-up by the bishops and the sometimes cavalier approach of both the police force and the region’s health authorities.

Though clerical child abuse was common knowledge (priests had previously been convicted in court), the Ferns Report had the effect of a bombshell because of the high number of priests accused. The inquiry shows that up to 10% of the clergy in the diocese had behaved inappropriately towards children. Furthermore, the report details the sadistic and degrading acts committed against children aged between six and 16. And when the bishops became aware of the allegations, they stood idly by. At best, they transferred the priests to other ministries, but some of them were allowed to return without any assessment into whether their behaviour had changed.

Posted by kshaw at 05:54 AM

Abuse Cases Could Go to Trial in '06

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KTLA

By Jean Guccione and Megan Garvey
Times Staff Writers

November 8, 2005

After three years of failed settlement talks, a judge Monday placed 44 civil cases accusing the Los Angeles Archdiocese of failing to protect children from sexual abuse on track for trial sometime next year.

The cases are the first involving Los Angeles priests to make it this far toward jury trial. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz's order raises the prospect of the first detailed public airing of charges that church officials moved around priests who were accused of molestations rather than turning them over to authorities or warning parishioners.

Plaintiffs' attorneys have estimated that the cases could cost as much as $1 billion to resolve. For nearly three years, more than 560 abuse cases against diocesan personnel have been handled entirely behind closed doors as Cardinal Roger M. Mahony vowed to settle all the cases.

The action Monday, which was requested jointly in September by attorneys for the church and alleged abuse victims, also means that the church may be forced to turn over internal documents that would show how officials handled alleged abusers. The church has fought releasing the files to the grand jury for almost three years.

Posted by kshaw at 05:47 AM

November 07, 2005

Indy Archdiocese offers help to abuse victims

INDIANA
Perry County News

By KEVIN KOELLING
Managing Editor

PERRY COUNTY - The Roman Catholic archdiocese named in four sexual-abuse lawsuits filed as of last week is offering to provide help to any victims of a former priest named as co-defendant in the civil-court actions.

An officer in the Indianapolis Police Department would also like to hear from anyone who might have been abused by Harry Monroe, who served Perry County parishes in the early 1980s.

Civil complaints filed by attorney Patrick Noaker in Indianapolis allege Monroe was moved from Indianapolis to Terre Haute, then here, after child-molestation complaints were lodged against him. Noaker said last week he intended to file a fifth civil lawsuit last Tuesday on behalf of a Tell City man who also claimed Monroe sexually abused him, but said Friday that filing was delayed. He intends to file that complaint Wednesday, and said another Tell City victim contacted him last week.

The News attempted for its Oct. 31 story to contact Suzanne L. Yakimchick, identified as a victims' advocate with the Indianapolis Archdiocese, for comment Oct. 28, but offices there are closed Fridays. The organization is responsible for Catholic churches throughout central and southern Indiana.

Posted by kshaw at 06:03 PM

Indiana lawsuits latest in nationwide movement

TERRE HAUTE (IN)
Tribune-Star

By Stephanie Salter/Tribune-Star

Over the past few months, four Indiana men have filed civil lawsuits against the former Rev. Harry E. Monroe for sexual abuse they allegedly suffered as children. With the suits, the men join a growing population of disillusioned Catholics who have turned to public courts for remediation of sins they say their church repeatedly committed and covered up.

Few dioceses in the nation are unsullied.

In some instances, former priests have been convicted and jailed for decades-old sex abuse of children. More frequently, dioceses have paid multimillion-dollar settlements to plaintiffs who brought their charges of sex crimes committed by clergy or other church employees to the civil court arena.

Among the most publicized cases is a $120 million settlement between the Boston Archdiocese and 552 people who testified they were sexually abused by priests as children and suffered further through systematic secrecy and negligence by church hierarchy.

Boston Cardinal Bernard Law resigned at the height of the scandal in 2002 and was appointed by Pope John Paul II to serve as the archpriest of a basilica in Rome.

Posted by kshaw at 06:01 PM

Indiana archbishop among most proactive on sex abuse issue

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Tribune-Star

By Stephanie Salter/Tribune-Star

Chancellor Suzanne Magnant Yakimchick serves as the victim assistance coordinator for the Indianapolis Archdiocese. An attorney, she came to the church after two decades with Child Protective Services, including three years during which she was state commissioner.

A six-person review board, created to deal with accusations of sex abuse against anyone in the employ of the archdiocese, includes a psychologist, social worker, former prosecutor, former police chief, priest and a corporate executive.

Archbishop Daniel Buechlein is known even among critics of the hierarchy as one of the most proactive and sensitive U.S. bishops in matters involving child sex abuse.

In a November 2003 public letter, Buechlein said Indianapolis first established a policy “on handling allegations of sexual misconduct by persons working on ministering on behalf of the archdiocese” at least as early as 1982. Buechlein first published the policy in 1994, and it has been revised several times since then, most recently in 2004.

Posted by kshaw at 05:59 PM

96% of abuse is perpetrated by laypeople

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

06 November 2005 By Vincent Browne
The Catholic hierarchy is now too cowed by the Ferns revelations to make an obvious point about child sexual abuse in Ireland.

That point is that the Catholic clergy - indeed any clergy - are responsible for only a tiny fraction of the abuse - about 3.5 per cent. More than 96 per cent of child sex abuse in Ireland is perpetrated by people who are not priests or nuns or Christian Brothers. It is perpetrated by the class of people, traditionally called ‘the laity'. Of course, there is a special odium attaching to clerical abuse, especially as, in many instances, the abusers have used their position, their authority and their consequent special access as a means of abusing. Not only that, but they have used that status as a means of covering up their crimes.

The fact that the bishops covered up this abuse for fear of scandalising the faithful and diminishing the standing and authority of the Catholic Church is another disgrace.

So let us not diminish the culpability of the Catholic Church for the level of child sexual abuse perpetrated against thousands of children over the years.

Posted by kshaw at 03:24 PM

Where in the World is Bishop Thomas Dupre?

MASSACHUSETTS
The No Gray Zone

By Warren Mason
November 7, 2005

As 2005 comes to a close it is disheartening, yet all too predictable that little has changed within the cocoon like world of the Catholic hierarchy.

The 2004 indictments and subsequent dropping of child rape charges against Massachusetts Catholic Bishop Thomas Dupre certainly points to the inadequacy of most states laws to deal with such heinous offenses. Indeed it was only after the public outrage over Dupre’s not so great escape that Massachusetts legislators have begun to act, ever so slowly.

Just as troubling and perhaps more telling is the Catholic hierarchy’s apparent ignorance to the whereabouts of their wayward bishop and their total lack of concern for what he may still be doing.

Posted by kshaw at 01:07 PM

Family speaks out on alleged abuse of son

TERRE HAUTE (IN)
Tribune-Star

By Stephanie Salter/Tribune-Star

When Missi Limcaco's pastor told her the church would deal with the priest and youth minister who allegedly molested her son and other boys in the parish, she believed him. So did her boy.

“Finally, after months of avoiding it, Danny wanted to go to Mass again, so we did,” said Limcaco. “Guess who came down the aisle in the procession? I couldn't believe it. Danny just got up and went out of church. Afterward I asked the pastor how this could happen. He told me it was Easter season and they were busy and they needed Father Harry. He said he was sorry but he just hadn't thought about that.”

That was in 1981, a few months before the Rev. Harry E. Monroe would be removed from St. Patrick's parish in Terre Haute and placed on leave for a year by the archbishop of Indianapolis, the late Edward T. O'Meara. In 1983, Monroe would be assigned to his fifth post in less than 10 years, serving three parishes in the Tell City area.

A year later, the archdiocese would strip the priest of his official faculties because of more allegations of sexual misconduct.

Posted by kshaw at 01:05 PM

Bishop places pastor on leave

WORCESTER (MA)
The Catholic Free Press

By Margaret M. Russell

Bishop McManus has placed Father James J. Aquino, pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Church, on administrative leave of absence one week after a year old charge of sexual misconduct was made public.

The bishop brought the news to the people of Our Lady of Loreto Parish at Sunday’s Masses. As the bishop appeared on the altar at the start of the 8 a.m. Mass some parishioners drew in their breath and looked around at each other shaking their heads.

It wasn’t until after a reading of the Gospel that the bishop confirmed their fears.

“I am aware that over the past nine days you have had to deal with the painful revelations regarding Father Aquino which were made known to you, at first, by Msgr. (Thomas J.) Sullivan, when he visited the parish last weekend, and then subsequently through the media throughout the past week. I am keenly aware of your disappointment.

Posted by kshaw at 01:03 PM

Worcester Telegram columnist challenges Bishop McManus to admit the dioceses failure in the Fr James Aquino Case.

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Voice

Columnist Diane Williamson, for the second Thursday in a row, has written the unholy truth. In her column today, her presentation reflects what many Catholic's have been speaking of in the background.

Ms Williamson recalls, So far in the Aquino case, diocesan officials have lied, denied, mishandled, covered up, blamed clergy haters, issued shallow apologies, offered lame excuses, and finally realized the gravity of the scandal only after they could no longer contain it.

So where is Bishop Robert McManus? Last week during this crises, he was not available many days. Bishop McManus did however have time for two interviews with Worcester Channel TV 3, one Friday October 28, 2005 and then again Monday October 31, 2005, after he had removed Fr. Aquino. Worcester Channel TV 3 has a very limited news area. Bishop McManus did grant one other interview, to The Catholic Free Press editor in chief, Margaret M. Russell according to her article.

Posted by kshaw at 01:02 PM

'Take church off school boards'

IRELAND
Irish Health

[Posted: Mon 07/11/2005]

Three out of four people believe that the Catholic Hierarchy should relinquish control of school boards, in the wake of the findings of the recent Ferns inquiry, according to the results of a new poll by irishhealth.com.

We asked our 86,200 registered users if they agreed that following the Ferns report, the Catholic Hierarchy should no longer control school boards.

Seventy-six per cent said yes, 19% said no and 5% were unsure.

Most comments to the discussion felt that the church had abused its position of trust as a result of the abuse scandals and should no longer hold control for that reason.

Posted by kshaw at 07:24 AM

Teacher in sex abuse inquiry promoted to principal

IRELAND
Irish Independent

EXCLUSIVE
A TEACHER who was accused of sexually abusing children was subsequently promoted to the position of principal of a large national school, an Irish Independent investigation can reveal.

The married man is now heading up the national school in the archdiocese of The archdiocese is already reeling under the weight of shocking child sex abuse figures involving priests.

The teacher has been allowed to retain his position by the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary - the school patron - and the Department of Education, despite a Western Health Board conclusion that he had probably sexually abused an eight-year-old boy.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

Fortune swore on oath sex charges were false

IRELAND
Irish Independent

N THE day that paedophile priest Fr Sean Fortune was appointed as a curate in Wexford he signed a sworn statement in front of an Oaths Commissioner denying sex abuse allegations made against him.

Diocesan files obtained by the Irish Independent cast more light on the mishandling of paedophile priests in the Ferns Diocese.

On the day that Bishop Brendan Comiskey appointed him curate in Ballynurn and assigned him to catechetical work at Bridgetown Vocational School, Fr Fortune swore the statement denying charges made against him by a named individual.

In a letter dated September 1, 1989, Bishop Comiskey informed the priest - who committed suicide in 1999, just days before he was due in court on child abuse charges - that he was to be appointed for a year to Ballymurn.

Posted by kshaw at 06:56 AM

Nationwide church abuse inquiry ordered

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent
A TOP level investigation into whether paedophile priests have been allowed to remain in positions of authority despite serious accusations of child abuse against them will be ordered by the Cabinet tomorrow.

The sweeping national audit of every diocese in the country is to be unveiled by Justice Minister Michael McDowell alongside a statutory inquiry centred on allegations in the Dublin area.

The framework for the most far-reaching investigation into the scale of abuse by priests in Ireland has been revised in the aftermath of the Ferns report following consultation with victims and to encompass the national scale of the probe.

The State-wide audit will take the form of an independent examination of every diocese in the Republic, to establish whether there are current child protection concerns relating to serving priests.

Posted by kshaw at 06:50 AM

Bishop says outreach key to church's future

METUCHEN (NJ)
Courier News

By STEFANIE MATTESON
Staff Writer

"Middle management" is how The Most Reverend Paul G. Bootkoski, the bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, refers to himself.

And like any member of middle management, he must tread the narrow line between satisfying the dictates of corporate headquarters in Rome and growing his business, which in his case is a $12 million a year enterprise with 108 parishes, 46 Catholic schools and more than half a million parishioners in Central Jersey.

Bootkoski, 65, spoke with Courier News editors on Tuesday about the challenges facing the diocese and his vision for the future.

While other dioceses in the state are shrinking -- with church closings becoming a regular occurrence -- the diocese is growing. When it was established 25 years ago, it had 411,000 members; today it has 557,000 members in Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties representing about 42 percent of the population.

But the growth presents challenges, among them the lack of a sufficient number of priests; the need to establish new parishes in areas where the population is growing, such as Hunterdon County; the desire not to close churches in areas where congregations are shrinking; and the need to reach out to young people.

And, while he must accomplish all of the above while continuing to tread that narrow line, the task is one that the affable bishop -- ranked 20th on a list of the state's 100 most politically influential personalities -- appears to have more than enough vision and political savvy to handle.

While other bishops have turned to hardball legal tactics to deal with sexual abuse allegations, Bootkoski has reached out to victims and appointed members of a survivors' group to an advisory board that examines sex abuse claims.

Posted by kshaw at 06:47 AM

November 06, 2005

Priest asked to pay child support

CANADA
Toronto Star

ROBERT CRIBB
STAFF REPORTER

In a rare court action, an Ontario woman has filed a child and spousal and child support claim against a Catholic priest claiming he had a sexual relationship with her, proposed marriage and fathered her child before leaving her a single mother with no income.

In an application filed in court in London, Ont., Sandra Ring of Ingersoll, Ont., claims she and Father Jason Robert Martin began a romantic relationship in 2003 in which he assumed a parental role with her 6-year-old boy, insisted she stop using birth control pills then abandoned her with an unborn child last year to continue his career as a priest.

"(Ring) and the children ... have been harmed," the court application says. "(Ring) had depended on (Martin) and the Church for financial and emotional support throughout the relationship. She and her children have now been left with no financial resources ... "

The allegations have not been proven in court.

The 31-year-old Ring is now living in her parents' home where she is raising her two boys.

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 PM

Cashing in on surplus property

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

The Boston Archdiocese and individual parishes have sold more than $90 million worth of property over the past two years, and another $29 million in sales are pending. That sum does not include the $99.4 million sale of Brighton chancery and seminary property to Boston College to raise money for a settlement with victims of clergy sexual abuse. Many of the properties are being converted to housing, but some are being used by other denominations.

Posted by kshaw at 04:34 PM

`I Just Start A Conversation'

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

November 6, 2005
By LYNNE TUOHY, Courant Staff Writer Before the 43 victims of sexual abuse by priests settled their claims with the Archdiocese of Hartford for $22 million, they had to place their faith and trust in one man: U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel.

They had to enter his spacious Bridgeport federal court chambers, detail the abuse inflicted on them as children and its impact on their lives, and leave knowing he alone would allocate the settlement money among them.

Garfinkel succeeded in gaining their trust, much as he had gained the trust of victims in two previous cases he mediated. He has become the go-to guy for both the plaintiffs' lawyers and the lawyers representing the church, who place their faith in his fairness.

Victim James Hackett may have paid Garfinkel the ultimate compliment, albeit an unusual one, when he said his session with Garfinkel and two other victims was akin to being at a meeting of SNAP - Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at 04:31 PM

Priest up for sexual abuse

BRAZIL
News 24

05/11/2005 20:32 - (SA)

Sao Paulo - A Roman Catholic priest was arrested and charged with paedophilia on Saturday after police allegedly found him abusing four teenage boys at a hotel in northeastern Brazil, authorities said.

Felix Barbosa Carreiro was taken into custody after an anonymous tip led police to the hotel where Carreiro was allegedly abusing the teenagers, police officer Ana Carla Fernandes Silvestre said.

Carreiro, who did not resist the arrest, headed a small parish in the city of Sao Luis.

He admitted going out with the teenagers, but denied having sexual relations with them.

Posted by kshaw at 11:45 AM

Victims Of Clergy Sex Abuse “Break the Silence”

TENNESSEE
News Channel 5

Posted: 11/5/2005 8:03:49 PM

Members of the “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,” or S.N.A.P, brought their message and an exhibit to the streets of Nashville on Saturday.

It's called “Breaking the Silence Exhibit," and the local group says it represents at least 100 victims of clergy sexual abuse here in the state.

“If it is news to you that there are this many victims, that simply means you have not been told the truth, because the Church has known about this all along and moved them from Parish to Parish, and continued to give them a fresh batch of children to abuse,” S.N.A.P member Ann Brentwood.

Posted by kshaw at 11:35 AM

Catholic crises: One is coming, another is still here

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Union Leader

OUR RECENT series on the likely future of the Catholic Church in New Hampshire was sobering. Six years from now there may be as few as 70 active, fulltime priests here. That is down from today's 109.

Fewer priests will mean fewer services and pastoring to meet the needs of what is still the state's single largest religious denomination.

The Diocese of Manchester is wise to be planning for this crisis, but any real hope for success will come — and can only come — after the diocese deals with the crisis of confidence that already exists here.

It has existed ever since John McCormack became Bishop of Manchester. It will persist for as long as he remains in that office.

We hold no animosity toward the bishop. But his record in Massachusetts under the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law is one that cannot simply be wished away. When evil men were hiding behind the Cross to repeatedly injure trusting juveniles, John McCormack was in positions to do something about it. Instead, he seems to have either looked the other way, ignoring the truth, or fallen asleep at the switch. And those are the BEST ways in which one can look at it objectively.

Posted by kshaw at 11:24 AM

Mendham church's goal: Stave off bankruptcy

MENDHAM (NJ)
Daily Record

BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
DAILY RECORD

MENDHAM -- The pastor of St. Joseph's parish, located in one of the state's wealthiest areas, told parishioners in a recent letter that drastic changes are necessary to avoid bankruptcy.

Officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson say the parish's financial problems have been building for years and those close to the situation say it involves paying off a school construction loan along with an economy-driven slowdown in contributions. Officials also say St. Joseph's parishioners are getting younger, with more financial burdens and less disposable income.

Some parishioners say St. Joseph's problems are an indirect fallout of the Catholic Church scandal involving some church leaders covering up sex abuse by priests. They say some people have left the parish during the past nine months following a change of pastors -- partly because of a perception that a former pastor and nationally-known victim's advocate, Monsignor Kenneth Lasch, was snubbed earlier this year when he wasn't invited to a confirmation and a school graduation at the parish.

Posted by kshaw at 08:02 AM

Opening the church's books

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Joan Vennochi, Globe Columnist | November 6, 2005

FOR TOO MANY years, the Catholic Church has had its way with Massachusetts politicians.

Finally, some politicians are showing spine. They are standing up for churchgoers instead of the church, via a legislative proposal that calls for unprecedented financial transparency from churches and other religious organizations.

Six states require religious institutions to disclose some financial information in annual or biannual reports. The proposed Bay State bill is more comprehensive and would make the Commonwealth a national model when it comes to financial disclosure requirements. That is one reason the Catholic Church and other religious groups are fighting to kill it. ...

The legislation would also require each charity in the state, religious or secular, to list each parcel of real property it owns as part of this report. This provision is particularly important, said Galvin, who describes ''a massive liquidation of real estate . . . liquidation without accountability" by the Boston archdiocese in the aftermath of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. ''Over $200 million in real estate has been sold since Archbishop O'Malley arrived," said Galvin. ''There has been no explanation offered as to where the money is going. We wouldn't tolerate that from the United Way."

Posted by kshaw at 03:31 AM

Brazilian priest charged with sexual abuse

BRAZIL
NDTV

Sunday, November 6, 2005 (Sao Paulo):

A Roman Catholic priest was arrested and charged with pedophilia today after police allegedly found him abusing four teenage boys at a hotel in northeastern Brazil, authorities said.

Felix Barbosa Carreiro was taken into custody after an anonymous tip led police to the hotel where Carreiro was allegedly abusing the teenagers, police officer Ana Carla Fernandes Silvestre said.

Carreiro, who did not resist the arrest, headed a small parish in the city of Sao Luis, about 2,250 kilometres northeast of Sao Paulo in Maranhao state.

Posted by kshaw at 03:26 AM

A gay priest receives the sacrament of acceptance

UTICA (NY)
Boston Globe

By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff | November 6, 2005

UTICA, N.Y. -- The folks on Hospitality Row do not mind talking about the fact that the Rev. Fred Daley of St. Francis de Sales Church is openly gay. They know that is why Daley is in the spotlight at a time when some leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are blaming homosexuals for its sexual abuse scandals, and possibly preparing to bar gays from the priesthood.

But they would prefer to talk about Daley's 13 years of service to their impoverished Corn Hill neighborhood, and how he established one sorely needed social service after another: opening refugee housing in the former convent, a shelter for girls from the streets in the former rectory, a soup kitchen in a former crack house across the street from his imposing red brick church, and affordable day care in the former Catholic school.

What counts for Grace Sunday, a refugee from sectarian violence in Sudan whose family is one of four from that country living in the former convent, is that ''everything is just right here. We lived for four months free. We ate from the food pantry. Now I'm working as a teacher's aide" at the day-care center.

In Sudan, Sunday said, ''You'd be isolated if you said you were gay, and stoned to death" for homosexual activity. ''But in the United States, it's normal. I have to go with the present."

Openly gay priests in the Catholic Church are hardly the norm, however. While there are no firm statistics, supporters and critics of gay priests agree there is a substantial number of gay priests in the US, although only two or three are open about it.

Posted by kshaw at 03:24 AM

Group wants guilty priests fired

NASHVILLE (TN)
Tennessean

By NATALIA MIELCZAREK
Staff Writer

Citing continued lack of cooperation from the Diocese of Nashville in exposing priests accused of sexual abuse, members of a state organization that supports the victims urged church officials yesterday to reveal the perpetrators' names and remove them from the ranks.

A diocese spokesman countered the allegations, saying there are no priests credibly accused of sexual abuse serving in the diocese and that the diocese has developed an effective program to counsel victims and prevent abuse.

Standing at the corner of Elliston Place and 23rd Avenue — former site of Father Ryan Catholic High School — about 10 members of the Tennessee chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) demanded that the diocese stop shielding priests accused of sexual molestation — a charge the church here has repeatedly denied.

"If more people know, more children may be saved," said Annette M. Alix of Lenoir City, Tenn., who drove almost three hours to tell the story of her adult son who she said was raped by a priest while he was a child.

Posted by kshaw at 03:22 AM

‘All I want to know is: Why?’

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

06 November 2005 By Aidan G Doyle
The Halloween bank-holiday weekend is the high point of Wexford Festival Opera. One of the unique experiences of the weekend is what is known locally as the Opera Mass.

Bishop Eamonn Walsh, who celebrated last Sunday's Mass in Rowe Street church in Wexford, reflected in his homily that the beauty of art could help people to come to terms with despair. His sermon inspired me to seek reconciliation with the men who abused me 40 years ago.

In the early 1960s, I was a second-year boarder in St Peter's College, Wexford. Because of an injury to my foot which delayed my entrance to secondary school, I was the oldest in my class.

In recalling the culture of physical, educational and psycho-sexual abuse which flourished then, it is worth recording an incident which took place a month into my first year at the school.

Posted by kshaw at 03:11 AM

November 05, 2005

'Pastor' gets 3 life terms for sex with kids

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

Web Posted: 11/05/2005 12:00 AM CST

Tom Bower
Express-News Staff Writer
The self-proclaimed pastor of the now-defunct Promised Land Church, Victor A. Icenogle, has been sentenced to three life terms in prison after he was convicted last week by a jury on three counts of sexual abuse of children.

Icenogle, 49, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Pat Priest after a hearing in which prosecutors Catherine Hayes and Todd Winslow put on evidence of two prior convictions for the same crime in Florida.

Icenogle will be allowed to serve the sentences concurrently and the earliest he would be eligible for parole is in 30 years, but upon parole he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The Promised Land Church operated out of a strip center at 547 W. Chavaneaux Road on the city's far South Side.

U.S. marshals arrested Icenogle on May 21, 2004, at a homeless shelter in Lake Charles, La., after San Antonio police sex crimes detectives asked for help in locating him.

Posted by kshaw at 02:58 PM

The Episcopal diocese protects one parishioner who preyed on its flock and excommunicates another

CHARLESTON (SC)
Virtue Online

By Adam Ferrell
Charleston City Paper
November 3, 2005

It's not just Catholic churches that harbor pedophiles and sex offenders. Churches of any kind can unwittingly provide predators access to children in trusting environments, as a controversial case with a Folly Road Episcopal church parishioner shows.

On Oct. 11, Mack Swafford, 65, a former lay leader at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Folly Road, became a registered sex offender. Swafford pled guilty to charges in connection with his arrest about a year ago after three men accused him of sexual improprieties dating back to 1983 and ending in 1990. The men, two of them brothers, told police Swafford fondled and kissed one, 11 years old in the beginning, and performed oral sex on the other two, ages 16 and 17, during the alleged incidents.

Police did not learn of Swafford's crimes until 2004, ten years after he admitted to church leaders that he molested two boys in their flock

Because of Swafford's position and relationship with Holy Trinity, where some of the incidents occurred, this case shines a critical light on how the church, its leaders, and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina responded to allegations of child sexual abuse, which were reported in 1994 and handled internally, as no law required the church to report the incidents to the police. Law enforcement entered the picture years later, when the victims finally decided to come forward.

At least two former parishioners have accused the church and the diocese of protecting a pedophile, a charge the clergy adamantly denies.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 AM

Attorney General to advise Govt on Ferns legal costs

IRELAND
IOL

05/11/2005 - 09:09:43

The Attorney General is to advise the Government on whether the State should pay legal costs incurred by the Ferns diocese in its dealings with the Ferns Inquiry.

Figures released yesterday put the total cost of the inquiry at €1.94m.

According to reports in today’s media, the total cost of the inquiry includes €790,000 for rent, staff costs, office machinery and other IT costs, and a further €925,000 for legal fees.

The inquiry was set up by the Government to investigate how the diocese, local authorities and the Gardaí handled clerical child sex abuse allegations.

Posted by kshaw at 07:49 AM

Media moves closer to diocese abuse files

HARTFORD (CT)
The Connecticut Post

DANIEL TEPFER dtepfer@ctpost.com

HARTFORD — The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that news media have standing to seek secret court files that could expose how the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport hid abuse by priests.

The state's highest court overturned an Appellate Court ruling and ordered a Superior Court judge to hold hearings on whether the media and the public should be allowed to see the files, which are related to the diocese's settlement of cases of priests abusing children.

"Although the newspapers' interest in the withdrawn cases is limited in the sense that they do not have, and never have had, a stake in the outcome of those cases, they, and the public, do have a legitimate interest in the contents of the court's files," Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote for the 3-to-2 majority.

"We are reviewing today's decision carefully regarding cases which were settled fairly by a federal judge in 2001 with the agreement of all parties," Bridgeport Diocese Spokesman Joseph McAleer said. "We are determining what our options are and will decide how to respond. If it is necessary to return to the Superior Court for further proceedings, as the Supreme Court has instructed, we are prepared to go back and present to the court the important issues that remain unresolved." Jason Tremont's Bridgeport law firm Tremont and Sheldon represented more than two dozen people, who claimed they were abused as children by priests in the Bridgeport Diocese. The lawsuits resulted in more than $30 million in settlements. Tremont said Friday his firm has always supported opening the files to the public.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Vatican Document Barring Homosexuals from Priesthood Due Late November

ROME
LifeSite

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, November 4, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The best-known English-language Vatican correspondent, John Allen, reports today that a new document from the Congregation for Catholic Education on the admission of homosexuals to seminaries is likely to be released late November, perhaps the last week of November. The document has been expected for over three years.

A senior Vatican official also confirmed to Allen that the document's central message is that "homosexuals are not welcome in the priesthood."

Commenting on the document's nature, the Vatican official said, "This is not a matter of sacramental theology. It's not saying that homosexuals are intrinsically unworthy of being priests. It's a matter of prudential judgment, that this is not a good idea."

Posted by kshaw at 07:35 AM

Union Benefits Almost Open to Canadian Ministers

CANADA
Christian Post

Friday, Nov. 4, 2005 Posted: 12:38:30PM EST

Clergy members in the United Church of Canada may start signing up for union membership to protect them from everyday and extreme “clergy abuse,” pending an announcement by the Canadian Auto Workers Union later today.

Since last year, a group of clergy members and their spouses began a campaign to gather the support of at least 60 percent of the United Church ministers in the province of Ontario to form a union. They have until the end of the day to reach their target or the current sign-up drive expires.

According to Rev. David Galton, one of the organizers, there are approximately 1,100 UCC clergy in the province and he is hopeful that the drive will be successful. ...

According to Galston, “clergy abuse” comes in many forms that range from false accusations of theft to sexual harassment and physical violence.

“There was even a case of rape,” Galston said Friday. “It’s just very sad, and you can’t possibly argue that this goes with the job.”

Should organizers succeed, they would be forming the first official union for clergy members in Ontario. They also have plans to extend such efforts to other provinces.

Posted by kshaw at 07:31 AM

Diocese apologizes for abuse allegations

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
In an apparent act of contrition, the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo on Friday issued a statement apologizing to victims of clergy sexual abuse.

"In light of the new complaints being made against former Marianist Brother William Mueller I, as the bishop of Pueblo, wish to state again that I am truly sorry for any harm and pain that has been suffered by victims of sexual misconduct," Bishop Arthur Tafoya said in a written statement.

In the statement, Tafoya denied the diocese was aware of alleged abuse that has been the subject of recent lawsuits.

Eight lawsuits in Pueblo have been filed against the diocese and the Marianist religious order. The suits allege that Mueller, a religion and music teacher at Roncalli High School from 1966 until the school closed in 1971, used the guise of conducting scientific experiments to get students alone, then incapacitated them with ether and sexually molested them.

Posted by kshaw at 07:25 AM

Victims Of The Times

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

Good evening. It's hard to believe anyone could sexually abuse 30 children without being reported to police.

But the 1950s and 60s were a different time.

When sex offenders like Father Bruce MacArthur committed those crimes, it was often kept quiet.

Judy DeLonga kept quiet about the abuse she suffered from MacArthur for 40 years. But her abuse came before the days of social work and rape crisis centers. It was time when a child sexually abused by someone close to them - especially a priest - might not have been believed.

"In the old days, you kept stuff behind closed doors.' That was kind of the mantra," says psychologist Scott Pribyl.

This week, the door opened on Father Bruce MacArthur. He has admitted to sexual crimes against children committed in the 1950s..60s..and 70s.

"People are more likely to believe a child or an adult these days that would report something as outrageous-sounding as a priest," Pribyl says.

Posted by kshaw at 07:21 AM

More Catholic school alumni allege abuse

UNITED STATES
San Antonio Express-News

Web Posted: 11/05/2005 12:00 AM CST

J. Michael Parker
Express-News Staff Writer

Five more lawsuits were filed this week in Pueblo, Colo., alleging sexual abuse by a former Society of Mary brother who was band director at San Antonio's Central Catholic High School from 1971 to 1981.

The suits filed Thursday bring to eight the number of suits by former students of Pueblo's Roncalli High School naming the Society of Mary's St. Louis-based U.S. province and the Diocese of Pueblo.

They claim diocese and Society of Mary officials failed to stop sexual abuse by then-Brother William Mueller, now 67 and a San Antonio native, who taught at Roncalli from 1966 to 1971.

Pueblo Bishop Arthur Tafoya issued a statement Friday apologizing for the harm and pain victims have suffered and offering assistance to all victims in his diocese. "To the best of my knowledge, the Diocese of Pueblo received no complaints or reports against former Brother Mueller until the recent claims in 2005," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 AM

Priest let go from school amid inquiry

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Troy Graham
Inquirer Staff Writer

St. Augustine Prep, a private all-boys school in Richland, N.J., hired a priest to teach senior religion this year despite warnings from the Diocese of Camden that he had been accused of sexual abuse and had been suspended from the ministry.

When the diocese learned last month that Frank Hudson had been hired anyway, the diocesan chancellor wrote to the school, saying it was "entirely inappropriate" to employ anyone facing an unresolved charge of sexual misconduct.

"And this is especially serious when we speak of employment in a Catholic school," Msgr. Peter M. Joyce wrote.

In a statement yesterday, the school said Hudson had been suspended as of Wednesday, the same day a reporter from The Inquirer called the diocese to ask about Hudson.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 AM

Couple testify in church case

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By CAROL DeMARE, Staff writer
First published: Saturday, November 5, 2005

ALBANY -- A retired couple who worship at Holy Cross Church testified Friday that attorney John Aretakis taunted them during a protest held by alleged sex abuse victims.

Robert and Mary Ellen Powers were called by the attorney for Holy Cross, which is seeking an injunction to keep Aretakis and his supporters 100 feet from church entrances.

The protesters have demonstrated on Sunday mornings for nearly six months, calling for the removal of the pastor, the Rev. Daniel J. Maher, who they allege molested an altar boy in 1973. A investigation by the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese cleared the priest.

Aretakis represents numerous victims of sexual abuse by priests and the protesters in the case before state Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo, which bears on the right to assemble and the freedom of religion. The hearing began last month with testimony that the protesters upset parishioners and frightened children. It resumed this week.

Posted by kshaw at 07:09 AM

Archdiocese is upheld in molestation suit

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Bruce Schreiner
Associated Press

A man who contends he was molested in his youth by a Roman Catholic priest waited too long to sue the Louisville archdiocese, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled yesterday.

The three-judge panel unanimously upheld dismissal of the lawsuit that Andre Azerot filed on May 30, 2003. He alleged that, while attending St. Ann parish in the 1980s, he was sexually abused by Joseph Herp, then a priest at the Louisville parish.

Earlier this year, the Vatican dismissed Herp from the priesthood. He was removed permanently from ministry in 2002 by the Louisville Archdiocese after it said it confirmed abuse allegations against him.

Azerot's suit accused the archdiocese of negligence for hiring Herp and failing to discipline him and of fraud by inducing Azerot to attend the school without warning him of Herp.

Posted by kshaw at 07:07 AM

Court Says Newspapers Can Seek Documents In Abuse Settlement

HARTFORD (CT)
The Day

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published on 11/5/2005

Hartford (AP) — The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that newspapers can ask for documents related to the Bridgeport Diocese's settlement of priest abuse cases but left it up to a lower court to decide whether to release them.

Attorneys for The Hartford Courant, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Boston Globe argued that the public has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to see the records.

They say the sealing orders expired when the diocese settled the lawsuits in 2001.

“Although the newspapers' interest in the withdrawn cases is limited in the sense that they do not have, and never have had, a stake in the outcome of those cases, they, and the public, do have a legitimate interest in the contents of the court's files,” Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote for the 3-2 majority.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 AM

This Life: The sins of the fathers

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Alf McCreary, Religion Correspondent
newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

05 November 2005
THE recent reports of sexual abuse by a number of Roman Catholic clergy were shocking and disturbing. They were shocking because of the numbers allegedly involved -more than 241 priests over the years - and disturbing because of the way in which complaints of were mishandled by the Catholic hierarchy.

The Ferns Report revealed horrific stories of abuse, incompetence, neglect and cover up. This abuse of clerical trust and privilege was not confined to the Republic , and more than 50 priests in Northern Ireland have been accused of child abuse. There are probably more cases that will never be reported, partly because those guilty have taken their dark secrets to the grave.

This week the Irish bishops at Maynooth apologised to the victims of child abuse. This was the latest in a long line of apologies, including several from the primate, Archbishop Sean Brady, on behalf of the clergy at large.

Such apologies - though sincere - have limited effect. The Catholic hierarchy have been fighting an uphill battle to clear the stain from the Church's reputation, but the latest revelations - some new, and others already known - have maintained a shadow over the institution.

Posted by kshaw at 07:03 AM

Settlement talks on hold in church abuse payment dispute

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Kentucky.com

BRETT BARROUQUERE
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Settlement talks are on hold in a lawsuit over how alleged victims of sexual abuse will be paid in a proposed $120 million class-action settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

The hang up is that the number of people impacted by the abuse will not be known for a couple of weeks, attorneys said this week in court documents.

Talks between the diocese, the sexual abuse plaintiffs and the three companies - The American Mutual Insurance Co., Catholic Mutual Relief Society and Catholic Relief Insurance Co. - have been ongoing since July.

The diocese agreed to pay $40 million from its assets and said it would rely on insurance to pay up to $80 million more in claims. The diocese filed suit when the insurance companies objected, saying the costs would potentially bankrupt them.

Posted by kshaw at 04:13 AM

Archbishop open to sale of his residence

AUSTRALIA
ABC

The Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, Jeffrey Driver, thinks the issue of selling of his Adelaide residence might need to be revisited.

The Anglican synod voted against a sale in September.

But the Archbishop says the church has few assets it can call on to fund compensation claims by sexual abuse victims.

Church lawyers have now put a revised compensation offer to the victims.

Posted by kshaw at 04:10 AM

November 04, 2005

A Priest's Confession

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

Priests and confessions go together, but when it's the priest who's confessing, it's disturbing.

Last night we told you about Father Bruce MacArthur and how he repeatedly raped Judy DeLonga for seven years when she was a little girl attending one of his churches in Wisconsin. As we told you, there were other victims, many right here in South Dakota where MacArthur bounced around from parish to parish.

Now we hear MacArthur's chilling confession as he told investigators how he sexually preyed on children. Even though he says everyone in the catholic church knew about his history, no one ever turned him in to authorities.

Throughout his sworn deposition, an old and frail Father MacArthur admits sexually abusing young girls.

"How many children do you think you abused while serving as a priest? "I have no idea," said MacArthur.

While he doesn't know exactly how many victims, he says there were plenty

Posted by kshaw at 09:22 PM

LeBrun trial will resume on Monday

MESA (AZ)
WNDU

Posted: 11/04/2005 03:48 pm

Mesa, AZ - The child molestation trial of a former South Bend priest resumes on Monday.

The prosecution continues to present its side of the case against Paul LeBrun in a Mesa, Arizona courtroom.

LeBrun faces eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of child molesting in Arizona, where he served from 1986 to 1991.

Posted by kshaw at 09:11 PM

Church Pastor Jailed, Accused Of Child Sex Crimes

FLORENCE (CO)
TheDenverChannel.com

POSTED: 10:13 am MST November 4, 2005

FLORENCE, Colo. -- A man who serves as pastor of a Florence church is jailed on $100,000 bond, accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old female church member .

The Rev. Allan M. Miller, 72, of Victory Apostolic Church, is charged with three counts of sexual assault on a child.

Prosecutors say he started sexually assaulting the member of his congregation when she was 14, and continued until two weeks ago.

Fremont County Sheriff's Deputy Bruce Briscoe said the teen was living with Miller at the time to ease her commute to Florence's Baptist Christian School.

Posted by kshaw at 09:07 PM

Former Teacher: I Never Had Sexual Contact

PUEBLO (CO)
TheDenverChannel.com

POSTED: 9:01 am MST November 4, 2005

PUEBLO, Colo. -- The Catholic Church and a religious order were hit with a new barrage of sex-assault allegations Thursday after five men filed suit alleging they were molested three decades ago by a Catholic school teacher and that church officials failed to protect them.

The lawsuits bring to eight the number of claims against the Diocese of Pueblo and The Marianist Province of the United States alleging that William Mueller sexually abused students at the now-closed Roncalli High School.

Mueller is not named as a defendant in the suits. He is a former member of the order and was once band director at the school.

In a statement released by Diane Guerra, communications director for Marianists in St. Louis, Mueller said: "I have never had sexual contact with a student at any school I have been at."

Posted by kshaw at 09:04 PM

Loveland man files abuse suit

COLORADO
The Daily Reporter-Herald

By Pamela Dickman
The Daily Reporter-Herald

A Loveland man has sued a Catholic diocese and a religious order for sexual abuse he alleges occurred at the hands of a teacher at his Catholic high school.
Donald Jesik of Loveland and four other Colorado men filed the suits Thursday against the Diocese of Pueblo and the Marianists Province of the United States, each seeking more than $10 million in damages.

They claim Brother William Mueller sexually assaulted them at Roncalli High School in Pueblo sometime from the late 1960s to when the Catholic school closed in 1971.

The lawsuits, filed in 11th Judicial District Court, allege Mueller lured students into the band room under the guise of participating in a science experiment, placed an ether-soaked cloth over their mouths and noses, then sexually assaulted them.

Posted by kshaw at 09:01 PM

More sex abuse suits filed against former Pueblo teacher

PUEBLO (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Felix Doligosa Jr., Rocky Mountain News
November 4, 2005

Five sexual abuse lawsuits were filed Thursday against the Diocese of Pueblo and a religious order in connection with a former Catholic school teacher.

Victims alleged they were blindfolded and sexually abused by Brother William Mueller at Roncalli High School in Pueblo over 30 years ago. The school closed in 1971.

The plaintiffs are each seeking $10 million in damages from the diocese and the Marianists Province of the United States.

The lawsuit said church officials knew about the abuse and tried to conceal it. This is the eighth lawsuit against the church and religious order in connection with Mueller. The order is facing another lawsuit in Missouri.

Mueller, 67, was a band teacher at the high school from 1966-71, said Diane Guerra, spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based Marianists order. Mueller called the Marianists group shortly after the first lawsuits were filed and apologized for the bad publicity he had given to the order, Guerra said. Mueller now lives in San Antonio.

Posted by kshaw at 08:59 PM

Cincinnati priest cleared of abuse charges

CINCINNATI (OH)
Catholic Telegraph

ARCHDIOCESE — Raymond Larger, former pastor of several Cincinnati parishes, was found not guilty Oct. 31 in Hamilton County Court of charges of rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition.

Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman ended the proceedings after only a few hours of testimony by the accuser, Dale Ramminger, 21, of Hamilton, who claimed Larger abused him from 1995-1997 when Ramminger was a student at St. James School in White Oak.

When Ramminger completed his testimony and was led from the courtroom to return to Butler County, where he is currently serving a prison sentence for breaking and entering. At that time, Judge Ruehlman told the packed courtroom, "The testimony I heard just isn’t credible, and in good conscience, I cannot allow this to go any further." The judge cited the discrepancies in the accuser’s version of the alleged abuse; his accounts on the witness stand differed substantially from both grand jury testimony and from the sworn affadavit filed with an archdiocesan claims tribunal last year.

Posted by kshaw at 08:44 PM

Court upholds dismissal of suit against Louisville archdiocese

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WHAS

05:17 PM EST on Friday, November 4, 2005

By BRUCE SCHREINER
Associated Press

A man claiming to have been molested in his youth by a Roman Catholic priest waited too long to sue the Louisville archdiocese, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The three-judge panel unanimously upheld dismissal of the lawsuit that Andre Azerot filed on May 30, 2003. Azerot alleged that while attending St. Ann parish in the 1980s, he was sexually abused by Joseph Herp, a priest at the Louisville parish.

In his suit, Azerot accused the archdiocese of negligence for hiring Herp and failing to discipline him and of fraud by inducing him to attend the school without warning him of Herp.

Azerot's attorney, John D. Cox, said Friday he was disappointed by the ruling and would ask the Court of Appeals to reconsider.

Posted by kshaw at 08:22 PM

High court says newspapers can intervene in abuse settlement

HARTFORD (CT)
Stamford Advocate

Associated Press

Published November 4 2005

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that newspapers can ask for documents related to the Bridgeport Diocese's settlement of priest abuse cases but left it up to a lower court to decide whether to release them.

Attorneys for The Hartford Courant, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Boston Globe argued that the public has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to see the records.

They say the sealing orders expired when the diocese settled the lawsuits in 2001.

"Although the newspapers' interest in the withdrawn cases is limited in the sense that they do not have, and never have had, a stake in the outcome of those cases, they, and the public, do have a legitimate interest in the contents of the court's files," Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote for the 3-2 majority.

The thousands of documents stem from 23 lawsuits against six priests spanning the late 1960s to the early 1990s. Most of the alleged victims were altar boys or belonged to church youth organizations.

Posted by kshaw at 08:16 PM

Ireland to audit bishops' compliance with child protection guidelines

IRELAND
Catholic News Service

By Cian Molloy
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) -- The Irish bishops face a national audit by government agents into how each diocese is complying with child protection guidelines published by the church nearly 10 years ago.

News of the audit came shortly after publication of a report criticizing church and government officials over their handling of cases of priestly sexual abuse of children in the Ferns Diocese.

The bishops held a special meeting at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Oct. 31 to discuss child protection issues following their receipt of a letter from Brian Lenihan, minister of state for children. The minister offered a number of proposals regarding the audit to the bishops, who said they would respond "rapidly and positively."

Posted by kshaw at 05:00 PM

Civic leader accused of sex abuse

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Friday, November 04, 2005
SCOTT LEARN
and ANNA GRIFFIN

Matt Hennessee, a pastor, civic leader and recently departed chairman of the Portland Development Commission, was accused of sexually abusing an underaged female relative more than a decade ago, according to interviews, documents and law enforcement records.

Prosecutors declined to press charges in 1993 because Hennessee, the teenager and her mother refused to cooperate. But in recent interviews and a signed statement to The Oregonian, the woman, now 29, says Hennessee abused her "several times per week" from age 12 or 13 to 16.

Documents obtained by the newspaper include e-mails Hennessee sent to the woman in 2003 admitting sexual abuse, a police report on the investigation and an attorney case file that documents a settlement in which Hennessee paid for the girl's counseling.

Hennessee left the city's urban renewal agency on July 27 at the end of his three-year term. A former Nike executive, he now leads Quiktrak, a Beaverton technology firm, and serves as pastor at a North Portland church. He came to Oregon in 1988 at the request of future Gov. Ted Kulongoski to oversee the state workers' compensation system.

Posted by kshaw at 04:59 PM

Florence pastor, 72, charged with sexual assault on teen

FLORENCE (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By TRACY HARMON
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
FLORENCE - A 72-year-old church pastor was charged Tuesday with three counts of sexual assault on a child for allegedly having sexual contact with a 15-year-old female church member during the past year.

Allan M. Miller of Williamsburg, pastor of Victory Apostolic Church in Florence, is charged with three counts of sexual assault on a child. Authorities allege he was a person in position of trust and displayed a pattern of abuse in assaulting the girl. He is being held at the Fremont County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit by Fremont County Sheriff Deputy Bruce Briscoe, the victim reported the sexual assaults occurred repeatedly from the time she was 14 until Oct. 21. The abuse allegedly began when she was taken to the home of Miller to live for the purpose of an easier commute to the Baptist Christian School in Florence.

Posted by kshaw at 04:57 PM

Church sex screening

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

By NIGEL HUNT
05nov05
A NEW screening process for ministers and lay office holders in the Adelaide Diocese of the Anglican Church is among the most rigid in Australia.

The Safe Ministry Check, designed to weed out pedophiles in the church, is the first major initiative of new Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver.

Finalised this week, the 10-page questionnaire is now in place for new ministers and lay office holders and is likely to also be extended to all church office holders. Archbishop Driver said yesterday the Adelaide diocese was among the first in Australia to implement the screening initiative, which was discussed at last year's general synod.

"I think if you compare it with the sorts of background checks in other organisations, it is pretty rigorous," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 04:54 PM

Bishop’s ‘mea culpa’ over clerical sex abuse

IRELAND
Waterford News & Star

By Aileen Mulhall

THE Bishop of Waterford & Lismore issued a ‘mea culpa’ apology at weekend Masses throughout the city and county to those sexually abused by priests in this diocese and elsewhere in the Catholic Church.

In a letter read out by priests from church pulpits Most Rev. Dr William Lee said they had all been “deeply saddened and hurt” by the finding of the Ferns Report, which described the “enormous damage done by a number of priests” in the Diocese of Ferns, who had sexually abused children.

To anyone who had suffered in this way in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore and throughout the Church, he offered again from his heart his “sincere apology” though he accepted words of apology seemed “very weak and inadequate”.

Posted by kshaw at 04:44 PM

Cloyne diocese pilot scheme to protect kids

IRELAND
The Corkman

By Anne Ryan

A PILOT scheme, introduced by the Cloyne diocese, will see four accredited child protection officers operating in the diocese within the month.

In the wake of the Ferns scandal, the urgent need for new child protection measures is evident and it is hoped that the pilot scheme introduced in Cloyne will be replicated in every diocese in Ireland.

Allegations to date have been made against eleven priests in Cloyne but so far there have not been any prosecutions. A spokesperson for the diocese said that all of these cases had been duly investigated. However, some of these allegations were withdrawn because the priest had died or because the victim had decided to end the prosecution process.

Posted by kshaw at 04:09 PM

Hot Press magazine in hot water over graphic image of priest

IRELAND
One in Four

HOT Press magazine has come under fire for using a graphic picture of a priest masturbating.

The controversial illustration accompanies a two-page article on the role of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI, and senior Irish clerics in investigating claims of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

On RTÉ’s Liveline radio programme, listeners aired their protestation at the image, which they said was damaging to the country’s priests.

Callers also claimed that the illustration was designed purely to boost magazine sales. This was denied by Hot Press bosses.

Posted by kshaw at 01:47 PM

Ferns report: publication and availability

IRELAND
One in Four

The Ferns report is the first official inquiry report in recent years that has not been made available in electronic format, and cannot be downloaded from the internet.

On Tuesday the Government took a decision, based on legal advice from Attorney General Rory Brady, that the report would be made available only in traditional hard-copy format. ...

The Government has to date printed 3,000 copies of the Ferns report, 200 of which have now been sold.

The 271-page report is available through the Government Publications Office in Molesworth Street, Dublin, and at four bookshops in Co Wexford, priced €6.

Posted by kshaw at 11:13 AM

Rome sticks to silent strategy

IRELAND
One in Four

Vatican reaction:

The Vatican yesterday "declined to comment" on the findings of the Ferns report on clerical sex abuse in Co Wexford over a 40-year period.

Vatican deputy spokesman Fr Ciro Benedettini said there would be no official Vatican response to the findings.

The Holy See intends to follow its strategy for other clerical sex abuse scandals, especially those in North America, considering them the competence of the local Catholic Church and local Bishops' Conference.

Posted by kshaw at 11:11 AM

Ledwith laicised, church confirms

Ledwith's status:

Micheál Ledwith, former president of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and a senior Catholic theologian, has been laicised by the Catholic Church.

Church sources confirmed last night that, as recounted in the Ferns inquiry report, Dr Ledwith's "position as a priest of the diocese of Ferns was not resolved until September 2005". His laicisation, initiated by the church some time ago, was not completed until last month.

In June 2002 the 17 trustee/bishops of St Patrick's College, Maynooth acknowledged that before Dr Ledwith's abrupt departure from his post as president there in 1995, there had an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor made against him, which he strenuously denied. They said he made a settlement with the claimant, without admission of liability.

Posted by kshaw at 11:09 AM

Cleric recalls his 'worst nightmare' of false child abuse claims

IRELAND
One in Four

A PRIEST falsely accused of child abuse and moved out of ministry has told how the experience was his worst nightmare come true.

The priest, who does not use his name, described how he was summoned to a meeting with his religious superior to discuss a "serious" matter.

The cleric described the ordeal in the latest issue of the religious monthly 'Intercom'.

At the meeting he was told a woman had made an allegation that he had abused her 30 years before, and that he was being suspended from ministry while the case was investigated by Gardai and the Church.

Posted by kshaw at 11:07 AM

Time the Church put an end to this drip-drip feeding of the truth

IRELAND
Westmeath Independent

For far too long we have been subjected to these drip-drip revelations on clerical sex abuse, as it seemed that the only time that the Catholic hierarchy took action was when the media revealed another shocking case.

Last week we were assured that Ferns would be a watershed, that no longer would there be anything other than full accountability and total transparency.

And then the weekend brings more revelations; one cleric in the Tuam Diocese who was allowed to continue his Ministry despite allegations of rape against him.

Then an elderly Parish Priest in the Elphin Diocese stood aside at the weekend pending the outcome of another investigation.

Posted by kshaw at 10:16 AM

Five more lawsuits filed against order, Catholic diocese

COLORADO
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Five more lawsuits were filed in district court against the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo on Thursday, alleging that a former brother at Roncalli High School molested students there during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Eight suits have now been filed in Pueblo against the diocese and the Society of Mary religious order based in St. Louis over allegations that Brother William Mueller sexually abused students at Roncalli.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs said Thursday that a dozen more lawsuits are expected to be filed locally over allegations against Mueller, and at least three lawsuits against the diocese are pending over allegations of sexual misconduct by former priest Andrew Burke. He committed suicide Sept. 21 as accusations about him were about to be made public.

Adam Horowitz, a lawyer with the Miami law firm of Herman & Mermelstein, said investigators with his firm are exploring allegations of sexual abuse by other Pueblo priests who to date have not been accused publicly of molestation.

Posted by kshaw at 09:59 AM

Miami Priest Sues Man Who Accused Him Of Sexual Abuse

MIAMI (FL)
Local 10

POSTED: 8:35 am EST November 4, 2005

MIAMI -- A Miami priest suspended because of sexual abuse allegations is suing one of his accusers for defamation.

The Rev. Alvaro Guichard says his accuser made defamatory lies against him at a news conference two years ago. That's when the man announced he was suing the Archdiocese of Miami, which later settled.

The man in his lawsuit said that when he was a teenager in the 1980s, Guichard promised him a job and a car in exchange for sex.

Posted by kshaw at 09:45 AM

Ferns and after

IRELAND
Nenagh Guardian

The publication last week of the report on the investigation into the behaviour of some priests over a lengthy period of time in the diocese of Ferns has revealed a shocking litany of corruption that people of all religions and none at all, are endeavouring to get to grips with.

In the aftermath of the harrowing series of sexual abuse of so many young people by these priests, gradually, but with certainty, the net has begun to widen and what might have seemed peculiar to the east coast diocese is also likely to have worked its way into most, if not all of the country’s twenty six diocese and to degrees of varying measure yet to be investigated and disclosed.

Media reports, comments and debates since the publication of the Ferns document have been incisive and extremely critical. Bishops, politicians and health authorities have all come in for severe criticism for the manner in which such an abhorrent system of abuse was allowed to permeate society. There has been widespread condemnation of the depths to which these so-called ministers of religion have plunged themselves in order to satisfy their evil desires.

Posted by kshaw at 09:16 AM

Sharing ‘a real sense of pain and shame’

IRELAND
Nenagh Guardian

By Gerry Slevin

The Bishop and priests of Killaloe diocese are totally committed to ensuring that as far as humanly possible sexual abuse of young people will never occur in the future.

In a statement delivered to all churches in the diocese at the week-end Masses, signed by Bishop Willie Walsh, by Fr Seamus Gardiner PP Portroe on behalf of the Priests Council and by Fr Pat Malone, CC Killaloe on behalf of the diocesan Child Protection Committee, the bishop and priests of the diocese wrote of sharing with priest colleagues throughout the country ‘a real sense of pain and shame at the most recent report of sexual abuse of young people’.

Sexual abuse of children was a most serious and morally reprehensible crime, irrespective of whom the abuser might be, the statement added. It was all the more serious when the abuser was a person who was in a position of sacred trust.

Posted by kshaw at 09:14 AM

e300,000 in sex abuse civil actions against two priests

IRELAND
Westmeath Independent

Tadhg Carey
deputy editor

A total of €300,000 has been paid out in four civil actions relating to sexual abuse allegations against two priests in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.

The amount includes legal expenses of both the diocese and those alleging abuse.

The figures were released this week by the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Colm O’Reilly in response to media queries.

Speaking to the Westmeath Independent, Bishop O’Reilly said he was “still grieving over what happened to people”.

Posted by kshaw at 09:12 AM

No abuse prosecutions against diocesan priests

IRELAND
Offaly Independent

Tadhg Carey
deputy editor

Allegations of abuse have been made against three priests of the Meath diocese but no prosecutions have arisen, it emerged this week.

Bishop Michael Smith, who has admitted to the Offaly Independent that he was “shocked” by the Ferns Report, also said that compensation had not been paid to anyone from the diocese.

However, he said, the diocese had made a contribution to another diocese in respect of a claim made there against a priest from the Meath diocese. The Diocese of Meath includes the Tullamore, Clara, Rahan and Kilcormac parishes.

Posted by kshaw at 09:09 AM

No priest prosecuted from this diocese - Bishop Smith

IRELAND
West Meath Examiner

Deputy Editor Eilis Ryan reports

Bishop Michael Smith has admitted to the Westmeath Examiner this week that he was “shocked” by the Ferns Report.

But while there have been allegations against three Meath diocesan priests, compensation has never been paid out to anyone from the diocese in relation to claims of child sexual abuse.

However, he said, the diocese had made a contribution to another diocese in respect of a claim made there against a priest - no longer in ministry - who was on loan from the Meath diocese.

Regarding the three complaints that have been lodged since he became Bishop in 1984, Bishop Smith explained that the most recent incident was “a possible allegation”.

Posted by kshaw at 09:06 AM

Garda accused of harassing woman in abuse investigation

IRELAND
Irish Independent

A GARDA who took statements from a woman who alleged that she was raped and abused as a child, has been accused of sexually harassing the same woman.

The woman is seeking a High Court injunction against the serving officer, who has now fallen ill, which would prevent him from going near her or her home.

The Irish Independent has learned that the same garda was investigating a separate case of alleged rape against a priest in the same area.

A formal complaint was also made to the Garda Complaints Board about the same man in relation to a separate issue two years ago.

However, the board decided that no action would be taken.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 AM

Syracuse priest sex abuse case waiting

NEW YORK
News 10

11/3/2005 7:22 PM
By: Sarah Sevier, News 10 Now Web Staff

For the Hanson sisters, the statute of limitations is up, but a State Supreme court judge's ruling could reopen the door for their sex abuse suit against Father Thomas Keating.

He allegedly sexually abused them during his time at St. Mary's.

"If the judge did dismiss this case on a technicality because it happened so long ago, a lot of these diocese are saying oh that means the priest has been cleared we'll restore him to ministry. The church has just been using the statute of limitations to clear guilty priests," said John Aretakis, lawyer for the Hanson sisters.

The attorney representing three sisters suing a former Syracuse diocese priest for sex abuse, says a judge's decision to adjourn was a big victory Thursday. The state Supreme Court will wait on a decision in a similar case in a higher court before considering dismissing the Hanson sisters’ sex abuse suit. News 10 Now's Sarah Sevier explains.

Judge Edward Carni ruled to wait as a higher court, the Court of Appeals, considers throwing out the statute of limitations in a Utica priest sex abuse case, Zumpano versus Father Quinn and the Syracuse Diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:48 AM

The Vatican and gays

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

Father Richard P. McBrien

It is always a risk for a once-a-week columnist, writing two or three weeks in advance of publication, to comment on a still-developing story. In this case, the story concerns the apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries, which is already underway.

Grave concerns were being expressed a few weeks ago about the goals of this visitation, and specifically whether there would be a papal mandate to identify and expel gay seminarians and to prohibit their admission to seminaries, whether sexually active or not.

In a column prepared for publication three weeks ago, I cited an interview published in theAbuse Tracker Catholic Register in which Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, coordinator of the apostolic visitation, seemed to imply that gays are not welcome in seminaries, even those who have been chaste for ten years or more.

Andrew Sullivan, a columnist for Time magazine and an openly gay Catholic layman, mounted one of the sharpest criticisms of this initiative, pointing out that gays would not be excluded from seminaries and the priesthood because of their behavior but because of their very identity as homosexuals.

Sullivan cited a 1986 ruling by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed at the time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, repudiating such thinking as "unfounded and demeaning."

If the pope were to approve a policy prohibiting gays from entering seminaries and being ordained to the priesthood, regardless of their moral behavior, it would be, Sullivan argued, the worst form of discrimination.

I also warned in my earlier column that any full-scale campaign against gays in seminaries and the priesthood could very well provoke a backlash among gay clergy, leading to the "outing" of closeted gay priests and bishops who were perceived as aiding and abetting the anti-gay campaign. The resulting embarrassment to the Church, its priesthood, and the hierarchy itself would be incalculable.

Posted by kshaw at 01:42 AM

Abuse victim seeks change in law

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By TOM HEINEN
theinen@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 3, 2005
A former Beaver Dam woman who just settled a sexual abuse lawsuit in South Dakota against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Sioux Falls was in Milwaukee on Thursday to urge legislators to pass a bill allowing clergy abuse victims to sue churches in Wisconsin no matter when the abuse occurred.

At a news conference outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Judy DeLonga, 50, and her attorney said the Sioux Falls diocesan priest who started having sexual intercourse with her when she was 10 in Wisconsin, and continued that abuse for seven years, would not have been revealed as an abuser of other girls here if she had not been able to file a lawsuit in South Dakota.

"The abuse was severe and frequent," said DeLonga, who now lives in Virginia. "It was rape, and he continued to stalk me for years after he left town.

"It took me 40 years to begin to understand the ramifications of the abuse. . . . The reason why I am here today is to stress the importance of eliminating the statute of limitations for any crime that is committed against a child. Because of these laws, perpetrators are able to go free while their victims are serving life sentences and other children are then not being protected."

Posted by kshaw at 01:39 AM

Evidence Of Catholic Coverup

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Keloland

There's more evidence the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese was aware that one of its own priests was sexually abusing children.

In a taped confession, Father Bruce MacArthur admits to abusing about 30 children during his priesthood. He worked in churches across KELOLAND from 1953 to 1973.

Judy DeLonga was one MacArthur's victims. In 2003 she filed a lawsuit against the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese, claiming the church knew about the abuse and did little to stop it.

The suit was settled out of court this week, but the investigation in her case uncovered several letters between Bishops concerning MacArthur's sexual abuse.

When complaints of his abuse came forward, the church transferred and gave him psychological treatment, but never removed his priesthood.

Posted by kshaw at 01:26 AM

SNAP Points To Priest's 'Moral Obligation' To Baby

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC 5l

POSTED: 5:58 pm CST November 3, 2005
UPDATED: 9:48 pm CST November 3, 2005

CHICAGO -- A Chicago priest is accused of fathering a child who now lives in Canada, and a support group for abuse survivors is demanding that the priest pay child support.

NBC5's Natalie Martinez reported that the baby "has the smile of a angel," but that the boy is essentially fatherless.

He and his mother, who Martinez referred to as Jane Doe, live in Canada, where she and the baby's father met. The new mother spoke to NBC5 by phone on Thursday. She said that her former lover, a friar at the Holy Spirit House of Studies in Hyde Park, is ignoring his child.

"I had outreached to him through e-mail, asking for health information, asking him where he was, asking him what role he was going to play in his child's life, letting him know my financial situation was dire, that I needed his help, and I was ignored," Doe told Martinez.

Friar Jason Martin, a vocation director at the House of Studies, apparently left the priesthood for a family and marriage to the baby's mother in 2003. But, Martinez said, a change of heart prompted him to break off the engagement just days before Doe found out she was pregnant.

Doe said that since then, it's been a nightmare.

Posted by kshaw at 01:18 AM

November 03, 2005

Paedophile priest abused in Dundalk

IRELAND
The Anglo-Celt

Paedophile priest Fr Sean Fortune spent a year living outside Dundalk where, the Ferns Inquiry reveals, he abused at least one young boy.

The rogue priest had been sent to Mount Oliver after complaints had been made about his behaviour with boys in Belfast.

Concerns about the priest's fitness had been raised even before his ordination, with a psychiatrist deeming him unfit to be ordained and surfaced again when he was posted in Belfast. After his ordination Fr Fortune in Holy Rosary Parish in South Belfast served for less than a year in 1979.

Posted by kshaw at 08:31 PM

Paedophile priest abused in Dundalk

IRELAND
The Anglo-Celt

Paedophile priest Fr Sean Fortune spent a year living outside Dundalk where, the Ferns Inquiry reveals, he abused at least one young boy.

The rogue priest had been sent to Mount Oliver after complaints had been made about his behaviour with boys in Belfast.

Concerns about the priest's fitness had been raised even before his ordination, with a psychiatrist deeming him unfit to be ordained and surfaced again when he was posted in Belfast. After his ordination Fr Fortune in Holy Rosary Parish in South Belfast served for less than a year in 1979.

Posted by kshaw at 08:31 PM

Sex abuse victims publicize that ex-priest, an alleged pedophile, lives in city of Westlake Village

CALIFORNIA
Thousand Oaks Acorn

By Daniel Wolowicz danielw@theacorn.com

“Warning! Alleged child molester lives near you.”

The words on the flyer left little doubt as to why members of a group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) recently went door-todoor to speak with residents living on the 31000 block of Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village.

Members and supporters of the priest abuse survivors’ group handed out the flyers to notify residents that one of their neighbors, Kevin Barmasse, is a former priest accused of sexual abuse.

The group’s actions raised the question as to how far the public can go in its quest to draw attention to accused sex offenders. Barmasse has never been convicted of any sex abuse charges and his name is not listed on the Megan’s Law website, an Internet resource that carries the names of sex offenders.

Posted by kshaw at 05:07 PM

Choosing Her shepherds wisely

PROVIDENCE (RI)
The Cowl

By: Michael Rubin
Issue date: 11/3/05 Section: Commentary

Three weeks ago, Joe McCormack '07 questioned the justice of the upcoming Vatican document that is expected to bar homosexuals from the priesthood. After all, asked Joe, if these men promise to be chaste, what's the problem? He reasoned that to exclude such men from the priesthood is "profoundly un-Catholic."

He goes too far. The Church has both a right and a duty to be exacting in the selection of Her priests, especially when failure to do so could lead to scandal-as it plainly has with regard to the ordination of homosexuals in recent decades.

In any case, it seems that the anticipated "ban" will not be absolute. According toAbuse Tracker columnist John Allen, the document will call for restricting homosexuals who 1. have not lived celibately for three years, 2. are part of a "gay culture" (i.e. participating in gay pride rallies), or 3. have a homosexual orientation that is "strong, permanent, and univocal" enough to make a common life in a rectory with other men a risk. What's so unreasonable-or "un-Catholic"-about that?

The need for a policy that limits homosexuality within the priesthood is well demonstrated, especially in America. Investigative reporter Michael S. Rose, author of Goodbye, Good Men, has amply documented what he calls "the institutionalization of a gay subculture that has earned some seminaries nicknames such as the Pink Palace, Notre Flame, and Theological Closet." Upholding this culture is a homosexual network dubbed the "Lavender Mafia" which favors gays in admissions, ordinations and promotions and which covers up the frequent harassment-even sexual molestation- of straight, celibate men. It also retaliates against seminarians who complain by diagnosing them as "disintegrated personalities" and forcing them into psychological counseling, resulting in many lost vocations.

As I suggested earlier, the Church's sex abuse scandals clearly result from the presence of active homosexuals with blatant hostility toward priestly celibacy. Media claims to the contrary, the problem isn't pedophilia (adults having sex with children) but pederasty (homosexual sex with boys): Peter and Paul Catholic Ministries reports 95% of the victims since 1950 have been boys, not girls. For this reason alone, the Vatican is right to screen out openly gay seminary applicants.

Moreover, far from being "un-Catholic," such a policy is of long pedigree within the Church, and is based not so much on doctrine as on the practical wisdom She has gained over the centuries. On Feb. 2, 1961, for instance, the Sacred Congregation for Religious issued a document reiterating long-standing policy that "advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers." This is common sense: having a homosexual man share a rectory with other men would be as taxing to his chastity as living in a house full of women would be to a heterosexual.

Posted by kshaw at 05:02 PM

Priest and child porn

VIRGINIA
Loudon Times-Mirror

By Mark V. Serrano,Abuse Tracker Advocate for Child Sexual Abuse Victims, Board member, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Lansdowne
11/01/2005

There are many things that should concern parents and citizens about the child pornography case against the Rev. Father Robert Brooks, former pastor of Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg who will be sentenced Dec. 12 after pleading no contest to a child pornography charge.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials caught Father Brooks as “part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to safeguard children against Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, child sex tourists, and human traffickers.”

Child pornography is an inherently heinous crime. Those photographed boys and girls have, by definition, all been sexually exploited and abused even before the camera shutter goes off. Many are enslaved, drugged and forced into prostitution.

It is incumbent on Bishop Paul Loverde of the Arlington Diocese to take action to safeguard children immediately in the wake of Father Brooks’ prosecution.

Posted by kshaw at 04:56 PM

Bishop delayed handing over files to probe despite doubts

IRELAND
Irish Independent

BISHOP Eamonn Walsh knew of suspicions about a number of priests in Ferns in 2002.

But their files were not handed over to an inquiry until it almost collapsed in September.

Eight out of the 27 priests identified would not have been included in the report and its appendix had support organisation One in Four not contacted the inquiry, precipitating a last-minute trawl of diocesan documents on the order of Bishop Walsh.

This was done when the inquiry learned that not all documents concerning allegations or suspicions had been handed over.

The Irish Independent has learned that prior to being called to a plenary hearing of the inquiry, which was to consider the serious state the investigation had reached, the diocese had submitted a legal bill for €100,000 to cover its legal costs.

Posted by kshaw at 02:31 PM

Paedophile priest abused in Dundalk

IRELAND
The Anglo-Celt

Paedophile priest Fr Sean Fortune spent a year living outside Dundalk where, the Ferns Inquiry reveals, he abused at least one young boy.

The rogue priest had been sent to Mount Oliver after complaints had been made about his behaviour with boys in Belfast.

Concerns about the priest's fitness had been raised even before his ordination, with a psychiatrist deeming him unfit to be ordained and surfaced again when he was posted in Belfast. After his ordination Fr Fortune in Holy Rosary Parish in South Belfast served for less than a year in 1979.

Posted by kshaw at 02:28 PM

More Lawsuits Claim Sexual Abuse At Pueblo School

DENVER (CO)
TheDenverChannel.com

POSTED: 8:56 am MST November 3, 2005

DENVER -- More lawsuits were expected to be filed in Pueblo County District Court Thursday in connection with the sexual abuse allegations of five people who once attended the former Roncalli High School.

The suits are the latest in a series claiming abuse at the hands of Brother William Mueller, who served as a music director and religion instructor at the school.

A Miami law firm said that each of the five alleged victims whose suits were being pursued Thursday went to Roncalli during the late 1960s or early 1970s, before the school shut down in 1971.

The former students said that Mueller abused them in the band room or an office after asking them to take part in a science experiment on sleep.

Posted by kshaw at 02:21 PM

Bishop of Kilmore expresses shame at child sex abuse

IRELAND
The Anglo-Celt

By Sean McMahon

FOUR priests in the Diocese of Kilmore have been reported to the gardai over the years in relation to alleged child sexual abuse, while complaints about three others came to the attention of the diocese. Two of these were not deemed to give rise to reasonable suspicion that abuse had taken place. The earliest complaint dates back to 1947 while the remainder relate to dates in the late 1970’s early ‘80’s

However, one priest is currently being investigated by the Gardai and being processed according to the Church’s guidelines. Having conferred with the Gardai, informed the HSE, and taken the advice of the Advisory Panel, it was decided that the information, thus far available in the investigation, was insufficient to constitute a reasonable suspicion that abuse had occurred.

Bishop Leo O’Reilly told The Anglo Celt this week it is for this reason that the priest remains in ministry, pending the discovery by the Garda investigation of evidence that would give rise to reasonable suspicion, that abuse had occurred.

The number of priests living at the time a complaint was received and who stood aside from the Ministry, following a reasonable suspicion that child sexual abuse may have occurred is three.

Posted by kshaw at 02:18 PM

Fr. Fortune victim regrets not telling his story sooner

IRELAND
The Argus

Exclusive By Margaret Roddy

Peter, whose ordeal at the hands of Fr Fortune is detailed in the Ferns Inquiry, was just a thirteen year old Dundalk school boy when he came in contact with the notorious paedaeophile through a group called 'Youth Encounter'.

"It was a very enjoyable group and I loved going to it," he recalls."

A priest came along to help with the running of it, and his name was Fr Sean. He was very nice, very friendly and just seemed to take a shine to me. The next thing I knew, I came home from school one day and he was sitting in the living room and he got friendly with my family."

A retreat weekend was planned for Bellurgan and the young people were told that they would be staying with families out there.

"When I got there, there was no family for me, and I now wonder if there was never a family for me," says Peter.

Posted by kshaw at 02:17 PM

‘Ferns Report shamed me as your bishop’

IRELAND
The Kerryman

THE publication last week of the Ferns report shamed me as a man, a priest and as Bishop. There are no excuses. I am not going to offer any.

This should not have happened. Shame, disgust, pain, neglect and shock are all words that come to mind when I think of what took place.

The historical dealing with such abuse cases we now know was inexcusable in the extreme. We in the Church and indeed in the wider society who were placed in positions of power and trust, all failed in our primary duty to protect children. We must live with this shame and one day be answerable to God. Today, however, we must be answerable to the children, the State and to you.

Posted by kshaw at 02:15 PM

This must never again happen to our children

IRELAND
The Kerryman

The Ferns Report, delivered to the Minister for Health and Children, makes for shocking reading. Story after story of innocent victims — whose lives were devastated at the hands of more than 20 vile human beings — is compiled in a document that has rocked the Catholic Church like never before.

Through persistent media exposure, we have almost become accustomed to the issue of child sexual abuse within the Church.

Yet so harrowing was the detail and the meaning of the Ferns Report that it forced an entire nation to sit up and listen to people who, for years, were never heard.

The fallout from the report and the lessons and actions that follow in every diocese in the country have now come in for close scrutiny.

Posted by kshaw at 02:14 PM

Diocese sells off property; archdiocese settles 43 abuse claims

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic Explorer

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The clergy sex abuse crisis continued to have financial, legal and pastoral ramifications for U.S. Catholic dioceses, as one diocese sold off property, another settled some 43 claims after a more than two-year mediation process and a third faced a new claim stemming from an alleged incident in the 1980s.

Property owned by the Diocese of Providence, R.I., at the former Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick Neck was sold for $1.8 million, said Michael Sabatino, the diocese's chief financial officer. Known as the "caretaker's house," the property sits on 10 acres and is separated from the former seminary by a public street.

The property was sold to a private developer planning to subdivide the parcel into lots for private homes. "A condition of the sale was that homes would be consistent with the style present in the neighborhood," Sabatino said.

Assessed for $1.5 million, the property was part of the collateral used to secure a $15 million, three-year line of credit in 2002 used by Providence Bishop Robert E. Mulvee to settle dozens of lawsuits against the diocese brought by victims of clergy sex abuse. The diocese is in the process of renegotiating that line of credit.

Posted by kshaw at 02:12 PM

Sexual abuse: Bishop sets up new range of protection measures

IRELAND
The Sligo Champion

By HARRY KEANEY

Bishop Jones has also encouraged victims of abuse to report what happened to them, if they had not already done so.

"If you have suffered abuse from a priest or any church personnel and have not come forward with your story, I urge you to do so now," he said.

He again offered his apologies to any person of the diocese who had been sexually abused by a priest.

"We know that apologies must sound hollow for people who are suffering but this apology is made with the utmost sincerity," Bishop Jones said.

Posted by kshaw at 02:10 PM

Voices from hell

IRELAND
The Sligo Champion

Listening to a tormented priest on RTE radio confessing his innermost feelings of disgust and shame at the revelations contained in the Murphy Report into the rape and sexual abuse of children in the Diocese of Ferns gave some idea of how let down and isolated many of his colleagues feel at present.

He told of his mortification and fury - not to mention initial incredulity - at the sheer scale of what has been uncovered and admitted to the nation that he felt like simply staying on in bed when his alarm clock rang at 7 a.m., rather than having to face his parishioners on the morning after the report was published. He simply hadn't the heart to carry on, but eventually, he rose and, with head down, reluctantly went out into the world.

Among the many victims who have been scarred and brutalised by this appalling scandal - and there are many - it is easy to forget that ordinary priests going about their daily work, have been victims too.

Posted by kshaw at 02:09 PM

STATEMENT ON THE FERNS REPORT

IRELAND
Voice of the Faithful Ireland

by Francis D. Murphy, Helen Buckley, and Larain Joyce,
to the Irish Minister for Health and Children

The Ferns report marks the conclusive failure of the system and attitude by which our Church hierarchy have chosen to govern our Church since Vatican II. The failure to put in place structures that would have allowed a culture of openness, equal dignity, dialogue and enlightenment to develop has meant that a culture of deference, denial, inertia and secrecy was allowed to flourish in its place.

The full Ferns Report can be found at this link.
http://www.votf.org/Fern_Report/?tr=y&auid=1208055

Posted by kshaw at 02:07 PM

Former Sunday school teacher admits child molestation

BEND (OR)
East Oregonian

Associated Press

BEND (AP) — A former Sunday school teacher has pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexually abusing two girls, both under 12 years old.

Scott Rodger Stevenson, 34, of Bend, admitted to four counts of sodomy, eight counts of sexual abuse and one count of attempted unlawful sexual penetration, according to Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Kandy Gies.

A June indictment said Stevenson had sex with the girls between July 1, 2004 and July 9, 2005.

Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Kandy Gies declined to say if a plea bargain was involved.

Officials at Eastmont Church in Bend have confirmed that Stevenson taught Sunday school there for a few months, more than two years ago. Senior Pastor John Lodwick said the offenses were not committed at the church or at any church-related function.

Posted by kshaw at 01:36 PM

Delonga's Case: Statute Of Limitations

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

When a case like Judy Delonga's goes in front of the courts, the first thing a judge may look at is the statute of limitations. How long after the incident is the victim coming forward?

Federal law states that a child who is sexually abused has until their death to make a claim.

But South Dakota state law gives a victim of sexual abuse just 3 years to come forward from the time they were abused or from the time they recall the seriousness of the abuse. DeLonga's lawyer says that law needs to change.

Did Judy DeLonga's forty years of silence help Father Bruce MacArthur stay a free man?

According to South Dakota's statute of limitations...Yes.

Delonga's attorney Stephanie Pochop said, "It limits the rights of victims who often times like Judy suffer in silence for decades from being able to come forward and bring their claims in civil suits because of the way the statutes are drafted in South Dakota."

Pochop says her client's case should be used as an example to get the law changed.

"I think this is a tool we can use to have a voice with our legislature to take some recognition of that right now in the state of SD we have statutes of limitations which prevent admitted pedophile like the serial pedophile that abused Judy from being in prison and prosecuted criminally," said Pochup.

Posted by kshaw at 01:31 PM

Old Memo Ties Bronx School to Church Sex Scandal

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By ANDY NEWMAN
Published: November 3, 2005
All Hallows High School in the Bronx is a handsome brown-brick structure overlooking a park off the Grand Concourse, home to 530 students and to a reputation for academic success. Its link to a notoriously abusive orphanage in Canada, 1,500 miles away and long demolished, seems hard to fathom.

For decades, though, the school and the orphanage were owned by the same Roman Catholic order, the Congregation of Christian Brothers. And as lawsuits against the brothers over the orphanage scandal grind on, an internal Christian Brothers memo written 15 years ago surfaced on Tuesday in a complaint filed at a Bronx courthouse.

All Hallows High School was owned by the Christian Brothers, who were responsible for a notoriously abusive orphanage in Canada.
The internal memo, lawyers for orphanage victims charge, shows that the Christian Brothers' 1990 sale of All Hallows was a sham transaction designed to hide their ownership, part of a strategy to minimize the amount victims could recover in a suit.

The Bronx complaint asks a judge to rule that the high school, which a commercial real estate broker recently valued at between $3 million and $10 million, really belongs to the Christian Brothers after all. The school is not the subject of any abuse complaints, but to the orphanage victims, it is fair game.

Posted by kshaw at 01:27 PM

Forgive Us Our Sins

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
City Paper

by Mike Newall

It is the final Sunday in October, nearly six weeks since the District Attorney's office released its scathing report detailing how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia covered up four decades of sexual abuse and repeatedly protected pedophiles at the expense of children. In a recent missive to his flock, Cardinal Justin Rigali called on all area Catholics to come together to pray for the healing of victims and for the church itself.

Here at Old St. Mary's in Society Hill, morning sunlight streaks through the stained glass windows and across the wooden pews, illuminating the polished marble altar in a pool of white. The organist begins to play, the congregation stands and the Rev. Dominic Chiaravalle leads the entrance procession.

"The Cardinal has called for prayer and reparation," says Father Dom on the altar. "In the face of this current scandal, there must be more than prayer, there must be a firm commitment toward reform and renewal."

The pews are filled with roughly 100 worshipers, including representatives of four Catholic reform groups: The Association for The Rights of Catholics in the Church, Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful and Catholics Organized for Renewal. They are working toward more transparency and accountability in the church hierarchy, fuller lay participation in church leadership and justice for victims. They will hold a vigil this Saturday outside the Cardinal's City Line Avenue residence, calling on him to support a change in the statue of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse. None of the groups are based out of Old St. Mary's. Father Dom invited them to this Mass.

Posted by kshaw at 01:23 PM

Former Alaska priest faces more accusations of sexual abuse

ALASKA
KTUU

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - by Megan Baldino

Anchorage, Alaska - Rev. James Poole and the Catholic Church of Fairbanks are facing another lawsuit tonight.

Poole (left) is a former Alaska priest who has been accused by several women of sexually abusing them as children. According to a complaint filed in Nome Superior Court today, the woman, only identified as Jane Doe IV, claims Poole sexually abused her when she was seven years old, which was in 1968 or 1969.

The complaint alleges that Poole told Jane Doe IV that they were going to “play doctor” after catechism class. It goes on to say Poole attempted to touch her before she got scared and insisted on going into another room.

Her attorney says this latest case is significant. “She's the first one to tell us that he used catechism to access children. He taught catechism for a long time in several places. I suspect that there are a number of other women who were molested as children by Father Poole when they were in catechism,” said Ken Roosa (right), the plaintiff's attorney.

Posted by kshaw at 12:53 PM

Solicitors face grilling on overcharging claims by abuse victims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE LAW Society is preparing to quiz solicitors from 60 law firms after receiving a total of 125 complaints of overcharging from abuse survivors.

Some 46 solicitors have already been asked to appear before specially convened meetings of the society's complaints committee in the wake of the flood of allegations of overcharging.

To date, 125 complaints have been received by the lawyers' representative body, with claims solicitors acting for abuse survivors took a cut of the award made by the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB).

Law Society director general, Ken Murphy, last night told the Irish Independent that the meetings - scheduled to take place over the next 10 days - had been organised through a "fast-track" process to speed up the procedure.

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

Solicitors’ firms asked to attend complaints hearings

IRELAND
IOL

03/11/2005 - 10:42:50

A total of 46 solicitors' firms have reportedly been asked to attend meetings of a Law Society committee investigating complaints relating to child abuse cases.

The committee was established to investigation allegations that some solicitors were over-charging abuse victims seeking compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Board.

Posted by kshaw at 07:54 AM

School teacher in court on sexual abuse charges

NEW ZEALAND
The New Zealand Herald

03.11.05 12.05pm

A former teacher at a Catholic boys' school near Feilding appeared in Lower Hutt District Court today on sexual abuse charges.

The man, 66-year-old John Louis Stevenson, has been charged with six counts of indecent assault and one of inducing a boy to do an indecent act.

The offending is alleged to have occurred in the 1970s and 1980s while he was teaching at Hato Paora College.

The man has been remanded on bail until December 1.

His arrest came as part of an investigation by Upper Hutt police earlier this year which resulted in former brother Andrew Cody being jailed for 2-1/2 years for sexually abusing sick and vulnerable boys in his care at the same Catholic boys' school.

Posted by kshaw at 07:50 AM

Former Catholic teacher bailed over sex abuse charges

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

Posted at 8:31pm on 3 Nov 2005

A retired Catholic teacher today appeared in court charged with sexual abuse at a Manawatu school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

John Stevenson, 68, who lives in Wellington, is charged with six counts of indecent assault and one of inducing a boy to perform a sexual act.

According to the charges, the assaults were against three pupils aged between 14 and 16, while the accused, also known as Brother Bernard, was a teacher at Hato Paora Maori Boys College in Fielding.

Posted by kshaw at 07:46 AM

Woman files fifth claim against Jesuit priest

ALASKA
OregonLive

11/2/2005, 5:50 p.m. PT
By MARK THIESSEN
The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A woman filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming a Jesuit priest used his position as a catechism teacher in Nome nearly four decades ago to sexually harass her.

It's the fifth allegation lodged against the Rev. James Poole, 82, who worked for much of his 40-year career in rural Alaska. Two of the claims have been settled for more than $1 million.

The latest plaintiff, referred to only as Jane Doe 4, is not Catholic but her parents urged the girl — then 7 — to attend catechism classes in either 1968 or 1969 for moral instruction, according to the lawsuit filed in Nome.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 AM

Church Letters Point To History Of Abuse

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

Did the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese know about Father Bruce MacArthur's long history of sex abuse, but chose to cover it up?

That's what one of his victims is claiming tonight. Judy DeLonga reached an out of court settlement with the catholic church in a civil lawsuit that accused MacArthur of raping and sexually abusing her for several years.

But according to internal church documents supplied to us by DeLonga's attorney, DeLonga wasn't the only victim and the church may have done little to protect other children.

Judy DeLonga was only 10 years old when Father Bruce MacArthur began raping her.

"The abuse was severe and frequent, it was rape and he continued to stalk me for years after he left town," said DeLonga.

Posted by kshaw at 07:37 AM

Archbishop of Tuam apologises to child abuse victims

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

BY MARY O'CONNOR

The Archbishop of Tuam has apologised to child abuse victims and their families who suffered lasting hurt after being abused by priests.

Speaking in his homily at Tuam Cathedral on Sunday, Archbishop Michael Neary deplored the behaviour of these men.

"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. I pray for those who have suffered abuse, that they will be able to achieve healing and peace in their lives. I pray also that those who have abused will realise the terrible harm they have done and will seek pardon for their sins."

Child abuse allegations have been made against 19 priests (six of whom are now deceased) in the Tuam archdiocese, according to the Catholic Communications office. The earliest date of alleged abuse was 1940. Allegations have also been made against seven priests (one of whom is deceased) of other dioceses who held appointments or occasionally ministered in the Tuam archdiocese. One allegation has been made against a priest whom it was not possible to identify.

Posted by kshaw at 07:33 AM

Judy DeLonga Breaks 40 Years Of Silence

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

For 40 years, she kept quiet about her dark past, but tonight a woman who was sexually abused by a former South Dakota catholic priest breaks her silence.

Judy Delonga reached an out-of-court settlement with the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese in her civil lawsuit, claiming she was repeatedly raped as a child by Father Bruce MacArthur.

Terms of the settlement are not being made public, but Judy DeLonga's attorney tells me it's substantial. But for Judy DeLonga this case wasn't about money, she says it was about justice, healing and protecting others from a man she says betrayed her trust.

An emotional Judy DeLonga could barely get the words out. Surrounded by her supporters, DeLonga spoke in front of the federal courthouse, letting out 40 years of penned-up pain.

"The abuse was severe and frequent, it was rape and he continued to stalk me for years after he left town," said DeLonga.

DeLonga was only ten years old when Father Bruce MacArthur began his sexual attacks, once even while she was in the hospital.

Posted by kshaw at 07:27 AM

Priests were put on a pedestal but now need to learn from critics

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Rónán Mullen
BY a remarkable coincidence the readings provided by the Catholic Church throughout the world for last Sunday’s masses were an ideal scene-setter for priests intending to preach about the Ferns report.

This is the case even if the relevant passages made uncomfortable reading for Church leaders everywhere.

The readings for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time came from the prophet Malachi and the Gospel according to St Matthew.

Malachi has the Lord giving a stern warning to priests: “And now, priests, this warning is for you ... You have strayed from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your teaching ... And so I, in my turn, have made you contemptible and vile in the eyes of the whole people...”

In the Gospel reading, Jesus was giving a roasting to the Scribes and Pharisees, the Jewish religious leaders of his day. “You must do what they tell you and listen to what they say,” he says, “but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practice what they preach.”

Posted by kshaw at 07:22 AM

Sligo priest who quit over sex abuse claims may be subject of US lawsuit

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By John Breslin
A CO SLIGO priest who stood aside pending an investigation into allegations of sexual assault is believed to have been the subject of a civil action in the United States.

The priest agreed to stand down pending the completion of an investigation into allegations which date back to the 1960s.

Sixteen complaints of child abuse have been made against nine priests in the Diocese of Elphin, the fourth highest number in the country.

Complaints were filed in the US against a priest with the same name as the Sligo clergyman who is now being investigated.

A civil suit was filed in 2002 against the priest. A woman alleged her son and daughter were abused by him in the 1960s in the US.

Posted by kshaw at 07:19 AM

Woman files fifth claim against Jesuit priest

ALASKA
KGW

11/03/2005

By MARK THIESSEN / Associated Press

A woman filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming a Jesuit priest used his position as a catechism teacher in Nome nearly four decades ago to sexually harass her.

It's the fifth allegation lodged against the Rev. James Poole, 82, who worked for much of his 40-year career in rural Alaska. Two of the claims have been settled for more than $1 million.

The latest plaintiff, referred to only as Jane Doe 4, is not Catholic but her parents urged the girl — then 7 — to attend catechism classes in either 1968 or 1969 for moral instruction, according to the lawsuit filed in Nome.

The woman claims during her second class, Poole took her into a separate room, placed her on his lap and raised his cassock to expose his genitals, court documents say.

Posted by kshaw at 07:15 AM

Journey From Hell Began `So Long Ago'

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

November 3, 2005

`Father Lou" Paturzo answered his door and led me to a couch in the lobby of his apartment building.

Three years ago, when complaints surfaced that he fondled two boys in the early 1970s, he said he'd spent nearly three decades in Hartford working with troubled kids toward some kind of redemption, toward forgiveness.

Tuesday night he started down the same path, talking about his work with former convicts. The Hartford Archdiocese had just announced its $22 million agreement to settle claims of sexual abuse by 14 priests, including Paturzo.

But I wasn't there for that. I knocked on his door for something else.

Do you remember Jim Hackett, I asked him?

Do you remember what you did to him?

Walk me through this, I asked. For all of us struggling to understand how men of the cloth can do this, walk me through the kind of mental gymnastics it takes to justify, to excuse, to explain, to live with their actions.

Posted by kshaw at 07:12 AM

Priest abuse

ALASKA
KTVA

By Ben Deci

He founded Nome's radio station; the Archdiocese of Fairbanks; and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.

But, there is a sinister side to Father James Poole's biography. The noted Northern Alaska Leader is now facing a fourth suit alleging sexual abuse of a parishioner.

If the allegations are true, this would be Father Poole's youngest victim to come forward. In the suit, she’s called Jane Doe Four. She claims the abuse happened at a Catholic school session when she was seven- years-old.

The woman says Father Poole pulled her into a side room and exposed himself by lifting his robe. Then he allegedly, tried touching her. According to the suit, the alleged acts happened in the late 1960's, which, was right at the beginning of Father Poole's 40-year tenure in Northern Alaska.

"What’s really frightening about this--not only is the youngest child victim of Father Poole that we've come across. This is the first victim that has told us the he used his status as a catechism teacher to access children,” said attorney, Ken Roosa.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 AM

Bishop apologizes for missing abuse clues

WISCONSIN
St. Paul Pioneer Press

BY KEVIN HARTER
Pioneer Press

The bishop who oversees the Superior Diocese publicly apologized this week for not paying closer attention to the Rev. Ryan Erickson, the priest believed to have killed two men in Hudson, Wis.

But the statement Tuesday by Bishop Raphael Fliss to parishioners in Hurley, Wis., didn't satisfy relatives of one of the slain men. Instead, family members on Wednesday criticized the bishop for not speaking directly to them about the killings of James Ellison and Dan O'Connell on Feb. 5, 2002.

"I don't expect an apology. I expect a confession. I want to know what he did and why he did it," said Janet O'Connell, speaking at her kitchen table in Hudson with St. Paul-based attorney Jeff Anderson by her side.

The statements by Janet O'Connell, mother of the slain man, and other members of the O'Connell family came two days after they held a news conference criticizing Fliss and calling for the Catholic Church to ensure that abusive priests are screened out in seminary and prosecuted if they commit crimes.

Posted by kshaw at 07:00 AM

13 sex abuse allegations against Galway

IRELAND
Galway Independent

by Jo Lavelle

There have been 13 allegations of child sexual abuse involving six priests in the Galway Diocese since 1950.

The figures come following the publication of the Ferns Report last week, which revealed an unprecedented number of priests accused of child sex abuse.

A spokesperson for the Galway Diocese told the Galway Independent that of the six priests involved in the allegations, two have since died, one has retired, one is out of ministry and two are currently in ministry.

In relation to the two priests who are still in ministry, the spokesperson said that following a thorough investigation where there was found to be no foundations to the allegations, the men were allowed to continue in ministry.

One priest who was the subject of a criminal charge in respect of child sex abuse was convicted in the courts.

The spokesperson said that no civil actions were pending and that all alleged cases had been thoroughly investigated by the civil authorities in the diocese. No money in settlement, compensation or otherwise had been paid out in regard to any allegations of child sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by kshaw at 06:57 AM

The more things change …

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

Dianne Williamson
dwilliamson@telegram.com

T&G STAFF

Nine days ago, the lawyer for the Rev. James J. Aquino took to the pulpit at Our Lady of Loreto Church — in itself, a rather extraordinary scenario — and told hundreds of parishioners that their bishop was satisfied with the disposition of his client’s criminal case.

“The bishop has been very supportive of Father and very pleased with how the matter was handled,” attorney Anthony A. Froio said, adding that Bishop Robert J. McManus saw no need to discipline the priest and considered the matter closed.

The lawyer’s statements, along with Rev. Aquino’s repeated assurances that the case is indeed “over and done with,” were clearly delivered with the full knowledge and support of Bishop McManus, who had previously ordered Rev. Aquino to keep quiet about an incident that could cause deep embarrassment to the diocese.

Now, nine months after the bishop learned that the priest had been charged with performing a public sex act in Las Vegas, we learn that the bishop’s investigative skills are sorely lacking. According to the bishop, he didn’t have the “whole truth” until a few days ago, even though he spoke with Las Vegas officials in February. Until now, he thought his decision to take no action against Father Aquino was appropriate.

“But that has now changed,” he said. Suddenly, the bishop believes that the Aquino case is “a source of grave scandal” for the church.

Help me out here. I understand that Bishop McManus is no Bob Woodward, but the case against Rev. Aquino was as straightforward as it comes. According to Las Vegas police, the longtime priest was seen masturbating another man in an adult oriented store in October 2004. He was cited for lewd conduct. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was ordered to perform community service. On Sept. 6, the case was dismissed.

The only thing “that has now changed” is that the story broke and the diocese could no longer cover up the incident — which only shows that nothing has changed in a church that has once again failed to honestly face its demons.

On Sunday, days after Father Aquino’s transgression was reported in the local media, Bishop McManus addressed parishioners at Our Lady of Loreto and announced that the priest would be removed as pastor pending an internal “canonical investigation,” the workings of which are private. But there was never anything private about the facts of this case, which were disseminated to Bishop McManus by the district attorney of Clark County, Nev., and even posted on the Internet.

Still, the bishop indicated to parishioners Sunday that he relied on Rev. Aquino’s lawyer for information, even though he apparently had easy access to Las Vegas authorities. I know the media did; a spokesman for the Las Vegas police told me last week that the priest “essentially got caught up in a raid” after he paid $8 to enter an adult store and was spotted by vice squad detectives masturbating another man.

“I am keenly aware of your disappointment,” the bishop told the parish, which days earlier had given Rev. Aquino a standing ovation after he vehemently denied engaging in any sex act. “I hope you also know that these painful burdens have weighed on me as well, especially since I have tried my best to discern the truth.”

Has he? How? What new facts have come to his attention? Why is his perception of events so drastically altered? What has now changed? If he didn’t have an adequate grasp of the case, why didn’t he? If he did, why the failure to act sooner?

Efforts to put these questions to Bishop McManus have been unsuccessful, despite requests for interviews through his spokesman, Raymond Delisle, and his secretary, the Rev. Rocco Piccolomini, who yesterday said the bishop “has commitments out of state” and could not be reached.

Meanwhile, many in the parish have indicated that they’re willing to forgive Rev. Aquino, which is certainly a fine thing. But shouldn’t people first know what they’re forgiving? Rev. Aquino continues to deny everything except his presence in the porn shop and has blamed the scandal on cops trying to target a Catholic priest, but the bishop apparently no longer believes him, if he ever did.

As we say in the secular world, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. Different people may render different judgments on what is essentially a victimless crime, committed by a priest who pledged the near-impossible vow of chastity and is thus driven to a rather sad form of sexual relief. One can only speculate as to how often such acts are committed by lonely priests. But the diocese has failed to be forthcoming and has apparently learned nothing from past mistakes. Instead, its image is paramount.

“From the calls and communications I have received this week I know that many are disappointed,” Bishop McManus said on Sunday. “They’ve been taught to expect better.”

Really? So far in the Aquino case, diocesan officials have lied, denied, mishandled, covered up, blamed clergy haters, issued shallow apologies, offered lame excuses, and finally realized the gravity of the scandal only after they could no longer contain it.

Sadly, I’d say this is exactly what people have been taught to expect from the Catholic Church.

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

Posted by kshaw at 06:54 AM

New abuse suit filed against priest

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
Anchorage Daily News

Published: November 3, 2005
Last Modified: November 3, 2005 at 02:31 AM

A new lawsuit contends that a Catholic priest exposed himself and sexually abused a girl back in 1968 or 1969 when she was 7 years old.

The complaint, filed Wednesday in Nome Superior Court, follows three other lawsuits and an out-of-court case against retired priest James Poole.

The new suit also names the Fairbanks Diocese, the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province and the Society of Jesus, Alaska, as defendants.

The Catholic Church already has settled two of the cases against Poole. With the new complaint, three lawsuits now are pending against him.

The suit was filed on behalf of Jane Doe 4, who didn't want to use her real name because of the sensitive nature of the complaint, as is typical in civil suits alleging sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 06:45 AM

Holy Cross protest resumes

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Kathleen A. Shaw TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kshaw@telegram.com

WORCESTER— Several members of a Boston-based group called Speak Truth to Power joined the Rev. Robert M. Hoatson yesterday in another demonstration outside the gates of the College of the Holy Cross in their quest to have the name of the Millard Art Center changed.

Rev. Hoatson, a Catholic priest in the Newark, N.J., Diocese, is representing Patricia A. Cahill of Lancaster, Pa., who said she was sexually abused as a child by the priest for whom the center is named. She said the late Daniel F.M. Millard, her uncle, abused her. The Diocese of Camden, N.J., agreed to pay for counseling after she reported the abuse to officials there.

Rev. Hoatson said that Ms. Cahill received a personal apology from Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden for the abuse.

The Millard family, which was responsible for the art center, has steadfastly denied the allegations made against Rev. Millard, and Holy Cross has declined to make the name change. The family of Rev. Millard is being joined in its defense of the late priest by Frank Marshall Sr. of Tiverton, R.I., who was Rev. Millard’s roommate at Holy Cross.

The Millard family has also found another ally in the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., a nationally-known priest who is active in peace and social justice issues.

Rev. Hoatson, president of Rescue & Recovery International, said he believes Ms. Cahill was abused by Rev. Millard and supports her quest to have the name of the center changed. He has vowed to hold regular demonstrations outside of the college gates until the name is changed.

Ruth Moore of Hull, who is active with Speak Truth to Power, organized a small group to come out from the Boston area to support Ms. Cahill and Rev. Hoatson. Joined by Paul Kellen of Medford, Eileen Doherty of Hingham and Richard Arroreo of Boston, she said they have been traveling around the Northeast to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse. They recently demonstrated in Albany, N.Y., and have been to Portland, Maine, and Manchester, N.H.

The group was started in 2002 to demonstrate at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston after the sexual abuse scandal erupted there. George “Skip” Shea of Uxbridge, who is active with Worcester Voice of the Faithful, also joined the group, along with Mary T. Jean of Leominster, who runs the Worcester Voice Web site.

“Business As Usual Means more Abused Children,” read the sign held by Mr. Kellen. He said the church needs to do more to ensure the safety of children.

Mr. Marshall said his friendship with the late Rev. Millard goes back to the 1940s when they were classmates at St. Joseph High School in Paterson, N.J. They both went on to Holy Cross and were roommates, he said. “When you share a room with a man for two years you get to know him pretty well,” Mr. Marshall said.

Mr. Marshall said he never heard “even a hint” that Rev. Millard abused girls until reading news articles about it beginning last July when Ms. Cahill announced that she wanted the art center name changed.

He said Rev. Millard was a member of “a prominent New Jersey family” who was “accustomed to the good things in life.” But after ordination he asked to be assigned to a ghetto parish in Camden, N.J., Mr. Marshall said. He added that when the priest died in 1972 after 21 years the churches were filled with people for his wake and funeral. “How could a man labeled ‘serial pedophile’ by one of his detractors ever have inspired such love and respect? It’s simply not in the cards,” he said.

Rev. Berrigan told Rev. Hoatson by letter that “a knowledgeable and trusted friend” from Camden investigated the allegations. “He could find nothing of what you are pleased to call ‘Daniel’s abusive nature,’ ” he told Rev. Hoatson.

Posted by kshaw at 06:34 AM

November 02, 2005

Bishop apologizes to local parish

HURLEY (WI)
Ironwood Daily Globe

By MARGARET LEVRA
Globe Staff Writer

HURLEY -- A closer relationship between the Superior Diocese and its parishioners is necessary, Bishop Rafael Fliss told about 50 people Tuesday night.

They gathered at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hurley to talk about the late Rev. Ryan Erickson and the recent determination that he probably murdered a Hudson, Wis., funeral home director and his intern in February 2002.

"It is highly unusual for a bishop to stand up in front of his people with humility and say, 'I messed up bad and I need your help to make sure it doesn't happen again,'" said the Rev. Michael Hayden, pastor at St. Mary's. "He was sincere in seeking the help of all of us.

"We're looking at a serious oversight here. He (Fliss) needs the advice of a broad base of the diocese. He needs to pay attention to the people," Hayden said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:51 PM

Pastor pleads not guilty to sex charge

WEST BEND (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By DAN BENSON
dbenson@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 1, 2005
West Bend - A local youth pastor on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges that he attempted to solicit sex on the Internet from someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy but was instead an undercover police officer in New Hampshire.

Russell F. Roelke, 45, also posted $50,000 bond on Monday and was released from the Washington County Jail, nearly a month after he was charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement, exposing a child to harmful material and possession of child pornography, all of which are felonies.

If convicted on all counts, Roelke could be imprisoned up to 57 years.

Until his arrest, Roelke was employed as director of youth and children's ministries by Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church in West Bend for 2 1/2 years, the church's pastor, the Rev. Jon Claude Bartlett, said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:19 PM

Families not pleased with Bishop's apology for Erickson

WISCONSIN
CBS 5

Updated: 11/02/2005 12:41:15 PM

The bishop who was in charge of the Rev. Ryan Erickson apologized last night for Erickson's actions.

A judge has ruled that Erickson likely killed two people three years ago at a funeral home in Hudson. Erickson committed suicide at that church last December, just days after authorities questioned him in the murders of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison.

Bishop Raphael Fliss faced parishioners at St Mary's church in Hurley, Wis. last night. Fliss tried to urge his parishioners to look to the future, but they urged him to take responsibility of his priests. At the meeting, the bishop admitted he failed and took responsibility for the actions of Erickson.

"I look back on it and I have to say that I certainly failed. I should have gone further and inquired more," Fliss said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:11 PM

When Catholics have to choose

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By DONNA GENTILE O'DONNELL

THE RATZINGER brothers "made a different choice."

These were the words of Elizabeth Lohner, lifelong resident of Traunstein, Germany, the hometown of Joseph, now Pope Benedict, Ratzinger. As reported earlier this year in the Sunday Times World, Lohner, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, doesn't buy the line adopted by the Ratzinger brothers and their Vatican allies.

The Ratzinger defenders claim that conscription into Hitler's war machine was inevitable, and resistance was impossible. Lohner, a Ratzinger neighbor said, "It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others. The Ratzingers were young and had made a different choice."

The concept of choices made and examples set is important in understanding the deep-seated corruption that is now evidenced in the pedophilia grand jury documentation. These cardinals, alleged moral leaders, elected Ratzinger - a man surrounded by astonishing acts of evil against his neighbors, and who was incapable of personal risk to resist.

We shouldn't be surprised that the men who elected him did the same. Philadelphia's Cardinal Rigali, a participant in the election of Ratzinger as pope, continues to publicly demonstrate his lack of moral compass, despite some recent public efforts to try to ease t