Priest Returns to Cincinnati Amid Allegations

CINCINNATI
City Beat

For the second time in three years, a Catholic priest has been pulled from parish duties from out of state and returned to Greater Cincinnati following allegations of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Robert F. Poandl was relieved of his ministry assignment as pastor of Glenmary missions in Georgia earlier this month and ordered to return to the Glenmary Home Missioners residence in Fairfield.

The action was taken after the Rev. Chet Artysiewicz, Glenmary president, was informed of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a minor against Poandl. The abuse allegedly occurred about 30 years ago. Poandl, who is 70, has denied the allegation but isn’t allowed to publicly function as a Catholic priest during the investigation process, Artysiewicz said.

Artysiewicz is Poandl’s direct supervisor.

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Mark Driscoll Gets Emotional in Sermon on Sexual Assault

SEATTLE (WA)
The Christian Post

By Lillian Kwon, Christian Post Reporter

February 27, 2012

It was the one sermon Mark Driscoll never wanted to preach. But on Sunday, the Seattle pastor stood in front of thousands and delivered an emotional sermon on sexual assault, which his wife is a victim of.

Sexual assault is an epidemic, Driscoll emphasized to Mars Hill Church. And to ignore it is to create a church culture where people can’t be honest about what’s been happening to them.

Displaying the weightiness and sensitivity of the topic, Driscoll shed a few tears throughout the sermon, which he based off of chapter seven of his latest book, Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together. The only time he gets emotional, he pointed out, is when women and children are in danger.

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NORMAN REDWING v. CATHOLIC BISHOP FOR THE DIOCESE OF MEMPHIS

TENNESSEE
Supreme Court of Tennessee

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE
AT JACKSON
April 7, 2011 Session

NORMAN REDWING v. CATHOLIC BISHOP FOR THE
DIOCESE OF MEMPHIS

Appeal by Permission from the Court of Appeals, Middle Section
Circuit Court for Shelby County
No. CT-005052-08 D’Army Bailey, Judge
No. W2009-00986-SC-R11-CV – Filed February 27, 2012

This appeal involves a dispute regarding the civil liability of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis for acts of child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by one of its priests in the 1970s. A victim of this alleged abuse filed suit against the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in the Circuit Court for Shelby County seeking monetary damages. The Diocese moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine deprived state courts of subject matter jurisdiction and that the victim’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The trial court denied the Diocese’s motion. The Court of Appeals held that the statute of limitations had run on the victim’s claims and that the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine barred state courts from considering the victim’s negligent hiring and retention claims but not the negligent supervision claims. Redwing v. Catholic Bishop for Diocese of Memphis, No. W2009-00986-COA-R10-CV, 2010 WL 2106222 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 27, 2010). We granted the victim’s Tenn. R. App. P. 11 application for permission to appeal. We have concluded that the Court of Appeals erred by concluding that the state courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over the victim’s claims and that the victim’s claims are barred by the statute of limitations.

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Tennessee Supreme Court OKs Memphis Diocese Sex Abuse Case

TENNESSEE
Nashville Scene

[court decision]

Posted by Jonathan Meador on Mon, Feb 27, 2012

Sexual abuse proceedings against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis can now continue following an order issued today by the state’s highest court.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the charges brought by Norman Redwing, a Memphis man who alleges he was sexually abused in the 1970s by Father Milton Guthrie, a now-deceased diocesan priest, can continue by effectively detonating one of the church’s prized legal tactics — dubbed ecclesiastical abstention doctrine — which conveniently obstructs legal discovery by shielding the church behind First Amendment protections and allow it to party like it’s 1399.

From a press release (bold emphasis Pith’s) released today by the Supreme Court:

The Diocese asked the trial court to dismiss the case, arguing that the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine deprives state courts of jurisdiction over cases against the church and that the victim’s claims were barred by statute of limitations. The Supreme Court determined that religious organizations are not shielded from suits involving property rights, torts (like Redwing’s claims) and criminal conduct as long as the court can resolve the dispute by applying neutral legal principles and is not required to rely on religious doctrine to decide the case.

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3 former Palma High School teachers accused of sex abuse

SALINAS (CA)
KSBW

Three former Palma High School staff members have been accused of sexually molesting children in the past.

Palma High in Salinas is one of many schools in the Irish Christian Brothers school network that’s being accused of hiring and harboring men convicted of, or credibly accused of, child sexual abuse.

A letter is being sent out to Palma alumni this week that states alumni have until Aug. 1 to file lawsuit claims if they were sexually abused, and the Irish Christian Brothers network is declaring bankruptcy.

Joelle Casteix, the regional director of Survivors Network Of Those Abused By Priests, spoke to reporters in front of the private and prestigious all-boys school on Monday.

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Names of former Palma High employees accused of child molestation reveal

CALIFORNIA
The Californian

The names of three former Palma High School employees accused or convicted of sexually abusing students were revealed today at a news conference in front of the Salinas private school.

The names come from two sources: a spokeswoman for SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — and a written statement from Palma High Principal Patrick D. Dunne.

According to Dunne, the three former employees are:
>> Gerald Funcheon, 1984-85
>> Jerome Heustis, 1976-82
>> Robert Brouilette, 1964-68.

SNAP, an advocacy group founded on behalf of supporting sex abuse victims, revealed the names in an effort to urge anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and make a claim against the Irish Christian Brothers, a New York-based Catholic order that runs dozens of schools in across the US – including Palma High. The order has declared bankruptcy and, according to federal bankruptcy rules, a deadline of Aug. 1 has been set for anyone wanting to make a claim against them.

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Former Damien Memorial High Employee in Trouble Again… Alleged Child Abuse in California

CALIFORNIA
Damon Tucker: Hawaii News and Island Information

Posted on February 27, 2012 by Damon

Well it looks like former Damien Memorial High employee Rev. Gerald Funcheon is in trouble again.

…Another of the named men is the Rev. Gerald Funcheon. Palma President Brother Patrick Dunne confirmed Friday that Funcheon was chaplain and taught at the school from 1984 to 1985. Newport Beach attorney Mike Reck said he is preparing a lawsuit and bankruptcy claim on behalf of a former Palma student who alleges he was molested by Funcheon.

Funcheon was a Crosier priest from Minnesota who had been banished from the Diocese of Indianapolis after allegations of sexual abuse, according to Joelle Casteix, regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which has called this morning’s press conference.

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Savannah Catholic Diocese Named in Lawsuit on Sex Abuse

SAVANNAH (GA)
WSAV

By: JoAnn Merrigan | WSAV-TV
Published: February 27, 2012

(Savannah, GA) The Catholic Diocese of Savannah is being named in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a former priest. The Diocese website confirms the suit was filed in Jasper County, South Carolina.

Accordinging to the website, the suit alleges sexual abuse of a minor over 25 years ago by father Wayland Y. Brown. The Diocese, Raymond W. Lessard, bishop at the time, and current Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer are named as defendants.

According to the Diocese: Bishop Lessard removed Brown from active ministry in 1988. In 2003, Brown was convicted in Maryland on charges of child molestation. He served five years of a 10-year sentence. In 2004 a decree from the Vatican imposed laicization upon Brown. (reduced to lay status.)

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Ex-police chief to lead KC diocese review board

KANSAS CITY (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Associated Press | Posted: Monday, February 27, 2012

Retired Kansas City police chief James D. Corwin has been appointed chairman of a board dealing with sex abuse allegations in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese.

The diocese announced in a news release Monday that Corwin will succeed Jin Caccamo, who resigned in early February from the Independent Review Board.

The seven-member board assesses child sexual abuse allegations and makes recommendations to the bishop on how they should be handled. The board works with an ombudsman, who investigates reports of sexual misconduct by clergy, employees or volunteers in the diocese.

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Retired KC police chief to head Catholic review board

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star

Former Kansas City Police Chief Jim Corwin has agreed to lead a local Catholic board that investigates allegations of child sexual abuse within the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Corwin said he was humbled to take the position.

“This is both an honor and an obligation,” he said in a written statement. “I believe that my service will be worthy work for our community.”

The diocese’s seven-member Independent Review Board investigates allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against priests or deacons and makes recommendations to the bishop as to whether the subject should be retained in the ministry or removed.

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Greg Jarrett Says Everybody Loves Cardinal Timothy Dolan? Really?

UNITED STATES
NewsHounds

Fox “News” does love culture war wedge issues which they can spin into “controversies” and “outrages” that are used to further divide the world into their dualistic world view of good vs. evil. Fox has designated the management of the Empire State Building as part of the evil forces (could it be Satan?) that are continuously fighting against the forces of good. The “outrage” is their refusal to light up their building to honor NY’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Head of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, whose claim to speak for Catholics is dubious, says Catholics are angry. Never wanting to waste an opportunity to pander to victimized Christians, Fox News (Dolan’s personal network) is running with the outrage meme. Last Friday, Megyn Kelly and Donahue got a tad apopletic over this issue. And on Saturday’s news block, this topic was part of Heather Childers’ women’s panel. But when Childers tossed to Greg Jarrett, all semblance of journalistic objectivity flew out the window with an amazingly idiotic quote from Jarrett.

Childers’ panel, a regular feature on Saturday afternoons, is a decent piece of TV journalism as there is always at least one non right wing partisan in the group. The discussions cover a variety of topics. Jehmu Greene and Sally Kohn had no problem with the Empire State decision, as, they say, it is a private business. Andrea Tantaros disagreed. Nothing surprising here. But when Childers tossed over to Jarrett, he whined about how this is a lousy decision because “everybody,” not just Catholics and New Yorkers, “loves Cardinal Dolan.” Really?

First of all, the issue doesn’t seem to be resonating beyond the pale of Fox News and Donahue’s “Catholic League.” I daresay that your average American probably doesn’t even know who Dolan is. I also daresay that many Catholics probably don’t even know who their own bishop is. But it is apparent that there are some who actually don’t like Dolan. The pro-choice community is aware that he is a point person in the resistance to the HHS contraception mandate and they aren’t too pleased about what is considered another assault on women’s reproductive rights by the Catholic Church. And David Clohessy, the executive director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said, about Dolan, that “He’s charming and affable but as bad or worse than most bishops when it comes to clergy sex crimes and coverups.” Clohessy’s group accuse Dolan of being “deceitful and secret” in allowing an accused sexually abusive priest to resign rather than deal with the problem.

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Identities revealed of three former Palma employees accused of child sexual abuse

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

[with video]

The Herald has confirmed the identities of the three religious employees who will be “outed” at a press conference this morning by a group that claims Palma High is one of many Irish Christian Brothers schools that harbored men convicted or credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

Not all of the men are accused of molesting boys at Palma, whose students have until Aug. 1 to come forward with any claims of abuse or lose their right to do so. The court-ordered deadline comes from the federal court where the Irish Christian Brothers and the Christian Brothers Institute of New York have declared bankruptcy in the wake of mounting abuse allegations.

One of the men, Brother Jerome Heustis, was Palma’s principal for six years in the 1980s. He has been accused by at least two boys, one of whom, Robert Hoatson, is suing Heustis and is a creditor in the bankruptcy case. Hoatson is expected to be present for this mornings’ press conference, scheduled for 11:45 a.m in front of Palma.

Another of the named men is the Rev. Gerald Funcheon. Palma President Brother Patrick Dunne confirmed Friday that Funcheon was chaplain and taught at the school from 1984 to 1985. Newport Beach attorney Mike Reck said he is preparing a lawsuit and bankruptcy claim on behalf of a former Palma student who alleges he was molested by Funcheon.

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Tenn. Supreme Court: Abuse Case Can Proceed

TENNESSEE
Memphis Daily News

By Bill Dries

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Monday, Feb. 27, that allegations of child sexual abuse 40 years ago involving the Catholic Diocese of Memphis can go forward.

The ruling in the case of Norman Redwing vs. The Memphis Catholic Diocese reverses a state appeals court ruling and upholds the original ruling by Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey.

Bailey ruled and the Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously upheld the decision that Redwing’s claims were not barred by the statute of limitations at least at this point.

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Philly Judge Denies Monsignor’s Bid to Drop Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

A Philadelphia monsignor will go on trial on child endangerment charges despite new defense evidence that he says shows an archbishop was calling the shots.

Monsignor William Lynn says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had a list of accused, still-active priests destroyed in 1994 — a decade before the sex abuse scandal exploded.

Lynn asked a judge to dismiss the felony child endangerment and conspiracy charges he’s facing. He says a grand jury might not have pursued him if it had seen the memo about the cardinal ordering his aides to destroy the list.

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Judge rules Philadelphia cleric’s cover-up trial must go on

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Chicago Tribune

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA, Feb 27 (Reuters) – A judge on Monday refused to dismiss charges against the highest ranking Roman Catholic cleric in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia pedophilia
scandal, saying new evidence from the Church’s “secret archives” was not enough to derail the trial.

With jury selection already underway, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina made the ruling in the case against Monsignor William Lynn, who would be first Church official to
stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

Lynn, 61, who is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for covering up for predator priests, sat stoically behind his lawyers and listened.

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First Jurors Picked For Priest-Abuse Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA – Three jurors have been seated to hear a landmark priest abuse case in Philadelphia involving two priests charged with rape and a monsignor charged with protecting them — and failing to protect children.

Monsignor William Lynn says he has evidence showing the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua was calling the shots. But a judge on Monday refused to throw out his case.

Lynn says a newly unearthed memo shows he gave Bevilacqua a list of 35 still-active, accused priests in 1994.

Philadelphia prosecutors call the list a “smoking gun” that shows Lynn’s deep involvement in the church conspiracy.

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Several jurors seated in Philly priest abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Seattle PI

MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

Updated 12:08 p.m., Monday, February 27, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jury selection moved surprisingly quickly Monday in a landmark priest abuse case in Philadelphia involving two priests charged with rape and a monsignor charged with protecting them — and failing to protect children.

Several jurors were seated for what could be a four-month trial, after assuring the judge they could fairly evaluate the sensitive issues.

Meanwhile, Monsignor William Lynn lost a last-minute bid to have his unprecedented child endangerment case throw out based on new evidence found in a 10th floor safe at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

A memo turned over by the archdiocese only this month states that the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered his top aides to shred a list of 35 accused priests still in ministry in 1994 — a decade before the child abuse scandal exploded.

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Tennessee Supreme Court reinstates priest sex abuse suit filed by Memphis man

TENNESSEE
Commercial Appeal

By Lawrence Buser

Posted February 27, 2012

The Tennessee Supreme Court today reinstated a lawsuit by a Memphis man who claimed he was the victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when he was a teen in the early 1970s.

The suit filed in 2008 by Norman Redwing was thrown out by an appellate court, which ruled that the statute of limitations had long since passed.

Generally, a suit must be filed within one year, but Redwing contended that the Memphis Catholic Diocese had concealed its knowledge of inappropriate conduct by Father Milton Guthrie toward minors.

The Supreme Court agreed and said the lower court’s dismissal of the case was premature.

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Judge rejects dismissal in child sex cover-up case against cleric

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CNN

From Sarah Hoye, CNN

updated 1:53 PM EST, Mon February 27, 2012

Philadelphia (CNN) — A judge on Monday rejected a motion to dismiss charges against a Philadelphia archdiocese official accused of covering up evidence of suspected sexual abuse of children.

Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn had asked a judge to throw out charges against him based on a March 1994 memo showing Philadelphia’s archbishop at the time, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, ordered the destruction of a secret list naming 35 Catholic priests suspected of abuse.

The defense said the memo, composed by Lynn’s then-supervisor, Monsignor James Molloy, proved that Lynn informed his superiors — including the archbishop — that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children.

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‘Celibaat niet grondslag gewijde ambt’

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUGGE (RKnieuws.net) – ‘Gehuwde mannen kunnen wel tot diaken, maar niet tot priester worden gewijd. De Latijnse Kerk meent dat het beter is de aloude discipline van het verplichte priestercelibaat te behouden, al is het niet de grondslag van het gewijde ambt. Misschien dat een concilie het ooit anders beslist’. Dat zegt mgr. Jozef De Kesel, bisschop van Brugge, in een gesprek met Kerk & leven.

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Judge Says Bevilacqua Memo Doesn’t Destroy Case Against Msgr. Lynn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A municipal judge today rejected a defense motion to dismiss the child endangerment case against Philadelphia priest Msgr. William Lynn because of newly discovered evidence in the clergy abuse case.

Lynn is charged with endangering children by allowing predator priests to remain in ministry, thereby giving them access to abuse more children.

But the defense cited new evidence — a memo that the late cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered the shredding of a list of problem priests. The defense suggested that Lynn was not “in the loop” of the decision making that protected the priests.

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Judge Denies Monsignor’s Bid To Drop Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia monsignor will go on trial on child-endangerment charges despite new defense evidence that he says shows an archbishop was calling the shots.

Monsignor William Lynn says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had a list of accused, still-active priests destroyed in 1994 — a decade before the scandal exploded.

Lynn asked a judge to dismiss the felony child-endangerment and conspiracy charges he’s facing. He says a grand jury might not have pursued him if they had seen the memo about the cardinal ordering his aides to destroy the list.

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Update on Catholic Leaders’ Attack on SNAP in Missouri (with a Glance at Philadelphia)

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

William D. Lindsey

It has been a while since I’ve offered readers an update of what’s being done to the victim advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Missouri. As I noted last month (and here), SNAP is facing unprecedented challenges in Kansas City and St. Louis as attorneys working for the Catholic hierarchy play hardball legal games with the group, demanding that it disclose private communications that have nothing to do with the cases for which these disclosures are being demanded.

SNAP had predicted that the time and money required to defend itself against these tactics would have a negative impact on the operation of the origination–in fact, SNAP leaders have stated that this appears to be precisely the goal of the Catholic officials using the legal system to attack SNAP in this way. And as Joshua McElwee reports at National Catholic Reporter last week, that’s exactly what’s happening.

The demands made by attorneys in Missouri are having serious financial implications for SNAP, as its leaders now spend large portions of their time seeking to deal with those demands. And the demands continue to proliferate: attorneys making the initial demands for depositions have just made new filings seeking more depositions and refuting SNAP’s claim that its confidentiality should be respected, since it functions in a way akin to a rape-crisis center.

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Evangelische Kirche entschädigt Opfer

OSTERREICH
Kleine Zeitung

Bei der Diakonie haben sich weitere Missbrauchsopfer gemeldet. Experten des “Weissen Rings” prüfen jeden Fall. Zahlungen gelten als sicher.

Was ich zu hören bekam, war schrecklich”, sagt Hubert Stotter. Der Direktor der Diakonie de La Tour traf ehemalige Kärntner Heimkinder, die in evangelischen Einrichtungen missbraucht oder misshandelt wurden. “Konkret haben sich acht Personen bei uns gemeldet”, sagt Stotter.

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Former chief to lead Catholic review board

KANSAS CITY (MO)
St. Joseph News-Press

February 27, 2012

Former Kansas City Chief of Police James D. Corwin has been named chairman of the Independent Review Board for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, diocese officials announced Monday.

The board advises Bishop Robert Finn on the fitness for ministry or continued employment of any person accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in a parish, school or diocesan program.

Mr. Corwin will succeed Jim Caccamo, who stepped down after serving a five-year term.

“I am very humbled to be asked to chair the Independent Review Board,” Mr. Corwin said. “This is both an honor and an obligation. I believe that my service will be worthy work for our community.”

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Philly judge denies monsignor’s bid to drop case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia monsignor will go on trial on child endangerment charges despite new defense evidence that he says shows an archbishop was calling the shots.

Monsignor William Lynn says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH’-kwah) had a list of accused, still-active priests destroyed in 1994 — a decade before the sex abuse scandal exploded.

Lynn asked a judge to dismiss the felony child endangerment and conspiracy charges he’s facing. He says a grand jury might not have pursued him if it had seen the memo about the cardinal ordering his aides to destroy the list.

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Archdiocesan official accused of covering up abuse begins trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 27, 2012
By Brian Roewe

The trial for the first church official charged with the cover-up of child sexual abuse is under way in Philadelphia, as jury selection began Feb. 21 for Msgr. William J. Lynn and two codefendants. Lynn faces charges of felony child endangerment and conspiracy.

Prosecutors allege the former archdiocesan secretary of clergy recommended parish assignments for the codefendants, Fr. James J. Brennan and former priest Edward Avery, that would place them in contact with children, knowing they had abused or been accused of abusing children in the past.

Brennan and Avery will stand alongside Lynn when the trial opens March 26. Both men face charges of molesting the same St. Jerome Parish altar boy on separate occasions.

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Judge: Won’t dismiss charges against Msgr. Lynn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A judge today said the discovery of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua’s 1994 order to shred memos about dozens of Philadelphia-area priests suspecting of molesting children is no reason to halt the upcoming conspiracy trial of one of his key aides.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a defense motion after prosecutors said that the recently unearthed documents only strengthen their case that Msgr. William J. Lynn was part of a broader scheme by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hierarchy to conceal clergy sex abuse.

“The newly discovered documents . . . are in fact the equivalent of a smoking gun for the prosecution case against Lynn,” Philadelphia prosecutors wrote in a response filed this morning. “They show Lynn to be the most active participant in a well-orchestrated conspiracy among Archdiocese officials to cover up the sexual crimes of priests and to keep known child molesters in active ministry.”

Bevilacaqua’s order to shred the memo Lynn wrote about 35 allegedly abusive priests was disclosed Friday by the monsignor’s lawyers. A copy of the memo and the instructions to shred it were discovered by archdiocesan officials in a locked safe in 2006, but not turned over to prosecutors until this month.

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Puccini meets Watergate in ‘Vatileaks’ scandal

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 27, 2012

By John L Allen Jr

Analysis

ROME — Perhaps only the Vatican could invent a scandal that manages to be almost comically silly and overblown, then suddenly ugly and mean, and finally deadly serious, all wrapped into one wildly complicated Italian melodrama.

Think Puccini meets Watergate, and you’ll have some inkling of the climate in Rome in mid-February.

Beginning in late January, supposedly confidential Vatican documents began appearing in the Italian press, with fresh revelations at one stage coming almost every day. As the leaks mounted, so did official frustration; a Vatican spokesman publicly slammed the “disloyalty” of it all, while the Vatican newspaper compared the leakers to a bunch of “wolves.”

One sure sign a scandal has made the big time is when a single word is enough to conjure it up, like “Watergate” or “Enron.” In this case, the Vatican’s own spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, supplied the sound bite. By comparing the current mess to the Wikileaks saga, Lombardi inadvertently gave birth to “Vatileaks.”

As of this writing, nobody really knows who’s behind the avalanche of secret documents, or what their motives are for putting them into play. Most observers concur, however, that it’s not about whistleblowers trying to promote reform, but rather personal and political axes being ground.

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In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By NICOLE PERLROTH and JOHN MARKOFF

Published: February 26, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — The elusive hacker movement known as Anonymous has carried out Internet attacks on well-known organizations like Sony and PBS. In August, the group went after its most prominent target yet: the Vatican.

The campaign against the Vatican, which did not receive wide attention at the time, involved hundreds of people, some with hacking skills and some without. A core group of participants openly drummed up support for the attack using YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Others searched for vulnerabilities on a Vatican Web site and, when that failed, enlisted amateur recruits to flood the site with traffic, hoping it would crash, according to a computer security firm’s report to be released this week.

The attack, albeit an unsuccessful one, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective.

Anonymous, which first gained widespread notice with an attack on the Church of Scientology in 2008, has since carried out hundreds of increasingly bold strikes, taking aim at perceived enemies including law enforcement agencies, Internet security companies and opponents of the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks. …

Hackers initially tried to take down a Web site set up by the church to promote the event, handle registrations and sell merchandise. Their goal — according to YouTube messages delivered by an Anonymous figure in a Guy Fawkes mask — was to disrupt the event and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests, among other issues

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Victims of Dead Priest Sue Catholic School

MISSOURI
Courthouse News Service

By JOE HARRIS

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) – Sexual abuse was so prevalent a Catholic prep school that students had a name for it: the “Meinhardt treatment,” one of the alleged victims claims in St. Louis County Court.

John Doe 116 sued the Marianist Province of the United States, Chaminade College Preparatory school, and Marianists Provincial Martin Solma, in his official capacity.

Doe claims the Rev. Louis Meinhardt would watch young boys shower and grab their genitals.

He claims that Meinhardt, who was a teacher and coach at the upscale private school in west St. Louis County from 1958 to 1982, earned several nicknames, including “the kissing coach” and “Screwie Louie.” Meinhardt repeatedly told students to “come here and give me loving” and “let me pat you on the bo-bo,” according to the complaint.

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Irish-American pols …

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Irish-American pols group skips salute to Cardinal Dolan in disagreement with church views

By Kenneth Lovett / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Monday, February 27, 2012

It’s not just the folks at the Empire State Building who are snubbing Cardinal Dolan — a group of Irish-American state legislators in Albany have dissed him, too.

A push to make Dolan the guest of honor at the March 12 annual dinner for the New York State American-Irish Legislators Society was squashed amid internal controversy, multiple sources said.

“Dolan was the first one mentioned to honor, given his recent ascension to cardinal, and originally it looked like it was leaning that way,” said one supporter of the idea. “It was a no-brainer.”

But some Assembly Democratic members are said to have balked because of the church’s vehement opposition both to same-sex marriage and a bill to extend the statute of limitations for past victims of sex abuse by priests.

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Northern PA priest to learn sentence

NEW YORK
WIVB

Published : Monday, 27 Feb 2012

Luke Smith
Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BRADFORD, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s sentencing day for a Northern Pennsylvania priest who was accused of an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy.

A jury convicted Father Samuel Slocum last month of concealment of the whereabouts of a child and corruption of minors.

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Holy Terror

UNITED STATES
Esquire – The Politics Blog

By Charles P. Pierce

Dear Mr. President:

The next time the members of this besilkened organized crime family, or any of the politicians they have on the spiritual pad, or any of the journalists they have on the sacramental take, come out with any “moral objection” to any policy your administration proposes — up to and including sacrificing a bull to Apollo on the Truman balcony, if you so desire — you have my permission as a practicing Catholic to laugh helplessly in their faces and to chase them down the hallways of the West Wing with a seltzer bottle. Or a flamethrower. Your choice….

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

Clap them all in irons. Every goddamn one of them. God’s curse upon the whole criminal enterprise.

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IN RE ARCHDIOCESE OF MILWAUKEE

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Leagle

In re: Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Chapter 11, Debtor.
Case No. 11-20059-svk.
United States Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Wisconsin.

February 24, 2012.

MEMORANDUM DECISION ON DEBTOR’S OBJECTIONS TO CLAIMS 76 and 77 FILED BY CLAIMANTS A-12 AND A-13

SUSAN V. KELLEY, Bankruptcy Judge.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee (the “Debtor”) objected to Proofs of Claim number 76, 77, and 131 (the “Claims”) filed by three individuals who will be referred to in this decision as Claimants A-12, A-13, and A-49.1 The Debtor moved for summary judgment, arguing that the Claims should be disallowed as time-barred under Wisconsin’s statute of limitations. The summary judgment motion was fully briefed, and the Court heard oral argument on the motion on February 9, 2012. After consideration of the written submissions and the argument of counsel, the Court issued an oral ruling at the hearing, which is memorialized by this decision. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants in part and denies in part the Debtor’s Motion for Summary Judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

The Debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on January 4, 2011. Claimants A-12 and A-13 filed Claims 76 and 77, under seal, on September 6, 2011, alleging that Father Franklyn Becker and Choir Director Robert Schaefer, respectively, sexually abused them. On December 20, 2011, the Debtor filed Objections to the Claims, urging disallowance under 11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(1) because the Claims are “unenforceable against the debtor . . . under any agreement or applicable law.”2 In its Motion for Summary Judgment, the Debtor argued that Wis. Stat. § 893.54(1) bars the Claimants’ negligence based claims, and that Wis. Stat. § 893.93(1)(b) bars the Claimants’ fraud based claims. With respect to the negligence claims, the Debtor maintains that the three-year statute of limitations began to run on the later of the last date of abuse — during 1974 for Claimant A-12 and 1982 for Claimant A-13 — or the date when each Claimant reached 18 years old. Regarding the fraud claims, the Debtor contends that the six-year statute of limitations started no later than July 8, 2004, when the Debtor published a list of abusive priests on its website and disseminated this list via local media. As the Debtor’s argument goes, six years from July 8, 2004 is July 8, 2010, and thus, by January 4, 2011 when the Debtor filed bankruptcy, the statute of limitations had expired.

In response, the Claimants filed Affidavits stating that they did not discover that the Debtor was the cause of their injuries until 2009 at the earliest, and argued that the issue of when they reasonably should have discovered the Debtor’s role in their injury is not a question that should be decided on summary judgment.

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Taking note of the monsters who walk among us

CANADA
The Record

What is the worst crime you can think of? There is a crime so heinous that it encompasses many of the most violent acts in one. Unfortunately, the worst crime imaginable has the most innocent and vulnerable of victims: our children. There is no worse crime than child pornography.

The idea that grown men can sexually abuse a child in unspeakable ways is mind-boggling. Children are gullible and easily persuaded. They can’t defend themselves physically or psychologically against adults and therefore are at their mercy. These children have no say in what is happening to them. They are held captive against their will and forced to perform on camera. They have no rights and live in fear every day. That is what child pornography is about.

We tell our children that there is no such thing as monsters, but monsters do walk among us. They prey on children in parks, schoolyards, quiet neighbourhoods and social activities. I’m afraid to let my kids walk to school alone because these predators may lay in waiting.

Former Nova Scotia Roman Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey was caught with 155,000 pornographic images of children, some including bondage and torture. Lahey was sentenced to 15 months in jail but walked away from the Ottawa courthouse as a free man. Based on his pre-trial time in custody, he was deemed to have served his sentence.

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Another FLDS purge coming?

UTAH
Fox 13

[with video]

Ben Winslow, Reporter
Fox 13

HILDALE, Utah—
More people may soon be kicked out of Warren Jeffs’ polygamous church.

The imprisoned polygamist leader has reportedly set a new deadline to purge more people he has declared to be “unfaithful” from the Fundamentalist LDS Church, according to non-profit groups who work with those inside the closed societies.

“There was a proclamation made last week asking that any non-believing parties need to be removed from the community by February 29,” said Nicole Nystrom with the group Holding Out Help. “I don’t know what the magic number is about February 29, but I assume it’s just the end of the month and they’re trying to clean out.”

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Jury duty a serious task

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Pocono Record

February 27, 2012

Lawyers who are selecting jurors in the Philadelphia priest abuse case better look for good readers — and hope they do their homework.

These jurors will hear and review evidence related to charges that Monsignor William Lynn endangered children by keeping predatory priests in the ministry. During the course of the trial, jurors will have access to two boxes filled with complaint files. Until now, the files have been closely guarded, kept in the private archives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

News reports say the files include several decades of complaints against dozens of priests from the diocese, and that they include sex therapy notes and legal advice.

From 1992 to 2004, Lynn served as secretary of clergy for the archdiocese, a role that included overseeing the files now marked for presentment. Going to trial with Lynn are two accused priests, but altogether the jury will hear about 22 accused priests. These are the individuals Lynn knew about or took action about, according to their files. Prosecutors hope to prove that Lynn continued assigning to new parishes priests he knew were accused of inappropriate behavior with minors, and that his actions helped keep the complaints about them secret.

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Tk’emlups Chief applauds report

CANADA
CFJC

The commission looking into the legacy left behind by residential schools in Canada released it’s interim report this past week.

Shane Gottfriedson, the Chief of the Tk’emlups Indian band, says he’s pleased wit the work the truth and reconciliation commission has done.

Educating the public about what happened at residential schools is one of the key recommendations from the report.

Gottfriedson says that would go a long way in helping the public understand the position many first nations are in today.

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Dysfunction in the Church and the ALP

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Michael Mullins February 26, 2012

As an institution stricken with dysfunction, the ALP shares a bleak outlook with unions, churches and other organisations that are similarly sustained by shared ideals and belief systems, but are struggling. They all find it difficult to sell their values to a wider public and to recruit new generations of members.

There seems to be a tension between marketability and remaining faithful to the original charism or inspiration. In the past, these have worked in tandem, as they should. But it could be that the institutions have lost their nerve and no longer know how to be authentic, despite explicit and well-publicised attempts to be ‘real’.

There is a defensiveness that shows itself in a culture of denial that rejects effective self-examination in favour of actual or de facto authoritarianism. In 2010 British Jesuit psychologist Brendan Callaghan wrote in Thinking Faith of a defensiveness that is also common in the corporate world:

All large institutions develop mechanisms of defensiveness. IBM, General Motors, Lehman Brothers — all have also paid the price for having developed an internal culture which made it impossible for those with responsibility to see the truth …

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Sinéad O’Connor: A Mea Culpa

UNITED STATES
Pop Matters

[with video]

By Bill See 27 February 2012

It’s time to apologize to Sinéad O’Connor. Remember her? Ripped up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live before adding, “Fight the real enemy” to protest child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the complicity of the church hierarchy? Already a platinum record and a number one single to her name, Sinéad’s career was never the same again. Here is the clip…

That indelible moment now seems prophetic as revelations of paedophilia in the Catholic Church by priests in Sinéad’s Irish homeland, across Europe and here in the US came to light.

Sinéad knew very well that she would be eviscerated for taking such a stand, but she did it anyway because it was that important to her. “I knew my action would cause trouble,” she said, “but I wanted to force a conversation where there was a need for one; that is part of being an artist. All I regretted was that people assumed I didn’t believe in God. That’s not the case at all. I’m Catholic by birth and culture and would be the first at the church door if the Vatican offered sincere reconciliation.”

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Bernie Fine accusers Davis, Lang in Albany Tuesday to support bill to extend statute of limitations for child sex abuse

NEW YORK
The Post-Standard

By Emily Kulkus / The Post-Standard

The two men accusing former Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting them when they were children will appear with their lawyer in Albany on Tuesday in support of a bill that aims to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims in New York state.

The bill would allow child victims of sexual abuse to report the crime up to five years after his or her 23rd birthday. The current law allows a victim to report up to five years after his or her 18th birthday. The proposed legislation extends the statute five years for criminal and civil cases.

Should it be passed, the bill would also create a one-year window during which former child victims could report incidents of sex abuse regardless of when it occurred. California and Delaware have allowed for similar windows, resulting in hundreds of lawsuits, many against the Catholic Church.

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Delbarton ex-headmaster ‘under tightest restrictions’ after sex abuse allegations

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Sunday, February 26, 2012

By Kevin Manahan/The Star-Ledger

BERNARDS — Not long ago, the Rev. Luke Travers strolled the sprawling bucolic grounds of Delbarton School as the high-profile headmaster of the exclusive Morris Township all-boys academy, sought out by the rich, famous and politically connected who wanted their sons enrolled.

Now, according to school officials and others familiar with the case, Travers is a virtual prisoner who rarely leaves the grounds, and when he does, he must be chaperoned.

Four men have come forward to say they are victims from decades ago as an eight-month investigation continues into Travers’ alleged sexual misconduct. When the allegations were made public last month, Travers was exiled from a Virginia abbey, where he had been working, and sent back to Morris County. Abbot Giles P. Hayes, who runs St. Mary’s Abbey and the private school, said Travers “is and will remain under the tightest restrictions” at the abbey.

No criminal charges have been filed, and the allegations are outside the statute of limitations. If the investigations yield no criminal charges, but religious officials nonetheless determine a monk has violated his vows and victimized teen boys, abbey officials must decide: What do they do with him?

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Diocese of Limerick unaware of Vatican plan to appoint new bishop over Easter

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Published on Sunday 26 February 2012

THE Diocese of Limerick has received “no indication” from the Vatican that a new Bishop of Limerick will be appointed over Easter.

Reports this week suggest that the vacancies in Limerick and Cloyne – two of seven dioceses around the country currently without bishops – will be the first to be filled.

But a spokesman said there had been “no indication to the diocese as to when an appointment will be made although we do hope that it will be sooner rather than later”.

Limerick has been without a bishop since the resignation of Dr Donal Murray in December 2009. His departure was clouded in controversy after his handling of child abuse complaints while auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Dublin was criticised in the Murphy Report. Part of the reason for the delay in appointing new bishops was the Vatican’s intention to reform the Irish Church in the wake of the abuse scandals.

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Trial date set in lawsuit over looted insurers

UNITED STATES
The Wall Street Journal

Associated Press

NEW YORK — More than a decade after it was filed, a federal judge in Mississippi has set a tentative trial date in a lawsuit stemming from scams run by a notorious financier who looted $200 million from insurance companies and created a charity that claimed to have Vatican connections to further his scheme and cover his tracks.

Former Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale sued numerous people and entities in 2001 over Martin Frankel’s pyramid scheme that bilked insurers in five states during the 1990s. Insurance regulators in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas joined the lawsuit. In 2002, the Vatican was added as a defendant, but claims against the church were dropped earlier this month

The lawsuit is tentatively scheduled for trial in April 2013 in Jackson for the remaining defendants, including several Frankel associates. Frankel is not a defendant in the lawsuit. His assets, including hundreds of diamonds, 21 cars and SUVs, an airplane and two mansions were auctioned off years ago to provide restitution.

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Who’s Behind the Leaked Letters Roiling the Vatican?

ROME
The Daily Beast

[letter]

Feb 26, 2012

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Newly leaked letters to Pope Benedict XVI have laid bare sordid allegations of corruption and infighting within the Holy See. Is it a ploy to influence who the next pope will be?

Are “Vatileaks,” as the Vatican leaks have been dubbed, really just a brilliant campaign strategy ahead of the next papal conclave or a sneaky way to show fiscal transparency ahead of a key European Union decision on the Vatican’s anti-terrorism finance compliance?

For weeks, Vatican reporters in Rome have been lapping up salacious details about alleged church corruption and holy infighting that’s been drip-fed from a yet-unknown source inside the hallowed halls of the Holy See.

The first leaked letters on Vatican stationery, complete with the Holy See Chancellery stamp, came to light in late January, when Italy’s acclaimed independent La7 news program, The Untouchables, broadcast private letters sent in 2011 from Cardinal Carlo Maria Vigano to Pope Benedict XVI and other higher ups in the Roman Curia. Vigano had been making marked progress in his battle against corruption and cronyism as deputy governor in charge of financial reforms of Vatican City. But he was fiercely disliked by a number of high-ranking cardinals, who were successful in getting their nemesis moved out of Rome.

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Gangster Enrico De Pedis was buried in a Catholic basilica in Rome

ROME
Toronto Star

Published On Sun Feb 26 2012

Sandro Contenta
Feature Writer

ROME—One of Italy’s most notorious gangsters, Enrico De Pedis, is buried in a Roman Catholic basilica near Piazza Navona.

Why the Vatican allowed a top mobster to be buried in Sant’Apollinare has been a source of furious speculation since 1997, when the resting place of De Pedis — gunned down seven years earlier — was first revealed.

The answer taking shape looks like something bestselling author Dan (The Da Vinci Code) Brown would have had trouble dreaming up.

The story goes back to the 1980s and includes money-laundering allegations against the Vatican’s bank, the attempted assassination of the late Pope John Paul II, the murder-suicide of two Vatican Swiss guards, and the widely publicized kidnapping of a teenage girl.

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Lawsuit Claims Abuse At The Hands Of Church Officials

NASHVILLE (TN)
NewsChannel 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A popular local church is being sued, accused of sexual abuse and manipulation. The allegations have been made against Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

The claims were made on behalf of four former female parishioners. According to the suit, the women were sexually exploited and abused during counseling sessions sponsored by the church. The lawsuit goes on to claim that this abuse was not an isolated incident. The plaintiffs accuse the church of recruiting woman for exploration, sexual battery and psychological and spiritual manipulation for nearly ten years.

The charges were filed against the church and specifically against Bishop Joseph Walker III who one woman claims participated and aided the abuse.

The church released this statement about the allegations:

“The only thing this action demonstrates is that anyone can sue, sometimes anonymously, no matter how ridiculous the claims nor how sensational the charges. It is truly sad that a church and its leaders can be attacked with such shocking and ugly charges when the apparent motive is to extract huge sums of money from the congregation and its leaders.

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Local pastors speak out against Denver preacher’s wrapping of a Torah around a scandal-rocked Atlanta bishop

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

A viral YouTube video in which Denver-based Christian preacher Ralph Messer literally wraps scandal-rocked Atlanta Bishop Eddie Long in a Torah scroll during a showy ritual has created a painful backlash against the local Messianic Jewish community, its leaders say.

Half a dozen pastors, who claim Jewish heritage but hold the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God, say they have a responsibility to speak out against the Jan. 29 incident at Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Long’s Georgia church has been troubled since five young men made allegations of sexual misconduct against the bishop that resulted in May in an undisclosed, out-of-court settlement with four of them for more than $1 million.

Church in the City senior pastor Michael Walker and other metro Messianic Jewish leaders told The Denver Post that the bizarre ritual acted out in Atlanta was an outrage, offensive to both the Jewish and Messianic Jewish communities, and it continues to hurt their congregations.

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Is Cardinal George latest participant in Ireland-Vatican tiff?

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

By MICHAEL SNEED msneed@suntimes.com

† The Errin’ Aisle? Cardinal Francis George has RSVP’d he is unavailable to attend this year’s Irish Fellowship Club’s St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on March 16. His eminence is otherwise engaged. But speculation is running rampant amongst the Chicago Irish: Is the reason Cardinal George is absenting himself from the annual Irish fest because Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will be there?

† Background: Ireland’s government, furious over the clergy sex-abuse scandal, has recently shuttered its embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) for reported “cost-cutting” measures.

† The big question: Has Cardinal George now become the latest participant in the “cold war” between Ireland and the Vatican over its shamrock fury of the Catholic Church’s failure to tell the truth about its major sexual-abuse scandal there?

† Answer: The cardinal’s office tells Sneed that Cardinal George has a previous engagement that night: He is attending a youth retreat at Guerin College Prep High School in River Grove.

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Chicago cardinal said to snub Irish Prime Minister’s visit over Vatican Embassy closure

CHICAGO (IL)
Irish Central

By
JAMES O’SHEA,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has turned down an invitation to the Irish Fellowship Club’s St. Patrick Day dinner, and speculation is rife that it is because Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is the main speaker, the Chicago Sun Times has reported.

Kenny lashed out at the Vatican in a widely reported attack last year over their refusal to cooperate in the inquiry into child sexual abuse in the diocese of Cloyne in Cork.

Then, late last year, the Irish government decided to close their Vatican Embassy in a move widely seen as related to the strong criticism of the Vatican role in the sex abuse scandals.

Now Cardinal George has refused an invitation to the prestigious St.Patrick’s eve event on March 16th run by an organization with deeply Catholic roots and a major donor to Catholic charities.

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Catholic Church official ‘hung out to dry,’ defense says

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Los Angeles Times

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic Church official facing trial in a child-abuse scandal created a list of problem priests in 1994, but the archbishop of Philadelphia had it destroyed, according to a defense memo.

Msgr. William Lynn, who is accused of keeping predator priests in ministry and transferring them from parish to parish, wants his child endangerment case dismissed because of new evidence turned over by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including his list of 35 accused priests.

Lynn took it upon himself to review secret church files after becoming secretary for clergy in 1992, and he later gave a list of accused, still-active priests to his superior, Msgr. James E. Molloy.

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had Molloy shred four copies of the list, according to a memo signed by Molloy and a witness. But Molloy kept a copy in a locked safe at the archdiocese, where it was found in 2006, after Lynn had moved on, according to his motion.

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Allentown bishop at meeting where cardinal ordered sex abuse memo shredded

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Express-Times

By Express-Times staff and wire

Bishop Edward P. Cullen was in on a 1994 meeting in which Philadelphia Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of 35 problem priests destroyed, according to a court filing.

Cullen, who served as bishop of the Diocese of Allentown from 1998 to 2009 and still lives in the Allentown area, had previously served as top aide under Bevilacqua.

Matt Kerr, a spokesman for the Allentown diocese, referred requests for comment to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, Monsignor William Lynn is facing trial in a priest-abuse scandal; jury selection is under way. Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping predator-priests in ministry.

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Malooly praises monsignors in letter

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

[letter from Bishop Malooly]

[Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington via BishopAccountability.org]

Written by
BETH MILLER
The News Journal

Bishop W. Francis Malooly on Friday released a letter saluting three of his top deputies, saying they had his “complete support and gratitude” and rejecting charges that they engineered a cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests in the diocese.

Malooly said he will not ask for the resignations of monsignors J. Thomas Cini, Clement Lemon or Joseph Rebman, all of whom, in the bishop’s view, have served honorably.

“These men love God, the Church and the people of our diocese, and they take very seriously the work of protecting children,” Malooly wrote. “They have my complete support and gratitude.”

In the letter, posted Friday afternoon on the website of the Dialog, the diocese newspaper, Malooly acknowledges the mistakes of previous bishops and says the diocese would have served abuse survivors, their families and the church better by disclosing the names of abusive priests.

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Philadelphia priest says cardinal ordered child abuse cover-up

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Press TV (Iran)

The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia pedophilia scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss – the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua – ordered a list he made of predator priests be shredded.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua’s time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

As clergy secretary, Lynn on his own initiative reviewed secret church archives and created a list of 35 priests who had been involved in abusive conduct or were classified with a sexual disorder, Lynn’s lawyers said in court documents.

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Cardinal ‘ordered list of predator priests destroyed’ as its writer requests

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

A Roman Catholic church official accused of keeping predator priests in ministry and transferring them from parish to parish has requested the case against him dismissed after new evidence shows his list of priests had been destroyed.

Facing trial, Monsignor William Lynn created the list of problem priests in 1994, but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had it destroyed, according to a defense memo filed Friday.

Lynn wants his child endangerment case dismissed because of new evidence turned over by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which includes one surviving list of the 35 accused priests.

Lynn took it upon himself to review secret church files after becoming secretary for clergy in 1992, and he later gave a list of accused, still-active priests to his superior, Monsignor James E. Molloy.

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SNAP responds to new lawsuit filed against the TX United Methodist Church

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 24, 2012 ·

Shame on the Texas delegation of the United Methodist Church. It is bad enough that they were aware that Pastor Kendall Graham had inappropriate relations with his congregation, but to simply move him around and let him adopt a young girl is unconscionable. By allowing Graham to do this, they essentially condemned this woman to a life of abuse. Their inaction in this matter is sick.

We hope that there is an investigation into why officials at St. Paul United Methodist Church chose to ignore reports of Graham’s inappropriate behavior. At that moment, church officials had a chance to uncover and stop the abuse that Jane Doe was being subjected to. Instead they turned a blind eye. We hope that this suit is able to bring some of the complicit officials involved to justice.

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Lynn: Bevilacqua shredded predator priests list

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

February 25, 2012
By Denis Devine & the AP

The celebrated Catholic leader who died last month destroyed, back in 1994, a list of priests who had been the subject of accusations of sexual abuse but were still active in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, according to testimony by another priest on trial for failing to protect children from predator priests.

A memo filed by defense attorneys representing Monsignor William Lynn on Friday said that Lynn created a list of 35 priests who had been accused of sexual abuse, but his superior, the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua shredded it. Another copy of the list was found in 2006 in a locked safe at the archdiocese.

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Lynn: Bevilacqua Trashed Bad Priests List

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia church official facing trial in the priest-abuse scandal says he created a list of problem priests in 1994 — but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had it destroyed.

Monsignor William Lynn says the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has recently turned over a surviving copy that corroborates his claims.

Lynn asked Friday to have his conspiracy and child-endangerment case thrown out based on the new evidence. Jury selection is under way.

Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping predator-priests in ministry.

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Philadelphia priest says cardinal ordered abuse list shredded

PHILADELPHIA
WKZO

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia child abuse scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss – the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua – ordered the shredding of a list he made of predator priests.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

The real criminals, the lawyers argued in court documents, were Bevilacqua, who died last month, and his closest advisors. These included Lynn’s former supervisor Monsignor James Molloy, who died in 2006, now retired Bishop Edward Cullen of Allentown and Bishop Joseph Cistone, now head of the diocese in Saginaw, Michigan, none of whom were charged in the case.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua’s time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

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Repressed memories focus of priest child sex abuse trial

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore
Record Staff Writer

February 25, 2012

STOCKTON – Arguments in a civil trial where a popular priest from the Diocese of Stockton is accused of child sex abuse centered on a 37-year-old man’s recovered memories.

The Rev. Michael Kelly of St. Joachim Church and the Catholic Church are defendants in the civil suit where opening statements were heard Friday.

“This is a case about innocence stolen,” John Manly, a Newport Beach attorney, said.

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Accused Pa. monsignor: Cardinal had my list of 35 active, accused priests destroyed in 1994

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Star Tribune

Article by: MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – A Roman Catholic church official facing trial in a priest child abuse scandal created a list of problem priests in 1994, but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had it destroyed, according to a defense memo filed Friday.

Monsignor William Lynn, who’s accused of keeping predator priests in ministry and transferring them from parish to parish, wants his child endangerment case dismissed because of new evidence turned over by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including his list of 35 accused priests.

Lynn took it upon himself to review secret church files after becoming secretary for clergy in 1992, and he later gave a list of accused, still-active priests to his superior, Monsignor James E. Molloy.

Bevilacqua had Molloy shred four copies of the list, according to a memo signed by Molloy and a witness. But Molloy kept a copy in a locked safe at the archdiocese, where it was found in 2006, after Lynn had moved on, according to his motion.

“It is clear from the Molloy memo, and (its) belated production, that Monsignor Lynn has been `hung out to dry,'” the defense motion says.

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Del. bishop stands by 3 aides

WILMINGTON (DE)
Delmarva Now

[letter from Bishop Malooly]

[Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington via BishopAccountability.org]

Written by
RANDALL CHASE
Associated Press

DOVER — The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is rejecting calls from victims of priest sex abuse for the resignations of three top-ranking church officials.

Bishop Francis Malooly said in a letter to the diocese Friday that none of the three clerics “engineered a strategy to conceal priest sex abuse.”

He also said Monsignors Thomas Cini, Clement Lemon and Joseph Rebman never put children at risk by placing an abusive priest back in ministry, but instead implemented a zero-tolerance approach implemented in the mid-1980s.

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Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priests destroyed

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CNN

(CNN) — A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed.

Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn asked a Philadelphia court to dismiss charges of conspiracy and child endangerment based on documents that Lynn had informed his superiors — including the cardinal — that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children.

“The recent unexpected and shocking discovery of a March, 1994 memorandum composed by Monsignor James Molloy, Monsignor Lynn’s then-supervisor, on the topic of this review, clearly reveals that justice demands that all charges against Monsignor Lynn be dropped,” Lynn’s attorneys said in a filing.

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Lawyers Reveal Bevilacqua Ordered Shredding of Memo

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

February 25, 2012 by Susan Matthews

I’m sure Church leadership is hoping this news gets overshadowed by the good news of high schools remaining open. This information is rife with implications. While the defense is using it to benefit Lynn, it points to major conspiracy. Contributing Catholic parents must feel completely violated by the abuse of trust. So many children were placed in harm’s way. It’s hard not to feel like a pawn in their game of power, money and lies.

“Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing….” Click here to continue reading: “Lawyers: Bevilacqua ordered memo on priests to be shredded,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 2012.

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Canada commission issues details abuse of native children

CANADA
BBC News

A commission examining Canada’s policy to separate indigenous children from their families says the abuse created a legacy of turmoil.

From the country’s formation in the 19th Century until the 1970s, the children had to attend schools where they were stripped of their identity.

Many of the 150,000 children also suffered physical abuse from the staff at the church-run boarding schools.

An interim report says children left the schools “as lost souls”.

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‘Many survivors are in terrible pain’

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Terri Theodore

Posted: 02/25/2012

VANCOUVER — Tears form in Barney Williams’ eyes and his hand rests over his heart when he speaks about how important a report on residential schools is for First Nations who grew up in the church-run schools.

“Many survivors are in terrible pain,” said Williams, himself a residential school survivor and an elder with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which released its interim report Friday.

He said the report is proof many of the 150,000 aboriginal children who were put in the residential school system suffered horrible neglect or physical and sexual abuse.

Williams, 73, went to a residential school on the west coast of Vancouver Island, not far from his Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation reserve, near Tofino, B.C.

He was “not quite seven” when he was first sexually assaulted, he stated. “Pedophiles have their victims. They used you for a while until they found another victim.”

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Tough lessons from residential schools

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

February 25, 2012

By TERRI THEODORE The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — The education system was the vehicle for inflicting generations of abuse and pain on aboriginal people in Canada so it must also be the vehicle for redemption, says the head of the commission studying the legacy of the schools.

Justice Murray Sinclair, the commission’s chairman, released the group’s interim report, which among other things, recommends Canadian children begin to learn about the residential school tragedy as part of their schoolwork.

Sinclair said during the commission hearings, panel members were struck by the amount Canadians don’t know about aboriginal people and the sorry legacy of residential schools.

“It has been through the use of an education system by the Canadian government that we have established and created the situation that exists within aboriginal communities and within aboriginal families in this country,” Sinclair said at a news conference Friday.

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Ottawa, churches withholding documents…

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

[with videos]

[interim report]

Ottawa, churches withholding documents, residential schools commission says

Tamara Baluja

OTTAWA— Globe and Mail Update
Published Friday, Feb. 24, 2012

Ottawa is restricting access to federal archives and withholding several key documents on church-run residential schooling, says the Truth and Reconciliation Commission charged with exposing the dark legacy of this period in aboriginal education.

The commission’s mandate is to create a comprehensive historical record of residential schooling in Canada with a purpose of helping victims to heal and encourage reconciliation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians. But in an interim report released Friday in Vancouver, the commission says the federal government and some churches are frustrating their efforts to search through their archives and causing “considerable delay.”

“It is unlikely that the document collection process will be completed without a significant shift in attitude on the part of Canada and those parties who have been reluctant to co-operate,” Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the commission, wrote in the report.

The commission was established in 2008 through the court-approved Residential Schools Settlement Agreement that was negotiated among legal counsel for former students, the churches, the Assembly of First Nations and the federal government.

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National News: Assembly of First Nations National Chief Welcomes TRC Interim Report, Calls for Commitment and Concrete Steps Forward

CANADA
Northumberland View

[interim report]

Includes Statement from the Liberal Party of Canada
OTTAWA, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ – Following a three day national forum on First Nations driving change toward safe and thriving communities, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo welcomed the interim report today released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), further calling for a commitment by governments and all Canadians to engage in concrete reconciliation efforts.

“In this interim report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws important conclusions and points to clear steps toward reconciliation,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. “Real reconciliation, though, is achieved through action and change. We must all work together to ensure these important recommendations are implemented in ways that address the needs of all residential schools survivors and families, and to ensure that from now on education will only be used to support and improve the continued and sustained success of First Nations as an investment in Canada’s collective future.”

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Truth and Reconciliation interim report

CANADA
YouTube

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its interim report in Vancouver today (February 24). Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the commission, spoke to reporters about what he said is a need for education on the history and impacts of residential schools.

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Court filing: Bevilacqua ordered shredding of memo identifying suspected abusers

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese’s Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month.

They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him.

“It is beyond doubt that Msgr. Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction,” attorneys Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote.

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Mendenhall: The politics of contraception

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Marlboro

By Lee Mendenhall/Guest columnist
The MetroWest Daily News

FRAMINGHAM —
With many far more important issues to address, the Republican right has seized on the Obama Administration’s reasonable requirements for contraceptive coverage in health plans as another club to attack him with, and as usual, rage replaces reason in all the far-right flacks’ fulminations.

It’s taken pages of reading for me to find some of the facts, but I commend the MetroWest Daily News editors for including some calmer writers who have made the following clear: 1) 28 states already have similar requirements in place; 2) the requirements do NOT apply if all the employees share the religion which wishes to exclude the coverage; and 3) the administration has offered to lighten the requirements considerably.

Yet this isn’t enough to satisfy the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops or the GOP opportunists who, when they think they smell Obama’s blood, are driven to pile on lies and falsifications enough to bury all truth and rational thinking. …

Also greatly disturbing is how the Catholic Church, with such great potential and actual power to do good, risks squandering the opportunity given it by its founding grace and deep material, intellectual, and spiritual resources. Many parish priests are fine, upright men who sacrifice much to help others, but a significant number who rise in the hierarchy seem to have lost their way. The public face of the church as presented by the U.S. Bishops partly seems a cynical program to blame everything else (the sixties, gay culture, birth control) as a way to evade responsibility for enabling rampant child sexual abuse and then trying to cover it up. If misdirected energy hadn’t been spent on demonizing contraception and homosexuality, squabbling for decades over ecumenical liberalization, etc, etc, perhaps better attention to internal affairs could have prevented the horror of priestly pedophilia and the resulting hemorrhage of payouts and parishes.

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Former pastor sentenced after Alford plea on molestation allegations

VIRGINIA
Washington Post

By Justin Jouvenal

The 30-year-old glared down from the witness stand at the former pastor accused of molesting him as a boy and demanded one thing: “I just want you to say you’re sorry — that’s it.”

The man he addressed, Tommy R. Shelton Jr., sat less than 10 feet away in a Fairfax County courtroom. Shelton, 66, stared past him in stony silence.

Stephanie L. Schwab, 26, who grew up in Manassas, was arraigned in federal court in Alexandria.

“You can pretend you didn’t do this, but you know you did,” said the man in the witness stand Friday. “Look at me.” And then, finally, their gazes met.

Soon after, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Brett A. Kassabian sentenced Shelton to six years in prison on charges stemming from allegations of molestation from the mid-’90s, when Shelton was leader of the Community Church of God in Dunn Loring.

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Savannah diocese, bishops sued over priest child abuse case

SAVANNAH (GA)
Savannah Morning News

By Jan Skutch

The Catholic Diocese of Savannah and two of its bishops have been sued in South Carolina over alleged sexual abuse of a minor by former priest Wayland Y. Brown.

The suit, filed Nov. 16 in the Court of Common Pleas in Ridgeland, alleged that Brown abused a Savannah youth whom he met through youth programs at Savannah’s St. James Catholic Church and school in the mid-1970s.

According to the suit, the victim, a “devout Catholic” identified as John Doe, was sexually abused by Brown on various church and school properties as well as in various locations in South Carolina.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and bishops Raymond Lessard and Gregory Hartmayer are named as defendants in the suit.

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‘Service of Healing’ set for sex abuse victims

FARGO (ND)
Inforum

By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

FARGO – A “Service of Healing” for victims of sexual abuse will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at Recovery Worship, 3910 25th St. S. in Fargo.

Resources from Lost and Found Ministry will be available, along with counselors, pastors and a local priest for those who wish further assistance.

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Ex-Palma employees accused of abuse

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Salinas Bureaumontereyherald.com

Palma High School in Salinas has been identified as one of the Christian Brothers schools that employed brothers or priests who were accused of child sexual abuse.

The Herald has learned that former Palma students will receive court-ordered notifications that they have until Aug. 1 to make an abuse claim or lose their right to do so in the future. A lawyer for one Palma alumnus said he is readying a claim.

The action rises out of the April bankruptcy filing by the Irish Christian Brothers and the Christian Brothers Institute of New York in the wake of sexual abuse claims.

An attorney representing the plaintiffs in the claims said the court agreed to issue the Christian Brothers a “bar date,” or claim deadline, on the condition they identify all schools where alleged perpetrators were employed.

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Civil trial against Lockeford priest goes to court

CALIFORNIA
Lodi News-Sentinel

Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012

By Katie Nelson/News-Sentinel Staff Writer

The lawyer for a man who contends he was abused by Father Michael Kelly of Lockeford says the man is a former U.S. Air Force pilot who had to give up his career because he was haunted by repressed memories of the abuse.

The lawyer also contended during opening statements Friday that Kelly has a history of inappropriately touching children dating back to the late 1970s.

Kelly’s lawyer, however, said there is no way the popular parish priest could be guilty of such abuse.

During Friday’s court session, Kelly sat only feet from the plaintiff, who contends the priest began abusing him when he was in the fifth grade at Annunciation School in Stockton. Kelly has vigorously proclaimed his innocence. At least 20 supporters appeared in court on his behalf Friday.

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Malooly won’t ask for resignations of priests accused in clergy sex abuse cover-up

WILMINGTON (DE)
WDEL

[letter from Bishop Malooly]

[Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington via BishopAccountability.org]

By Amy Cherry

Updated Friday, February 24, 2012

Bishop Francis Malooly says he won’t ask for the resignations of three priests accused of masterminding a cover-up of decades of sexual abuse.

After shocking documents were released last week as part of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington’s settlement with victims of abuse, survivors of sexual abuse called for Monsignors Cini, Lemon, and Rebman to step down.

In a letter posted on the Dialog, the Diocese’s newspaper, Malooly says the priests have his “full support and gratitude.”

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DIOCESE OF WILMINGTON

WILMINGTON (DE)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Documents released recently by the Diocese of Wilmington have once again brought to public attention the past criminal misconduct of some clergy and the mistakes made by Bishops in handling these crimes. In coverage of the documents, the media has also reported that certain clergy sexual abuse survivor advocates have called for the resignations of Monsignors Cini, Lemon and Rebman for being what they termed “architects” of a diocesan “concealment strategy” regarding sexual abuse.

None of these three dedicated priests ever engineered a strategy to conceal priest sex abuse. None of these men have ever put children at risk by placing an abusive priest back in ministry nor would they ever have had the authority to do so. What the documents show is that in 1985, within months of Bishop Robert E. Mulvee’s arrival as Bishop of Wilmington, two families reported to the Diocese that their teenage sons had been abused by a diocesan priest. Bishop Mulvee determined that the Diocese had an obligation to report the abuse to civil authorities and the abuse was reported. Following this incident, the Diocese, under the leadership of Bishop Mulvee, developed a diocesan reporting policy. A Policy on Child Abuse and Neglect was adopted in November 1985, making the Diocese of Wilmington one of the
first dioceses to implement a mandatory abuse reporting policy.

Bishop Mulvee implemented a “zero tolerance” approach to clerical sex abuse matters in the mid-1900’s, more than 15 years before this standard was promulgated nationally in the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Monsigno’s Cini, Lemon and Rebman implemented this approach, and in no case handled by them was an abusive priest ever returned to ministry by the Bishop. In part because of this approach, there have been no reported incidents of abuse by a diocesan priest in ministry in more than 20 years. In saying this I do not overlook the tragic abuse by Francis DeLuca of a family member after his removal from ministry, during his retirement in Syracuse, New York. Additionally, our diocese annually has been found compliant with the Charter since it was adopted nearly a decade ago.

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UPDATE 1-Philadelphia priest says cardinal ordered child abuse list destroyed

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Chicago Tribune

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia pedophilia scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss – the late
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua – ordered a list he made of predator priests be shredded.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua’s time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand
trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

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Lawyers press for more SNAP documents, testimony

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 24, 2012
By Joshua J. McElwee

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Attorneys who deposed the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in January are requesting he be compelled to give more testimony and allege that the group is not covered by confidentiality protections afforded to rape crisis centers, court filings reveal.

The documents, dated Feb. 10 but obtained by NCR on Wednesday, relate to a Kansas City, Mo., court case that made headlines in December when it became the first where lawyers sought the deposition of a SNAP leader and requested that the organization hand over 23 years of internal records, correspondence and email.

Speaking to NCR, David Clohessy, the group’s director and subject of the Jan. 2 deposition, said the continuing legal battle over the case has left the group “basically broke” and “without enough money for the next payroll.”

Clohessy, who said after his deposition that he had refused to answer many of the lawyers’ questions and to submit many of the requested documents, also said the financial struggles led him to release his lawyer. He said he is currently representing himself in the case while he searches for a lawyer willing to serve pro bono.

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Assembly of First Nations National Chief Welcomes TRC Interim Report, Calls for Commitment and Concrete Steps Forward

CANADA
Digital Journal

[interim report]

OTTAWA, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ – Following a three day national forum on First Nations driving change toward safe and thriving communities, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo welcomed the interim report today released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), further calling for a commitment by governments and all Canadians to engage in concrete reconciliation efforts.

“In this interim report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws important conclusions and points to clear steps toward reconciliation,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. “Real reconciliation, though, is achieved through action and change. We must all work together to ensure these important recommendations are implemented in ways that address the needs of all residential schools survivors and families, and to ensure that from now on education will only be used to support and improve the continued and sustained success of First Nations as an investment in Canada’s collective future.”

In its 30 page report, citing 20 recommendations, the TRC concludes the Indian residential school system constituted an assault on First Nation children, families, culture and communities. The report also highlights the importance of recognizing the unique legal status of First Nations as the original peoples of Canada, encouraging all levels of government to work with First Nations based on this understanding. Specific recommendations include support for health and healing of all survivors, the need for culture and language programming, parenting supports, access to documents, and records as well as restoring funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

“While we support all survivors and their families on their individual healing journeys, we must at the same time turn the page on this dark chapter of our shared history and work toward a future that unleashes the full potential of our peoples in this country,” said National Chief Atleo. “By acting now in mutual respect, support and partnership we can and will achieve a better day for First Nations in this country – where First Nation education is reflective of our strong languages, cultures and traditions and supports our success at every level.”

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Lynn: Philly Cardinal Had List of Priests Shredded

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WSAV

By: MARYCLAIRE DALE | Associated Press
Published: February 24, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) A Philadelphia church official facing trial in the priest abuse scandal says he created a list of problem priests in 1994 but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH’-kwah) had it destroyed.

Monsignor William Lynn says the Archdiocese of Philadelphia recently turned over a surviving copy that corroborates his claims.

Lynn asked Friday to have his conspiracy and child endangerment case thrown out based on the new evidence. Jury selection is under way.

Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping predator-priests in ministry.

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THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE
TheMediaReport

[*EXCLUSIVE REPORT* Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest]

CHESHIRE, SS SUPERIOR COURT
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
v.
GORDON MacRAE
#93-S-0218-0228, 1076-1078, 1229-1231, 1554-1557
_____________________________________________
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF A
MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL
_____________________________________________
ROBERT ROSENTHAL
COUNSELOR AT LAW
523 EAST 14TH STREET, SUITE 8D
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10009
(212) 353-3752
CATHY J. GREEN, ESQ., BAR #995
GREEN & UTTER, P.A.
764 CHESTNUT STREET
MANCHESTER, NH 03104
(603) 669-8446
ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER GORDON MACRAE …

Now comes Defendant-Petitioner, Gordon MacRae, by and through counsel, and hereby
states as follows:

Introduction

In the early 1990s, it was well known in and around Keene, New Hampshire that the local
Catholic diocese was paying huge sums of money to young men claiming to have been abused by their childhood priests. Tom Grover, a drug addict and alcoholic with neither a job nor prospects, looked to his own payday. Grover accused father Gordon MacRae of having molested him as a teenager, and sued the New Hampshire diocese. He won nearly $200,000 dollars for his efforts and his testimony convicted MacRae of terrible crimes.

There was no evidence to support Grover’s claims, other than his testimony. There was not
a single witness to the acts alleged in Grover’s stories of molestation though they were to have happened in busy, populated places. The convictions – and the money – turned on Grover’s performance.

Recently, newly discovered evidence has revealed that before trial, Grover admitted to friends
and family that his accusations were lies manufactured for diocese cash, and that he would, and did commit perjury at MacRae’s trial. Those people have also reported Grover’s conduct after he got his money – conduct that included more admissions of perjury, and that undermines any notion that his stories were anything but lies.

In addition to Grover’s overall fraud on the criminal justice system, review of the record in
the light and context of the new evidence also reveals a trial marked by actions and inaction of defense counsel that not only undermined the defense, but served the state, and assured the conviction.

The conviction here came during a period of time that has since been widely recognized as
fostering a wave in sexual abuse accusations and convictions – often in cases in which the claimed acts were objectively impossible, but also in cases like this, in which accusations were technically possible, but objectively unlikely. As Grover admitted to his friends and family, his efforts toward MacRae’s conviction were based on that wave of false convictions. Thus, as those times largely gone by nourished the prosecution and fostered the conviction, a measured and historically aware review reveals that it was unjust and must be vacated.

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Lawyers: Bevilacqua ordered memo on priests to be shredded

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered two key aides in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to shred all copies of a 1994 memo that identified 35 priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years in church files, was disclosed for the first time Friday in a motion by lawyers for Mgsr. William J. Lynn, the former church official facing trial for enabling abusive priests.

They contend the shredding directive proves the church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse occurred at levels far above Lynn, and that he has been unjustly accused.

“It is beyond doubt that Monsignor Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction,” attorneys Jeffery Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote.

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Dolan’s D&C

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Editorial

Any cursory reader of the news in the last two weeks can’t help but know that Timothy Dolan belongs to the most exclusive men’s club in the world: the Roman Catholic Church’s College of Cardinals.

If you are a New Yorker – or a New Jerseyite — or a traveler to anywhere in the circular range of the New York media you have not been able to escape this traveling show of his pre-consistory trip to the Holy Land, his departure from his Fifth Avenue digs for the trip to Rome, his arrival in Rome, the fact that he took a shower at North American College in Rome before going out for a bowl of pasta, his New York decaled jacket approach to press conferences throughout the week, his restaurant visits with family and traveling band of 1,000 in tow, his chosenness for the pre-consistory speech, his working-the-room jaunt down St. Peter’s aisle, his bounding with skirt hem lifted to Pope Benedict to get his hat and ring, his pasta weight gain that keeps him from taking his ring off his finger to see the coat of arms of the man who put it there, his post consistory receptions, his continuing press conferences, and his bag piped arrival back at his New York Fifth Avenue digs. Not to mention the coverage of his tailor, his ringmaker, and his mother, Whew!

All of that dust, we do believe, is the really the architecture of a Dolan D&C strategy: the diversion and charm offensive in the face of the highest stakes to date in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

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The birth control bishops

UNITED STATES
Aljazeera

Rose Aguilar

San Francisco, CA – Forget child abuse. The Catholic Bishops would rather spend their time, money, and resources on birth control and women’s sex lives. The main debate over the past few weeks in the United States has been about birth control. And guess who’s dominating it? The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the country’s official organisation of the Catholic hierarchy.

The bishops are up in arms over the Obama administration’s rule that would have required health insurance plans, including Catholic-affiliated hospitals and universities, to offer free contraception. Once the bishops took to the airwaves to criticise the decision, the administration modified its policy so that insurance companies, not Catholic hospitals or universities, pay for contraception. But that didn’t appease the bishops – or Republican extremists.

On February 16, House Republicans thought it was necessary, with all the economic problems the US is facing, to hold a hearing on the contraception rule. The panel was comprised of five men – five religious men who without any kind of health background (watch this video, towards the end).

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Is it time for a Jacobin pope? Plus, musings on an American

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Feb. 24, 2012 All Things Catholic

As a thought exercise, ask yourself what period of time the following paragraph about the Vatican seems to reflect.

“For those who’ve seen the place in better days, the Vatican looks deeply troubled. In the absence of strong leadership, internal tensions seem to be bursting into view. Even at the height of his powers, the pope took scant interest in governance. As he ages and becomes more limited, a sense of drift is mounting — a conviction that hard choices must await a new day, and probably a new pontiff.”

Although it seems perfectly apt in February 2012, in fact, that paragraph was written in late 2004. That’s the irony: Many cardinals who elected Benedict XVI thought they were buying an end to the crisis of governance in the twilight of John Paul’s reign, only to find they’d simply traded it in for a newer model.

In the abstract, Joseph Ratzinger seemed the man to put things right. As the saying went, Ratzinger was in the curia but not of it — he knew where the bodies were buried, but he was never the stereotypical Vatican potentate, forever building empires and hatching schemes. Plus, he’s hardly the extrovert John Paul was, so it seemed reasonable he might invest more energy in internal business.

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Seeking Abuse Victims

America Magazine

From CNS, staff and other sources | MARCH 5, 2012
Catholic bishops should find out what is keeping victims of sexual abuse around the world from coming forward, said Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, right, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. U.N. statistics have shown “that sex abuse is widespread and crosses all cultures and societies” and is not just a phenomenon plaguing the church or Western nations, he said on Feb. 13. A mandate from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith requires all bishops to establish anti-abuse guidelines by May of this year.

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Selbsternannte Opfervertreter

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

netzwerkB Positionspapier “Selbsternannte Opfervertreter” Stand 24.02.2012 (als PDF herunter laden)

Position netzwerkB’s zur Bundesinitiative der Betroffenen von sexualisierter Gewalt und Missbrauch im Kindesalter e.V. (http://www.die-bundesinitiative.de/)

Zur Koordination der über 500 Opfervereine gründete sich am 20. August 2011 die Bundesinitiative für Betroffene (BI) und wurde am 2. Dezember 2011 im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichtes Scharlottenburg eingetragen unter: 95 VR 31053 B. Anspruch war es, den aufwändigen Dialog zwischen den Betroffenen zu koordinieren und eine einheitliche Position der verschiedenen Betroffenenverbände für den Runden Tisch zu erfassen. Es dürfte klar sein, dass sich allein aus diesem Anspruch noch kein Alleinvertretungsanspruch der BI für die Betroffenen ergab. Ein halbes Jahr nach Gründung der BI steht die Einlösung des Anspruchs dieser Initiative mehr als in Frage. Gerade fünf Vereine sind noch Mitglied. Dennoch gilt die Initiative der Regierung als repräsentative Stimme der Betroffenen und wird nun mit mehr als 27.000 Euro finanziert.

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Gods Woord bezit wonderlijke helende kracht

NEDERLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad

Gods Woord bezit wonderlijke helende kracht bij de verwerking van seksueel misbruik, ervoer 
Linda van der Ploeg.

Als slachtoffer van seksueel misbruik ben ik blij met het Movisierapport over huiselijk geweld in orthodox-protestants Nederland en de aandacht die eraan besteed wordt in de krant. Het artikel ”Jarenlang zwijgen over incest” (RD 15-2) raakte me diep. Het lijkt veel op mijn verhaal. Ik werd jarenlang seksueel misbruikt binnen het gezin en de (reformatorische) familie.

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Detectives, Historians Solve Murder By Priest From 1894

CINCINNATI (OH)
Local 12

[with video]

An Irish family is thanking Cincinnati Police for helping them find peace more than a hundred years after the murder of one of their ancestors. A priest murdered Mary “Mollie” Gilmartin on a Cincinnati street in 1894. The Gilmartin family never knew the details of the murder, until Cincinnati detectives and local historians recently got involved. Local 12’s Deborah Dixon tells us how the Gilmartin family finally got their answers.

The Cincinnati Enquirer headlines screamed “Ghastly.. Father O’Grady Kills.. Pursued the Girl He Had Sworn to Cherish. The girl was Mollie Gilmartin. She was sent to live with relatives here in on Chestnut Street. And near the home is where 20 year old Mollie was killed on April 25th 1894.

She was trying to start a new life without Father Dominick O’Grady, the priest from her hometown parish who left the church to marry Mollie. Her brother, a priest in Chicago, intervened and sent her to Cincinnati to live with family.

That April morning as Mollie walked to her clerking job at Pulvermachers Galvanic Belt Company on East Sixth Street. She saw a glimpse of Father O’Grady and tried to make her way back home. What happened next are in police and newspaper reports. “The lifeless body sank to the ground, face powder burned, auburn hair singed by the flame.”

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Suit filed against Marianists, claiming sexual abuse by Chaminade teac

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

BY JENNIFER MANN • jmann@post-dispatch.com > 314-621-5804

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A former Marianist cleric at the Chaminade College Preparatory School was so well-known for his inappropriate behavior toward showering students that they had a name for it: the “Meinhardt treatment,” according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Rev. Louis Meinhardt, a teacher and coach at the Creve Coeur prep school from 1958 to 1982, would allegedly watch juvenile boys shower and grab their genitals, earning several nicknames including “the kissing coach.” He also, according to the suit, used common catch phrases including “come here and give me loving” and “let me pat you on the bo-bo.”

Earlier this month, the leader of the Marianists, Rev. Martin Solma, revealed that more than a dozen former students had come forward with decades-old allegations of verbal and sexual abuse by Meinhardt and another former cleric, Rev. John Woulfe, who was at the school for nine years ending in 1977. Both are now deceased.

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Woman Says Pastor Abused Her for Years

HOUSTON (TX)
Courthouse News Service

By CAMERON LANGFORD

HOUSTON (CN) – A Jane Doe plaintiff claims the United Methodist Church did not protect her from a philandering pastor who adopted and began molesting her when she was 14, and made her get an abortion after impregnating her while she was in high school.

Doe sued Pastor Kendall Graham and trustees of the United Methodist Church’s Texas delegation in Harris County Court, for more than $25 million.

Doe claims the church knew about Graham’s “inappropriate contact and relationships with female members” of his congregations, but rather than get rid of him they moved him to different churches around Texas.

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Jury pool grows for clerics’ sex-abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Prosecutors and defense lawyers Thursday identified about 100 more potential jurors for next month’s child-endangerment and sex-abuse trial of two current Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests and one former archdiocese priest.

By the end of a third day of reviewing juror questionnaires, the lawyers had agreed to call nearly 200 people back for courtroom interviews. The lawyers and Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina will start those interviews Monday to find 12 jurors and 10 alternates for the trial. The judge also denied a motion by one of the defendants, the Rev. James J. Brennan, for a separate trial.

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Former Priest “So drunk” he did not remember abusing two boys

NORTHERN IRELAND
Inside Ireland

By Olivia Kerr

A court has heard that a former priest and a convicted paedophile was so drunk at one point that he did not remember abusing two young boys.

This is the fourth time that Daniel Curran, 61, of Bryansford Road, Newcastle, has been charged of child abuse.

He pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault against two young boys in 1986.

Down Crown Court heard that the incidents took place at Curran’s family holiday home near Tyrella, County Down.

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Residential-schools commission …

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

[Truth and Reconciliation Commission interim report]

[Compensating native residential school abuse]

Residential-schools commission calls for national awareness campaign

Tamara Baluja AND Gloria Galloway

OTTAWA— From Friday’s Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

The commission that was established to reveal the dark legacy of church-run residential schools for aboriginal children says all Canadians should be made more aware of the sorry chapter in their country’s history.

In an interim report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to be released on Friday in Vancouver, Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair says comprehensive awareness efforts are needed to ensure that the rest of Canada fully understands the pain of the students who attended the schools and the parents whose children were taken from them.

Judge Sinclair recommends that every province and territory review its public-school curriculum to assess what, if anything, is being taught about the residential schools and to develop age-appropriate educational material. In addition, the TRC would like to work with the governments to develop unique local campaigns to educate the general public on residential schools.

After assessing statements and testimony from thousands of survivors and more than 100 former employees of the schools, Judge Sinclair says “we were reminded afresh that all of this happened to little children who had no control over their lives.”

About 150,000 first nations, Inuit and Métis children were forced to attend the government schools throughout the 1900s. The last one closed outside Regina in 1996.

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