Reconciliation report shines light on ‘dark chapter’ in Canadian past

CANADA
Canada.com

By Teresa Smith, Postmedia News February 23, 2012

The Indian Residential School system was “not simply a dark chapter from our past,” says a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “It was integral to the making of Canada.”

That a young Canada benefited from an education system designed to assimilate Aboriginal Peoples — by taking away their children and re-educating them — is difficult to swallow.

But, as the report released late Thursday says, the fact that this idea is news to many Canadians is part of the problem.

It goes further, saying the Residential School system was only part of a system designed to gain control of aboriginal land. “The Canadian government signed treaties it did not respect, took over land without making treaties, and unilaterally passed laws that controlled nearly every aspect of aboriginal life.”

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Teach history of residential schools: report

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Staff Writer

Posted: 02/24/2012

THE pending report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says residential school survivors should have greater access to mental health care and recommends curriculum changes for Canadian public schools that would broaden awareness of the history of residential schools, the CBC reports.

The interim report, which is scheduled for official release in Vancouver today, was leaked to the broadcaster on Thursday.

Residential school information should be available in public schools across the country, the report suggests, with individual schools addressing the implications the residential schools had in specific regions.

The report also advises that the formal apology delivered by the federal government should be framed and distributed to every secondary school in the provinces and territories by Ottawa.

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Truth and Reconciliation Commission to release interim report, historical work

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Canadian Press

Posted: 02/24/2012

VANCOUVER – A commission set up to help First Nations heal from abuses they suffered in residential schools is about to release an interim report and a new historical publication.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada will release the documents during a presentation this morning at Simon Fraser University’s downtown Vancouver campus.

About 150,000 aboriginal children were forced to attend the schools, the first of which opened in the 1870s and the last of which closed in 1996.

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Report on residential schools advises curriculum changes, wellness sites: CBC

CANADA
Canada.com

By Postmedia News, Postmedia News February 23, 2012

The pending report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says residential school survivors should have greater access to mental health care and recommends curriculum changes for Canadian public schools that would broaden awareness of the history of residential schools, the CBC reports.

The interim report, which is scheduled for official release in Vancouver on Friday, was leaked to the broadcaster on Thursday.

Residential school information should be available in public schools across the country, the report suggests, with individual schools addressing the implications the residential schools had in specific regions.

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Sinclair is correct — it was genocide

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Christopher Powell

Posted: 02/24/2012

Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, has declared that Canada’s Indian residential school system was an act of genocide. This statement will disturb many Canadians. Some will say that our collective soul-searching over the Indian residential schools has gone on long enough, or too long, and that indigenous people should just let go of the past and move on.

But Justice Sinclair was right to make this declaration. Acknowledging Canada’s responsibility for genocide is necessary to heal the great harm done by this traumatic historic event. It is necessary both for indigenous peoples, and for non-indigenous Canadians as well.

The Indian residential school system, in both its stated intent and its observable effects, meets the definition of genocide specified in the United Nations Genocide Convention of 1948. Article 2 of that convention defines genocide as certain acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such,” and includes in the specified acts, “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

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Closing Vatican embassy ‘a mistake’

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PAMELA DUNCAN

Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has described the Government’s decision to close the Vatican embassy as a “mistake” that he believes will be reversed.

Speaking this evening at the Mater Dei Institute’s Spring Lecture Series, Dr Martin said that he feared that the controversy surrounding the decision had “taken on a life of its own” and was not a debate which was in the best interests of the Church or the Government.

“While I believe that the change in status of the Embassy was a mistake and that it will in time be changed, the current polemic is distracting us from the real challenges of Church State relations and from the real crisis questions facing the Irish Church,” he said.

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Spokesman defends record as Polish bishops prepare to adopt guidelines

POLAND
U.S. Catholic

Thursday, February 23, 2012

By Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — The spokesman for the Polish bishops’ conference defended its handling of sexual abuse accusations against Catholic clergy as the bishops prepared to adopt guidelines on the issue.

“The church is the only institution in Poland systematically dealing with this — no one else is,” said Father Jozef Kloch, conference spokesman. “Although we’re being used as a whipping boy, we know from data there’s a much lower incidence of pedophilia among Catholic priests than clergy from other denominations, as well as teachers, home care employees, sports coaches and, unfortunately, parents and relatives.”

Father Kloch told Catholic News Service Feb. 22 that, in March, the bishops would vote on new guidelines developed in line with instructions issued by the Vatican last May. The Polish document was prepared by the church’s legal counsel.

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St. James employee remembers Braley

SALEM (MA)
Wicked Local Salem

By Sarah Thomas/sthomas@wickedlocal.com
Salem Gazette

Posted Feb 23, 2012

Salem —

From 1986 to 1990, Salem’s St. James parish was home to Rev. James E. Braley, a pastor who was recently placed in administrative leave after Archdiocese officials received an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

Braley, who served most recently as the pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish in Plymouth, also served in churches in Lynn and Marblehead. Church officials have said that the abuse was alleged to have happened in the early 1980s, a time when Braley was serving at St. Peter parish in Cambridge and Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree.

Diane Santos, administrator of religious education at St. James, said she started with the church 26 years ago, around the time that Braley arrived in Salem.

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RTS award for UTV documentary

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

UTV has won a prestigious Royal Television Society award for a documentary on paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Reporter Chris Moore, executive producer Paul Clarke and camera operator Drew Welsh were in London to pick up the award on Wednesday night.

‘The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth’ was aired on UTV in December 2010.

It followed the trail of broken lives left behind by the sex predator who raped and assaulted children in Ireland, Britain and America as the Catholic Church covered up his crimes.

Journalist Chris Moore, who broke the Brendan Smyth child sex abuse story in a UTV documentary in 1994, believes many children were abused by the paedophile priest after allegations first emerged in the 1970s.

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Opening arguments in clergy sex abuse trial on Friday morning

STOCKTON (CA)
Lodi News-Sentinel

By Ross Farrow/News-Sentinel staff writer

STOCKTON — Opening arguments in the sexual abuse lawsuit against Lockeford priest Michael Kelly will begin at 10 a.m. Friday in Department 42 at San Joaquin County Superior Court, 222 E. Weber Ave., fourth floor, Stockton.

Kelly, priest at Lockeford’s St. Joachim’s Catholic Church, is accused by an unnamed plaintiff of sexually assaulting him during the 1980s, when Kelly served at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton. Kelly has not been charged criminally.

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Now facing 62 total sex-related charges, priest consents to remand

CANADA
The Western Star

Published on February 24, 2012

Cory Hurley
CORNER BROOK — The Roman Catholic priest who turned himself in to police in December after nine alleged victims of sexual abuse came forward against him has again willingly gone into custody following more charges.

George Ansel Smith, 74, appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook Thursday afternoon. Attorney Tom Williams elected, on behalf of the former western Newfoundland priest, to proceed via judge alone in Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

There were another 24 sex-related charges before the court against Smith, who was already facing 38 charges — including 13 counts of gross indecency, 11 counts of indecent assault on a male, seven counts of sexual assault, four counts of unlawfully committing a gross indecency and three counts of unlawfully assaulting with intent to commit an indictable offence. Those offences, alleged to have happened between 1969 and 1989 in six different communities, including Port Saunders, Corner Brook, Stephenville, St. Fintan’s, Cape St. George and Deer Lake.

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Lack of Vatican co-operation over child sex abuse led to closure of embassy

IRELAND
The Irish Times

OPINION: Lay voices who make a living defending the church should see sense on embassy issue, writes PATSY McGARRY

PROTAGONISTS IN the row over the closure of Ireland’s embassy to the Holy See have included some Fine Gael backbenchers not heard from before. Certainly they were silent following the Cloyne report last July, when no one produced a rosary beads at a parliamentary party meeting either.

Recently they’ve had to deal with voters angered at Fine Gael Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan’s stand on septic tanks and household charges. It was a help to have a Labour Minister’s decision to seize on.

The row would not be complete without Fianna Fáil input. On Valentine’s Day Senator Terry Leyden was accused by Fine Gael’s Paul Coghlan of jumping up and down like a jackass on the issue. Leyden is no jackass but would recognise a chance to embarrass political opponents before drawing his first breath of a day, even on Valentine’s Day.

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1 trial for Philly ex-church official, 2 priests

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KSRO

MARYCLAIRE DALE

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A priest charged with raping a teen while on leave from the Philadelphia archdiocese will go on trial next month in a church conspiracy case, despite defense objections.

A judge refused Thursday to give the Rev. James Brennan a separate trial. Brennan, 49, wants a short trial involving a single accuser.

Instead, he will be at the defense table for months while prosecutors seek to build a conspiracy and child-endangerment case against Monsignor William Lynn, the long-time secretary for clergy. Prosecutors plan to air sex-abuse complaints lodged against two dozen priests over several decades to show Lynn kept problem priests around children.

Lynn, for his part, has fought unsuccessfully to sever his case from his two co-defendants, both charged with rape. Brennan, 48, and defrocked priest Edward Avery, 69, are each charged with raping a single victim, accusers who came forward in time to meet newly expanded state time limits for child-sex assault.

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Priest faces 24 more sex-related charges

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

Corner Brook, Nfld.— The Canadian Press

Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

A Roman Catholic priest is back in custody in western Newfoundland after 24 more sex-related charges were brought against him.

George Ansel Smith consented to returning to prison after being released from jail in December when he faced 38 charges, including gross indecency, sexual assault and indecent assault.

Those charges involved nine complainants who allege they were abused by Mr. Smith between 1969 and 1989 when he was working in Deer Lake, Nfld.,

Mr. Smith has elected to be tried by judge alone in Supreme Court and his arraignment is scheduled for March 5.

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Ex-priest Daniel Curran admits to abuse charges

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

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

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

He has pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault against two young boys dating back to 1986.

Downpatrick Crown Court heard that the offences took place at Curran’s family holiday home near Tyrella in County Down.

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SORKIS WEBBE, JR. & DR. STEVE BANDER BOND; KSDK’S REVOLVING DOOR; CARDINAL TIM DOLAN FOR POPE?; JOPLIN TORNADO DOCUMENTARY

MISSOURI
Berger’s Beat

…Great honor for the guys who have made a living covering breaking news. . .It was a loss for barrister Gerald Noce, who represents the Marianists, a religious order that runs Catholic schools. Noce had sought a writ from an appeals court to stop a civil lawsuit against Brother William Mueller, who worked at Vianney and Chaminade in the 1960s and 1970s. Mueller, who now lives in Texas, has been accused of sexually violating more than 50 students in three states, often drugging them first. Word is that Clayton lawyer Ken Chackes will file the first abuse case this week against Brother Louis Meinhardt, a teacher who spent 30 years at Chaminade. .

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Truth commission’s interim report leaked

CANADA
CBC News

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is calling for changes to Canadian public school curriculums and for mental health care for residential school survivors.

The commission’s interim report was leaked Thursday to CBC News, a day before the three commissioners — chair Murray Sinclair, Wilton Littlechild and Marie Wilson — release the report in Vancouver.

Their 20 recommendations address education, health and commemoration, among other issues.

The commission calls for all provinces and territories to develop residential school education materials for public schools. Provinces and territories should hold education campaigns about the history and impact of residential schools in their jurisdictions, the commission says.

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LDS bishop set for trial in failure to report case

UTAH
NECN

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Mormon bishop is set for trial June 1 on charges of witness tampering and failing to report a teen girl’s complaint of sexual abuse.

Prosecutors say 43-year-old Gordon Lamont Moon advised the 16-year-old girl last July not to report an alleged assault to authorities.

Utah courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer says a judge in Duchesne’s 8th District Court set the trial date on Thursday.

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Trial date set for LSD Church bishop in failure-to-report case

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Aaron Falk
The Salt Lake Tribune

A June trial date has been set for a Mormon bishop accused of failing to report allegations of child abuse after meeting with a girl in his Duchesne congregation.

Gordon Lamont Moon, 43, will stand trial June 1 on a third-degree felony count of tampering with a witness and a class B misdemeanor of failure to report child abuse.

According to a court document, the 17-year-old girl was sexually abused by a younger teen in July. The girl’s father later asked Moon to speak with the girl.

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Trial set for Mormon bishop accused of failing to report abuse

UTAH
Deseret News

By Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012

DUCHESNE — A one-day jury trial has been scheduled for an LDS Church bishop accused of telling a teenage girl not to seek a protective order and failing to report the girl’s disclosure that she had been sexually abused by a relative.

Bishop Gordon Moon is charged in 8th District Court with witness tampering, a third-degree felony, and failure to report abuse, a class B misdemeanor. Moon was arraigned on the charges Thursday, entering not guilty pleas to both counts.

His trial is set for June 1.

But Moon’s attorney, David Leavitt, said Thursday that he intends to challenge the constitutionality of the witness tampering charge prior to trial.

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Former Kinkora priest facing another 24 sex-related charges back in custody

CANADA
The Guardian

Published on February 23, 2012

CORNER BROOK, N.L. — George Ansel Smith, a Roman Catholic priest who’d previously served in P.E.I., consented to going back into custody after 24 more sex-related charges have come before the Newfoundland courts against him.

Smith had been administrator at St. Malachy’s Church in Kinkora when he was suspended as a P.E.I. priest in May 2010 following the allegations that he’d abused nine young males in Newfoundland between 1969 and 1989.

He was released from jail in December, when there were 38 charges in total against him. When he appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook this afternoon, that total had risen to 62.

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SNAP blasts Archbishop Carlson

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 23, 2012

Week after week, month after month, new child sex abuse allegations surface against current and former St. Louis priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers and other Catholic officials. Some are diocesan, some belong to religious orders.

But who signs their paychecks doesn’t really matter. What matters is that some of these predators are still alive and often live and work here in St. Louis (and elsewhere) among unsuspecting families, neighbors and colleagues. What matters is that each revelation brings added pain to Catholic parishioners in St. Louis. And what matters is that some or most of their victims live here in St. Louis.

Recently, victims from Chaminade, a St. Louis Catholic school, have found the courage and strength to speak up. In just three weeks, Catholic officials here admit that they’ve heard from 15 victims of Brother Louis Meinhardt who taught and coached at Chaminade for 30 years.

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Newfoundland priest faces 24 new sexual abuse charges

CANADA
CBC News

A Roman Catholic priest who worked in Newfoundland and Labrador for many years is facing 24 new sexual abuse charges, bringing the total number of charges against him to 62.

George Ansel Smith was in court Thursday afternoon in Corner Brook.

Smith, who worked in parishes from Newfoundland’s southwest coast to the tip of the Northern Peninsula, was charged in December after a lengthy investigation by the RCMP.

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Ex-priest seeking new trial

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Keene Sentinel

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012

By Casey Farrar Sentinel Staff

A former Keene priest convicted nearly two decades ago of sexually abusing four boys is seeking a new trial, claiming new statements from people close to one victim show he was after money when he made the accusations.

Gordon J. MacRae, 58, was convicted by a Cheshire County jury in September 1994 of five counts of sexual assault against a 15-year-old boy during the summer of 1983 in the rectory of St. Bernard’s Church in Keene, while MacRae was a Roman Catholic priest there.

A month later, MacRae avoided more slated trials by pleading guilty to three additional counts of sexual assault — one count each involving three other boys, including a boy who said he was 12 years old when MacRae fondled him in the rectory of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Hampton.

In the Keene trial case, MacRae received the maximum sentence — 331/2 to 67 years in prison — meaning he wouldn’t be eligible to seek release until 2028, when he’d be 74 years old.

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Priest facing additional 24 sex-related charges

CANADA
The Telegram

Published on February 23, 2012

George Ansel Smith, a Roman Catholic priest, consented to going back into custody after another 24 sex-related charges have come before the courts against him.

He was released from jail in December, when there were 38 charges in total against him that involved nine complainants claiming to have been abused by Smith between 1969 and 1989. When he appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook this afternoon, that total had risen to 62.

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Contraception Furor v. Catholic Realities

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

By Mary E. Hunt

Anyone who thinks that the much-discussed compromise offered by the Obama administration will end the US Catholic Bishops’ efforts to eradicate contraception and otherwise truncate women’s rights is sadly mistaken. Their show of ecclesial muscle, noticed big time by the White House in an election year, only serves to reinforce and reinscribe a moral authority that many Catholics no longer grant to the hierarchy. We understand ourselves in far more mature, differentiated, and autonomous fashions that vary widely among us. We vote accordingly.

The furor over the provision of contraceptive services focuses attention on the Catholic community, a quarter of the US population. Generalizations are hazardous, and the obvious is not usually what it appears to be. There are not two teams (the bishops and the rest of us), nor are there just conservatives and progressives. As that quarter of the population, we range from Opus Dei to Catholics for Choice, from parish members to base community adherents, from students to seniors, and everyone in the middle.

We do not speak in one voice, and no one speaks for all of us. We each have one vote. Not even the seemingly middle-of-the-road folks, like some media members and lobbyists who claim to be the voice of Catholic reason, represent anyone but themselves. This is the contemporary Catholic situation, and anyone who tries to persuade otherwise has a bridge to sell in Brooklyn.

Nonetheless, the current flap over health care reveals three Catholic realities: it is about birth control, it is not about religious liberty, and it is not over. …

The institutional Roman Catholic Church squandered the political clout it once enjoyed. Clergy sexual abuse cases and their cover-up by bishops are unspeakable crimes that cost more than just the billions of dollars spent to adjudicate cases and compensate victims. They cost credibility. The result is that the institutional Church increasingly relies on very personal issues, like contraception, to feather its nest having relinquished any claim on the death penalty, wars, the economy, and the environment where its moral weight could be so helpful. No one cares what it teaches. This is lamentable, but it opens up space for many Catholic points of view to emerge in the polls. And emerge they have, and emerge they should.

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Lawyers seek jurors …

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Washington Post

Lawyers seek jurors for Philly priest abuse trial; monsignor charged with endangering children

By Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — About 150 potential jurors will be questioned next week about their ability to spend several months hearing a landmark priest sex abuse case in Philadelphia.

Lawyers are reviewing jury questionnaires filled out by residents of the heavily Catholic city.

It remains unclear how much they will be asked about their religious beliefs or possible experiences with child sex assault.

Monsignor William Lynn is set to go on trial March 26 on charges he endangered children by keeping predators in ministry.

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Predator priest gets warning; SNAP responds

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 23, 2012 ·

We’re grateful to this judge for being firm with this dangerous priest. Like so many child molesters, Wenthe seems to believe laws don’t apply to him. We hope he does end up behind bars. That way, kids will be safer.

We call on Archbishop John Nienstedt to publicly disclose Wenthe’s status, residence and current work assignment. Secrecy about proven sex offenders only endangers kids.

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Sex offender priest balks at probation conditions, gets hauled to court

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 02/23/2012

A former St. Paul priest got a stern dressing-down by a judge this morning for failing to cooperate with his probation officer.

Christopher Wenthe, formerly of Nativity of Our Lord parish in St. Paul, was convicted Nov. 15 of criminal sexual conduct in a case that involved a 21-year-old penitent. He is serving one year in the Ramsey County workhouse.

Ramsey County District Judge Margaret Marrinan summoned the 47-year-old Wenthe to her courtroom after the probation officer contacted her about problems.

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Ex-priest ‘drunk’ while abusing boys

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

A court has heard that a former priest and convicted paedophile could not remember abusing two young boys because he had carried out so many offences and had been too drunk.

Daniel Curran has pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault against two young boys dating back to 1986.

He appeared at Downpatrick Court for a pre-sentence hearing on Thursday afternoon.

This is the fourth time Curran has been before a court for abusing children.

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Action taken on 2 Hawaii predator priests

HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 23, 2012

Two Hawaii priests deemed guilty of molesting kids have been dealt setbacks recently.

One sought release from prison but was denied parole, while the other has been permanently ousted from the priesthood by the Vatican.

Fr. Robert Mac Santry, a former priest of the Diocese of Honolulu who is now residing in Georgia, has been “dismissed from the clerical state,” effective immediately. As of this time, it is unknown what infractions caused Santry to be ousted. A priest can be dismissed for a multitude of crimes, including sexual abuse and financial fraud.

“Bishop Clarence Silva owes it to his parishioners, and especially to Santry’s neighbors in Atlanta to disclose what his crime was,” said David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Whether it was child abuse or fraud, we call on Bishop Silva to live up to his promise to be open and honest about clergy crimes and make a full accounting of what happened with Santry.”

Fr. Mark Matson, a Catholic priest of the Colorado-based Theatine Fathers order was tried and convicted in 2000 in Hawaii for sexual assaulting a 13-year-old boy. Matson was sentenced to twenty years behind bars. Last week, a Hawaii parole board voted to keep him in jail after Matson applied for release after 12 years.

Matson had been accused of abusing young boys in both Colorado and California before being arrested in Hawaii.

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Maciel’s Legion continues to unravel

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts on Feb. 23, 2012 NCR Today

Sandro Magister writes about the continuing changes to the Legion of Christ being arranged by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the pontifical delegate to whom Benedict XVI has given full power to remake the scandal-plagued religious order and its associated lay movement Regnum Christi, with its hundreds of consecrated men and women.

It is essential to remember that the Legion, a now failed project built on utterly fraudulent life of its founder, the late Marciel Maciel Degollado, was the ideal expression of Catholic priesthood and lay witness for Pope John Paul II. Maciel and the Legion represents more than a blind spot or a dark chapter in John Paul’s papacy. It represented, more importantly, the model of priesthood, leadership and witness that John Paul advocated.

As I point out in my book, The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself : Maciel had protectors in very high places. He traveled with the pope on some of his journeys and, as late as 2004, John Paul honored the Legion by entrusting it with the management of Jerusalem’s Notre Dame Center. John Paul II also praised Maciel that year for 60 years of “intense, generous and fruitful priestly ministry.” In a letter the pope said he wanted to join in the “canticle of praise and thanksgiving” for the great things he has accomplished and said Maciel has always been concerned with the “integral promotion of the person.” The Legion was clearly John Paul II’s idea of what a religious order and what Catholic expression should be.”

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Pastor admits to child porn charges

CLEVELAND (OH)
WTAM

(Cleveland) – More than a year after his arrest, a minister from Olmsted Falls is pleading guilty to more than 80 counts of child porn related charges.

Reverend Dr. Mark Griggs was rounded up in “Operation Lake Effect”, a massive child porn sting in December of 2010. Griggs was the pastor at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Griggs plead guilty Wednesday to 43 counts of Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving a Minor, 40 counts of Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material, and 1 count of Possessing Criminal Tools.

Griggs was originally charged in a 112 count indictment that included downloading, trading, and possessing child pornography. Between July 2008 and November 2010, Griggs traded child pornography over the internet from his house and church. Prosecutors said Griggs downloaded and saved images of sexually abused children to his computer that depicted children being raped in various ways.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s tough task – sexual abuse scandals and political battles

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

By
Irish Voice Editorial

Published Thursday, February 23, 2012

Newly appointed Cardinal Timothy Dolan certainly grabbed the lion’s share of media attention last week in New York when he received his red hat from Pope Benedict in Rome on Saturday.

The new cardinal is everything his predecessor Cardinal Edward Egan was not — avuncular, brilliant with a quote, hands on and charming.

He is a perfect fit for New York, where big is better and an outside personality is needed to break through the clutter.

Dolan certainly made his name in Italy too last week, with an Italian newspaper ranking him among the “papabile,” the handful of cardinals who could become the next pope.

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New Lawsuit Claims Fmr. Priest Sexually Abused 4 Boys

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox4

7:42 am, February 23, 2012, by Sarah Clark

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph faces a new lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by former priest John Tulipana.

Tulipana was forced out of the ministry in 1994. He’s accused of sexually abusing four boys from one family on fishing trips, camping trips and at the boys’ home while serving at St. Catherine of Siene Church in Kansas City.

Tulipana was ordained in 1972. The abuse against the four boys, ages 10 to 16, is alleged to have started in 1976.

According to a statement from SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests, two separate complaints had been filed against Tulipana alleging abuse prior to 1993. In 1993 and 1994, Tulipana was ordered to undergo psychological evaluations at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and at the Servants of the Paraclete in Jimenez, New Mexico. At the conclusion of these evaluations, Tulipana was allowed to return to ministry.

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Progress on culling pool of potential jurors for sex-abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

By late Wednesday, about 200 people had been disqualified as potential jurors for the child-sex abuse and endangerment trial against three current or former Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

That signaled progress. It meant that almost 100 others had made the cut, based on their responses to a questionnaire. Those people will be asked to return next week for courtroom interviews.

Just two days into the selection process, the pool of remaining candidates was large enough that one lawyer wondered if court officials needed to keep calling people to the courthouse.

“We have enough to get a jury now,” attorney Michael Wallace said, though others weren’t as sure.

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Vatican embassy closure was a mistake but it’s time we moved on, says Martin

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Colm Kelpie

Thursday February 23 2012

ARCHBISHOP of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin yesterday said it was time to “move on” from the row over the closure of Ireland’s embassy to the Vatican.

After an Ash Wednesday Mass on the campus in University College Dublin, Dr Martin said that while he believed it was a mistake to close the embassy at the Villa Spada in the Holy See, it would reopen in time.

“I think it was a mistake to close it, but let’s be realistic, for a moment,” he said. “For some period of time you’ll have a non- resident ambassador, a very competent person, a very committed person, I don’t think the polemic is helping anybody anymore.

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Leaked Vatican documents stir controversy

UNITED STATES
The Marquette Tribune

By Andrea Anderson

February 23, 2012

Leaks and conspiracy theories are crossing the tall walls of the Vatican, and the holy city is getting heavy press attention after reports of suspicions of money laundering at the Vatican’s bank, an ailing Pope Benedict XVI and internal conflict with his right-hand-man and Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The rumors come partially as a result of the Jan. 25 broadcast of private letters sent to Bertone and the Pope from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former deputy governor of Vatican City and currently the Vatican ambassador in Washington state.

The Vatican has claimed these letters are authentic.

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VATICANO: A ‘GLI INTOCCABILI’ INTERVISTA ESCLUSIVA AL ‘CORVO’

ITALIA
AgenParl

(AGENPARL) – Roma, 21 feb – “Gli Intoccabili”, il programma di Gianluigi Nuzzi su LA7, torna sui documenti riservati del Vaticano che negli ultimi mesi sono stati pubblicati dai media, prime tra tutte le lettere di Carlo Maria Viganò (nunzio apostolico a Washington) al Santo padre, rese note un mese fa dallo stesso programma. La puntata di domani, in onda alle 21.10, darà voce con un’intervista esclusiva – realizzata dallo stesso Nuzzi in una località segreta – a uno dei cosiddetti ‘corvi’, uno tra coloro che hanno reso pubblici tali documenti. “Lavoro in Vaticano da una ventina d’anni”, racconta in un passaggio. Alla domanda se si senta un ‘corvo’ risponde “assolutamente no” e, sul numero delle ‘talpe’ interne alla Santa Sede afferma che “potrebbero essere una ventina”. Il motivo? “Un rigurgito, un gesto di rabbia”, dice”.

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GLI INTOCCABILI, PARLA IL ‘CORVO’ CHE HA FATTO LA SPIA IN VATICANO: RABBIA CONTRO L’OMERTA’

ITALIA
Davide Maggio

Gli Intoccabili tornano a svelare i segreti dei Sacri Palazzi, infiltrandosi laddove si aggirano falchi, colombe e… corvi. Stasera il programma di La7 condotto da Gianluigi Nuzzi indagherà sui documenti vaticani che hanno delineato una ‘lotta’ interna alle mura leonine. La trasmissione aveva già mostrato alcune lettere inviate al Papa in cui si faceva riferimento a “situazioni di corruzione e prevaricazione“, suscitando l’ira della Santa Sede.

Nella puntata odierna Gli Intoccabili daranno voce a uno dei cosiddetti “corvi” che hanno reso pubbliche quelle scottanti carte. In un’intervista realizzata da Nuzzi, la spia ha dichiarato che le ‘talpe’ in Vaticano “potrebbero essere una ventina“. Il motivo? “Un rigurgito, un gesto di rabbia“. “Forse c’è una sorta di omertà a non fare emergere la verità delle cose” ha aggiunto il delatore.

“Il nostro è un Paese dove si può entrare, fare una strage e andarsene indisturbati e dopo 24 ore nessuno può mettere bocca su quello che è successo. Oppure sparisce una ragazzina e per 30 anni non si riesce a trovare una persona che dica qualcosa su come può essere andata“

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Vatican ruled by ‘omerta’ code of silence, whistle-blower claims

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

The Vatican is ruled by a climate of fear and an ‘omerta’ code of silence, a whistle-blower has claimed.

By Nick Squires, Rome
6:00AM GMT 23 Feb 2012

The mole claims to be one of more than 20 people within the Holy See who have leaked sensitive documents to the Italian media in the last few weeks, in an affair that has been compared to the WikiLeaks scandal and dubbed “Vati-leaks”.

The unidentified man, who said he had worked in the Vatican for more than 20 years, made the claims in an interview to be aired on Italian television on Wednesday night.

His face was hidden and his voice digitally distorted when he appeared on the TV channel, La7.

According to extracts of the interview, the whistle-blower said the Vatican was engulfed in intrigue, secrecy and a climate of intimidation. …

The whistle-blower said the Vatican is a place where “you can commit a murder and then disappear into the void” – a reference to a murky scandal in the Swiss Guard in 1998, when a young soldier shot dead the corps’ commander and wife before apparently committing suicide.

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Legionaries. The Young Vicar and the Restless Virgins

ROME
Chiesa

A new man at the top of the congregation: the German Heereman. Meanwhile, however, many consecrated women are leaving. The torment of their leader, Malén Oriol. The silent revolution of Cardinal De Paolis

by Sandro Magister

ROME, February 23, 2012 – For one week, a new man has been at the head of the Legionaries of Christ. He is young, only 36 years old. He is German, from Bavaria. He belongs to the noble lineage of the van Zuydtwyck. He has a brother who is a religious, and a sister who is a consecrated virgin. His parents testified for him in St. Peter’s Square, in the pope’s presence, on the eve of the closing of the Year for Priests, on June 10, 2010.

His name is Sylvester Heereman. He is the new vicar general of the Legion, in the role that previously belonged to Father Luis Garza Medina, the most powerful of the close collaborators and then successors of the infamous founder Marcial Maciel.

The appointment came unexpectedly, on February 16, with a statement from Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the pontifical delegate to whom Benedict XVI has given full powers in order to avert the downfall of the Legion and of the associated lay movement Regnum Christi, with its hundreds of consecrated men and women.

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PRESSEINFORMATION

OSTERREICH
Anselm van der Linde
Abt von Wettingen-Mehrerau

Abtei Mehrerau: Unabhängige Opferschutzkommission wurde eingerichtet, um auch bei Verjährung Entschädigungszahlungen zu ermöglichen. Keine Haftung des Klosters für vorsätzliche Handlungen von Mitgliedern der Gemeinschaft.

(Bregenz, 21.02.2012) Die Abtei Mehrerau hat gestern, 20.02.2012, fristgerecht die
Beantwortung der Klage eines Opfers von sexuellem Missbrauch bei Gericht eingebracht.
Generell stellt Abt Anselm van der Linde dazu fest: „Um den Opfern des oft jahrzehntelang
zurückliegenden und dadurch juristisch verjährten Missbrauchs auf alle Fälle eine
Entschädigungszahlung zu ermöglichen, wurde von der Bischofskonferenz die
Opferschutzkommission eingerichtet. Dort werden Opfer unabhängig, sensibel und diskret
beraten und unterstützt. Und es werden in möglichst kurzer Zeit Entschädigungen und
Therapiekosten ausbezahlt.“

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Retired Priest to Enter Plea

CANADA
VOCM

A retired Roman Catholic priest is expected to enter a plea in court today on a variety of sex charges. George Ansel Smith is facing 38 offences including gross indecency, indecent assault and sexual assault. A 16-month investigation by the RCMP revealed the incidents happened over a 20-year period between 1969 and 1989, while Smith was stationed in different communities on the west coast.

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Boy Scouts face sex assault lawsuit

CONNECTICUT
WTNH

[with video]

Erin Logan

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Two Connecticut men are filing a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America for sexual assaults they say happened when they were kids.

The men who are filing the lawsuit partnered with Attorney Kelly Clark from Portland, Oregon who has 60 cases in 14-states against the Boy Scouts.

“Why me? Why did you choose me?”

It’s a question the now 41 year-old victim has wanted to ask his alleged abuser David “Dirk” Davenport for over two decades as he’s battled relationship problems, addictions, and shame. However he has been in panic mode since his eight year-old daughter was born. …

Boy Scouts of America issued the following statement:

“The abuse of anyone, and especially children, is abhorrent and intolerable, and the Boy Scouts of America continues to evolve our multi-layered youth protection efforts. In the 25 years since the events described, Scouting has mandated training and education for everyone in our organization and designed policies that prevent one-on-one contact between youth and adults. Today, anyone suspected of abuse is immediately removed from Scouting, reported to law enforcement and Scout executives and added to our Ineligible Volunteer Files.

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Boy sues Scouts over sexual abuse, claims mass abuse cover-up

CALIFORNIA
Digital Journal

By Yukio Strachan
Feb 22, 2012

Santa Barbara- The Boy Scouts of America has until Friday to produce more than 5,000 records, kept secret for decades, detailing allegations of sexual abuse by scout leaders across the nation.

The attorney for the plaintiff, Santa Barbara attorney Timothy Hale, told the Santa Barbara Independent that the files, which will not be made public on Friday, showed that the Boy Scouts of America has maintained thousands of secret “perversion files” detailing child molestation cases, involving up to 20,000 scouts abused by leaders during 1965-85 alone, and perhaps 100,000 since 1925.

“For 70 years, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has concealed from the public the fact that sexual abuse has pervaded the institution,” hiding from parents the fact that their children were and still are at heightened risk of being targets of “pedophilic wolves,” Hale charged in the Superior Court suit.

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Man accused of child sex offense is wanted by U.S. marshals

NEW MEXICO
KFOX

States marshals in New Mexico added Sergio Luevano, who is accused of child sex abuse, to their district’s Most Wanted listed.

Luevano was indicted by a grand jury on second degree criminal sexual contact of a minor charges April 14, 2011.

Police said that during March 2010, Luevano touched or applied force to the unclothed intimate parts of a child under the age of 12. Luevano is a member of the Jehovah Witness Church and confessed to elders in the church that he did touch the child, police said.

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It could take a month just to pick a jury for three priests’ abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

BY MENSAH M. DEAN
Philadelphia Daily News
deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949

TYPICALLY, it does not take trial attorneys a week to read the questionnaires from prospective jurors before ever interviewing those people.

But that’s going on this week in the largest courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center, as attorneys and Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina lay the groundwork to impanel a jury in the trial of three Philadelphia Catholic priests accused of raping and endangering altar boys beginning in the 1990s.

Sarmina has said that the jury-selection process could take a month.

Jury selection rarely takes more than a day or so. But for a trial that will feature the intersection of two emotionally charged issues – religion and child abuse – taking such a long time to pick a jury is understandable and necessary, said Marita Green, chair of Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia.

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Boy Scouts sued over alleged sex abuse in Conn.

CONNECTICUT
Herald-Tribune

By DAVE COLLINS
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. – Two men in their early 40s sued the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, claiming scouting officials failed to protect them from a sexually abusive scoutmaster in Connecticut when they were children in the mid-1980s.

The plaintiffs, identified only as John Roe 1 and John Roe 2, filed a negligence lawsuit in state court in New Haven against the national organization and its Connecticut Yankee Council chapter. They say they were sexually abused on several occasions by David “Dirk” Davenport when he was the leader of Troop 490 in Madison.

The men allege scouting officials knew or should have known that before Davenport came to Connecticut in 1983, he had been accused of molesting boys in Montana, Nebraska and Minnesota in the 1970s and early 1980s, sometimes when he was a scoutmaster in those states.

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From “Pillar Of The Community” To Prisoner To Pastor

FLORIDA
Patch

Dirk Davenport, who pleaded guilty in the 1980’s to sexual assault of nine Boy Scouts, is serving as an associate pastor at a Florida church. His actions in the 1980’s led to a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Boy Scouts of America.

By Pem McNerney

An Associated Press Report says the man at the center of a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America involving repeated cases of child sex abuse is serving as an associate in congregational care at SunCoast Cathedral MCC in Venice, Fla.

“Davenport, 74, didn’t return a phone message left Tuesday at the SunCoast Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church in Venice, Fla., where he is an associate pastor. His home phone number is unlisted,” the Associated Press report in The Miami Herald said.

A woman who answered the phone Wednesday morning at the church said Davenport was not in, but that he was expected in later that evening. She said he serves as an associate pastor at the church, helping the senior pastor with the care of the congregation. She said she did not know about the reports of child sex abuse and did not know whether it was the same Davenport and declined to answer further questions.

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Why do men become Catholic priests?

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Eamonn Walsh
BBC News

Years of sexual abuse scandals have hit the image of the Catholic Church and its priests face long hours and modest wages. So what drives the young men who want to be ordained?

Just around the corner from the designer shops and fancy restaurants of London’s Kings Road stands Allen Hall. It is home to a small number of men in the middle of a journey.

The residents of Allen Hall, a Catholic seminary, are spending up to six years preparing to become Roman Catholic priests.

The student priests, known as seminarians, believe they are answering God’s calling in dedicating their lives to the work of the Church.

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Counselling available to students

CANADA
The Whig-Standard

By Danielle VandenBrink The Whig-Standard

School officials are offering counselling to students at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School following news of sexual abuse allegations against their former priest.

Father Rene Paul Labelle, 62, of Seeleys Bay was charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual exploitation Monday.

Provincial police say the allegations were brought forward by a man who was a teenager at the time of the incident, alleged to have happened in the summer of 2004.

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Convicted child molester MacRae wants a new trial

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

Published Feb 23, 2012

A Catholic priest convicted in 1994 of sexually assaulting boys wants a new trial, claiming new evidence exposes his chief accuser as a manipulative liar intent on making money off the church.

Writing in support of their motion for a new trial for Gordon MacRae, attorney Robert Rosenthal of New York City and Manchester lawyer Cathy J. Green say new evidence reveals the accuser admitted to friends and family “his accusations were lies manufactured for diocese cash.”

MacRae was convicted at trial of sexually assaulting the teenager, then pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three other boys. He is serving a 33 1/2 to 67 years prison sentence. He maintains his innocence.

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Woman raped by priest speaks out

NEW MEXICO
KOB

[with video]

By: Joe Vigil, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Mary McCarthy Stanton, who said she was molested and raped by a priest in the 1960’s, felt compelled to speak out after seeing recent TV coverage of the death of former Santa Fe Archbishop Robert Sanchez.

Sanchez stepped down from his post, in part, after failing to take action against priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Stanton said she was bothered by how easily people were willing to forgive Sanchez when he died. …

Below is a statement released by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe:

“Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, along with bishops from across the country, have acknowledged a sad reality of modern life: protecting children from sexual predators is not easy and cannot be taken for granted. To address this issue, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a Victims Assistance and Safe Environment Coordinator who oversees programs for children and adults to make everyone aware of how serious we are about protecting our children. ”

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Sparta Pastor arrested for sexual assault

WISCONSIN
WXOW

By Kevin Millard

SPARTA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – A pastor of a Sparta church is arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl.

Sparta Police Chief Michael Kass says in a release that James Monson, 41, was taken into custody Monday evening on charges of Sex with a Child Age 16 or Older and Sexual Exploitation by Therapist.

Kass says Monson is the Pastor of the Gaining Ground Community Church, 620 Industrial Drive in Sparta.

Monday, the parent of the girl went to Sparta Police to report what was believed to be inappropriate touching between Monson and her daughter.

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Wisconsin pastor arrested for sexual assault of a child

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

February 22, 2012

SNAPwisconsin.com
Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT 414.336.8575

The pastor of Gaining Ground Community Church, located in Sparta Wisconsin, was arrested and taken into custody on charges of sex with a child age 16 or older and sexual exploitation by a therapist. Sparta police were notified by the victim’s mother that the pastor, James Monson, had inappropriately touched her daughter. When interviewed by police the victim reported she had sexual contact with Monson on several occasions.

This brave victim and her mother are to be commended for contacting and working with law enforcement officials. The Sparta police department is likewise to be applauded for their diligence in investigating this reported crime. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the sooner law enforcement authorities are involved in a possible child sex crime the better the chances are that predators will be prosecuted and prevented from harming additional youngsters.

The arrest of Pastor Monson is further evidence that the sexual abuse of children is an epidemic in Wisconsin and throughout the country. That is why Wisconsin legislators have introduced the Child Victims Act. State Representative Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) who sponsored the legislation remarked “This is a huge issue, the number of children in Wisconsin and this country that are being sexually assaulted by adults. It’s a tragic epidemic and we have to step up and do something about it”.

This important child protection measure would remove the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, the very crime that Monson is reported to have committed. All major law enforcement organizations and agencies have endorsed this important legislation. Citizens in Wisconsin should contact their respective representatives and urge them to pass the Child Victims Act.

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Suit claims former KC priest abused 4 boys in family

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star

A former Kansas City-area Catholic priest sexually abused four boys in an Independence family, a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court alleges.

John Tulipana, who left the ministry in the mid-1990s, purportedly abused four boys while serving at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Kansas City. The suit alleged that the abuse began in 1976 and occurred on camping trips and at the family’s home.

The suit names Tulipana and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph as defendants. It does not identify the plaintiffs.

Tulipana could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A recording on his home phone line said the number had been disconnected.

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Ariz. Sheriff Babeu Seeks Independent Probe of Allegations

ARIZONA
NewsMax

Beleaguered Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeau on Tuesday asked authorities in a neighboring county for a comprehensive, independent investigation into allegations against him and his office.

Babeu asked the Gila County Sheriff’s Office and County Attorney’s Office to “look into allegations of human rights violations, threatening and intimidating, misuse of public resources, theft of property, theft of identity, fraud and impersonation.”

In a one-page letter to Gila County Sheriff John Armor and County Attorney Daisy Flores, Babeu said he had instructed his office and political staff “to fully cooperate with your inquiry in an effort to settle these allegations made against me.”

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Paul Babeu was told as child by priest, “Father Lavigne hasn’t broken you in”

ARIZONA
Tucson Citizen

by DA Morales on Feb. 22, 2012

Paul Babeu sues Catholic priest for sexual abuse.

Former Berkshire County Commissioner, Paul Babeu, is suing a former priest, accusing him of sexual abuse.

The suit was recently filed by Babeu who now lives in Arizona. It is the eleventh lawsuit filed this year against the Rev. Richard Lavigne.

Springfield Diocese Bishop Thomas Dupre has begun proceedings to defrock Lavigne, who recently completed a ten-year probation sentence.

from December 18, 2002.

How did that lawsuit turn out?

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Attorneys Seek New Trial For Priest Convicted Of Abuse

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WMUR

KEENE, N.H. — Lawyers for a former Keene priest convicted of sexually abusing three boys are questioning his main accuser’s story and fighting to get him a new trial.

The Rev. Gordon MacRae was convicted in 1994 of sexually abusing boys in the 1980s. He has always maintained his innocence, and his attorneys said new statements from some who knew the main accuser cast doubt on the charges.

“We have information from these people that the church was seen at the time as almost as a cash machine,” said attorney Robert Rosenthal. “You make an accusation and you can get a nice settlement, and the accuser here, as well as his relatives, did just that.”

In the motion for a new trial filed by Rosenthal and attorney Carol Green, they said the accuser “had a reputation — at least among the community of family and friends — as a schemer and liar.”

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SNAP responds to ruling in the Diocese of LaCrosse

WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 22, 2012

We are disappointed that the Diocese of LaCrosse was able to avoid responsibility for covering-up Ray Bornbach’s alleged crimes. Our hearts ache for Ms. Varga and the abuse she suffered.

We hope that despite the ruling yesterday, she is able to find justice by publicly exposing the wrongdoing by this predator and the Diocese. We hope that other victims of Bornbach or any priest from the Diocese of LaCrosse will now come forward and report their abuse.

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Picking jurors in Phila. clergy abuse case likely to be a long slog

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

February 22, 2012
By Elizabeth Fiedler

Today lawyers and a judge continue to plod through jury selection in the Philadelphia Archdiocese abuse case. It could take weeks to pick the 12 jurors and 10 alternates to hear the case of two former parish priests charged with abuse, plus a former, ordained administrator charged with endangering children.

Jury selection in a high-profile, high-stakes case like this clergy abuse trial is “very, very, very hard,” said Edward Ohlbaum, a professor of law at Temple University’s School of Law.

He said it will be a real challenge to find jurors who are unaware of the grand jury investigation into abuse by Catholic clergy that led to these charges, or who don’t have strong feelings about the general topic of abuse by clergy.

“The law doesn’t require that somebody sit on the jury without opinions,” Ohlbaum said. “But the law does say that if somebody has an opinion that favors one side or the other, that the opinion can not be fixed. We want people to be able to set aside their prejudices – because we all have them. And that’s really a hard job to be able to set that aside.”

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Kansas City priest accused of molesting 4 brothers

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Reuters

By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY | Wed Feb 22, 2012

(Reuters) – Catholic leaders in Kansas City covered up years of sexual abuse of several young children by a priest who led a Christian organization for youth, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by four brothers who say they were victimized as children.

The lawsuit, one of more than two dozen pending in Kansas City alleging abuse by area priests, was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court in Kansas City, Missouri. It names Father John Tulipana and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph as defendants, alleging molestation dating to the 1970s and 1980s.

Tulipana resigned in 1994 after a 22-year career with the church when it became public that the Catholic Church paid his accusers and had them sign confidentiality agreements. Tulipana was not prosecuted criminally. He did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

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Jury selection in Pa. priest abuse resumes

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
UPI

Published: Feb. 22, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Jury selection entered the second day Wednesday in the sex-abuse and child-endangerment trial of three Philadelphia priests, official said.

Six defense attorneys and three prosecutors spent much of the session examining questionnaires filled out by 250 potential jurors.

William Brennan, a defense attorney for the Rev. James J. Brennan, accused of sexually abusing a boy in the 1990s, told The Philadelphia Inquirer the jury selection could take weeks, indicating one potential juror who made the first cut had written on a questionnaire, “As a Catholic, I am disgusted by these allegations.”

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Manitoba Attorney Disbarred for Charging 55 Residential School Survivors $1 Million

CANADA
Indian Country Today Media Network

First they were abused at residential school. Then they were each charged thousands in fees by the very attorney who was supposed to help them obtain redress.

Fifty-five residential school survivors in Manitoba are getting their due, reimbursed for a total of nearly $1 million in fees that Howard Tennenhouse charged them collectively for negotiating their compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Tennenhouse was disbarred on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to charging the survivors $932,501.80 as fees, APTN reported. This was in addition to the 15 percent that the government pays attorneys on each settled claim, and should only have been levied if approved by an adjudicator, according to CBC News.

He was allegedly using the money to buy foreign real estate, APTN said.

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Former Montana Boy Scout leader sued for child sex abuse

MONTANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 22, 2012

We suspect that there are men in Montana right now who are suffering because they were hurt as kids by Davenport. We hope they’ll find the strength and courage to step forward, call police, protect kids, expose wrongdoing and start healing.

We also hope that every person who has any information or suspicions that could shed light on these allegations will call police so that the full truth might become clear.

If you have knowledge or suspicions – however old, small or seemingly insignificant – about child sex crimes, it’s your moral and civic duty to call police. Please summon the courage to do what’s right, call law enforcement and hopefully prevent more devastated lives.

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Clergy sex victims blast Canadian lawyer who stole

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 22, 2012

It’s beyond heartbreaking that anyone would steal from deeply wounded adults who suffered so much as kids.

We hope this disgraceful lawyer will be hit with the most severe consequences possible and that there will be some kind of restitution.

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WTF: Church Bans Children to Keep Pedophile Pastor?

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
Clutch

Tuesday Feb 21, 2012 – by Britni Danielle

A church in Jacksonville, Florida is coming under fire for its controversial decision to ban children from its church services.

According to a local Jacksonville news affilate, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has banned children from attending Sunday services because their new pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender and cannot have contact with children.

In 2009 Gilyard plead guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two underage girls. While he was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church Gilyard molested a 15-year-old girl and sent a lewd text message to another. Under the conditions of his plea agreement, Gilyard cannot have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old,” and his new church has taken extraordinary steps to help Gilyard stick to the terms of his deal.

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Strong support for Schüller

AUSTRIA
Austrian Independent

A vast majority of Austrians approve a controversial group of Catholic priests’ demands.

Pollster Oekonsult said yesterday (Tues) 87 per cent of residents of the country welcome Helmut Schüller’s plan to go international with his Preachers’ Initiative. Schüller, who once headed Caritas Austria, established the initiative around half a year ago. The group says the Roman Catholic Church should allow preachers to ignore celibacy. The preachers also support liberal Catholics’ appeal for women to hold sermons.

Oekonsult also found that 86 per cent of Austrians know the group organised by Schüller. The Probstdorf parish priest claims that 400 Austrian Catholic preachers joined his initiative in past months. He recently appealed to the Conference of Austrian Bishops to stop ordering more parishes to merge.

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2011 ANNUAL REPORT ON ANTI-CATHOLICISM

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

The Catholic League’s 2011 Annual Report on Anti-Catholicism is now available. It covers all the major issues that the Catholic League dealt with in 2011, along with many others that came to our attention.

The report covers the following areas: activist organizations; the arts; business/workplace; education; government; and the media.

There are special sections as well: our exposé of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP); our response to a Rolling Stone article and a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; a reprint of our ads in defense of the Catholic Church that appeared in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune; a lengthy analysis of the John Jay Report on Sexual Abuse; a detailed account of the attacks on Bishop Robert Finn by SNAP and the Kansas City Star; and a section on the War on Christmas.

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Chief Whip refuses to name irate priest

IRELAND
Enniscorthy Guardian

Tuesday February 21 2012

CHIEF Whip Paul Kehoe has refused to identify the priest who gave him an ear bashing recently about the Government’s decision not to post an Irish ambassador to the Vatican. However, the Minister of State confirmed that he was indeed on the receiving end of a complaint from a member of the clergy.

‘It did happen,’ commented Paul Kehoe who revealed that the criticism was voiced not at Mass but at what he called a ‘function’. He was mystified as to how the matter came to have come to the attention of the national press and refused to elaborate any further on what occurred.

However, he was happy to say that he sympathised with the suggestion that the Republic of Ireland should have an embassy in the Vatican. He suggested that many members of Fine Gael share the concern expressed by the anonymous priest.

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Former Read priest charged

CANADA
The Intelligencer

By QMI Agency

Provincial police have charged a Roman Catholic priest who once served as parish priest in Read in connection to an incident dating to 2004.

Rene Paul Emile Labelle, 62, of Seeleys Bay, was charged Monday with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual exploitation.

The charges relate to an incident alleged to have happened to a man who was a teenage boy in the summer of 2004.

Labelle was released from custody on a promise to appear.

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Listecki to lead Ash Wednesday Mass at Pius XI in turbulent time for Catholics

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee’s Archbishop was to say Ash Wednesday Mass at a local Catholic high school, all amidst a combination of difficulty and celebration for the Archdiocese.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki was to hold Mass at Pius XI High School on Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent.

The last several months have been tough for the Archdiocese, as the church filed for bankruptcy.

Less than two weeks ago, it lost a court hearing involving clergy sex abuse victims. A bankruptcy judge ruled that more than 550 sex abuse claims could proceed in court.

“It is clearly a victory for the survivors that have filed into this court,” said Peter Isely, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

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Clergy in German speaking countries divided over “Call to Disobedience”

Vatican Insider

An open war is going on in the German speaking Catholic world between liberals and conservatives, with numerous appeals and counter-appeals

Alessandro Alviani
Berlin

The conflict between liberal and conservative currents in the German speaking Catholic world has led to “an open split” within the clergy. This is according to the latest issue of the German news magazine Der Spiegel. A communiqué published last week by the Network of Catholic Priests, a conservative group made up of approximately 500 parish priests, caused the clash that has been going on for months now to escalate. The communiqué, signed by Fathers Guido Rodheudt, Hendrick Jolie and Uwe Winkel as well as German, Austrian and Swiss priests, launches a harsh attack on the “Call to Disobedience” which was published last summer by the Priests’ Initiative, a liberal movement with roots in Austria, that is asking for a review of the Church’s stance on homosexuality, celibacy and women’s access to the priesthood. “The Priests’ Initiative is yet another sad symptom of the de facto schism that has existed under the bishop’s noses in German speaking territories,” the communiqué said. This schism “does not separate lay people from the clergy, or German speaking Countries from the Roman Curia,” but rather, those who accept the Church’s doctrine and system from those who are on the path towards “creating a Church of their own.”

The document strongly criticises the reaction of bishops to the Call to Disobedience amongst other things. The impression is that “bishops are afraid to speak frankly and prefer to look on as the Pope’s authority as pastor of the whole Church is undermined.” In German speaking Countries today, “those who draw attention to forms of liturgical and doctrinal disobedience are branded as “disloyal”, whilst those who launch appeals in favour of disobedience are courted” and receive more attention. This leads one to draw conclusions as to “the mental attitude of those who are responsible for German speaking dioceses.”

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Pope wants new Nuncio to “solidify and strengthen the Holy See’s relations with Ireland”

IRELAND
Vatican Insider

“Something new is indeed happening. I am convinced that the Lord is preparing something beautiful for his Church”, the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, said in Dublin’s pro-Cathedral, after presenting his credentials to the President of Ireland

Gerard O’Connell
Rome

As he began his mission to Ireland, the new Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles J. Brown, delivered two messages. He said Pope Benedict XVI had sent him to “solidify and strengthen relations” between the Holy See and the Irish Republic and to assure the Irish people of his “great love for them” and his determination to combat the abuse of minors by clergy and assist victims.

He conveyed the first message when he presented his credentials to the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, on February 16, and he delivered the second when he preached in Dublin’s pro-Cathedral three days later.

The New York born archbishop arrived in Dublin on January 31, after being ordained bishop some weeks earlier by Pope Benedict, at whose side he had worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1994-2005.

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SNAP blasts promotion of new bishop in Houston

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 21, 2012

It doesn’t bode well that this new bishop has spent his entire career in an archdiocese that has a disturbing track record on child sex abuse and cover up. We are concerned about the promotion of Scheltz given his track record and those of his bosses.

In 2008, we named Cardinal Daniel DiNardo as one of the five worst Cardinals in the US church.

We pointed out then that he had mishandled cases both as the Archbishop in Houston and the Bishop in Sioux City, IA. Since then, he has done nothing to prove that he is able to properly handle clergy sex abuse cases.

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Known child molesting clergyman put back in pulpit; SNAP responds

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 21, 2012

A Jacksonville TV station is reporting that Rev. Daryl Gilyard, a convicted child molester, is back in a Jacksonville pulpit. He is now working at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.

How reckless can Baptist officials be? They should be ashamed of themselves.

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‘Scandal’ that reports on church child sex abuse still not complete

IRELAND
The Irish Times

It is “a scandal” that reviews of the handling of child abuse allegations in all 26 dioceses are not complete, six years after the National Board for Safeguarding Children was set up, Baroness Nuala O’Loan has said.

The former Northern Ireland police ombudsman yesterday praised the integrity of Ian Elliott of the national board but said the board was under-resourced.

“History tells us that there may today still be men in active ministry, against whom allegations were made, which were never investigated,” she said.

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Jury process delayed in Philly priest case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WPVI

[with video]

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – February 21, 2012 (WPVI) — Jury selection has been delayed at least a day in the landmark priest sex-abuse trial of a longtime Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping accused priests in ministry.

The 61-year-old Lynn is scheduled for trial with the Rev. James Brennan and former priest Edward Avery, both charged with rape.

Jury selection may take several weeks. Lynn was in court with his lawyers Tuesday, when the court delayed the start of jury selection without explanation.

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Boy Scouts sued over alleged sex abuse in Conn.

CONNECTICUT
Miami Herald

By DAVE COLLINS
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Two men in their early 40s sued the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, claiming scouting officials failed to protect them from a sexually abusive scoutmaster in Connecticut when they were children in the mid-1980s.

The plaintiffs, identified only as John Roe 1 and John Roe 2, filed a negligence lawsuit in state court in New Haven against the national organization and its Connecticut Yankee Council chapter. They say they were sexually abused on several occasions by David “Dirk” Davenport when he was the leader of Troop 490 in Madison.

The men allege scouting officials knew or should have known that before Davenport came to Connecticut in 1983, he had been accused of molesting boys in Montana, Nebraska and Minnesota in the 1970s and early 1980s, sometimes when he was a scoutmaster in those states.

The lawsuit also claims the Boy Scouts officials kept confidential “perversion files” dating back to the 1920s that contained information on alleged pedophiles. The plaintiffs allege Boy Scouts officials knew scouting programs were being targeted by pedophiles, but they took no steps to protect boys or warn local troops, scouts or their families about the dangers.

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PROGRAM 99: TIMOTHY HALE, ATTORNEY ~ SEXUAL ABUSE AND THE BOY SCOUTS

UNITED STATES
Just Between Us

(Attorney Hale describes his representation of children allegedly sexually molested by officials in the Boy Scouts of America, and details legal attempts to make public that organization’s “perversion files.”)

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Lawyer disbarred, pleads guilty to taking nearly $1 million from residential school survivors

CANADA
APTN

By Kathleen Martens
APTN National News
WINNIPEG — Howard Lorne Tennenhouse was disbarred by the Law Society of Manitoba Tuesday after pleading guilty to taking nearly $1 million from 55 residential school survivors.

Complaints from the former students helped expose the Winnipeg lawyer. Tennenhouse was acting on their behalf in claims for compensation for abuse they suffered as children at Indian Residential Schools.

It’s the first time anyone at the disciplinary hearing, conducted at the Law Society’s Winnipeg offices, had heard of a lawyer losing his licence to practice law for over-charging residential school survivors.

Hundreds of lawyers across Canada are working with thousands of survivors as part of the Independent Assessment Process of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The process compensates survivors for sexual and the worst physical abuse suffered at the church-run schools.

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Lawyer disbarred in fee grab

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Alexandra Paul

Posted: 02/22/2012

His law career finished after being disbarred for overcharging residential school victims, Howard Tennenhouse was anything but contrite as he lashed out at the fate he had been dealt Tuesday.

In a call to the Free Press after the Law Society of Manitoba meted out his punishment, the former lawyer, who pleaded guilty to professional misconduct, argued he was the real victim of the case, not his clients.

He criticized the law society, the federal residential school compensation agency and the media — and even suggested his clients were somehow responsible for his troubles.

“What I’m upset about is I had to (be) disbarred and slammed in the media as someone who was stealing from the Indians, when that’s not what I did,” Tennenhouse said in a telephone interview.

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Lawyer gets turfed

CANADA
The Province

A Winnipeg lawyer has permanently lost his licence to practise law after pleading guilty to overcharging residential school survivors who were owed compensation for abuse they suffered as children.

And those adults – all 55 of them – will get every penny they are owed.

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Native school survivors’ lawyer disbarred

CANADA
CBC News

A Winnipeg lawyer has been stripped of his licence to practise law because he overcharged 55 former residential school students of almost $1 million.

Howard Tennenhouse pleaded guilty on Tuesday to professional misconduct for taking more than $950,000 in excess fees from former students he represented in federal compensation claims.

The Law Society of Manitoba, which disbarred Tennenhouse, said all former students will be reimbursed, either by Tennenhouse himself or by the society.

Allan Fineblit, the law society’s chief executive officer, said half of the money has already been recovered and cheques will be going to the affected survivors as soon as possible.

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Archdiocese seeks court ruling to refute abuse allegation

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 21, 2012

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee signaled Tuesday that it will move to deny an assertion by a victims’ attorney that claims filed in its bankruptcy detail 8,000 incidents of sexual abuse and name as many as 100 offenders not previously identified by the archdiocese.

The move comes a day after nine legislators asked Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to investigate the alleged offenses and anyone who might have concealed sex crimes against children.

Attorneys for the archdiocese on Tuesday filed a motion calling the assertion by attorney Jeffrey Anderson misleading and said it appears to compromise the confidentiality order issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley to protect victims who seek anonymity.

The archdiocese is seeking a clarification of the order so it can respond to Anderson’s allegations without identifying victims.

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Advocate group protests former Atlanta priest

ATLANTA (GA)
CBS Atlanta

[with video]

By Bernard Watson

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) –
Father Robert Poandl is a longtime Catholic Priest – but Judy Jones says he’s also a child predator.

“It is clear that he is a danger to kids,” said Jones, an Associate Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “He should not be put out there in these small parishes.”

Last week Poandl, who was once assigned to the Archdiocese Atlanta, was relieved of his duties in Savannah after he was accused of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place nearly 30 years ago. It is the second allegation against the priest in three years. In 2010, a West Virginia judge dropped child molestation charges against Poandl because of procedural issues. Poandl maintains he is not guilty. SNAP said the church should not have allowed Poandl to continue working.

“It is totally inexcusable. If someone in a corporate environment had committed crimes within the corporation, not necessarily something that was going to be picked up by law enforcement, they would have been fired on the first offense, not the second offense,” said Steven Spaner, who is with SNAP.

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Vatican whistleblower on Italian TV

ITALY
Edmonton Journal

February 22, 2012

A private Italian channel said it will broadcast Wednesday an interview with a man who claims to have leaked confidential documents from the Vatican as an “act of anger.”

A spate of leaks has hit the Vatican in recent weeks, with media publishing letters from a whistleblower alleging rampant corruption, as well as accusing the Vatican bank of failing to implement laws against money laundering.

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2 former Madison residents file lawsuit over sex abuse while in the Boy Scouts

CONNECTICUT
Middletown Press

By Alexandra Sanders, Register Staff
asanders@nhregister.com / Twitter: @asanders88

MADISON — Two former residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that they were sexually abused by a local Troop 490 scoutmaster when they were Boy Scouts in the mid-1980s.

The lawsuit, filed against the Boy Scouts of America on a national level and the Connecticut Yankee Council, alleges that the two men were sexually abused over a year and a half when the boys were 13 to 15 years old by David “Dirk” Davenport when he was their scoutmaster, and BSA did nothing to prevent the alleged incidents from occurring.

The abuse allegedly occurred on multiple occasions in 1983 and 1984, often in connection with scouting activities at Davenport’s home; St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison, where scout meetings occurred; and at Camp Deer Lake in Killingworth, a Boy Scout camp.

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Giving child sex abuse victims more time to sue abusers

IOWA
Radio Iowa

February 21, 2012 By O. Kay Henderson

Iowans who were sexually abused as children would have more time to file a lawsuit against their alleged abuser if a bill pending in the Iowa Senate becomes law.

Today, someone who was sexually abused as a child must file a lawsuit against their alleged abuser after they turn 18 — and before they turn 19. Bill LaHay of Des Moines says when he was a child, he was abused by a Catholic priest and he’s urging legislators to change the law.

“Anything that offers a person — a survivor, a victim — more time to come to terms with that is a good thing,” LaHay says.

Under the bill, victims of child sexual abuse would have nine more years to file a lawsuit against their abuser seeking damages — right up until the victim reaches the age of 29. LaHay says few 18-year-olds understand the consequences of the abuse they may have suffered as a child.

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Jury selection begins in church sex abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Lawyers and a judge on Tuesday launched what they say could be a monthlong effort to impanel a jury to decide the fate of three Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests accused of endangering or molesting children.

About 250 prospective jurors completed the first step – a questionnaire on their backgrounds, beliefs, and ability to serve.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina canceled an afternoon session so she could review the first batch of surveys. She did not explain her decision, but ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys to resume the process in court Wednesday.

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Final claim dismissed in diocese fraud suit

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

Chris Hubbuch | chubbuch@lacrossetribune.com | Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A judge dismissed the last of three legal claims Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse in a 2008 lawsuit that accused the diocese of covering up sex abuse allegations against a priest.

In keeping with his earlier rulings, La Crosse County Circuit Judge Scott Horne said the plaintiff, Brenda Varga, failed to demonstrate fraud and that her attorneys shaded facts in their complaint to get before the courts and fish for more information to support “a questionable lawsuit.”

The diocese issued a statement saying in part, “This case illustrates the procedural difficulties in allowing the filing of old claims, particularly where plaintiff’s lawyers are willing to make misrepresentations of fact to the court. … The willingness to take liberties with the requisite facts in a case such as this does not further, and in fact deprecates, founded and credible claims of sexual assault and fraud.”

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Group Protests Priest Over Sex Abuse Allegations

CINCINNATI (OH)
ONN

[with video]

CINCINNATI – Members of a support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) protested at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral on Tuesday.

They want Cincinnati’s Archbishop Dennis Schnurr to denounce or discipline Father Robert Poandl, who they claim sexually abused at least two boys.

“We’re not here to start a fight with the Cincinnati Archbishop, but to work cooperatively and call on them to do as much as they can to reach out to other victims of Father Poandl,” said SNAP president Daniel Frondorf.

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Police charge priest

CANADA
Whig-Standard

GANANOQUE – The OPP charged a Roman Catholic priest in connection to an alleged sex assault dating back to 2004.

Rene Paul Emile Labelle, 62, of Seeley’s Bay was charged Monday.

Labelle was charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual exploitation.

The charges relate to an alleged incident against a then teenage boy in the summer of 2004.

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Third charge dismissed in Diocese of La Crosse abuse case

WISCONSIN
News 8000

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A La Crosse County judge dismisses a third charge against the Diocese of La Crosse in a case that accused them of covering up a priest who allegedly had a history of child abuse.

In a civil case that began in 2008, Brenda Varga said she was assaulted by Father Raymond Bornbach in 1971, and that the Diocese knew Bornbach had a history of abuse, but did nothing about it.
Bornbach was removed from the ministry in 2004, and died in 2006.

Judge Scott Horne dismissed the third and final charge of negligent misrepresentation at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

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Nach Missbrauch setzt Kloster Mehrerau auf Verjährung

OSTERREICH
Der Standard

21. Februar 2012 17:43

Bregenz – Das Kloster Mehrerau reagiert auf die Schadenersatzklage eines ehemaligen Schülers mit Verjährungseinwand. Der heute 57-Jährige war in den 1960er-Jahren von einem Geistlichen mehrfach vergewaltigt worden. Die Klage auf Schmerzensgeld und Verdienstentgang ist die erste zivilrechtliche Klage eines Missbrauchsopfers, strafrechtliche Verfahren gegen den von mehreren Männern beschuldigten Geistlichen waren wegen Verjährung eingestellt worden.

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Jury process delayed in Philly priest case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
York Dispatch

The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA—Jury selection has been delayed at least a day in the landmark priest sex-abuse trial of a longtime Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia.
Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping accused priests in ministry.

The 61-year-old Lynn is scheduled for trial with the Rev. James Brennan and former priest Edward Avery, both charged with rape.

Jury selection may take several weeks. Lynn was in court with his lawyers Tuesday, when the court delayed the start of jury selection without explanation.

They are due back in court Wednesday.

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Priests for Life in $608,000 debt, faces financial peril

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Gallagher on Feb. 21, 2012 NCR Today

In another urgent fundraising letter dated February 2012, Priests for Life is seeking $608,000 “in the next two weeks in to pay bills that are now over 90 days old.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, the embattled national director of Priests for Life, states that the “financial problem we’re facing is the combination of two things, really; neither of which we had any control over.”

In this missive, Pavone drops from his letterhead the role of national director of the Gospel of Life Ministries.

The two outside factors that have put Priests for Life in this critical situation are the economy and donors reneging on paying their pledges, he writes.

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Markham case moves forward

WISCONSIN
The Daily News

By NIKKI YOUNK – Staff Writer, The Daily News

MARINETTE, Wis. – The criminal case against a Niagara, Wis. man accused of sexual assault and battery is moving forward.

According to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website, Harold Markham was arraigned in Marinette County Court on Monday. His next scheduled court appearance is a status conference on March 30.

Markham, 46, faces one felony count of repeated sexual assault of a child, one misdemeanor count of battery, and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

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Arrest of Out of State Pastor…

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Arrest of Out of State Pastor for Child Sex Crimes Underscores Legislators Request to AG to Investigate New Abuse Claims

February 21, 2012

SNAPwisconsin.com
Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
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The former pastor of a Michigan church, Harold Markham, who was arraigned in Marinette County Court on Monday on charges of repeated sexual assault of a child in Wisconsin, illustrates the obvious, but overlooked fact that a significant number of sex offenders cross state lines. If convicted of the charges Markham faces 41 years in prison. Markham, a resident of Wisconsin, was working as a pastor at Norway Baptist Church in nearby Norway, Michigan. Sexual predators, of course, likely have more than one victim, and it is possible that Markham, like many child predators, has victims residing in multiple states.

Significantly, Pastor Markham is not the only out of state offender who has faced justice in Wisconsin in recent years. Even though Markham’s alleged offenses are more recent, the state of Wisconsin has a little known “fleeing sex offender law” which allows prosecution of sexual predators who commit child rape or sexual assault and then flee the state, regardless of when their crimes occurred. If there is time left on the criminal statute, in other words, and the offender crosses state lines, the time left on the statute effectively “tolls” or “freezes”. This provision, which was upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008, has resulted in the prosecution of at least 22 clergy during the past decade.

The significance of Wisconsin’s fleeing sex offender law was highlighted this week by a group of Wisconsin legislators who have issued a letter to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen urging him to launch an investigation into the reported 8,000 child sexual assaults that were perpetrated against children in the archdiocese of Milwaukee. The crimes, documented in claims filed by victim/survivors in the archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy case, reveal that there are at least 100 alleged offenders, 75 of them priests, who have not been publically identified by church officials. It is likely that a number of these offenders were transferred out of Wisconsin before the statute of limitations expired on their criminal acts and they could still face prosecution.

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