Serious allegations require serious investigation

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Ernst-Ulrich Franzen for the Editorial Board

Feb. 21, 2012

The allegations of what is in documents filed in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy are serious: 8,000 alleged sex offenses and as many as 100 previously unidentified offenders. And although the allegations cannot be independently verified because the documents are sealed, they deserve serious investigation, at the very least to determine if they are true.

That’s why nine Democratic lawmakers were right Monday to call on the state’s attorney general to investigate the allegations. It is possible that in those alleged 8,000 offenses and 100 possible offenders, there are cases that could still be prosecuted, and if there are, the state should prosecute with vigor. It may be the case that all cases are beyond the statute of limitations but it is worth an investigation to make sure.

The Journal Sentinel’s Annysa Johnson reported Tuesday that the nine sent a letter to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, calling the allegations, if true, “nothing short of a public safety crisis.” And they asked him to investigate the alleged perpetrators and anyone who may have concealed a sex crime against a child.

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New papal envoy to Ireland “insults” victims & Catholics, SNAP says

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 20, 2012

Archbishop Brown’s comments about his boss are an insult to Catholics and victims. It’s probably good for Brown’s career to publicly praise Pope Benedict for his alleged work on the church’s on-going heinous child sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it’s just not accurate.

If Pope Benedict has been, as Brown claims, “relentless and consistent” in ousting pedophile priests, where’s the evidence? We can think of one such child molesting cleric against whom Benedict has belated and begrudgingly taken some action: Fr. Marcial Maciel. Despite decades of widely-documented crimes and corruption, the Pope told Maciel to live “a life of prayer and penance.” That’s it.

And how about those thousands of other church employees who have ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of dreadful child sex crimes? What has Benedict done about any of them? Nothing.

The 2001 edict, telling bishops to report abuse cases to Rome, was as much or more about damage control than anything else. Imagine how many thousands of kids would have been spared devastating horror had then-Cardinal Ratzinger pushed for and won an edict telling bishops to report abuse cases to police and prosecutors instead.

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Disgraced American Bishop was honored guest at Ireland’s Vatican Embassy

ROME/IRELAND
Irish Central

By
PATRICK COUNIHAN,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A shamed American cleric was wined and dined at the Irish embassy in the Vatican – less than 10 years after he was forced to resign as Archbishop of Boston in a clerical sex abuse scandal.

Cardinal Bernard Law attended a number of farewell parties for Irish and British diplomats at the Embassy, recently closed down by the Dublin government.

A row is still ongoing in Ireland over the decision to shut the embassy to the Holy See with Fine Gael back-benchers campaigning to reverse the ruling.

Now the news that Cardinal Law was regularly feted at the embassy has caused outrage amongst support groups for those abused by Catholic Church clerics in Ireland.

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Kids turned away from church

JACKSON VILLE (FL)
News4Jax

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
A Northside church has been at the center of a controversy for nearly a month since allowing a registered sex offender to return to the pulpit.

In 2009, Darrell Gilyard pleaded guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation. The victims were underage girls in his congregation at Shiloh Baptist Church.

In the past few weeks, Gilyard began preaching at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church on the Northside. His new position drew protests from other pastors and the New Black Panther Party.

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Lawmakers call for state investigation into church sex-abuse

WISCONSIN
WSAU

MADISON (WSAU) Nine Democratic state lawmakers have asked the Justice Department to investigate an attorney’s claim that eight-thousand sex offenses were committed by people connected with the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese. At a court hearing last week, Jeff Anderson said up to 100 previously undisclosed offenders committed the crimes. If it’s true, the legislators said it’s nothing short of a “public safety crisis.” And they said the hiding of the offenses might have resulted in hundreds of other abuses against children as well.

Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck says the agency will review the lawmakers’ request. Anderson made the allegation to a judge investigating compensation claims by over 570 victims of sex abuse by priests. Those claims were made as part of the church’s Chapter-11 bankrtupcy reorganization. Peter Isley of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said he would welcome a Justice Department review.

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Jury selection begins in priests’ case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Jury selection began this morning in the historic child-endangerment and sex-abuse case against three clerics from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

As many as 250 prospective jurors will fill out a questionnaire today as part of selection process that could take as long as a month.

Twelve jurors and 10 alternates are expected to be chosen for the trial, whose opening arguments are scheduled for March 26, with Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina presiding.

On trial will be a former church official, a priest and an ex-priest.

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Paul Babeu, conservative Arizona sheriff, now openly gay

ARIZONA
Independent Voter Network

Posted 02/21/2012 by Bob Morris

This is one of those bombshell stories with multiple facets that branch off into all manner of areas: gay rights, immigration & border control, potential abuse of power, sexual assault by a priest, and a mediagenic sheriff about to run for Congress.

Late last week, Phoenix New Times broke a major story saying that Pinal County AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu had a gay sex affair with a Mexican (known only as Jose, for privacy). They broke up, and Jose now claims that Babeu threatened him with deportation. Babeu quickly held a press conference strongly denying the allegations but also said “I am gay.”

Students of crisis management and damage control take note. Babeu did this part right. Regardless of how the serious charges of abuse of power turn out, Babeu did not dodge, evade, or obfuscate about his sexuality. By stating pointblank he is gay, he saved himself weeks of pointless denials and defused at least that part of the crisis. For a public figure to do that is commendable. For a sharply conservative, immigration border hawk sheriff in Arizona to do so is rather extraordinary.

It should be noted that Babeu is not a hypocrite when it comes to his sexuality as he appears to have never made any anti-gay statements publicly. Babeu and his boyfriend met in 2006 on gay.com, a dating website. Jose says Babeu claimed he loved him and wasn’t seeing anyone else, but Jose soon suspected him of cheating. So he set up an account on another gay dating website under the assumed name of Matt and contacted Babeu, who was also on the site. He showed Phoenix New Times photos Babeu sent to him as Matt, some of which showed Babeu naked from the waist down.

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Midwest couple drives to Georgia to protest priest

ATLANTA (GA)
CBS Atlanta

By Bernard Watson

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) –
A Missouri couple is in Atlanta Tuesday to protest a Catholic priest accused of child sex abuse.

The couple, who are members of Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests, said they want to draw attention to a priest who has been suspended from the Georgia Catholic Parishes for the second time in three years because of child sex allegations.

SNAP plans to host a news conference outside Christ The King Cathedral in downtown Atlanta.

CBS Atlanta news reporter Bernard Watson is heading to the news conference.

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OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 21 February 2012 (VIS) – The Holy Father appointed Msgr. George A. Sheltz of the clergy of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A., vicar general, chancellor and moderator of the Curia, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 23,257, population 5,811,010, Catholics 1,146,908, priests 427, permanent deacons 357, religious 687). The bishop-elect was born in Houston in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1971. He has served as pastor of various parishes of his diocese, and as director of the Secretariat for Clergy and Chaplains.

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WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE?

UNITED STATES
Giza Death Star

February 21, 2012 By Joseph P. Farrell

My friend George Ann Hughes of The Byte Show forwarded me this disturbing article:

Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse

We have all, of course, heard by now of the rampant sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church, and of the attempts by some of its clergy to exercise influence to cover it up, with allegations of this attempted cover-up going all the way up to the Vatican itself. Indeed, the late Fr. Malachi Martin wrote of this practice in conjunction with ritual abuse and a hidden network of co-opted clergy practicing it in his last book, the novel Windswept House. For those able to read between the lines of Fr. Martin’s novel, it, like his other great fictionalized account of ecclesiastical politics, Vatican, pulls the veil back on a church riddled with factions, networks, infiltrators, and pederasts.

Now it seems there are rumors of similar widespread scandals within the various denominations of the Baptist religion. What one wonders is, where is the outrage of the media here? The Catholic Church, rightly, has been the focus of mainstream media attention and outrage for the scandals that have rocked it for the past two decades, but where’s the outraged mainstream national media coverage of similar scandals in other churches? To my knowledge, there has been very little. Of course, every now and then, we are treated to stories of famous evangelical preachers being given the “outrage” treatment, but we are not led to believe that it is a widespread problem, but the occasional moral”hiccup”.

But this website belies the idea that such abuse is “occasional”, but rather, is more widespread than might be suspected. And that raises a significant question: Just why is such abuse so widespread within not just the Catholic Church, but by implication, within so many churches? Why, every few years or so, are we told about stories of child-sex rings: the Franklin Scandal, the recent Penn State allegations, and on and on?

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New auxiliary bishop named to Galveston-Houston archdiocese

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

A Houston native has been named the new auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Monsignor George Arthur Sheltz, 65, will be introduced at 10 a.m. today as the new auxiliary bishop, according to a diocesan release. The archdiocese has been without an auxiliary bishop since March 2010.

Sheltz, who has been a priest since 1971, will assist Cardinal Daniel DiNardo in overseeing the 1.2 million Catholics across 10 counties in the Houston area.

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Boston Archdiocese Bloated Payroll: Inaction

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Catholic Insider

BCI obviously struck a raw nerve with our last post, “Bloated Payroll” about the 17 people earning more than $150K a year. We continue today with a brief recap on that post, and then below our commentary on how the Boston Archdiocese has managed to delay acting on this problem for years and continues to delay.

By means of a recap from last time, the annual report for the 2011 fiscal year (page 83), says the number of people making $150K or more in that fiscal year was 17. In the 2006 Annual Report, there were just 2 people in the Chancery paid more than $150K. So the number of people making $150K or more per year has increased by more than 8X since 2006.

In addition, the total compensation paid to people making more than $150K has also increased by a factor of about 9X since 2006. The Boston Archdiocese is paying about $3,500,000 in such salaries today vs $373,000 in 2006–$3.1 million more to people making $150K+ a year. The archdiocese has a fiduciary responsibility to be a good steward of donor funds, and this does not appear to be happening.

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Advocate: Christie Must Act on Delbarton Scandal

NEW JERSEY
Patch

By Michael Daigle

An activist who has publicized accusations of sexual misconduct at Delbarton School says he’s called on Gov. Chris Christie for help addressing the allegations, but gotten no reply.

On Jan. 23, Patrick Marker wrote a notarized letter to Christie, himself a parent of Delbarton students, requesting the governor take action regarding Delbarton and its sponsor, St. Mary’s Abbey. He said the governor should appoint a special prosecutor to “conduct interviews and review abbey personnel files, Abbey Review Board notes, and Delbarton School files for any indication of conspiracy, deception, corruption and intimidation.”

It’s been a month, and Marker said he’s gotten no response. Calls to Christie’s office this week by Patch went unanswered as well.

Marker, of Washington, DC, created and maintains UndertheGreenWave.com. On it, he discusses accusations of impropriety at Delbarton, including one that has resulted in an investigation of the school’s former headmaster, the Rev. Luke Travers.

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The Church’s scandals are having serious repercussions on Christians in India

ROME
Vatican Insider

Interview with Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo on the faith situation in India: “I can see and feel churches getting emptier. It is vital therefore for us to stay united and close the Pope”

Fabio Marchese Ragona
Rome

“Whoever does a thing like this is not a real Christian. Here in India we were really sad to hear about the letters.” The comment was made by 72 year old Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, in North-Eastern India, who spoke with a steady voice and a tone that sounded almost reproachful. According to the latest report published by the Catholic Secular Forum, 2141 Christians suffered violence, persecution and discrimination in India, in 2011. The cardinal came to Rome to take part in the consistory called by Pope Benedict XVI. He said this was a great moment of celebration with the Holy Father and the 22 newly created cardinals, but at the same time, it is a moment to reflect on the events going on in the Roman Curia.

So, Eminence, the news about the Secretariat of State’s leaked letters has reached India as well?

Yes, the news reached us very quickly and we were greatly saddened by it. Whoever is responsible for this does not lead a true Christian life.

Did cardinals in the consistory talk about it at all?

Many of the older cardinals spoke about it and said on a number of occasions: “We stand by the Pope.” But it is not just a matter of talking about unity. It also needs to be put into practice. Otherwise what is the point in us being created cardinals? Certainly in order to stand by the Pope and help him in the administration of the universal church.

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Local Parishioners Encouraged by Decision to Reopen Adams Church

MASSACHUSETTS
WGGB

By Ray Hershel

(HOLYOKE, Mass.) (WGGB)–Parishioners of closed churches in the Springfield area are applauding a decision to keep an Adams church open.

They say what happened in Adams gives them hope for the future.

Parishioners at St. Stanislaus parish in Adams are thrilled.

The long fight to keep their church open was successful.

The diocese approved a plan to reopen St Stanislaus as a chapel mission of the parish.

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Map: Detroit Archiocese reveals plans

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

Martha Thierry, Graphic Artist

[map]

The archdiocese maintains that some church closings and mergers are needed because of the severe priest shortage, population shifts and financial necessity. Here is a quick look at which churches will close, merge and cluster in the coming years. By the end of the year, 214 additional parishes, not included here will submit plans to the archdiocese to collaborate, cluster and potentially merge or close down the road.

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Replacement minister stays on to help in healing

GARDNER (ME)
Kennebec Journal

BY MECHELE COOPER Staff Writer

GARDINER — With the help of Rev. George Lambert, Christ Episcopal Church is recovering from the investigation and suspension of its minister.

Rev. Jacob Fles was placed on a two-year suspension after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct consisting of “inappropriate language and interpersonal boundary violations.”

Fles had been placed on paid administrative leave since late September 2011 while the Episcopal Diocese of Maine investigated allegations of sexual misconduct, financial impropriety and improper clergy conduct. The investigation found no evidence of financial misconduct.

Lambert has been conducting Sunday services since October. Then in January, Bishop Stephen Lane asked him to stay on as priest in charge.

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31 Catholic parishes face consolidation

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

[reorganization plan]

By Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Archbishop Allen Vigneron said Monday he hopes a sweeping restructure of local Catholic parishes will result in stable churches that are able to evangelize and get more people back into the pews.

Under the changes to the Archdiocese of Detroit’s 267 parishes, two churches will close by year-end and 31 will merge by 2013.

Additionally, seven parishes will merge within the next four years as a result of the reorganization given final approval by Vigneron.

Six other parishes will have to submit “acceptable” debt repayment plans by June or be forced to close or merge with another nearby parish. Seven others have cluster arrangements that are still being worked out. In all, 53 parishes are affected.

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Patriarch Of Family Accused Of Sex Crimes Released

MISSOURI
KMBC

LIBERTY, Mo. — The patriarch of a family accused in a western Missouri sex crimes case was ordered released on his own recognizance Friday, pending his trial on charges that he and four of his sons molested young relatives three decades ago.

A judge released Burrell Mohler Sr., 79, on an own recognizance bond, which obligates him to show up for further court proceedings. It will be the first time Mohler has been free since November 2009, when he and four of his sons were accused of sexually assaulting the young girls for several years at the family’s rural farm. The alleged victims, who said they’d repressed the memories, said some of them were forced as children into marriages with the men.

Mohler’s attorney, Kimberly Benjamin, argued that he has been “rotting in jail” with serious health issues while his trial continues to be delayed.

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*EXCLUSIVE REPORT* Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Media Report

[Click here to read this man’s signed statement]

Dave Pierre

Eye-popping new evidence is shining a new light on one of the most disputed cases of the entire Catholic Church abuse narrative.

Rev. Gordon J. MacRae and his attorneys have filed a motion for a new trial in New Hampshire based on astonishing new declarations.

The motion for a new trial contains multiple, uncollaborated signed statements from a number of people who were close to accuser Thomas Grover at the time Fr. MacRae’s 1994 criminal trial, and these statements indicate that Grover perpetrated a massive fraud in falsely accusing the cleric of abuse.

1. The motion contains an astonishing 2008 signed statement from the former stepson of accuser Grover, who was in the company of Grover for a period of years before, during, and after Fr. MacRae’s 1994 criminal trial:

“[O]ver a number of months and years, Thomas Grover discussed the sex abuse allegations of [Father] Gordon MacRae with me. Grover often stated to me that he was going to set MacRae and the church up to gain money for sexual abuse. Grover would laugh and joke about this scheme …

“On several occasions Grover told me that he had never been molested by MacRae.

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Benedict’s ‘theology of saints’ offers a way to spiritual healing for abuse victims

ROME
Catholic News Agency

By Dawn Eden

An Irish woman made headlines last week when, as the first clergy-abuse victim ever to address a Vatican conference, she expressed hope that the Church might “become a leader in child protection.”

Speaking to a reporter prior to addressing the “Towards Healing and Renewal” symposium at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, Marie Collins said, “If the Catholic Church can become a leader in child protection, in the world, then it would be a start towards this terrible evil being controlled.”

With those words, Collins revealed what is truly at stake in responding to the abuse crisis. The sins committed against children in the Church represent the intrusion of a wider culture in which the dignity of the human person is routinely violated. Healing the Church is the necessary precursor to healing the culture. Developing an authentically Catholic pastoral approach to healing from abuse is the missing piece of the Church’s efforts to spread the gospel of life.

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Former Provo LDS Bishop avoids arrest warrant by fleeing to Venezuela

PROVO (UT)
ABC 4

Reported by: Don Hudson

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Police say a man who was accused of sexual abuse in Utah County is avoiding the law in Venezuela.

Eneudo Petit was an LDS bishop when he was accused of sexual abuse of two minor girls who are related to him. ABC 4 News has obtained his graphic, seven page arrest warrant that details the charges and allegations. To learn even more about the situation we also spoke to police and to people who know the 39-year-old wanted man.

One of those we spoke to is Ryan Ostler of Springville. “People like this need to be caught and brought to justice and punished for the things that they do.” Ostler knows Petit because he served with him as a counselor of an LDS ward in Provo. “People respect Bishop’s and find it hard to believe that something this atrocious could be done by someone that everybody trusted.” Ostler says he served with Petit for two years and shared a lot of experiences – including one situation that is eerily similar to what Petit is charged with today. “A young girl came into his office and said that her uncle was molesting her.”

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Prelate forced to resign over sex cover-up

IRELAND
Irish Independent

[Disgraced cardinal was guest at Vatican embassy]

By Cormac McQuinn and John Cooney

Tuesday February 21 2012

Cardinal Bernard Law, once one of the most influential members of the clergy in the US, was born in Mexico to American parents in 1931.

He attended Harvard University in the 1950s and was later ordained a priest at the age of 30.

As a young priest in Mississippi he was involved in the civil rights movement to end racial segregation in the 1960s.

He was first appointed a bishop in Missouri in 1973. Said to have been a close ally to Pope John Paul II, he was later appointed as Archbishop of Boston, the fourth largest diocese in the US, in 1984 and became a cardinal a year later.

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Katholische Kirche muss weltweit 1,5 Milliarden Euro zahlen

OSTERREICH
Der Standard

In Österreich wurden Zahlungen in der Höhe von 6,4 Millionen Euro zuerkannt

Eine Welle an Enthüllungen sexueller Missbrauchsfälle erschütterte im Jahr 2010 die katholische Kirche weltweit. In Irland, Deutschland, Italien und nicht zuletzt auch in Österreich meldeten sich zahlreiche Opfer. Den Anfang machten Enthüllungen der Murphy-Kommission im November 2009. Im Auftrag des irischen Justizministeriums wurden, unter der Leitung der Richterin Yvonne Murphy, Missbrauchsfälle in der Erzdiözese Dublin öffentlich untersucht. Man kam zu dem folgenschweren Ergebnis, dass landesweit über Jahre hinweg mehr als 2.000 Kinder in kirchlichen Einrichtungen misshandelt, geschlagen oder sexuell missbraucht worden waren.

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Disgraced cardinal was guest at Vatican embassy

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Cormac McQuinn

Tuesday February 21 2012

A CARDINAL who was forced to resign as Archbishop of Boston over a child sex abuse cover-up scandal attended parties at Ireland’s Vatican Embassy last year.

Disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law attended farewell bashes for the Irish and British ambassadors in Ireland’s former embassy to the Holy See, the lavish Villa Spada mansion.

The revelation that such a controversial figure was an honoured guest in the embassy just last year comes as the row over its closure continues to rage.

And it will anger victims of abuse after a string of reports into child sex abuse by the clergy in this country have been released in recent years.

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Murió el ex arzobispo Edgardo Storni

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

SANTA FE.- El ex arzobispo de Santa Fe monseñor Edgardo Gabriel Storni murió ayer a los 75 años en La Falda, Córdoba, donde se había recluido poco después de su renuncia, en 2002, envuelto en un escándalo por supuesto abuso sexual denunciado por ex seminaristas.

Había nacido el 6 de abril de 1936. Se ordenó sacerdote en 1961 y fue nombrado obispo titular en 1976. En 1984, asumió la diócesis de Santa Fe, tras la muerte de Vicente Zazpe.

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Falleció en Córdoba monseñor Edgardo Storni, juzgado por abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
Cadena 3

El ex arzobispo de Santa Fe, monseñor Edgardo Gabriel Storni, falleció ayer en la ciudad de Córdoba, a los 75 años, según confirmaron a Cadena 3 desde el Sanatorio Allende, donde se encontraba internado.

Storni fue investigado por orden del propio Vaticano en 1984, al recibirse denuncias de 47 seminaristas que lo acusaban por acoso sexual.

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Murió monseñor Edgardo Storni, ex arzobispo acusado de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
La Capital

La Falda.— El ex arzobispo de Santa Fe monseñor Edgardo Gabriel Storni, quien en 2009 fuera condenado por abuso sexual, falleció ayer a los 75 años en una casa de retiro de esta ciudad cordobesa, donde residía desde enero de 2003.

Fuentes eclesiásticas confirmaron que Storni murió a las 17.30 en la casa donde residía desde que había sido aceptada su renuncia por las acusaciones en su contra por abuso sexual.

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Former Archbishop accused of sexual abuse dies

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Herald

Santa Fe’s former Archbishop Edgardo Storni, who was accused of aggravated sexual abuse, died at 75 years old at La Falda City, Córdoba province.

Storni was Archbishop of Santa Fe City until October 1 of 2002, when he tendered his resignation before the Pope John Paul II after being charged for sexually abusing seminarists.

In 2002, the Archbishop resigned and sent a letter to the Pope stating that he did not accept “blames” or “accusations.”

Three months later, Storni pleaded not guilty before the Judiciary and was replaced by the current head of the Argentina Episcopate José María Arancedo.

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Cops probe claim that … 73-y-o deacon fondles child at church

JAMAICA
Jamaica Star

Rasbert Turner, Star Writer
Police yesterday charged a 73-year-old deacon with breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act after he was accused of having sex with an 11-year-old girl at the church where they both attend.

The senior, who had been under investigations following an incident last December, is alleged to have attempted to bribe the child with sweets and $50 for her to keep quiet about the alleged assault.

He has been charged with sexually grooming a child, sexually touching a child and having sex with a person under the age of 16.

Police said the senior church member was charged following an investigation by detectives at the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse.

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In conversation: Thomas Collins

CANADA
Macleans

by Brian Bethune on Monday, February 20, 2012

Guelph, Ont.-born Thomas Collins, archbishop of Toronto, is among 22 prelates joining the College of Cardinals in Rome on Feb. 18, placing him among the governing elite of the Roman Catholic Church.

Q: You are both a pastor and a politician. Does that make it difficult to talk to the media?

A: I suppose it does. You’re always concerned that [what you say] be expressed the right way, and that’s a constant issue.

Q: You are about to become one of the Pope’s advisers in governing the worldwide Church. What are the major issues facing it?

A: Because it is a worldwide Church, that varies from place to place. In Toronto, where the mass is celebrated every Sunday in 37 different languages, we have people from all over the world, and so many of them are facing persecution. That’s one of the key issues. For some years we have had a refugee office to help people. That goes to the origins of our diocese, which was founded that way in 1847 when people fleeing the Irish famine—not exactly persecution but certainly hardship—came here, 40,000 immigrants in the summer of 1847. Our first bishop, Michael Power, working with the Anglican community as well, was really the driving force behind organizing the response. …

Q: For outsiders at least, the sexual abuse of children by clergy, and the Church’s response to it, is the single greatest issue facing the Church. Do Catholics feel that way?

A: That’s a very serious issue, obviously, but I think there are many things we need to deal with. I think that’s something we have to learn from, we have to learn where we’ve done wrong and where we’ve not handled it well. I think we have learned, but we can always learn more. It’s an issue, it’s an important issue, but it’s not the only issue.

Q: You were also one of the five bishops, the apostolic visitors, sent to Ireland in the wake of its child-abuse scandal. Why were you chosen?

A: I don’t know for sure. All of us, though, were Irish in descent: two Canadians, two Americans and a Briton. There may have been a feeling that we had kind of an affinity for the culture.

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Nuncio to Irish Catholics: Pope knows abuse scandals made lives tough

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 20, 2012
By Michael Kelly, Catholic News Service

DUBLIN — Pope Benedict XVI is acutely aware that recent years have been tough for Irish Catholics as a result of the clerical sex abuse scandals, said the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland.

Speaking during a Mass to mark his formal welcome as Pope Benedict’s representative in Dublin on Sunday, U.S. Archbishop Charles Brown said the pontiff understands “that these recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland.”

Brown said the pope was “scandalized and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations. He felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to.”

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Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu, originally from Western Mass., resigns from Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign after misconduct allegations by former lover

MASSACHUSETTS/ARIZONA
The Republican

By Conor Berry, The Republican

With just one week until Arizona’s Republican presidential primary, a Western Massachusetts native and U.S. congressional candidate has resigned as co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign.

The resignation of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu came following allegations he was romantically linked to a Mexican immigrant who claims Babeu threatened him with deportation if he ever publicly revealed their relationship.

Babeu, a former Berkshire County commissioner and North Adams city councilor, parted ways with Romney’s campaign after an alternative weekly magazine reported he allegedly threatened to have his former lover deported if the man refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep their past romance private. …

Known for his hardline stance on illegal immigration and other conservative causes, Babeu was among the Western Massachusetts men who claimed they were sexually assaulted as children by Richard R. Lavigne, a former priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield. Babeu also claimed he was sexually assaulted in Vermont by George Paulin, a former Catholic priest from Montague who worked in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

Lavigne pleaded guilty in 1992 to molesting two former altar boys. Several years later, the diocese settled lawsuits with 17 alleged sexual abuse victims for $1.4 million. Lavigne was defrocked in 2004 and remains the only publicly identified suspect in the unsolved 1972 murder of Springfield altar boy Daniel Croteau, though Lavigne was never charged with a crime.

In 2003, Babeu agreed to drop his lawsuit against the Burlington diocese after a settlement was reached. The terms of that settlement, including the precise sum of money awarded to Babeu, were not publicly disclosed.

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9 Democrats call for church abuse probe

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 20, 2012

Nine Democratic lawmakers called on the state’s attorney general Monday to investigate 8,000 alleged sex offenses and as many as 100 previously unidentified offenders an attorney says are described in documents filed in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy.

The nine sent a letter to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, calling the allegations, if true, “nothing short of a public safety crisis.” And they asked him to investigate not just the alleged perpetrators, but anyone who may have concealed a sex crime against a child.

“We know that, left unchecked, child sexual predators will reoffend,” said the letter signed by state Sens. Lena Taylor, Julie Lassa, Robert Jauch and Jessica King; and Reps. Sandy Pasch, Chris Taylor, Robert Turner, Terese Berceau and Kelda Helen Roys.

“The concealment of these offenses may already have facilitated hundreds of additional crimes against young people,” they said.

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GIAGO: Addressing the most discriminatory bill ever passed in South Dakota

SOUTH DAKOTA
Native American Times

20 February 2012 Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)

Representative Steve Hickey (R-Sioux Falls) introduced a bill to repeal a bill that was passed last year that set a statute of limitation for child sex abuse civil suits.

House Bill 1104 was slipped quietly through the state legislature last year even drawing the support of the Representative from the Pine Ridge Reservation, Jim Bradford. The bill limited the time to file civil suits to three years from the time a victim was abused or three years from the time a victim reasonably discovered they were harmed by the abuse. The bill also read that those that had not reached the age of 40 could still file a suit.

Since nearly all of those involved in lawsuits against the Catholic Church for child sexual abuse are far past the age of 40 and nearly all of them are Native Americans, House Bill 1104 was clearly one of most discriminatory bills ever introduced and passed by the South Dakota State legislators.

But here is the clincher as explained by Rep. Hickey. “In 2010 an attorney for a Catholic Church who is presently litigating cases for the Church in our state drafted Bill 1104 to place an arbitrary and discriminatory statute of limitations on childhood sex abuse civil litigations. The bill was not circulated for co-sponsors and no opponent testimony. Those affected by it did not know about it until it passed. The fact that it was drafted by a church attorney so it would shelter his client; those details were not mentioned on the House or Senate floor.”

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Jury selection to begin in Philadelphia archdiocese scandal case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Local 10

Author: By the CNN Wire Staff

Published On: Feb 21 2012

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) –
Jury selection begins Tuesday in the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese trial, a case experts have called one of the most sweeping sex abuse scandals in America.

The Philadelphia scandal could open a historic chapter in the abuse crisis, church watchers say, changing the way the American criminal justice system deals with such alleged cases.

A grand jury last year charged four priests and a parochial school teacher with raping and assaulting boys in their care.

The charges were unusual because they went beyond accusations against priests. A church higher-up was charged with covering up the abuse, which church experts say had never happened in the United States before.

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Detroit archdiocese reorganization plan finalized

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

[reorganization plan]

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Two Catholic churches are slated for closure while close to 31 others are expected to merge under a massive reorganization plan finalized by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

Another seven parishes will be merged into three between 2014 and 2016, according to the final plan.

The archbishop scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference Monday to discuss the final plan involving the future of 267 parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The news conference is at the Blessed Pope John Paul II Parish, 5830 Simon K. St.

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Pastoral Plan for the Archdiocese of Detroit

DETROIT (MI)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

Find your parish plan >>

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron

In introducing the pastoral plan resulting from Together in Faith, Phase Two, I want very much to express to all of you— the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit— my own clear sense that we must understand this pastoral planning process in the context of the sacred mission the Lord Jesus has entrusted to our local Church. We are called to share Christ in and through the Church. Only with a very keen sense of God’s purpose in bringing us “together in faith” can we understand the intensive pastoral planning in which we are engaged.

In November, I received and prayerfully considered input from our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, which itself built upon thoughtful input from 1,500 parishioners from throughout the six counties of the Detroit archdiocese. After consulting the auxiliary bishops, pastors, and others, I have come to my decisions regarding the next steps in the Together in Faith process. Along with the approved parish action plans, and the mission priorities fundamental to this entire process, on these Web pages you will see what I have concluded, what has been communicated to those involved, and the resources shared with the parishes.

Together in Faith calls us to continue to plan for the future of our parishes in light of the circumstances unique to each local situation. With such planning, we can address the realities facing us. We can look to the future, prepared to meet what serious challenges that inevitably arise in the life of our parish communities— instead of reacting to crisis situations as they arise, or simply maintaining the status quo without looking forward.

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Catholic archbishop orders 44 parishes merged…

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

Catholic archbishop orders 44 parishes merged into 20 by 2016, but churches can be spared

By Patricia Montemurri and Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron released Monday a complicated, wide-ranging restructuring of 267 parishes. The plan rejected several recommendations submitted to the diocese in November.

At least 44 parishes will be merged and reduced to 20 parishes by 2016 – but a newly-merged parish may retain two or three churches. Vigneron directed many more parishes to merge in the coming years, but did not always specify a date by which the merger needs to take place.

From the looks of the plan, much will depend on the availability and health of the priests that head parishes, and the parish’s ability to maintain their finances.Vigneron directed most parishes to collaborate on the services they offer, find ways to streamline, and in many cases, identify possible cluster or merger partners for down the road if something happens to their pastors or the bottom line becomes red. That goes for growing suburban parishes and smaller, stable parishes in Detroit.

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APNewsBreak: Detroit goes from 267 to 214 parishes

DETROIT (MI)
Livingston Daily

By David N. Goodman, Associated Press

DETROIT (WTW) — Southeastern Michigan’s 1.3 million Roman Catholics will have 53 fewer parishes by year’s end though a mixture of mergers and closures made necessary by population shifts and a shortage of priests, Archbishop Allen Vigneron said Monday.

Vigneron described the wide-ranging restructuring of the Archdiocese of Detroit at an afternoon news conference releasing results of the latest phase of an intense, months-long study called “Together in Faith.” It involved 1,500 lay people as well as clergy.

“The life of the church here in the Archdiocese of Detroit cannot simply continue without significant changes,” Vigneron said in an open letter to Detroit-area Catholics that was released in advance to The Associated Press. “Faith and prudence demand that we act now to ensure that we will be able to do God’s work effectively in the years to come.”

The archdiocese now has 267 parishes and will have 214 by the end of 2012. Vigneron says two parishes will close outright, while others will merge, reorganize or go through financial reviews to determine their future.

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Jury selection to begin in Philadelphia church abuse scandal

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Reuters

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA | Mon Feb 20, 2012

(Reuters) – A criminal trial in the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese pedophilia scandal gets underway on Tuesday, a case likely to be watched closely as one defendant is the first high-ranking U.S. cleric to go to trial in a child sex abuse case.

Selection of a jury to hear child endangerment charges against Monsignor William Lynn and more severe sex abuse charges against two others is set to begin in Common Pleas Court.

While Lynn is not charged with sex abuse, the others on trial — one priest and one defrocked priest — are accused of sexually abusing children between 1996 and 1999. Another priest and a former archdiocese school teacher facing sex abuse charges will be tried separately.

The case not only puts a harsh spotlight on the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the nation’s sixth largest with 1.5 million adherents, but is worthy of attention from the Vatican, given Lynn’s rank as the highest U.S. church official to go to trial, experts say.

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IN RE ARCHDIOCESE OF MILWAUKEE

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Leagle

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

February 17, 2012.

MEMORANDUM DECISION ON DEBTOR’S OBJECTION TO CLAIM NO. 131 FILED BY CLAIMANT A-49

SUSAN V. KELLEY, Bankruptcy Judge.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee (the “Debtor”) objected to Proof of Claim number 131 (the “Claim”) filed by an individual who will be referred to in this decision as Claimant A-49.1 The Debtor moved for summary judgment, arguing that the Claim should be disallowed because the Debtor and Claimant A-49 participated in pre-petition mediation, resulting in a settlement agreement and release. The Debtor also contends that the Claim is time-barred under Wisconsin’s Statute of Limitations.

The summary judgment motion was fully briefed, and the Court heard oral argument on the motion on February 9, 2012.2 After consideration of the written submissions and the argument of counsel, the Court issued an oral ruling at the hearing, which is memorialized by this decision. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the Debtor’s Motion for Summary Judgment and disallows the Claim.

I. BACKGROUND

The Debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on January 4, 2011. On October 7, 2011, Claimant A-49 filed the Claim, alleging that Father David Hanser, Associate Pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Brookfield, Wisconsin, sexually abused Claimant A-49 in 1977 or 1978, when Claimant was 7 years old. The Claim indicates that the Debtor established a mediation program for victims of clergy sexual abuse, and that Claimant A-49 participated in the mediation program and settled his claim for $100,000. In January 2007, the Debtor and Claimant A-49 executed an Agreement and Mutual Release (the “Settlement Agreement”). (Affidavit of Francis LoCoco, Exh. A, filed 12/20/11 under seal).

On December 20, 2011, the Debtor filed an Objection to the Claim, urging disallowance under 11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(1) because the Claim is “unenforceable against the debtor . . . under any agreement or applicable law.” The Debtor also moved for summary judgment, claiming that even if all factual allegations are presumed true, the Claim cannot be allowed as a matter of law. The Debtor argued that under the Settlement Agreement, Claimant A-49 released the Debtor from any and all liability for any action described in the Claim.3

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‘Wounded’ Church can be healed by Papal Nuncio

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Noel Baker

Monday, February 20, 2012

The new Papal Nuncio began his mission to Ireland by echoing the words of Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin in pledging to help heal a “wounded” Church.

At the liturgical reception for Archbishop Charles J Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio said Pope Benedict had been “scandalised and dismayed” over the abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests.

The comments from both men, made at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral, come as the row over the closure of Ireland’s Embassy in the Vatican rumbled on.

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Nuncio to Ireland: Pope scandalised by abuse

IRELAND
Vatican Radio

Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles J Brown celebrated his first Mass in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral Sunday, where he told those present that Pope Benedict XVI “knows the recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland”.

In his homily the New York native, who was appointed papal representative to Ireland by Pope Benedict XVI in January, said the Holy Father “was scandalised and dismayed by the abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations”.

Speaking from personal experience Archbishop Brown, a former official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told those present that the Pope has been relentless in trying to make changes within the Church and help those abused by clerics and that he “felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to”.

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A Rift in the German-Speaking Catholic Church

Spiegel

A call by reform-minded Catholics in the German-speaking world for the church to soften its stances on homosexuality, divorce and celibacy among priests and to end its ban on women in the clergy is drawing loud criticism from conservatives. They argue the group is threatening to create a schism within the Catholic Church.

With its often more progressive stances on some controversial issues, the arm of the Catholic Church in the German-speaking world has long posed problems for Rome. Now a modern day schism is threatening the area’s priestly establishment. The brewing split exposes a rift in the German speaking world between more liberal reform minded and conservative Catholics regarding the future of the church. The stakes are high, with the number of men applying for the priesthood in decline as the church loses appeal among younger generations.

The liberal Pastors’ Initiative wants to reverse that trend, which has forced parishes to close, by making priesthood more accessible. Last June it put out a “Call for Disobedience,” calling for a rewrite of the church’s long standing views against homosexuality, divorce and celibacy.

The group wants the priesthood to be opened up to women and to allow priests to marry. It says that communion should be more accessible, including to members of other churches and to those who have divorced. They want qualified laity to be able to give sermons and believe that churches should have a stronger local presence, rather than relying on sermons from traveling “celebrity” priests. The movement has its roots in Austria, where it counts more than 400 priests and deacons as members. But it is gaining ground across Europe with sympathetic clergy in France, Ireland and other countries expressing support. The Austrian group even has its own German Facebook page, with more than 900 likes.

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Police to question noted cleric over sexual abuse

INDONESIA
The Jakarta Post

Dicky Christanto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 02/20/2012

The Jakarta Police will summon Hasan bin Ja’afar Assegaf, an influential cleric accused of sexually abusing some of his male students.

“We must watch our every step carefully. Right now, we have questioned 11 victims and plan to examine their psychological state and determine the validity of their reports,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Saturday.

He said that once the police felt that they had solid evidence, they would summon Hasan for questioning.

“If he is indeed the perpetrator, then he will face hard time, thus give us room to complete the preliminary examinations first,” he said.

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Legion of Christ’s Women Take Drastic Measures

ROME
The Christian Post

By Clara Morris , Christian Post Contributor

February 20, 2012

The women of the Legion of Christ are taking action which may devastate the Legion. The female leader of the Legionaries of Christ has resigned, sparking 30 members to leave the movement.

The Washington Post reported that Malen Oriol asked to resign as the assistant to the general director of the Legion.

Though her title was just assistant to the general director, Orial lead the Legionaries of Christ’s consecrated woman. Her oversight consisted of about 600 women. These women recruited and fundraised for the Legion, and they also worked in Legion of Christ schools.

The Legionaries have been riddled with scandal for many years. In 2009 it was revealed that their founder Reverend Marciel Maciel, was guilty of many abuses.

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Reformatorische kerken werken aan meldpunt misbruik

NEDERLAND
Kerknieuws

Binnen verschillende reformatorische kerken wordt al enige tijd gewerkt aan het in leven roepen van een meldpunt voor seksueel misbruik en huiselijk geweld. Dat zegt ds. F. Mulder, voorzitter van het deputaatschap kerkelijke dienstverlening van de Gereformeerde Gemeenten.

Het plan om een gezamenlijk meldpunt te beginnen wordt ook bestudeerd door de vertegenwoordigers van Gereformeerde Gemeenten in Nederland en de Oud Gereformeerde Gemeenten. Het deputaatschap van de Gereformeerde Gemeenten zoekt ook contact met de Hersteld Hervormde Kerk met de vraag te participeren.

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Ireland has confirmed it is closing its embassy to the Holy See

IRELAND
Vatican Insider

There is a glimmer of hope that the embassy will reopen if the financial situation improves

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

The Irish government will not revoke its decision to close its embassy to the Holy See, at least not straight away. Dublin’s deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Eamon Gilmore said so today.

Gilmore told Ireland’s National television broadcaster RTÉ TV that the decision will only be re-examined if the financial situation in Ireland improve or if the Vatican reviews its request for Ireland to have two separate embassies, one in Italy and one in the Holy See.

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Sarmina described as smart, fair, and ambitious

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

February 19, 2012|By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer

Around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina took the bench in her fifth-floor courtroom in Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center.

A week had passed since defense lawyers in the child sex-abuse and endangerment case of three priests had launched their latest legal broadside, saying an offhand comment from the judge had showed bias against the Catholic Church. They wanted her to withdraw from the case.

It was Sarmina’s turn to respond. In her hands was a tautly written, six-page ruling, which she read aloud.

The attorneys, she said, had distorted her comment that anyone who didn’t agree child-sex abuse had been “widespread” in the church was “living on another planet.”

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Cheap Striped Suit

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis is beginning to resemble a cheap striped suit.

You know the kind. The suit that might look good from a distance or even holds up across a lunch or dinner table for a couple of wearings.

But over the long haul, the stripes at the seams, the cuffs and collar don’t match, the material miserably rumples and when cleaned the stiffening completely abandons ship.

That’s about the way the last two weeks have shaped up or wimped out.

Two conferences on sexual abuse took place in Rome: the symposium titled “Towards Renewal and Healing” followed by the “Anglophone Conference on the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults.” The symposium was a first, the conference has been an annual event since 1996.

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Tánaiste: We’re not going to reverse Vatican embassy decision

IRELAND
The Journal

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said that the decision to close three Irish embassies around the world, including the embassy to the Holy See, will not be reversed by the government.

Speaking this morning, the Tánaiste said that the decision will be reviewed when Ireland’s financial circumstances improve.

He also called on the Vatican to show “flexibility” over its insistence that the embassy to the Holy See should not be in the same building as the embassy to Italy.

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Vatican embassy closure stands

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The Government’s decision to close the Vatican embassy will not be reversed Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said today.

Mr Gilmore said the decision will only reviewed in the context of improved financial circumstances or if the Vatican relaxes its requirement about having two separate buildings for the Italian and Holy See embassies.

The Tánaiste said David Cooney, appointed non-resident ambassador to the Holy See, has been instructed to open talks on the matter with Vatican officials as soon as his credentials are accepted.

Mr Cooney, secretary general at the Department of Foreign Affairs, is expected to push the Vatican for flexibility on the issue.

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Lifeline for Vatican Embassy? Talks on sharing with Rome Embassy to start

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ed Carty

Monday February 20 2012

A SENIOR civil servant appointed non-resident ambassador to the Vatican is to open talks with the Pope’s representatives on sharing an embassy building with other diplomats assigned to Rome.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said the option of using one site to house staff liaising separately with the Holy See and the Italian Government will be on the agenda.

David Cooney, secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and one of the country’s most senior civil servants, will be responsible for the delicate discussions.

“If the Vatican relaxes the requirement about having two separate buildings then we will look at the Vatican situation again in that context,” the Tanaiste said.

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Black Collar Crimes

UNITED STATES
Black Collar Crimes

This Web site has brief entries about clergy of various religious groups who have been accused of misconduct.

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Charente : le frère Luigi condamné

FRANCE
Sud Ouest

Par Bertrand Ruiz

Dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis pour le religieux reconnu coupable d’agressions sexuelles sur un mineur de douze ans

Le tribunal d’Angoulême vient de condamner frère Luigi, un missionnaire mexicain de la congrégation Saint-Jean à Cherves-Richemont prénommé Robert San Augustin Gomez dans le civil, à dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis, pour atteinte sexuelle sur un enfant de douze ans en 2009.

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Vaticano, i soldi e la guerra

CITTA DEL VATICANO
l’Espresso

di Tommaso Cerno e Marco Damilano

Siamo entrati nello Ior, la banca della Santa Sede: che ha un patrimonio di 5 miliardi di euro ed è di nuovo nella tempesta. Come tutti i vertici della Chiesa, dove è in corso un’incredibile lotta tra cardinali. Un’anticipazione dell’ampia inchiesta in edicola sull’Espresso
(17 febbraio 2012)

Pubblichiamo qui di seguito uno stralcio dall’ampia inchiesta sullo Ior e sui retroscena della lotta in corso all’interno del Vaticano, sull’Espresso in edicola oggi.

Una partita finanziaria cruciale per il Vaticano e per lo Ior. Convincere l’Europa a inserire il piccolo stato e la “banca di Dio” nella “white list” dei paesi virtuosi. Ma anche un gioco di potere fra cardinali che ha come bersaglio Tarcisio Bertone, il potente segretario di Stato che qualcuno in Vaticano vorrebbe sostituire. Una partita fatta di documenti ufficiali e di dossier segreti, di consulenti finanziari e di strane figure che si muovono nell’ombra.

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Why the ‘Vatican Bank’ doesn’t exist

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

Over the years, few Catholic outfits have generated intrigue quite like the “Vatican Bank.” Speculation about its inner workings has boomed again in recent days, with a series of leaked Vatican documents about purported shady transactions, claims of stonewalling of Italian inquests, and alleged loopholes in anti-money laundering laws.

The current issue of l’Espresso, Italy’s most widely read newsmagazine, captures the mood with an eye-catching cover story under the headline, “God’s Bank: Dossiers, Accusations, and Venom.”

Whatever one makes of those reports, there’s a slight problem with the premise: The “Vatican Bank,” as such, doesn’t actually exist.

To be sure, there is something inside Vatican walls called the “Institute for the Works of Religion” (often referred to by its Italian acronym, IOR). While it supports papal initiatives and the pope’s ambassadors in various nations, the IOR also takes deposits, makes investments, and moves money around the world, mostly on behalf of Catholic entities such as dioceses and religious orders.

According to the l’Espresso piece, the IOR has roughly 33,000 clients, most of them located in Europe, though some 3,000 are in Africa and South America. All told, the value of its holdings, known as its “patrimony,” is estimated at roughly $6.5 billion.

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Catholic victims claim new betrayal

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Cameron Houston
February 19, 2012

A SUPPORT group set up by the Catholic Church to counsel victims of clerical sexual abuse is being investigated over allegations of mistreatment and breaches of patient confidentiality.

At least seven victims of sexual assaults by Catholic priests are believed to have lodged formal complaints against staff of the group, Carelink, with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Carelink was established by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as part of its Melbourne Response in 1996, which was the church’s internal structure to deal with hundreds of sexual assault cases across Victoria.

A letter seen by The Sunday Age confirms that Carelink is the subject of an investigation by the Psychology Board of Australia on behalf of the regulator.

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Recusal rebuffed in church sex abuse comment

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Monday, February 20, 2012

By Amaris Elliott-Engel, The Legal Intelligencer

The Philadelphia judge presiding over a criminal case in which a Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia church official is charged with endangering youth allegedly abused by priests declined to recuse herself after she remarked during an earlier proceeding, according to defense lawyers, that someone would have to be living on another planet to not think there is widespread child sex abuse in the church.

Judge Teresa Sarmina of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court said she phrased her comment about sex abuse in the past tense. But defense counsel said they were not misquoting the judge.

During a hearing Wednesday, Judge Sarmina said her comment was made during a working session over questions to be posed to potential jurors. She said the session involved candor, a give-and-take between the bench and opposing counsel, and even questions posed from the perspective of a devil’s advocate.

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Benedict XVI stifles rumours regarding his resignation

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

In his speech to newly created cardinals, Ratzinger indirectly denied speculations regarding resignations

ANDREA TORNIELLI
Rome

“Pray also for me, that I may continually offer to the People of God the witness of sound doctrine and guide holy Church with a firm and humble hand.” The Pope that imposed the red biretta on the 22 new cardinals yesterday morning was gentle but firm, concluding his speech with a message that seemed to indirectly deny his forthcoming resignation. A number of people have been hinting at his resignation, particularly since the tensions in the Vatican, the leaked documents and the poisonous comments going round in an attempt to discredit one cardinal or another. All this portrays the Vatican as a place rife with scheming and people dossier fights. “It is not easy to enter into the logic of the Gospel and to let go of power and glory,” Benedict XVI repeated to the College of Cardinals, pointing out a different path yet again.

When Ratzinger was elected Pope, he said: “My real government programme is not to do as I wish or pursue my ideas, but to listen, along with the whole Church, to the word and will of the Lord and let myself be guided by him, allowing him to lead the Church at this moment in time in history.” He was trying to point out a truly evangelical way of exercising authority, but his words were interpreted as the plan of a theologian Pope who was trying to “fly high” leaving the reins of government to his collaborators. The poison that has been poured in recent weeks and the extent to which it has attracted the attention of international public opinion seem to indicate that the Pope’s message was not heeded.

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Paul Babeu, the Suddenly Openly Gay Pinal County Sheriff…

ARIZONA
Phoenix New Times

Paul Babeu, the Suddenly Openly Gay Pinal County Sheriff, Vows to Continue Congressional Run, Serve Out Remaining Term as Sheriff — Despite Mexican Ex-Lover’s Insistence That Sheriff’s Camp Threatened Him With Deportation

By Monica Alonzo
Sat., Feb. 18 2012

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu turned a nearly hour-long press conference to address allegations of threats that he and his attorney made to Babeu’s ex-boyfriend into a parade of people defending his right to be gay.

He asked a slew of own employees and friends to the microphone to offer him their unyielding support, trying to spin the situation he finds himself in into an attack on his homosexuality — which until he confirmed it today was something he never talked about publicly. Indeed, many people New Times spoke with yesterday were amazed to learn that the tough-talking, right-wing Republican lawman is gay.

The huge irony is that Jose, Babeu’s ex-boyfriend and a Mexican national, says threats of deportation came because he refused to sign an agreement not to disclose details of his relationship with the sheriff. (New Times is withholding Jose’s last name because of these threats.)

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Arizona sheriff with Massachusetts ties denies misconduct

ARIZONA/MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Shira Schoenberg, Globe Correspondent

Paul Babeu, an Arizona sheriff and congressional candidate with a history in Massachusetts politics, resigned as Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign cochairman after the Phoenix New Times reported that Babeu threatened to deport an illegal immigrant with whom he previously had a relationship.

Babeu acknowledged that he is gay but denied any misconduct. He said he would continue his Republican campaign for representative from Arizona’s Fourth Congressional District. …

Babeu made headlines again during the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal in the early 2000s. Babeu alleged that a priest molested him in a Vermont rectory in December 1984 and January 1985.

Babeu alleged that he had previously been assaulted by a priest in Springfield. He Babeu said he confided in his brother two years later, who told the bishop of the Burlington, Vt., diocese.

In 2003, the Globe reported that Babeu, received a settlement in the “low five figures” from the Vermont diocese, according to his attorney. Babeu also filed a civil lawsuit against the two priests and the Springfield Diocese, the Globe said. He received a settlement from the Springfield diocese.

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Fr. Georg: The eminence grise protecting Benedict XVI

The Pope’s secretary is gaining increasing mediation power among Vatican leaders

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
Vatican City

From the moment Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope, even Avvenire, the newspaper published by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), has focused on his secretary’s robust countenance, describing him as a “Blond, 1 metre 80 cm tall, athletic body and distinctly good looking man.” For a long time he was just the priest in a black cassock that took care of Benedict XVI’s agenda. More than a butler but not quite a spin doctor. Things have changed however since the “dossier war” broke out, in the Vatican, between the old guard who were close to Angelo Sodano and the current leadership loyal to the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

As the successor to Fr. Stanislao Dziwisz in the second half of John Paul II’s pontificate, Fr. Georg Gaenswein has become the barycentre and mediator of a Curia that is writhing with poison pen letter writers and spies. This 50 year old man, who combines athletic build with the grizzled charm of Hugh Grant, is the son of a blacksmith from the Black Forest, a former postman and a Pink Floyd fan. From family quarrels about the length of his hair, he went on to develop a passion for the stock market until he finally found his true love: theology. After obtaining a degree in Canon law in Munich, he arrived in the Vatican entering the Congregation for Divine Worship and the following year entered the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. For the past decade he has shown complete dedication to Benedict XVI. The Pope’s secretary is no longer just the “guardian angel” of the papal apartment but the “dominus” of the Holy See which upon his arrival he had described to mass media as a mixture of fear and aloofness: “The Vatican is also a court and so like in any court, rumours and gossip exist here too.

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St. Leo Catholic Church gets good news…

DETROIT (MO)
Detroit Free Press

St. Leo Catholic Church gets good news, other Catholics to learn their parish’s fate at weekend mass

By Patricia Montemurri, Elisha Anderson and Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

Parishioners at St. Leo Catholic Church – which is renowned for its outreach to the homeless, hungry and destitute – got good news Sunday.

The church, on Grand River near Warren on Detroit’s westside, will stay open, but as part of a merged parish with St. Cecelia, about two miles away on LIvernois near the Jeffries.

“Yes, we will be open. We’re not closing down. We’re changing, “the Rev. Theodore Parker, said to the applause of about 200 congregants at St. Leo’s noon mass.

In November, the Archdiocese of Detroit listed St. Leo’s, once the home parish of peace activist and retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, as one of the churches it planned to close in the coming years — in a proposed realignment of 270 parishes across the six-county archdiocese to deal with a severe priest shortage and financial shortfalls.

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Where the Boys Aren’t

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By MAUREEN DOWD

Published: February 18, 2012

HOW do you marry God after you’ve kissed the King?

Easy. Just ask Dolores Hart.

The 73-year-old Benedictine nun is planning to attend the Oscars next Sunday. She will be a lot more covered up than she was the last time she went to the ceremony — in 1959, as a presenter and a gorgeous starlet who had given a blushing Elvis his first screen kiss.

Grace Kelly deserted Hollywood at 26 to become the bride of a prince. Hart, dubbed “the next Grace Kelly,” deserted Hollywood at 24 to become a bride of Christ.

That stunning spiritual elopement is the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary called “God Is Bigger Than Elvis,” a rare look behind the walls of the cloistered abbey in rural Connecticut where Hart has lived for half a century. (It will be shown on HBO in April.)

“God was the vehicle,” she said of her odyssey. “He was the bigger Elvis.”

Nuns in America are a dying breed, and the church’s antediluvian male hierarchy gets more worked up about allowing Catholic women contraceptives than investigating sexual abuse of children by priests.

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Van Toorenburg: R.K. Kerk dient beloften aan slachtoffers na te komen

NEDERLAND
CDA

De R.K. Kerk dient haar beloften aan de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik na te komen en daarover publiekelijk verantwoording af te leggen. Dat zei CDA woordvoerder Madeleine van Toorenburg tijdens een debat over het eindrapport van de commissie Deetman, over seksueel misbruik binnen de Kerk. Van Toorenburg: “Dat betekent dat de Kerk het leed dat de slachtoffers is aangedaan dient te erkennen. Daarnaast dient de Kerk goede hulpverlening te organiseren en te zorgen voor een goede compensatieregeling. Ook dient zij alles in het werk te stellen om dergelijk leed in de toekomst te voorkomen.”

De regering heeft aan de Tweede Kamer laten weten dat de commissie Deetman op verzoek van de Kamer opnieuw aan de slag gaat. Met een vervolgonderzoek dat specifiek ingaat op het misbruik van meisjes en (jonge) vrouwen in de katholieke instellingen. Van Toorenburg is tevreden met deze toezegging. Van de meerwaarde van een parlementair onderzoek is het CDA echter op dit moment niet overtuigd. Van Toorenburg: “Het is namelijk zeer de vraag of er meer boven tafel zal komen. Dat geeft Deetman zelf ook al aan in zijn rapport. Ook is het niet per definitie in het belang van de slachtoffers”. Mocht echter blijken dat Justitie in het verleden de deur naar aangifte en vervolging doelbewust heeft dichtgehouden, dan staat het CDA open „voor welk onderzoek dan ook”, aldus Van Toorenburg.

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Consider this your homework

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 19, 2012 in Clergy Abuse Crisis

If you care about clergy sex abuse victims, you should read this. If you think that the Catholic Church is doing everything right in the scandal, you must read this. And then you must read it again.

Thousands of pages of child sex abuse and cover-up documents are now public in the Wilmington Delaware Diocese bankruptcy. They outline the long-term and shockingly recent tragic, gut-wrenching, enraging, cavalier, disgusting, and criminal actions of priests, brothers, bishops, employees and church officials. And they show how kids were thrown under the bus over and over and over again.

From the Delaware News Journal:

One 2009 letter mentions a report that abuser priest Joseph A. McGovern, removed from ministry about two decades ago, had expressed his desire to move overseas to a place more amenable to “man/boy pedophiliac relationships.” A file on the investigation into allegations against another abuser priest includes photographs the priest took of a young boy emerging from a shower, wrapped in a towel. Scrawled across them are the priest’s handwritten notes, most with sexual connotations.

Start here for an overview of the documents and what they entail. Full copies are online here.

Fortunately, this story has a hero. His name is Matt Conaty. If it were not for him and his family, victims in Wilmington would still be isolated, Catholics would be in the dark, and dangerous men would be roaming free to abuse more kids.

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Birmingham: Archbishop Longley visits All Souls where Bede Walsh served

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

By: Peter Jennings

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, made a special visit to All Souls Catholic Church in Coventry, today, Sunday 19 February, a parish where the convicted paedophile, Bede Walsh served as a priest.

The visit followed the statement made by Archbishop Longley at Cathedral House, Birmingham, on 7 February after Bede Walsh, a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, was convicted by a jury of 21 sexual offences against eight boys. The offences took place between the 1970s and the early 1990s. Bede Walsh is due to be sentenced on 9 March.

The Archbishop of Birmingham and Canon Timothy Menezes, the Vicar General, spoke to parishioners both before and after the 11.15am Mass.

During his homily, Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “When I was last with you in Coventry to celebrate Mass here at All Souls I came to bless your statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace in the parish garden. That was during September 2011 and I am grateful to the Parish Priest, Father Michael Brandon, for welcoming me back today.

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Boy Scouts sued in sexual abuse case

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times

February 19, 2012
The mother of a Santa Barbara County teenager says he was wronged twice — once by the 450-pound Boy Scout leader who sexually abused him in 2007, and then by a local Scouts executive who she says told her not to call police.

“He said that wasn’t necessary, because the Scouts do their own internal investigation,” said the woman, whose name The Times is withholding to protect her son’s identity. “I thought that was really weird…. I thought it was really important to call the sheriff right away.” …

In addition to unspecified damages, the lawsuit seeks to force the Scouts to hand over thousands of confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders and others around the nation. It contends the files will expose the Scouts’ “culture of hidden sexual abuse” and its failure to warn boys, their parents and others about the “pedophilic wolves” who have long infiltrated one of America’s oldest youth organizations.

In January, after reviewing some of the files, a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge rejected the Scouts’ argument that the documents are irrelevant to the lawsuit and ordered the organization to turn over the most recent 20 years’ worth of records to the boy’s lawyers by Feb. 24, with victims’ names removed. The judge ordered the lawyers not to disclose the files publicly.

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Homily of Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

Pro-Cathedral of Dublin
19 February 2012

Dia libh go léir!

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is an honour and a joy for me to celebrate Holy Mass with you this morning here in this historic Pro-Cathedral. I am deeply grateful to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for his kind invitation and for his very gracious welcome. I would like to begin by thanking the priests, as well as the men and women religious here today, and the many members of different Catholic organizations and associations. In a particular way, I am grateful for the presence of representatives of other Christian communities. I thank the representative of the Lord Mayor for coming and the members of the diplomatic community, my colleagues. I am appreciative also of the presence of a representative of the Government of Ireland, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and all the other public authorities here present. Thank you for welcoming me.

This Mass is my first public celebration of the Church’s liturgy since I was received by the President of Ireland last Thursday, and delivered to him the Letter from Pope Benedict XVI appointing me as Nuncio – which is the first public act of any new ambassador. I was grateful for the very warm welcome accorded me by the President and by the members of the Government who were there with him.

Having presented my credentials to the President, I must say that I can think of no better way of marking the beginning of my service in this country than by celebrating Mass in this place, the Pro-Cathedral of this diverse and dynamic Archdiocese. I stand before you this morning as someone who represents various realities: I am the descendent of men and women of Ireland, who emigrated from this island, possessing little more than the treasure of their Catholic faith, which they, through the generations, have passed on to me. Were it not for the faith of Ireland, I would not be a Catholic today. I am someone who worked for many years in the Roman Curia, the central administration of the Catholic Church, where I had the privilege of working with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI; I am a newly-ordained Bishop of the Catholic Church and as such, with all my limitations and defects, a successor of the Apostles.

This morning, however, I stand before you principally as the representative of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of the Apostle Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. In his name, I greet you all and I bring you his best wishes for all the people of Ireland, for the government, and all the members of the diplomatic community. As I mentioned, I have worked for many years very closely with the Holy Father and I can tell you from my personal experience that he has always had – and he continues to have – a great love for the people of Ireland and a high regard for the Catholic Church in Ireland, with its history of missionary richness and tenacious faith. Pope Benedict knows as well that these recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland. Again I speak from my own experience when I tell you that Pope Benedict was scandalized and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations. He felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to. From the beginning, Pope Benedict was resolute and determined to put into place changes which would give the Church the ability to deal more effectively with those who abuse trust, as well as to provide the necessary assistance to those who had been victimized. Pope Benedict has been relentless and consistent on this front, and I assure you that he will continue to be.

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Liturgical Reception for Apostolic Nuncio

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

Words of Welcome from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at Solemn Liturgical Reception in St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral on Sunday February 19th to welcome His Excellency Archbishop Charles J. Brown,Apostolic Nuncio in Ireland and (below) the Homily from Archbishop Brown.

In our ceremony this morning we call to mind Archbishop Brown’s mission as the representative of the Holy See in Ireland: his task is to witness among us, within the Church and within society in Ireland, to the mission of the successor of Peter – a mission to foster deeper communion in the life of the Church and to foster communion, harmony and peace in the human family that is so often fragmented.

We wish you God’s blessing as you begin your ministry. We wish you personally fulfilment and happiness and we assure you of a warm welcome and support. We welcome the help of Pope Benedict in leading our wounded Church towards repentance and healing. We desire to work together to build a different, more humble Church, but also a renewed Church, confident of the contribution of the teaching of Jesus Christ for the Ireland of tomorrow.

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New Irish envoy: Pope consistent on stopping abuse

IRELAND
CBS News

(AP) DUBLIN — The Vatican’s new American envoy to Ireland says Pope Benedict XVI has been “relentless and consistent” in seeking to oust child abusers from the priesthood worldwide.

Archbishop Charles Brown spoke Sunday at his first public Mass following his arrival in Ireland, a traditionally Catholic land rattled by nearly two decades of pedophile-priest scandals.

The 52-year-old Brown, a Manhattan native, has never been a Vatican diplomat before.

He spent a decade working alongside today’s pope inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That powerful Vatican body enforces church policies, including the removal of pedophiles from the priesthood.

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Archbishop calls for ‘renewed’ and ‘more humble’ Catholic church

IRELAND
The Journal

ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN has welcomed the Vatican’s new Papal Nuncio and called on him to work with the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland for a “more humble” church.

Martin’s call came in his welcoming of the new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown to Ireland at a service in the Pro Cathdral in Dublin earlier today. ”We welcome the help of Pope Benedict in leading our wounded Church towards repentance and healing,” Martin said.

“We desire to work together to build a different, more humble Church, but also a renewed Church, confident of the contribution of the teaching of Jesus Christ for the Ireland of tomorrow.”

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Pope to new cardinals: ‘Forget power and glory’

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Italian paper calls Dolan a papal candidate

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

Pope Benedict XVI legendarily thinks in centuries, so it’s almost always a category mistake to read his public oratory as a commentary on current events. Yet it was hard to listen to him this morning without at least flashing on the recent Vatican leaks scandal, which has created widespread impressions of power struggles and senior churchmen stabbing one another in the back.

In comments today to 22 new cardinals taking part in Benedict’s fourth consistory, with most of the Vatican’s senior leadership looking on, the pope issued a strong plea for a spirit of service. …

There was also more evidence of a boomlet around Dolan this morning in the Italian media. Il Messaggero’s Vatican writer, Franca Giansoldati, published a piece on the consistory under the headline, “Among the 22 new cardinals, a new papabile breaks out: the American Dolan.”

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Confessions of a nuns’ driver

KENYA
The Standard

DAVID ODONGO lifts the veil on the secret life of renegade nuns

When a community proudly gathered to celebrate the ordination of their first son into priesthood at a lavish outdoor ceremony in Western Kenya, a little secret ripped through the audience: “He has a son!”

Strangely, there was no reproach but some sort of secret triumph — a tacit acceptance that even though the celibate young priest would now serve Jesus, his lineage, in true African sense, would never end.

Two decades later, when he was elevated to head a parish, he had filled out into a handsome middle-aged man. At a ‘homecoming party’ held in his parent’s home, two nuns — one a primary school headmistress — openly clashed, with one shouting, “This is my house!”

Two wives

Old women lounging on the grass smiled knowingly. The word quickly spread: “Our son has two wives!”

So whereas the Vatican maintains that celibacy is here to stay, in Kenya, the sexual transgressions of many a priest are quietly known and accepted so long as they are heterosexual. After all, they are just men — African men!

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Pope ‘scandalised by clergy abuse’

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Pope Benedict XVI was scandalised and dismayed by the abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations, his new envoy to Ireland has said.

Archbishop Charles J Brown told Massgoers in Dublin the Pope knows the recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland.

The new papal nuncio maintained the Holy Father has been relentless in trying to make changes within the Church and help those abused by clerics.

“Again I speak from my own experience when I tell you that Pope Benedict was scandalised and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations,” said Archbishop Brown, in his homily at the Pro-Cathedral of Dublin.

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Martin says Vatican embassy may reopen ‘in some way’

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MICHAEL O’REGAN

Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has said he is confident the Irish embassy to the Vatican will reopen “in some other way”’.

Dr Martin said it would be a “leaner embassy’’, adding that one had to look at the cost involved.

“I keep stressing that the Vatican is very important in today’s world,’’ he added.

He was speaking to journalists at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin today, before a liturgical reception for the new papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles J Brown.

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Non-Monetary Undertakings and Stipulations

WILMINGTON (DE)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

As part of the settlement between the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc. and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, certain non-monetary undertakings were agreed to. These include two mutually agreed upon lists of non-monetary stipulations.

Non-Monetary Undertakings of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc.
Non-Monetary Provisions Relating to Documents

As stipulated in the documents, the Diocese of Wilmington is required to post on this website, “the names of all known diocesan clergy or lay employees regarding whom there are admitted, corroborated or otherwise substantiated allegations of sexual abuse, molestation and rape of minors.“ Here is that list:

• Paul Calamari*
• Edward B. Carley1
• Eugene F. Clarahan1
• Francis P. Cornely1
• Francis G. DeLuca2
• Douglas W. Dempster
• Henry J. Dreyer1
• Edward F. Dudzinski2
• Richard F. Gardiner1
• Peter J. Harney1
• William E. Irwin1
• John A. Lind1
• Leonard J. Mackiewicz1
• Kenneth J. Martin
• Joseph A. McGovern
• Walter D. Power1
• Francis J. Rodgers
• John A. Sarro
• Gerard C. Smit*
• Carmen D. Vignola1
• Charles W. Wiggins
• Harry D. Walker2

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Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington

WILMINGTON (DE)
BishopAccountability.org

Documents and Other Resources

As part of the Non-Monetary Undertakings and Stipulations in the settlement between the Diocese of Wilmington and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the diocese committed to release documents relating to the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the diocese. Today BishopAccountability.org has begun to post the documents.

We start with selected documents from the Clarahan, DeLuca, Dudzinski, and Smit files. Today and into next week, we will post documents from other priest files, and additional documents from files that have already been sampled on this page. We will also provide important documents on the operations of the Diocese of Wilmington.

In the spirit of the non-monetary provisions, we are taking a cautious approach to the redaction of survivors’ names in the documents. However, if we have redacted a survivor’s name in the documents and he or she would prefer to be named, or if redactions need to be improved in other ways, please contact us, and we will make the adjustments.

Refresh this page often to see the latest additions.

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First-Ever U.S. Trial of Catholic Official for Covering up Sex Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
AllGov

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monsignor William Lynn of the Philadelphia archdiocese is about to become the first Catholic official in the U.S. to stand trial for his actions during the child sex abuse scandal that rocked churches across the country.

With jury selection scheduled to begin February 21, Lynn is charged with endangering the welfare of young men who were allegedly raped by priests and with conspiracy to cover up the abuse.

Other senior Catholic officials have been criminally charged for allegedly covering up sex abuse claims, but Lynn is the first to go to trial.

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Metro Detroit Catholics learn fate of their parishes

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

By Patricia Montemurri
Free Press Staff Writer

Catholics attending weekend mass late this afternoon began to learn the fate of their parishes, as pastors announced decisions made by Archbishop Allen Vigneron to close or merge some parishes to deal with an escalating priest shortage, population shifts and financial shortfalls.

At Our Lady of Fatima parish in Oak Park, the Rev. Paul Chateau told parishioners at 4:30 p.m. mass that Vigneron decided that the Oak Park parish should merge with St. James in Ferndale by mid-2013. Even as a merged parish, it appears both churches could stay open as long as there is a pastor available, or until either one incurred an operating deficit. The directive also said the merged Our Lady of Fatima/St. James parish should also collaborate with nearby Our Lady of LaSalette in Berkley if need be for a further merger down the road.

All three churches, Vigneron said, need to submit a contingency plan that could include closing church buildings and selling the property, if “a current pastor is no longer available, if a replacement is not available or assigned, or when one of these parishes begins to experience a net operating deficit,” according to Vigneron’s directive.

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3 Catholic churches to consolidate

DETROIT (MI)
Click on Detroit

As many as 48 churches across southeast Michigan may be forced to close their doors for good.

Saturday night Local 4 learned of three parishes that will be affected.

According to parishioners in Ferndale, they were told by their priest that the plan is for St. James Church to merge or cluster with two other churches, one in Oak Park and one in Berkley within two years.

St. James has been a Ferndale landmark for almost a century, but between now and July parishioners must meet with members of Our Lady of Fatima in Oak Parkto decide where to attend mass and pick a new name, among other things.

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St. Stans gets reprieve — set to reopen Palm Sunday

ADAMS (MA)
Berkshire Eagle

Saturday February 18, 2012
Berkshire Eagle Staff

ADAMS — After 1,150 days of occupying a Catholic church slated for closing, parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church are celebrating the pending reopening of the church as a place of worship.

The Rev. Daniel Boyle, priest at the Parish of Pope John Paul the Great, announced that St. Stan’s would be reopened as a mission, or satellite location, of Pope John Paul the Great. Its first Mass since closing will be at 8 a.m. on April 1, which is Palm Sunday, he said.

It is extremely rare that a closed Catholic church reopens. Upon its closing in 2008, parishioners occupied the church, keeping vigil day and night since then. Observers credit the 150 to 200 vigilers for safeguarding the structure and its artifacts. After the closing was announced, an appeal to the Vatican on behalf of the church’s parishioners was filed in September of 2008.

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After three-year vigil, St. Stanislaus Church in Adams reopening for services

ADAMS (MA)
The Republican

By Lori Stabile, The Republican

ADAMS – The bells rang Saturday at St. Stanislaus Kostka, which protesters have been occupying non-stop for more than three years, signaling the church’s reopening as a site for regular Catholic worship under a plan announced that day.

“We are thrilled,” parishioner Robin J. Loughman said. “It’s what we were hoping for and what we expected.”

Father Daniel Boyle, pastor of the Blessed John Paul the Great Parish community, made the announcement to the congregation on Saturday.

Boyle said that the diocese approved a plan he had submitted to reopen St. Stanislaus Church as a “chapel-mission” of the parish. His plan followed a Vatican decision to keep the church in religious use.

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Child sex-abuse scandal in Australia’s Jewish community spills into U.S.

AUSTRALIA/UNITED STATES
Haaretz (Israel)

Members of the Australian Jewish community say suspected child molesters ended up in the United States after community leaders failed to report them to law-enforcement authorities.

By Paul Berger

A child sex abuse scandal in Australia’s Jewish community has spilled into America, as a pending extradition, arrests in Australia and a slew of cover-up allegations put that community’s response to molestation under scrutiny.

Australian police are seeking to extradite convicted child molester David Kramer, currently in jail in Farmington, Mo., on suspicion of having abused children at a Chabad school in Melbourne during the 1990s.

Kramer, who was reportedly spirited out of Australia by one of Melbourne’s Chabad leaders following abuse allegations, is halfway through a seven-year prison sentence for sodomizing a 12-year-old boy in St. Louis.

According to members of the Australian community, he is not the only molester to end up in the United States after Australian community leaders failed to report them to legal authorities. Other molesters fled the country more recently as suspicion of abuse fell on them, community members say.

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Martin wants Nuncio to build ‘humble’ church

IRELAND
RTE News

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has welcomed the new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown to Ireland.

The Archbishop said the Archdiocese of Dublin wants to work with him to build a different, more humble, yet renewed church.

His made his comments in a sermon at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin this morning.

Archbishop Brown replaced Giuseppe Leanza in the wake of the report into child abuse in the Cloyne diocese.

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DA to file child-porn charges against Robert Ernest Kirchhoff

LOVELAND (CO)
Coloradoan

Written by
Robert Allen

Prosecutors are pursuing a charge of child pornography against a former Loveland church volunteer who’s already confessed to sexually assaulting a child.

Robert Ernest Kirchhoff, 54, remains in custody with $100,000 bond after District Judge Julie Field denied a reduction request Friday.

Kirchhoff, who volunteered with preteens at Resurrection Fellowship Church until the charges surfaced, is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he was babysitting after meeting her family through the church.

He admitted the crime to police and said before his arrest he had “no choice but to run,” Deputy District Attorney Greg Biggers said while arguing against bond reduction.

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Community reaction to new details in Scouts Canada report

CANADA
CBC News

The CBC’s The Fifth Estate has uncovered details in two past sexual abuse cases handled by Scouts Canada that were never reported to police.

Recently uncovered documents show that in 1978 scouting leaders in Brockville, Ont., suspected there “may be several undesirables who have been involved in Scouting and removed discreetly without their files being flagged.”

The news generated a large response from the CBC Community. Many voiced disappointment and condemnation of Scouts Canada’s conduct. We can’t reprint all of them, but here’s a selection: …

•”It’s not just about the Catholic church, the Anglican church or any church. It’s not just about the scouts, teachers, politicians or residential school operators. It’s really about adults in authority because of their position and adults in authority because of their size and personality. It includes both men and women…It’s everywhere in our society. It’s among the rich and the poor, different cultures, races, etc. We just don’t know about it until it hits the news…It’s a world problem much like and part of bullying. And the solutions….wish I knew, except to continue to discuss openly, educate and help the vulnerable become more powerful.”

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Christian camp abuse victim criticizes lenient sentence for pastor

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

By Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald February 18, 2012

CALGARY — The victims of a historic sexual assault perpetrated by the manager of a summer camp say they are disappointed with the sentence the abuser received and worry it will discourage victims of other historic cases from ever coming forward.

Mark Archibald, 56, was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest, then six months of abiding by a curfew, on Friday in Red Deer.

The Crown had sought a sentence of federal time of two years and an additional four or five months after Archibald pleaded guilty last year to the indecent assault of three teenage boys in the 1970s while running a Christian camp.

“Jake,” the complainant who wrote the letters containing the allegations against Archibald that got police involved last year, said he was hoping for jail time.

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Former pastor sentenced for assaults on youths in ’70s

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

By Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald
February 18, 2012

It’s a story that’s haunted Jake for over 30 years.

And in April 2011, the 46-year-old Red Deer man took some paper to a quiet field near his Red Deer home and began to pen a letter to the Canadian Sunday School Mission and the Evangelical Free Church of Canada.

By his own admission, his life was in turmoil.

“My life was spinning out of control with personal is-sues,” Jake says. “I had a lot of problems with guilt, violence, shame.”

It was a story he once sought to suppress. In the late 1970s, at the age of 14, he was sexually molested by the manager of Camp Silversides, a Christian summer camp run by the Canadian Sunday School Mission.

His abuser, Mark Archibald, was in his mid-20s and Archibald was his pastor, his mentor and his friend when he sexually assaulted him at a Calgary motel.

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Catholic victims claim new betrayal

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

Cameron Houston
February 19, 2012

A SUPPORT group set up by the Catholic Church to counsel victims of clerical sexual abuse is being investigated over allegations of mistreatment and breaches of patient confidentiality.

At least seven victims of sexual assaults by Catholic priests are believed to have lodged formal complaints against staff of the group, Carelink, with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Carelink was established by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as part of its Melbourne Response in 1996, which was the church’s internal structure to deal with hundreds of sexual assault cases across Victoria.

A letter seen by The Sunday Age confirms that Carelink is the subject of an investigation by the Psychology Board of Australia on behalf of the regulator.

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Secret church files detail anguish

DELAWARE
The News Journal

[with video]

[View documents released by the diocese]

[Diocese of Wilmington’s accounting of abuser priests, as required by the terms of its bankruptcy settlement]

Written by
BETH MILLER and SEAN O’SULLIVAN
The News Journal

It was March 4, 2009, and the bishop’s right-hand man, Monsignor J. Thomas Cini, was sitting in a conference room in Bart Dalton’s Wilmington law office.

Cini, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, was surrounded by lawyers, answering questions under oath about a priest who had sexually abused children while working as a teacher in two Catholic schools.

The priest in this case, Paul Daleo, was a Capuchin friar, not a diocesan priest. But he was under contract to teach in the diocese, and no priest can minister here without the bishop’s permission. So attorney John Manly was pressing Cini to learn what the diocese knew about Daleo before granting that permission.

Manly zeroed in on a controversy that arose in 1979, when Daleo was teaching sex-education courses at St. Edmond’s Academy and St. John the Beloved. “What in Father Paul’s résumé stands out at you as making him qualified to teach kids about sex?” Manly asked Cini.

“Well, he did a lot of it,” Cini replied.

“Well, you may think that’s funny,” Manly shot back. “I don’t, and I’m sure Mr. Conaty doesn’t.”

Matthias Conaty, sitting nearby, was in fourth grade at St. Edmond’s when Daleo first took an interest in him. For almost four years, Daleo raped and sexually assaulted him. Now a grown man with children of his own, Conaty was suing Daleo, the diocese, the school and the religious order.

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Government loses face over Vatican and we lose faith

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Shaun Connolly

Saturday, February 18, 2012

GOD-hating, priest-baiting, loony leftie Eamon Gilmore secured a key plank of his evil secular masterplan to make us a nation of pagans by shutting down the Vatican embassy.

Except, of course, he didn’t. He made a perfectly sensible decision, but his big mistake was to lose control of the narrative surrounding it — which is always deadly dangerous in politics.

And so the agenda was driven, not by Gilmore, but by the religious right, who portrayed the move as a direct attack on their faith, and by hardcore liberals who saw it as a totemic victory against an old enemy.

Labour’s amateur-hour media presentation added to the confusion, with muddles over costings and when the Vatican was, or was not, added to the embassy hit list — so the overriding impression was left in many people’s minds that we have broken off diplomatic relations with the Vatican City State and are now at war with them.

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Who’s Leaking the Vatican’s Secrets?

VATICAN CITY
The Atlantic Wire

Seth Abramovitch

Today was a joyful one at the Vatican, as 22 archbishops from around the world were elevated to the elite rank of cardinal — but behind the scenes, things are considerably less harmonious. In a mystery befitting a Dan Brown novel, a series of unflattering leaks have emerged from the Vatican in a relatively short period of time, Time magazine reports. The leaks are serious enough that Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Holy See, issued a statement comparing them to Wikileaks’ own targeting of the United States Government, implying they were being released by someone looking to harm the church’s reputation. “We must resist and not allow ourselves to be swallowed by the whirlpool of confusion, which is what those with bad intentions want,” Lombardi wrote.

The most damaging leaks emerged in late January, The Washington Post reports, when an Italian television program produced letters exchanged between the Holy See’s ambassador yo the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was overseeing the Vatican’s financial reforms committee until October 2011:

Naming names close to Bertone, they make allegations of crooked contracting and of a campaign of defamation against the [Vatican] secretary of state [Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone].

Bertone, the Pope’s second-in-command, was “appointed in 2006 run the day-to-day affairs of the Vatican while the pope focused on affairs of the spirit,” Time writes, but has “faced fierce opposition from the Vatican’s diplomatic staff, which has made little secret that it regards him as an outsider.” Bertone’s predecessor, Cardinal Angelo Sodana, refused to vacate his office for months after Bertone started the job, and the secretary of state has been accused of jockeying to put an Italian in line as the Pope’s successor.

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Archbishop of New York leading the consistory

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

While one of the most important moments in the life of the church is officially beginning, and new protagonists are being discovered or confirmed as the next cardinals

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

“The Church is in need of deep conversion,” warns the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. Significantly, the Pope has entrusted the introduction at the pre-consistory meeting to a bishop outside the ropes of the Curia. “Betrayal and falls: we must recognize our sins and purify ourselves,” agrees the Minister of Divine Worship, Antonio Canizares Llovera. “Those who publish confidential texts are unfaithful to their mission,” stigmatizes Joao Braz de Aviz, Head of Religious. “Vatileaks” (the secret papers on the IOR and the other intrigues, passed to the media) hangs on the Pope’s “Senate” gathered yesterday Pope behind closed doors. The “paper war” going on in the Curia has created tensions at the summit of the 133 cardinals convoked by Benedict XVI to address the most urgent problems of the Church.

The confidential letters of the ex-number two of the Governorate, Viganò (with allegations of corruption leveled against the Secretary of State), the confidential letter on the IOR and a memo on an alleged assassination attempt against the Pope are fueling the conflict of “shots fired by dossier” between the old management, closer to the Dean Sodano, and the current leadership, linked to Bertone. A strategy, including poison-pen letters, to pressure the Pope to change the 77-year-old Secretary of State. Benedict XVI expressed his hope that the Church would be spoken of for her faith and not for her scandals. But even the faith is passing through a phase of crisis, highlights the Minister of the New Evangelization, Rino Fisichella, while Dolan urges recognizing even in “places classified as materialistic (the mass media, entertainment, finance, art) an opening to the transcendent, the divine”.

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Statement on Cardinal Edward Egan’s Recent Retraction of Apology to Survivors of Sexual Assault

UNITED STATES
Male Survivor

Washington, DC, February 16, 2012 –(PR.com)– Reacting to Cardinal Edward Egan’s recent retraction of the apology he gave to survivors of sexual abuse committed by priests in his own diocese, Mikele Rauch, a member of the MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery team and author of Healing the Soul After Religious Abuse issued the following statement:

“The inability for Cardinal Egan to see the damage of his retraction is profoundly disturbing. What we know is that for the representatives of the church to shamelessly deny responsibility for what they have done as well as deny its impact on survivors, is itself a consequence of shame and hubris. The truth is, it is not up to the Church to say they have done enough. We stand with every survivor who has been silenced, denied, or blamed – and we understand how Cardinal Egan’s retraction is re-traumatizing to every survivor who has already suffered by the crimes done to them by members of the clergy. We support all male survivors who choose to stand in protest against any institution who denies responsibility in their failure to protect vulnerable victims.”

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Bloated Payroll

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Catholic Insider

We got word that the Boston Archdiocese is not going to answer our questions about the deceptive claim of a “balanced budget” in the 2011 Annual Report, and that will be the topic of an upcoming post. In the meantime, we thought we would take a closer look at the bloated payroll, which contributed to what the Annual Report shows is a $4.2M operating loss for 2011. We also look at the slow pace of action by the new Compensation Committee.

Number of People Earning More than $150K

According to the annual report for the 2011 fiscal year (page 83), the number of people making $150K or more in that fiscal year was 17. If you compare that to the 2006 Annual Report, before outgoing Chancellor Jim McDonough arrived, you will see there were just 2 people in the Chancery paid more than $150K. So the number of people making $150K or more per year has increased by more than 8X since 2006.

The total compensation paid to people making more than $150K has also increased by a factor of about 9X since 2006. In 2006, those two people paid over $150K per year were paid $393K in salaries. According to the 2011 Annual Report as well as information from other sources, the 17 people at the Pastoral Center making more than $150K today in aggregate are paid somewhere close to $3.5M a year in salaries. Just to reiterate, that is about 9 times more than was paid in 2006 in $150K+ salaries vs 2006.

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Spain: When a bishop cuts his own wages

Mgr. Novell, the Iberian Peninsula’s youngest prelate, has decided to cut his monthly salary by 25%, thus reducing it from 1200 to 900 Euro. “This way we show our solidarity to those suffering from the crisis”

Mauro Pianta
Rome

It is likely some will accuse him of demagogy. But 42 year old Xavier Novell, Spain’s youngest bishop whose praises are often sung in women’s newspapers, is going ahead with his plan. “I am reducing my salary by 25%: from 1200 to 900 Euro a month. I am doing this to show my genuine solidarity to those who have been hit hard by the crisis.”

Catholic news agency ACI Prensa reported Mgr. Novell’s reasons for making this gesture: “Catholics cannot remain impassive in the face of need; we cannot we cannot act like the passers-by in the parable of the Good Samaritan and ignore this. Everyone – he stressed yesterday as he presented his pastoral document on the crisis – can do something. This crisis was caused by the fact that we all wanted to live beyond our means. We can only come out of this crisis if we work together: in the Diocese we have taken the first step by making this small sacrifice…”

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SNAP responds to settlement in the Diocese of Monterey

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 17, 2012

While no amount of money can restore the childhood lost or innocence shattered as a result of childhood sex abuse, we are glad that Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry victim is able to walk away with some feeling of justice.

Since the diocese and the bishop’s hand-picked review board have both said this is a credible allegation, Fr. Fitz-Henry should be immediately put in a remote, secure, independent sex offender treatment center so kids will be safer. instead of sitting on their hands. We also urge Bishop Garcia to immediately visit every parish where this predator worked and beg other victims and witnesses to come forward.

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