It is necessary to revise the moral of sexuality, says bishop Robinson

UNITED STATES
Vatican Insider

The bishop emeritus of Sidney has declared this in Baltimore during a symposium of catholic homosexuals

MARIA TERESA PONTARA PEDERIVA
Rome

It has been known for a while that the Church is often perceived as an agency that claims to teach people what they should or should not do, like an oasis of control inside a secular culture of “freedom”. This is a misleading image that contains a series of prejudices that have to be dispelled, but where nobody can call themselves free of responsibilities. The idea that the path to holiness is not an simple passing of an exam of good conduct, but an increase in closeness to God and His freedom is not very widespread nowadays, not even among Catholics, who – according to studies and polls in this regard – end up making their own independent decisions on matters of morality.

In the subject matter of sexual morality, the gap is even more evident. In the United States, for example, the bishops and some catholics invoke religious freedom to oppose the health care reform that would provide coverage for contraception. At the same time, there are endless polls that suggest contraceptive use by more then 98% of women, independently of their religious convictions.

It is also known that the recourse to freedom of conscience and personal freedom is one of the conciliar acquisitions more used in the matter of family pastoral matters, and that various moral theologians prefer expressing themselves with extreme caution. The complexity of current issues makes it more and more difficult, if not impossible, to draw a neat demarcation line anywhere in this matter, and there are a lot of little observations whispered by many and put in writing by a few.

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MIKE TYSON ACCORDING TO BERT SUGAR, MIZZOU’S BILL McCARTNEY, CARDINAL JUSTIN RIGALI TO ST. PATRICK’S

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

…Two St. Louis prelates will reunited in Manhattan next week, according to well-connected Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo. Cardinal Tim Dolan, Palmo tweets, has invited Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia to St. Patrick’s to preach on Holy Thursday. Given the scandal in Philly under Rigali, SNAP is upset with the move and accuse Dolan of “rubbing more salt into already deep and still fresh wounds of hundreds of church clergy sex abuse victims and thousands of betrayed Catholics.” The group is urging Dolan to replace Rigali with Winona Bishop John Quinn , who, earlier this month warned his flock about a notorious, defrocked serial predator priest, Thomas Adamson who moved back into the area recently (and who was the first child molesting cleric that current Archbishop Robert Carlson had to deal with years ago).

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Priest returns to duties after complaint is stood down

IRELAND
Breaking News

A Tipperary priest who had been asked to step aside from his duties two years ago while a complaint against him was investigated, is back on the altar this evening.

Fr Tadgh Furlong is celebrating Mass in the parish of Cappawhite tonight after the complaint against him was stood down.

The Advisory Board established by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church has found that the complaint was not substantiated.

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Lake George minister’s history of sexual abuse elsewhere follows him

MINNESOTA
Park Rapids Enterprise

By: Sarah Smith, Park Rapids Enterprise

Three decades ago, a district judge suggested Darwin Schauer might be too self-righteous to appreciate the seriousness of his fall from grace.

Schauer, then principal of a Lutheran elementary school in southern Minnesota, was entering a guilty plea in Nicollet County to having a lengthy sexual relationship with a teenager that started when the victim was in second grade.

Schauer was angry, according to 1983 court transcripts, incensed that authorities had come into his home and hauled him off to jail in front of his family. He thought he’d been “stereotyped” as a sexual pervert. He verbally disagreed with the judge during his arraignment as to the charges he was facing.

Today he is jailed in Hubbard County on 15 charges of criminal sexual conduct with another minor who came forward earlier this month. Bond has been set at $1 million unconditional and $750,000 on the conditions he surrenders his passport, remains law-abiding and stays away from children.

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Monsignor Lynn And The Duty To Prevent Child Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

This post by Max Kennerly is cross-posted on his Litigation and Trial blog.

From the war on drugs to criminal copyright infringement, a number of commentators, legal scholars, politicians and even sitting judges have criticized the breadth of American criminal law, like the prevalence of non-violent or “victimless” crimes that don’t have a direct victim, and the Draconian mandatory penalties that are meted out, even where the judge and jury applying those laws think that less severe penalties would be appropriate. As a consequence of this “overcriminalization,” the United States has by far the highest incarceration rate in the world, so that, with only five percent of the world’s population, we nonetheless have twenty-five percent of its prisoners, most of them imprisoned for non-violent offenses, typically drug offenses.

Historically, and continuing to the present, there have been two glaring exceptions to this expansion of criminality: abuse within the family (whether spousal abuse or child abuse) and criminal conduct by large institutions (like corporations, universities, or churches), both of which have generally gone unpunished, without prosecution, and without even investigation. Child abuse was not considered a crime until the 1870s, when Mary Connolly was prosecuted for “attacking her foster child with a pair of scissors and repeatedly beating her with a rawhide whip and cane.” (Quote from the Logan article discussed below.) She was convicted, and after that various “children’s guardian” boards were created. The prosecution of child abuse, however, remained rare until the 1960s, when new mandatory reporting laws were enacted that required healthcare professionals to report suspicions of child abuse to government authorities. Similarly, in the 1980s, public awareness of the sexual abuse of children increased dramatically, so that today child abuse prosecutions are no longer the rare, newsworthy events that they once were.

Prosecutions of crimes that occur within the context of a large institution are even less common than prosecutions for spousal abuse or child abuse, and they even more rarely result in a conviction. Outside of a handful of prominent examples — like Bernie Madoff and Jeffrey Skilling — financial institution fraud prosecutions have fallen over the past 20 years, down to under 1,400 a year across the entire country. Many prosecutions of alleged crimes that occurred inside a corporation with the knowledge of other employees, like the prosecution of GlaxoSmithKline associate counsel Lauren Stevens, ended in failure, dismissed prior to a jury ruling.

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Detective: Lynn Worried About Hierarchy, Not Victims

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

Detective James Dougherty is a silver-haired former Philadelphia police homicide investigator now assigned to the district attorney’s Special Victims Unit. He’s an expert on the archdiocese’s “secret archive files” that detail the sins of pedophile priests.

This week, prosecutors in the archdiocese sex abuse trial had Dougherty take jurors on a two-day excursion through 160 formerly classified documents regarding the 40-year career of one offender, Father Raymond O. Leneweaver.

Father Leneweaver was identified in the 2005 grand jury report on archdiocese sex abuse as a “chronic abuser” of altar boys. The priest had special T-shirts printed up for his victims that identified them as “Philadelphia Rovers.”

The details in the grand jury report are sickening.

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Pa. Trial Shows Church Abuse Allegations Strategy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NPR

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The long, typed letter fantasizes about a seventh-grader’s body, and asks if the boy wants to try various sex acts.

“You are soooo cute. I have been thinking about you for a long time. … You’re the cutest in our grade,” the author wrote in a rare G-rated line.

But the anonymous author was not a classmate at the boy’s Catholic school in northeast Philadelphia. It was a parish priest. One with a cache of gay pornography and sadomasochistic videos in the rectory.

Files show the letter-writing priest was sent to a church-run treatment center for priests, where staff concluded he did not have “a pathological interest in children or adults.” Doctors racked the letter up to a single fantasy. And they believed him when he said he hadn’t sent it — or acted out with children.

“Cardinal Bevilacqua is granting him a health leave, and that should be the announcement to the (St. Anselm’s) parish,” reads a December 1995 memo, found in secret personnel files at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

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Pa. Trial Shows Church Abuse Allegations Strategy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
ABC News

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA March 31, 2012 (AP)

The long, typed letter fantasizes about a seventh-grader’s body, and asks if the boy wants to try various sex acts.

“You are soooo cute. I have been thinking about you for a long time. … You’re the cutest in our grade,” the author wrote in a rare G-rated line.

But the anonymous author was not a classmate at the boy’s Catholic school in northeast Philadelphia. It was a parish priest. One with a cache of gay pornography and sadomasochistic videos in the rectory.

Files show the letter-writing priest was sent to a church-run treatment center for priests, where staff concluded he did not have “a pathological interest in children or adults.” Doctors racked the letter up to a single fantasy. And they believed him when he said he hadn’t sent it — or acted out with children.

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Update on Abuse Survivor’s Hunger Strike for Justice at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA

MASSACHUSETTS
Voice from the Desert

kate Says:
March 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I tried to post this comment yesterday, but for some reason it did not appear. Here it is again, with an update at the end:

All is well. This was planned for six months and medical/health people were part of the vetting and preparation. One reason this was done is there is little doubt the Jesuits and/or the Archdiocese of Boston will try to shut it down with a manufactured “psychiatric emergency”.

In fact, the reason for the Hunger Strike for Justice is every other process the church and Jesuits use is broken down and futile. Years of time are wasted. When the medical/health people asked “Why a hunger strike?”, the answer was straightforward: “It takes much less than three years.”

Tea is a great hunger deterrent and milk is a great hunger quencher. A few hours every day are brutal — not the whole day — and milk makes it better. That was the Day 3 and Day 4 surprise. Day 5 is tomorrow.

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“The Black and White Code of Silence Is Broken”

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Voice from the Desert

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

March 30, 2012

One would hope the three Philadelphia Archdiocesan priests who testified on March 28, 2012 at the trial of Msgr. William Lynn and Fr. James Brennan voluntarily offered their services to the prosecution in the cause of truth and justice and were not forced under threat of sanction to describe the depravity of rectory and church life that permeates the Catholic clerical life. What they described in court was the clerical culture, a culture so depraved that shutting it down immediately should be reviewed by independent agencies. The porn, the stalking of high school boys, the abuse of children inside and outside of rectories and churches, the sadomasochistic and sexually stunted behavior of priests, the alcoholism and drug use; it was all testified to in open court. The black and white code of silence was shattered. The clerical culture was out in the open for the public to see. These stories were not unusual and sadly are the norm in most United States Catholic dioceses.

Does anyone think for one minute that the Philadelphia clerical culture is any different than the culture of any diocesan clergy or religious order anywhere in the United States or the world, for that matter? Should prosecutors throughout the United Stated choose to convene grand juries to investigate the clerical culture in their regions, the same results would occur, and invariably more bishops and their henchmen would be prosecuted. I know because I existed (not lived) in that culture for nearly forty years. I had to seek voluntary laicization to get away from it. I no longer work in or for “that company.”

In 1969, I was placed against my will into the honors’ English class of a serial religious brother pedophile. That so-called religious man abused boys in every school to which he was assigned. His best friend, another religious man, abused my first cousin. Both of us were groomed and then abused. I survived. My cousin killed himself at age 29. I was a Christian Brother at the time of my cousin’s death because I joined that religious order at eighteen years of age and left when I was forty-two, only to join another “sect” of the clerical culture, the priesthood.

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PERVERSION OF POWER WHEN MOURNING NEVER COMES

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, Ph.D.

February 23, 2012

Voice of the Faithful of Southwest Florida
Naples, Florida

When I was a doctoral student at Adelphi University in the 1980s, Morris Eagle, a respected senior psychoanalyst gave an afternoon colloquium during which he was asked to reflect on what characterized a successful therapeutic journey. He responded that, after decades of practice, he could say that patients who “got better” were those who could and would mourn while those who could not or would not mourn tended to experience more limited growth over the course of a psychoanalysis.

Now with almost as many years of practice experience as Morris had then, I can say that I agree with him wholeheartedly. While Eagle referred to psychological growth that afternoon, I propose that a failure to mourn impedes psychological, relational, social, political and spiritual growth. Further, I contend that the Catholic crisis of corrupted power, mis-defined as a sexual abuse crisis, has been marked by a colossal failure of mourning among too many within almost every Church constituency. This failure to mourn has influenced corrupt power plays among the hierarchy; manic attempts to restore the forever gone among some victims; denial, silence and empty platitudes among many priests; and studied naivete among a large portion of laity. So – in other words, I may offend everyone sitting here tonight! But, let me begin anyway……

Introduction to Mourning

No one makes it from the cradle to the grave without confronting deep, even heartbreaking, disappointments, betrayals, and losses. There are life’s inevitable losses. From the pre-schooler who is rushed to the ER with a burst appendix and has to spend Halloween in the pediatric ward instead of trick or treating with his fellow goblins and ghouls; to the high school senior who gets only a one-page rejection from her first choice college; to the husband and father who comes back from lunch on Friday to find a pink slip announcing his part in the latest corporate downsizing; to the marathon running 50-something year old whose annual mammogram shows a nasty lump; to the ninety-year young senior widowed after 60 years of good enough marriage; we all are subject to assaults that shift the ground we once found firm and challenge much of what we thought we knew about life, people, ourselves and the Divine.

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RCMP renews polygamy investigation into Bountiful

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

JAMES KELLER
Vancouver— The Canadian Press

Polygamous marriages in the religious commune of Bountiful, B.C. are once again under the scrutiny of the RCMP, following two decades of similar investigations that have so far failed to lead to a single conviction.

The Mounties have investigated plural marriages in Bountiful since the early 1990s, but persistent questions about the constitutionality of the law and a successful legal challenge three years ago have meant only two people have ever been charged and no one has been convicted.

The RCMP launched an investigation last year focusing on allegations that dozens of teen brides were spirited across the U.S. border to marry older men, but officers weren’t actively considering charges of polygamy because of an ongoing constitutional reference case examining the law.

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Argentinian rabbi arrested in Passaic on child porn charges

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By The Associated Press

PASSAIC — Authorities in New Jersey have arrested a rabbi from Argentina on child pornography charges.

Passaic County sheriff’s detectives arrested 50-year-old Rabbi Gabriel Toledo at a kosher food distribution company in Moonachie on Thursday.

The Record newspaper reports Sheriff Richard Berdnik issued a statement saying the rabbi was in possession of more than 1,000 images.

Toledo does not lead a local congregation and is in the U.S. on a visa. He’s been living in Passaic.

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Rabbi arrested, roommate wanted on child porn charges in Passaic

NEW JERSEY
The Record

Friday, March 30, 2012

BY MARLENE NAANES AND NICK CLUNN
STAFF WRITERS
The Record

PASSAIC — A rabbi has been accused of possessing more than 1,000 pornographic images involving children following a four-month investigation that culminated in the search of the man’s home, authorities said Friday.

Rabbi Gabriel Toledo, 50, was arrested Thursday at his home on Pennington Avenue. His 22-year-old roommate, who is also charged, had not been apprehended by police Friday and is considered a fugitive.

The Passaic County Sheriff’s Office has charged both men with possession of child pornography. The roommate, Joseph Vasquez, also is charged with distribution of child pornography.

Toledo has worked at Foremost RAM Caterers in Moonachie, assisting the company in making ensuring its food is glatt kosher, a strict standard for cooking and eating that is rooted in Jewish law. The rules define the kinds of food, particularly meat, that’s permitted to be eaten and how it should be prepared.

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Church Calendar: 3-31

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

“Is the Vatican Accountable Under International Law?” Discussion on the complaint to the International Criminal Court on the Vatican and clerical sexual abuse, 11:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday, University of Toledo Law Center Auditorium. Free.

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Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen im Bistum Trier

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

Offener Brief an den Bischof von Trier, Dr. Stephan Ackermann

Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen im Bistum Trier

,Niemals tut der Mensch das Böse so vollkommen und fröhlich, als wenn er es aus religiöser Überzeugung tut.‘ (Blaise Pascal)

Sehr geehrter Herr Bischof,

gemäß uns vorliegender Dokumente haben sich in der zu ihrem Bistum gehörenden saarländischen Pfarrei Herz Jesu, Püttlingen-Köllerbach zahlreiche Missbrauchsfälle ereignet.

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Commissie Deetman: castratie los van misbruik RKK

NEDERLAND
NRC Handelsblad

door Joep Dohmen

De commissie-Deetman vindt dat haar rapport over misbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk “berust op feiten en zorgvuldige afwegingen die de betrouwbaarheid ervan staven”. Dat schrijft de commissie in een notitie aan de opdrachtgevers van hun onderzoek, de kerkbestuurders. De commissie reageert op publicaties in NRC Handelsblad.

De krant berichtte eerder deze maand dat een melding aan de commissie, over de castratie van een minderjarige jongen na zijn aangifte van seksueel misbruik in internaat Harreveld, niet diepgaand was onderzocht en niet in het rapport van de commissie kwam. Volgens de commissie toonden de melding over de castratie en de gegevens die de commissie had, geen “verband aan tussen het seksuele misbruik van een aantal minderjarigen, de aangifte en de castratie”.

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Deetman: geen informatie verzwegen

NEDERLAND
Omroep Gelderland

DEN HAAG – De commissie-Deetman heeft geen informatie achtergehouden in het onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik in de Katholieke kerk, zegt de commissie.

“Het onderzoek over het misbruik berust op feiten en zorgvuldige afwegingen,” dat schrijft de commissie-Deetman vrijdag in een notitie aan de Tweede Kamer. Aanleiding voor de brief zijn de berichten over castraties in de jaren ’50 in het jongensinternaat Harreveld.

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FLDS Leader Given Maximum Sentence by Texas Jury on Bigamy Counts

TEXAS
KCSG

by Matthew Waller

Published – 03/30/12
(Midland, TX) – A Midland jury has sentenced Wendell Loy Nielsen, a former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and close associate of its imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs, to the maximum 10 years and $10,000 fine on each of three counts of felony bigamy. The jury had found the former leader of the sect guity of marrying three women in bigamy on Wednesday. The penalty phase of the trial end Friday with the maximum allowed under Texas law.

The defense said the FLDS practice of multiple “spiritual” or “celestial” marriages and argued that those marriages didn’t count as marriages under the bigamy laws because they were not intended to be legal marriages.

The jurors didn’t agree, and after deliberating for about 45 minutes Tuesday night and 45 minutes Wednesday morning, they found Nielsen guilty on all counts.

Nielsen was charged with marrying three women in 2006 when they were 43, 58 and 65, marrying two on the same day.

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Male survivors of child sexual abuse subject of film at WMU

MICHIGAN
WMUK

[with audio and video]

By: Andy Robins
Kalamazoo, MI
March 30, 2012
WMUK

The federal government says about one in every six boys in this country will be sexually abused by the time they are 16. Two events at Western Michigan University this month will help male sexual abuse survivors come to terms with their trauma. And organizers say they hope the wider community will learn about the issue.

Western is one of several colleges and universities around the country showing the new film Boys and Men Healing. The documentary by Kathy Barbini and Simon Weinberg tells the stories of three men who sexually abused as children.

[Tony Rogers] “While he was raping me, I felt like I left my body because I thought I was going to die. So, I wasn’t present there. And actually I had agreed to die at that point.”

That’s Tony Rogers, who’s now a teacher, from a YouTube trailer for film. Also featured are David Lisak, a therapist who calls on his own experience to counsel other male survivors, and Mark Crawford, an advocate for changes in laws on child sexual abuse.

[Tony Rogers] ‘I just experienced many symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. And I thought it was uniquely me.”

[David Lisak] “Boys are sexually abused in vast numbers and vastly more frequently than as a society we are recognizing.”

[Mark Crawford] “I was absolutely amazed that it, in fact, it was so common among sexual abuse survivors of feeling alone, or feeling it was only you.”

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When the Archbishop Met the President

UNITED STATES
The Wall Street Journal

By JAMES TARANTO
New York

The president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops is careful to show due respect for the president of the United States. “I was deeply honored that he would call me and discuss these things with me,” says the newly elevated Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York. But when Archbishop Dolan tells me his account of their discussions of the ObamaCare birth-control mandate, Barack Obama sounds imperious and deceitful to me. …

The “flash point,” the archbishop says, was “Humanae Vitae,” Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical reasserting the church’s teachings on sex, marriage and reproduction, including its opposition to artificial contraception. It “brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the church, that I think most of us—and I’m using the first-person plural intentionally, including myself—kind of subconsciously said, ‘Whoa. We’d better never talk about that, because it’s just too hot to handle.’ We forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day.”

Without my having raised the subject, he adds that the church’s sex-abuse scandal “intensified our laryngitis over speaking about issues of chastity and sexual morality, because we almost thought, ‘I’ll blush if I do. . . . After what some priests and some bishops, albeit a tiny minority, have done, how will I have any credibility in speaking on that?'”

Yet the archbishop says he sees a hunger, especially among young adults, for a more authoritative church voice on sexuality. “They will be quick to say, ‘By the way, we want you to know that we might not be able to obey it. . . . But we want to hear it. And in justice, you as our pastors need to tell us, and you need to challenge us.'”

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Former Nun’s autobiography to expose Catholic Church’s crisis in Kerala

INDIA
The Times of India

P Sudhakaran, TNN | Mar 31, 2012

KANNUR: Young nuns leaving the order unable to cope with the rigors of convent life is nothing unusual in Kerala. But in recent times, some of them have not just left the order to return to secular life, but have talked about the sexual frustrations that go behind the closed doors.

Sister Mary Chandy (67), a former nun with Catholic Church’s Presentation Convent in Kerala, had quit the order 12 years ago when a priest tried to rape her. Or, that’s her side of the story.

Now she is writing her autobiography — Swasthi.

To be published by Kairali Books in Kannur, Mary wants to expose the debauchery she witnessed in the convents during her stint as a nun through her book.

More than a decade after stepping out of the convent at Perumpunna in Peravoor (Kannur district), Mary continues to live an austere life in a rented house-cum-orphanage (Santhisadan Charitable Society) with 17 orphan children in Pulpally, Wayanad.

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Clerical abuse survivors asked: Has the Church supported you?

IRELAND
The Journal

A SURVIVORS’ SUPPORT group is asking survivors of clerical abuse in Ireland to take part in a research project to discover the extent of the assistance offered to them by the Catholic Church.

The appeal has come in the wake of the recent Vatican Apostolic Visitation.

The Visitation, a group of high-ranking officials from the Vatican which came here in November 2010, was led by Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Their mission was to inspect the country’s four archdioceses and seminaries in Maynooth, Milltown, Belfast and the Pontifical College in Rome, along with other religious institutes, to see how child protection guidelines were being understood, implemented and operating.

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Monsignor at Roslindale’s Sacred Heart …

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local West Roxbury

Monsignor at Roslindale’s Sacred Heart apologizes after soliciting donations for accused priest

By Todd Feathers/Wicked Local correspondent
GateHouse News Service
Posted Mar 30, 2012

Roslindale —

The Archdiocese of Boston and the Rev. Msgr. Francis H. Kelley, pastor of Roslindale’s Parish of the Sacred Heart, issued quick apologies Thursday, March 29, after victims advocacy groups protested the use of parish resources to solicit donations for the legal defense of a priest accused of sexually abusing children.

Representatives from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and BishopAccountability.org held a press conference outside Sacred Heart at 169 Cummins Highway on Thursday, and passed out copies of the parish’s March 17 news bulletin, containing directions for how to donate to the defense fund for the Rev. John Mendicoa. Last August, Mendicoa was accused of sexually abusing children in the 1980s and was suspended by the Archdiocese which notified local authorities. His case is still in process, according to the Archdiocese website.

“I wish to express my apology to all impacted by this action,” wrote Kelley in a statement. “I now recognize that this announcement was not an appropriate use of the parish bulletin. I offer my personal assurance that such announcements will not be permitted going forward.”

Anne Barrett-Doyle, of BishopAccountability.org, said a concerned parishioner notified her organization of the bulletin. She worried that a statement of support in a parish publication would make it harder for potential victims to come forward.

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Cleveland parishes file motions in Rome demanding their churches reopen

CLEVELAND (OH)
National Catholic Reporter

by Brian Roewe on Mar. 30, 2012 NCR Today

This post has been updated to include today’s action by the appealing parishes.

Responding to their bishop’s delayed response, three Cleveland parishes have filed motions in Rome requesting the Congregation of the Clergy “order” the immediate restoration of their parishes and reopening of their churches.

The three are among the 13 parishes who successfully appealed to the congregation Bishop Richard G. Lennon’s decision to suppress their parishes and close their churches.

The motions, filed this morning to a congregation official by a canon advocate, read, “The approach of Holy Week creates expectations and apprehensions among the faithful who fear experiencing another Easter far from the parish to which they legitimately belong.

“And while it is understandable and agreed that His Excellency the Bishop should have time to consider the decision regarding his procedural stance, it must be also clear that the decree has immediate effect, restoring the status quo ante.”

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Notification of Upcoming Safeguarding Review For The Irish Spiritan Province

IRELAND
The Spiritans

(AN AUDIT OF THE REALITY OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY SPIRITAN MEMBERS AND CURRENT SAFEGUARDING PRACTICE)

Following the Ferns, Dublin and Cloyne reports the Irish State and public have sought complete disclosure on the part of all the dioceses and institutions of the Catholic Church inIreland as to the reality of the sexual abuse of children and minors by clergy, religious or church workers.

Catholic dioceses, religious congregations and institutions have responded positively to this desire of the State and public, believing that until a complete picture is known of past and present abuse, within the Church, there can be no possibility of authentic accountability or renewal for the future.

An independent and objective audit is of primary importance for the State and Irish public. In the three reports mentioned above, the State undertook the investigation and was responsible for the published audit. The State, at this time, recognises the competency and independence of the NBSCCCI (National Board for Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland) and entrusts to it the task of completing the audits of remaining dioceses, religious congregations and other Catholic institutions. In November 2011 the first audits by the NBSCCCI were completed for the Dioceses of Ardagh and Clonmacnois,Derry, Dromore, Kilmore, Raphoe and Tuam.

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Spiritans religious order to be audited on sex abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE IRISH province of the Spiritans (Holy Ghost Fathers) congregation will be the first Catholic male religious order internationally to undergo an audit to establish “the reality of the sexual abuse of children and minors by clergy, religious or church workers”.

The audit, at the Spiritans’ own request, was announced on its website ( spiritans.ie) yesterday and will be conducted by the Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding of Children. It will take place in May.

The Spiritans manage some of the best-known schools in Dublin, at Willow Park, Blackrock College, St Michael’s College, St Mary’s College, Templeogue College and Rockwell College in Co Tipperary.

The congregation said it believed “only a public audit of the reality of abuse committed by Spiritans can free the congregation to carry out its mission of service among God’s people. That mission includes the congregation’s outreach to those who were abused.”

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Archbishop Chaput Will Have None of Your Lukewarm Catholicism

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Philly Post

Richard Rys

In a recent story about Tuesday’s release of Archbishop Charles Chaput’s e-book, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America, the Philadelphia Inquirer called it an “e-lamentation.” It’s really a challenge to today’s Catholics who, Chaput says, share the blame for the moral and spiritual weakness of our country. “We … helped shape it with our eagerness to fit in,” Chaput writes, “our distractions and overconfidence, and our own lukewarm faith.” And while Philadelphia’s top priest never mentions any candidates by name, he makes reference to the importance of this election year. Chaput isn’t just calling out his congregation; he’s issuing a political and societal call to arms. Consider his choice of quote from Father John Courtney Murray, a Jesuit theologian who wrote this in 1940: “In view of the fact that American culture is built on the negation of all that Christianity stands for, it would seem that our first step toward the construction of a Christian culture should be the destruction of the existing one. In the presence of Frankenstein, one does not reach for baptismal water, but for a bludgeon.”

That’s some tough talk, and in the course of Chaput’s compact essay, he smartly and eloquently states his case for what he sees as a growing sense of religious intolerance in this country, stoked by an ill-informed and biased media and a populace that’s turned its collective back on faith. He writes of “the inhuman parody we call ‘modern American culture’” and “sexual minorities [who] now routinely use the state’s power and friendly mass media to break down traditional definitions of marriage and family.” Chaput wistfully remembers the good old days, “when the word gay had more connection to joy than sexual identity.” …

Chaput, the church and its lobbyists want to shape this country to fit their morality. The oppressed—if you believe that’s what Catholics in America have become—intend to be the oppressors. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has orchestrated a cover-up of child sexual abuse that spans the globe and reaches all the way up to the Pope himself. As we hear the horror stories in our own back yard, like those of disgraced Archbishop Ryan principal Charles Newman, and read grim daily testimony from the trial of Msgr. William Lynn and Rev. James Brennan, it seems an awfully curious time to declare the way the rest of us live to be “inhuman.”

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Deetman hield geen informatie achter

NEDERLAND
Omroep Gelderland

DEN HAAG – De commissie Deetman heeft geen informatie achtergehouden in het onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik in de Katholieke kerk.

“Het onderzoek over het misbruik berust op feiten en zorgvuldige afwegingen,” dat schrijft de commissie-Deetman vrijdag in een notitie aan de Tweede Kamer. Aanleiding voor de brief zijn de berichten over castraties in de jaren ’50 in het jongensinternaat Harreveld.

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Deetman verwerpt kritiek op misbruikrapport

NEDERLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad

DEN HAAG (ANP) – Het onderzoek over misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk berust op feiten en zorgvuldige afwegingen. Dat schreef de commissie-Deetman vrijdag in een notitie aan de Tweede Kamer.

De volledigheid van het rapport, dat in december verscheen, werd de afgelopen tijd in twijfel getrokken. Volgens NRC Handelsblad ontbreekt in het rapport informatie over castraties in de jaren ’50 in het jongensinternaat Harreveld en de bemoeienis van Vic Marijnen, in de jaren ’50 bestuursvoorzitter van Harreveld en later minister-president. De commissie verwierp die kritiek vrijdag en stelt dat de informatie in de artikelen niet berust op feiten.

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Deetman eist rectificatie van NRC

NEDERLAND
Trouw

NRC Handelsblad moet haar berichtgeving rectificeren over een kwalijke rol die KVP-er Marijnen zou hebben gespeeld in de zaak van seksueel misbruik in het jongensinternaat Harreveld, schrijft Wim Deetman in een notitie aan de Tweede Kamer.

In deze notitie weerspreken commissievoorzitter Wim Deetman en secretaris Bert Kreemers dat zij belastende feiten achtergehouden hebben in hun eindrapport over misbruik in de rk kerk.

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Deetman verwerpt kritiek op misbruikrapport

NEDERLAND
Nu

DEN HAAG – Het onderzoek over misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk berust op feiten en zorgvuldige afwegingen.

Dat schreef de commissie-Deetman vrijdag in een notitie aan de Tweede Kamer. De volledigheid van het rapport, dat in december verscheen, werd de afgelopen tijd in twijfel getrokken.

Volgens NRC Handelsblad ontbreekt in het rapport informatie over castraties in de jaren ’50 in het jongensinternaat Harreveld en de bemoeienis van Vic Marijnen, in de jaren ’50 bestuursvoorzitter van Harreveld en later minister-president.

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Donor group saw expansion under retiring longtime leader

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Mar. 28, 2012
By Jerry Filteau

WASHINGTON — Francis J. Butler — who usually worked quietly behind the scenes but may have been as influential as almost any other layperson in the U.S. Catholic church over the past 40 years — retired Feb. 3 after 32 years as president of FADICA, Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities.

During his tenure, FADICA and its member foundations and donors have played key roles in some of the most fruitful Catholic initiatives of recent decades in the United States and abroad. Just a short list of FADICA initiatives that have borne fruit under his guidance would include:

•A substantial role in creating the bishops’ Religious Retirement Office, leading to their biggest annual national collection ever, the collection for retired religious.

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Deetman: geen twijfel over rapport

NEDERLAND
NOS

De commissie-Deetman bestrijdt dat er opzettelijk informatie over castratie in de jaren 50 uit het eindrapport is weggelaten.

Datzelfde geldt volgens de commissie voor de rol die oud-premier Marijnen (KVP) zou hebben gespeeld bij een gratieverzoek voor een broeder die voor ontucht was veroordeeld. Dat blijkt uit een notitie die de commissie naar de Tweede Kamer heeft gestuurd.

Volgens de commissie blijkt uit de informatie die zij tot haar beschikking heeft niet dat er een verband is tussen de castratie van een minderjarige jongen en eerder seksueel misbruik.

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Disgraced Catholic official to preach in NYC; SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Voice from the Desert

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Noted Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo (of “Whispers in the Loggia”) reports that Cardinal Tim Dolan is bringing disgraced Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to preach next Thursday.

Like he did last year with a New York teenager, Cardinal Dolan is callously and needlessly rubbing even more salt into already deep and still fresh wounds of hundreds of clergy sex abuse

Tens of thousands of Catholic clerics could preach in St. Pat’s next week. Almost any of them would be less upsetting and hurtful than Rigali.

Nine years after bishops promised to “reform,” Rigali, under pressure, was forced to suspend 21 accused Philly priests on one day in March of 2011. These suspensions took place exactly one month after Rigali wrote his flock assuring them that there were no credibly-accused priests remaining within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 2005, Rigali kept silent as his lawyer blasted prosecutors as “anti-Catholic” in the wake of a second scathing report about widespread clergy sex crimes and cover ups in his archdiocese.

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Online Sexual Predators Only Need Eight Minutes

UNITED STATES
Child Protection News

Written on March 30, 2012 by Patrick Noaker

8 minutes. Researchers discover sexual predators “groom” children for sex online in just 8 minutes. In an article in the Irish Independent newspaper, researchers at Middlesex University in London revealed that online predators appear to be much more aggressive in the way that they approach children in cyberspace. The study found that online sexual predators “cut to the chase” and turn online chat conversations with children to sexual topics within 3 minutes of meeting the child. In addition, the study showed that a bond was formed between the child and the predator just 5 minutes later, often leading to a sexual exchange of information, sexual photographs and even online sexual activity.

This information is significant because previous beliefs that there was a period of grooming by sexual predators may be inaccurate in an online setting. Historically, sexual predators engaged in a period of trust-building with a child victim where the predator would have secrets with the child, give gifts or build an emotional bond with the child. Knowing this, parents took some comfort in believing that their supervision would lead to discovery and termination of any inappropriate relationship involving their child before the relationship turned sexual. It appears that this grooming grace period simply does not exist online. This leaves parents without time to intercept predators before they can exploit our kids.

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7 reasons Catholics leave church (in Trenton, #1 is sex abuse crisis)

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Even though Roman Catholics are the second-largest religious group in the United States, the tradition has seen an exodus of members in recent decades. One in ten Americans is an ex-Catholic.

If ex-Catholics were counted as their own religious group, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

If it weren’t for the infusion of Catholic immigrants, especially from Latin American, the American Catholic Church would be shrinking pretty fast.

A recent study by two college professor tries to get at a simple question: Why are they leaving?

Conducted William J. Byron, a professor of business at St. Joseph’s University and Charles Zech, founder of the Center for the Study of Church Management of Villanova’s School of Business, the anecdotal study conducted in late fall of 2011 processes the opinions of 300 non-churchgoing Catholics in Trenton, New Jersey. …

1. The sex abuse crisis

Byron and Zech asked ex-Catholics to cite their main reason for leaving: “If you could communicate directly with the bishop, what would you say?”

The most common answer: the church’s inadequate response to clergy sex abuse. “The bishop’s refusal to list pedophile priests on the diocesan Web site and his non-support of the effort to lift the statute of limitations for bringing sexual abuses cases forward in the courts” did it for me, one man said, according to the report.

Several respondents said they had been victims of sexual abuse by church leadership.

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Parents in shock as priest displays gay porn images

IRELAND
The Herald

By Clodagh Sheehy

Friday March 30 2012

A PRIEST has denied knowing how gay porn images appeared on a screen during a presentation he was giving to parents of children preparing for First Communion.

Fr Martin McVeigh was setting up the PowerPoint display when the explicit sex scenes flashed up on the screen.

He was about to give a talk to the parents of First Communicants but abandoned the presentation after the pornographic images appeared.

One of those present said the pictures appeared on the screen after the priest put a USB memory stick into the computer at St Mary’s School in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone.

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Offener Brief an Bischof Dr. Ackermann und an alle deutschen Kardinäle, Erzbischöfe und Bischöfe

DEUTSCHLAND
Wir Sind Kirche

München, 30. März 2012

Sehr geehrter Herr Bischof Dr. Ackermann,
sehr geehrte Herren Kardinäle, Erzbischöfe und Bischöfe,

die KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche wendet sich wegen der Vorkommnisse im Bistum Trier in einem Offenen Brief an Sie. Wie den Medien zu entnehmen ist und vom Bistum Trier bestätigt wurde, sind derzeit sieben ehemalige Täter sexualisierter Gewalt im Bistum Trier im priesterlichen Dienst und in der Seelsorge eingesetzt. Dies halten wir für kein vorbildhaftes Zeichen für eine Umkehr und einen wirklichen Neuanfang im Umgang mit sexualisierter Gewalt in der Kirche.

Die Erklärung des Bistums, dass Sie, Herr Bischof Dr. Ackermann – der Sie seit Februar 2010 auch „Missbrauchsbeauftragter“ der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK) sind – nicht gegen die geltenden Leitlinien der DBK verstoßen hätten, mag formal richtig sein, überzeugend ist sie keinesfalls. Um die Glaubwürdigkeit der Kirchenleitung in Deutschland wiederherzustellen, bedarf es mehr als nur Lippenbekenntnisse.

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Überblick über die Missbrauchsfälle in Diözesen und Orden – soweit sie von der Kirche oder der Presse öffentlich gemacht wurden

DEUTSCHLAND
Wir Sind Kirche

Die Aufstellung ist nicht vollständig. Mit Fehlern muss gerechnet werden, weil nicht immer klar ist, ob sich hinter dem Fall-Begriff jeweils (mindestens) ein Opfer verbirgt. Wenn die Täterzahl genannt wurde, nicht jedoch die Anzahl der Opfer, bin ich davon ausgegangen, dass jeder Täter ein Opfer hatte. In Bistümern und Orden wird von ca 1009 Tätern und auch Täterinnen und mehr als 2273 Opfern berichtet. Dem Überblick ist die Schwere eines Missbrauchs nicht zu entnehmen. Es muss unterstellt werden, dass eine erhebliche Zahl von Menschen, die im kirchlichen Kontext Opfer wurden, sich bei der Kirche nicht gemeldet haben, weil sie kein Vertrauen in deren Aufklärung haben.

(Herrn H. herzlichen Dank für die Fülle an Hinweisen! Stand: 15.1.2012)

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Los Gatos Priest Beating Case Trial Now on Schedule For May

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Sheila Sanchez

The trial for a San Francisco man accused of beating a priest at the Los Gatos Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in May of 2010 is on schedule now after the parties involved agreed to proceed during a hearing Thursday.

Pretrial motions are set for 9:30 a.m., Friday, April 6, said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Gemetti.

Jury selection will begin on May 14 and the presentation of the evidence is expected to start on or around May 29 before presiding Superior Court Judge David Cena.

“I don’t want to say the trial will start for sure because I’ve said that before, but the whole point of the conference today (Thursday) was to confirm everybody’s availability,” Gemetti said. “There may be some minor changes on how things go, but [the trial] will happen around that time frame.”

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Benedict’s gentle debunk of clericalism

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Mar. 30, 2012 All Things Catholic

Pope Benedict XVI’s diplomatic high-wire act in Havana, pressing the case for religious freedom but avoiding direct clash with the Castro regime, was the main news flash out of his March 23-28 trip to Mexico and Cuba. Yet there was another leitmotif to the outing, more subtle but arguably more decisive for the church across Latin America.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the pope offered a gentle, yet unmistakable, debunking of clericalism. His focus seemed to be the gradual reshaping of ecclesial culture, not sexy short-term headlines, which puts it squarely into Benedict’s wheelhouse.

Catholicism in Latin America is wildly diverse, from the emotional popular Catholicism of various Marian devotions to the “base communities” that were the backbone of liberation theology. One important current, however, has long been a remarkably strong form of clericalism, perhaps the inevitable result of the faith being effectively a monopoly until quite recently.

Typical expressions of this clericalism include:
•Clergy see themselves as political powerbrokers, playing a direct role in affairs of state.
•The church projects an image of power and privilege, with its preferred spiritual imagery emphasizing God as a cosmic monarch.
•The role of the laity is conceived in largely passive terms — “pay, pray and obey.”
•Little premium is placed on evangelization or faith formation, with pastoral care understood largely in terms of administering the sacraments.

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Anger after film festival rejects sex-abuse documentary

UNITED STATES
New Jersey Jewish Standard

Ben Harris • Film
Published: 30 March 2012

Producer Scott Rosenfelt, whose credits include “Home Alone” and “Mystic Pizza,” is threatening a major Jewish film festival after its director raised concerns that Rosenfelt’s documentary about sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community amounts to a “witch hunt.”

Rosenfelt sent a scathing e-mail last week to the director of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival after learning that she had warned colleagues at other film festivals about “Standing Silent.”

The film, which features interviews with several victims of sexual abuse by Baltimore-area Orthodox rabbis, was featured at the Teaneck Film Festival held late last year. It is slated to be screened at several Jewish film festivals across the United States. It also was the subject of a lengthy feature article in The Washington Post.

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22News inFocus: The Catholic Church

MASSACHUSETTS
WWLP

Jessica Stanley

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – This Sunday is Palm Sunday, and this is an important time of year for many Christians across the country and right here in Western Massachusetts. So this week on 22News inFocus we’re going to be talking about the status of the Catholic Church here in the Pioneer Valley.

The Church has faced many challenges over the years, the clergy sex abuse scandal, declining membership, a rough economy, and recent church closures that devastated many local parishioners. We’ll discuss these issues, and talk about what the Church is doing to try and turn things around.

We invited the bishop to attend and answer our questions, but he declined our invitation. Instead, we’ll speak with a Church historian and the Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) program in Western Massachusetts.

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Del. priest who stole from parishioner sentenced

WILMINGTON (DE)
Wausau Daily Herald

WILMINGTON, Del. (WTW) — A Roman Catholic priest in Delaware has been sentenced to a year in prison for stealing more than $300,000 from a parishioner.

The Rev. Michael Angeloni also was ordered Friday to pay $305,425 in restitution to the 86-year-old victim.

Angeloni faced up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty last year to one count of theft of more than $100,000.

Prosecutors say Angeloni stole the money from a parishioner of the Church of the Holy Child, where he previously served as assistant pastor. The investigation began last year after the attorney general’s office received a report from Wilmington Trust of suspicious financial activity on the victim’s account.

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Release of sex abuse depositions and records would not identify victims

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Archbishop Listecki’s deceptive statement that victims names would somehow be made public is a “false alarm” that will intimidate victims and mislead Catholics

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director

CONTACT: 414.336.8575

Archbishop Listecki, in an interview on WITI channel 6 yesterday, misleadingly stated that the unsealing of abuse depositions and documents of church officials in Federal bankruptcy court–a request being made in a motion filed by over 300 victim/survivors and to be argued in court next Thursday–would somehow result in the identities of victims being made public, presumably by Judge Kelley in a court order. That, Listecki says, is why the Archdiocese will oppose the motion. This statement by Listecki is absolutely false. Archdiocesan spokespersons, when opposing court release of documents in the past, have made these deceptive public inferences, but the Archbishop himself has never crossed the line and personally repeated them. Until now.

The motion filed in court by victim/survivors could not be any clearer. It states: “The motion seeks to have all information regarding survivors’ identities redacted and all information regarding alleged abusers who have not yet been publically identified redacted as well.” This motion was filed publically so it is available to anyone. One would guess that Listecki, who is a lawyer, and the 28 lawyers he has hired for the bankruptcy, have read it.

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QUARRY v. DOE 1

CALIFORNIA
Leagle

TERRY QUARRY et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants,
v.
DOE I, Defendant and Respondent.
No. S171382.
Supreme Court of California.

Filed March 29, 2012.

Zalkin & Zimmer, The Zalkin Law Firm, Irwin M. Zalkin, Michael H. Zimmer, Devin M. Storey and Michael J. Kinslow for Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Jeff Anderson & Associates, Michael Finnegan and Sarah Odegaard for The National Association for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children, the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney (Alameda); Furtado, Jaspovice & Simons, Bill Lockyer and Richard J. Simons as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Reed Smith, Margaret M. Grignon; Foley & Lardner, Stephen A. McFeely, Tami S. Smason, Courtney R. Henning, Leila Nourani and Michael B. McCollum for Defendant and Respondent.

Lombardi, Loper & Conant, Peter O. Glaessner and Lori A. Sebransky for The Ordinary Mutual as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, Daniel H. Bromberg; Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, James C. Geoly and Nora Flaherty Couri for The Order of Carmelites, Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, The Order of the Friar Servants of Mary, USA Province and The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent.

Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman, J. Michael Hennigan and Lee W. Potts for the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent.

Sweeney & Greene, James F. Sweeney, Stephen J. Greene, Jr., and Laura Borden Riddell Jr. for California Association of Private School Organizations as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent.

Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold and Nicholas W. Heldt for Boy Scouts of America and Masonic Homes of California, Inc., as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent.

Neumiller & Beardslee, Paul N. Balestracci, Lisa Blanco Jimenez; McNamara Law Firm and Gary A. Watt for the Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Respondent.

—————
CANTIL-SAKAUYE, C. J.

Plaintiffs brought an action against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland, alleging that defendant bore responsibility for sexual abuse committed during the 1970’s by a priest then assigned to the Oakland diocese. Plaintiffs allege that in 2006 they discovered for the first time that the cause of their adult psychological injuries was the sexual abuse inflicted by this priest when they were children. It is our task to determine whether their claims are timely within the limitations period established by Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1.1

Section 340.1 governs the period within which a plaintiff must bring a tort claim based upon childhood sexual abuse. The statute must be understood in an historical context. Over the years, the limitations period for claims alleging sexual abuse against children continually was expanded as to actions that were brought against those persons who were the direct perpetrators of the sexual abuse. Moreover, in 1990 the Legislature elected to specify that such causes of action against direct perpetrators could be brought within eight years of majority or within three years of the time the plaintiff discovered that psychological injury was caused by childhood abuse. It was only in 1998, however, that the statute was amended to include third party defendants within its purview, and as to such defendants the Legislature elected not to embrace the open-ended discovery provision past the plaintiff’s 26th birthday. On the contrary, drawing a clear distinction between direct perpetrators and third party defendants, in 1998 the Legislature provided that claims against third party defendants must be brought prior to the plaintiff’s 26th birthday. The claims of plaintiffs in the present case clearly were lapsed by 1998, because by that date plaintiffs all had passed their 26th birthdays.

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Rep. Gene O’Flaherty

MASSACHUSETTS
Chelsea Record

By Record Staff

News that our representative Gene O’Flaherty may be stepping down from his chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee caught many by surprise. After all, O’Flaherty tends to be a steady Eddy, so to speak.

But when his feathers are ruffled as they were last week by a Boston Globe columnist, he threw a bit of a fit and why not?

He was made out to be in the eyes of the public an unfeeling, Roman Catholic with no interest in seeing justice done for those abused by priests. Obviously, this is not the case but when it is made to appear that way in a Boston Globe column written by a widely read columnist, such an assertion is hard to dodge or to talk your way out of.

The issue discussed by the Globe columnist concerned the present statute of limitations discussion going on in the House of Representatives, where 100 of O’Flaherty’s colleagues are considering a bill which would end the statute of limitations.

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Catholic Church Abuses Sex Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
The Revealer

13 March 2012

It’s been more than a decade since the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal rocked Boston. In that time, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has provided national support to victims of abuse. But recently SNAP is finding that the Church’s new approach to managing national lawsuits is not apology and reparation but counter-attack. Seeking to prove that SNAP is not a “rape crisis center” the Church is subpoenaing to access confidential communication between SNAP and victims, thus exposing victims to public scrutiny.

From Laurie Goodstein’s fantastic New York Times article today, “Church Puts Legal Pressure on Abuse Victims’ Group”–which includes perhaps one of the most telling statements*, from William Donahue, on the Church’s impatience with these cases:

The network and its allies say the legal action is part of a campaign by the church to cripple an organization that has been the most visible defender of victims, and a relentless adversary, for more than two decades. “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, “it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s what they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.”

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SNAP WI letter to Archbishop …

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

SNAP WI letter to Archbishop Listecki on unsealing Weakland, Sklba depositions; Mass of Atonement

To: Archbishop Jerome Listecki
From: Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
Re: Mass of Atonement and motion to release court depositions of Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Bishop Richard Sklba

This letter is sent as an expression of our desire for justice. It is a desire we victims of childhood sexual violence by clergy share, with Christ, who also suffered the fate of so many nameless and forgotten children. In our own archdiocese, according to attorneys representing 350 of the 570 victim claimants in Federal Bankruptcy Court, at least 8,000 individual acts of child sex abuse have occurred in the archdiocese committed by 100 alleged offenders not included on the church’s “official” 2004 list of 43 priests with credible reports of child sex abuse.

So, it is fitting that we join with you today, at least those of us who still consider ourselves Catholic, in a shared prayer for justice and, specifically, to support and encourage you on the difficult and liberating path of atonement, repentance, and conversion from the sins of sexual abuse by clergy and the cover up of those crimes by church officials.

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The Signals Switch

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Editorial

Pope Benedict XVI visited Mexico and Cuba between March 23 and March 29 and like the Cardinal Archbishop of New York he seems to have a new strategy towards sexual abuse victims, too.

Beginning with his trip to the United States in 2008, the pontiff has been meeting with survivors of sexual abuse by clergy during his international travels.

But no meetings with survivors were on the agenda for the Mexico or Cuba visits.

The Vatican’s spokesman said no bishops requested meetings with survivors and therefore none were placed on the schedule.

Huh?

Mexico, let’s remember, is the land of the alpha and omega of Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionnaires of Christ. Maciel was born in Mexico and is buried there – a far place and a far cry from the Roman stage where he held forth with great panoply and power backed by Pope John Paul II.

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Lawsuit alleges Crosier priest accused of molesting student in 1980s

CALIFORNIA
The Salinas Californian

Written by
SUNITA VIJAYAN

Palma High was among those named in a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday by a man claiming he was molested by a Crosier priest while he attended the Salinas school.

The lawsuit filed by St. Paul, Minn.-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates on behalf of Christopher Spedden, the former Palma High School student, accuses ex-teacher, the Rev. Gerald Funcheon, of sexually abusing him at the age of 13 during a ski trip in the 1980s at a resort near Bend, Ore.

Also named in the lawsuit filed in Minnesota are Funcheon, now 73, and his religious order, the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross, which is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

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Castrés pour les punir de leur homosexualité !

PAYS BAS
myeurop

Par Marco Bertolini (Amsterdam)

Des prêtres catholiques néerlandais ont ordonné la castration de jeunes hommes mineurs pour les punir de leur homosexualité. C’était dans les années 50, mais l’affaire éclate aujourd’hui aux Pays-Bas.

Les affaires de pédophilie au sein de l’église catholique ont suscité un énorme scandale dans divers pays d’Europe, et les Pays-Bas n’ont pas été en reste. Comme en Belgique, une “Commission d’enquête sur les abus sexuels de mineurs dans l’église catholique romaine” a été créée, la Commission Deetman, du nom de son président.

Mais, au-delà des récits d’attouchements et de viols répétés, c’est une révélation plus effarante encore qui vient d’être faite au quotidien néerlandais NRC Handelblad: un jeune homme mineur, Henk Heithuis, a été castré en raison de “son comportement homosexuel” après avoir déposé plainte contre les prêtres de l’orphelinat dans lequel il était placé.

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Beasley Firm Sponsors Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog By Ralph Cipriano

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Digital Journal

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) March 30, 2012

The Beasley Firm is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog by Ralph Cipriano, author of Jim Beasley, Sr.’s, biography Courtroom Cowboy.

Beginning March 26, 2012 in the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, the trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn marks the first time a Catholic Archdiocese official has been criminally prosecuted on charges of child endangerment and conspiracy. Lynn, a senior official of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, stands accused of attempting to protect the church by covering up years of allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct. The prosecution has drawn international media attention, and the trial is expected to take several weeks.

Ralph Cipriano is the featured writer for the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog. Cipriano covered religion for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the early 1990s, and as a freelancer for the National Catholic Reporter. In his investigative journalism work, Cipriano examined secrecy and lavish spending under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, as well as the findings of the grand jury that investigated sex abuse in the archdiocese. Cipriano is a credentialed member of the press reporting on the Lynn trial.

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Sex, Lies, and Videotaped Depositions

UNITED STATES
TBogg – firedoglake

By: TBogg Wednesday March 14, 2012

Taking time out from refusing to sanction the whoredom of their flock of Catholic girl slutskanks (whom they have obviously failed to reach) the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have decided to do unto advocates for the victims of priestly abuse what the priests did unto the actual victims:

Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church and priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.

The group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in the litigation. But the group has been subpoenaed five times in recent months in Kansas City and St. Louis, and its national director, David Clohessy, was questioned by a battery of lawyers for more than six hours this year. A judge in Kansas City ruled that the network must comply because it “almost certainly” had information relevant to the case.

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Marist Brothers ex-pupils finally obtain justice

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Article posted 30 March 2012

In December 2011 the Catholic religious order of Marist Brothers finally agreed to make out-of-court settlements with two former pupils of a prominent Australian Catholic school — Red Bend Catholic College, situated on the Lachlan River at Forbes, 380 kilometres west of Sydney.

Broken Rites Australia helped these two ex-pupils to obtain their settlements.

The two pupils, born in the early 1950s, attended this school in 1965-66 while Brother Kevin Hogan (also known as “Brother Callixtus”) was the principal. The school, then known as Marist Brothers College Forbes, took boys as boarders from a large rural region in western New South Wales.

The two ex-pupils (let’s call them “Paddy” and “Rupert” — not their real names) are not connected with each other and were not the same age (one was 12 and the other was 14 when they encountered Brother Callixtus Hogan).

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Sex Abuse Victims Lose California Appellate Ruling

CALIFORNIA
AlterNet

March 29th, 2012

Joey Piscitelli

A major setback for child abuse victims was decided today by the Supreme Appellate Court in San Francisco. This decision will have a crucial effect on not only the plaintiffs in this case, but numerous child sex abuse victims cases throughout the State of California. The legal representative of the plaintiffs in this case was the Zalkin Law Firm of San Diego, California.

Originally, the lawsuit known as “Quarry Doe 1 vs. Oakland Diocese”, case # HG0731364, was initially filed by the Quarry brothers, 6 alleged victims of admitted serial Molester Fr. Don Broderson, a priest who was employed by the Oakland Diocese.

The 6 brothers filed suit in Alameda County Court in 2007 against the Bishop of Oakland, alleging molestation at the hands of Fr. Broderson, but the lower court dismissed the case, stating that the California statute of limitations allowed only a one year window in 2003 to file a claim for sex abuse that was previously barred by the statute. The Bishop of Oakland was represented by Stephen McFeely, of Foley and Lardner, from Los Angeles, California.

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City Council passes bill on sex-abuse measures

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

City Council unanimously approved a resolution urging the state legislature to move forward on bills that would protect victims of childhood sexual abuse.

“No one really understands what these young men and women experience unless you’ve been there,” State Rep. Louise Bishop (D., Phila.), who said she was a victim of abuse at age 12, told Council. “No one understands how to treat them. No one understands what it feels like and no one is able to help them until a law is put into place.”

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Rep. Bishop shares childhood trauma with Council

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

March 29, 2012|BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer

STATE REP. Louise Bishop was 12 years old when her stepfather stripped her of her innocence in the middle of the night inside their Georgia home.

The Philly Democrat shared her story Thursday with City Council, which voted 16 to 0 to pass a resolution sponsored by Councilmen Bill Greenlee and Denny O’Brien urging the state Legislature to move forward on bills that would protect victims of childhood sexual abuse. Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez was absent.

“No one really understands what these young men and women experience, unless you’ve been there,” said Bishop. “No one understands how to treat them. No one understands what it feels like and no one is able to help them until a law is put into place . . . .”

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Exclusive: Letter From Haredi ‘Gadol’ Rabbi Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg Says Notorious Pedophile Innocent

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

[with document]

For the first time, here is the 2006 letter written by haredi ‘gadol’ Rabbi Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg affirming that he ruled in 1985 that Rabbi Yehudah Kolko was innocent of all allegations of pedophilia and should not be fired from his teaching job.

Kolko, a notorious pedophile, pleaded guilty more than 20 years later to endangering the welfare of two children who were not yet born when Scheinberg ruled.* Other victims out of the statute of limitations also have come forward including David Framowitz, who says Kolko molested him 42 years ago.

Note that despite all the additional evidence against Kolko amassed over the 21 years between the beit din and this letter, Scheinberg does not change his ruling.

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Brooklyn DA Condemned For Not Prosecuting More Hasidic, Orthodox Jewish Sex Abusers

NEW YORK
CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Finding sexual abusers of children and prosecuting their cases is one of law enforcement’s top priorities.

But in Brooklyn, District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office has come under fire what not vigorously pursuing cases in the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities, a charge Hynes vehemently denies.

On Friday afternoons in Williamsburg families prepare for the Sabbath. It is a sheltered community known for its devotion to old world values, but some say its a community with a secret made worse by decades of cover-up and law enforcement that looks the other way.

“We have a wonderful community, a beautiful community, but we have some of the same of the problems the rest of the world have,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind recently told CBS 2’s Chris Wragge.

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The Vatican is a ‘cold house’ for liberal Catholics

IRELAND
The Mayo News

Fr Kevin Hegarty

It has been ironically said that the three greatest lies in human history are “the cheque is in the post”, “of course I’ll still love you in the morning”, and “we’re from head office, we are here to help you”.

So the Irish Catholic hierarchy must have felt some trepidation akin to that felt by teachers when a whole-school evaluation is in the offing, after Pope Benedict announced in March 2010 that he was sending apostolic visitors to Ireland to examine church institutions.

The announcement came in the wake of the publication of the Murphy Report in December 2009 after which the Pope had summoned the bishops to Rome to account for their stewardship.

The report was a devastating indictment of the archdiocese of Dublin. It revealed the horrifying extent of the sexual abuse of children by clerics in the diocese and multiple cover-ups by successive superiors.

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Texas court dismisses appeal of FLDS leader Jeffs

TEXAS
KHOU

by Associated Press

Posted on March 30, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas court has dismissed the appeal of Warren Jeffs after the convicted polygamist sect leader made almost no progress on his case.

The 3rd District Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday wrote in a two-page order that Jeffs has failed to meet filing deadlines and has altogether not responded to notices from the court.

Jeffs is the head of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is serving a life sentence after being convicted last year of sexually assaulting two of his underage brides at the remote West Texas ranch built by his followers.

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Traditional Background Checks of Bus Drivers Won’t Stop Child Molesters from Driving Kids to School

UNITED STATES
PR Web

Jacksonville Beach, FL (PRWEB) March 30, 2012

“I applaud school districts around the country for looking for ways to keep the kids safe. But background checks that strictly review driving history, criminal history, or looking at the sex offender registry and other databases won’t identify all the adults that pose a threat to children,” stated Don Dymer, president and chief executive officer of SingleSource Services background screening corporation.

Don Dymer was commenting on recent stories in the news, including Governor Branstad’s upcoming signing of Iowa’s new state law mandating school bus drivers undergo a background check before being hired. Statistics from the Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute tell us that less than 5% of all child molesters have a criminal history. The Institute through years of research also points to the fact that 90% of all children are abused by people they know, trust and love. Because of that convoluted association of child, parent and abuser, the sexual abuse goes unreported. The vast majority of child abusers won’t be found in the system because they have no fingerprints or criminal history that would tie them to child sexual abuse.

Checking into the past won’t help prevent children in the future from child sexual abuse. The Foundation Darkness to Light also has done studies suggesting far fewer than one third of child abuse incidents are ever even identified or reported in any official capacity.

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Landmark clergy-abuse case hears evidence in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Adelaide Now (Australia)

A WITNESS in a landmark priest-abuse cover-up trial in Philadelphia described feeling “helpless and trapped” as a 13-year-old, because her priest was fondling her when she worked weekends at the rectory.

The woman says she didn’t tell anyone for years, and later learned the same priest had fondled her younger sisters.

The woman testified on the fourth day of the child-endangerment trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the longtime secretary for clergy in Philadelphia. Lynn is the first Roman Catholic church official in the U.S. charged with child endangerment for allegedly leaving predators in jobs around children.

Defense lawyers say Lynn took orders from two archbishops. No other church administrators are charged.

The priest who allegedly fondled the woman at a suburban parish in Bristol around 1970 was removed from ministry after the church sex-abuse scandal broke in 2004. By then, he had admitted to an archdiocesan review board his “longstanding habit” of fondling girls’ breasts, according to a 2005 grand jury report. The Associated Press is not naming him because he was never charged.

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Rev. Francis H. Kelley’s fund request for alleged abuser draws ire

MASSACHUSETTS
Metro

STEVE ANNEAR
BOSTON

A Roslindale reverend under fire for using church resources to raise cash to pay the legal expenses of a clergy member suspended for allegedly sexually abusing a child, apologized Thursday.

The Rev. Francis H. Kelley, pastor at Sacred Heart Church, said in a statement he would no longer use a church bulletin to solicit donations for the Rev. John Mendicoa, who was placed on leave in August after being accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1980s.

Representatives from BishopAccountability.org stood outside of the church Thursday and called on Cardinal Sean O’Malley to put an end to the public fundraising.

“Its very disturbing to see a pastor publicly raising money for an accused priest. It will intimidate and silence anyone who has [been harmed]. They will fear they won’t be believed,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, the group’s co-director.

Doyle said a parishioner contacted her to alert them about the fundraising efforts.

David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, joined Doyle in Roslindale and called Kelley’s actions “callous.”

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Church apologizes for bulletin priest ‘ad’

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Richard Weir
Friday, March 30, 2012

Victim rights advocates are blasting the pastor of a Boston Catholic church for placing a blurb in a Sunday bulletin asking for donations to support a parish priest suspended last year over child sex abuse allegations.

“It is callous and risky and hurtful to publicly raise funds using church resources for an accused child molester,” said David Clohessy, head of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

“If anything, there should be a plea placed in the parish bulletin asking for anyone who may have seen or suspected or suffered his crimes to call police and get help.”

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Priest’s arraignment has been delayed

MONTANA
The Daily Inter Lake

An arraignment hearing for child pornography charges against the Rev. Rudolph “Rudy” Bullman of Risen Christ Parish was continued Thursday in Flathead District Court.

Bullman, 67, Kalispell, is charged with felony sexual abuse of children after investigators allegedly found pornographic images of children between 12 and 18 years old during a search of his computer. Knowingly possessing such material makes one guilty of sexual abuse of children under Montana law.

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Wife takes stand in priest sex abuse trial

STOCKTON (CA)
The Modesto Bee

By Ross Farrow
Lodi News-Sentinel

STOCKTON — The plaintiff’s wife in the sexual assault trial of Catholic priest Michael Kelly broke down in tears this week as she testified about the time her husband told her he was sexually assaulted as a child.

The wife, whose name is not being disclosed in San Joaquin County Superior Court because her husband says he is a sexual assault victim, testified that her husband broke the news to her in 2006, when he was stationed in Japan with the U.S. Air Force. She met the plaintiff in 2000 and married him in 2002. They have two children.

The plaintiff, who grew up in Stockton and now lives in Fairfax, became angry and subject to panic attacks in recent years, his wife said during testimony Wednesday that lasted about 30 minutes.

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‘Molested brothers waited too long’

CALIFORNIA
Pretoria News (South Africa)

March 30 2012
By LISA LEFF

California’s highest court sided with Oakland’s Roman Catholic bishop and refused on Thursday to reinstate a lawsuit brought by six brothers who allege they were molested by a priest during the 1970s.

The ruling could doom at least eight other pending cases involving decades-old clergy abuse claims.

The California Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that the brothers had waited too long to bring their abuse claims involving the priest, Donald Broderson, who was forced to retire amid similar allegations in 1993 and died in 2010.

The state Legislature opened a one-year window for old clergy abuse complaints in 2003, and the men lost their chance to sue the diocese that hired Broderson as an associate pastor in Hayward when that timeframe ended, the court said.

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Evergreen priest in child sex abuse case granted continuance

MONTANA
KAJ

EVERGREEN- A Catholic priest accused of child sex abuse was supposed to appear make his first court appearance Thursday but his attorney asked for a continuance before further court proceedings.

Rudolph Bullman was the Catholic priest at Risen Christ Parish in Evergreen for over 10 years.

Bullman sold a handheld gaming system that contained naked photos of boys.

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Collar ‘a difficult symbol’ for Cork priests

IRELAND
The Cork News

Trainee priests are being warned that their collar may make them a target for verbal abuse, as increased public anger towards the Church has become an unfortunate modern-day reality of their job. Chiefs of the Diocese of Cork & Ross are hoping to breathe new life into the region’s parishes by attracting new seminarians at their annual recruitment drive and information day for the priesthood tomorrow (Saturday).

Would-be clerics have been invited to find out first-hand the reality and sacrifices necessary for life in the priesthood from experienced churchmen at a gathering, organised by Bishop John Buckley to combat the dwindling number of priests and new vocations across the diocese’s parishes.

Long-serving parish priests will also inform attendees of their own experiences of being at the receiving end of verbal assaults, triggered by the damning revelations in recent years of clerical abuse scandals.

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Court Rules Brothers Can’t Sue Bishop For Alleged Sexual Abuse

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Appeal

The California Supreme Court today rejected a bid by six brothers to sue the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland for alleged sexual abuse by their parish priest in Hayward in the 1970s.

The court, in a ruling issued in San Francisco, said by a 5-2 vote that the brothers’ lawsuit did not fit into exceptions allowed by the Legislature for lawsuits filed against employers of abusers by adults who discover psychological harm long after the abuse allegedly occurred.

The brothers–Terry, Ronald, Michael, Jerry, Gordon and Tony Quarry–were between the ages of 43 and 49 when they filed their lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court in 2007.

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Pedophile priest fondles 13-year-old girl in rectory

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

It was a job that she never applied for. Anne Margevicius was 13 years old when her mother accepted the position on Anne’s behalf. Anne’s mother went to Mass every day; sometimes twice a day. The only thing that mattered to Mom was that the church was in need.

Margeret, the parish cook at St. John of The Cross in Roslyn, had phlebitis, so she needed help serving meals to priests on weekends. Anne was the help. For a weekly salary of $5, Anne served dinner on Saturday nights to the priests in the rectory, and then she came back on Sunday mornings to serve breakfast.

Sunday mornings were the worst. That’s when Father Albert T. Kostelnick waited at the end of a long mahogany table. The priest would hold the girl’s hands in his, and make small talk. Meanwhile, the priest’s hands would wander up to the girl’s chest.

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SEX ABUSE: Top Catholic priest calls for inquiry on assaults

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Mandy Squires | March 30th, 2012

GEELONG’S top Catholic priest has called for an independent inquiry into the church’s treatment of sexual abuse complaints.

St Mary’s parish priest Father Kevin Dillon yesterday said the church’s moral authority had been “compromised to an extraordinary degree” by its failure to independently review the handling of sexual abuse claims.

“People from both within and outside the church are saying as long as you haven’t got this right … then why should we listen to anything else you say and that’s fair comment,” he said.

The church had a duty of care to the people who had suffered abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy, teachers and carers to ensure the processes it had in place to handle complaints were just, transparent and compassionate, he said.

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Courts deal blow to sex abuse victims: victims respond

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Joelle Casteix on March 29, 2012

We are sorely disappointed that the California State Supreme Court did not agree with the legislative intent of the law and have now deprived many victims the right to use the civil courts for justice and accountability.

When California State Legislators wrote the law, they understood the devastation of child sexual abuse on a child and the community. They also knew that, according to studies and the US Department of Justice, it takes many victims 10, 20 or even 30 years to come forward and report. During that time, predators are still hurting children and communities have no warning of the danger.

One in four girls and one in eight boys are molested. So we must make it easier for victims to expose predators. In light of this tragic ruling, California lawmakers have to get busy revising predator-friendly laws so that more child molesters can be caught and jailed, so that our kids will be safer.

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Court upholds time limit for clergy abuse claims

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

(03-29) 15:20 PDT San Francisco (AP) —

California’s highest court has sided with Oakland’s Roman Catholic Diocese and refused to reinstate a lawsuit brought by six brothers who allege they were molested by a priest during the 1970s.

The California Supreme Court ruled 5-2 Thursday that the brothers had waited too long to bring their claims involving the now deceased priest, Donald Broderson, who was forced to retire amid similar allegations in 1993.

The state Legislature opened a one-year window for old clergy abuse complaints in 2003. But the brothers’ lawyers contended the time limit should not apply to the men because they did not make the link between their problems and what happened to them as children until later.

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Group calls for all priest-abuse documents to be released

WEST BEND (WI)
Fox 6

March 29, 2012, by Myra Sanchick

WEST BEND — A group representing survivors of priest abuse is asking that the Milwaukee Archdiocese open all its documents relating to its investigations and recent depositions in court. This, on a day of reflection and remorse for the church.

For the second straight year, Archbishop Jerome Listecki began Child Abuse Prevention Month with a Mass of Atonement. The Mass involves the Archbishop lying down in front of the altar at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in West Bend Thursday, to symbolize humility as a church before God.

Also on Thursday, a group of victims’ advocates for those who have been abused by priests urged the Archbishop to release all documents regarding the cases they’ve investigated over the years. Some victims planned to join in Thursday’s Mass of Atonement.

Peter Isley with the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused By Priests says he will ask a judge to released these documents when the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy case is heard next Thursday, April 5th. 570 people have filed claims against the Archdiocese, alleging they were abused by priests as children. “The people who need to be held responsible have not been held responsible. What you have in these documents is the truth. The gospel tells us that the truth shall set us free,” Isley said.

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High Court Says Family Can’t Sue Oakland Bishop for Alleged Sexual Abuse by Hayward Priest in 1970s

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Bay City News Service

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court today rejected a bid by six brothers to sue the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland for alleged sexual abuse by their parish priest in Hayward in the 1970s.

The court, in a ruling issued in San Francisco, said by a 5-2 vote that the brothers’ lawsuit did not fit into exceptions allowed by the Legislature for lawsuits filed against employers of abusers by adults who discover psychological harm long after the abuse allegedly occurred.

The brothers — Terry, Ronald, Michael, Jerry, Gordon and Tony Quarry — were between the ages of 43 and 49 when they filed their lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court in 2007.

They alleged that the late Father Donald Broderson, who was associate pastor of the St. Joachim Parish in Hayward, sexually abused and molested them by grabbing, fondling and kissing them and engaging in other inappropriate conduct in 1972 and 1973.

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1in6 Thursday: What Does Supportive Look Like?

UNITED STATES
Joyful Heart Foundation

When 1in6’s founding Board member, Dr. David Lisak, and I were talking with a group of students and staff at Brown University recently, someone asked for ideas about how to best support a friend or family member who is coming to terms with unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood.

We had just watched a powerful film, “Boys and Men Healing,” a portrayal of the lives of three courageous men (David being one of them) who were sexually abused as children and then, as adults, found healing for themselves and have since helped many others. The film also shows scenes from a support group of men who experienced abuse, beautifully highlighting the value of men finding a safe place to share their stories.

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Vatican Leaks Raise Questions Over Finances

VATICAN CITY
NPR

[with audio]

by Sylvia Poggioli

March 29, 2012

The Vatican has launched a rare criminal investigation to uncover who is behind leaks of highly sensitive documents that allege corruption and financial mismanagement in Vatican City.

The documents also shed light on purported infighting over the Vatican Bank’s compliance with international money-laundering regulations.

A television show in late January on an independent network first revealed letters addressed last year to Pope Benedict XVI from the then-deputy governor of Vatican City, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

Vigano complained of corruption within the church and protested orders to remove him from his post and send him to be the papal nuncio, or ambassador, to Washington.

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Catholic Diocese of Portland says audit finds it in compliance with child protection policie

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

Posted March 29, 2012, at 4:30 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has been found in compliance with the standards and effectiveness of its child protection policies and practices, according to a diocese statement released Thursday.

The external audit by StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, N.Y., examined the year ending June 30, 2011, and included visiting parishes and schools to make sure only personnel with clear background checks were working with the children, said Sue Bernard, diocese communications director, in the statement.

The audit was conducted as part of the diocese’s efforts to comply with the Bishops of the United States Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which includes mandates such as reporting allegations of sexual abuse of minors to civil authorities, thoroughly investigating complaints of abuse of minors in a timely manner, removing clergy or other church representatives who have sexually abused minors, abuse prevention training and background checks for church personnel and volunteers who work with minors, and outreach to victims and survivors of abuse.

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Northampton County grand jury to investigate three homicide cases

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By Nicole Radzievich”, Of The Morning Call

4:41 p.m. EDT, March 29, 2012
A Northampton County grand jury will investigate three unsolved homicides and allegations of sexual misconduct involving a priest, District Attorney John Morganelli said Thursday. …

The grand jury will also be looking into possible criminal misconduct by the Rev. Cletus Onyegbule, a Catholic priest recently removed from his Berks County parish after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a woman. Authorities are trying to determine whether abused his position of authority at his former parish, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Bethlehem Township, to groom the girl for a sexual relationship with him before she turned 18.

According to a source close to the investigation, a day after the girl’s 18th birthday in February 2006, she consented to sex with Onyegbule while in the rectory office at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The source said the woman had an abortion in March 2006. County officials have not established the identity of the father, but the source said Onyegbule denied being the father.

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Priest Apologizes For Trying To Raise Funds For Accused Sex Abuser

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – A Roslindale priest has apologized after attempting to raise a legal defense fund for another priest accused of sexually abusing a child.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports

Monsignor Francis Kelley of Sacred Heart Church in Roslindale is apologizing for putting an item in the church bulletin urging financial support for Father John Mendicoa.

Kelley issued his apology and promised that it won’t happen again as advocates for children abused by priests went to Sacred Heart to protest.

David Clossey of the survivors network for those abused by priests says those who wish to support Mendicoa should do so privately, without any use of church resources.

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NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER vs. CATHOLIC CHURCH

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

[NCR endorses call for a new sexual ethic]

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on an editorial featured on the website of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR):

It’s been obvious for a long time, but now it is official: the National Catholic Reporter rejects the teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality. In an editorial titled, “NCR Endorses Call for a New Sexual Ethic,” it supports retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson’s plea for the Church to change its teachings on sexuality.

Bishop Robinson wrote a book a few years ago called Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church. Here is what the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said about it in 2010: “Catholics believe that the Church, founded by Christ, is endowed by him with a teaching office which endures through time. This is why the Church’s Magisterium teaches the truth authoritatively in the name of Christ. The book casts doubt upon these teachings. This leads in turn to the questioning of Catholic teaching on, among other things, the nature of Tradition, the inspiration of the Holy Scripture, the infallibility of the Councils and the Pope, the authority of the Creeds, the nature of the ministerial priesthood and central elements of the Church’s moral teachings.”

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Sex abuse victims angry over inquiry calls

AUSTRALIA
ABC South West Victoria

There is anger at comments made by a senior Melbourne Catholic priest who has joined calls for an inquiry into the handling of child sexual abuse complaints in the Melbourne diocese.

Father Tony Kerin wants an independent inquiry but has told the ABC he does not think it will find “anything majorly untoward”.

Judy Courtin represents men who were abused by convicted Christian Brothers and Catholic paedophiles in Ballarat in the 1960s and 70s.

She says the matter needs to handled by a Royal Commission and investigated much more broadly than one diocese of one church.

She says most victims are unhappy with the process.

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State Supreme Court rejects brothers bid to sue bishop over alleged abuse

CALIFORNIA
KTVU

KTVU And Wires

SAN FRANCISCO —

The California Supreme Court Thursday rejected a bid by six brothers to sue the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland for alleged sexual abuse by their parish priest in Hayward in the 1970s.

The court, in a ruling issued in San Francisco, said by a 5-2 vote that the brothers’ lawsuit did not fit into exceptions allowed by the Legislature for lawsuits filed against employers of abusers by adults who discover psychological harm long after the abuse allegedly occurred.

The brothers — Terry, Ronald, Michael, Jerry, Gordon and Tony Quarry –were between the ages of 43 and 49 when they filed their lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court in 2007.

They alleged that the late Father Donald Broderson, who was associate pastor of the St. Joachim Parish in Hayward, sexually abused and molested them by grabbing, fondling and kissing them and engaging in other inappropriate conduct in 1972 and 1973.

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Pinoy priest indicted on child porn charges

UNITED STATES/PHILIPPINES
The Asian Journal

29 March 2012 11:14 Joseph Pimentel | AJPress Los Angeles

A ROMAN Catholic Filipino priest, who is believed to be hiding in the Philippines after being accused of possessing child pornography and stealing from his parish in Worcester, Massachusetts, has been officially indicted on those charges, according to the Worcester Telegram.

The Telegram reported a grand jury in Worcester County on Friday indicted Rev. Lowe B. Dongor with possession of child pornography and larceny over $250.

Authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of Dongor, who is believed to have fled to the Philippines after being charged with possession of child pornography and stealing from his parish last year. Several Philippine media outlets have reported that Dongor has returned to his hometown of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, in October.

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Texas court dismisses Warren Jeffs’ appeal

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Lindsay Whitehurst
| The Salt Lake Tribune

A Texas appeals court dismissed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs’ appeal of his conviction on sexual assault of a child charges Thursday.

Jeffs is representing himself, but has done little to advance his case and missed two essential deadlines, according to a memorandum opinion handed down Thursday by the Third Court of Appeals.

Jeffs, 55, was convicted in August of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 12 and 15, who he took as polygamous wives. He fired his team of high-powered attorneys as the trial opened, and continued to represent himself on appeal.

The appeals court ruled Thursday that Jeffs had not taken first steps on his case: submitting a clerk’s record and reporter’s record that were due in December.

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“Ein Täter-Schutzsystem”

DEUTSCHLAND
SR

[mit Video]

Verurteilte Pädophile im Priestereinsatz – erneut steht das Bistum Trier deswegen in der Kritik. Und nach Angaben der Opfer-Organisation “MissBit” soll es sogar noch weitaus mehr Fälle geben als bisher bekannt. Das Bistum kündigte nun an, die Leitlinien auf den Prüfstand zu stellen.

(29.03.2012) Geistliche, die trotz sexueller Übergriffe auf Kinder weiterhin in der Seelsorge eingesetzt werden – das sorgt seit Wochen im Saarland und bundesweit für Schlagzeilen. Jetzt wurde bekannt, dass ein vorbestrafter Priester im Nordsaarland ausgerechnet einen Gottesdienst mit Kindern gehalten hat.

Das Bistum Trier verteidigt den Einsatz verurteilter Straftäter und rechtfertigt ihn damit, dass die betroffenen Personen nicht so eingesetzt würden, dass Gefahr für Kinder bestehe.

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Faithless Ireland

IRELAND
Religion in the News (United States)

by Christine McCarthy McMorris

The afternoon was slowly winding down in Dublin last July 20 as the Dáil, Ireland’s lower House of Parliament, prepared to close for its summer break. Its last order of business was to debate a motion to “deplore” the Vatican’s role in the state’s fourth investigation of the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church, this one involving 19 priests of the diocese of Cloyne in County Cork from 1996 to 2009.

Only a few lawmakers and members of the press were on hand when Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny opened the discussion not with the expected mild criticism but by declaring that the Cloyne Report “exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago. And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, and the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.”

In an unequivocal declaration of independence, Kenny drew a line between Ireland’s past relationship with the Catholic church and its present:

“[T]his is not Rome. Nor is it industrial-school or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane
smothered conscience and humanity and the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish-Catholic world.
“This is the Republic of Ireland 2011. A republic of laws.”

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Ballarat sex abuse victims welcome inquiry calls

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

BY TOM MCILROY

30 Mar, 2012

VICTIMS of paedophile Christian Brother Robert Charles Best have backed new calls for an independent inquiry into clergy sexual abuse in Ballarat and around Victoria.

As momentum gathers among clergy and victims’ advocates, a Melbourne lawyer preparing a class action against the Christian Brothers order said she had 45 people registered to take part.

The calls come a day after The Age reported that senior Melbourne Catholic clergy, including an adviser to Archbishop Denis Hart, have called for an independent inquiry into the handling of abuse complaints.

Father Tony Kerin said this week that he had told Archbishop Hart a review would clear the air after more than 300 compensation payouts and the conviction of 60 priests and members of religious orders.

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Silence and self-rule: Brooklyn’s Orthodox child abuse cover-up

NEW YORK
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Zoë Blackler in New York
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 March 2012

When Mordechai discovered his mentally disabled child was being molested, he reported the crime to the police. A local man was arrested and charged with repeatedly raping the boy in their synagogue’s ritual bath. When news of the arrest got back to their Brooklyn community, the neighbours launched a hate campaign. But the object of their anger wasn’t the alleged perpetrator, Meir Dascalowitz, it was the abused boy’s father.

For the last two years, Mordechai says he’s been hounded by his community. “The minute this guy got arrested I started a new life, a life of hell, terror, threat, you name it.” There were bogus calls to the fire department resulting in unwelcome late night visits, anonymous death threats, banishment from synagogue, even a plot to derail his move to a new apartment. “I lost my friends. I lost my family. Nobody in Williamsburg can talk to me. Nobody means nobody. We are so angry, so broken.”

Mordechai’s persecution is part of a widespread cover-up of child sexual abuse among Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews. With echoes of the Catholic priest scandal, for decades rabbis have hushed up child sex crimes and fomented a culture in which victims are further victimised and abusers protected.

After the first claims of a cover-up surfaced in the mid 2000s, the rabbis’ stance was outright denial – not only that crimes were being concealed, but of the very existence of ultra-Orthodox child molesters. In the years since, victim advocates and whistle-blower blogs have forced open the issue. Today, the religious leadership claims to co-operate with law enforcement. The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles Hynes, long vilified by advocates for his inaction, now cares to be seen to be prosecuting – though how enthusiastically is in dispute. And attitudes within the community have shifted marginally.

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Blight in the Vineyard …

UNITED STATES
Paul’s Passing Thoughts

Blight in the Vineyard, and Clergy Sex Abuse: Some Initial Thoughts Provoked by John Immel’s Book

I am presently reading, “Blight in the Vineyard” by John Immel. One should probably read this book a couple of times before they review it (this isn’t the formal review), but my present understanding of the book has provoked some thoughts that are perhaps worth writing about. That’s because the book is very thought provoking. The subtitle is, “Exposing the Roots, Myths, and Emotional Torment of Spiritual Tyranny.”

Let’s face it: spiritual abuse; clergy sexual abuse; clergy manipulation; clergy intimidation; clergy control mania, and everyday spiritual tyranny is rampant in today’s church. Without hardly any effort at all I compiled the blogroll under “Abuse” in this website’s sidebar.

What’s going on? Obviously, something is. And John Immel offers a thesis concerning the root cause in his book. That’s important—endless discussions concerning symptoms will leave us all dressed up with nowhere to go. Immel outlines the historic philosophies that have led to the present spiritual tyranny of our day. And spiritual tyranny often comes with the unspoken clergy perk of selected concubines. Willing and unwilling. That’s my angle here; one of the symptoms of spiritual tyranny.

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Report: Miss. Bar filing complaint against AG Hood

MISSISSIPPI
Legal Newsline

BY JOHN O’BRIEN

JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) – The Mississippi Bar is reportedly filing a complaint against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reported Thursday that the Bar is expected to file a complaint over one of Hood’s campaign ads from last year. The complaint would follow one filed in November by the lawyer for a man accused of killing a Catholic priest.

Jeremy Wayne Manieri was charged with robbing and killing the Rev. Ed Everitt of Hammond, La., in July. Manieri told police he shot Everitt after he woke up to find the priest fondling him. He has not been indicted by a grand jury.

In the commercial, Hood’s campaign showed a photo of Manieri with a voiceover saying the attorney general’s GOP opponent in last year’s election, Steve Simpson, let a “child molester” out of jail and then the child molester “murdered a 70-year-old priest in cold blood.”

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Witness recalls gropings by priest in her teen years

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Joseph A. Slobodzian
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

She was a 13-year-old girl, fifth child of seven in a devout Catholic family in suburban Roslyn whose mother attended Mass once or twice daily.

But the girl dreaded Sunday mornings.

Not because of a crisis of faith but because she knew it would mean another morning of groping by the Rev. Albert T. Kostelnick.

The woman, now in her mid-50s, told a Philadelphia jury this morning about how Kostelnick, now retired, fondled her for two years as she worked in the rectory of St. John of the Cross church in Roslyn – and then did the same to two of her sisters who followed her into the job.

“I didn’t know what to do,” the woman told the Common Pleas Court jury. “I felt helpless and trapped. My parents expected me to work.”

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Prosecutors Of Philadelphia Priests Raise Decades Of Buried Abuse Cases

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The prosecution in the Philadelphia clergy sex abuse case has alleged a history of coverup and enabling by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (see related stories).

Today, as they built their case against Msgr. William Lynn and another priest, prosecutors presented evidence of similar actions by the archdiocese going back decades.

In one case dating back to the 1960s, prosecutors say, an alleged serial pedophile priest was allowed to remain in ministry for two decades after admitting his crimes.

Prosecution evidence alleges that Fr. Raymond Leneweaver repeatedly admitted to the archdiocese that he was having sex with boys at various times from the late ’60s to the late ’70s.

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Oakland priest abuse ruling makes lawsuits more difficult

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

By Howard Mintz hmintz@mercurynews.comcontracostatimes.com
Posted: 03/29/2012

The California Supreme Court on Thursday made it much tougher to bring new lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church over long-past instances of clergy abuse, barring a case against the Oakland diocese brought on behalf of six brothers who maintain a priest molested them during the 1970s.

In a 5-to-2 decision, the Supreme Court concluded that the statute of limitations barred the case because the brothers did not capitalize on a new one-year window to bring such old claims the Legislature set in 2002. The Legislature opened the door for suits against the church in response to a widening scandal over allegations of priests abusing children decades ago.

The Supreme Court case centered on the brothers who were in their 40s and 50s in 2006 when they linked their adult psychological problems to the abuse allegations. The brothers alleged in their lawsuit that they were molested as children by Donald Broderson, an Oakland priest who was forced to resign in 1993 as a result of abuse allegations. He died two years ago.

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Former St. Marys principal Father Marshall faces more legal action

CANADA
The Sault Star

By Mike Verdone The Sault Star

Legal action against Father William Hodgson (Hod) Marshall — a former St. Mary’s College principal in Sault Ste. Marie from 1980-85 — began 10 years ago when a 46-year-old man filed suit in a Sudbury courtroom.

Nineteen people have come forward in Sudbury, Windsor, Toronto and Saskatoon since then, and Marshall has pleaded guilty to 17 charges of indecent assault.

He was sentenced in June 2011 to two years in prison, which he is serving in Kingston Penitentiary.

No victims are known to have come forward in the Sault.

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Victims call on Listecki to atone in court as well as special Mass

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

March 29, 2012

Hours before Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is scheduled to prostrate himself before the altar at a special Mass of Atonement for the church’s sins in the sex abuse crisis, victim advocates are calling on Listecki to show true remorse by agreeing to unseal documents and depositions in its bankruptcy case that lawyers say would shed light on the scope of the crisis in southeastern Wisconsin.

“Atonement, if it is genuine, means that you must first stop hurting victims right now and covering up right now,” victim-survivor Michael Sneesby, Milwaukee director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said in a statement.

SNAP said it would be emailing its request to Listecki, and members and that members and supporters would gather outside St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church, 1025 S. 7th Ave. in West Bend before the 7 p.m. Mass.

A spokeswoman for the archdioceses did not immediately comment, saying she’d just received SNAP’s statement and hadn’t had a chance to read it.

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