‘Too much pain’: plea for inquiry into church sex case

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Joanne McCarthy August 01, 2012

The family of Hunter man John Pirona says there is a fitting legacy for him after his disappearance and death last week, when he left a letter saying he was in “too much pain”.

That legacy is the truth about the Catholic church’s handling of child sex abuse issues over decades, including the 1970s when he was the victim of a paedophile priest at a Hunter school.

“I do believe John is where he is now as a result of what happened to him when he was young and at that school, and such things happened to a lot of boys,” Mr Pirona’s father Lou said.

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Long time minister investigated for sex crimes

ALABAMA
WAAY

SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WAAY) – Sheffield Police confirm that they’re investigating claims of sexual abuse against a former music and youth minister at the Sheffield First United Methodist Church.

Investigators say they began looking into the claims Monday. The pastor was let go from the church once the allegations came to light. Police say there may be numerous victims spread out over years or decades.

The 78 year old man has not been charged at this time, and officers tell WAAY 31 they’re still interviewing witnesses.

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Philly Inquirer Rebroadcasts Wholly Discredited Claim of Abuse Against Bishop

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

July 30, 2012 By TheMediaReport.com

Witnesses have now come forward to thoroughly discredit a specious claim that Wheeling, West Virginia, Bishop Michael J. Bransfield committed abuse decades ago, yet one would hardly know this from reading the Philadelphia Inquirer, which has rebroadcast the charge.

Last April, during the Philadelphia abuse trial, media outlets fell over themselves to trumpet a double hearsay allegation from a witness in the trial. The witness claimed on the stand that 40 years ago in the 1970s that an admittedly abusive priest motioned to a car carrying Bransfield and some boys and told him that Bransfield was abusing “the one in the front seat.”

Well, two grown who were actually in the car years ago with Bransfield at the time, including the alleged “victim” of Bransfield, have now come forward to flatly refute the decades-old hearsay claim.

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Minn. Supreme Court Rejects ‘Repressed Memory’ Junk Science Against Priest, Media Yawns

MINNESOTA
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

July 31, 2012 By TheMediaReport.com

Last Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court flatly rejected the psychological theory of “repressed memory” as bogus. The Court declared that scientific studies that have tried to prove the bogus theory have “lacked foundational reliability.”

Church-suing lawyers and accusers of abuse have attempted to use “repressed memory” as a way to circumvent statutes of limitations in order to file big-money lawsuits against the Catholic Church.

According to proponents of the discredited belief, some people completely forget instances of extreme trauma or abuse. Then, years or decades later, an event or thought – often directed by a convincing therapist – causes one to suddenly “remember” having been abused or traumatized.

In the case in Minnesota, an accuser – represented by high-profile, Church-suing attorney Jeff Anderson – tried to claim that his case of abuse against a Catholic priest should not be limited by the state’s statute of limitations because he was simply unable to remember being abused because he “repressed” the memory of it happening. Fortunately, the Minnesota courts didn’t buy it.

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Beyer y el Cumbres: Investigamos aspectos administrativos, la acusación la ve la Justicia

CHILE
Cooperativa

En entrevista con Cooperativa, el ministro de Educación, Harald Beyer, aseguró que las irregularidades detectas por Seremi en el Colegio cumbres no apuntan directamente a la denuncia por abuso sexual contra el sacerdote John O’Reilly.

“Ese es en un proceso que está en curso, por lo tanto el establecimiento necesita conocerlas antes de que nosotros las divulguemos, pero son de carácter administrativo”, informó.

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Colegio Cumbres emite instructivo que prohíbe a sacerdotes a “sacar niñitas” de las salas

CHILE
El Mostrador

El Colegio Cumbres emitió un instructivo que prohíbe que sacerdotes y profesionales tengan contacto privado con los alumnos. La medida se da tras la denuncia de abuso sexual que pesa sobre el vocero de los Legionarios de Cristo, el padre John O’Reilly y de las declaraciones de una ex profesora que confirmó la costumbre que tenía el religioso de sacar selectivamente a niñas de sus salas de clases.

El mismo antecedente lo dio a conocer la semana pasada el abogado Mario Schilling luego que reventara el escándalo por la denuncia contra quien también aparecía como el vocero en Chile de la congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo. Antecedente que fue confirmado por la profesora Vivianne Litvack, quien hace nueve años hizo clases en el exclusivo establecimiento privado.

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Ex profesora del Cumbres: O´Reilly sacaba a las niñas de clases y nadie lo cuestionaba

CHILE
Cooperativa

[con audio]

La ex profesora del Colegio Cumbres Vivianne Litvack aseguró este martes en Cooperativa que el sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo, John O’Reilly, tenía la costumbre de sacar a las niñas de la sala y “nadie” cuestionaba sus decisiones.

El religioso enfrenta graves acusaciones por supuestos abusos sexuales cometidos contra una menor de 6 años en el establecimiento, lo que ha motivado recientemente que el Ministerio de Educación inicie un proceso administrativo contra el colegio. El recinto, por su parte, emitió hace poco un instructivo con el fin de prohibir a los sacerdotes sacar a las niñas del aula.

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Ex profesora de Colegio Cumbres afirma que era “habitual que O´Reilly sacara a las alu

CHILE
Publimetro

En entrevista con radio Cooperativa, la ex profesora del Colegio Cumbre, Vivian Litvack, confirmó que el sacerdote John O’Reilly, acostumbraba a sacar a las niñas de la salas de clases.

Litvack recordó que mientras realizaba un reemplazo en el recinto educacional a los cursos de 4º, 7º y 8º básico, en el año 2003, “era habitual que el padre O´Reilly acostumbraba a sacar a las alumnas de las salas de clases”.

“Las invitaba a tomar desayuno, les tengo té, galletitas y él me decía que las llevaba porque las niñitas aprendían mucho más con él que en una sala de clases”, comentó la ex profesora. Asimismo, afirmó que al religioso poco le importaba interrumpir pruebas o interrrumpirla cuando pasaba algunas materias.

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Time to ‘fall on swords’

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

BY JOANNE MCCARTHY

01 Aug, 2012

ALMOST 18 years ago former police officer and Nationals MP Troy Grant charged paedophile priest Vince Ryan, and formally interviewed the priest who ‘‘decided to say nothing’’ about Ryan’s offending.

Ryan was convicted and sent to jail for 14 years.

Monsignor Patrick Cotter, who declined to answer questions many times during his interview with Mr Grant, was not charged with concealing Ryan’s crimes despite police recommending that this should have happened.

It is the legacy of his police years that causes Mr Grant the most heartache.

‘‘My failure to have Cotter and a couple of nuns held to account for their roles in Ryan’s ability to keep offending over many years still troubles me,’’ he said yesterday, after speaking strongly about the Catholic church’s inability to deal with its sex abuse crisis.

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Rafael Venegas and Luis Jose Cuevas, Catholic Priests, Accused of Sex Crimes Against Females

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Matt Coker
Tue., Jul. 31 2012

At least this can be said of the pending charges against two Roman Catholic priests from Southern California parishes–including St. Athanasus Church of Long Beach: only one of the four accusers is a child and all are female. The latest case involves Father Rafael Venegas, who is accused of sexual battery against a 20-year-old woman on the grounds of his St. Anne Catholic Church in Santa Monica.

The woman, who is not a parishoner, claims the assault happened in September 2011, and the Santa Monica Police Department launched an investigation July 1.

Venegas turned himself in on Monday after the city attorney charged the priest with one count of sexual battery and one count of providing alcohol to a minor.

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3 to 6 for Lynn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Northeast Times

By John Loftus
07/25/2012

— The first top official in the Roman Catholic Church to be convicted of shielding child-molesting priests is going to have plenty of time to do some reflection — in prison

Monsignor William Lynn, the first member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to be found guilty of shielding a child-molesting priest, was sentenced Tuesday to three to six years in prison.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina told Lynn he knew “full well what was right,” but, instead, facilitated and supported “monsters in clerical garb.”

Lynn’s attorneys said they planned to appeal Lynn’s child endangerment conviction next month. They said Lynn had been convicted for the crimes one of his co-defendants had committed against a boy the monsignor had never met.

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Column: Penn State case bad, but church sex abuse worse

UNITED STATES
USA Today

By DeWayne Wickham

I didn’t have much sympathy for people who complained about the punishment the NCAA doled out to Penn State, until I discovered how an even larger institution in the Keystone State has escaped punishment for shielding dozens of pedophiles in its midst.

In June, Jerry Sandusky, a longtime assistant football coach at Penn State, was found guilty of raping and sodomizing 10 young boys. Top university officials were told of Sandusky’s deviant behavior years earlier and did nothing to stop him. They, apparently, were more worried about the damage that exposing him would do to the school’s reputation than the harm he was doing to his victims.

For its inaction, Penn State on July 23 was fined $60 million, its football team was banned from post-season play for four years and the games it won from 1998 through 2011 — the span of time during which university officials were aware of Sandusky’s pedophilia and looked the other way — were wiped off the record books.

Another troubling case

The next day, an even more troubling case of child sex abuse — given that so many more predators were involved — played out in a Philadelphia courtroom without any hint that justice would reach beyond a low-level official of that city’s Catholic archdiocese.

Monsignor William Lynn was sentenced to three to six years in prison for covering up the actions of pedophile priests he was supposed to root out of the church. Instead, he sent them to unsuspecting parishes where other sexual assaults took place — an action his lawyers said was ordered by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who headed Philadelphia’s archdiocese from 1988 to 2003. He died in January.

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As investigation of priest continues, others temporarily assigned to Fort Kent area parish

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Julia Bayly, BDN Staff

Posted July 31, 2012

FORT KENT, Maine — As the Maine Attorney General’s investigation into unspecified allegations against a Roman Catholic priest continues, the diocese has announced temporary assignments at the St. John Vianney Parish.

The parish, based in Fort Kent, has been without its spiritual leader Rev. James Nadeau since the 50-year-old pastor took a voluntary leave of absence in early April.

“The diocese is cooperating fully with the attorney general’s office and at their request I cannot discuss the allegations or anything about the investigation,” Bishop Richard Malone said at the time. “I am hopeful that this process will go smoothly in order to lead to an expeditious and just conclusion.”

Officials with the attorney general’s office and from the Diocese have released little information on the investigation over the past several months.

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More men allege abuse by Christian Brothers

CHICAGO (IL)
Southtown Star

By Mike Nolan mnolan@southtownstar.com

Updated: July 31, 2012

Five more men have filed claims in bankruptcy court alleging that they were sexually abused as boys while attending Southland Catholic schools operated by the Irish Christian Brothers, according to a Chicago law firm that’s representing the men.

The firm — Hurley McKenna & Mertz — said it now represents 27 Chicago-area men alleging abuse by members of the order, which founded Brother Rice and Leo high schools on the Southwest Side as well as St. Laurence High School in Burbank.

The order filed for bankruptcy in April 2011, and Wednesday is the deadline for alleged victims of abuse to file claims in the case. Attorneys from firms around the country have claimed that the bankruptcy filing was an attempt by the Catholic order to shield assets and block the filing of new lawsuits.

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Adam Fisher: An abuse case’s aftershocks

MASSACHUSETTS
Daily Hampshire Gazette

By Daily Hampshire Gazette

Created 07/31/2012

NORTHAMPTON – On precisely the same day that Andrew Nicastro of Williamstown on Friday withdrew his priest-abuse lawsuit against two retired Springfield bishops in return for $500,000, a contrasting scenario was playing out a half a world away.

In Australia, Bill Wright, the Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, stated publicly that he would support a public inquiry into his church’s handling of sexual assaults by priests.

The Newcastle Herald promptly wrote an editorial applauding the bishop and observing: “There was a time, when the first shocking revelations of abuse began to emerge into the public eye, when many probably believed the matter could be satisfactorily dealt with by the churches and the police. But since that hasn’t been entirely the case, and since – on the contrary – more cases of abuse by more priests keep surfacing along with distressing evidence of church cover-ups and failed police investigations, public opinion has dramatically altered.”

Back in Springfield, one of the retired bishops accused by Nicastro, Joseph F. Maguire, 92, issued a long and apparently heartfelt statement acknowledging Nicastro’s molestation by defrocked priest Alfred Graves. The other defendant was retired Bishop Thomas L. Dupre.

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5 Men Allege Sex Abuse By Members Of Order From Local Catholic High Schools

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

[with audio]

CHICAGO (CBS) — Five more men have filed claims in U.S. Bankruptcy Court alleging they were sexually abused as boys while attending Chicago area Roman Catholic schools operated by the Irish Christian Brothers.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, at least 27 Chicago area men have now filed lawsuits alleging abuse by members of the order at three all-boys high schools – Brother Rice High School, 10001 S. Pulaski Rd.; Leo High School, 7901 S. Sangamon St.; and St. Laurence High School, 5556 W. 77th St. in Burbank.

Three brothers, who at one time worked in Chicago have been named as sexual predators in earlier suits.

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Santa Monica priest booked for alleged sexual assault

SANTA MONICA (CA)
Contra Costa Times

By City News Service
dailybreeze.com
Posted: 07/31/2012

SANTA MONICA – The Rev. Rafael Venegas, a priest at St. Anne’s Church in Santa Monica, turned himself in to police Monday and was booked for sexual battery.

Santa Monica police began investigating Venegas on July 1 when a 20-year-old woman, who was not a parishioner of the church, reported an assault on her at the church at 2017 Colorado Ave. in September 2011.

Investigators turned the results of their investigation over to the City Attorney’s Office, who charged Venegas with a count of sexual battery and another count of furnishing alcohol to a minor.

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Priest, on leave, steps down from Sewickley parish

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Bobby Cherry

Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Roman Catholic priest on leave from his Sewickley parish officially will step down later this month even after investigators deemed no charges would be filed against him following a complaint about Facebook postings to a minor.

The Rev. Daniel Valentine of St. James Catholic Church, who began a leave of absence May 19 because of a complaint about online posts, will leave the Sewickley church on Aug. 15, Pittsburgh diocese spokesman Rev. Ronald Lengwin said this week.

In May, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said the diocese requested the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office do a forensic audit of both the parish computers and Valentine’s personal computer following the complaint the diocese received.

Following the investigation, which ended late last month, the district attorney’s office said no criminal charges are warranted.

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“The Manual”.

Verschueren.at

[“The Manual” – Englisch – BishopAccountability.org]

Of hoe de katholieke kerk sinds 1983 over seksueel misbruik op de hoogte was en hoe ze daar (niet) mee omging. Schuldig verzuim.

Begin juli 2012 werden via een van de oudste websites over seksueel misbruik, BishopAccountability.org, documenten vrijgegeven die een dieper inzicht verschaffen in hoe Amerikaanse bisschoppen, kardinalen, aartsbisschoppen en de bisschoppenconferentie al zo’n dertig jaar geleden en tot voor kort met gevallen van seksueel misbruik door priesters (niet) zijn omgegaan. Het hoofddocument, hoewel sinds zijn ontstaan wijd verspreid binnen de kerkelijke hiërarchie, bereikte nooit massaal het grote publiek. Dit destijds baanbrekend werk van drie gerenommeerde auteurs, is op zich revelerend vooral om te begrijpen hoe vroeg al ALLE Amerikaanse hoogste geestelijken op de hoogte waren van de problematiek rond pedofilie in de kerk (1985). Het meest interessante echter rond “The Manual” is vooral hoe de kerk met het document is omgegaan en het proces dat aan de verspreiding van het document is voorafgegaan.

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Senior Catholic cleric ‘pledged silence’ on child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From:The Australian
August 01, 2012

ONE OF Australia’s most senior Catholic clerics allegedly told a priest facing claims he was a pedophile that any confession to child abuse would be kept between himself, the priest and the bishop.

Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, was responding to a 1993 allegation from the family of Father Denis McAlinden that the priest had sexually abused a relative.

In a later letter to the then Maitland-Newcastle bishop Leo Clarke, McAlinden wrote: “Brian Lucas convinced me, against my better judgment, to accept that the information I gave him would be held in strictest confidence by the bishop.”

Father Lucas, who yesterday said he was unable to comment on the contents of that conversation, was interviewed in February by NSW police investigating “alleged cover-ups” by church officials of McAlinden’s alleged abuse.

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Ok, so I’m a co-dependent

MASSACHUSETTS
Buddha Belly and the Art of Questioning

Skip Shea

Ok, so I’m a co-dependent. But aren’t we all? At the end of a human service interviewing class I have taught, after all the students were stoked to go out and help others, we had to discuss the high risks that they were all co-dependents and capable of doing great harm to others. Cruel but necessary. Why we get in the game of trying to help another person has to be a big part of being sure we are in fact being helpful.

Such has been my relationship with the Catholic Church for the better part of my life. Despite all the evidence, pretty much throughout my life, that this relationship was just going to get worse – I hung in there. I knew things weren’t right when I was younger. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I found out years later that priests were putting fingers etc. all over some friends of mine. They have had to live the rests of their lives with these scars.

I have gone to Mass upon Mass at which the priest strongly emphasized the tragedy of abortion. I don’t like abortion. I wish it didn’t happen. I respect that many women will think that even my saying that makes it sound as if I would deprive them of all their rights. I support a women’s right to choose, on the simple and perhaps lame basis that I am not a woman. It just doesn’t seem right to me that women should have the LEAST say about something that routinely becomes the defining moment of their lives, and that they be also be viewed as criminals. But I do understand it to be a profoundly ethical and moral dilemna. I wish I could wish it away and I respect anyone’s right to argue against it.

But, given the sordid history of abuse allowed by and perhaps perpetrated by the Catholic Church, every sanctimonious sermon about abortion, birth control, masturbation etc. should be preceded by a 20 minute apology for child sexual abuse – EVERY time for the foreseeable future. The numbers of lives ruined by the Church’s tacit approval of child sexual abuse are just as staggering as those lost to abortion. The moral indignation of the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance can only be justified by true penance for its own sins. Sins, that by every estimation, go back centuries.

Recently the Bishop of the Worcester Diocese has vetoed Vicki Kennedy speaking at a Catholic College because he deemed her to NOT be Catholic enough. Ms. Kennedy holds many views similar to rank and file Catholics like being partly or mostly pro-choice, pro- birth control etc. That she has raised countless dollars for Catholic Charities and causes was of no consequence. The Bishop followed that up by refusing to sell the former House of Affirmation to two gay men that had wonderful plans for economically revitalizing the site. The fear was that gay marriages would be performed there. This is appalling because the House of Affirmation was a “treatment facility” for pedophile priests, run by a pedophile. Many such priests were stationed in the Blackstone Valley so they could make use of the services there. Many made use of Blackstone Valley children, and some of those events allegedly happened there. This is not the definition of hypocrisy. It cries out for a new word.

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Prosecutors Side with Abuse Group to Block Releasing Records

MISSOURI
Ozark Area Network

[Amicus by prosecutors backing the writ – SNAP]

July 31st, 2012 | Author: The Associated Press

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Several prosecutors are siding with the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in urging the Missouri Supreme Court to block an order requiring the group to release certain records.

The issue stems from lawsuits against a Roman Catholic priest by accusers who say they repressed memories of begin abused decades ago. A lawyer for the priest argues documents could raise doubts about such memories and whether a gag order was violated.

SNAP wants the high court to block a trial judge’s order that it provide records.

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Calls multiply for inquiry into handling of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Linton Besser, Joanne McCarthy
August 01, 2012

PRECISELY six months after the paedophile priest Denis McAlinden was reprimanded but not reported by the church over allegations of child sex abuse, Father Brian Lucas told the Wood Royal Commission that ”to engage in a cover-up … is the very worst way of approaching it”.

Now Father Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, is one of three senior Catholic officials being investigated by police detectives over the concealment of McAlinden’s offences in the 1990s.

Strike Force Lantle is due to deliver a brief of evidence to prosecutors in the next few weeks.

Between 1993 and 1995, Father Lucas, the former bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Michael Malone and Father Philip Wilson, now an archbishop, had roles in an attempted defrocking of McAlinden over the sexual abuse of young girls but failed to report him to authorities.

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Abuse advocacy group says little changed among Catholic church leaders

UNITED STATES
Endrtimes

A group that advocates on behalf of victims of clergy abuse is urging the Catholic church to move beyond the “smoke and mirrors.”

More than 200 survivors met in Chicago over the weekend at the annual conference of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. The group says the church needs to “stop the abuse, expel the abusers, cooperate with the courts and support the victims.

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Senior Catholics implicated in child sex cover-up

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

Posted July 31, 2012

Three of the Catholic Church’s most senior priests in New South Wales are being investigated by the Department of Public Prosecutions over an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse.

Suzanne Smith

Transcript

STEVE CANNANE, PRESENTER: A member of the NSW Government wants Cardinal George Pell and other senior Catholic leaders to fully cooperate with the police and make available all internal documentary evidence on child sexual abuse in the state’s Hunter Valley.

The call comes as evidence about three of the Catholic Church’s most senior priests is being referred to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions for possible charges.

Strikeforce Lantle is wrapping up an investigation into serious allegations of cover-up and possible criminal behaviour involving the sexual assault of many young girls in the Newcastle Maitland diocese.

The priest at the centre of the allegations, Father McAlinden, died in 2005. The three senior leaders facing possible legal action are Father Brian Lucas, retired Bishop Michael Malone, and the Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson.

As Suzanne Smith reports, Archbishop Wilson has declined to be interviewed by police.

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Pope names Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico, JCL, Tenth Bishop of Erie

ERIE (PA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie

July 31, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI today named the Rev. Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico as the tenth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. He will succeed Bishop Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L., and will be ordained and installed as bishop during a Mass at St. Peter Cathedral in Erie on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2012 at 2 pm.

Bishop Trautman will introduce Bishop-elect Persico at a news conference today at 10:30 am at St. Mark Catholic Center, 429 East Grandview Boulevard, Erie.

In the announcement at noon, Roman time, today, Pope Benedict XVI also accepted Bishop Trautman’s resignation, which was submitted following church protocol on his 75th birthday, June 24, 2011. Bishop Trautman will continue to lead the mission and ministries of the diocese as Bishop Emeritus until Bishop-elect Persico’s installation.

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OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father: …

– Appointed Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico of the clergy of the diocese of Greenburg, U.S.A., vicar general and pastor of the parish of St. James in New Alexandria, as bishop of Erie (area 25,734, population 860,340, Catholics 223,668, priests 193, permanent deacons 61, religious 317), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Monessen, U.S.A. in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1977. He has acted as chaplain and chancellor of Assumption Hall, and is vice president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. He succeeds Bishop Donald W. Trautman, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

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Priest at Santa Monica church charged with sexual battery

SANTA MONICA (CA)
Los Angeles Times

A priest at St. Anne Catholic Church in Santa Monica was charged with committing sexual battery against a 20-year-old woman and giving her alcohol, police said Monday evening.

The victim is not a parishioner but reported that she was attacked by Rafael Venegas in September 2011 on the church grounds at 2017 Colorado Ave., the Santa Monica Police Department said.

Venegas was charged by the Santa Monica city attorney’s office with one count of sexual battery and one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor under 21, police said in a statement.

Venegas, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in Monday to authorities at the Police Department.

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Santa Monica Priest Charged with Sexual Battery

SANTA MONICA (CA)
KTLA News

July 31, 2012

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KTLA) — Police arrested a Santa Monica priest Monday when he turned turned himself in after learning that he was charged with sexual battery.

Police began investigating Rafael Venegas — a priest at St. Anne’s church in Santa Ana — on July 1, according to a news release issued by the Santa Monica Police Department. The victim — a 20-year-old woman who does not attend the church — reported that Venegas sexually assaulted her on the church grounds in September 2011.

Santa Monica’s city attorney received the investigators’ case last week and charged Venegas with one count of sexual battery and one count of providing alcohol to a minor.

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Santa Monica Priest Accused of Sexual Battery

SANTA MONICA (CA)
NBC Southern California

By Samantha Tata

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012

A Santa Monica priest accused of sexual battery against a 20-year-old woman turned himself in to authorities Monday, police said.

Rafael Venegas, a priest at St. Anne’s Church in Santa Monica, has been the target of an investigation since July 1 after the woman, who is not a parishioner of Venegas’ church, accused the priest of sexual battery in Sept. 2011, police said.

Accompanied by his attorney, Venegas turned himself in to Santa Monica police where he was booked for one count each of sexual battery and furnishing alcohol to a minor, police said. He was released after posting $20,000 bail.

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Mendham man accused of destroying monument to sex abuse victims has ‘history’ with Greystone psychiatric hospital

MENDHAM (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

Monday, July 30, 2012

By Ben Horowitz/The Star-Ledger

MENDHAM — A man accused of using a sledgehammer to destroy a Mendham monument to victims of clergy sexual abuse has “a history” with Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany, his attorney said today.

The defendant, Gordon Ellis, 37, of Mendham, is “close” to accepting a plea agreement offered by the Morris County prosecutor, but the records from Greystone need to be reviewed first, his public defender, Neill Hamilton, said today during a conference in Superior Court in Morristown.

Hamilton said he wants to be sure there are no outstanding “health issues” before he accepts the plea offer. Ellis is to appear in court again on Aug. 27.

Ellis was said to be under the influence of alcohol on Nov. 18 when he allegedly destroyed the 400-pound millstone memorial outside St. Joseph Church.

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Police wind up church cover-up investigation

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

Updated July 31, 2012

The detective in charge of an investigation into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse by a Hunter Valley Catholic priest says a brief is being finalised to hand to prosecutors.

Strike Force Lantle has spent almost two years investigating claims that senior clergy tried to cover-up allegations against Father Denis McAlinden.

The paedophile priest sexually assaulted girls in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese over four decades, but died in 2005 without being charged.

Detective Graeme Parker headed the investigation and says the brief of evidence about the Church’s handling of the McAlinden case is due to be handed to prosecutors within weeks.

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Jail for a grave sin of omission

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Asbury Park Press

Editorial

Msgr. William Lynn did not rape a child. He did not molest a child.

But he will go to prison for at least three years because those awful things happened to children. And it is justice — long, long overdue justice — that sends an important message across the United States and, hopefully, around the world.

A few Catholic priests who for years molested and assaulted children have been sent to prison in this country. They are, unfortunately, only a handful among the guilty, most of whom will never face deserved time behind bars because they’ve died or statutes of limitation have run out or because there isn’t enough evidence left to ensure a conviction.

Lynn, though, is the first Catholic official convicted in the United States solely for the crime of covering up sex abuse claims. The former secretary of clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was found guilty last month by a jury in Philadelphia of felony child endangerment.

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Three more claims of sexual assault made by Palma alumni

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Staff Writer
montereyherald.com

Facing a Wednesday deadline, a Seattle attorney said he will file three new claims on behalf of Palma High School alumni who say they were sexually assaulted by Father Gerald “Jerry” Funcheon in the 1980s.

Michael Pfau said the three men all came forward after well-known alumnus Steven Cantrell announced he was filing suit and making a claim in the Irish Christian Brothers bankruptcy case in New York. Cantrell, the brother-in-law of Palma coach Jeff Carnazzo, alleges Funcheon assaulted him on an overnight trip.

The new claims bring to at least six the number who have alleged abuse by the priest, who was chaplain and a teacher at Palma from 1984 to 1985. Most allege they were assaulted on weekend trips.

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Church to face probe over paedophilia cover-up

AUSTRALIA
ABC – PM

Updated July 31, 2012

The New South Wales Police will turn over a brief of evidence to prosecutors on an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Documents show that the Church was aware of allegations against paedophile priest Denis McAlinden as far back as the early 1990s, but didn’t report it until much later.

Timothy McDonald

Transcript

TIM PALMER: The New South Wales Police will turn over a brief of evidence to prosecutors on an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Documents show that the Church was aware of allegations against paedophile priest Denis McAlinden as far back as the early 1990s.

The Church failed to report the matter to authorities until 2003, after victims notified the police and had been paid compensation.

McAlinden died two years later without facing charges, and in 2007 the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was forced to confirm he was a serial offender who may have targeted hundreds of girls

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Greens MP mistrusts Church’s inquiry into sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Updated July 31, 2012

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge says he mistrusts the Catholic Church’s internal inquiry into Denis McAlinden and the incidents in the Armidale dioceses. David Shoebridge has tabled a number of the documents surrounding the church’s handling of the McAlinden case in Parliament.

Tim Palmer

Transcript

TIM PALMER: One of the most senior Catholic churchmen in the country, the now Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, had the carriage of much of the McAlinden investigation, but according to newspaper reports he has now refused a formal interview with police.

New South Wales Greens MP David Shoebridge says that’s yet another reason to mistrust the internal inquiry the Church has already announced into incidents in the Armidale Dioceses.

David Shoebridge tabled a number of the documents surrounding the Church’s handling of the McAlinden case in Parliament and says only a Royal Commission will satisfy victims.

A short time ago I asked him how he’d characterise the Church’s investigation.

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Arraignment Set For Friday For Santa Monica Priest Accused Of Sexual Battery

SANTA MONICA (CA)
Santa Monica Mirror

Posted Jul. 30, 2012

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

St. Anne’s Church priest Rafael Venegas will be arraigned at the LAX Courthouse this Friday on two charges — sexual battery and providing a minor under the age of 21 with alcohol.

SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said Venegas turned himself into the department and was in the process of posting $20,000 bail.

An adult female, who is not a parishioner of St. Anne’s at 2017 Colorado Avenue, contacted the Santa Monica Police Department on July 1 and reported that the sexual battery incident involving Venegas occurred on the property of St. Anne’s Parish in September 2011.

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Former youth pastor guilty in local child sex abuse case

WASHINGTON
Fox 12

By FOX 12 Webstaff –

VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) –
A former youth pastor convicted in a federal courtroom of making child pornography and molesting children is now guilty in a local court as well.

A Clark County judge found Michael Norris of Vancouver guilty on all charges Monday morning, which includes multiple counts of child rape and molestation.

Norris was arrested in 2006 after federal investigators linked him to child porn distribution websites.

A search of his home turned up movies and images of young children in explicit scenes that Norris had made, according to investigators.

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Former Bible camp counselor guilty of sex crimes

WASHINGTON
The Columbian

By Laura McVicker
Columbian Staff Reporter

Monday, July 30, 2012

After six years, a former Bible camp counselor’s child rape case in Clark County was resolved today with a conviction on 10 felony counts.

Michael Scott Norris, 46, of Vancouver will be sentenced Sept. 4. and he faces 35 years.

Norris was charged in both federal court and in Clark County Superior Court; in April, he pleaded guilty to producing pornography of two children and was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 25 years in prison on those crimes.

Following conclusion of the federal case, Norris came back to Clark County to resolve the local charges. Prosecutors have said they will ask the judge for Norris to serve the local sentence at the same time as he serves his federal sentence, so the amount of time doesn’t exceed 35 years.

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Seremi descubrió irregularidades en el Colegio Cumbres tras denuncia por abusos

CHILE
Cooperativa

La Seremi de Educación Metropolitana descubrió irregularidades en el proceso administrativo que se realiza en el Colegio Cumbres luego de la denuncia contra el sacerdote John O’Reilly por abusos sexuales contra una menor de seis años.

La acusación contra el religioso irlandés se conoció la semana pasada y ya es sometida a investigaciones por parte de la justicia ordinaria, la iglesia y el Ministerio de Educación.

El ministro Harald Beyer confirmó que “la Fiscalía de la Seremi encontró algunas irregularidades que no quiero exponer públicamente antes de notificárselos al sostenedor que está citado parta hoy, que tendrá diez días para presentar sus descargos”.

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Youngstown Diocese Plan Is ‘Work in Progress’

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WYTV

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has completed the initial reconfiguration plan announced in the spring of 2010.

The plan was a response to the declining number of parishioners and priests, but diocesan officials said the plan is still a work in progress.

In the two years since the plan began, the Diocese went from 112 parishes to just over 80.

“We’ve seen 17 canonical mergers that involved 42 parishes. We’ve seen nine collaborations where they’re sharing a pastor that involved 19 parishes,” said the Rev. Nick Shori of the Diocese of Youngstown.

Twelve churches also closed their doors for good. Several of those properties were sold or are pending.

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Giving a voice to childhood sex abuse victims

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Northeast Times

By John Loftus

On the heels of the conviction of a high-ranking Catholic church official, veteran attorneys and a victims’ advocate encourage childhood sexual abuse victims to speak up.

Be silent no more.

Childhood sexual abuse victims should come forward and tell their stories, Philadelphia’s district attorney, Seth Williams, said on Tuesday. Williams was fresh off the conviction and sentencing of Monsignor William Lynn, the first high-ranking Roman Catholic Church official to be ordered to prison for protecting predator priests.

Williams promised that if the crimes against children were committed within the statute of limitations, they will be prosecuted. Williams made the plea for more reporting in a news conference held outside the Criminal Justice Center where Lynn, 61, had just been sentenced to three to six years in prison for shielding a priest who had molested a child.

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Accused Phila. priest hires lawyer

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Joseph A. Slobodzian
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Arrested Thursday and charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy, the Rev. Andrew McCormick turned to a lawyer who knew the terrain – William J. Brennan Jr., just one month off of representing another priest in the recent Philadelphia Catholic clergy sex-abuse trial.

Brennan on Monday confirmed that he had been hired to represent McCormick, 56, charged with molesting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 while he served at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg.

McCormick, arrested Thursday night at his parents’ home in Pottstown, was released Friday night after posting the required 10 percent of his $150,000 bail. McCormick is set for an Aug. 17 preliminary hearing in Municipal Court.

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Too Late to Sue Bishop Over Abuse, Judge Says

CHICAGO (IL)
Courthouse News Service

By LORRAINE BAILEY

CHICAGO (CN) – An inmate who claims he was sexually abused by Catholic priests in the 1950s and ’60s waited too long to sue the Bishop of Chicago for $6.5 million, a federal judge ruled.

Charles Anderson, 62, an inmate at Shawnee Correctional Center, grew up in two Roman Catholic institutions, the Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, Ill., and St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Lisle, Ill.

In a federal class action, Anderson claims he was sodomized by former priest Thomas Windham at Maryville when he was younger than 10, and was sexually abused by Father Cosmo at St. Joseph’s.

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Dead men hold no bank accounts

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | July 30, 2012 3:27 PM

The “Moneyval” audit of the Vatican bank, the IOR, turned up this interesting tidbit: there were 236 cardinals who held accounts there. Which wouldn’t be remarkable, except that at the time of the audit, there were only 213 cardinals alive.

This is not necessarily evidence of financial shenanigans. The estate of a deceased prelate might control a bank account that is still listed in the late cardinal’s name. Dormant accounts might linger on the books for some time before someone decides how the funds should be disbursed. Still one can understand why the European inspectors thought some tighter controls would be useful.

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Conferencia Episcopal respalda decisión del Colegio Cumbres por denuncia de abuso sexual

CHILE
Emol

SANTIAGO.- El vocero de la Conferencia Episcopal, Jaime Coiro, junto con calificar de “muy dolora” la denuncia de abuso sexual en contra de una menor que enfrenta el sacerdote legionario John O’Reilly, señaló que la decisión del Colegio Cumbres femenino de suspender de sus funciones al religioso mientras se aclare el caso, está en línea con los protocolos adoptados por la iglesia en este tipo de situaciones.

“La Iglesia desde el año 2003 tiene un protocolo, un procedimiento judicial interno para estas materias y desde el año 2011 este protocolo actualizado incluye un acompañamiento a las víctimas y también medidas de prevención”, explicó Coiro al sitio “24horas.cl “.

En ese sentido, el vocero sostuvo que “siempre cuando hay un posible abuso de un menor de edad es una mala noticia para la sociedad, para la familia y para la Iglesia”.

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Mineduc inicia proceso administrativo contra el Cumbres tras detectar irregularidades

CHILE
La Segunda

Diez días hábiles, a partir de hoy, tendrá el Colegio Cumbres para presentar sus descargos, luego que el Ministerio de Educación decidiera iniciar un proceso administrativo en su contra.

La indagatoria se produce tras conocerse la denuncia de un supuesto abuso sexual cometido por el padre John O’Reilly contra una menor y luego de que un grupo de observadores del Mineduc se hiciera presente en el centro educacional.

Los reparos de la Secretaría de Estado al establecimiento, están relacionados con la aplicaciónde la Ley General de Educación.

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Former Pennsylvania psychologist says he reported child molestation, lost license

PENNSYLVANIA
The Daily Caller

By Michael Volpe

Jim Singer, formerly a psychologist working in Pennsylvania, said that he reported a case of child molestation in 1986 to Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services agency, and not only was his report ignored, but soon after, in retaliation, the Pennsylvania Psychology Board prosecuted Singer and eventually removed his license to practice psychology.

As the aftermath of the Penn State University molestation scandal unfolds, most observers believe that if the proper authorities had been alerted to the crimes much earlier, many children could have been saved. That’s not always the case, says Singer.

Speaking exclusively with The Daily Caller, Singer said that most of the same Pennsylvania government agencies that were outraged over the PSU scandal — Child Protective Services, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police — all ignored and buried his report of child molestation.

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Vatican Hague Crimes Filing Update, Spees talks to CofA Blog

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

[with videos]

Kay Ebeling

(Transcripts of interview below:)

Update on The Hague International Criminal Court filing September 2011 re Vatican Crimes Against Humanity, interviews took place July 28, 2012, in Chicago. First Pam Spees of Center for Constitutional Rights in NY, gives current status of case:

Transcript:

TAPE ONE:

Q: You’re Pam Spees from the- what is the name of the organization in New York.

A: The Center for Constitutional Rights.

Q: And tell us what the status is of the case that you filed in The Hague last year.

A: Well since we filed the larger submission in September along with twenty-two thousand pages of documentation, we have filed a supplemental communication to the prosecutor in April of this year. Which was intended to provide an update as things have come to light just since we filed in September. And that included the publication of an Amnesty International Report about the clergy sex abuse in Ireland, calling it torture and crimes against humanity. More evidence that had come to light around the notorious priest from Mexico, Father Marcel Maciel and to be able to show that Ratzinger played more of a role and actually protected him, that evidence had come to life. We, you know, notified the prosecutor that SNAP has received over five hundred contacts and communications from people in sixty-five different countries.

TAPE TWO:

Q: What is the status on that case? I understand when the old prosecutor stepped down, the new prosecutor threw some cases out, but your case did not get thrown out. Is that part of the good news today?

A: Well the- we did get a communication from the Office of the Prosecutor that they’re still reviewing the communication and the evidence we submitted. And so, you know, we know it’s still there and they’re looking at it and taking it seriously and we feel hopeful.

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Chile to Investigate 120 Schools in Light of Sex Abuse Reports

CHILE
I Love Chile

Written by Rachel Stevenson on July 30, 2012.

SANTIAGO — The Chilean Public Prosecution Office will investigate 120 schools in Santiago after a series of sex abuse allegations concerning minors were uncovered.

It has been revealed that during the first half of 2012, sexual crimes against children under 14 years have increased by 22 percent.

Although Chile is a conservative country strongly influenced by the Catholic Church, the image of the institution has been damaged in recent years due to a series of scandals involving priests sexually abusing minors.

In 2010 it was confirmed that one of the most respected priests, Fernando Karadima, sexually abused four teenage boys.

Just last week it was reported that John O’Reilly, a priest working at Colegio Cumbres in Santiago, has been accused of sexually abusing a four-year-old child. The investigation is to be carried out by Public Prosecutor Ignacio Pinto.

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Statement from Jimmy Lago, chancellor, Archdiocese of Chicago regarding Rev. Gary M. Miller, pastor of St. Bernadette Parish

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic New World

Representatives of the Archdiocese of Chicago have spoken with Monsignor Wayne Prist, at St. Bernadette Parish, Evergreen Park, and Father Roger Corrales-Diaz, pastor of St. Leonard Parish, Berwyn, to inform them that the archdiocese has received an allegation that Father Gary Miller engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor, while assigned to St. Leonard’s Parish, more than 30 years ago. At the request of Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, Father Miller has agreed to voluntarily and temporarily step aside from active ministry. He also agreed to this action so that there would be no question about the protection of children.

This allegation has been reported, by the archdiocese, to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney. The archdiocese has also begun its review and investigation of this matter in accordance with Archdiocese of Chicago policies and requirements of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

No further information is available at this time.

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Victims must always come first

UNITED STATES
The Marietta Times

July 30, 2012

Editorial

No one will ever know how many children have suffered needlessly because adults decided it was less important to protect them than to avoid the taint of scandal at a school, church or other institution. But last recently two juries in Pennsylvania issued reminders that the children always take priority.

In one, a jury in Philadelphia convicted a Roman Catholic church official of child endangerment for covering up situations in which priests had abused children. Monsignor William Lynn was the first U.S. church official convicted of a felony in such a coverup.

Another jury convicted former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexually abusing children during a period of about 15 years.

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Former priest pleads guilty to indecently assaulting five boys

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, July 30, 2012

A former priest who indecently assaulted five schoolboys will be sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in October.

The 76-year-old man, who can not be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault on the boys in Dublin on dates between 1979 and 1981.

The pleas were entered following legal argument in his trial and before the victims had to give evidence.

The boys were aged between 11 and 13 years old at the time of the offences which took place in the then priest’s home and at a nearby school. The man has no previous convictions.

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Justicia de Chile aclarará presunto abuso sexual: Legionarios

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Milenio

Su portavoz, Benjamín Clariond precisó que el sacerdote John O’Reilly, capellán del Colegio Cumbres de la capital chilena, todavía no ha sido juzgado y, por lo tanto, no se ha acreditado su culpabilidad.

Ciudad del Vaticano • El portavoz de los Legionarios de Cristo en Roma, Benjamín Clariond, afirmó que la congregación confía en la justicia para el esclarecimiento de la denuncia, contra uno de sus sacerdotes, por supuesto abuso sexual a una menor en Chile.

En declaraciones a Notimex precisó que el sacerdote John O’Reilly, capellán del Colegio Cumbres de la capital chilena, todavía no ha sido juzgado y, por lo tanto, no se ha acreditado su culpabilidad, a diferencia de lo reportado por algunos medios de comunicación mexicanos.

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Archbishop of Ljubljana transferred for allegedly concealing fatherhood

SLOVENIA
Vatican Insider

The Slovenian mystery has been solved. Archbishop Uran has been punished by the Vatican not for his involvement in a financial flop but for his infraction of the celibacy rule

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

The Slovenian mystery has been solved. Archbishop Uran has been punished by the Vatican not for his involvement in a financial flop but for his infraction of the celibacy rule.

Now the prelate-father will move to the northern Italian city of Trieste. The Vatican has ordered Mgr. Alojz Uran, Archbishop of Ljubljana, from 2004 to 2009 to leave Slovenia because of all the rumours going round about him breaking his celibacy vows and fathering two children, now adults, neither of whom he recognises as his. “This is a temporary measure to calm public opinion until the question is resolved,” stated Andrej Saje, spokesman for Slovenia’s bishops, on Ljubljana’s public television.

“The problem is his alleged paternity, which the former archbishop has always denied, but I think there have been some misunderstandings between him and the Holy See. Once these are cleared up, Uran will be able to return to his country,” Saje added, denying the theory that the sanctions decided by the Congregation for Bishops are linked to the financial scandal which brought the Diocese of Maribor to the brink of bankruptcy two years ago. Uran retired unexpectedly in 2009 (he is not 67) for health reasons after a heart operation, but soon rumours began to spread about him allegedly fathering two children, a fact he apparently kept secret from his Vatican superiors.

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Police to allege senior catholic priests concealed sexual assaults

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

July 31, 2012

Joanne McCarthy, Linton Besser

NSW Police will give prosecutors evidence that three of the most senior members of the Catholic Church allegedly concealed the sexual assault of young girls in the Hunter Valley, in a landmark case that could expose the church to a new wave of criminal prosecution.

One of three people of interest in Strike Force Lantle is the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Brian Lucas, who is alleged to have been aware of the actions of the paedophile priest Denis McAlinden as far back as 1993 but failed to report him to police. The others are Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, who wrote to police yesterday to formally decline to be interviewed, and the retired Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Michael Malone. From 1993 to 1995 the three had roles in internal moves against the priest, including an attempted ”speedy”, secret defrocking in October 1995 because of the evidence against him.

The church failed to report the matter to authorities until 2003, after victims notified the police and were paid compensation.

Instead, in 1995, McAlinden was assured by the then Maitland-Newcastle bishop, Leo Clarke: ”Your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of this process”, despite ”your admission to Father Brian Lucas and other evidence”.

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Vatileaks, And Why Young People Should Care

UNITED STATES
Nextgen Journal

by Dan Horning | The George Washington University

Remember that time Dan Brown wrote a series of books that made a bunch of Catholics mad, especially the people at the Vatican, because he wrote fictional stories about the Catholic Church covering up crimes and leveraging power over its flock?

Now mix that with a game of Clue, and you have a real life story unfolding right now.

One of the most powerful, secretive, and controversial organizations in the world is once again under the global spotlight about a topic it would rather see go away. Money, power, greed, influence and politics have taken center stage, instead of a mission to feed the poor and spread the Gospel. What could possibly be the latest PR embarrassment for the world’s largest single religion and smallest sovereign state, and why should young people even care?

Vatileaks, as it has been dubbed by the media, is seen as a three-tier power struggle: hide questionable activity by the Vatican Bank, undermine the Pope’s second in command, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and increase the influence of the Italian cardinals in selecting the next Pope. In January 2012, several private letters from top Vatican officials, including the papal secretary and Pope Benedict XVI himself, were leaked to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. Those leaked communiqués, which Nuzzi published in a book called Sua Santità (His Holiness), document a Vatican in disarray, resembling medieval feudal states divided between various camps and cliques, resembling a lion’s den more than anything else.

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SNAP Points to Pennsylvania Case

UNITED STATES
Alton Daily News

[with video]

By Jim Anderson

Victims of sex abuse by priests say cover-ups by those in the know are still a problem. A monsignor in Pennsylvania was sentenced to prison this week for his role in covering up sex abuse by others – the first in the U.S. to go to prison for that. Barbara Blaine, head of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, says Illinois prosecutors should address the problem here.

“In Pennsylvania, prosecutors there are recognizing how significant the role of enabling a predator is, and we’re hoping that here in Illinois, more victims will speak up, and we hope our lawmakers will heed the outcry of victims, and change our laws of Illinois so that they’re tougher on predators,” she said today (Friday) as the group’s annual weekend-long meeting began in Rosemont.

In particular, she is concerned about the statute of limitations in Illinois. Those who were victimized as children must make a claim by the time they are 28. She says by age 28, only 20-30 percent of child victims are able to understand that they were victims and to articulate the particulars in court.

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US: Catholic diocese backs out of mansion sale on gay wedding fear

NORTHBRIDGE (MA)
Pink News (United Kingdom)

by Stephen Gray
30 July 2012

An estate agent acting for a Catholic diocese in the US state of Massachusetts accidentally revealed to a gay couple that their purchase of a 44-room estate had fallen through on the anti-gay concerns of the priests.

James Fairbanks and Alain Beret had a $1m offer for Oakhurst, a 24-acre complex which includes a 1920s mansion, accepted by the Catholic Diocese of Worcester. …

But the Worcester Telegram reports that when priests discovered the couple intended to turn the house into an events venue where gay weddings might be held, they chose to back out.

The Telegram pointed out that Oakhurst was once a home for rehabilitating paedophile priests, the House of Affirmation.

The couple’s lawyer called the situation “reprehensible” and pointed out that it is illegal in Massachusetts to discriminate against a home buyer because of their sexual orientation.

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More Victims Claiming Sexual Abuse by Montana Priests

MONTANA
Indian Country Today Media Network

By Heather Steinberger July 30, 2012

In January, Indian Country Today Media Network reported that a Yakima, Washington–based law firm had filed a 12-page legal complaint on behalf of a Northern Cheyenne tribal member seeking justice for years of abuse she suffered as a child at Montana’s St. Labre Indian School in the 1950s and 1960s. The case is a significant one, as the accused is Father Emmett Hoffmann, a near-legendary figure on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

In recent weeks, the case has become even bigger. According to an amended, 19-page version of the legal complaint filed on June 6 in Montana’s Eighth Judicial District Court, priests and nuns misused their authority to “molest, exploit and abuse children” across eastern Montana. The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis are now named in the complaint, and 10 additional male and female victims have joined the original Jane Doe in filing suit against the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings.

“At the beginning, I called this the tip of the iceberg,” says Blaine Tamaki, founder of Tamaki Law and a practicing trial lawyer for three decades, who is the lead attorney on this suit. “Now, we are beginning to see just how big that iceberg is.

“From the outset, our extensive experience suggested that pedophiles usually do not limit their victims to just one. They prey on vulnerable children. The more powerful the pedophile, the more access they have to children, and the more likely it is their victims will suffer in silence.”

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The House That Kane Built

NORTHBRIDGE (MA)
outpatient clinic

Skip Shea

It isn’t big news anymore when a Catholic Diocese sells old and unused property. The church has been consolidating and selling property for decades now. Parishioners complain to deaf ears and eventually move on. But a story on WBZ TV, Boston today caught my attention.

Apparently Alain Beret wanted to buy The Oakhurst Retreat and Conference Center in Whitinsville Massachusetts from the Worcester Diocese and transform it into a venue for weddings and functions. A great idea as the center has been closed for years. And a sale for one million dollars to boot. A win win all around.

Except Mr. Beret and his partner are gay. Uh oh. And they might perform gay weddings there. Uh oh. Bishop McManus can’t allow that to happen on this church property. This property is sacred! I’m sure there was some sort of blessing that occurred at one point with holy water, incense and Latin chants. This place is holy! …

It was started by Fr Tom Kane, who claimed to have a Phd in Psychology. He didn’t. In fact the diocese settled a lawsuit, confidentially about Kane’s sexual abuse of a none year old boy. Meaning Kane himself was a pedophile. And he had just created his candy store. Because Kane, with his phony Phd and his cronies sent there for treatment by the likes of Cardinal Law, kind of made the House of Affirmation their own little playground. Kind of a Club Ped.

So much for sacred ground. A lot of the serial sexual abuse of children in the Southern Worcester County can be traced right to the House that Kane built. Kane, like the brother who killed Able. The only problem was that this Kane and his buddies were very willing and able. Because of protection by the church.

And knowing this, somehow the Worcester Diocese is still more offended by the notion of a gay marriage happening on this property, than by it’s vast history of abuse. Because if he was more offended by the abuse he might have sought to bring justice to those who were abused there by opening the files and shedding light on this sad chapter. Instead they changed the name to Oakhurst and destroyed the files. Hoping we would all forget.

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In Chabad Child Sexual Abuse Scandal, Bad Judgement And Alleged Lack

AUSTRALIA
Failed Messiah

“In many of the cases the abuse could have been prevented if appropriate action would have been taken earlier on. For example, with at least one of the alleged perpetrators there were sufficient warning signs for action to be taken. Instead, not only was action not taken but the alleged paedophile was given unrestricted access to children.”

Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, the late head of Chabad in Australia and the surrounding region, who allegedly spent decades covering up child sexual abuse in his institutions and protecting pedophiles.

Manny Waks, the only alleged victim in the Chabad child sex abuse scandal in Melbourne to have gone public (although many others spoke with police and 11 others have been vetted and are complainants in the case against David Cyprys, who has a previous child sexual abuse-related conviction, and who is now charged with more than 40 counts of child rape and sexual abuse) spoke to a WIZO group in Melbourne about the scandal.

J-Wire summarizes his talk, which touched on most of the important issues about this scandal that Chabad apologists ignore or misrepresent:

• While the abuse itself was terrible enough, the ongoing cover-up and intimidation has made the situation much worse.
• In many of the cases the abuse could have been prevented if appropriate action would have been taken earlier on. For example, with at least one of the alleged perpetrators there were sufficient warning signs for action to be taken. Instead, not only was action not taken but the alleged paedophile was given unrestricted access to children.

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Autores de libros sobre Legionarios hablan de O’Reilly

CHILE
Terra

John O’Reilly ha sido por décadas el sacerdote emblema de los Legionarios de Cristo en Chile. Ahora se encuentra bajo la lupa de la justicia y la Iglesia por una acusación de abuso sexual en su contra. Pero, ¿quién es este religioso?, ¿qué rol cumplía?, ¿por qué llegó a Chile?

Según contó a TERRA.cl el investigador de la escuela de periodismo de la UDP y coautor del libro “Legionarios De Cristo En Chile: Dios Dinero Y Poder”, Javier Ortega, O’Reilly arribó a nuestro país en 1985 sólo con la intención de aprender portugués, ya que luego partiría a Brasil. Sin embargo, tuvo que quedarse en Chile una vez que el Vaticano supo que había transgredido el voto de silencio. “Debido a que se conoció que había criticado a un superior, lo dejaron acá”, puntualizó el docente.

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Justicia chilena investiga denuncias de abusos sexuales en 120 colegios

CHILE
el Universo

La última serie de denuncias (200) de abusos sexuales contra menores ha afectado a sectores de altos ingresos y ha elevado la alarma social en Chile, cuyo gobierno ha lanzado un paquete de medidas de prevención, mientras que la fiscalía ha puesto en la mira a 120 colegios en la capital.

Varios de los casos han salpicado, además, a religiosos, algunos de ellos muy influyentes y conocidos en el país, lo que ha llevado a la Conferencia Episcopal a implementar un protocolo de actuación frente a estas denuncias.

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Ezzati respalda investigación …

CHILE
La Tercera

Ezzati respalda investigación de los Legionarios por denuncia de abusos

por N. Ramos, J. Matus y P. Palma (Santiago)

El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, se refirió nuevamente ayer a la denuncia por supuestos abusos presentada contra el sacerdote legionario John O’Reilly, capellán del colegio Cumbres.

“Hay que esperar que de verdad se esclarezcan los hechos. Los padres de familias o muchos padres, piensan que el padre John es inocente y tenemos que esperar lo que diga el resultado de la investigación”, manifestó Ezzati.

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Ezzati por prácticas de John O’Reilly…

CHILE
Publimetro

Ezzati por prácticas de John O’Reilly: No descarta que sea algo ‘malo’ sacar a alumnos de la sala de clases

El Arzobispo de Santiago, monseñor Ricardo Ezzati, afirmó en La Entrevista del Domingo de TVN, que a priori no descarta que sea algo ‘malo’ sacar a alumnos de la sala de clases, al ser consultado por las prácticas que habría realizado el recientemente denunciado por presunto abuso sexual, el sacerdote John O’Reilly, del Colegio Cumbres.

“Lo que he pedido es que inmediatamente el Superior Provincial inicie una investigación previa para ver si hay hechos verosímiles”, precisó monseñor Ezzati sobre el caso.

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Sacerdote Alfredo Márque…

CHILE
La Tercera

Sacerdote Alfredo Márquez: “Estamos con el interés de que haya claridad de qué pasó y qué no pasó”

por Javiera Matus y Natalia Ramos

Esta semana, una denuncia por presuntos abusos contra una menor por parte del sacerdote John O’Reilly sacudió al colegio Cumbres femenino y a los Legionarios de Cristo. El cura Alfredo Márquez, director del Cumbres masculino hace ocho años y vocero de la congregación, explica cómo han enfrentado esta situación y profundiza sobre los traslados que el superior provincial y él deberán asumir a partir de agosto.

¿Cuál es el mensaje que en medio de esta crisis ha transmitido a la comunidad escolar?

El mensaje es que el colegio está dedicado ciento por ciento a velar por el bienestar de todos los miembros que componen la comunidad, sean estos, alumnos, profesores, papás o familias. En ese sentido, estamos con el interés de que haya claridad, que se aclaren las diferencias o mal entendidos, para que no haya dudas de qué pasó o no pasó.

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Alza de denuncias de abusos sexuales eleva la alarma en Chile

CHILE
el Nuevo Herald

Fuencis Rausell
EFE

Santiago de Chile — La última serie de denuncias de abusos sexuales contra menores ha afectado a sectores de altos ingresos y ha elevado la alarma social en Chile, cuyo Gobierno ha lanzado un paquete de medidas de prevención, mientras que la fiscalía ha puesto en la mira a decenas de colegios en la capital.

Varios de los casos han salpicado además a religiosos, algunos de ellos muy influyentes y conocidos en el país, lo que ha llevado a la Conferencia Episcopal a implementar un protocolo de actuación frente a estas denuncias, revisado en el 2011.

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Comeuppance for the Church Hierarchy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The New York Times

Editorial

A dose of criminal justice was long overdue in the pedophile priest scandal. It was meted out in Philadelphia Tuesday when Msgr. William Lynn became the highest-ranking Roman Catholic official in the United States to be sentenced to prison. He was convicted of child endangerment and sentenced to up to six years after a trial that starkly detailed how diocesan leaders shielded predatory priests and rotated them through parishes to prey anew.

The sentence should be a clear warning to church officials that criminal law, not church evasion, is the law of the land when it comes to protecting innocent children.

As the scandal emerged, more than 700 rogue priests had to be dismissed in a three-year period — yet ranking diocesan clergy were never called to justice for their own obvious misdeeds in engineering systematic cover-ups. Eight years ago, the bishops’ own investigative board of laity warned “there must be consequences” for leaders who chose to protect abusive priests rather than report crimes against children. The pity is that the point finally had to be driven home not by church leaders but by Philadelphia prosecutors energized by a secret archive of predator priests that Monsignor Lynn compiled. He testified that the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered in 1994 that the file be shredded, but a copy survived.

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Insurance company sues Helena Diocese

MONTANA
Billings Gazette

By EVE BYRON Independent Record

HELENA — An insurance company has filed a federal lawsuit against the Helena-based Catholic Diocese of Montana, saying that the church is trying to make it cover some of the costs associated with defending former nuns and priests accused of child abuse in the 1930s through the 1970s.

In court documents, the Arrowood Indemnity Company said the diocese has sought a defense from a number of insurance companies in connection with two lawsuits filed in Lewis and Clark District Court. The insurance companies that sold general liability policies to the diocese have agreed to defend the church in those lawsuits.

The diocese also demanded a defense from Arrowood, saying that the company or one of its predecessors sold general liability insurance from 1940 through 1960 that provides coverage to the diocese for the abuse lawsuits, according to the documents.

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Clergy sex abuse case settlement

SPRINGFILED (MA)
WWLP

Published : Monday, 30 Jul 2012

Nicole Nalepa

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Thursday night, lawyers representing the Springfield Diocese and Andrew Nicastro came to a six figure settlement in a clergy sex abuse lawsuit.

41 year-old Nicastro said he was sexually abused as a child by Father Alfred Graves, a former priest in the Diocese. He claims there were others within the church’s system that did nothing to protect him.

But on Friday morning, the jury in his case was dismissed, and with his family beside him, Nicastro and his attorney announced that the case–which they had been fighting for for 3 years–was finally closed.

“I think it’s the first case in the last 8 years of clergy sex abuse cases that have been tried in Massachusetts….Based upon my personal knowledge it is among the highest settlement of these cases for an individual in Massachusetts,” said John Stobierski, Nicastro’s attorney.

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Bishop has vicarious liability for actions of priest

UNITED KINGDOM
The Irish Times

COURT OF APPEAL OF ENGLAND AND WALES JUDGMENT: JGE -v- Trustees of Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust

Neutral Citation Number EWCA Civ 938

Court of Appeal (Civil Division) of England and Wales

Judgment was delivered by Lord Justice Ward on July 12th, 2012; Lord Justice Davis concurring; Lord Justice Tomlinson dissenting.

Judgment

Although a priest is not an “employee” of a bishop, the relationship between a priest and his bishop is sufficiently close to that of an employee to mean the Bishop of Portsmouth was vicariously liable for the actions of a priest of the diocese who abused a child.

Background

The claimant in the case was born in 1963 and when she was six and a half spent two years in a children’s home run by nuns. Fr Wilfred Baldwin, the parish priest, regularly visited the children’s home where she alleged he abused her. She also claimed he raped her numerous times, including the day of her First Communion. She claimed the trustees of the diocese, who were the legal entity representing the Catholic church and the bishop, were vicariously liable, as the acts committed were connected with his carrying out his duties as a priest.

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Melinda Gates versus Benedict XVI: who’s more “like Christ”? Melinda Gates saves lives of 200 million women while Benedict XVI sits in out-of-touch-with-realit

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils…

Paris Arrow

When Melinda Gates travels to another country, she goes right into the heart of poverty stricken areas where she can personally hug the sick and take all the time in the world to speak with the poor and assess women’s plights so she can donate billions of dollars to alleviate and end their sufferings. When Benedict XVI travels, he wastes 100 million Euros in austerity stricken Spain for his personal security http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2011/08/anti-pope-protests-in-madrid-injure-11.html so he can perform the Eucharist Greatest Magic Show on Earth to reincarnate Jesus Christ into hundreds of thousands of pieces of invisible prime meat flesh in the flour Host to feed Catholics http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/06/international-eucharistic-congress-in.html and he dons on his unique papal robes to have photo –ops with royalties and he speaks only with wealthy people who can donate to the Vatican Bank and be papal assured of a prime real estate in Heaven

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Vatican Diary / The strange case of the new prelate of the IOR

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

His name has not been made known. He has not entered into service. But he was appointed eight months ago. The news is in the report by Moneyval. Together with dozens of other disclosures. Here is an anthology of them

VATICAN CITY, July 30, 2012 – There is one post, that of prelate of the Institute for Works of Religion, the Vatican “bank,” that has been vacant since, in 2010, the occupant at the time, Monsignor Piero Pioppo, former secretary of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, was made archbishop and sent as a nuncio to Africa, in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

But now we know that on December 1 of 2011, the commission of cardinals that oversees the IOR, headed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appointed the new prelate. The appointee, whose name has not been made known, has not yet begun his service.

We know this not because yet another confidential paper has escaped from the Vatican, but because the news is written in black and white in paragraph 76 of the voluminous report drafted by the inspectors of Moneyval and published last July 4.

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Sheboygan priest to be honored by abuse network for advocacy work

WISCONSIN
WSAU

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WSAU) – A Sheboygan priest will be honored today at a national gathering of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Father James Connell has become a strong advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse. He has criticized bishops and the church at large for the way the crisis was handled. He will receive the Millstone Award at a ceremony in Chicago. Connell has been working for the last two years with fellow priests in what is believed to be there first effort to pastor victims and help parishes heal the problems created by the abuse scandal.

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Promulgación Ley de Registro de Pedófilos

CHILE
Gobierno de Chile

[con video]

El Presidente Sebastián Piñera promulgó el proyecto de ley que crea inhabilidades para condenados por delitos sexuales contra menores y establece registro de dichas inhabilidades (Boletín N° 6952-07)

¿En qué consiste la ley?

La ley introduce modificaciones al Código Penal, creando inhabilidades para condenados por delitos que atentan contra la libertad e integridad sexual de menores de edad, y al Decreto Ley N° 645, estableciendo una sección especial en el Registro Nacional de Condenas denominada “inhabilitaciones para ejercer funciones en ámbitos educacionales o con menores de edad”.

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Nuevo cura acusado de abuso indagó en 2005 caso de violación

CHILE
Terra

El ex subdirector de El Pequeño Cottolengo de Santiago, el sacerdote Claudio Chávez, es el nuevo cura de la Iglesia Católica que enfrenta una acusación de abuso sexual.

La investigación a Chávez se sumó esta semana a la del religioso John O’Reilly, el capellán espiritual del Colegio Cumbres que se vio obligado a alejarse de su trabajo pastoral en ese establecimiento luego que una menor de seis años lo señalara como su supuesto agresor.

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John o´Reilly: Cuando me reuní con alumnas, lo hice en grupo

CHILE
Terra

Santiago.- El sacerdote John O’Reilly insistió en que las acusaciones en su contra por presunto abuso sexual sobre una alumna del Colegio Cumbres son “absolutamente falsas”, y afirmó que si se reunía con escolares lo hacía en lugares visibles.

En entrevista con “El Mercurio”, el rostro más conocido de Los Legionarios de Cristo, asegura que “toda vez que me reuní con alumnas, lo hice en grupos. Si se trataba de confesión o dirección espiritual, lo hice de un lugar perfectamente visible”.

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Ezzati respalda investigación de los Legionarios por denuncia de abusos

CHILE
La Tercera

por N. Ramos, J. Matus y P. Palma (Santiago)

El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, se refirió nuevamente ayer a la denuncia por supuestos abusos presentada contra el sacerdote legionario John O’Reilly, capellán del colegio Cumbres.

“Hay que esperar que de verdad se esclarezcan los hechos. Los padres de familias o muchos padres, piensan que el padre John es inocente y tenemos que esperar lo que diga el resultado de la investigación”, manifestó Ezzati.

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Crookston Times: Court rejects Adamson abuse case based on Keenan’s repressed memory

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[Video of press conference stream regarding Adamson cover-up and Supreme Court Ruling]

[6-29-1984 memo to Archbishop Roach from Bishop Carlson]

[7-9-1984 memo to Archbishop Roach from Bishop Carlson]

[4-19-1975 letter to Fr. Pierre from Bishop Watters]

Article: Doug Glass, Associated Press Crookston Daily Times

Minneapolis, Minn. —

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday tossed out a clergy abuse lawsuit by a man whose case rested on a repressed memory claim, siding with a lower court’s ruling that repressed memory is an unproven theory.

James Keenan sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, claiming that as a teenager he was sexually abused four times in 1980 or 1981 by Thomas Adamson, a priest who has since been defrocked.

Keenan brought his claim in 2006, well outside the state’s six-year statute of limitations, but argued that it should be allowed because he repressed memories of the abuse. A district court rejected that claim, but the state Court of Appeals revived it last year.

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Sheboygan priest honored by sex abuse survivors

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

July 28, 2012

A Sheboygan priest and former vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, who has become a vocal advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse, is being honored in Chicago on Sunday at a national gathering of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Father James Connell who has criticized bishops and the church at large for their handling of the sex abuse crisis, will receive the Millstone Award for his courage in speaking on behalf of survivors.

“I’m very honored, but I don’t feel as though I deserve an award,” Connell said by telephone from the three-day event, which has drawn about 200 survivors from around the country. “The whole tone of this conference is about hope,” he said, “and if accepting this helps that hope to grow, then I’m happy to do that.”

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Diocese’s Oops on Email Shows Real Reason It Refuses to Sell to Gay Couple

NORTHBRIDGE (MA)
Advocate

BY Lucas Grindley.

July 26 2012

Email can be tricky, as one Catholic Diocese in Massachusetts is learning.

The diocese was apparently trying to come up with some legal reason it refuses to sell a 44-bedroom mansion in Worcester to a gay couple who wanted to renovate it. But the back-and-forth over email was still appended to the bottom of the bogus explanation that eventually made its way to the couple, according to Worcester Telegram columnist Dianne Williamson.

“If you’re going to discriminate, you should cover your tracks,” Williamson wrote in jest in a column today, noting that what actually unfolded could be illegal.

A real estate broker for the diocese said in an email she sent to the couple, James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, that it had suddenly found “other plans” for the property.

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Gay Couple in Northbridge Refused Sale of Mansion Because Gay People Might Get Married There

NORTHBRIDGE (MA)
Bostinno

Today at 1:33 pm by Dave Eisenberg

James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, a gay couple in Northbridge offered $1 million for a 44-bedroom mansion owned by the Diocese of Worcester, which the diocese initially accepted according to the Worcester Telegram. They signed their offer, made a deposit and paid for a home inspection, the article adds. But now the diocese won’t sell to the couple.

They were told by the diocesan broker that the deal fell through because of financing. In the broker’s email to the couple, however, was also an accidentally attached email from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan, who oversees the sale of the diocesan property, which suggests there may have been another reason the couple couldn’t buy. Can you guess what it is?

“I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop,” Msgr. Sullivan wrote. “Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.”

Hey, Monsignor Sullivan. Gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts. You can’t use that as a reason to not sell to someone. It’s, like, against the law and stuff. Your cool hat doesn’t excuse you from being sanctimonious.

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Sacerdote John O’Reilly afirma que denuncia en su contra ‘es absolutamente falsa’

CHILE
Terra

El sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo y asesor espiritual del Colegio Cumbres, John O’Reilly, afirmó que “es absolutamente falsa”, la acusación en su contra de presunto abuso sexual a una escolar de ese establecimiento educacional, según un hecho denunciado por la familia de la alumna, la cual también llevó el caso a la Fiscalía Oriente.

O’Reilly formuló declaraciones al diario El Mercurio en respuesta a un cuestionario que le envió el periódico. “Soy inocente. Todos los miembros de la congregación y del Movimiento Regnum Christi conocen muy bien mi actuar”, manifestó el sacerdote en la entrevista que aparece este sábado.

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La hora más compleja de John O’Reilly

CHILE
La Tercera

GOLPEADO por la acusación de una apoderada del Colegio Cumbres como supuesto abusador de su hija, una niña de seis años, el sacerdote John O’Reilly, uno de los miembros más influyentes de la congregación de Los Legionarios de Cristo en Chile, enfrentó el martes pasado la disyuntiva más dramática de su vida: seguir esperando la evolución de un caso que podía agravarse con los días o tomar la ofensiva y judicializar la denuncia, para iniciar una investigación penal que le permitiera defenderse.

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Schweiz: Kirchliche Missbrauchs-Kommission wird neu aufgestellt

SCHWEIZ
kathweb

Bischof Morerod will Aufgabenbereich und personelle Ausstattung der diözesanen Kommission deutlich ausweiten

28.07.2012

Fribourg, 28.07.2012 (KAP) Der Bischof von Lausanne-Genf-Freiburg, Charles Morerod, will die Missbrauchs-Kommission seiner Diözese neu organisieren. Das Aufgabenfeld und die personelle Ausstattung der von Morerods Vorgänger, Bernard Genoud, bereits 2008 eingesetzte interdisziplinäre “Commission SOS prevention” soll deutlich ausgeweitet werden, teilte die schweizer katholische Nachrichtenagentur KIPA am Freitag mit.

Aufgabe der Kommission war es bisher, Informationen über sexuellen Missbrauch durch Priester zu sammeln, zu prüfen und schließlich der Diözesanleitung Bericht zu erstatten. Zukünftig soll die Kommission nach dem Willen Morerods personell aufgestockt werden und das Arbeitsfeld “interdiözesan” ausgeweitet werden.

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Australien: Kardinal Pell bedauert Suizid von Missbrauchsopfer

AUSTRALIEN
kathweb

Sydney, 28.07.2012 (KAP) Der Erzbischof von Sydney, Kardinal George Pell, hat mit Bedauern auf den Suizid eines Missbrauchsopfers reagiert. Zugleich wies er Forderungen nach einer staatlichen Kommission zur Aufklärung pädophiler Straftaten in der katholischen Kirche zurück, wie die Tageszeitung “The Australian” (Samstag) berichtete. Am Freitag war der Leichnam eines Mannes gefunden worden, der als 13-Jähriger von einem Priester mehrfach missbraucht worden war. In seinem Abschiedsbrief erklärte er laut dem Bericht, er empfinde “zu viel Leid”.

“Wir räumen ein, dass es Versagen gegeben hat, und wir arbeiten weiter daran, unseren Umgang mit den Opfern sowie ihren Vorwürfen und Sorgen fortzuentwickeln und zu verbessern”, erklärte Kardinal Pell in einer Stellungnahme. Indessen sehe er derzeit keine Notwendigkeit für eine landesweite Ermittlungskommission. “Aber wenn es eine gäbe, würden die katholischen Kirchenbehörden voll kooperieren.”

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USA: Weitere Verfahren wegen Missbrauchs

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Radio Vatikan

Die Erzdiözese Philadelphia kommt im Skandal um sexuell missbrauchte Jugendliche nicht zur Ruhe. Ein 56jähriger Priester wird jetzt wegen eines Übergriffs auf einen Ministranten im Jahr 1997 angeklagt. Ein weiteres Verfahren gegen einen anderen Priester will die Staatsanwaltschaft wieder aufnehmen. Sie geht insgesamt davon aus, dass es noch weitere Opfer sexueller Gewalt in der Erzdiözese Philadelphia gibt. Die laufenden Strafverfahren könnten noch mehr Betroffene ermutigen, sich bei den Behörden zu melden, erklärte der Generalstaatsanwalt. Einige Tage zuvor ist erstmals ein hochrangiger Geistlicher zu einer Freiheitsstrafe verurteilt worden, weil einer den sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch einen Priester gedeckt hatte.

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Köllerbach: Streit um Drohbriefe …

DEUTSCHLAND
Sol

Von SZ-Redakteur Norbert Freund

Köllerbach/Trier. Der Streit zwischen dem Bistum Trier und den Laiengremien der Köllerbacher Herz-Jesu-Gemeinde um den Umgang mit dem früheren Pfarrer Guido Johannes Ittmann hat einen neuen Höhepunkt erreicht.

Pfarrgemeinderat und Verwaltungsrat der Gemeinde rügen im aktuellen Pfarrbrief öffentlich die Bistumsleitung und den eingesetzten Pfarrverwalter Hans Maria Thul. Diese hätten den Pfarrgemeinderat und den Verwaltungsrat der Gemeinde nach dem Weggang von Ittmann nicht genug unterstützt und die Veröffentlichung von Dankesworten an Ittmann unterbunden. Ferner habe die Bistumsleitung damals einen „runden Tisch“ zur Entschärfung des Konflikts zwischen Ittmann und dem damaligen Völklinger Dechanten Klaus Leist abgelehnt. Darüber hinaus habe sie aktuell die Gemeindereferentin Therese Thewes gegen den Willen der Laiengremien versetzt. In dem Schreiben ist ferner von „zahlreichen Briefen“ der Gremien an den Trierer Bischof Stephan Ackermann die Rede.

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Chile expands child sex abuse probe to 127 schools

CHILE
The Malay Mail

Saturday, July 28, 2012
by AFP

Location:
SANTIAGO

CHILEAN authorities have expanded their probe into reports of child sex abuse to include more than 120 schools in the capital Santiago, double the number a week ago, officials said Friday.

“There are now 127 schools under investigation in the metropolitan region for complaints about offences that are sexual in nature,” prosecutor Sabas Chahuan said in a statement.

Last week, Chilean authorities had said 59 schools in Santiago were under investigation.

The most recent allegation is linked to John O’Reilly, an Irish Catholic priest and member of the Legionnaires of Christ who was suspended from the Colegio Cumbres school in the upscale Las Condes district of Santiago after a student’s family reported abuse.

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Fr. McCormick To Face Preliminary Hearing In August

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)

– A Philadelphia Archdiocesan priest now faces a preliminary hearing in August after being charged with the sexual assault of a 10 year old altar boy in Philadelphia in 1997.

The defense attorney says McCormick has pleaded NOT guilty during an arraignment and they look forward to defending against this 15-year-old set of facts.

The alleged victim came forward late last year and went to police.

Special Victim’s unit Captain John Darby says current events played a role in his decision.

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‘Plans’ don’t include sale to gay couple

NORTHBRIDGE (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Dianne Williamson
dwilliamson@telegram.com

It’s bad enough that the Catholic Church discriminates against gay people. But it’s poor form — and possibly illegal — to document the bigotry and then mistakenly email it to the victims.

This embarrassing etiquette lapse occurred as James Fairbanks and Alain Beret were pursuing the purchase of Oakhurst, a 44-bedroom mansion in Northbridge, owned by the Diocese of Worcester. Fairbanks and Beret had searched for two years for the perfect renovation project, and hoped to turn the run-down estate into a banquet facility. Previously, the pair had transformed mansions in Vermont and Barre into similar businesses.

“When we saw Oakhurst, we fell in love with it,” Beret said.

The asking price of $1.4 million was negotiated to $1 million. On May 18, the pair signed an offer to purchase with a $75,000 deposit. They paid $3,000 for a home inspection. They also met with various town boards, all of which expressed enthusiasm for the project because it would save the historic building from developers seeking to raze it. …

Speaking of reprehensible, Oakhurst is perhaps best known as the former House of Affirmation, a treatment home for pedophile priests, which closed amid scandal in the late 1980s. Ironically, Beret was willing to overlook that history; he’s a devout Christian who at one time studied for the priesthood.

“I have plenty of sins,” Beret said. “But being gay isn’t one of them. This is not a fight I wanted to pick. But for the sake of my dignity, I’m not walking away.”

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Exclusive: Gay Couple Says Church Is Blocking Sale Of Historic Home

NORTHBRIDGE (MA)
CBS Boston

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

WORCESTER (CBS) – Alain Beret has a vision. He wants to transform a neglected historic home, for sale by the Catholic Church, into a venue for weddings and functions.

He’s done it before and loves the character and the understated charm.

Alain and his partner Jim put in an offer for $1 million for the Oakhurst Retreat and Conference Center and say the Diocese of Worcester accepted it.

But, according to Beret, as they were doing their due diligence and pursuing normal negotiations, the Diocese abruptly stopped the sale.

Beret didn’t know what happened, until he began scrolling through an email between the brokers.

He noticed a message at the bottom of the thread from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan to his realtor.

It said:

“I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop. Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there….we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.”

We reached out to the Diocese of Worcester, but we were told Monsignor Sullivan was not able to respond to the story.

The Oakhurst Retreat and Conference Center was once the “House of Affirmation,” a treatment center for priests with psychological problems.

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Gay Couple Shunned By Church In Northbridge Property Deal

NORTHBRIDGE (MA)
Northbridge Daily Voice

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – A sign in front of the Sutton home of Alain Beret and James Fairbanks says it is for sale. They’d expected to move soon to the former Chester Whitin Lasell estate on Hill Street, oversee its restoration, and open the historic mansion to weddings and other public events.

Their dream was dashed when the property owner, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, backed out of the deal, and the couple believe it is because they are gay.

Beret said the diocese’s real estate broker sent them an email telling them their $75,000 deposit would be returned because the church wanted to pursue “other plans.’’

However, that email included a thread of messages, one from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan to the broker, which says: “I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop. Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.” …

The property most recently was being used by the church as a retreat. Prior to that it was the House of Affirmation where troubled priests were treated.

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Parishoners React To Arrest Of Former Pastor Accused Of Sex Abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Philly

[with video]

By Jenn Bernstein

SWEDESBURG, Pa. –

The Sacred Heart Church is nestled in the small tight-knit town of Swedesburg.

Tonight everyone is buzzing about the Sacred Heart Polish Festival, but the arrest of its former pastor, Reverend Andrew McCormick, last night on child sex assault charges, has many surprised and upset. That includes the church’s Holy Names Society President, Bernard Gutkowski.

“We just can’t believe it, a man like this, that we’ve known. He’s a great friend of ours,” said Gutkowski. He’s remaining supportive of McCormick and says the community is also. “We will stand by him 100 percent,” he said.

Gutkowski says the town’s been waiting for McCormick to return after he was suspended by the Archdiocese in March 2011. He was one of more than two dozen priests removed from the ministry after the Archdiocese said it was investigating past sexual abuse allegation

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Nearly 17 percent of sex offenders nationwide hide in plain sight, study says

UTAH
Deseret News

By Andrew Adams, Deseret News

Published: Friday, July 27 2012

RIVERTON — A new national study shows that nearly 1 in 6 convicted sex offenders have altered their identities and personal information. But Utah officials say the state has managed to buck that trend.

Preliminary results of the federally funded report out of Utica College found that 16.6 percent of sex offenders used aliases, stole identification, changed their names and moved without notifying proper authorities.

The Utah Department of Corrections says only 3 to 4 percent of the 7,000 registered sex offenders in Utah are out of compliance. That is down from 12 percent just four years ago.

One thing that makes the difference is officers pounding the pavement, Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said. Law enforcement officials make physical visits once a month to the homes of registered sex offenders to check up on their compliance.

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Pastor alleges sex abuse, sues Roman Catholic organizations for $3M

CANADA
The Record

WATERLOO — A local pastor is suing several Roman Catholic Church organizations for allegedly failing to protect him from being sexually abused by a priest in Waterloo more than three decades ago.

Michael Zenker says he was 11 years old when a priest at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Waterloo began abusing him. It lasted three years, he says.

The lawsuit’s statement of claim filed in a court in Hamilton, in August 2011, contains allegations that have not been proved in court.

According to the statement of claim Father Wilfrid Systerman, who is now dead, forced the boy into sexual acts including fondling, masturbation and oral sex.

Zenker, 43, who now lives in Elmira, says he met Systerman as a Record newspaper carrier delivering the paper to the St. Agnes church office.

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Area priest facing sex assault charges

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Leader

Sheena DeLazio – sdelazio@timesleader.com – 570-970-7235 – Twitter: @TLSheenaDeLazio

A Diocese of Scranton priest who was once assigned to several parishes in Luzerne County, including a Catholic high school, will face 32 charges in Tioga County Court on allegations of sexually assaulting an altar boy.

The Rev. Thomas P. Shoback, 60, of Wilkes-Barre, appeared Wednesday at a preliminary hearing before District Judge James E. Carlson in Mansfield.

After a hearing that included testimony from the victim in the case, Carlson forwarded all 32 charges, which include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, endangering the welfare of children and indecent assault, to county court.

Shoback, who was charged in June, will next appear for a formal arraignment before a Tioga County judge on Aug. 20. Shoback remains free on $35,000 bail and is represented by attorney Christopher T. Powell, Jr., of Scranton.

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US priest charged after accuser, prompted by Penn State case, emerges

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Chicago Tribune

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA, July 27 (Reuters) – A Roman Catholic priest been charged with the 1997 sexual assault of an altar boy, who was emboldened to come forward by the high-profile prosecutions of Monsignor William Lynn and former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, authorities sai d on Friday.

The arrest of suspended priest Andrew McCormick, 56, who a prosecutor said “had a pattern of grooming altar boys,” capped a tumultuous week for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the sixth
largest in the nation with 1.5 million members.

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Suspended Philly priest is charged with sexual assault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O’Reilly and Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writers

One of 26 Roman Catholic priests suspended from ministry last year for possible child misconduct has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in a Northeast Philadelphia church in 1997.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick, 56, was arrested at his parents’ Pottstown home Thursday night. He was ordered held on $150,000 bail at an arraignment Friday.

District Attorney Seth Williams said at a news conference that McCormick had started “grooming” the boy in the fall of 1997, while serving at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg, and sexually assaulted him that December. He said it appeared that the priest had groomed a number of altar boys there, and he urged any other abuse victims to come forward.

At the time of his suspension in March 2011, McCormick was pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Bridgeport, Montgomery County. He had previously served at St. Adalbert’s in Northeast Philadelphia and St. Bede in Holland, Bucks County.

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