ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

July 27, 2012

Clergy sex abuse lawsuit settled against Bishops Dupre & Maguire

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WWLP

Anthony Fay

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man who claims that he was sexually abused by a western Massachusetts priest has settled a lawsuit against two bishops he says did nothing to protect him. His lawyers say damages in the suit are described as being a “substantial six figure sum.”

According to a news release sent to 22News by the law firm Stobierski & Stobierski, their client, Andrew Nicastro settled his lawsuit against former Bishops Thomas Dupre and Joseph Maguire on Thursday evening.

The settlement comes less than a week after the start of a civil trial against Dupre and Maguire at Hampden County Superior Court.

Nicastro says that as a child, he was sexually abused by now-defrocked priest Fr. Alfred Graves.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Priest to face abuse charges in Tioga court

PENNSYLVANIA
Standard Speaker

By Cheryl R. Clarke (Williamsport Sun-Gazette)

Published: July 27, 2012

MANSFIELD – The priest from Wilkes-Barre who was suspended from his duties last fall for allegedly sexually assaulting an altar boy in Tioga County will face the charges in county court.

The Rev. Thomas P. Shoback, 60, is charged with three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two counts of indecent assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, one of corruption of minors and two counts of indecent assault.

The charges are in connection with the alleged multiple sexual assaults between February 1991 and February 1997, against the victim, now 32, who was an altar boy at St. Mary’s Parish Rectory in Blossburg, Tioga County, where the Rev. Shoback was pastor.

The victim testified Thursday at a preliminary hearing that the Rev. Shoback began abusing him when he was 11 or 12 years old and that the abuse would happen three out of four Sundays each month when he stayed after Mass to help count the collection. He said he felt compelled to tell what had happened to him after the Jerry Sandusky scandal erupted “because it was the right thing to do and he didn’t want it to happen to another kid.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Sex abuse sinister and serious: Cardinal

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jared Owens
From:The Australian
July 28, 2012

CARDINAL George Pell last night issued a statement condemning child sex abuse, following the apparent suicide of a 45-year-old man who was repeatedly abused as a teenager by a priest.

Police yesterday discovered John Pirona’s remains in his car at Tomago, outside Newcastle, five days after he left a note for his wife, Tracey, and disappeared.

Mr Pirona, a firefighter, was repeatedly assaulted by a priest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in 1979, when he was aged 13.

The NSW courts have established he was sexually assaulted years after the school’s principal and Maitland-Newcastle bishop Leo Clarke, now deceased, became aware the priest had assaulted other boys.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Sussex priest and organist deny child sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A Church of England priest and an organist have denied charges relating to alleged sexual abuse of two young boys in West Sussex in the late 1980s.

Father Wilkie Denford, 77, of Shoreham, pleaded not guilty to four charges of indecently assaulting a boy under 16.

Michael Mytton, 68, from East Chiltington, East Sussex pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting an alleged assault on a boy in Cuckfield.

Both were bailed at Lewes Crown Court to await trial on 10 December.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Abuse victim’s last sad words

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

BY JOANNE MCCARTHY

28 Jul, 2012

LOU Pirona is a father who must live with the awful sadness of his son’s last words.

“When I was young I was frightened. When I went to school I was bullied and abused by people who should have been nurturing and guiding me.”

The body of John Pirona, 45, of Belmont North, was found in a car at Tomago yesterday morning, five days after leaving the letter his family had always feared, which ended with the words “Too much pain”.

A victim of a notorious Hunter paedophile priest in 1979 when he was 12, John Pirona was sexually assaulted at least one year after both the school principal, Father Tom Brennan, and the late Maitland-Newcastle bishop Leo Clarke were told the priest was a sex offender.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Clergy Sex Abuse Trial Settled for $500K

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WGGB

By Ryan Trowbridge

July 27th, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A Williamstown man settles his civil suit against two Springfield bishops.

The $500,000 settlement was announced Friday morning at Hampden County Superior Court.

It was emotional testimony during the trial that Attorney John Stobierski says accelerated discussions of a settlement in Andrew Nicastro’s civil suit against Springfield bishops Thomas Dupre and Joseph Maguire.

Nicastro says he was abused 30 years ago by now defrocked priest Alfred Graves .

He sued the bishops because he said they were in supervisory positions and should have prevented the abuse he suffered.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 27 July 2012 (VIS) – The Holy Father:

– Appointed Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, U.S.A., as archbishop of San Francisco (area 6,023, population 1,866,000, Catholics 448,000, priests 408, permanent deacons 78, religious 854), U.S.A. He succeeds Archbishop George H. Niederauer, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

POPE RECEIVES THE COMMISSION OF CARDINALS INVESTIGATING LEAKING OF DOCUMENTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 27 July 2012 (VIS) – “Yesterday morning 26 July, the Holy Father received in audience the Commission of Cardinals which is undertaking the administrative investigation into the leaking of reserved information: Cardinal Julian Herranz, Cardinal Jozef Tomko and Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi. The cardinals were accompanied by Fr. Luigi Martignani O.F.M. Cap., secretary of the Commission; Examining Magistrate Piero Antonio Bonnet, and Promoter of Justice Nicola Picardi of the Tribunal of Vatican City State”, according to a communique released this morning by the Holy See Press Office.

“The Holy Father was informed about the conclusions reached by the Commission of Cardinals, and about the progress of the criminal procedures currently underway. He thanked them for the information he had received and invited the Vatican magistrates to proceed expeditiously.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Pope hosts top-level meeting on leaks in Vatican

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 27, 2012
By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Although technically on vacation, Pope Benedict XVI hosted a top-level meeting of Vatican officials involved in investigating and responding to the leak of Vatican documents.

The meeting Thursday included the commission of cardinals appointed to conduct an administrative review of Vatican offices and procedures, as well as the judges involved in the criminal case against the pope’s personal assistant. The meeting also included the head of the Vatican police and representatives of the Vatican secretariat of state, said Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

Greg Burke, the former U.S. journalist appointed by the pope to advise the Vatican secretary of state on communications strategy, also participated, he said.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

The Catholic Church’s Vatileaks scandal: A guide

VATICAN CITY
The Week

A series of embarrassing leaks has exposed conspiracies, corruption, backstabbing, and bitter rivalries within the Catholic Church’s hierarchy

posted on July 27, 2012,

What is the scandal about?
A steady stream of leaked documents since the beginning of the year has revealed the Holy See to be an unholy nest of conspiracies, backstabbing, and ambition. “Vatileaks,” as the scandal has been dubbed, has smashed the Vatican’s code of silence to reveal a long-standing tradition of bitter rivalries and corruption. The leaks point to at least three shadowy, interlocking plots: an anonymous campaign to undermine Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state and Pope Benedict XVI’s top deputy; a struggle over the future of the Vatican bank; and an effort by Italian cardinals to gain more influence over the choice of Benedict’s successor. “This is a power struggle,” said Notre Dame theology professor Lawrence Cunningham. “People are leaking information to the press to discredit one person or another.”

Who is doing the leaking?
The sole official suspect is the pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, 46, who was arrested in May after he was found with stolen papal documents; held for months in a small cell at the Vatican, he was granted house arrest last week. His lawyer insists Gabriele acted alone, but the leaks have continued since his detention. The real culprits are suspected to be disgruntled prelates inside the Vatican bureaucracy, or Curia, who view Bertone as an obstacle to church reform. The 77-year-old cardinal, a longtime ally of the current pope, has consolidated his power by promoting former associates from his native region of Piedmont to influential posts; they now include the governor of the Vatican City State, the head of the Vatican treasury, and the Holy See’s top bank regulator. There are growing rumors that the health of the 85-year-old Benedict is failing, feeding suspicion that Bertone’s ultimate goal is to gain control over the next papal conclave — the meeting of the College of Cardinals that selects the pope.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Springfield Bishop Emeritus Joseph Maguire statement…

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Springfield Bishop Emeritus Joseph Maguire statement: Andrew Nicastro and family ‘suffered greatly’ from ‘terrible’ clergy abuse

By Buffy Spencer, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield on Friday released a “statement from Bishop Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire” after Andrew Nicastro settled his civil lawsuit against Maguire and another past bishop.

Maguire said, “Today’s settlement I hope will bring some measure of healing to Andrew Nicastro and his family. Sadly they have suffered greatly by this terrible abuse. Although I intend on writing them personally to express my sincere sorrow, I also wish to make this statement which in some ways represents what I would have testified to in court.”

Nicastro announced Friday that a $500,000 settlement has been reached in the suit against Maguire and the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre. Nicastro, of Williamstown, said the two former bishops knew now-defrocked priest Alfred Graves had molested two boys in 1976 but allowed him to keep serving as a priest.

Maguire said, “I am truly sorry for all that Mr. Nicastro suffered and the hardships it has brought in his life.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Andrew Nicastro announces $500,000 settlement in civil lawsuit against two former Springfield bishops

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By Buffy Spencer, The Republican

UPDATE, 1 p.m.: Bishop Emeritus Maguire issues statement, says Andrew Nicastro and family “suffered greatly” from “terrible” clergy abuse

Read the story

SPRINGFIELD – Andrew Nicastro announced today that a $500,000 settlement has been reached in his civil lawsuit against two former bishops of the Springfield Catholic Diocese.

John Stobierski, Nicastro’s lawyer said discussions of a settlement began two weeks ago and accelerated last night after “emotional testimony” from Nicastro, his wife, and his father over the last few days in Hampden Superior Court.

Lawyers for the two bishops, the Most Rev. Bishop Joseph M. Maguire and the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre, had unsuccessfully tried to have the case dismissed previously on the grounds the statute of limitations had expired by the time the suit was filed.

Nicastro, of Williamstown, said the two former bishops knew now defrocked priest Alfred Graves had molested two boys in 1976 but allowed him to keep serving as a priest.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Oakland bishop, noted Prop 8 backer, replaces former Utahn Niederauer in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Sean Maher
| Contra Costa Times

San Francisco • Oakland’s bishop, Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, will become the archbishop of San Francisco, making him perhaps the highest profile opponent of same-sex marriage in a city renowned for its support for gay rights.

Cordileone, 56, was appointed to the new job by Pope Benedict XVI to replace retiring Archbishop

A San Diego native, Cordileone was installed as Oakland’s bishop in May, 2009. His time in the East Bay “has given him a deep understanding of the radically diverse cultural composition of the Bay Area and a dedication to multicultural ministry,” church spokesman George Wesolek said.

At a news conference Friday morning at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, Cordileone accepted the position with a speech he repeated in English and Spanish

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Philly priest charged with 1997 sexual assault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
San Francisco Chronicle

MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

Updated 01:56 p.m., Friday, July 27, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia priest suspended last year has been charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in a church rectory.

Prosecutors say the Rev. Andrew McCormick molested the boy in 1997 in Northeast Philadelphia.

The 56-year-old McCormick is one of about two dozen priests suspended last year after a grand jury report alleged that accused priests were still in ministry.

McCormick was arrested late Thursday. Defense lawyer William Brennan says he expects McCormick to post the $150,000 bail and fight the charges.

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UPDATED: Settlement reached in civil trial of bishops

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Father Bill Pomerleau

SPRINGFIELD – Andrew Nicastro, a Williamstown man who was abused by former priest Alfred F. Graves from 1982 to 1985, agreed to a $500,000 settlement with Springfield Bishop Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire and former Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupré on July 27.

The agreement, which was worked out late July 26, ended a dramatic trial which featured emotional testimony by Nicastro, his family members and two priests who testified to the harm caused by the Graves.

“The testimony was compelling,” said John Stobierski, Nicastro’s principal attorney. Speaking at a press briefing on the steps of the Hampden County Hall of Justice after the trial, Stobierski said that while he was confident that his client was winning his case in the trial, other factors persuaded him to settle out-of-court.

“We were warned that, even if we won, we would have faced two more barriers. First, they (the bishops) would have appealed. Second, even if we won on appeal, we would have had to sue their insurance companies to actually receive any money. That process might have taken another three to five years,” Stobierski said.

“I can’t comment on what cynics might say,” Stobierski responded when asked what he would say to someone who suggested that the case was actually about money. He said that the case not only brought justice to his client, but also might give other abuse victims the courage to come forward to tell their stories.

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Ihr seid nicht die Einzigen!

DEUTSCHLAND
MissBiT

Nachdem sich inzwischen auf vielfältige Weise bestätigt hat, dass das Bistum Trier den Begriff einer “ehrlichen Aufklärung” weitaus anders definiert als wir Betroffenen, möchten wir alle Opfer, Betroffene und Zeugen sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier dazu ermutigen, ihr Schweigen zu brechen und sich entweder mit “MissBiT” oder “schafsbrief.de” in Verbindung zu setzen.

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Köllerbacher Gläubige rebellieren gegen Bischof

DEUTSCHLAND
Saarbrucker Zeitung

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. Bereits vor dessen Amtsverzicht habe die Bistumsleitung 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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Pfarrgemeinderat greift Trierer Bischof in Missbrauchs-Affäre an

DEUTSCHLAND
MissBiT

Köllerbach. Der Streit im Bistum Trier um Drohbriefe gegen den früheren Köllerbacher Pfarrer Guido Ittmann eskaliert immer mehr. Pfarrgemeinderat und Verwaltungsrat der Gemeinde rügen im Pfarrbrief Bischof Stephan Ackermann und seinen Pfarrverwalter Hans Maria Thul. Sie werfen der Bistumsleitung indirekt vor, Ittmann und Gläubige im Stich gelassen zu haben, als diese einer “Mobbing-Kampagne” ausgesetzt gewesen seien. Pfarrer Ittmann hatte Missbrauchsfälle angezeigt.

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Brighton priest sent for trial on child sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Brighton and Hove News

A priest who worked in Brighton and Hove has been sent for trial on charges of sexually abusing two boys more than 20 years ago.

Father Wilkie Denford, 77, of Broad Reach Mews, Shoreham, is due to stand trial at Lewes Crown Court on Monday 10 December.

He appeared at Mid Sussex Magistrates’ Court in Haywards Heath where he was bailed until his trial, having denied four charges of indecently assaulting a boy under 16.

Church organist Michael Mytton, 68, of South Road, East Chiltington, near Ditchling, will join him on trial. Mytton denies one charge of aiding and abetting Denford.

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Suspended priest charged with molesting boy, 10

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Catholic priest who was removed from his Montgomery County parish in March, 2011, has been charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in a Northeast Philadelphia church in 1997.

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

Law enforcement officials there may be more possible victims and urged them to come forward.

District Attorney Seth Williams said McCormick “groomed” a number of altar boys when he served at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.

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Montco Priest Charged With Sexual Assault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philly

A Priest in Montgomery County in under arrest for an alleged sexual assault.

The charges against Father Andrew McCormick stem from a sexual assault committed in 1997.

Sources tell Fox 29 that the priest and the victim were a part of the same church in Philadelphia at the time of the abuse.

The victim was 10-years old at the time of the incident.

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Massachusetts bishops settle lawsuit brought by abuse victim

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Catholic Culture

Two former bishops of Springfield, Massachusetts, have settled a sex-abuse lawsuit, 3 days after the case came to trial.

Bishops Joseph Maguire and Thomas Dupre reportedly agreed to pay $500,000 to Andrew Nicastro, who said that he was molested in the 1970s by Alfred Graves, a priest of the Springfield diocese who has subsequently been laicized. Nicastro charged that both bishops were aware of previously sex-abuse charges against Graves, yet continued to give him parish assignments.

Bishop Maguire issued a statement through the Springfield diocese, saying: “Today’s settlement, I hope, will bring some measure of healing to Andrew Nicastro and his family.” He expressed regret for not having taken action earlier against Graves, saying that he did not understand “the true nature of one who violated our trust with such devastating harm to his victims.”

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Philly Priest Arrested for Alleged Sexual Assault: Police

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

By Lauren DiSanto

| Friday, Jul 27, 2012

Father Andrew McCormick has been arrested for an alleged sexual assault. He was taken into police custody late Thursday night after accusations that he sexually assaulted an altar boy in 1997.

McCormick was a pastor at St. John Cantius Church in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia at the time of the alleged assault.

He’s being held at Philadelphia Police headquarters.

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Philly priest charged with 1997 sexual assault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Times Online

Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012

Associated Press

A Philadelphia priest suspended last year has been charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy.

Prosecutors accuse the Rev. Andrew McCormick molested the boy in 1997 while assigned to a Northeast Philadelphia parish.

McCormick is one of about two dozen priests suspended last year after a grand jury report that found priests accused of abuse were still in ministry.

The 56-year-old McCormick is in custody after surrendering Thursday. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer. Bail has been set at $150,000.

McCormick has been on leave from Sacred Heart in Swedesburg, Montgomery County, since March 2011.

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Church royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Editorial

CATHOLIC Bishop Bill Wright of Maitland-Newcastle is to be congratulated for daring to publicly support a formal inquiry into priestly abuse.

It is no easy matter for a senior clergyman, embedded in a church hierarchy under intense pressure over seemingly endless allegations of criminal abuse, to offer even guarded support for a course of action that seems certain to result in serious recriminations against his own organisation.

Bishop Wright’s acknowledgement of the need for a thorough external inquiry suggests a recognition that the issue has an inevitable momentum that can no longer be credibly resisted.

The heartbreaking discovery yesterday of the body of abuse victim John Pirona has seared the hearts of thousands of Hunter people, adding powerfully to the groundswell of support for a royal commission into priestly abuse.

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San Francisco archbishop retires; Bishop Cordileone to succeed him

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco and named Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., to succeed him.

The appointment and resignation were announced in Washington July 27 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop Niederauer, 76, had headed the San Francisco Archdiocese since 2005. A priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, he also served as bishop of Salt Lake City for 10 years.

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Pope calls for speed in deciding butler’s fate

VATICAN CITY
AFP

ROME — The pope has called on Holy See investigators to proceed quickly with their inquiry into a former butler for his role in the Vatican leaks scandal.

The decision over whether Paolo Gabriele should face trial will be made on August 6 or 7, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Friday.

The pontiff’s former butler, Gabriele is the sole suspect behind the leaked documents, which revealed an atmosphere of intrigue at the Vatican and a power struggle centring around the powerful Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

Pope Benedict XVI met the examining magistrate on the case Thursday “to hear the progress of the criminal procedures underway,” and “invited the Vatican magistrates to proceed expeditiously,” the Holy See said in a statement.

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Another Philadelphia priest facing sexual assault charges

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

July 27, 2012
By Tom MacDonald

A former Philadelphia Archdiocese priest is facing charges of sexually assaulting one of his altar boys.

Captain John Darby of Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit says the now 25 year old came forward to police recently to say that former parish priest Andrew McCormick abused him in 1997. Darby says the boy was just 10 years old then and McCormick was working at St. John Cantius parish in the Bridesburg neighborhood.

“He was a parishioner he was a student at St John Cantius and he was an altar boy and it was in those conditions he was brought to the presence of Andrew McCormick and contacts began,” said Darby. “Where inside the rectory of St John Cantius, sexual contact was made.”

District Attorney Seth Williams says he wants victims of abuse to feel comfortable calling the police.

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Retired Priest Speaks Out On Alleged Child Abuse, Church Cover Up

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A retired Winona priest is coming forward after allegations of child abuse were tossed out by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Retired Fr. James Edward Fitzpatrick of Diocese of Winona says he knew for decades his church had covered up allegations of abuse by victims.

“It’s a matter of conscience,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s been bothering me for years.”

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Bishop backs inquiry into sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Will Ockenden

Updated July 27, 2012

A senior member of Australia’s Catholic Church says he would support a public inquiry into the church’s handling of sexual assaults by priests.

The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright, says it is up to governments to work out which issues need investigating.

Over the past 50 years the Hunter Valley has seen scores of people reporting cases of sexual assault by priests.

One Catholic priest was convicted and jailed several years ago after sexually abusing 39 schoolboys aged from five to 16 years old over nearly 20 years.

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Former youth minister to be sentenced for sex crimes

ALABAMA
Montgomery Advertiser

A former youth minister facing charges in Madison and Cullman counties in connection with sex crimes against children is due to be sentenced July 31 for similar crimes in Elmore County, Attorney General Luther Strange announced Thursday.

John A. Astorga, 37, of Wetumpka was convicted of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse April 11 in Elmore County Circuit Court. During the trial, three victims testified, as did the pastor of Bethel Assembly of God in Wetumpka, where Astorga worked, according to the AG’s office.

At his July 31 sentencing, Astorga will face a penalty of one year and one day to 10 years in prison for each of the two counts, which are class C felonies, a news release from Strange’s office states. State law also requires him to register as a convicted sex offender and to abide by community notification requirements of state law.

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Breach of duty

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Toledo Blade

Editorial

The watchman didn’t watch. That’s why Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia was sentenced this week to 3 to 6 years in prison.

Lynn failed to protect the safety of children in his Catholic archdiocese for the dozen years he was secretary to Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. It was his job to make parish assignments and investigate sex-abuse claims against priests.

Last month, Lynn, 61, was found guilty of turning a blind eye to the predations of Edward Avery, a former parish priest who pleaded guilty to charges of sexually assaulting an altar boy in 1999. Lynn was told by a medical student in 1992 that Avery had molested him in the 1970s.

Lynn reassigned Avery to a parish that knew nothing of his history, and made no report to civil authorities. The molester was finally defrocked six years ago, but he didn’t confess his crime to authorities until March of this year.

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Man abused as a child by pedophile priest found dead in car

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

A MAN who as a child was abused by a pedophile priest has been found dead in his car after the pain became “just too much for him”, his wife says.

The body of John Pirona, 45, was discovered by police in a car at Tomago near Newcastle early today, nearly a week after his wife Tracey last saw him on Saturday night.

Ms Pirona said she alerted police to his disappearance after finding a letter that spoke of the pain he felt being linked to a pedophile priest and of his wish “to go nobly”.

“The pain was just too much for him,” Ms Pirona said.

“He felt like his children were better off without him.”

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Tragic end for ‘too much pain’ husband

AUSTRALIA
Launceston Times

The body of John Pirona, a victim of one of the Hunter’s most notorious paedophile priests, has been found at Tomago.

John Pirona, 45, of Valentine, was last seen by his wife in Belmont North last Saturday night.

Police attached to Lake Macquarie Local Area Command found the body of Mr Pirona in a car in the early hours of this morning. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

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Women purged of court contempt during priest’s trial

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

Published on Friday 27 July 2012

A Derry woman and a woman from Culdaff appeared in court in Belfast this week on contempt of court proceedings relating to an outburst at the trial of Fr. Eugene Boland, in Derry last month.

Sarah Kerrigan, from Patrick Street, Derry and Michelle Ruddy, from Larraghirrel, Culdaff, who were described as “close friends” of Fr Boland found themselves accused of contempt after they cheered and clapped when Fr Boland from Killyclogher Road, Omagh, was cleared of indecently assaulting a 14 year-old girl 20 years ago.

Describing the women as “close associates and friends” of Fr. Boland, Brian McCartney QC, defending, told Belfast Crown Court the women had been caught up in the heat of the moment and ‘by the intensity of feelings’ during the cleric’s trial.

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Report: Charges pending against Upper Merion priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Main Line

Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012

UPPER MERION — Criminal charges were pending against an unnamed priest at Sacred Heart Church on Thursday evening, Fox 29 News reported on Thursday afternoon.

The pending charges are related to an alleged sexual assault that took place in the 1990s, according to the news report.

Neither Philadelphia police, Upper Merion police nor Fox 29 News have identified the priest. The Times Herald has not independently confirmed that a priest has been charged. Fox 29 had earlier tweeted that a priest had been arrested but that tweet has since been removed.

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Prosecutors side with SNAP in Mo. records case

MISSOURI
NECN

[Amicus by prosecutors backing the writ – SNAP]

Jul 27, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Several prosecutors are siding with the 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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Victim, former priest accuse Archbishop Carlson of child abuse cover-up

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK

[with video]

By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter

St. Louis (KSDK) – A victim of child abuse in the 1980s and a former priest made stunning allegations Thursday regarding St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson.

The allegations center on Archbishop Carlson playing an active role in the cover-up of child sex abuse cases when he worked in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis.

Since his installation in 2009, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has painted Archbishop Carlson as a staunch protector of children from abusive priests.

But Thursday, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Jim Keenan lashed out at Archbishop Carlson who was a bishop at the time Keenan was abused by his parish priest. The abuse allegedly occurred in the 1980s.

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Lawsuit claims sex abuse at Malvern Prep

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By PATTI MENGERS
pmengers@delcotimes.com

Two days after a Philadelphia judge sentenced a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to jail for enabling a pedophile priest, a Delaware County man filed a civil suit Wednesday against the archdiocese and Malvern Preparatory School for allegedly not protecting him from a sexually abusive cleric who taught there.

Also named in the lawsuit, filed by Chester County attorney Daniel F. Monahan in Philadelphia, were the religious Order of St. Augustine and John R. Liggio, the Augustinian priest who allegedly assaulted the plaintiff in 1997 and 1998 when he was a student at the 170-year-old private Catholic boys’ school for grades 6 through 12 in Chester County.

“He did so by using physical, intellectual, moral, emotional and psychological force. The abuse began as compelled touching in Malvern Prep bathrooms where Liggio followed the plaintiff and isolated him. It progressed to sexual contact at Liggio’s residence on campus,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff is identified only as “an adult male individual less than 30 years of age and a citizen and resident of Delaware County in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” because he was a minor when he was an alleged victim of sex crimes.

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Supervisors finally paying the price of sexual abuse cover-ups

UNITED STATES
Wicked Local Newton

Marjorie Arons-Barron

Recently, a Philadelphia church official, Msgr. William Lynn, was sentenced to three to six years in prison on one felony child endangerment charge for covering up sexual abuse by the now laicized priest, Edward Avery, whom he supervised. Lynn was acquitted of conspiracy and a second endangerment count involving a second priest, on whom the jury deadlocked. The concern underlying the charges and conviction was Lynn’s apparent shielding of predatory priests, protecting them from public scrutiny by reassigning them to different parishes, and lying to spare the Church’s reputation from scandal. He had a responsibility in those three areas under both secular and canon law. Msgr. Lynn mounted a defense saying he was obeying orders from his own supervisor, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia and a canonist, who died earlier this year. Meanwhile, Cardinal Bevilacqua’s successor, Cardinal Justin Regali, failed to provide material relevant to the scandal to his own review board.

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Former Diocese of Winona priest …

MINNESOTA
LaCrosse Tribune

Former Diocese of Winona priest describes encounter with bishop, concerns about Adamson abuse

By Jerome Christenson Winona Daily News

WINONA, Minn. — A former priest of the Diocese of Winona said Thursday he was literally shown the door when he told Bishop Edward Fitzgerald that the Rev. Thomas Adamson was sexually abusing boys in Caledonia, Minn.

Jim Fitzpatrick, a Caledonia native and priest for the diocese from 1963 to 1973, said he was assigned to the Winona Cathedral and Cotter High School when parents from his hometown came to Winona to ask what he could do about what Adamson was doing to boys in Caledonia.

Fitzpatrick said he would talk with the bishop, but when he went to Fitzgerald and related what the parents told him about their sons and about 15 other boys, Fitzgerald told him he would deal with his priests and showed him out of his office.

Fitzpatrick described his encounter with the bishop in a news conference Thursday in St. Paul. Fitzpatrick was to be a witness in the case brought against the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona by James Keenan, claiming he had in 1980-81 been sexually abused by Adamson and that church officials had been aware of Adamson’s history of child sexual abuse.

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Paedophile priest victim found dead in car

AUSTRALIA
TVNZ

Published: 8:08PM Friday July 27, 2012

A man who as a child was abused by a paedophile priest has been found dead in his car after the pain became “just too much for him”, his wife says.

The body of John Pirona, 45, was discovered by police in a car at Tomago near Newcastle in the early hours of Friday morning, nearly a week after his wife Tracey last saw him on Saturday night.

Ms Pirona said she alerted police to his disappearance after finding a letter that spoke of the pain he felt being linked to a paedophile priest and of his wish “to go nobly”.

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July 26, 2012

Lawyers suggest different portraits of abuse victim’s mental health

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Father Bill Pomerleau
SPRINGFIELD – Different portraits of the effects that Alfred F. Grave’s sexual abuse had on Andrew Nicastro, and his later motivations in

launching a 2009 lawsuit, were the subject of contentious questioning July 26 in the civil trial of Springfield Bishop Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire and former Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupré.

Nicastro, of Williamstown, alleges that the bishops acted negligently by returning the former priest to ministry with insufficient supervision after they knew that he had a history of abusing boys in other parishes.

John J. Egan, Bishop Maguire’s attorney, began his cross-examination of Nicastro by suggesting that the now 41-year-old had told others about his abuse several years ago – this time using a document prepared by Nicastro himself with the help of his attorney, John Stobierski.

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Catholic Bishop says public inquiry into paedophile priests needed

AUSTRALIA
ABC – AM

Will Ockenden reported this story on Friday, July 27, 2012

TONY EASTLEY: A senior member of Australia’s Catholic Church says he’d support a public inquiry into the Church’s handling of sexual assaults by priests.

The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Bill Wright says it’s up to governments to work out which issues need investigating.

Will Ockenden reports.

WILL OCKENDEN: Over the past 50 years the Hunter Valley has seen scores of people reporting cases of sexual assault by priests.

One Catholic priest was convicted and jailed several years ago after sexually abusing 39 schoolboys aged from five to 16 years old over nearly 20 years.

The Bishop Bill Wright released a statement on his view on how sexual assault should be investigated.

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SNAP asks Missouri court to stop order for documents

MISSOURI
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 26, 2012
By Joshua J. McElwee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The leading advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to quash a local judge’s ruling for the group to grant access to more than 23 years of internal documents to attorneys who represent accused priests in the state, saying the order violates the confidentiality of abuse victims.

The request, formally known as a “writ of prohibition,” is the latest step by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in a months-long saga over access to the documents.

Twenty-two victims’ advocacy and church reform groups and six former and current local, state and federal prosecutors have also asked the court to intervene in the matter, saying the order could lead to further victimization and ultimately “intimidate, harass, and silence victims of sexual abuse.”

The requests stem from Jackson County, Mo., Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle’s order July 17 to SNAP in a case concerning a Kansas City priest accused of abuse. The case, in which SNAP is not a party, made headlines in January when it became the first in which one of the group’s leaders was ordered to provide testimony.

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Rafael Venegas, St. Anne’s Santa Monica Priest, Investigated For Sex Crime

SANTA MONICA (CA)
LA Weekly

By Dennis Romero
Thu., Jul. 26 2012

Santa Monica police today said they’re checking out a local priest after a woman came forward and alleged he sexually assaulted her.

If so (and, for the record, it ain’t so, at least not yet), it wouldn’t be too surprising. Church and the Tiki theater in Hollywood, apparently, are where all the sex crimes go down these days.

The man of the cloth under scrutiny was named as Rafael Venegas. He works at …

… St. Anne’s Church, 2017 Colorado Ave.

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Father of alleged clergy sexual abuse victim Andrew Nicastro, testifies of implicit trust in priests

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By Buffy Spencer, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD – Anthony Nicastro testified Thursday he took his son and daughter to church when they were young because he wanted them to get some moral direction in addition to what they got at home.

He said he never worried about his son Andrew Nicastro’s interactions as an altar boy with now defrocked priest Alfred Graves, the family’s pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Williamstown.

“I had implicit faith and trust in priests,” said Anthony Nicastro, who said he went to parochial school and Catholic high school in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Anthony Nicastro, a “semi-retired” professor at Williams College and North Adams State College, said he never knew Graves had sexually assaulted his son Andrew Nicastro over a period of about three years starting when the boy was about 11 years old.

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Sexual Battery Investigation

SANTA MONICA (CA)
Santa Monica Police Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2012
Contact: Richard Lewis, Sergeant
Phone: 310.458.8462
e-mail: richard.lewis@smgov.net

The Santa Monica Police Department is currently investigating an allegation of sexual battery against Rafael Venegas, a priest at St. Anne’s Church located at 2017 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.

The victim, who is an adult female and not a parishioner of St. Anne’s, contacted the Santa Monica Police Department on July 1, 2012 and reported that the incident involving Venegas occurred on the property of St. Anne’s Parish in September 2011. The allegations remain under investigation and no arrests have been made at this time.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective DeRyck at (310) 458-8944, Sergeant Jacob at (310) 458-8460 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24hours) at (310) 458-8495.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.00, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.

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Alleged Sexual Misconduct by Local Priest Under Investigation

SANTA MONICA (CA)
Patch

By Jenna Chandler

Police are investigating allegations of sexual battery by a priest at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, a department spokesman said in a press release Thursday.

No arrests have been made in the case, which was reported to July 1 to Santa Monica Police.

A woman, who isn’t a parishioner at the church, told police the incident occurred on church property near Colorado Avenue and 20th Street in September of last year.

St. Anne’s referred requests for comment to its attorney, Donald Steier, who did not return a message.

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Santa Monica Police Investigate St. Anne’s Church Priest For Sexual Assault

SANTA MONICA (CA)
Santa Mornica Mirror

Posted Jul. 26, 2012

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

St. Anne’s Church priest Rafael Venegas is currently being investigated following an allegation of sexual assault.

The 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 incident involving Venegas occurred on the property of St. Anne’s Parish in September 2011.

SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said the allegations remain under investigation and no arrests have been made at this time.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective DeRyck at 310.458.8944, Sergeant Jacob at 310.458.8460 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24hours) at 310.458.8495.

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Growing call for royal commission into priest sex cases

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

BY JOANNE MCCARTHY

27 Jul, 2012

Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright has expressed his ‘‘broad support’’ for a royal commission into the Catholic church’s handling of sexual abuse cases after an overwhelming public response to the disappearance of a paedophile-priest victim.

In a statement yesterday Bishop Wright acknowledged the growing calls for a royal commission, saying ‘‘I am broadly supportive of public inquiries into these matters’’.

‘‘It would be for government to determine, in consultation with their agencies and other groups in the community, what would be the best form of inquiry and into which particular issues it should inquire.’’

It is believed to be one of the first public expressions of support by a senior NSW Catholic clergy member for a formal government inquiry.

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Bishop says ‘false hearsay’ linking him to claim hurts diocese, family

WHEELING (WV)
Catholic Sentinel

Catholic News Service

WHEELING, W.Va. — Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston said the “false hearsay statements” made against him at the recently concluded Philadelphia trial of two priests on sex abuse-related charges have hurt him, his family and the people of his diocese.

In a July 23 letter to the priests and people of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese, Bishop Bransfield said a “hearsay allegation” that he had engaged in improper conduct with a high school student in the 1970s “has been put to rest” by the student in question, now in his 50s, and others.

“I can only repeat what I have stated before publicly: I have never abused anyone,” the bishop said.

The allegation surfaced during the trial of Msgr. William Lynn, former secretary of clergy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, on charges of child endangerment; he was later found guilty of one count and recently sentenced. His co-defendant, accused of abuse, must be retried after the jury could not reach a verdict in his case.

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Abuse trials miss other victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

June 25, 2012|Inquirer Editorial

Outside their own circles, they’re mostly unknown — and certainly not referred to as Victim No. … But other child sex-abuse victims across Pennsylvania are just as entitled to justice as those whose accusations were heard in the sensational trials of a former college football coach and a high-ranking Catholic Church official.

Many of the other victims have also suffered in silence for decades, often unable to admit to themselves the horror of being abused as a child or teen. And if they did decide to come forward, it would likely be too late under the state’s criminal and civil statutes.

These other victims waited even as separate juries wrestled with the charges against former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, whose alleged victims now include an adopted son, and Archdiocese of Philadelphia Msgr. William Lynn — who on Friday became the first U.S. church official convicted in a child sex-abuse case.

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Youth pastor to be sentenced for sex crimes

ALABAMA
San Francisco Chronicle

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A youth minister accused of sex crimes against children in three Alabama counties is scheduled to be sentenced in one case on July 31.

An Elmore County jury found John A. Astorga guilty on April 11 on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Three victims and the pastor of Bethel Assembly of God in Wetumpka, where Astorga worked, testified at his trial.

Astorga faces up to a year and a day imprisonment on each of the two counts in Elmore County and must register as a convicted sex offender.

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Gerald T. Slevin: Philly DA Must Go Higher

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Bilgrimage

Jerry Slevin has sent one of his wonderful postings. This one focuses on the unfinished business after Msgr. Lynn has been sentenced in Philadelphia. What follows is Jerry’s statement:

At Lynn’s trial, he and his lawyers presented overwhelming evidence that Lynn followed his Cardinal bosses’ orders that resulted in child endangerment. The lawyers were selected under Cardinal Rigali and paid huge sums by the Philly Archdiocese (Philly AD).

Rigali was one of Lynn’s bosses. Lynn served under him, several months as priest personnel chief and almost 8 years as a pastor. Obviously, Lynn filled Rigali in on the “bad priests” and then Rigali learned further details as top man in the Philly AD for almost 8 years until several months ago.

Last year, after receiving his second disastrous Philly Grand Jury priest abuse report in barely five years, Rigali still tried to deny having pedophile priests still actively on board. After some public pressure and perhaps new lawyers’ advice, he quickly reversed himself and in March of last year suspended 36 priests for suspected misconduct with minors. Since then, Rigali’s sudden replacement, Archbishop Chaput, has sacked some of these suspected priests, yet Chaput continues to stall on many of them. It is not clear why he is stalling and whether it relates to trying to protect Rigali.

If Rigali’s evident carrying of 36 alleged pedophiles, some for years it appears, isn’t a “prima face” case for child endangerment, it is hard to see what is. Lynn got 6 years for carrying one pedophile, defrocked Fr. Avery! Cardinal Rigali appears to make Joe Paterno look good! Moreover, the Philly AD makes Penn State look like the minor leagues.

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Diocesan leaders reflect on significance of Dallas charter

IOWA
The Catholic Globe

By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor

Ten years ago the U.S. bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that required each diocese have mechanisms in place to respond promptly and in a pastoral way to credible allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy.

Since that charter was adopted at the bishops June meeting in 2002 being held in Dallas, it has become known as and is often referred to as the Dallas charter.

Bishop Walker Nickless of the Diocese of Sioux City, who was a priest for the Archdiocese of Denver at that time, pointed out that not long before that meeting of the bishops the national scandal pertaining to child sexual abuse by clergy had erupted in Boston.

Response was necessary

“The bishops knew they had to respond,” Bishop Nickless said. “It was really important for them to show that they cared first and foremost about victims, that children needed to be protected and that credible and accused perpetrators needed to be dealt with in a strong way.”

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MO – Sex abuse victims head to MO Supreme Court

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

SNAP’s new writ to MO Supreme Court

Amicus by prosecutors backing the writ

Amicus by 24 groups backing the writ

Posted by David Clohessy on July 26, 2012

Clergy sex abuse victims are asking the Missouri Supreme Court to block or limit demands by Kansas City Catholic officials for potentially hundreds or thousands of pages of their self help group’s records. And they’re picking up support from widely disparate sources.

On Friday, leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, filed a writ to the state’s highest court to stop what they call “expensive, intrusive, hurtful and intimidating” discovery requests by lawyers for several suspended Kansas City area Catholic priests accused of molesting children.

And this week, three amicus briefs have been filed backing SNAP’s position. One is by two current Missouri prosecutors and four former prosecutors. The other two are signed by 24 local and national organizations. They include The Rutherford Institute, a conservative legal organization that helped Paula Jones pursue her sexual harassment case against then-President Bill Clinton and the liberal Call to Action, which advocates ordaining women.

“If this court permits the circuit court’s discovery order, sex abuse victims and the organizations that support them will suffer irreparable harm,” the prosecutors’ brief maintains.

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Bistum startet Kampagne gegen Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Hannoveriche Allgemeine

26.07.2012

Nach dem Missbrauchsskandal in der katholischen Kirche hat das Bistum Hildesheim seine Präventionskampagne ausgeweitet. Mitarbeiter der Kinder- und Jugendseelsorge erhalten künftig einen Leitfaden mit klaren Regeln und Richtlinien, die sexuellen Missbrauch und respektlosen Umgang mit Kindern verhindern soll, teilte das Bistum am Donnerstag mit.

Hildesheim. Teil des Leitfadens ist die Selbstverpflichtungserklärung, die ehrenamtliche und hauptberufliche Mitarbeiter, die mit Kindern zu tun haben, seit zwei Jahren abgeben müssen. Diese hatte nach Angaben des Bistums immer wieder Fragen aufgeworfen.

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Verdächtig still

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Zeit

Vor einem Jahr wurde eine Studie zum sexuellen Missbrauch angekündigt, nun stockt das Projekt des Kriminologen Christian Pfeiffer. Wie einflussreich sind die Kritiker?

Im Juli 2011 wurden Journalisten in den profanen Räumen des Bonner Universitätsclubs eines Mirakels teilhaftig: Die Bischofskonferenz kündigte ein Forschungsprojekt zum Thema Missbrauch an; Fälle von 1945 bis in die Gegenwart sollten aufgeklärt werden. „Der sexuelle Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige“, lautete der Titel. Gemeint war: mehr Glaubwürdigkeit, weniger Vertuschen. Als federführender Experte wurde der bekannte Hannoveraner Kriminologe Christian Pfeiffer präsentiert.

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Winona diocese responds to Supreme Court ruling

MINNESOTA
San Antonio Express-News

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Diocese of Winona says it’s pleased with the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that rejected a clergy abuse lawsuit by a man whose case rested on a repressed memory claim.

In a statement released Thursday, the diocese says it’s committed to ensuring the safety of children and young people at its parishes, schools and other programs.

James Keenan of Savage sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, alleging abuse in the 1980s by Thomas Adamson, a priest who is now defrocked. Keenan brought his claim outside the 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.

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East Lancashire suspended priest takes up new role

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

AN EAST Lancashire priest has resigned his post in charge of a church after his suspension came to a close.

The Rev Joe Fielder, the priest-in-charge at St John’s, Baxenden, was suspended by Blackburn Diocese in March after he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an 11-year-old-boy.

A church investigation was completed this month and a decision to take no action against the Rev Fielder was made. Police have also taken no action.

The diocese said it had now come to an agreement with Mr Fielder over his resignation.

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ELITES NOT SERIOUS ABOUT CHILD ABUSE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

July 26, 2012

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on how the elites in two states are dealing with child abuse:

Yesterday, a bill was passed by voice vote in the Massachusetts House expanding the time period on civil claims of child sexual abuse. Today, an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer calls for Pennsylvania lawmakers to allow a two-year window for filing civil lawsuits in such cases. Neither effort is serious about combating this problem, and both endorse discriminatory legislation.

In Massachusetts, the bill that was passed would do absolutely nothing about child sexual abuse that occurs in the public schools; it applies exclusively to private institutions, such as the Catholic Church. Similarly, the editorial in the Inquirer says absolutely nothing about blanketing the public sector; unless a bill specifically targets the sovereign immunity status of the public schools, they remain exempt.

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Lawyer: Los Angeles abuse documents could see release by year’s end

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 26, 2012
By Tom Roberts

Hundreds of plaintiffs involved in a historic sex abuse settlement more than five years ago with the Los Angeles archdiocese may be coming to the end of a long struggle to gain access to thousands of pages of documentation detailing the conduct of church officials in handling the scandal.

On July 18, a California Appeals Court denied the latest petition of the archdiocese to restrict access to priest personnel files sought by attorney Anthony De Marco as part of a current abuse lawsuit he has filed against the archdiocese.

The significance of the recent decision, however, goes beyond the case in question, De Marco said in a phone interview Tuesday. He said California Superior Court Judge Emilie H. Elias looked over the 25 files in question in the current case, some of which overlap those sought as part of a $660 million settlement in 2007. He said she told attorneys on both sides that she would use the request as a “test case” and that if the appeals court is satisfied with what she was agreeing to release, that the same criteria would be used for the rest of the documents being sought. She said if the archdiocese’s petition to keep the records sealed is denied, she would rapidly go through the rest of the documents in question.

Tod M. Tamberg, director of media relations for the Los Angeles archdiocese, disagrees with De Marco’s assessment. The denial of the church’s petition “does not affect release or publication of documents,” he said in an email response to questions from NCR. “The issue was only whether certain materials could be disclosed to the plaintiff’s lawyer in one specific case.”

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Abogado de padre O’Reilly …

CHILE
La Tercera

Abogado de padre O’Reilly y denuncia de abuso: “Informe psicológico no contiene el relato de la niña, sino de la madre”

El abogado del sacerdote Jhon O´Reilly, Luis Hermosilla, calificó como “pobre” el informe hecho por una psicóloga privada y que develaría los supuestos abusos a los que habría sido sometida una menor de seis años a manos del capellán del colegio Cumbres.

El hecho fue conocido públicamente ayer, mediante un comunicado del mismo colegio luego de la denuncia de los padres de la menor y después de que el mismo sacerdote solicitara una investigación.

“El informe (psicológico) es muy pobre, técnicamente muy débil, sin consistencia, lo que contiene no es el relato de la niña, contiene el relato de la madre de la niña, omitiendo antecedentes que son extraordinariamente importantes. Por ejemplo, esta niña es trilliza, es una mujer que tiene dos hermanitos.El desarrollo psicológico y emocional de un menor que es parte de trillizos es distinto de un hijo único. Normalmente tienen que competir los mismos por la misma madre y el mismo padre.

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Fiscalía indaga denuncia de abusos contra sacerdote John O’Reilly

CHILE
La Tercera

por S. Labrín y P. Muñoz

Una denuncia por un presunto caso de abuso sexual contra una menor de cinco años indaga la Fiscalía Oriente, en contra del sacerdote legionario y asesor espiritual del Colegio Cumbres, John O’Reilly.

La denuncia fue confirmada a través de un comunicado por el recinto educacional de la Congregación Legionarios de Cristo. En el texto se señaló que “la información entregada verbalmente por la madre de nuestra estudiante hace referencia al padre John O’Reilly, quien ha manifestado al colegio su total inocencia y disposición a colaborar en la investigación”. El sacerdote, junto con el colegio, acordaron la suspensión de sus actividades mientras dure el proceso judicial. De hecho, su nombre y fotografía ya no figuran en el sitio web del colegio como miembro del equipo espiritual del nivel preescolar.

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Trial Begins in Lawsuit Alleging Child Molestation by Parish Priest

UNITED STATES
Digital Journal

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) July 26, 2012

The media spotlight is often a double-edged sword. No one knows this better than Andrew Nicastro and other victims of alleged Child Molestation. And yet, gossip and rumor-mongering aside, the real story here is being overlooked according to Sean Burke of AttorneyOne.

According to court documents, a jury began on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 in a lawsuit filed on December 15th, 2010 by a Williamstown man, Andrew Nicastro, in Hampden County Superior Court (case no. HDCV2010-00037B) alleging he was molested as a child by his parish priest, former Rev. Alfred Graves. Nicastro claims he was sexually abused about twice a week for about three years when he was between 11 and 14 years old. Defendants are two former bishops, the Most Rev. Joseph F. Maguire and the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre, who Nicastro claims should be held accountable for his childhood abuse by the priest.

According to the National Alert Registry, statistics say that one out of every three to four girls has been sexually assaulted by the age of 18. One boy out of every six will be abused by the age of 18.

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Long Beach priest pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges

LONG BEACH (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times

July 26, 2012
A Roman Catholic priest who worked at a Long Beach church pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he sexually groped a 14-year-old girl and two women in incidents that started two years ago.

Father Luis Jose Cuevas, 67, a pastor of St. Athanasius Church on Linden Avenue, faces eight misdemeanor charges of sexual assault and one felony count involving lewd acts with a child, according to a complaint filed by the L.A. County district attorney’s office. Superior Court Judge James Otto set his bail at $260,000.

The two adult women, both 20, initially reported the alleged incidents to the archdiocese and then filed a police report, said Sgt. Aaron Eaton, a spokesman for the Long Beach Police Department. Later, the teenager alleged repeated incidents during which Cuevas inappropriately touched “an intimate part” of her body for his own sexual arousal, the complaint contends. Cuevas was arrested Monday in San Jacinto.

All of the incidents allegedly occurred at the church, where Cuevas served and lived for seven years until his recent removal from duties. The felony and six of the lesser charges involve the teenager, who was 14 during the first alleged incident in July 2010, according to the complaint. The two women said he fondled them in February 2012.

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Inquiry bungles church abuse complaint

AUSTRALIA
The Age

July 27, 2012

Barney Zwartz

A VICTIM of sexual abuse – by a Catholic priest – who wrote to a government inquiry into clergy sexual abuse was referred to a Catholic agency, less than a week after the committee’s chief executive assured The Age such a conflict could not happen.

Peter Blenkiron, of Ballarat, was appalled when he was referred to Centacare, a Catholic agency he found ”terrible” when he first reported his abuse several years ago.

He wrote on July 10 to the parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations seeking a simpler method for victims to be heard.

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UPDATED: Jury selection begins in civil trial of bishops

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Father Bill Pomerleau

SPRINGFIELD – Jury selection began July 23 for a trial that may – or may not – give the public new insights into how the Diocese of Springfield handled cases of clergy sexual misconduct in the 1970s and 1980s.

After questioning nearly 100 potential jurors for more than two hours, Hampden Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney had seated only 10 men and women for what is expected to be a two-week trial.

Andrew Nicastro, a Williamstown resident who operates Isabella’s Restaurant in North Adams, is suing Springfield Bishop Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire and former Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupré in a civil case alleging that they failed to protect him from former priest Alfred Graves.

Graves, who actively served as a diocesan priest from 1967 to 1992, was taken out of ministry and forbidden to present himself as a priest by the late Bishop John A. Marshall, apparently after new allegations of misconduct came to the attention of the diocese. The diocese later confirmed that allegations that then-Father Graves had sexually abused boys were credible.

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Victim recalls childhood abuse at civil trial of bishops

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Father Bill Pomerleau

SPRINGFIELD – Testimony in the civil trial of Springfield Bishop Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire and former Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupré began July 24 with dramatic testimony from abuse victim Andrew Nicastro.

Fighting back tears at several points in during his 45 minutes on the witness stand, Nicastro recounted how he had been a happy child, in an intact nuclear family, growing up in Williamstown before a new priest, then-Father Alfred C. Graves, arrived at St. Patrick Parish in 1981. But by early 1982, his pastor had begun to sexually abuse him in the parish church and rectory.

“It was done with laughter. I felt chosen,” Nicastro said in a quiet voice after recounting in graphic detail how Graves had improper sexual contact with him behind St. Patrick’s sanctuary after funeral or wedding liturgies, and in the rectory where he was invited in during his daily newspaper delivery,

Nicastro said the abuse continued until shortly after Graves became the pastor of the former St. Matthew Parish in Indian Orchard in October, 1985. The priest invited him to an overnight stay in his new rectory, where he smoked cigarettes and relaxed with the man he then considered a special friend.

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Victim says key meeting with former pastor never happened

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

By Father Bill Pomerleau

SPRINGFIELD – In the second day of emotional testimony in a civil trial against Springfield Bishop Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire and former Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupré, the plaintiff, Andrew Nicastro, denied that he ever spoke to a former pastor of Sts. Patrick and Raphael Parish in Williamstown about his childhood sexual abuse by Alfred C. Graves a former diocesan priest who was laicized in 2006.

What the plaintiff’s attorneys called “the alleged meeting” could be a crucial element in the outcome of the trial, which is determining if the two former diocesan bishops were negligent in returning then-Father Graves to ministry after they knew he had a history of abuse.

Father William F. Cyr, who was pastor of the Williamstown parish from 1989 to 2002, testified early in the day, before Nicastro was called to the stand. He said that sometime between 2000 and 2002, he received a phone call from Nicastro requesting a meeting.

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Vatileaks: Pope’s former butler says he is disliked by many because not a supporter of the system

This was what Paolo Gabriele kept repeating to friends before his arrest. Now he hopes the Pope will forgive him. Could he become an usher?

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

“I am disliked by many because I am not aligned with the system.” It is a phrase which reveals all the deep anguish that has been shaking Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s former butler, who is currently under house arrest after spending two months in a Vatican prison cell, charged with aggravated theft of confidential documents. He is now awaiting a predicted committal for trial. The butler kept on repeating the phrase to friends and acquaintances in the Vatican before getting mixed up in one of the most controversial scandals that have shaken the Holy See in recent years.

There is still one fundamental question surrounding the scandal involving the so-called poison pen letter writers – who got hold of some confidential documents belonging to the Pope and had them published in Italian newspapers and a book: why did the person/people responsible do this and why? If Gabriele, who is still the only individual under investigation who is facing trial, spoke of a “system” he was not in line with, perhaps in his mind, over time, he developed a need to act if not fight against these alleged forces of power working around or even against the Pope, out of “love” and in order to “help” Benedict XVI. This is how he described his actions to his lawyers Carlo Fusco and Cristiana Arru.

According to the two lawyers, Gabriele acted the way he did because he was influenced by a set of “inner ideals” which led him to follow a plan which was “certainly questionable” but was meant for the “good of the Church.” Gabriele sent a distressed letter to the Pope explaining these reasons and thinking. The letter reinforced the former butler’s hope that Benedict XVI would forgive him.

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Ex-teacher accused of soliciting sex from teen

FLORIDA
WDBO

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

A newly released video of a former Orange County teacher shows him being grilled by detectives after he was arrested in a sex sting.

Brian Shriner, who was also an Episcopalian priest, was arrested last month after being accused of traveling to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Shriner told detectives he wanted to meet the girl because he was writing a book, according to officials.

He apparently had aspirations to be an author, so Shriner told detectives he needed to speak to a 14-year-old girl, and he went online to find one, according to investigators.

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Breach of duty: A pedophile priest’s enabler gets prison time

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 26, 2012

Editorial

Few things are worse than a watchman who doesn’t watch. That’s why Monsignor William J. Lynn of Philadelphia was sentenced Tuesday to 3 to 6 years in prison.

He failed to watch over the safety of the children of his Catholic archdiocese for the dozen years he was secretary for clergy to Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua. It was Lynn’s job to make parish assignments and to investigate sex abuse claims against priests.

Last month, Lynn, 61, was found guilty of turning a blind eye to the predations of Edward Avery, a former parish priest who pleaded guilty to charges of sexually assaulting an altar boy in 1999. Lynn was told by a medical student in 1992 that Avery had molested him in the 1970s.

Lynn removed Avery from his parish and ordered him hospitalized for evaluation. But instead of then turning Avery over to Philadelphia police, Lynn let him to return to ministry in a limited capacity. Avery was reassigned to a parish that knew nothing of his history and no report was made to civil authorities.

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Why the Summer of 2012 Will Go Down in History as the Breakthrough Summer for Child-Sex-Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
Verdict

Marci A. Hamilton

If you have even glanced at a headline, television screen, or the Internet this summer, you cannot have missed the multitude of stories about child sex abuse and the justice system. The fight against such abuse has taken a laudable turn, for the benefit of victims. And all of these developments have occurred in one state: Pennsylvania. By dint of geography, it has been impossible to avoid comparisons between the institutional cover-ups of abuse at Pennsylvania State University, and in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. To put it mildly, neither institution emerges smelling like a rose.

There is so much that is happening, on so many fronts, it is as though a tsunami of justice has been released. We have been drowning in stories, data, coverage, and new revelations. Indeed, there is so much breaking news about the child-sex-abuse scandals that some reporters have been driven to specialize in either one institutional cover-up or the other.

The trial of the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Monsignor Lynn ended in a verdict of child endangerment against him, and a sentence of 3-6 years. The trial of former defensive Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky resulted in guilty verdicts against him on 45 out of 48 charges, with sentencing still to be scheduled; and former FBI Director Louis Freeh recently released his scathing report on how child sex abuse by Sandusky was covered up by Penn State from 1998 to the present. The Freeh Report, in turn, formed the foundation for the NCAA to issue history-making sanctions against the Penn State football program.

And it is not over. Trials await against the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s lay teacher Bernard Shero and Fr. Charles Englehardt, as well as against Penn State’s former Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley. Meanwhile, grand juries are likely busy in both central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. There is reasonable certainty that former Penn State President Graham Spanier will face criminal charges, and that Sandusky will face more charges. And it is possible that past officials of the Philadelphia Archdiocese may face additional charges as well.

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Catholic Mutual Off Hook For $100M Sex Abuse Judgment

UNITED STATES
Law360

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Law360, New York (July 25, 2012, 12:46 PM ET) — The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday said The Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America had no duty to defend or indemnify a defrocked priest and convicted pedophile for a $100 million judgment obtained by one of his victims.

A three-judge appeals panel found that a South Carolina federal court was correct when it decided former priest Wayland Yoder Brown’s sexual abuse of Allan Carl Ranta was not conduct covered under a Catholic Mutual policy.

“According to Ranta, Brown knew or should have known he was a danger to children, yet failed to protect Ranta from him, thereby breaching his fiduciary duties as a priest,” the panel said. “Therefore, Ranta contends, Brown’s conduct constitutes negligence, which triggers coverage under Catholic Mutual’s insurance policy.”

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Roeland Park man’s name surfaces in Florida child porn case

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By TONY RIZZO
The Kansas City Star

A Roeland Park man facing child pornography charges chatted online with a Florida man about killing and eating children, according to court records filed in the Floridian’s criminal case.

Michael D. Arnett, 38, and the Floridian had “extremely graphic discussions regarding kidnapping, sexually abusing, murdering and eating of children,” according to the court papers recently filed in federal court in Florida.

Prosecutors charged the Florida man, Ronald William Brown, 57, on July 20 in federal court in Tampa with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and possession of child pornography.

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Puppeteer case gives rise to question: Were these gruesome fantasies or real intentions?

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

By John Woodrow Cox and Peter Jamison, Times Staff Writers

LARGO — The instant message arrived at 9:42 that night in mid-August last year.

“Any luck with your boy?” it said.

Professional puppeteer Ronald William Brown, according to a federal criminal complaint, had been chatting online for months with the man from Kansas who had just asked him that question.

“No,” Brown replied, “I still want to eat him, though.”

He and the boy, authorities say, attended church together in Largo. The complaint indicates Brown had fantasized about kidnapping and killing the boy. The man from Kansas, Michael Arnett, told Brown he had murdered children before, according to the complaint, so Brown asked for advice.

Brown: “Would you just knock him out?”

Arnett: “It would be the best way, for a boy his age and size yes.”

Brown: “With something? Your fist? Or what?”

Arnett: “A good whack to the back of the head, preferably with something like a blackjack.”

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New accusation surfaces in Philadelphia church sex abuse scandal

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Chicago Tribune

Dave Warner
Reuters

8:21 p.m. CDT, July 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – A Pennsylvania man sued the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Wednesday for alleged sexual abuse by a priest, marking the 10th civil suit filed against the church since a 2011 grand jury report detailed sexual abuse by clergy in the area.

The suit names Rev. John R. Liggio, the archdiocese and the Order of St. Augustine, which it claimed provides teachers to the school. It alleges a priest at suburban Malvern Preparatory School sexually abused a youth in 1997 and 1998. The student was under the age of 16 at the time of the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

“He did so by using physical, intellectual, moral, emotional and psychological force,” according to the lawsuit filed in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.

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Transportation company employee accused of sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WHAS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — A Louisville man arrested Tuesday is facing charges after being accused of sexually abusing another man after transporting him from a community center.

Police said Ronnelle Southerling was working as a driver for a transportation company that shuttled residents to and from the Agape Community Center when he took the victim from the center to an apartment at 2nd and College streets. Once at the apartment, Southerling allegedly gave the man alcohol and later tried to grope him.

Bishop Dennis Lyons of the Gospel Missionary Church said Southerling attended and worked there.

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Claims abuse inquiry victims sent to Church-run support agency

AUSTRALIA
ABC – AM

[with audio]

Liz Hobday reported this story on Thursday, July 26, 2012

TONY EASTLEY: Victoria’s inquiry into abuse by religious and other non-government organisations has offered support to abuse victims wanting to participate in the inquiry.

However there are now claims that some of the agencies offering support to victims in country Victoria are run by the Catholic Church – which is itself facing serious allegations involving hundreds of abuse cases.

Liz Hobday has this report.

LIZ HOBDAY: Ballarat man Peter Blenkiron was abused by a Christian Brother when he was 11 years old.

He wanted support to prepare a submission to the parliamentary inquiry and called the recommended victims of crime helpline.

He says he was referred to an organisation called Centacare, run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Ballarat.

PETER BLENKIRON: We are talking about broken trust again. The Catholic Church are the people that are responsible worldwide for what’s going on, they’re responsible for what happened to me as an 11 year old. It’s beyond belief the things that happen.

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House bill would extend deadline for filing child sex abuse claims

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Stephanie Ebbert
| Globe Staff
July 26, 2012

The House passed a bill Wednesday to extend the statute of limitations for child victims of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits, angering advocates who had hoped that such time limits would be eliminated.

The measure would limit to 27 years the deadline to claim to have been sexually abused as a child, effectively, expanding a victim’s potential to file claims until he or she is 43 years old.

That is a scaled-back version of the original bill, which would have eliminated the time limit on civil claims of childhood sexual abuse.

Though the measure would only affect future abuse cases, it would also offer victims who have been previously shut out by statutes of limitations one year in which to file retroactive claims. However, the bill would prevent a business or entity from being blamed for such abuse, unless gross negligence can be proven.

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Chilean school priest suspended amid sex abuse claim

CHILE
Santiago Times

Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Written by Tom Murphy

Latest allegation comes after recent series of high-profile abuse scandals.

A Catholic school in Santiago suspended a priest from its faculty Tuesday after claims he sexually abused a student surfaced. Father John O’Reilly, who worked at the Colegio Cumbres in the east of the capital, expressed his total innocence and willingness to fully cooperate with the investigation.

The Catholic Church in Chile has been rocked by a number of allegations of sexual abuse. Photo by Kurotashio/Wikimedia Commons.

“I’ve always had the utmost respect for students and their families, and I am convinced that after the investigation it will be made clear that this is an unfortunate mistake and that my actions have been correct,” O’Reilly said in a statement released Wednesday.

The allegation against O’Reilly comes after a series of high-profile scandals and reports of sexual abuse against minors in the country. Chilean authorities are now investigating 61 schools in the capital amid increasing reports of sex abuse in 2012.

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Clergyman faces allegations he sexually abused child in parish

PENNSYLVANIA
Williamsport Sun-Gazette

July 26, 2012

By CHERYL R. CLARKE – cclarke@sungazette.com , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

MANSFIELD – The Blossburg priest who was suspended from his duties last fall for allegedly sexually assaulting an altar boy was held over for county court Wednesday by District Judge James Carlson.

Thomas P. Shoback, 60, of Wilkes-Barre, will face all charges against him, including three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two counts of indecent assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, one of corruption of minors and two counts of indecent assault at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 20 before President Judge Robert E. Dalton Jr. in the Tioga County Court of Common Pleas.

The charges are in connection with the alleged multiple sexual assaults between Feb. 20, 1991, and Feb. 20, 1997, against the victim, now 32, who was an altar boy at St. Mary’s Parish Rectory.

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Priest’s sentence is appropriate

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Inquirer Editorial

For the first U.S. church official convicted of covering up sex abuse by priests, the appropriate wages of sin include jail.

Beyond punishing Philadelphia Roman Catholic Msgr. William J. Lynn for failing to shield an altar boy from a priest known to have molested another youth, the certainty that he will spend three years in prison — and as many as six — sends a powerful message to anyone who enables abuse.

Lynn, 61, who served as secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was convicted last month of child endangerment.

The 12-week trial that led to Lynn’s conviction also linked the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua to the archdiocese’s policy of moving suspected predator priests to other parishes, rather than alerting civil authorities. As Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham said, “The cover-up went all the way to the top.”

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Sentence for priest sends a message

PHILADELPHIA (Pa)
Courier Post

WHERE WE STAND: Clerics who hid pedophiles, allowing abuses to continue, should go to prison.

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. Lynn learned in 1992 that now-defrocked priest Edward Avery abused a boy years earlier. Lynn sent Avery for treatment at a church-run facility that diagnosed him with an alcohol problem, not a sexual disorder. Avery was subsequently returned to the ministry in Philadelphia and sexually assaulted an altar boy in 1999. Avery is serving a 2½- to five-year sentence for that crime.

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Irish missionary faces allegations of child abuse in Chile

CHILE
Press TV (Iran)

An Irish Catholic missionary priest working as a school chaplain in the Chilean capital of Santiago is being investigated for alleged sexual abuse of a child.

Chilean authorities on Wednesday said that the missionary priest, John O’Reilly, is under investigation. O’Reilly, who works as a chaplain and spiritual advisor at the Colegio Cumbres School in the classy Las Condes district was suspended after a student’s family reported abuse.

“The information provided verbally by the mother of our student refers to Father John O’Reilly LC, who told the college that he is totally innocent and willing to cooperate in the investigation. The priest and Colegio Cumbres agreed to the suspension of all Father O’Reilly internal activities in order to fully clarify the facts,” the Colegio Cumbres school’s statement said.

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July 25, 2012

Priest, accused of meeting girl for sex, says he did it for research

FLORIDA
Fox 51

[with video]

By Tiffany Teasley, Reporter

The State Attorney’s Office released video of investigators interviewing Brian Shriner, 46, a former Geneva School teacher and Episcopal priest at New Covenant Anglican Church in Winter Springs, shortly after his arrest.

Shriner was arrested in June, after he was accused of chatting with a detective posing as a 14-year-old girl online, investigators say he then traveled to Winter Springs to meet the minor for sex, instead he was met by deputies.

“I can guarantee nothing like this will ever happen with me again,” said Shriner during the interview. “I was just planning on sitting and talking to her, I know this sounds crazy,” he said.

During the interview Shriner gives investigators an explanation for what happened, telling them he’s writing a novel, and he was meeting the girl for research.

“This is one aspect of the book,” Shriner said. “This guy goes through a mid-life crisis where he works for California Soft — there’s a level of lust and there’s several stories that develop on the level of lust, and I wanted to look at one of them to deal with this,” Shriner said in the video.

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Caso Colegio Cumbres…

CHILE
La Segunda

Caso Colegio Cumbres: Abogado de la familia de la víctima dijo que se trataría de “tocamientos libidinosos”

Pasado el mediodía, el abogado Mario Schilling -que representa a los padres de la niña de 6 años que denunció abusos por parte del sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo y asesor espiritual del Colegio Cumbres, John O’Reilly- presentó una querella en el Cuarto Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago, consigna Soychile.cl .

Schilling explicó que la acción criminal es para que se investigue “las responsabilidades, no sólo del autor de estos delitos, sino también si existen coautores, cómplices o encubridores”. Aseguró que los delitos habrían ocurrido entre 2010 y el presente años, y se trataría de “tocamientos libidinosos”

Según comentó el abogado de la familia denunciante, dulces y hostias no consagradas, le habría regalado el sacerdote John O´Reilly a la supuesta víctima.

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Colegio Cumbres suspende a John O’Reilly por denuncia de abuso

CHILE
Emol

SANTIAGO.- El sacerdote legionario John O’Reilly, capellán y asesor espiritual del Colegio Cumbres, fue suspendido de todas sus actividades en el establecimiento educacional luego que se conociera una denuncia por abuso sexual en su contra.

La información fue dada a conocer por la dirección del colegio del sector oriente de Santiago en una carta dirigida a la comunidad escolar.

La supuesta víctima corresponde a una menor de edad, estudiante del colegio, quien con la autorización de sus padres fue sometida a una evaluación profesional externa a cargo de una psicóloga. Dicho informe y los antecedentes recopilados por un equipo interdisciplinario quedaron a disposición de la Fiscalía Oriente.

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Irish priest probed in Chile over child sex abuse

CHILE
The Star

SANTIAGO: An Irish Catholic priest working as a school chaplain in Chile is being investigated for alleged sexual abuse of a minor, authorities said Wednesday.

John O’Reilly, a member of the Legionnaires of Christ who works as a chaplain at the Colegio Cumbres school in the posh Las Condes district of Santiago, was suspended after a student’s family reported abuse.

Investigating prosecutor Ignacio Pinto is leading the investigation, a prosecutor’s office source said.

O’Reilly insisted in a statement that it was all a “regrettable mistake,” arguing that his behavior was above board.

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Archbishop calls for fresh inquiry into laundries

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Juno McEnroe

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin called for fresh inquiries into care in the Magdalene laundries, mother-and-baby homes, and other institutions, to examine where the Church, serving the most deprived, went wrong.

The Archbishop of Dublin said the Church also needed to find a new language, but not be excluded from general society.

Dr Martin said priests needed support after the wave of abuse scandals that have engulfed the Church.

Some “research-based investigation”, less adversarial than a full-blown inquiry, could bring the truth to light and serve victims of abuse, he said.

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The church in the dock

IRELAND
The Irish Times

THE THREE-TO-SIX-YEAR jail term imposed in Philadelphia on Monsignor William Lynn for covering up child abuse marks an important first and a watershed moment for the Catholic Church, not only in the US but internationally. A court’s willingness for the first time to punish not only priestly abusers, but those who sheltered them, will reverberate through the church, and not least in Ireland where gardaí are still involved in investigating possible charges arising from the Murphy and Ryan reports. The sentence also comes only days after another landmark ruling in the UK courts which has extended church liability for the actions of priests and which is likely also to have important implications for other voluntary organisations.

The prosecution of Lynn, found guilty in June of child endangerment after a trial which exposed efforts over decades by his Philadelphia archdiocese to play down accusations of child sexual abuse and avoid scandal, echoes that of Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux in 2010. He received only a suspended three-month term, but, notoriously, was privately praised by the Vatican, for not handing over an abuser-priest to the police.

Lynn, who served as secretary for 800 clergy to the 1.5 million-strong archdiocese from 1992 to 2004, recommending priest assignments and investigating abuse complaints, will appeal. The archdiocese responded to what it complained was an “over-harsh” sentence with assurances that its procedures for protecting children had improved significantly in the decade since the offences occurred.

Meanwhile the court of appeal in London a fortnight ago upheld a lower court’s ruling that the church can be held liable for the actions of priests. The Portsmouth diocese had appealed a decision that found a priest had a relationship akin to an employee relationship to his bishop, and that the diocese was therefore “vicariously liable” for his actions. In his conclusions, Lord Justice Ward ruled that the priest in question, the late Father Wilfred Baldwin who allegedly abused a girl in a Hampshire children’s home, “may not quite match every facet of being an employee but in my judgment he is very close to it indeed.” He acknowledged the judgment significantly “widened the scope of vicarious liability”.

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Jailed puppeteer known as the “cotton candy man” and “snow cone man” to local kids

FLORIDA
Bay News 9

By Erin Maloney, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LARGO —
The pastor at Gulf Coast Church in Largo said families are reeling after learning about church member and volunteer Ron Brown.

He was arrested and charged with conspiring to kidnap a child, and possession of child pornography.

Dozens of parents trusted Brown to bring their children to church every Wednesday. Anthony Cummings said he would even feed the boys pizza before heading to church.

Anthony’s mother Lexis said it was innocent enough until she learned about his arrest. Authorities say Brown chatted online with one man about his fantasy to strangle and eat a child’s body.

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Compassion and justice

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

26 Jul, 2012

WHEN Pope Benedict XVI came to Australia in 2008 his apology to victims of priestly abuse within the Catholic church didn’t leave room for interpretation.

The misdeeds of errant priests, he said, constituted ‘‘a grave betrayal of trust’’ and deserved ‘‘unequivocal condemnation’’.

‘‘Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice,’’ the Pope declared.

Almost five years later, progress towards those goals is hard to measure.

While the church has, at various levels of its hierarchy, taken several steps to compensate and counsel victims, the human damage seems to be proving difficult to adequately address.

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Court rejects abuse case based on repressed memory

MINNESOTA
LaCrosse Tribune

By DOUG GLASS

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.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with the district court, which found that studies claiming to have proven the existence of repressed memory “lacked foundational reliability.”

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Case Against Former Priest Moved to Different Court

PENNSYLVANIA
WETM

Reported by: Stacey Minchin
Email: sminchin@wetmtv.com

Blossburg, PA – A former Tioga County Priest charged with 32 crimes related to the sexual abuse of a child, had his case moved to the court of common pleas.

66 year old Thomas Shoback of Wilkes-Barre is charged with several crimes including deviate sexual intercourse.

State police say the alleged crimes happened between 1991 and 1997 while Shoback was a priest at St. Mary’s Parish in Blossburg.

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Celstraf voor Amerikaanse bisschop die pedofiele priesters beschermde

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
hbvl (Belgie)

De Amerikaanse bisschop William Lynn is dinsdag veroordeeld tot een gevangenisstraf van 3 tot 6 jaar. Hij is de belangrijkste vertegenwoordiger van de Amerikaanse katholieke kerk die schuldig bevonden is aan het verhullen van seksueel misbruik door priesters. Rechter Teresa Sarmina zei hem bij de strafuitspraak dat hij heel goed wist wat goed was, maar dat hij toch fout koos.

Na een proces dat tien weken duurde ,werd Lynn eind juni schuldig bevonden aan het in gevaar brengen van kinderen. Hij werd er als voormalig verantwoordelijke voor het personeel in het aartsbisdom Philadelphia van beschuldigd, gevallen van seksueel misbruik verborgen te hebben, en niets gedaan te hebben om minstens twee priesters te verwijderen van posten waar ze vaak in contact kwamen met minderjarigen.

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Statement of Jeff Anderson…

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Statement of Jeff Anderson re: Minnesota Supreme Court decision – John Doe 76C v. Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Diocese of Winona

“We are deeply disappointed and shocked by the decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court to deny access to justice for this victim of childhood sexual abuse who repressed the memory of his abuse because it was so traumatic. In its decision the court determined that science concerning repression of memory is unsettled enough that it can’t be used in the court and thus denies Jim Keenan access to a trial–for this we are deeply saddened.

WE ARE SCARED FOR THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN because the dismissal of this case results in us not being able to release, or require the release of, a secret list of offenders kept by defendants–some of whom are still in the community.

Until those names are revealed, it is our view that the cover-up continues and children and the community remain at risk. There are 33 names that were reported to have been credibly accused by the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and 13 in the Diocese of Winona, that’s 46 credibly accused offenders as of 2004 and how many more on this list remain secret and remain unknown.

Because of this decision today, those secrets remain and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona are allowed to put their reputation above the health, safety and well-being of the children in our communities.

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Andrew Nicastro testifies that sexual abuse by former priest Alfred Graves made him angry, emotionally distant

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By Buffy Spencer, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD – Andrew Nicastro said it wasn’t until 2008 that he realized continuing sexual assaults by former priest Alfred Graves more than two decades before in Williamstown had led him to become a person ruled by angry outbursts and unable to connect emotionally even with his own family.

He said The Rev. Mark Burke, a priest who became a friend of his, in 2008 helped him to see the role the sexual abuse had played in making him who he was.

“I felt like, ‘I get it,’” Nicastro said.

Nicastro was on the witness stand Wednesday in Hampden Superior Court in his civil suit against two former bishops.

He contends they should be held accountable for his several years of childhood abuse by the Rev. Andrew Graves because they were in supervisory positions in the Roman Catholic Diocese and knew Graves had assaulted two other boys before Nicastro.

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