Priest charged in Ipswich, SNAP responds

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on August 31, 2012

This is more proof that police and prosecutors are pursuing even older child sex crimes more aggressively. We applaud law enforcement for going after predators regardless of when their wrongdoing happened.

Let’s hope everyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Rev. Richard McCormick or any Boston area cleric – will find the strength to step forward, get help, expose criminals, protect kids and start healing.

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.

Achbishop-elect of San Francisco, Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, charged with DUI misdemeanors

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Mercury News

By Angela Woodall

Oakland Tribune
mercurynews.com

Posted: 08/31/2012

The Roman Catholic archbishop-elect of San Francisco, Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, has been charged with two misdemeanors stemming from his arrest for allegedly driving under the influence, the San Diego city attorney’s office announced Friday.

The city attorney’s office said Cordileone is accused of one count of driving under the influence and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit of .08 percent.

Cordileone was arrested Aug. 27 after being stopped at a checkpoint in San Diego.

He was released on a $2,500 bond and ordered to appear in court Oct. 9.

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.

Salvatore Cordileone, San Francisco’s Next Archbishop, Charged With DUI

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Huffington Post

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego city attorney’s office says the Roman Catholic archbishop-designate of San Francisco has been charged with two misdemeanors stemming from his arrest for allegedly driving under the influence.

The city attorney’s office said Friday that the Rev. Salvatore Cordileone is accused of one count of driving under the influence and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit of .08 percent.

The 56-year-old Cordileone is currently bishop of Oakland and is scheduled to be installed as archbishop of San Francisco on Oct. 4.

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 pleads not guilty in Ipswich child rape case

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Newburyport

By Jennie Oemig
GateHouse News Service

Posted Aug 31, 2012

Ipswich —

Ipswich Police arrested a New York priest Thursday, Aug. 30, in New Rochelle, N.Y., on charges of child rape.

The priest ran a summer camp at the former Retreat Center of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Ipswich.

Rev. Richard McCormick, 71, of 148 East Main Street, New Rochelle, was arraigned Friday, Aug. 31, in Salem Superior Court on five counts of rape of a child, pled not guilty and was released on $1,000 bond.

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.

Plea hearing for accused Woodburn priest postponed

OREGON
The Oregonian

A court hearing for the Rev. Angel Armando Perez, accused of sex abuse involving a 12-year-old boy, has been postponed until Sept. 17.

The hearing, at which Perez is expected to enter a plea, was previously scheduled for Sept. 4. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced the schedule change without explanation.

Perez, 46, has been indicted on charges of first degree sexual abuse, use of a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, furnishing liquor to a minor, tampering with physical evidence and drunken driving.

A probable cause affidavit filed by police said the alleged victim had planned to spend the night at Perez’s home on Aug. 12 after the priest asked his parents if he could take the boy to the mountains.

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.

Drunk-driving charges filed against archbishop-elect of San Francisco

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Los Angeles Times

San Diego prosecutors filed charges Friday against the Roman Catholic archbishop-elect of San Francisco following a drunk-driving arrest in San Diego last week.

The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and with a blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08%, according to the San Diego city attorney’s office.

Cordileone was arrested shortly after midnight Saturday at a drunk-driving checkpoint near San Diego State University. After failing a breath test, he was arrested and booked into county jail. He was released before noon after posting $2,500 bond.

In a statement released Monday, Cordileone said he was driving home after having dinner with his mother and several friends.

“I apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself,” Cordileone said in the statement. “I pray that God in His inscrutable wisdom will bring some good out of this.”

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.

MO – Catholic official changes her story; SNAP responds

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on August 31, 2012

We can’t help but wonder why one of Bishop Finn’s current employees would say one thing under oath weeks ago and now say something radically different. The obvious question is “did someone pressure her to change her story?”

We feel very sorry for Julie Creech. She’s in a very tough spot.

To her credit, Ms. Creech expressed concerns about Fr. Ratigan’s child porn. She spoke up to the highest ranking Catholic officials in Kansas City – Bishop Finn and Finn’s second-in-command Msgr. Murphy. We applaud her for her compassion and her courage.

At the same time, of course, she should have called the police. For months and months, she – and who knows how many other church employees – refused to call the police, even though it was clear that Bishop Finn was hiding Fr. Ratigan’s crimes from police.

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.

Bishop of Orthodox Church placed on leave pending investigation

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear
Tribune reporter

12:47 p.m. CDT, August 31, 2012

The local bishop of the Orthodox Church in America has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations of “inappropriate” behavior with a woman.

The action comes more than a month after the church’s national leader, from Chicago, was forced to resign.

In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Matthias, 63, denied the accusations, which he said came to light in a formal complaint submitted to the church last week.

“The allegations are that I made unwelcome written and spoken comments to a woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries and an abuse of my pastoral authority,” he wrote.

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.

Former St. Pete Catholic High School priest arrested on sex charges in Massachusetts

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

By Curtis Krueger, Times Staff Writer
Posted: Aug 31, 2012

A priest who quit his teaching job at St. Petersburg Catholic High School a decade ago has been arrested in Massachusetts on child sex abuse charges.

The Rev. Richard McCormick, 71, pleaded not guilty on Friday to five counts of rape for crimes that allegedly occurred during the 1980s in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reported.

McCormick previously had been sued by nine people who said he sexually abused them as 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.

Mass. priest charged with 5 counts of raping a child

MASSACHUSETTS
NECN

[with video]

(NECN) – Father Richard McCormick was arraigned in Salem Superior Court Friday to answer charges that he raped a boy at an Ipswich camp in the early 1980s.

Ipswich police arrested Father McCormick Thursday afternoon in New York. Police acted on an indictment warrant for five counts rape of a child in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982.

The victim was 11 and 12 at the time of the incident, the District Attorney’s office said.

According to Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall, Father McCormick was in charge of a Salesian Summer Camp in Ipswich in the 1970s. During that time, he’s accused of raping a young boy repeatedly over two summers.

Mac Dougall said the young boy attended the camp for three summers with his brothers. While he was 10 and 11, Father McCormick allegedly repeatedly sexually abused the boy. She said the only way the boy was able to avoid rape was by running into the woods to hide at night. She believes Father McCormick singled out this boy because he had no father.

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.

NY priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse in Mass.

MASSACHUSETTS
Wall Street Journal

Associated Press

SALEM, Mass. — A former high-ranking member of a Roman Catholic religious order accused of molesting a boy at a Massachusetts camp decades ago was released Friday after pleading not guilty to five counts of child rape.

The Rev. Richard McCormick, 71, was granted $1,000 bail at his arraignment in Salem Superior Court and allowed to return to the Salesian Brothers of Don Bosco facility in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he lives and where he was arrested Thursday. Prosecutors had asked for $75,000 bail.

The alleged assaults took place in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982 when the alleged victim was about 11 and 12 years old, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex district attorney.

McCormick was arrested following a yearlong investigation launched when the alleged victim went to authorities, she 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.

Former leader of Salesian Brothers…

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Former leader of Salesian Brothers charged with with raping boy in 1981 and 1982 in Ipswich

By Brian Ballou and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff

SALEM — A prosecutor today painted the Reverend Richard McCormick as a ruthless predator who singled out a boy for repeated sexual assaults while McCormick ran a summer camp in Ipswich in the 1980s, crimes that so terrified the child that he hid underneath his brother’s bed.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall summarized the evidence that prosecutors have used to charge McCormick with five counts of rape for crimes allegedly committed in 1981 and 1982.

McCormick, 71, the former provincial of the Salesian Brothers of Don Bosco for the eastern United States and Canada, has already been sued by nine people who alleged he sexually molested them as boys.

Five of those men alleged they were molested by McCormick while he worked at Salesian facilities in Massachusetts in the 1960s and 1970s, according to their attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

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 in New Rochelle Arrested on MA Rape Charges

NEW ROCHELLE (NY)
Patch

By Michael Woyton

A priest was arrested in New Rochelle Thursday and charged with five counts of raping a child in the 1980s.

WCVB.com in Boston, MA, is reporting Fr. Richard McCormick has plead not guilty to the charges that he raped a Massachusetts child at an Ipswich camp in 1981 and 1982.

McCormick was held on $1,000 bail and must remain with the Salesian society home in New Rochelle, where he must report to probation weekly by phone, make in-person court appearances and have no contact with minors, WCVB.com said.

Robert Hoatson, with Road to Recovery, Inc., an advocacy agency supporting McCormick’s alleged victims, said the organization has been working with nearly a dozen men who claim to have been abused by the priest.

“The arrest of Fr. Richard McCormick yesterday in New Rochelle, NY, and his return to the Ipswich, MA, area is a result of the courage of a McCormick victim, who reported his abuse to law enforcement and received a fair hearing,” Hoatson said in a press release. “Thank you to that victim and the law enforcement officials in Massachusetts who followed the law which led to the arrest.”

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.

Questions raised over Kansas City bishop’s ‘boys will be boys’ comment

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Aug. 31, 2012

By Joshua J. McElwee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the computer systems manager of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese told her bishop, Robert Finn, that she had found lewd images of children on a priest’s laptop, he replied, “Sometimes boys will be boys,” according to sworn testimony that appears in court documents filed Thursday.

Diocesan employee Julie Creech’s statement was taken as part of a deposition included in a court filing for a lawsuit brought by two alleged victims of Fr. Shawn Ratigan, a Kansas City priest who pleaded guilty earlier this month to federal charges of producing and attempting to produce sexually graphic material of minor girls.

However, after Creech’s quote was reported in local media, her lawyer said Creech refuted the statement. After the deposition, Creech realized she had “misspoken” and hoped to correct her mistake when she received a copy of the deposition to verify her testimony, said John Grombowsky, Creech’s attorney.

Grombowsky said the deposition was made public before Creech had a chance to review and correct it.

Ratigan’s May 2011 arrest on pornography charges raised questions about when his diocese and Finn first became aware of concerns against him. County prosecutors say both Finn and the diocese should have reported Ratigan to police as early as December 2010, when they acknowledge becoming aware of lewd images of children on his laptop.

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.

Friar’s Pro-Pedophilia Stance Blamed On Age, Accident Injuries

NEW YORK
Gothamist

The prominent NY friar who caused a boatload of controversy after he came to the defense of priests who have been caught in sex scandals with underage boys (claiming that oftentimes, the priests are “seduced” by teens) has apologized for his comments. Father Benedict Groeschel of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, who also expressed sympathy for “poor guy” Jerry Sandusky, released a statement saying, “My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be.”

I apologize for my comments. I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.

The Rev. Glenn Sudano, one of the founders of the Friars of the Renewal, told the NY Times that the remarks might have been the result of Father Groeschel’s advancing age, failing health, and the aftereffects of a near-fatal 2004 car accident in Orlando: “Poor Father Benedict,” he said. “It is painful for us, seeing someone who was so much an advocate and a defender for the underdog, say that.”

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 pleads not guilty to child rape in Salem

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By O’Ryan Johnson And Matt Stout
Friday, August 31, 2012

SALEM — A former head of a Catholic order facing child rape charges had bail set at $1,000 this morning in Salem District Court.

Father Richard McCormick, arrested yesterday in New Rochelle, N.Y., pleaded not guilty to five counts of a rape of a child, charges stemming from the alleged repeated sexual assaults of a victim, then 11 and 12 years old, during 1981 and 1982 in Ipswich, according to the Essex County district attorney’s office.

McCormick, 68, an active priest with no public duties, will reside at his order in New Rochelle and was banned by Judge Timothy Feeley from any unsupervised contact with minors. He was also told to stay away from the all-boys high school that is 100 yards away from the order.

McCormick has a decades-old history of alleged abuse that includes nine civil cases — including five from Boston dating back to the 1960s — but before now, had never been charged criminally, a lawyer representing the victims told the Herald.

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 pleads not guilty to sex abuse in Ipswich

MASSACHUSETTS
The Daily Item

SALEM (AP) — A former high-ranking member of a Roman Catholic religious order accused of molesting a boy at an Ipswich camp decades ago was released Friday after pleading not guilty to five counts of child rape.

The Rev. Richard McCormick, 71, was granted $1,000 bail at his arraignment in Salem Superior Court and allowed to return to the Salesian Brothers of Don Bosco facility in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he lives and where he was arrested Thursday. Prosecutors had asked for $75,000 bail.

The alleged assaults took place in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982 when the alleged victim was about 11 and 12 years old, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex district attorney.

McCormick was arrested following a yearlong investigation launched when the alleged victim went to authorities, she 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.

Iglesia confirma investigación contra sacerdote “mano derecha” de Karadima por abuso de poder

CHILE
Radio Universidad de Chile

El Arzobispado de Santiago confirmó la investigación canónica por denuncias de abuso de poder en contra del sacerdote Juan Esteban Morales, ex párroco de la Iglesia de El Bosque y mano derecha de Fernando Karadima. El religioso ha sido calificado por las víctimas como encubridor de Karadima, pues habría conocido de los abusos sexuales que ocurrían al interior de esta parroquia.

A través de un comunicado de prensa, la Iglesia ratificó este jueves que desde mayo de este año el sacerdote Juan Esteban Morales es investigado por dos denuncias de “abuso de autoridad” y que la indagación está a cargo del vicario judicial de Santiago, Jaime Ortiz Lazcano, quien también lleva el caso de Cristian Precht por abusos sexuales.

“La investigación previa fue motivada por la recepción de dos denuncias presentadas ante el Arzobispado de Santiago por eventuales abusos de autoridad en el ejercicio de su ministerio. Ésta tiene por objeto averiguar la objetividad y la naturaleza de los hechos descritos”, indica el texto.

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 case can proceed against Poly Prep: judge

NEW YORK
Thomson Reuters News & Insight

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK, Aug 30 (Reuters) – A lawsuit alleging an elite Brooklyn prep school covered up decades of sexual abuse by a former football coach can proceed, a federal judge said in a ruling that plaintiffs hailed as a major victory in the closely watched case.

The lawsuit was brought against Poly Prep Country Day School by 10 former students and two men who, while still underage, attended the school’s summer camp. The group, which includes named plaintifff Philip Culhane, a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in Hong Kong, claimed they had been abused by Philip Foglietta, who was a football coach at Poly Prep from 1966 until 1991. No criminal charges were ever brought against Foglietta, who died in 1998.

The plaintiffs said Poly Prep and several former and current administrators and directors swept reports of Foglietta’s abuse under the rug for years to protect the school’s reputation. The school denied that it covered up allegations of abuse.

U.S. District Judge Frederic Block allowed Title IX claims and state-law claims for negligent retention or supervision and breach of fiduciary duty to move forward, despite the school’s argument that these claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

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.

Alumnus Embroiled in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Involving Prep School

NEW YORK
The Cornell Daily Sun

August 31, 2012
By Utsav Rai

Scott Smith ’79 has found himself on the opposing side of his younger brother Phillip Smith in a sex abuse case involving Poly Prep Country Day School, a private school in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Phillip, who did not attend college and has been battling drug and alcohol abuse for many years now, is now blaming Poly Prep.

In a $20 million lawsuit, Phillip and 11 others claim Philip Foglietta, who coached football at Poly Prep from 1966 to 1991, sexually abused them. The lawsuit also states that Poly Prep administrators allegedly knew about the abuse and covered it up to save the reputation of the athletics program at the school.

According to the lawsuit, from 1971 to 1977, Phillip Smith was abused hundreds of times by Foglietta both at Poly Prep and off-campus. The athletic director, Harlow Parker, and headmaster, William M. Williams, contacted Phillip Smith and his mother “on many occasions” because of his unexpected absences and failing grades.

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.

Teenage Boys Seduced Priests Who Abused Them. Huh?

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Editorial

Teenage boys seduced priests who abused them in Father Benedict Groeschel’s opinion. He gave that opinion in an interview with the National Catholic Register. Story from ABC News.

Even when the newspaper questioned his comments, he went to say that it was “an understandable thing.”

The facts remain: teenage boys are teenage boys, priests are adults – or at least they should be.

That’s not the approach Groeschel is taking. He’s positing an out for priests who sexually abuse minors.

The sad part of this is that there are many Catholics who will grab onto this reasoning and run with it because Father Groeschel said it. Groeschel is the director of the Office of Spiritual Development of the New York Archdiocese and the host of a weekly show on the television network EWTN. In addition, he has a doctorate in psychology.

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.

Editorial: Children, not priests, are the only victims here

UNITED STATES
Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Old age is a handy bunker for people who want to escape responsibility for their ideas. Take the Rev. Benedict Groeschel. The 79-year-old Groeschel, a spiritual leader in the Roman Catholic Church, took refuge in his age after an incendiary interview Monday with the National Catholic Register, in which he blamed the victims of pedophile priests:

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” Groeschel said. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

Groeschel added he was “inclined to think” priests who were first-time abusers had no intention of committing a crime, and therefore deserved no jail time. He also uttered a few words of pity for Jerry Sandusky.

What makes this all the more sickening is that Groeschel is a longtime teacher of pastoral counseling at a New York seminary, and has spent decades counseling priests accused of sexual abuse or battling alcoholism.

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.

KC diocese worker: ‘Boys will be boys’ a mistake

KANSAS CITY (MO)
San Antonio Express-News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An employee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is backing away from her sworn testimony that the bishop said “boys will be boys” when told of lewd images on a priest’s laptop.

The diocese’s computer director, Julie Creech, said during a deposition earlier this month in a civil lawsuit that Bishop Robert Finn made the statement.

The Kansas City Star reports Friday (http://bit.ly/Px5mM9 ) that Creech’s attorney now says his client had “misspoken.”

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.

Former Leader Of Salesian Brothers Charged With Raping Boy In 1980s

MASSACHUSETTS
WBUR

By The Associated Press
August 31, 2012

SALEM, Mass. — A former high-ranking member of a Roman Catholic religious order is scheduled to appear in court in Massachusetts on Friday to face accusations that he molested a child three decades ago.

The Rev. Richard McCormick is to be arraigned in Salem Superior Court on five counts of child rape, according to the Essex district attorney’s office.

McCormick was arrested Thursday in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Police allege the assaults took place in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982 when the alleged victim was 11 and 12 years old.

The district attorney did not release additional details, but Mitchell Garabedian, who is the civil representative for the man who made the criminal complaint, said the alleged abuse took place at a camp run by the Salesian Brothers of Don Bosco.

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 with long history of alleged abuse faces rape charges in Salem

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Matt Stout
Friday, August 31, 2012

The priest and former head of a Catholic order charged with raping a victim multiple times on the North Shore in the 1980s has a decades-old history of alleged abuse that includes nine civil cases — including five from Boston dating back to the 1960s — but before now, had never been charged criminally, a lawyer representing the victims told the Herald.

Father Richard McCormick, arrested yesterday in New Rochelle, N.Y., was scheduled to appear in Salem Superior Court today on five counts of a rape of a child, charges stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of a victim, then 11 and 12 years old, during 1981 and 1982 in Ipswich, according to the Essex County district attorney’s office.

Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston lawyer representing the alleged victim civilly, declined to comment on the current case, citing it as a “pending criminal matter.”

But Garabedian said he’s represented nine other victims who had their cases settled against McCormick, who once served as the provincial, or head, of the Salesians of Don Brosco’s entire Eastern United States order.

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.

Testimony about bishop ‘misspoken’ in priest sex abuse case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS and MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star

In sworn testimony made public Thursday, an employee of Kansas City’s Roman Catholic diocese reported that Bishop Robert Finn said that “boys will be boys” when told of lewd images on a priest’s laptop.

But late Thursday night the employee backed away from that testimony.

John Gromowsky, an attorney representing Julie Creech, the computer systems manager for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, said that she had “misspoken” in deposition testimony taken in a civil case and hoped to correct it.

In the Aug. 17 deposition, Creech said that Finn had said, “Sometimes boys will be boys,” when she raised concerns about how the diocese was handling the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, on whose laptop computer she had seen lewd photos of young girls.

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.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel on Youngsters As Priest-Seducers: He Says, They Say, I Say

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

[with illustrating photos]

He said: “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

But you wouldn’t know what he said, since National Catholic Register, in which he said what he said, has now disappeared what he said from the Register website

And then he apologized.

And they’re saying (Tom Roberts at NCR, Joseph Zwilling of the archdiocese of NY as cited by Kevin Clarke at America, Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin, and blahblahblah in response to Grant Gallicho at Commonweal [see the second link above]).

And he’s saying: The real issue is “Why are there not hundreds of Catholic officials publicly denouncing Fr. Groeschel, especially Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose archdiocese employs or employed him and in whose archdiocese he lives and works?”

And I say:

1. It’s time for this nonsense about excusing adult men molesting minors by blaming the minors themselves to stop.

2. The atmosphere created in the Catholic church by apologists who want to find the situation of adult men abusing minors “complex” (see Matthew Boudway et al. in the Commonweal thread linked above) is toxic. Blahblahblah betrays the mission of the church to be a sacramental sign of the redemptive Word of God incarnate in the world.

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.

Deetman al in december klaar met onderzoek misbruik vrouwen

NEDERLAND
Trouw

Wim Deetman hoopt zijn rapport over het misbruik van meisjes in december te kunnen presenteren. Zijn vorige onderzoek duurde anderhalf jaar, dit thema brengt hij binnen een paar maanden in kaart. .

Het onderzoek, dat zich richt op de seksuele en fysieke mishandeling van meisjes door rooms-katholieke geestelijken en vrijwilligers, is vergelijkbaar met zijn eerdere analyse. Dat draaide ook om misbruik door rk-geestelijken, maar beperkte zich tot zaken met mannelijke slachtoffers.

Die focus leidde tot kritiek vanuit de Tweede Kamer: in januari gaf een meerderheid aan dat er ook over zaken met vrouwelijke slachtoffers duidelijkheid moet komen. Voor een parlementair onderzoek, waarvoor de SP zich inzette, is nog weinig animo.

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.

Citizens press Saginaw Bishop about abuse case

SAGINAW (MI)
WNEM

[with video]

SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) –
A group of concerned citizens is pressing Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone about his role in covering up a case of sex abuse in Philadelphia.

A Philadelphia attorney representing an altar boy who claims he was molested in 1992, plans to name Cistone in a civil lawsuit. It’s alleged Cistone witnessed the destruction of documents naming priests suspected of child abuse, and then lied about it to a grand jury.

Monsignor William Lynn, who was convicted in June of child endangerment in this same case, had reported to Cistone in church hierarchy, and claims Cistone witnessed the shredding of documents that described the alleged abuse.

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 Charged With 1980′s Child Rape In Ipswich

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

SALEM (AP) — A priest is headed to court in Massachusetts to face accusations that he molested a child three decades ago.

The Essex district attorney’s office says the Rev. Richard McCormick is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Salem Superior Court on five counts of child rape.

The alleged assaults took place in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982 when the alleged victim was 11 and 12 years old.

Authorities say McCormick was arrested Thursday in New Rochelle, N.Y.

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.

Child porn found on priest’s computer

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

What is described as a ‘small amount’ of child pornography has been found on the computer of a 50-year-old priest from Veldhoven, RTL news reported on Friday.

The man is not under arrest but has not been at work for several months while the investigation is carried out. The pornography is not self-made, RTL 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.

Ipswich police arrest N.Y. priest on rape charges

IPSWICH (MA)
WCVB

IPSWICH, Mass. —
A New York priest is being returned to Massachusetts to face rape charges.

Ipswich police arrested the Rev. Richard McCormick Thursday afternoon in New Rochelle, NY. Police acted on an indictment warrant for five counts rape of a child in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982.

The victim was 11 and 12 at the time of the incident, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s office said.

The indictments are a result of a joint investigation by the Ipswich Police Department and the Essex District Attorney’s office.

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.

MO- SNAP responds to Bishop Finn’s awful remarks

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on August 30, 2012

What an awful, hurtful way to respond to the heinous crimes of Fr. Shawn Ratigan.

Ms. Creech was under oath and she’s an employee of Bishop Finn’s diocese. So she has no incentive whatsoever to distort Bishop Finn’s callous remarks.

And Finn’s remarks weren’t that long ago. So it’s hard to believe Ms. Creech memory is somehow blurred by the passage of time.

Much like comments by two high profile New York Catholic officials – by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, earlier this week and by Cardinal Edward Egan earlier this year – Bishop Finn’s words show how little has changed in the Catholic hierarchy when it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

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.

Kenya: I Have No Son, Says Nyeri Catholic Priest

KENYA
allAfrica

The Star

By Mosoku Geoffrey, 30 August 2012

A catholic priest has denied fathering a 13-year-old boy. Fr Josephat Mwanzia of Mbiriri social centre parish in Nyeri refuted claims he had an affair with Cecilia Mbiki.

Mbiki claims Mwanzia is the father of her son. But Mwanzia disowned Mbiki and her son saying, “I am not aware of the boy and his mother. I am ready to go for a DNA test to prove my innocence.”

The priest said a demand letter sent to him by theMbiki’s lawyers was part of a blackmail plot emanating from a family dispute he is currently embroiled in. “I have the letter from Oduor Okumu and company advocates, which was sent to my rural home in Kangundo and another to my headquarters in Consolata Missionaries by strangers. I have reported the matter to CID and also to my superiors,” said Fr Mwanzia.

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.

New measures to tackle child abuse in Diocese of Chichester

UNITED KINGDOM
Worthing Herald

Published on Friday 31 August 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to continue supervising protection of children and vulnerable adults in the Diocese of Chichester after investigators concluded that safeguarding had fallen “woefully short” of what should be expected.

Dr Rowan Williams, who set up an inquiry into child protection policies in the diocese, said the interim report “confirms that there have been many and longstanding failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy in the Diocese of Chichester”.

Dr Williams appointed Bishop John Gladwin and Chancellor Rupert Bursell QC as commissaries to conduct the inquiry in the wake of child abuse scandals – the first such appointments for more than 100 years.

In May last year, a review found serious failings in the senior clergy after two priests were allowed to continue working despite being accused of serious child abuse offences.

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.

Ipswich police arrest priest for child rape from 80s

MASSACHUSETTS/NEW YORK
My Fox Boston

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A priest was arrested for child rape Thursday afternoon in New York.

Ipswich police took Father Richard McCormick into custody in New Rochelle on an indictment warrant for five counts of Rape of a Child in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982, according to the Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s Office. The victim was 11 and 12 at the time of the incident.

The indictments are a result of a joint investigation by the Ipswich Police Department and the Essex District Attorney’s Office.

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 faces child rape charges in Ipswich

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Matt Stout
Friday, August 31, 2012

A New York Catholic priest is expected to appear in Salem court today on charges he raped a victim, then 11 and 12 years old, multiple times in the early 1980s on the North Shore, authorities said.

Ipswich police arrested the Rev. Richard McCormick yesterday in New Rochelle, N.Y., on a warrant charging him with five counts of rape of a child, according to the Essex County district attorney’s office.

McCormick has been indicted on charges he sexually abused the victim in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982, according to the district attorney’s office. Authorities didn’t immediately provide further details of the allegations.

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.

Archbishop sorry for child abuse failings

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

[interim report]

Charlie Cooper

Friday 31 August 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury has apologised to victims of child abuse in a Church of England diocese after an inquiry by his own office found “fresh and disturbing” allegations against members of the clergy.

The inquiry into child protection policies in the Diocese of Chichester, set up by Dr Rowan Williams, is believed to be the first of its kind in the Church of England in more than a century. Three priests were charged this year with child sex offences.

Dr Williams said the inquiry had confirmed numerous failures in implementing the diocese’s child protection policies.

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.

Advocates Asking Saginaw Diocese for Answers Regarding Abuse Lawsuit

MICHIGAN
WSGW

Two advocates for victims of sexual abuse are requesting answers from the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, regarding a civil lawsuit, which he could soon be named in.

The case involves a former Philadelphia altar boy, who says he was sexually abused by a priest in 1992, in the diocese where Bishop Joseph Cistone formerly served. An attorney involved in the civil suit told CBS Philly that Bishop Cistone witnessed the shredding of documents relating to the abuse. The Bishop has declined to comment on the claims that he will be named in the case, but representatives from two organizations are asking for a response.

A member of Protecting Michigan’s Children, along with a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, delivered a letter, Thursday, to the Catholic Diocese, asking for transparency and inquiring whether money relating to the suit will come from the Saginaw Diocese. Representatives from the diocese say they will not comment on matters involving the lawsuit.

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.

Deposition: Bishop Said ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ About Pictures

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

Posted on: 9:37 pm, August 30, 2012, by Michelle Pekarsky and Robert Townsend, updated on: 10:48pm, August 30, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — According to court documents filed Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court, an employee of the diocese stated in a deposition that she recalled Bishop Robert Finn saying “boys will be boys” during a discussion about pictures found on the computer of a priest now charged with child pornography.

Julie Creech, Director of Management and Information Systems for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, said she met with Bishop Robert Finn and expressed her concerns about the lewd images found on a laptop computer that belonged to Father Shawn Ratigan.

She gave her deposition two weeks ago in connection with a civil suit filed against Ratigan, Finn and the diocese. Creech claims when she approached Bishop Finn, the bishop replied “Sometimes priests do things they shouldn’t,” and “Sometimes boys will be boys.”

It is unclear if Bishop Finn had actually seen the images on Ratigan’s computer when he had this conversation with Creech.

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.

Washington Churches Warned Not To Collect Funds For Gay Marriage Fight

WASHINGTON
Huffington Post

Religion News Service | By Tracy Simmons

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Churches in Washington state are being reminded that collecting money for a political cause is not OK — including a high-stakes ballot battle over gay marriage.

The state’s Public Disclosure Commission recently learned that Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima sent a letter to pastors in 41 parishes asking them to take up a special collection for Preserve Marriage Washington, the group that is trying to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage law.

A formal complaint, however, was not filed. Lori Anderson, communication and training officer for the state commission, said the reminder was merely precautionary.

“There’s been no formal action. There’s no story here. Preserve Marriage Washington and our partners have done everything within full compliance of the law,” said PMW Deputy Campaign Director Chris Plante.

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.

NY priest apologizes for saying child is often seducer in sex abuse cases

NEW YORK
NBC News

By NBC News wire services

NEW YORK — A New York priest says he “deeply regrets” if he hurt anyone by his comments that priests accused of child sex abuse are often seduced by their accusers and that a first-time offender should not go to jail.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal apologized Thursday for the comments he made in an interview with the National Catholic Register, published this week. The conservative, independent Register removed the story from its website and posted an apology for publishing the comments. Groeschel and the friars did as well.

“I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible,” Groeschel said in his post on the website. “My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.”

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.

Thorp to step down as head of Office for Pastoral Support and Child Protection

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

By Christopher S. Pineo

BRAINTREE — After 35 years of service to the Archdiocese of Boston, Barbara Thorp will be stepping down from her position as director of the Office for Pastoral Support and Child Protection this September.

Thorp directed the office dedicated to providing pastoral and mental health outreach services to survivors of clergy sexual abuse or misconduct, their families, parishes and all those impacted since 2002.

Prior to that she worked as a social worker for Catholic Charities and then led the Pro-life office from 1985-2002.

Coordinating archdiocesan efforts to ensure the protection of children, Thorp also supervised the Office of Child Advocacy and the Office of Background Screening.

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.

Bring sex abuse ‘wall of silence’ down

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

AAP
August 31, 201210:08AM

PROSECUTING individual priests won’t uncover enough information about child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, NSW MP David Shoebridge says.

The Greens’ justice spokesman has renewed his calls for a royal commission into sexual abuse in the church after an elderly Catholic priest was on Thursday charged with committing and covering up child sex offences near Newcastle in the 1970s and 80s.

The charges include one count of failing to report the sexual abuse by another priest on a child at a school where he was principal in 1978.

The priest also faces 10 sexual assault offences at a church in Waratah in 1984 and 1985.

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.

NY priest ‘deeply regrets’ comments blaming ‘seducer’ youth in sex abuse cases

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Victoria Cavaliere / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A prominent New York-based friar has apologized for expressing sympathy for some pedophiles — including defrocked priests and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky — saying they are sometimes “seduced” by their underage victims.

Father Benedict Groeschel’s jarring comments come amid ongoing fallout from child sex abuse scandals that have rocked Penn State and, over the past decade, the Catholic Church.

In some of these cases, children “looking for a father figure” are responsible for the relationship with someone in a position of power — like a coach or clergy member, Groeschel told the National Catholic Register.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster – 14, 16, 18 – is the seducer,” said Groeschel, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

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 Puts Blame on Some Victims of Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN

Published: August 30, 2012

A prominent Roman Catholic spiritual leader who has spent decades counseling wayward priests for the archdiocese provoked shock and outrage on Thursday as word spread of a recent interview he did with a Catholic newspaper during which he said that “youngsters” were often to blame when priests sexually abused them and that priests should not be jailed for such abuse on their first offense.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, who made the remarks, is a beloved figure among many Catholics and a founder of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a conservative priestly order based in New York. He hosts a weekly show on the Eternal Word Television Network and has written 45 books.

The comments were published on Monday by The National Catholic Register, which is owned by EWTN, a religious broadcaster based in Alabama.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” Father Groeschel, now 79, said in the interview. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

He added that he was “inclined to think” that priests who were first-time abusers should not be jailed because “their intention was not committing a crime.”

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.

Preying for absolution: Catholic priest says molester priests ‘seduced’ by minors

UNITED STATES
RT

A prominent New York Catholic priest stated in an interview that minors often seduce older clerics, leading them to commit sex acts. The interview was subsequently removed and the paper that posted it called its publication an “editorial mistake.”

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the Reverend Benedict Groeschel was asked how to deal with priests who sexually abuse minors.

Groeschel suggested that the priest was not always fully responsible for his actions.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” he noted. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

He suggested that first-time offenders should be relieved of a jail sentence “because their intention was not committing a crime.”

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.

Never be alone with children, clergy told

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

An inquiry into child abuse in the Diocese of Chichester found “many and longstanding failures” in safeguarding children and other vulnerable people.

By Telegraph reporters
8:41AM BST 31 Aug 2012

Clergy will be reminded never to be alone with children under new rules proposed by an inquiry into sexual abuse in the Church of England.

They will also be expected to keep records of all meetings with parishioners, while priests accused of abuse will be immediately suspended, it was reported.

Investigators looking into child protection policies following child abuse scandals in the Diocese of Chichester found that safeguarding had fallen “woefully short” of what should be expected.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury who set up the inquiry, said its interim report “confirms that there have been many and longstanding failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy in the Diocese of Chichester”.

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.

Prominent Priest Defends Sex Abusers, Later Apologizes

UNITED STATES
KVOR

(NEW YORK) — A well-known Catholic priest who hosts a weekly religious television show said in an interview this week that child sex abusers are often seduced by teenage boys and should not go to jail on a first offense. But the comments were removed by the website that published them and replaced by an apology from the priest and the site’s editors.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, who hosts a weekly show on the Catholic television network EWTN, originally made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. He also referred to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach convicted of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, as a “poor guy.”

“People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer,” Groeschel was quoted as saying in the interview, which is no longer available on the paper’s website.

The interview has now been replaced by a statement from Groeschel.

“I apologize for my comments,” it said. “I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.”

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.

Elderly priest’s comments about youngsters seducing priests creates flurry of protests, apologies

UNITED STATES
God Discussion

In a recent interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, said:

People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — of a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.

The Huffington Post reports that the Archdiocese of New York said Groeschel’s statement was “simply wrong.”

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) writes, “… the real issue isn’t that Groeschel makes such hurtful, stupid and Todd Akin-like remarks. (Many Catholic officials have thought and said much the same. We suspect many still do right now.) The real issue is “Why do priests who make callous, mean-spirited comments that hurt the already-wounded never suffer any consequences?” SNAP is calling for the discipline of Fr. Groeschel, noting that his remarks “continue to rub salt in the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of thousands of suffering child sex abuse victims and their loved ones.”

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.

New details released in church abuse case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCTV

By Laura McCallister, Multimedia Producer

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) –
“Boys will be boys.”

That’s what the head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese apparently said over concerns about a priest with lewd images of children on his laptop.

KCTV5’s reporting partners at the Kansas City Star obtained court documents in the abuse case against Reverend Shawn Ratigan. Records said Bishop Robert Finn also said “sometimes priests do things they shouldn’t.”

Ratigan is accused of abusing a 9-year-old girl months after the diocese learned about the photos on the laptop. At the beginning of August, Ratigan entered a guilty plea to child pornography charges.

Finn and the diocese are facing misdemeanor charges for failing to report the suspected abuse to police.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP issued the following response in regards to the new details:

What an awful, hurtful way to respond to the heinous crimes of Fr. Shawn Ratigan.

Ms. Creech was under oath and she’s an employee of Bishop Finn’s diocese. So she has no incentive whatsoever to distort Bishop Finn’s callous remarks.

And Finn’s remarks weren’t that long ago. So it’s hard to believe Ms. Creech memory is somehow blurred by the passage of time.

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.

For Immediate Release: August 30, 2012

UNITED STATES
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

August 30, 2012

The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal sincerely apologizes for the comments made by Fr. Benedict Groeschel in an interview released yesterday by the National Catholic Register, online addition. In that interview, Fr. Benedict made comments that were inappropriate and untrue. A child is never responsible for abuse. Any abuser of a child is always responsible, especially a priest. Sexual abuse of a minor is a terrible crime and should always be treated as such. We are sorry for any pain his comments may have caused. Fr. Benedict has dedicated his life to helping others and these comments were completely out of character. He never intended to excuse abuse or implicate the victims. We hope that these unfortunate statements will not overshadow the great good Fr. Benedict has done in housing countless homeless people, feeding innumerable poor families, and bringing healing, peace and encouragement to so many.

Fr Benedict helped found our community 25 years ago with the hope of bringing the healing peace of Jesus Christ to our wounded world. Our desire has always been to lift-up humanity and never to hurt. About seven years ago, Fr. Benedict was struck by a car and was in a coma for over a month. In recent months his health, memory and cognitive ability have been failing. He has been in and out of the hospital. Due to his declining health and inability to care for himself, Fr. Benedict had moved to a location where he could rest and be relieved of his responsibilities. Although these factors do not excuse his comments, they help us understand how such a compassionate man could have said something so wrong, so insensitive, and so out of character. Our prayers are with all those who have been hurt by his comments, especially victims of sexual abuse.

Personal Statement from Fr Benedict Groeschel:

I apologize for my comments. I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.

With questions please contact Fr. Glenn Sudano at 914-965-8143.

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.

NY priest apologizes …

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

NY priest apologizes for saying priests seduced by kids, 1st offense shouldn’t mean jail time

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, August 30, 7:55 PM

NEW YORK — A New York priest has apologized after coming under criticism from church officials and advocates of sex abuse victims for saying that priests accused of child sex abuse are often seduced by their accusers and that a first-time offender should not go to jail.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register published this week. The website for the conservative independent Register then removed the story and posted an apology for publishing the comments. Groeschel and the friars did as well.

Asked about working with priests involved in abuse, Groeschel said, “Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.” …

Editor in Chief Jeanette De Melo posted a note apologizing for “publishing without clarification or challenge Father Benedict Groeschel’s comments that seem to suggest that the child is somehow responsible for abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our publication of that comment was an editorial mistake, for which we sincerely apologize.”

Groeschel also posted an apology to the site. “I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone,” 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.

Child sex abuse inquiry damns Chichester church’s local safeguarding

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

[interim report]

David Batty
The Guardian, Thursday 30 August 2012

An inquiry into child sex abuse by Church of England clergy in Chichester has found many children suffered “abiding hurt and damage” because local safeguarding measures had fallen “woefully short” for two decades.

The inquiry by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office concluded that the West Sussex diocese has “an appalling history” of child protection failures, with “fresh and disturbing” allegations continuing to emerge.

Lambeth Palace will now oversee clergy appointments and the protection of children and vulnerable adults in the diocese amid concerns that safeguarding procedures remain “dysfunctional”.

The archbishop, Rowan Williams, who set up the investigation, said the interim report “confirms that there have been many and longstanding failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy in the diocese of Chichester”.

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.

Father Groeschel apologizes for sympathizing with Sandusky, but won’t face discipline

UNITED STATES
Metro

CASSANDRA GARRISON

NEW YORK

A Franciscan friar in Westchester, N.Y., apologized Thursday for shocking comments he made to a Catholic newsletter, where he appeared to defend not only child sex abuse, but also disgraced former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel, 78, said boys without fathers are often the ones to approach their abusers.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer,” Groeschel, who is part of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, said.

“It’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing,” he added.

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.

Practise what you preach

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Michael Clifford

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cardinal Brady has no right to lecture anyone on the morals of abortion when, back in the 1970s, his ineptitude failed to protect children from clerical sex abuse, argues Michael Clifford

THERE are times when irony descends into farce. On Sunday, Cardinal Seán Brady was interviewed on RTÉ radio’s current affairs programme, This Week. He was on the phone, which was a strange way for the Primate of All Ireland to address the nation in this day and age. His chosen subject was abortion, a good choice for a hierarchy reeling from scandals. But what amazed was the sheer neck he displayed in lecturing on morals.

The cardinal referred more than once to “respect for all human life”. He described the Supreme Court judgement in the X case as “flawed”, as if he knew better than the judges appointed to administer the law in a republic. And he made a point of referencing the welfare of small children, in relation to the forum from where he threw himself into the abortion issue on Friday.

Coming from another member of the hierarchy, these issues would be regarded as standard fare. But the cardinal is a man who has practically no moral authority in light of what has emerged about his role in covering up clerical sex abuse.

Earlier this year, it emerged that he was one member of a team of clerics that in 1975 interviewed a 15-year-old Brendan Boland about the activities of paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth. The boy told the panel of others who had been abused by Smyth, yet he was sworn to secrecy about the process, and Smyth kept on abusing. The report was passed up to the hierarchy, and the 35-year-old Fr Brady, as he was then, washed his hands of it.

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.

FR. GROESCHEL UNDER FIRE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on remarks made by Father Benedict Groeschel in the National Catholic Register regarding the sexual abuse of minors:

A quarter century ago, Father Groeschel and seven other priests broke away from a religious community to found the Franciscan Friars of Renewal. His service to the Church over the past half-century has been nothing less than heroic. His ministry to the least among us is especially noteworthy.

Father Groeschel holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University, and has put his training to work by counseling some of the most mentally and socially challenged people in our society. In addition, for the past four decades he has been screening men for the priesthood, weeding out those who should not be ordained. His record is impressive.

In a recent interview, he hypothesized how a young person (14, 16 or 18, as he put it) could conceivably take advantage of a priest who was having a nervous breakdown. He also referred to Jerry Sandusky, the disgraced Penn State football coach, as “this poor guy.” For these remarks, and related comments, he is now being labeled as a defender of child abuse.

The accusation is scurrilous. In the same interview, Groeschel emphatically said that priests who are sexual abusers “have to leave.” His reference to Sandusky was exactly the way a priest-psychologist might be expected to speak: “poor guy” conveys sympathy for his maladies—it is not a defense of his behavior! Indeed, Groeschel asked, “Why didn’t anyone say anything?”

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.

Bel Air youth pastor charged with sexual abuse

BEL AIR (MD)
Baltimore Sun

BY KAYLA BAWROSKI, kabawroski@theaegis.com

August 30, 2012

A Bel Air youth pastor was terminated from his position after being charged with the sexual abuse of a minor.

Walter Harrison Yocum, 35, of the 3200 block of Ady Road in Street, was charged Aug. 23 with third- and fourth-degree sexual offense, sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree assault.

The incident dates to a week in mid-July, during Vacation Bible School at Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air, where Yocum is a youth pastor, according to charging documents.

On Aug. 21, a 16-year-old girl came to the Child Advocacy Center and in a forensic interview, told interviewers she was approached by Yocum at VBS earlier this summer, according to charging documents.

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.

Amish woman: Ohio bishop coerced women into sex

OHIO
Sacramento Bee

By JOHN SEEWER
Associated Press

CLEVELAND — An Amish bishop accused of orchestrating hair-cutting attacks in Ohio coerced women at his settlement into having sex with him so he could turn them into better wives, one of the women testified Thursday.

The woman said what started out as hugs turned into kisses and then sex. She said she resisted at first.

“He would say things like, ‘I can’t understand why you won’t obey me, the other ladies can,'” the woman testified. “I always gave up. I was afraid not to.”

Prosecutors say the alleged sexual “counseling” of married women shows the control Samuel Mullet Sr. had over followers at the Amish settlement he founded two decades ago. The 16 people accused of carrying out the hair-cutting attacks last fall all lived on Mullet’s settlement in eastern Ohio near the West Virginia panhandle.

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.

‘Boys will be boys,’ Bishop Finn purportedly said after being told of priest’s lewd photos

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY THOMAS and MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star

When confronted by the diocese’s computer director about her concerns over lewd images found on a priest’s laptop, Bishop Robert Finn replied that, “Sometimes priests do things they shouldn’t,” court papers filed Thursday alleged.

“Sometimes, boys will be boys,” the bishop is purported to have said, court records show.

Julie Creech, the director of management and information systems for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, described her meeting with the bishop during an Aug. 17 deposition in a Jackson County civil case. According to that lawsuit, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan abused a 9-year-old girl months after the diocese learned of the photos on his computer.

Finn and the diocese are scheduled for a criminal trial starting Sept. 24 on misdemeanor counts of failing to report Ratigan’s suspected abuse of children. Ratigan is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in federal court earlier this month to producing and attempting to produce child pornography.

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.

Accused KC Catholic bishop: ‘Boys will be boys’

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An employee of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph says the bishop commented that “boys will be boys” when he was told about lewd images of children on a priest’s laptop computer.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/OCj2rF) reports that diocese computer director Julie Creech described her conversation with Bishop Robert Finn during an Aug. 17 deposition. A partial transcript of the deposition was filed Thursday in a civil lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court.

That lawsuit alleges the Rev. Shawn Ratigan abused a 9-year-old girl months after the diocese learned of the photos on his computer.

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.

Naperville priest suspended in wake of abuse allegations

NAPERVILLE (IL)
Daily Herald

By Lee Filas.

A Naperville priest has been suspended by the Joliet Diocese following allegations he sexually abused a child more than 25 years ago.

Rev. James Nowak, 75, who served as pastor at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church from 2002 to 2007, was placed on temporary administrative leave. He is not permitted to celebrate public Mass or administer sacraments, said diocese spokesman Doug Delaney.

Nowak is retired, and is listed as member of the board of directors at Montini High School in Lombard, according to the school’s website.

It’s unknown where Novak was working at the time of the alleged abuse.

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 charged with hiding sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
Coastal Times

JOANNE MCCARTHY

31 Aug, 2012 03

HE was the ”right-hand man” of a bishop, and a one-time acting bishop himself, but priest Tom Brennan has become the first Australian Catholic priest charged with concealing the alleged child sex crimes of another.

Father Brennan, 74, was arrested and charged yesterday with two counts of misprision of a felony – failing to disclose a serious crime – relating to alleged child sex offences by defrocked priest John Denham against two boys in the late 1970s.

The offences allegedly occurred at St Pius X, in the Newcastle suburb of Adamstown, where Father Denham was a teacher and Father Brennan was school principal.

Strike Force Georgiana’s Detective Sergeant Kristi Faber also charged Father Brennan with eight counts of sexually assaulting a boy, 8, at a Waratah church in 1984 and 1985, and two counts of assault.

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.

Prominent priest blames sex victims, says first-time abusers shouldn’t face jail

UNITED STATES
The Christian Century

Aug 30, 2012 by David Gibson and Daniel Burke

c. 2012 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a prominent author and speaker who is especially popular with conservative Catholics and bishops, has sparked outrage by saying that priests who sexually abuse children “on their first offense” should not go to jail.

He added that in “a lot of cases,” the child is “the seducer.”

The New York-based Franciscan also expressed sympathy for Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in a scandal that rocked college football and dominated the news much as the clergy crisis has.

Groeschel’s comments, in an interview published Tuesday (Aug. 28) by the National Catholic Register, spread like wildfire around the Internet after they were reported by Religion News Service, and they prompted comparisons to Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s controversial remarks about “legitimate rape” and abortion.

They also threatened to raise more questions about the hierarchy’s response to the abuse scandal even as the bishops have been hoping to turn the corner on a decades-long scandal that has cost billions in settlements and damaged the church’s moral standing.

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.

NY Priest Apologizes for Sex Abuse Comments

NEW YORK
ABC News

NEW YORK August 31, 2012 (AP)

A New York priest is apologizing following criticism he’s receiving for saying that priests accused of child sex abuse are often seduced by their accusers and that a first-time offender shouldn’t go to jail.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register published this week. The website then removed the story and posted an apology for publishing the comments.

Groeschel also apologized, saying he did not intend to blame victims, and that he regrets any harm he caused to anyone.

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.

New York priest says child often seducer in sex abuse cases

UNITED STATES
The Jerusalem Post

By REUTERS

08/31/2012

NEW YORK – A Roman Catholic priest in New York expressed sympathy this week for some clergy who sexually abuse children, as well as for convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky, saying that it is often the “youngster” who is the seducer.

The remarks by the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Westchester County outside New York City, drew strong criticism from the Archdiocese of New York and the support group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster – 14, 16, 18 – is the seducer,” Groeschel said when asked by an interviewer from the National Catholic Register, the nation’s oldest Catholic newspaper, about his work with priests who abuse children.

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.

Renewed inquiry call after abuse cover-up charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Timothy McDonald

The survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have renewed their call for a Royal Commission after the police in Newcastle charged a former priest with covering up abuse.

Retired Newcastle Catholic priest, Thomas Brennan, has been accused of sexually assaulting a child in the 1980s, and charged with failing to report sexual abuse by defrocked priest John Sidney Denham in the 1970s.

It is believed to be the first time a priest has been charged over an alleged cover-up, and survivors and advocates are hopeful that it might set a precedent.

Bob O’Toole is from the Clergy Abused Network, which helps victims in the Hunter Region.

“I think it’s a good thing,” 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.

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises …

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises after Church report accuses clergy of failing to protect children from 20 years of abuse at ancient diocese

By Steve Doughty

A savage Church of England report today accused the clergy in an ancient diocese of a ‘disastrous’ failure to protect children from abuse by paedophile priests.

The investigation carried out for the Archbishop of Canterbury said that many lives had been blighted, and a string of court cases was just the tip of the iceberg of corruption in the Diocese of Chichester.

It followed deepening concerns after one vicar was jailed for five years for sexually abusing two boys and another parish priest died without being charged with any offence after abusing at least 10 boys.

Three retired priests in the diocese are currently facing charges of sexual offences against children.

The‘interim’ report of the inquiry – known in ecclesiastical terms as a visitation – comes more than a year after an initial inquiry by retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss and has itself taken eight months to produce.

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.

NY – Why is Cardinal Dolan silent on Fr. Groeschel’s victim-blaming?

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on August 30, 2012

The question raised by the Fr. Benedict Groeschel controversy is simple: why is Cardinal Dolan – and every other US Catholic official – silent? This week, Groeschel, a prominent New York-based priest and founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal said teens act as “seducers” in sex abuse cases against clergy.

But the real issue isn’t that Groeschel makes such hurtful, stupid and Todd Akin-like remarks. (Many Catholic officials have thought and said much the same. We suspect many still do right now.)

The real issue is “Why do priests who make callous, mean-spirited comments that hurt the already-wounded never suffer any consequences?” The real issue is “Why are there not hundreds of Catholic officials publicly denouncing Fr. Groeschel, especially Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose archdiocese employs or employed him and in whose archdiocese he lives and works?”

Can you even think of one instance, over the past 25 years, in which even one bishop or other top church staffer disciplined or denounced even one church employee for making even one ignorant, hurtful statement?

It doesn’t happen. And that’s why priests like Fr. Groeschel continue to rub salt in the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of thousands of suffering child sex abuse victims and their loved ones.

But it should happen. So today we are calling on two prominent Catholic officials to discipline Groeschel.

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.

Statement Of Joseph Zwilling Regarding Recent Comments Of Fr. Benedict Groeschel

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

This is the statement from Joseph Zwilling, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of New York, in reaction to comments attributed to Fr. Benedict Groeschel in a recent interview with the National Catholic Register.

“The comments made by Father Benedict Groeschel that appeared on the website of the National Catholic Register are simply wrong. Although he is not a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, what Father Groeschel said cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged. The sexual abuse of a minor is a crime, and whoever commits that crime deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The harm that was done by these remarks was compounded by the assertion that the victim of abuse is responsible for the abuse, or somehow caused the abuse to occur. This is not only terribly wrong, it is also extremely painful for victims. To all those who are hurting because of sexual abuse or because of these comments, please know that you have our profound sympathy and our prayers.

The Archdiocese of New York completely disassociates itself from these comments. They do not reflect our beliefs or our practice.”

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.

NY Priest Facing Criticism for Sex Abuse Comments

NEW YORK
NBC New York

A well-known New York priest is coming under criticism for saying that priests accused of child sex abuse are often seduced by their accusers and that a first-time offender should not go to jail.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register this week. The interview has since been removed from the news source’s website and the outlet did not return a call seeking comment.

The Archdiocese of New York repudiated the comments in a statement posted on its website, calling them “simply wrong.”

Groeschel is not a priest with the Archdiocese but has worked with it in the past. He did not return messages seeking comment.

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.

Catholic TV Star, the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, Defends Child Sex Abusers

UNITED STATES
ABC News

[with video]

By COLLEEN CURRY

Aug. 30, 2012

A well-known Catholic priest who hosts a weekly religious television show said in an interview this week that child sex abusers are often seduced by teenage boys and should not go to jail on a first offense.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, who hosts a weekly show on Catholic television network EWTN, made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. He also referred to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky as a “poor guy.”

“People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to – a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer,” Groeschel is quoted as saying in the interview, which is no longer available on the paper’s website.

The interview, billed as a reflection on the 25 years since Groeschel founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal order, covered many topics, but has gained attention for Groeschel’s comments on child sex abuse.

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.

Prominent NY Friar Thinks Pedophile Priests Are Often “Seduced” By Teens

UNITED STATES
Gothamist

A prominent NY friar has come to the defense of priests who have been caught in sex scandals with underage boys, claiming that oftentimes, the priests are “seduced” by teens. Father Benedict Groeschel of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal made his comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. As if claiming teens seduce pedophiles wasn’t a disgusting enough sentiment, Groeschel also expressed sympathy for Jerry Sandusky, calling him a “poor guy.”

“People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to—a psychopath,” Groeschel told them when asked about his work with sexual abuse perpetrators. “But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster—14, 16, 18—is the seducer.” He continued, arguing that those kids are looking for father figures: “It’s not so hard to see—a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own—and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing.”

The friar, who is based in Westchester but does outreach in the Bronx and Brooklyn, doesn’t think priests should go to jail if they are caught for the first time having a sexual relationship with a child: “I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.” He argued that there is a precedent for that attitude toward priests abusing children: “Until recent years, people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn’t think of it in terms of legal things. If you go back 10 or 15 years ago with different sexual difficulties—except for rape or violence—it was very rarely brought as a civil crime.”

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.

Child sex victims seduce abusers: Priest

UNITED STATES
Sun News

QMI AGENCY

A well-known Catholic priest called convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky a “poor guy” and says clergymen in a lot of cases are seduced by children.

Father Benedict Groeschel, 79, told the National Catholic Register boys without father figures are often the ones who initiate sexual relationships with abusers.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer,” said Groeschel, the host of a weekly show called Sunday Night Prime.

“Well, it’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that.”

The New York-based clergyman with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal went on to say he doesn’t think child sex abusers should be tried on their first offence.

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.

Prominent Catholic Friar on ‘Poor Guy’ Sandusky: ‘A Lot of Cases, the Youngster Is the Seducer’

UNITED STATES
Gawker

Max Read

Father Benedict Groeschel, a prominent friar, television host, and director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, gave an interview to the National Catholic Reporter this week. It’s been taken down — why? Probably because Groeschel claimed that “in a lot of cases” of abuse, “the youngster… is the seducer.” And expressed sympathy with Jerry Sandusky.

Renew America’s Matt C. Abbott grabbed the interview before it was taken down:

[Interviewer]: Part of your work here at Trinity has been working with priests involved in abuse, no?

[Father Groeschel]: A little bit, yes; but you know, in those cases, they have to leave. And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified. People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.

[Interviewer]: Why would that be?

[Father Greoschel]: Well, it’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that.

It’s an understandable thing, and you know where you find it, among other clergy or important people; you look at teachers, attorneys, judges, social workers. Generally, if they get involved, it’s heterosexually, and if it’s a priest, he leaves and gets married — that’s the usual thing — and gets a dispensation. A lot of priests leave quickly, get civilly married and then apply for the dispensation, which takes about three years.

But there are the relatively rare cases where a priest is involved in a homosexual way with a minor. I think the statistic I read recently in a secular psychology review was about 2%. Would that be true of other clergy? Would it be true of doctors, lawyers, coaches?

Here’s this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently, a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice. Well, you know, until recent years, people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn’t think of it in terms of legal things.

If you go back 10 or 15 years ago with different sexual difficulties — except for rape or violence — it was very rarely brought as a civil crime. Nobody thought of it that way. Sometimes statutory rape would be — but only if the girl pushed her case. Parents wouldn’t touch it. People backed off, for years, on sexual cases. I’m not sure why.

I think perhaps part of the reason would be an embarrassment, that it brings the case out into the open, and the girl’s name is there, or people will figure out what’s there, or the youngster involved — you know, it’s not put in the paper, but everybody knows; they’re talking about it.

At this point, (when) any priest, any clergyman, any social worker, any teacher, any responsible person in society would become involved in a single sexual act — not necessarily intercourse — they’re done. And I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.

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.

Father Benedict Groeschel Reflects on 25 Years of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by JOHN BURGER
08/27/2012

Editor’s Note:

Child sexual abuse is never excusable. The editors of the National Catholic Register apologize for publishing without clarification or challenge Father Benedict Groeschel’s comments that seem to suggest that the child is somehow responsible for abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our publication of that comment was an editorial mistake, for which we sincerely apologize. Given Father Benedict’s stellar history over many years, we released his interview without our usual screening and oversight. We have removed the story. We have sought clarification from Father Benedict.

Jeanette R. De Melo
Editor in Chief

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.

Leading N.Y. Catholic Blames Kids for Seducing Sex Abusers

UNITED STATES
New York Magazine

By Joe Coscarelli

Friar Benedict Groeschel, the 79-year-old director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and a leader of the Bronx-based Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, has a theory on pedophilia. In an unbelievable interview with the National Catholic
Register, Groeschel explained of abusive priests, “People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him.” Then he kept going.

Via Andrew Sullivan:

A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer … It’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that.

It’s an understandable thing … there are the relatively rare cases where a priest is involved in a homosexual way with a minor. I think the statistic I read recently in a secular psychology review was about 2%. Would that be true of other clergy? Would it be true of doctors, lawyers, coaches?

Here’s this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently, a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice. Well, you know, until recent years, people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn’t think of it in terms of legal things.”

Groeschel goes on to say, “I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.” The article has since been deleted from the National Catholic Register, but lives on through Google and various dumbfounded media outlets, both religious and not.

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.

Sexual abuse victims call for Saginaw diocese bishop’s ‘transparency’ in Philadelphia sex abuse case

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Justin Engel | jengel1@mlive.com

SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, MI — Two victims of sexual abuse now advocating for children’s rights this afternoon delivered a letter asking for answers from the Most Bishop Joseph Cistone, whose name recently was linked to a planned clergy sexual abuse-based lawsuit in Philadelphia.

Cistone, the diocese’s leader, earlier this year was not named in any criminal indictments, but lawyers say he and others will be named in a civil case brought on by a former altar boy who claimed sexual abuse at a Philadelphia diocese in 1992, media reports indicate.

Lawyers claim Cistone, who was appointed as the Saginaw diocese’s leader in 2009, helped oversee the shredding of documents relating to the alleged abuse.

Kathy McCreedy, a Midland resident and member of Protecting Michigan’s Children, and Brad G. Sylvester, an Auburn man who belongs to Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), at 1 p.m. today gave the letter — intended for Cistone — to Sister Judith Mary O’Brien, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Saginaw.

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.

Father Benedict Groeschel: Clergyman says pedophile victims are often the ‘seducers’

UNITED STATES
Metro

CASSANDRA GARRISON
NEW YORK

Published: August 30, 2012

The Catholic church is taking some serious heat after a New York-based clergyman expressed sympathy for Jerry Sandusky and said teens are often the ones seducing grown men in cases of pedophilia.

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel, 78, said boys without fathers are often the ones to approach their abusers.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster – 14, 16, 18 – is the seducer,” Groeschel, who is based in Westchester, said.

“It’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing,” he added.

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.

Sympathy for ‘this poor guy’ …

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

Sympathy for ‘this poor guy’ Jerry Sandusky and other pedophiles? New York friar blames youngsters who ‘seduce’ priests, coaches

By Victoria Cavaliere / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A prominent New York-based friar has sympathy for some pedophiles — including defrocked priests and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky — saying they are sometimes “seduced” by their underage victims.

Father Benedict Groeschel’s jarring comments come amid ongoing fallout from child sex abuse scandals that have rocked Penn State and, over the past decade, the Catholic Church.

In some of these cases, children “looking for a father figure” are responsible for the relationship with someone in a position of power — like a coach or clergy member, Groeschel told the National Catholic Register.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster – 14, 16, 18 – is the seducer,” said Groeschel, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

Pressed on the point, Father Groeschel says “It’s not so hard to see – a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own – and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing.”

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.

Catholic TV Star, the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, Defends Child Sex Abusers

UNITED STATES
ABC News

[with video]

By COLLEEN CURRY

Aug. 30, 2012

A well-known Catholic priest who hosts a weekly religious television show said in an interview this week that child sex abusers are often seduced by teenage boys and should not go to jail on a first offense.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, who hosts a weekly show on Catholic television network EWTN, made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. He also referred to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky as a “poor guy.”

“People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to – a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer,” Groeschel is quoted as saying in the interview, which is no longer available on the paper’s website.

The interview, billed as a reflection on the 25 years since Groeschel founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal order, covered many topics, but has gained attention for Groeschel’s comments on child sex abuse.

“Well, it’s not so hard to see. A kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping, but not having intercourse or anything like that. I’s an understandable thing, and you know where you find it, among other clergy or important people; you look at teachers, attorneys, judges, social workers,” 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.

Getting to The Truth: Coming Forward on the Diocese of Winona Abuse

MINNESOTA
The Legal Examiner

by Mike Bryant
August 30, 2012

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled this week concerning repressed memory in sexual abuse cases. As the Crookston Times reported:

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.

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 On Leave While Joliet Diocese Looks Into Sexual Abuse

JOLIET (IL)
CBS Chicago

JOLIET (CBS) — The Diocese of Joliet says it is likely that a priest in the diocese engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor more than two decades ago.

While the diocese looks further into the allegation, the priest has been placed on administrative leave.

The Diocese of Joliet said in a statement that it recently received an allegation of Rev. James Nowak sexually abusing a minor more than 25 years ago.

An investigation was initiated by The Office of Child and Youth Protection and then evaluated by the Diocesan Review Committee, according to the statement.

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.

Empowering children …

UNITED STATES
The Child Custody Guide

Empowering children about child molesting, and how to defend against it–Shari Karney speaks out about

SHARI KARNEY SPEAKS OUT ABOUT

Comment on some of the agencies and non-profits that are engaged in educating and advocating against child abuse and molesting. You as a crusader for child rights and against child abuse take on various cases as an attorney. Is there an organization that you are connected with, too, that you will tell us about briefly?

Shari Karney: I like Child Help USA www.childhelp.org because they provide a haven for neglected and abused children. Also they are involved with education and protection. SNAP (Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests): www.snapnetwork.org is a network for those abused by Priests and Churches. The National Crime Victim Bar Association: www.victimbar.org puts a lot of energy into educating attorneys, helping crime victims with attorney referrals for civil lawsuits. National Center for Victims of Crime: www.ncvc.org helps victims of all types of crime. If you have been victimized, this is a good place to start. With their specialized DNA program, Stalking Center, and Youth Initiative program, it’s a safe place for crime victims (especially youth) to get information and support. California Protective Parents Association: www.protectiveparents.com protects and works with those who are victims of incest and family violence.

Our time needs to be spent educating caretakers, educating parents. We want to cut down on children being prey to opportunistic predators, which all child molesters are. We can’t just lay this on the parents, because it’s bigger than the parents. You can’t lock your children up 24 hours a day. Children (without being graphic), can be educated on what the rules are and what adults can and can’t do. Let’s teach our kids how to honor their gut feelings; How to stay safe, how to alert a trusted adult when something is Yucky, or doesn’t feel right. We want to empower our kids before they are in a dangerous situation. I don’t think parents should be expected to do all this on their own. We all need to pitch in and power up.

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.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel blames victims for seducing priests

UNITED STATES
SNAP Wisconsin

Almost twenty five years ago Archbishop Rembert Weakland declared that some adolescent victims of sexual assault were not “so innocent”. Weakland elaborated by saying that some adolescents “can be sexually very active and aggressive and often quite street-wise”.

Fast forward a quarter of a century later and well known Catholic priest Fr. Benedict Groeschel offers this piece of wisdom concerning the clergy sexual assault crisis that continues to plague the church:

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him…A lot of the cases, the youngster – 14, 16, or 18 is the seducer”. Groeschel added that all of this was understandable “Well it’s not so hard to see, a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own, and they won’t be planning to get into heavy duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping, but not having intercourse or anything like that”.

Groeschel provided his insights to the National Catholic Register in a lengthy interview which has since been removed from the publications website. Groeschel leads the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a religious order headquartered in the Archdiocese of New York under Cardinal Dolan’s supervision. Groeschel also hosts his own television program which can be seen on EWTN.

In the interview Groeschel proceeded to offer his observations on the sexual assault scandal at Penn State University. He stated “Here’s this poor guy Sandusky, it went on for years. Interesting: why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice. Well you know, until recent years people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn’t think of it in terms of legal things”.

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 Scandals, Fr. Benedict, and Moving on…

UNITED STATES
Father, Where Art Thou?

August 30, 2012 By Fr. Michael Duffy

An interview with Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR was recently published on the NCRegister website. It was quickly taken down, but not before it caused quite a stir. The Huffington post and the NY Daily News both picked up on it. Fr. Benedict is a remarkable priest – one that I’ve looked up to for many years. His book on Fr. Gene Hamilton helped me decide to become a priest in the early days of discernment. His comments to the NCRegister however horrified me.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster – 14, 16, 18 – is the seducer…”

“I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.”

No matter what the circumstance, a priest must be beyond reproach. The priest is always, ALWAYS called to a higher responsibility. To protect. To serve.

The Church has done so much since the scandals first broke back in 2002. We’ve done more than any other major corporation in the world. The bishop should be applauded for their vigilance.

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.

Bill Donohue Makes My Day

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Michael Sean Winters on Aug. 30, 2012 Distinctly Catholic

Nothing quite like being attacked by Bill Donohue to make a liberal Catholic’s day. Donohue is to informed discourse what Hurricane Isaac is to the Louisiana coast, all blustery and destructive wind. Yesterday, Mr. Donohue issued this press release attacking my post about the arrest of Archbishop-elect Salvatore Cordileone for driving while under the influence.

The key paragraphs are these:
Winters, like a lot of embittered Catholic “progressives,” is obsessed with homosexuality. That is why he was unable to write one paragraph in his screed against Cordileone without mentioning this subject. The context? Winters wants the bishop to “think with greater compassion about the complicated lives we all lead today.” He also wants the bishop to show an “approriate [sic] humility and humanness.” All of this is code for “shut up and leave the culture to us.”
Gay blog sites have also picked up on this theme. Why? San Francisco is a city where men [read: gays] are free to walk around naked in the street in front of women and children. They can even walk into McDonalds totally nude and park themselves next to Ronald McDonald, provided, the law says, they place a towel on their seat (hygiene matters). Next month homosexuals will whip each other in the street and have sex in public at the Folsom Street Fair. This is the city that Cordileone will soon inherit.

First, I do not think any fair reading of my many blog posts would reveal an “obsession” with the issue of homosexuality. Certainly, I have never written a paragraph like that second one quoted above which is dripping with the kind of explicit detail that leads one to wonder if the author’s interest in the topic is not properly termed prurient. I was certainly unaware of the laws about entering McDonald’s naked, or the goings-on at the Folsom Street Fair, but Mr. Donohue seems unnaturally fascinated by them. I wish he had kept his fascination to himself: I will never enter a McDonald’s with the same blissfully simple desire for a Big Mac again without being disturbed by the image he so painstakingly paints.

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.

Vatileaks: Attorney for Pope’s Butler Quits Defense

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

August 30, 2012. (Romereports.com) The attorney for pope’s butler, Carlo Fusco has abruptly abandoned his case in defense of Paolo Gabriele against charges of leaking private documents in what has become known as ‘Vatileaks’. Fusco says his decision was based on “differences over the line of defense”.

He is actually a childhood friend of Gabriele. Fusco says that even though he is leaving the case, the two will maintain their friendship.

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.

Groups plan protest outside Saginaw diocese after bishop linked to Philly clergy child sex abuse lawsuit

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Justin Engel | jengel1@mlive.com

SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, MI — Two children’s rights groups today plan to protest outside the Diocese of Saginaw headquarters here after the Catholic organization’s leader’s name was attached to a planned clergy sexual abuse-based lawsuit, officials say.

The Most Bishop Joseph Cistone earlier this year was not named in any criminal indictments, but lawyers say Cistone and others will be named in a civil case brought on by a former altar boy who claimed sexual abuse in 1992, media reports indicate.

Lawyers claim Cistone helped oversee the shredding of documents relating to the alleged abuse.

Now members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and Protecting Michigan’s Children, a group that has worked with Michigan legislators to introduce laws aimed at better protecting children, plan to show up at 1 p.m. today at the diocese offices, 5800 Weiss in Saginaw Township.

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.

NYS POLS AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on how the New York State Legislature is handling charges of sexual harassment against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez:

Assemblyman Lopez says he is innocent of physically abusing female aides. I have no way of telling. He is also charged with giving hush money. The real issue for the Catholic League is the incredible duplicity at work: we have one rule for priests accused of sexual abuse, and another for lawmakers.

The New York Archdiocese, following the rules established by the bishops’ conference, makes it clear that it must “cooperate with public authorities about reporting cases [of sexual abuse] even when the person is no longer a minor.” That’s what “zero tolerance” means.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says, “The Assembly has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment.” Really? Then why weren’t the cops called? Why did he not initially insist, as he was supposed to do, that the case be given to the Assembly Ethics Commission? Instead, he apologizes for not doing so, while still insisting that what he did was “both legally correct and ethical.”

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.

A Call for a Healing Movement

CALIFORNIA
Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

The following letter is to a local church in San Diego that acts to prevent child sexual abuse and promote healing.

Pilgrims,

Congratulations on sending the Resolution for Safe Churches and Healing Communities to the Annual Gathering and having it adopted [this document]

I have a vision of how, together, we can bring the Resolution to fruition. In fact, it is a vision of a movement that is impossible for any one person, like myself, to realize and will become a reality because of your participation.

I remember the pain I went through when I broke my own silence about being sexually abused by a priest when I was an adolescent. Many of you can remember the pain and trauma five years ago when a registered sex offender showed up asking to be part of our faith community. I think that the pain many experienced then had to do with not having a language or competency to deal with that pain at the time. Individual and collective abuse trauma experiences were triggered and we thought we might never recover, and look where we are now! We are more conscious, competent, and committed to preventing abuse of children, youth and vulnerable adults. Many are more healed and whole as a result of working with this toxic material as a church.

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.

Archbishop of Canterbury criticises local failures to protect children from paedophile priests

UNITED KINGDOM
Brighton and Hove News

The Church of England diocese that includes Brighton and Hove and the recently retired Bishop of Chichester have been criticised in an official report.

The report was commissioned by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to investigate repeated failures to protect children in the area from paedophile priests.

The archbishop said that his office would oversee child protection in the Diocese of Chichester for the foreseeable future.

His staff will also take over responsibility for decisions about the appointment of clergy, deciding who has “permission to officiate”.

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.

Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out over child abuse in Chichester diocese after damning report

UNITED KINGDOM
The News

Published on Thursday 30 August 2012

THE Archbishop of Canterbury will continue to supervise protection of children and vulnerable adults in the Chichester diocese after a report revealed it fell ‘woefully short’ of expectations.

Dr Rowan Williams – who set up an inquiry into child protection policies in the diocese – said an interim report showed ‘many and long-standing failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy.’

Dr Williams appointed Bishop John Gladwin and Chancellor Rupert Bursell QC to conduct the inquiry in the wake of child abuse scandals – the first such appointments for more than a century.

In May last year a review found serious failings after two priests were allowed to continue working despite being accused of child abuse.

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.

Archbishop appeals for abuse victims to come forward

UNITED KINGDOM
itv

[interim report]

Dr Rowan Williams has responded to a new report on sex abuse in the Chichester Diocese and has apologised to those who have been abused as a result of failings by the Church.

Dr Williams set up an inquiry into child protection policies after abuses by East Sussex vicar Colin Pritchard and Brede parish priest Roy Cotton.

He appointed Bishop John Gladwin and Chancellor Rupert Bursell QC as commissaries to conduct the inquiry in the wake of child abuse scandals – the first such appointments for more than a century.

The Archbishop said the interim report confirmed that there had been “many and longstanding failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy in the Diocese of Chichester”.

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.

Top Catholic Priest Claims Some Teenage Boys Seduced Priests

NEW YORK
CBS Connecticut

NEW YORK (CBS Connecticut/AP) – A top Catholic priest is claiming that some teenage boys seduced priests in sexual abuse cases.

Father Benedict Groeschel, 78, told the National Catholic Register in an interview published this past week that teenage boys could sometimes play the “seducer” toward a priest.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” Groeschel said to the Catholic Register. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

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.

GA – Victims blast Atlanta minister accused of sex crimes

ATLANTA (GA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on August 30, 2012

At least four individuals – two men and two women – are accusing an Atlanta minister of infecting them with the HIV virus. It’s awful when a pastor breaks his bonds of trust and honor and abuses his position by sexually exploiting congregants. It’s even worse when he actively spreads HIV among them.

In criminal matters, one is innocent until proven guilty. Yet it’s hard to imagine four adults lying about Pastor Craig Davis of the Full Gospel Baptist Church in Atlanta. If convicted of this disgusting crime, we hope that Davis will be jailed for a long time so he can’t hurt others.

We are grateful that Davis has been arrested, but disappointed that he was released so easily on bond. We suspect his victims are right when they describe him as a “master manipulator.” So his role, personality, HIV status and alleged crimes put others in the Atlanta area at risk. We hope that no one else is victimized by David and that anyone else who may have seen or suspected his crimes, whether at Full Gospel or elsewhere, will come forward to the police immediately.

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.

Archbishop of Canterbury …

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Archbishop of Canterbury vows to protect victims of Sussex church abuse after report reveals diocese’s safeguarding fell ‘woefully short’

Anna Roberts

Britain’s top vicar has apologised to victims who suffered abuse at the hands of the Church of England in Sussex. Archbishop of Caterbury Rowan Williamson spoke yesterday after an interim report into an investigation into the operation of child protection policies in the Diocese of Chichester was published.

Archbishop Williams said he will continue supervising protection of children and vulnerable adults in the diocese after investigators concluded that safeguarding had fallen “woefully short” of what should be expected.

Dr Rowan Williams, who set up an inquiry into child protection policies in the diocese, said the interim report “confirms that there have been many and longstanding failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy in the Diocese of Chichester”.

Dr Williams appointed Bishop John Gladwin and Chancellor Rupert Bursell QC as commissaries to conduct the inquiry in the wake of child abuse scandals – the first such appointments for more than 100 years.

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.

Church rocked by damning report into child protection failures

UNITED KINGDOM
Eastbourne Herald

[Interim report]

Published on Thursday 30 August 2012

THE DIOCESE of Chichester has come in for yet more heavy criticism in a damning new report.

A “profoundly negative culture” within the diocese, responsible for Church of England churches and priests in Eastbourne and the surrounding area, led to two decades of child protection failures and the inquiry by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office said “fresh and disturbing” aspects of the way abuse claims were handled keep surfacing.

The diocese has also been labelled “dysfunctional” with no drive or direction from the top, arrogantly in denial, somewhere priests were allowed to officiate without up-to-date CRB checks and there were weaknesses within safeguarding policies, which were unclear.

Its authors said, “It is clear to us that many lives have been blighted. Some have sought justice through the courts of law. Clergy have gone to prison for their abuse of children. We are clear that those who have sought justice through the courts are but the tip of the iceberg.

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.

Judge will allow Poly Prep sex-abuse lawsuit to proceed, but throws out RICO claims made by all but two plain

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

[court document]

By Michael O’Keeffe / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

In a startling court order that could be a watershed moment for survivors of childhood sex abuse, a federal judge said Tuesday he will allow portions of an explosive lawsuit to proceed against Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn.

U.S. District Court Judge Frederic Block wrote he would green-light the case because officials may have lied when they claimed they only learned in 1991 that a longtime football coach had allegedly molested boys for several decades.

Block said Poly Prep’s attempts to have the lawsuit dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired falls flat because administrators might have deceived 10 former students and two day campers who claimed they were sexually abused by coach Phil Foglietta.

“Central to plaintiffs’ claims in the present case are their allegations that Poly Prep engaged in an affirmative course of conduct during the period of limitations to deceive the plaintiffs into believing that they had no claim against Poly Prep because the school had no knowledge of Foglietta’s wrongdoing…Foglietta was consistently portrayed to the plaintiffs as a reputable and esteemed football coach throughout the limitations period (1966-1991),” Block wrote in Tuesday’s order.

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.

School Abuse Case May Proceed, Judge Says

NEW YORK
The New York Times

[court document]

By JENNY ANDERSON

Published: August 28, 2012

A top-tier Brooklyn private school cannot automatically use New York State’s statute of limitations to prevent a case involving sexual abuse allegations against a former football coach from proceeding, a judge ruled Tuesday, because of the possibility that the school may have engaged in a scheme to cover up decades of abuse.

The ruling by the judge, Frederic Block of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, paves the way for a hearing to establish whether there was a cover-up by the school, Poly Prep, and if it prevented the plaintiffs from bringing a case within the statute of limitations. In New York, survivors of sexual abuse that occurred while they were minors must file a case by the time they are 23.

The judge dismissed all racketeering charges against Poly Prep, but allowed 2 of the 12 plaintiffs to go forward with their racketeering claims against current and former board and administration members. In his 40-page ruling, Judge Block also allowed civil charges including fraud and violations of Title IX, which specifically prohibits sexual abuse, to move forward to a hearing.

The case is being closely watched, as allegations of sexual abuse and the way powerful institutions manage knowledge of those allegations has exploded within the Roman Catholic Church, in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn and in high-profile schools like Horace Mann in the Bronx and Penn State University.

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.