Meredith Bennett-Smith Posted: 12/31/2012
Infamous polygamist and leader of the break-off Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sect has predicted that the end of times is near, prompting some to worry about violence this New Year’s Eve.
Warren Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence in Texas for abusing underage girl “brides,” but authorities say he has been issuing missives to his 10,000 followers from his prison cell, the New York Daily News notes.
Sam Brower, a private investigator who represents former FLDS members, told CNN that law enforcement officers will be monitoring known FLDS communities as the new year approaches.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau says it has received a credible complaint of sex abuse of a child involving a priest.
According to the diocese, the complaint involves Rev. Walter G. Craig and is alleged to have happened in the mid-1960s.
The church says Rev. Craig was appointed to the diocese in 1956 and the alleged abuse occurred in New Madrid County.
Rev. Craig was born in 1899 and ordained in 1923 for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He died in 1971.
Sikeston Standard Democrat
Monday, December 31, 2012
SPRINGFIELD – The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has reported allegations of sexual abuse of a child by a priest who once served parishes in Southeast Missouri.
The Diocese is reporting “a credible complaint” of sexual abuse of a minor involving the Rev. Walter G. Craig. The allegation pertains to a period in the mid-1960s, according to a news release from the Diocese.
Monday, December 31, 2012
MONTREAL — A church member says a West Island deacon facing child-pornography charges worked directly with children at St. Edmund of Canterbury Church in Beaconsfield.
Pierre Drolet, whose three children attended catechism classes and volunteered at the popular Catholic parish, said that as a deacon, William Kokesch was involved in a range of children’s activities, including organizing bowling parties and other events for altar servers, choir members and children enrolled in liturgy programs.
Drolet made the comment in response to a statement by church warden Peter Geukers, who said Thursday that Kokesch did not work directly with children, except during mass.
“That’s not true,” said Drolet, an active church volunteer for about 10 years, until three years ago.
“He’s a deacon, and the deacons work with kids,” he said.
Telegram & Gazette
The mother of one of my oldest friends died of cancer last week. Jacqueline Brunelle Sharry was 86, funny and warm, with a succinct way of expressing herself that led to phrases dubbed “Jackieisms” by her kids.
She never went to college or worked outside the home. Instead, she raised 10 terrific children, all of whom adored her and were by her side as she passed. Looking back, she never made the raising of such a big, boisterous brood seem anything but effortless.
Mrs. Sharry was also one of those moms who made her children’s friends feel welcome in her home, where she was always quick to set another place at the dinner table. Last week, she was asked by her daughter Nancy how she managed to raise such a large family and still have the energy to host all…
We close out our great year at TheMediaReport.com with our Top Five posts of 2012! Again, thank you so much to everyone!
#5 Minn. Supreme Court Rejects ‘Repressed Memory’ Junk Science Against Priest, Media Yawns
For years now, Church-suing lawyers have attempted to use the novel psychological theory of “repressed memory” as a way to circumvent the statutes of limitations in many states in order to file big-money lawsuits against the Catholic Church.
However, in July, the Minnesota Supreme Court flatly rejected the theory as bogus. The Court declared that scientific studies that have tried to prove the bogus theory have “lacked foundational reliability.” Yet – not unexpectedly – the media was nowhere to be found reporting this important story.
Regular readers of this site have long known that “repressed memory” is a complete sham. Yet once again, when the facts do not fit the accepted…
[Reach out – say THANK YOU to John, on his daily journey he stops at the library and reads comments below]
The Passion of John Wojnowski
Haunted by his past, he has stood outside the Vatican embassy nearly every day for 14 years. His lonely vigil has made him a hero to victims of sexual abuse. But will he ever find peace?
The Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland)
Fr. Alfonso Llano Escobar, S.J. had learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to critique your boss’s writings. Fr. Llano, whose weekly column Un alto en el camino (“A stop along the road”) had appeared in the major Colombian newspaper El Tiempo for 30 years, has been told that his writing career has come to an end.
In a message to the editorial board of the newspaper, Fr. Llano wrote that “Father Adolfo Nicolás, the superior general of the Jesuits, has ordered Father Alfonso Llano to consider his apostolic vocation as a writer to be over, has deprived him of his freedom of speech, and is demanding that he not even say goodbye and that he keep absolute silence.”
The priest columnist earned his silencing for a November 24th column in which he offered his views on Pope Benedict XVI’s new…
By Eimear Ni Bhraonain
Monday December 31 2012
A THIRD lawsuit has been filed in the United States against an Irish priest who fled the country where a civil jury found him guilty of molesting an altar boy.
Fr Michael Kelly (63) insisted on his innocence after he returned to stay with family in Ireland last April.
The Catholic priest from Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, has rarely been seen since he returned to Ireland.
The Irish Independent understands that he has not been involved in any priestly duties since he came back to Ireland.
LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 30, 2012
What would have happened if the LA Times and The Associated Press did not intervene in the court battle over the Los Angeles Archdiocese clergy sex abuse documents?
My guess? The worst possible outcome.
What do I mean by that? The document redactions—that would have allowed church officials guilty of covering up for clergy sex offenders to remain unpunished, unexposed and unaccountable for their crimes—would probably have sailed in under the radar. Victims (and their attorneys) who fought for years to get justice and accountability would have been given the proverbial “sand-pounding hammer” and LA criminals similar to Philadelphia’s Msgr. William Lynn would be off scot-free.
Let’s hope that more media organizations—as well as Catholic justice and advocacy groups—step up and also demand the accountability that Los Angeles’ victims have been fighting for for decades….
LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 30, 2012
Remind me to take Los Angeles Archdiocese lawyer J. Michael Hennigan off my Christmas card list.
From the Los Angeles Times:
“We agree with Judge Tevrizian that enough time has passed and enough reforms have been made that it’s time to get off this and move onto another subject,” attorney J. Michael Hennigan said.
Those other subjects? Two civil sex abuse trials against former priest Michael Baker and the first of what could be many civil sex abuse trials against former priest Nicolás Aguilar Rivera. And that’s just the start.
“… enough time has passed?” To run out the statute of limitations for other victims, perhaps …
Gee, those UNREDACTED documents would get in the way, wouldn’t they?
Women staged a protest at Sunday mass after a priest in Italy blamed violence against females committed by men on provocative behaviour and clothing.
The activists made their opposition to Father Pietro Corsi’s views clear at the main church in the Tuscan city of Carrara.
Father Corsi, priest at a church in nearby Lerici, penned his views in a letter, then posted it on the church noticeboard.
“We decided to stage this protest because we think that this ideology is basically shared by most of the Catholic Church and society. This ideology has become one of the causes of violence against women, which is actually an emergency in Italy,” said Anthropologist and women’s rights activist Alessandra Verdini, who organised the protest by using Facebook.
By Roberto Rocha, THE GAZETTE
December 30, 2012 12:51 PM
MONTREAL — Montreal police will arrest a second priest believed to have sexually abused students of a school run by the Congregation of Holy Cross one of Quebec’s pre-eminent religious orders.
The arrest of Olivain Leblanc, 70 follows that of Georges Sarrazin, 91. Both are accused of abusing boys at College Notre-Dame between 1966 and 1980.
Leblanc, like Sarrazin, is also believed to suffer from health problems, which complicates their arrest.
Police are in discussion with the priests’ lawyers, and the arrest warrants will be “executed shortly,” Constable Anie Lemieux of the Montreal police said.
Women in Carrara, Italy attended mass wearing miniskirts and low-necked dresses to protest against an Italian priest’s comments.
Father Pietro Corsi, priest at Saint Terenzio, a church in Lerici, Northern Italy said that women killings and violence against women are caused by provocative women’s behaviour.
Father Corsi hung a notice on the Church’s notice board on women dressing which provoked strong reactions and protests among Italian women and also towards the Church.
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils…
New Year’s plea to the judge of Los Angeles: Reveal the whole truth, the entire truth now
Dear Judge Emilie H. Elias,
You are our final hope for the whole truth and nothing but the truth…and May the Almighty God help you and give you the courage to do the right thing.
The crimes against American children systemically covered-up by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles must not be hidden in the dust of history nor must it be given the chance to be shredded and forgotten forever into oblivion (five or six banker’s boxes of documents).
We beg you to please release all confidential church records of the names of vicars, bishops and others who handled reports of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the sake of hundreds of victims of sexual…
By QMI Agency
Montreal police have issued arrest warrants for two elderly priests accused of sexual assaults dating back to the 1960s.
Olivain Leblanc, 70, and Georges Sarrazin, 91, both brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, could face charges including gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy.
It is alleged they sexually assaulted students at the College Notre-Dame in Montreal between 1966 and 1980. Police said four people have filed complaints against the two men.
Un deuxième frère de Sainte-Croix sera bientôt arrêté par la police de Montréal pour des agressions sexuelles qu’il pourrait avoir commises au Collège Notre-Dame il y a des décennies, a appris La Presse.
Olivain Leblanc, 70 ans, fait l’objet d’un mandat d’arrêt daté du 6 décembre dernier. L’ancien professeur d’anglais du réputé collège montréalais devrait être accusé de grossière indécence et d’attentat à la pudeur, en lien avec des actes survenus entre mars 1979 et octobre 1981.
À cette époque, l’accusation d’agression sexuelle n’existait pas et celle de viol était réservée aux situations impliquant un homme et une femme. Même si les accusations sont déposées en 2012, c’est la version du Code criminel valide à l’époque des actes reprochés qui doit prévaloir dans ce dossier.
Journal de Montreal
MONTRÉAL – La police de Montréal a confirmé samedi qu’un deuxième frère de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix devrait être arrêté prochainement pour des agressions sexuelles commises entre 1966 et 1980.
Un mandat d’arrestation a été émis le 6 décembre contre le frère Olivain Leblanc, âgé de 70 ans, qui pourrait faire face à des accusations de sodomie, de grossière indécence et d’attentat à la pudeur.
Vendredi, le Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) avait déjà révélé que des accusations semblables pourraient être déposées contre le frère Georges Sarrazin, âgé de 91 ans. La police a spécifié que le frère Sarrazin, qui fait également partie de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix, devrait être arrêté en janvier à la suite de plaintes déposées par d’anciens élèves du collège Notre-Dame, à Montréal.
Posted By: Luciano Pipialpipia@astral.com·12/29/2012
Two elderly Quebec priests are expected to be arrested and charged in the new year.
Arrest warrants have been issued for 70-year old Olivain Leblanc and 91-year old Georges Sarrazin.
It’s alleged they sexually assaulted students at College Notre-Dame during a 14-year period beginning in the mid 1960’s.
Charges could inlude gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy.
Published Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012
MONTREAL—With over 200 former students claiming they were abused by priests, the fight against the Congregation of Holy Cross has been ongoing for years. Early in the New Year, two priests will be arrested and charged.
On Saturday, the Montreal police confirmed that a warrant had been issued to arrest Olivain Leblanc, 70, and Georges Sarrazin, 91. The two priests face allegations that they sexually assaulted students at College Notre-Dame between 1966 and 1980.
Leblanc and Sarrazin could face charges of gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy—crimes in the Criminal Code at the time they were committed.
With the warrant issued on Dec. 6, Montreal police worked with the men’s lawyers to organize their arrest.
Over the coming months it will, rightly, be subjected to extreme scrutiny as a royal commission into the institutionalised abuse of children examines why so many people have had their lives ruined by organisations that were trusted to protect and nurture them as youngsters.
The church will face searing questions about its past practices, including why, in some cases, it moved priests accused of abuse to other dioceses, meaning more children were victimised.
And why it did not properly co-operate with many police investigations into paedophile priests.
The church will need to be open and transparent about disgraceful failings of the past, which have devastated too many lives and shocked Australia.
The church also needs to be accountable for its future and consider whatever steps are necessary, no matter how radical, to ensure future generations are protected.
Telegram & Gazette
By Susan Spencer TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
UXBRIDGE — The pastor and co-founder of the Church of the End Times, a nondenominational church that has drawn attention for some of its practices, such as purported exorcisms featured on YouTube and late-night gatherings with teenage girls, bid his lawyer farewell Friday at Uxbridge District Court after several charges from the past year were dismissed or continued without a finding.
Judge Vito A. Virzi dismissed charges against David H. Stanley, 40, of 51 Murphy’s Way, related to violation of a restraining order, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace on Oct. 1. Several neighboring police departments were called to assist Uxbridge police in removing David’s brother, Dennis H. Stanley, from the home Dennis shared with his wife, Beth Stanley, at 41 Murphy’s Way. Mrs. Stanley has since filed for divorce.
Judge Virzi also dismissed charges stemming…
By Debra Schilling Wolfe
The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recently released its report calling for sweeping reform in how the state responds to reports of child abuse.
The numbers tell the story: 11 Pennsylvania professionals, representing all corners of the state and many of the fields that touch the lives of victims of child abuse, released a comprehensive report in excess of 400 pages, after meeting on 17 separate occasions, holding 11 public hearings across the commonwealth and hearing testimony from more than 60 experts.
With the support of legislative staff, they incorporated research on how every other state addresses the problem.
While some people were leery about another commission, all appointed by elected officials in a highly partisan environment, the task force was comprised of committed private citizens.
(by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)
The petition that went public a couple of days ago on the White House website has been garnering over hundreds of signatures daily since then from all over the USA. The petition asks President Obama to set up a national investigation commission on organizational child sexual abuse that is increasingly occurring in church, synagogue, school and youth organizational situations.
State laws and local officials seem incapable of curtailing these crimes sufficiently. The sexual violence against children often involves organizations operating nationally that protect, and at times even facilitate, the sexual predators. Many of these organizations have significant political and economic clout of over local officials and prosecutors that often improperly precludes local prosecutions of the criminal conduct.
As a grandfather who has been a lawyer (now retired) for over 40 years since graduating from Harvard Law School, it…
Rapid City Journal
Mary Garrigan Journal staff
Before the slaughter of innocents in a Newton, Conn., school on Dec. 14 sent a grief-stricken nation into mourning, religion journalists voted the top 10 religion stories of 2012.
While the No. 1 U.S. religion story in December 2012 was, without a doubt, the school attack that killed 20 first-grade students and six adults, it happened after the Religion Newswriters Association ballot deadline. But the mournful search for meaning that will follow, as religious people discern religion’s role in future debates about mental health and gun control, promises to remain an important story in 2013.
RNA members — professional journalists who cover religion — voted on the year’s other significant religious events and put the U.S. Catholic bishops’ opposition to national health care legislation that mandated contraception coverage at the top of the list. Related to the top story, the…
Support groups have warned that the upcoming Royal Commission into child sexual abuse could be held back by legal gag orders.
Support groups have warned that the upcoming Royal Commission into child sexual abuse could be held back by legal gag orders.
They say some of the most severe cases of abuse might be restricted by a court order or a confidential legal settlement and there are concerns this could stop some victims sharing their stories.
At the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into abuse, the Catholic Church waived any confidential legal agreements that had been entered into by victims of abuse and allowed victims to give evidence.
From:The Sunday Telegraph
December 30, 2012
PRIESTS should be required by law to report cases of suspected child sex abuse – without breaking the seal of the confessional – according to the new chief of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council.
Francis Sullivan, a committed Catholic, also believes offering a weekly prayer for victims and a moment’s silence during mass could help the church atone for atrocities.
He has also warned he wants to be an independent voice for victims and their families, not an apologist for the church.
The Truth, Justice and Healing Council was established by the Catholic Church to co-ordinate its response to next year’s royal commission, prompting sceptics to question the new organisation.
The Salt Lake Tribune
By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune
Whether by accident, serendipity or divine design, four future heavyweights of American Catholicism found themselves in the Class of 1962 at St. John’s Seminary on a lush hillside 60 miles from Los Angeles.
Momentous societal changes were surfacing all around the young men, but seminary life for George Niederauer — who served as Utah’s bishop from 1995 to 2006 — and pals Roger Mahony, William Levada and Tod Brown continued much the same as it had since, oh, the 16th century. Part spiritual boot camp and part modern-day monastery, the school and its choreographed schedule stretched far beyond normal college rhythms — a Catholic “Goodbye, Mr. Chips.”
The four friends — a pair of cardinals-to-be, a future archbishop and bishop — were assigned alphabetically to desks and dorms. They arose at 5:30 a.m. to…
LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 28, 2012
What crime is worse: a) sexually abusing a child, or b) knowing about it, covering it up and allowing the abuse to continue?
Don’t worry – I’m not requiring an answer. But I will say this: both groups deserve to be punished, exposed and held publicly accountable for the pain and suffering they caused.
But now there is a huge risk that Group B—Los Angeles Archdiocese officials who knew kids were being raped and did nothing to stop it—will go unpunished and unexposed. Names of child sex abuse enablers and abetters could be redacted from secret personnel files, more than five-and-a-half years after those documents were promised to victims.
Why? Well according to the Los Angeles Times:
That agreement, however, is at risk of being undermined. A court-appointed referee has ruled that the names of…
The Gympie Times
29th Dec 2012
THE head of the largest Catholic congregation on the Fraser Coast has cautioned people against believing the Royal Commission into child sex abuse was going to end the brutalisation of minors.
Father Paul Kelly, of St Mary’s Catholic Parish in Maryborough, said people were falling into the trap of believing the Federal Government inquiry would “quickly flush out pedophile priests or other church members and then sexual abuse will just go away”.
“This inquiry is going to turn into a showcase of, while you point the finger at the bogey man, beware the person right next to you,” he said.
“It is already being talked about as a Catholic Church clean-out and it is definitely not just the Catholic Church that needs probing.”
(by Jerry Slevin, a retired Wall Street lawyer)
It must be tough being a child in the USA today. If your school isn’t invaded by some Terminator-style lunatic supposedly exercising his Second Amendment rights, then all you have to worry about is being sexually assaulted and violated by your priest, rabbi, teacher, nun, minister, scout leader or other adult your parents told you to trust. How can this happen in the USA?
Is a way, it’s simple. Ours laws protect criminals at times more than children. Organizations protect the sexual predators and their accomplices. These groups often almost control local political leaders, legislators and prosecutors. Bishops, scout organizations, et al., lobby vigorously, support local candidates and hire high priced lawyers and publicists. Survivors’ lawyers often agree to keep potentially incriminating abuse files secret, apparently to get more bucks for their few clients that benefit, as…
Seth H. Langston Attorney
Moose International’s Failure to Protect Children in Light of the Allegation that Former CEO William Airey’s Sexually Abused a Child
The Moose’s announcement this past Friday of former CEO William Airey’s retirement was woefully inadequate. It evidenced an attempt by the Moose leadership to cover up the seriousness of the allegations and possibility that there are others who will make similar reports. Studies have shown that most child sex offenders have multiple victims.
Noticeable in both of the Moose press releases on this subject was the failure of the Moose leadership to take any action to determine the truth of the accusations and whether anyone in the Moose organization had been aware of any allegations of sexual misconduct with children by Mr. Airey. …
These statements by Moose International suggest that their leadership is afraid of what they might find out with a…
The Jewish Daily Forward
By Judy Brown (Eishes Chayil)
Edited By Naomi Zeveloff
Published December 20, 2012, issue of December 28, 2012.
Guilty on all 59 counts: guilty, guilty, guilty.
On Monday, December 10, a jury of 12 found Nechemya Weberman enormously guilty. The jurors convicted him of sexually abusing an underage girl entrusted to his care. They declared the respected member of the ultra-Orthodox community to be a criminal and a fraud, and thousands of survivors, advocates and victims, many of whom still live in silence, breathed a sigh of relief as one.
Once, an ultra-Orthodox man could not be found guilty of sexual abuse. He could not be charged with a word that did not exist.
I was 9 years old when I first encountered the word “abuse.” I was at my friend’s house. I found a book on a desk near her room,…
The Jerusalem Post
By NAOMI RAGEN
While Weberman is behind bars, many are still unnamed and continue to destroy the souls of young boys and girls because of a conspiracy of silence surrounding rabbinical sexual misconduct.
The case was horrific. A 17-year-old girl from the Satmar community in Williamsburg testified that she was forced by her school to attend “counseling sessions” from age 12 to 15 because she wore stockings that were too thin and asked too many questions about God. Instead of religious mentoring, three times a week she found herself behind a thrice-locked door with a bed, face to face with a fiftyish, overweight, unlicensed father of 10 who forced her to watch pornographic movies and perform sexual acts.
The defendant, Nechemya Weberman, had risen from the humble post of driver for the Satmar Rebbe to the go-to expert to whom rebellious young girls…
The Jewish Daily Forward
By Jon Kalish
Edited By Larry Cohler-Esses
Published December 28, 2012, issue of December 28, 2012.
You think your family has issues? Consider the Weberman clan.
Nechemya Weberman was convicted December 10 for child sexual abuse in a landmark case that underlined the massive support he enjoyed in the Satmar Hasidic community. But it turns out that he is just one high-profile member of a sprawling brood, whose diverse activities have made them one of that community’s more notable families.
Besides the newly minted felon, the extended Weberman family includes an anti-Zionist who broke bread with Holocaust deniers in Tehran six years ago; an immigration attorney who got the Satmar rebbe into America after World War II, and a Yippie “garbologist,” famous for sorting through the trash of Bob Dylan, among other things.
From the Satmars’ perspective, the singular bad apple in…
By Jessica Carreras
December 27, 2012
A Dearborn priest arrested in August for drunken driving and indecent exposure faces a year of probation and continued counseling, but hopes to return to the ministry, according to his attorney.
The Rev. Peter Petroske, who formerly served as the head priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dearborn, was sentenced Thursday in Dearborn’s 19th District Court before Judge Richard Wygonik.
Petroske was arrested in Dearborn in August for driving under the influence, and while naked. Following the charges, he was suspended from his post at Sacred Heart by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Friday, December 28, 2012
ROME, (Reuters) – An Italian priest has provoked outrage after putting up an article that said women were partly to blame for encouraging domestic violence by failing to clean their houses and cook properly and for wearing tight and provocative clothing.
Italian media reported that parish priest Piero Corsi fixed a text to the bulletin board of his church in the northern village of San Terenzo di Lerici, which said women should engage in “healthy self criticism” over the issue of femicide, or men murdering women.
Domestic violence against women is a serious problem in Italy although a report by a United Nations mission in June said it was “largely invisible and underreported”.
The text, posted on a website by a conservative Catholic named Bruno Volpe, attacked pornography and erotic television advertising but said women shared the blame for “provoking the worst…
El ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo solicitó el expediente criminal con los detalles de la indagatoria que desarrolló la ministra en visita Jessica González en contra del sacerdote Fernando Karadina.
Con esto se inició la primera diligencia tras la acción civil iniciada por James Hamilton, José Andrés Murillo y Juan Carlos Cruz, para exigir una indemnización de la Iglesia Católica por los abusos cometidos por el sacerdote.
El ministro Muñoz fue designado para llevar adelante el proceso, a causa del fueron del demandado: el arzobispo Ricardo Ezzati, como representante de la Iglesia.
The News Journal
The News Journal
WILMINGTON — In the spring of 2011, when attorneys representing 152 victims of sexual abuse by priests were close to settling with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, attorney Thomas Neuberger made a promise to his clients.
No matter what happened with the settlement, he said, he would make sure their stories were told – free of the filter of media or church – by writing a book.
“They wanted to make sure their voices would be heard, and they wouldn’t be forgotten,” Neuberger said.
After more than a year away from his law firm, Neuberger has fulfilled his promise publishing, “When Priests Become Predators: Profiles of Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors.”
The New York Times
By MOSI SECRET
Published: December 27, 2012
An elite Brooklyn private school agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by former students accusing the school of covering up decades of sexual abuse of hundreds of boys by a star football coach.
The settlement, between Poly Prep Country Day School and 12 plaintiffs who said they had been abused, closes a case with all-too-familiar allegations of abuse shielded by power and prestige: Philip Foglietta, the football coach who took the Poly Prep team to great heights after his arrival there in 1966 and who died in 1998, is said to have groped and raped boys on campus, in his car and on trips, while administrators enamored with his success ignored a series of allegations made against him.
The terms of the settlement, first reported by The New York Daily News, are confidential. The original claim…
The Baltimore Sun
[note: This is a 1995 article]
July 22, 1995
By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,Sun Staff Writer
Former Catholic school teacher John J. Merzbacher left Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday still proclaiming his innocence, after a judge sentenced him to life in prison for “dastardly crimes — crimes beyond the comprehension of rational people.”
Judge Robert I. H. Hammerman sentenced Merzbacher, 53, to four life terms for rape and statutory rape for the abuse of Elizabeth Ann Murphy, a Cockeysville woman who was Merzbacher’s student at Catholic Community Middle School in the 1970s. He also received a 10-year sentence for perverted sexual practice.
The sentences are to be served concurrently, meaning that under current guidelines, he must serve 12 years before he is considered for parole. However, few prisoners serving life sentences are paroled at that stage.
“I have always regarded teaching to be the…
LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times
Judge Emilie H. Elias will decide next month whether the names of vicars, bishops and others who handled reports of child sexual abuse should be released.
When hundreds of victims of sexual abuse agreed in 2007 to settle their claims against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles for $660 million, they did so with the understanding that confidential church files that contained the full story of what officials knew, and when they knew it, would become public.
That agreement, however, is at risk of being undermined. A court-appointed referee has ruled that the names of church leaders who are not accused of abusing children should be redacted from the files before those documents are publicly released early next year. Why? The referee argues that including the names of such high-ranking clerics, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, would only cause further embarrassment…
LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times
By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2012
Media organizations will be allowed to argue against redactions in secret church files that are due to be made public as part of a historic $660-million settlement between the Los Angeles Archdiocese and alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.
Pursuant to Judge Emilie Elias’ order, The Times and the Associated Press will be allowed to intervene in the case, in which attorneys are gearing up for the release of internal church personnel documents more than five years after the July 2007 settlement. The judge’s ruling came after attorneys for the church and the plaintiffs agreed to the news organizations’ involvement in the case.
The Times and the AP object to a portion of a 2011 decision by a retired judge overseeing the file-release…
The Globe and Mail
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, Dec. 27 2012
Montreal police say they have received more tips from the public about a deacon charged with producing and distributing child pornography.
A bail hearing for William Kokesch began in a Montreal courtroom today but a publication ban on its contents was granted at the defence’s request.
The 65-year-old Kokesch was charged Saturday via video link after police searched his west-end home a day earlier.
Montreal police Constable Dany Richer said Thursday that authorities have received more tips since Mr. Kokesch’s photo was made public.
A Quebec deacon charged with producing and distributing child pornography was granted bail today.
The judge told William Kokesch, 65, he will have to deposit $10,000 cash with the court.
He is not allowed to use computers and must not be in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 without another adult’s supervision.
The deacon from Montreal’s West Island has been behind bars since he was arrested on Friday.
At the defence’s request, the judge granted a publication ban on today’s proceedings, which means that evidence and testimony offered in court cannot be reported.
The Canadian Press December 27, 2012
MONTREAL – A Montreal deacon charged with producing and distributing child pornography was granted bail on Thursday.
William Kokesch was ordered to deposit $10,000 and to return to court on Feb. 27.
He is not allowed to be in public areas where children are likely to gather. He is also forbidden from using a computer or having access to the Internet.
The bail conditions were announced as Montreal police said they have received more tips from the public since his photo was released.
Kokesch, 65, was charged Saturday via video link after police searched his west-end home a day earlier.
MONTREAL – A Montreal deacon charged with producing, possessing and distributing child pornography is free on $10,000 bail.
William Kokesch, 65, and his wife testified at his bail hearing Thursday, but a judge ordered their testimony be banned from publication.
Kokesch’s lawyer, Jeffrey Boro, told journalists outside the courtroom that his client has the “support of his family.”
Montreal police said they found more than 2,000 images of child pornography after searching Kokesch’s home and another location last Friday.
By Monique Beaudin and Marian Scott, THE GAZETTE
December 27, 2012
MONTREAL – A West Island church deacon facing child-pornography charges was granted bail Thursday, as Montreal police said they are investigating new information related to his case.
William Kokesch, 65, was released on $10,000 bail with several restrictions imposed by a judge.
He was arrested Friday after police seized more than 2,000 computer files and messages left on Internet chat sites while executing search warrants at his home and the Beaconsfield church where he served as a deacon.
Kokesch has been charged with production and distribution of child pornography. Crown Prosecutor Dominique Potvin said Kokesch also will be charged with possession of child pornography.
DEARBORN — The priest arrested for driving drunk and naked this summer has been sentenced to probation and fined.
The Rev. Peter Petroske, placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Detroit from Sacred Heart Catholic Church, will have to pay $1,200 in fines and court costs, was sentenced to 12 months’ reporting probation and must attend Alcoholic Anonymous meetings three times a week, according to the sentence handed down by 19th District Judge Richard Wygonik on Thursday afternoon.
Petroske also was ordered to continue outpatient counseling when he’s discharged from the St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, Pa., which is geared toward the clergy and religious community.
LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES—A judge has ruled that media organizations can intervene to oppose redactions in the personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County Judge Emilie Elias on Thursday said The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times can argue against the redactions at a Jan. 7 hearing.
The Los Angeles archdiocese plans to release the files by Jan. 14 under the terms of a previous judge’s order, which allows it to black out the names of some accused clerics and all church officials.
Times of Israel
JTA – A Brooklyn fishmonger was indicted for throwing a cup of bleach in the face of a Hasidic rabbi who advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community.
Meilech Schnitzler, 36, of Williamsburg, a member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, was indicted Wednesday on two counts of attempted assault, two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He could face up to 15 years in prison.
Schnitzler on Dec. 11 threw a cup of bleach in the face of Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, also of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood.
Rosenberg, 62, was treated for burns on his face, around his eyes and in his left eye. The rabbi runs a website and blog for sex-abuse victims, as well as a telephone hot line.
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK — A Satmar Hasidic man has been indicted on charges he tossed bleach into the face of a New York rabbi who publicizes claims of child sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced Wednesday that Meilech Schnitzler was indicted on two counts of attempted assault, two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The top charge carries a potential prison sentence of 15 years. A lawyer for Schnitzler did not immediately return a message for comment.
Kings County District Attorney’s Office
KINGS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARLES J. HYNES ANNOUNCES THE INDICTMENT OF MEILECH SCHNITZLER FOR ASSAULT AFTER ALLEGEDLY THROWING BLEACH IN THE FACE OF RABBI NATHAN ROSENBERG
Brooklyn, December 26, 2012 – Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the indictment of Meilech Schnitzler for Attempted Assault in the First Degree, for throwing a cup of bleach in the face and eye of Rabbi Nathan Rosenberg on December 11, 2012.
Schnitzler, 37, is charged with two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree; Assault in the Second Degree; Assault in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count.
“This indictment alleges an act of thuggery in broad daylight that cannot be tolerated,” said District Attorney Hynes. “The indictment sends a…
The Williamsburg man accused of throwing a cup of bleach into a Rabbi’s face in ultra-Orthodox South Williamsburg was indicted yesterday. Meilech Schnitzler, 37, is accused of approaching Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg on the street one afternoon earlier this month and assaulting him with bleach, then running off. Rosenberg runs a controversial website that identifies alleged child molesters in the ultra-Orthodox community, and according to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Schnitzler’s father was named on Rosenberg’s website as a pedophile. (Kelly made it clear that Schnitzler’s father had not been charged.)
Rosenberg immediately flushed out his eyes with water after the attack, which a doctor says saved him from going blind. But Rosenberg says that the “pain was unimaginable.” He was treated for burns at Woodhull Hospital and sustained a corneal abrasion to his left eye and chemical burns around his eye. “He taps on my shoulder, he…
An Italian priest has been urged to resign after posting comments claiming women provoke violence against themselves.
Father Piero Corsi has sparked a wave of protests after sticking this flyer on the door of his San Terenzo church in the northern region of Liguria.
The lengthy text accuses women of ratcheting tensions in family life and inciting sexual attacks.
The New Age
A Catholic priest has sparked outrage in Italy by claiming that women bring domestic violence on themselves by dressing provocatively and neglecting housework, Italian media reported on Thursday.
“How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?” Piero Corsi said in a Christmas message posted on the door of his church in the small town of San Terenzio in northwest Italy.
“They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?” it read. …
The region’s bishop, Luigi Ernesto Palletti, stepped in as the story went viral and said Corsi’s words were “unacceptable and go against the church’s common feeling on the matter”.
Amid protests from women’s rights and anti-violence campaigners, Corsi was widely reported by Italian media to have apologised to…
El ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo pidió el expediente con los detalles de la investigación que desarrolló la ministra en visita Jésica González en contra de Fernando Karadima.
El mes pasado, el médico James Hamilton, el sociólogo José Andrés Murillo y el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, representados por el abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla, interpusieron una demanda ante la justicia civil para exigir indemnizaciones a la Iglesia Católica.
Publicado por Gerson Guzmán | La Información es de Erik López
El ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo, solicitó el expediente con los detalles de la investigación que desarrolló la ministra en visita Jéssica González, en torno a los abusos sexuales por los cuales fue acusado al sacerdote Fernando Karadima.
Esta acción responde a la medida interpuesta en la justicia civil por el abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla, representante de James Hamilton, José Murillo y Juan Cruz, quienes exigen indemnizaciones por parte de la iglesia Católica.
Il sacerdote, dopo le aspre polemiche scatenate dal contenuto del volantino, ha incontrato il vescovo, monsignor Palletti, il quale ha consigliato al parroco di prendersi “un periodo di riposo e riflessione”
Genova, 27 dicembre 2012 – “Mi prenderò un periodo di riposo ma non lascio la tonaca. Il comunicato arrivato stamattina è, probabilmente, un fake”. Lo ha detto don Piero Corsi, sacerdote autore del volantino sul femminicidio, stamani in un video registrato a cura della televisione diocesana che sarà diffuso nel primo pomeriggio. Il sacerdote, dopo le aspre polemiche scatenate dal contenuto del volantino, ha incontrato ieri sera il vescovo, monsignor Luigi Palletti, il quale ha consigliato al parroco di San Terenzo di prendersi “un periodo di riposo e riflessione”. Il sacerdote ha poi sentito per telefono stamani l’alto prelato ma “non ho mai detto o scritto di voler lasciare la tonaca”.
By Greg Harkin
Thursday December 27 2012
A PARISH priest who was cleared by the courts on sexual-assault charges more than six months ago is still waiting for clearance from Rome to return to his parish.
Fr Eugene Boland says he is “extremely hopeful” that he will get the go-ahead to do so in the new year.
It is thought that up to 10 other priests in Ireland are currently awaiting clearance to return to their posts after being cleared by investigations.
The Donegal-born priest was forced to stand down from public ministry in August 2010 after allegations had been made against him in the Derry diocese.
Fr Boland (66) was acquitted by a jury last June on sexual-assault charges brought as a result of allegations dating back 20 years.
International Business Times
By Umberto Bacchi
December 27, 2012
Widespread outrage has been sparked by an Italian priest’s Christmas message in which he claimed that women triggered men’s violence by wearing “filthy clothes” and serving “cold suppers”.
Father Piero Corsi put up a leaflet on his church’s notice board in the small seaside town of San Terenzio near La Spezia in northwestern Italy, asserting that 118 women killed by men in Italy in 2012 was caused by the victims themselves.
“Is it possible that men have turn crazy all of a sudden? We don’t believe so. The point is that more and more women provoke, fall into arrogance, believe [themselves] to be independent and exacerbate tensions,” the leaflet read.
“Children are left outside alone, homes are dirty, meals are served cold or are fast-food-like, clothing is filthy,” Corsi wrote. “They [women] trigger the worst instincts, leading to violence…
Church deacon William Kokesch is to appear in court Thursday morning for a bail hearing after being charged with distribution and production of child pornography on Saturday.
Kokesch, an assigned deacon of St. Edmund of Canerbury Parish in Beaconsfield, was arrested Friday after Montreal police carred out search warrants at his house in Pointe Claire and at the church.
Police seized more than 2,000 computer files as well as messages left on Internet chat sites.
After his arraignment on Saturday, the Archdiocese of Montreal removed him from all ministry and pastoral activity. Kokesch had been ordained as a “permanent deacon” in the diocese of Montreal in 1981.
A Vancouver native, Kokesch had also worked as a reporter — for The Gazette in the 1970s and for CFCF Radio.
New York Daily News
Poly Prep settles lawsuit claiming football coach Phil Foglietta sexually abused hundreds of boys
By Michael O’Keeffe / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Poly Prep Country Day School, one of New York’s most prestigious private schools, has agreed to settle a landmark lawsuit claiming its longtime football coach sexually abused hundreds of boys over a 25-year period and that officials covered up the assaults for decades.
The settlement ends a three-year legal and public relations battle that divided parents and alumni and turned the elite Brooklyn school into a symbol of institutional indifference to sexual abuse in youth sports. The explosive suit, filed in 2009, claimed officials at the Dyker Heights prep school knew that coach Phil Foglietta was a sexual predator, but ignored repeated complaints during his 25 years at the school because they didn’t want to jeopardize…
NEW YORK (WABC) — There is word Thursday that the sex abuse lawsuit involving one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools is over.
Brooklyn’s Poly Prep has reportedly settled the suit claiming a longtime football coach abused hundreds of boys over a 25-year period.
The lawsuit also claimed the administration covered up the abuse.
According to the New York Daily News, terms of the settlement have not been released.
Twelve plaintiffs were seeking $20 million apiece.
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The historic clergy abuse case in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia resulted in a guilty plea this year by one priest (see news story), and a church official was convicted of endangering children by protecting the predator priest (see news story).
The trial evidence — a lot of it from the church’s own secret files — exposed sins committed over a period of decades by supposed men of God.
The prosecution presented evidence of a pattern of conduct: predator priests routinely moved from parish to parish, left to attack again, with an endless supply of unwary victims.
“Obviously this has devastated their lives,” says Philadelphia prosecutor Evangelia Manos. “And it really amounts to destruction of a child.”
AP and KTVU.com
LOS ANGELES —
Thousands of previously unpublished Boy Scouts of America files that detail suspected sexual abuse by employees and volunteers have been posted online.
The Los Angeles Times published the database containing redacted victims’ names on Tuesday, including material that was released earlier by an Oregon Supreme Court judge’s ruling. The names of the alleged abusers — including doctors, teachers, priests — are included.
The newspaper’s heavily pocked database map depicts alleged incidents of abuse that affected, or in some way connected to, Scouts in every state in the nation, as well as South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
The Boy Scouts kept the files for internal use for nearly a century and have said they’ve improved youth protection policies. The group has conducted criminal background checks on volunteers since 2008. In 2010, the organization mandated any suspected abuse be reported to…
Los Angeles Times
By Jessica Naziri and Nell Gram, Los Angeles Times
December 25, 2012
The Times on Tuesday released about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse.
The files, which have been redacted of victims’ names and other identifying information, were opened from 1985 through 1991. They can be found in a database along with two decades of files released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court in October. The database also contains summary information on about 3,200 additional files opened from 1947 to 2005 that have not been released publicly.
Together, the material in the database represents the most complete accounting of suspected sexual abuse in the Scouts that has been made public. All of the material was obtained as a result of lawsuits against the Scouts by alleged abuse victims…
Albany Times Union
By Robert Gavin
Updated 12:39 pm, Wednesday, December 26, 2012
ALBANY — A Loudonville rabbi who admitted having inappropriate physical contact with two 13-year-old boys in 2007 is being sued by their families for alleged sexual assault.
Yaakov Weiss, the founder of Chabad of Colonie and the Chabad Hebrew School, also is being sued for allegedly defaming the youths when he claimed the allegations were “100% untrue” and concocted by a rival, according to court papers reviewed by the Times Union. Weiss has since been suspended and is no longer affiliated with the Colonie Chabad.
The case is set for trial in Jan. 22 before state Supreme Court Justice Eugene “Gus” Devine, though it could be assigned to another judge.
Weiss complained about the civil lawsuit to a rabbinical tribunal in Rockland County, according to people with knowledge of the situation. That body could…
(AGI) – Lerici, Dec 26 – A parish priest of Lerici (La Spezia,) father Piero Corsi, said: “The text only had a provocative intent and I wish to apologise to all women who were offended by it.” The parish priest’s statement responded to the growing controversy created by his flyer on violence against women.
Corsi was summoned earlier on Wednesday afternoon by his bishop. . .
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg’s Attacker Charged With 4 Counts Of Assault And Criminal Weapons Possession
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes indicted Meilech Schnitzler today for the bleach assault on Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg which took place the day after Rabbi Nechemya Weberman was convicted of 59 counts of child sexual abuse.
Schnitzler was indicted for Attempted Assault in the First Degree for throwing a cup of bleach in Rosenberg’s face on a Williamsburg street on December 11.
The 37-year-old Schnitzler is charged with two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree; Assault in the Second Degree; Assault in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.
If convicted on the top charge, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
“This indictment alleges an act of thuggery in broad daylight that cannot be tolerated. The indictment sends a…
Scoppia la polemica su Don Piero Corsi, che davanti la parrocchia di Lerici ha affisso un manifesto choc sul femminicidio: «Donne facciano sana autocritica. Quante volte provocano?».
Il parroco di Lerici, paesino in provincia di Genova, le affigge in un manifesto sulla bacheca della parracchio e non passano certo inosservate.
Un documento choc in cui oltre ad addossare sul corpo delle donne parte delle responsabilità dei numerosi femminicidi che ci sono stati quest’anno, le si rimprovera di essersi allontanate dalle virtù familiari. E’ una vecchia tesi, quella che il prete ritira fuori. «Donne e ragazze in abiti succinti provocano gli istinti, facciano un sano esame di coscienza: forse ce lo siamo andato a cercare», si legge nel documento.
Il parroco di San Terenzo, nel comune di Lerici, pubblica le sue tesi sulla bacheca della chiesa: “Fate un esame di coscienza. Voi provocate gli istinti e vi andate a cercare i guai”. La rezione di Telefono rosa: “Episodio intollerabile: intervenga il Papa. ”
Il femminicidio? Colpa delle donne che “provocano”. Parola del parroco di San Terenzo, un piccolo paese che si affaccia sul golfo della Spezia cantato da poeti di tutto il mondo. In una lettera affissa nella bacheca della Chiesa, don Piero Corsi si scaglia contro le donne e le loro “responsabilità” nel caso di omicidi, stupri e violenze sessuali. La tesi è semplice: “Colpa della donna che provoca con abiti succinti”. Il documento è un estratto dalla lettera apostolica ‘Mulieris dignitatem’ commentata dall’editorialista del sito Pontifex.it
Gazzetta del Sud
Turin, December 26 – A flyer displayed on a church bulletin board by a priest in the northern region of Liguria, and then subsequently posted on the social network Facebook by outraged members of the congregation, has caused an uproar for allegedly “encouraging” violence against women. The priest from the San Terenzo church in the town of Lerici, father Piero Corsi, entitled the leaflet “Women and femicide – healthy self-criticism. How often do they provoke?”. The lengthy discussion written by Corsi asks if men are just “randomly crazy, or are they pushed?”. “The fact is that women are increasingly the cause…and end up exacerbating tensions by leaving children to themselves, keep dirty houses, put cold dishes on the table, buy fast food and provide filthy clothes.
Last week New Canaan School Superintendent Dr. Mary Kolek sent out a letter to parents informing them a recently released sex offender moved to town. Robert Tate, a former 35-year music director of Christ Church in Greenwich, is now living in a village apartment.
Tate, 70, who served time in federal prison and was previously ordered to join a sex offender treatment program, is living in an apartment on the east end of Elm Street. Tate was originally sentenced to five and a half years in prison in 2008 after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.
Tate is required to register as a sex offender wherever he works or lives, have monitored Internet usage, and is barred from spending any time alone with children younger than 18 years old — unless a “responsible adult” who is aware of his conviction is present.
The departure from the Curia of the anti-abuse “mastiff” Charles Scicluna is not the end of the fight against the priests involved in abuse
The new Vatican “promoter of justice” father Robert Oliver is the advocate of “zero tolerance” in the US archdiocese of Boston. Therefore the Pope is continuing with determination his fight against the scourge of clergy sexual abuses. In fact, today the Vatican has announced the appointment of Reverend Robert Oliver as the promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is the current assistant for canonical issues in the diocese of Boston, one of the most affected in the United States by the paedophile priests scandal, that exploded in the United States in the early 2000s.
Rev. Oliver takes the place of Mgr. Charles Scicluna, a leading character in the Pope’s…
The Christian Century
Dec 25, 2012
WASHINGTON (RNS) From the nuns to the “nones,” religion dominated the headlines throughout 2012. Faith was a persistent theme in the presidential race, and moral and ethical questions surrounded budget debates, mass killings and an unexpected focus on “religious freedom.”
Here are 10 ways religion made news in 2012: …
10 years later: The long shadow of sexual abuse
As U.S. Catholics marked the 10th anniversary of the clergy sex abuse scandal that erupted in Boston, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was confronted with two landmark criminal convictions: Monsignor William Lynn, found guilty of child endangerment for shuffling abusive priests around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and Kansas City, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn, convicted of failing to tell police about a priest suspected of sexually exploiting children.
Even as the Penn State abuse scandal showed that abuse is not just…
Religion Newswriters Association
Journalists vote for contraception fight as top 2012 U.S. religion story, pick Catholic bishops’ president as top newsmaker
COLUMBIA, MO—As the nation reeled from the Dec. 14 killing of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn., religious leaders sought to console a stunned public and to discern religion’s role in future debates about mental health and gun control.
The No. 1 U.S. religion story in December 2012 was, without a doubt, the school attack and the mournful search for meaning that follows.
However, before the shooting, professional journalists who cover religion voted on the year’s other significant religious events.
The U.S. Catholic bishops’ opposition to national health care legislation mandating contraception coverage was ranked the No. 1 Religion Story of 2012 by members of the Religion Newswriters Association.
Related to the top story, the top religion newsmaker was Cardinal Timothy Dolan of…
(by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)
If Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Pope Benedict XVI is tweeting. Christians worldwide have again celebrated the incomprehensible birth of the divine child, Jesus, that changed and still changes history, both for believers and non-believers. A half world away, Sydney’s Cardinal Pell apologized deeply for the Catholic Church’s continuing failures, directly alluding thereby to his unexpected bold admission, earlier this month to Scottish Bishops, of the Church’s continuing failures sufficiently to protect children from sexual violence and to help sexual abuse survivors heal. In Rome, on the other hand, the Pope amazingly tweeted about his childhood nativity set. You can’t make this stuff up!
What is going on? Is Cardinal Pell campaigning against the ruling Vatican clique’s “Omerta” policy on child abuse to try to get elected next pope on a reform platform? Or is he only trying…
Boston Catholic Insider
As we get to the end of the year, BCI is catching up on some news from the fall we never got to cover. Today, we give an update regarding the “financial transparency” or lack thereof of the Boston Archdiocese under newly appointed Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer, John Straub.
Straub was serving as interim chancellor after previous Chancellor Jim McDonough left, and Straub was officially given the job in early October. When he was interviewed by the Boston Globe, Straub said:
“the Archdiocese had come a long way both with financial stability and financial transparency” and one of his goals would be to “continue to maintain that stability and transparency and enhance it where we can.”
Straub said that when Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley took the helm of the archdiocese in 2003 the church was financially “hemorrhaging.” Now, he said, “I would suggest we’ve reached…
By Luke Byrne
Wednesday December 26 2012
RELIGIOUS orders that owe the State millions in reparations for child sex abuse continue to receive hundreds of thousands of euro in charitable donations.
A survey conducted by the Irish Independent has revealed how organisations shamed by sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have continued to receive support.
All are eligible to claim tax relief because their religious status guarantees official charitable recognition.
Under the 2002 indemnity agreement, the orders were asked to pay €128m to the State.
Updated: Tuesday, 25 Dec 2012
HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Friends of Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke spent their Christmas morning singing and praying that their church will re-open in the new year.
Mater Dolorosa Church closed in June 2011.
Parishioners spent more than a year protesting the closure by holding a round the clock vigil inside the church.
That stopped in June when the Vatican’s high court told protesters to leave the church, but said they will hear the parishioners appeal to re-open the church.
Victor Anop, Chairperson of the Friends of Mater Dolorosa, told 22News he was encouraged by today’s turnout.
By The Associated Press
December 25, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. – A Roman Catholic priest who was indicted in Massachusetts on child pornography and larceny charges is spending Christmas in jail.
The Telegram & Gazette reports the Rev. Lowe Dongor was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment on Monday in Worcester Superior Court.
Dongor was assigned to St. Joseph’s parish in Fitchburg when he was initially charged in 2011. Prosecutors said child pornography was found on his computer, and he was also accused of stealing from the church’s weekly collection.
Authorities say Dongor later fled to his native Phillipines. He returned to the U.S. last month and surrendered to authorities
FITCHBURG (CBS) – A Fitchburg priest is being held of $500,000 cash bail after appearing in court Monday on child porn and larceny charges.
Thirty-five-year-old Father Lowe Dongor was removed from public ministry in July after he was accused of having explicit images of preteen girls on his computer.
Dongor fled to the Philippines but was extradited back to the United States and re-arrested earlier this month.
Investigators also say Dongor was stealing money from St. Joseph Parish.
Dongor is due back in court on January 3.
By Jeanette DeForge, The Republican
on December 24, 2012
HOLYOKE — Friends of Mater Dolorosa will hold a Christmas prayer event at 11 a.m. on Christmas in front of the closed Mater Dolorosa Church at Maple and Lyman streets.
The group, which has appealed the decision of the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, to the Vatican, held a round-the-clock vigil inside the church for more than a year to protest the closing of the church and the merger of its parish with that of Holy Cross Church. The new parish, called Our Lady of the Cross, worships at the former Holy Cross Church on Sycamore Street.
Protesters decided to end the vigil in June after the Apostolic Signatura, which is the Vatican’s supreme court, agreed to hear the appeal but told protesters to leave the church…
December 25, 2012
DEAD paedophile priest Father Anthony Bongiorno is the only suspect in the 1980 murder of Thornbury bookshop owner Maria James who hasn’t been cleared by DNA.
His sister has refused to provide police with her DNA so her brother can either be linked to the death or eliminated from a new probe into the unsolved killing.
Ms James’s son Mark yesterday urged police to dig up the disgraced Catholic priest’s body so DNA can be extracted from it.
“There is enough circumstantial evidence that he was involved in the murder of my mother to warrant his body being exhumed,” Mr James said.
He said he told his mother Father Bongiorno had attempted to lure him into the parish headquarters with chocolate bars and he believed his mother later confronted the family priest with the paedophilia allegations.
Telegram & Gazette
By Donna Boynton TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
WORCESTER — The former Fitchburg priest who fled to his native Philippines after he was charged with child pornography was arraigned in Worcester Superior Court Monday, weeks after he surrendered to federal authorities.
Rev. Lowe B. Dongor, 36, pleaded not guilty to possession of child pornography and larceny of more than $250 during his arraignment in Worcester Superior Court. The petite priest, dressed all in black, answered a strong “not guilty” after each of the two charges was read by Judge Richard Tucker.
Judge Tucker ordered Rev. Dongor, the Diocese of Worcester’s first Filipino priest, held on $500,000 cash bail or $5 million with surety. …
Raymond Delisle, spokesman for the Worcester Diocese, said he did not believe the diocese was providing for Rev. Dongor’s legal counsel. Rev. Dongor qualified for a public defender and…
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester
December 20, 2012, WORCESTER, MA — Following a complete audit of its financial accounting, the Diocese of Worcester has issued online and printed editions of the annual report detailing activities for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2012. In his letter, the Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, wrote that “our financial reports demonstrate that we have been good stewards of the donations we have received either directly or through our parishes.” The audited report showed an operating surplus of $109,804 after expenses totaling $26,037,091 for 2012 compared to a deficit of $315,690 the previous year on expenses totaling $27,016,336. Given the reduction of nearly $1 million in expenses, the bishop’s letter noted that “the various departments in our central administration exercised tight fiscal controls in order to operate within their budgets.”
Telegram & Gazette
By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
WORCESTER — The Diocese of Worcester — fighting off the downside impact of a sluggish economy — did some penny pinching and managed to turn around its finances during the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31.
An independent audit by O’Connor, Maloney & Co. P.C. of Worcester showed that the local Roman Catholic Church finished last fiscal year with an operating surplus of $109,804 after expenses that totaled $26,037,091.
That’s a marked change from last year, when the diocese incurred a $315,690 deficit on expenses totaling $27,016,336.
Diocesan officials said bills were cut by nearly $1 million, thanks to department heads who exercised tight fiscal control over their separate budgets.
Bishop Robert J. McManus said the audit demonstrated that the diocesan officials have been “good stewards” of the donations made directly to the chancery…
By Barbara Goldberg | Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Experts say 2012 was a year of unparalleled justice for child sex abuse victims, but whether the string of high-profile convictions will translate into a turning point for juvenile safety remains to be seen.
The year’s headlines heralded the criminal convictions of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, Monsignor William Lynn of the Catholic Church’s Philadelphia Archdiocese and ultra-Orthodox Jewish therapist Nechemya Weberman, a prominent figure in New York’s Satmar Hasidic sect.
Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for raping and molesting 10 boys, some in the campus football showers. Lynn, 61, was ordered to prison for up to six years for covering up for pedophile priests. Weberman, 54, faces up to 25 years’ imprisonment when he is sentenced on January 9 for sexually abusing a girl during…
The Jewish Week
The media has reported serious accusations against two former employees of Yeshiva University’s High School (known as MTA), Rabbi Macy Gordon, a Talmud teacher, and Rabbi George Finkelstein, the principal.
According to reports in The Forward and The New York Times, currently a total of 14 former students have said that there was inappropriate sexual abuse by these educators, going back two to three decades. Some of the students claim that they brought their complaints to Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, who was then President of the University. These complaints were ignored for a long time until finally, these men were let go, but they were allowed to keep their reputations intact and thus continue in their careers as Jewish educators.
I went to MTA from 1988 to1992, and during that time Rabbi Finkelstein was first assistant principal and was then…
New York Daily News
By Rachel Monahan / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, December 24, 2012
More victims of two creepy rabbis at Yeshiva University’s high school have come forward with claims that the shocking sexual misconduct spanned more than two decades and affected at least a dozen students.
The alleged abuse, by former principal Rabbi George Finkelstein, started as early as 1972 and continued until the mid-1990s, the Jewish newspaper the Forward revealed after 11 more former students stepped forward.
Three more former students said they suffered at the hands of Talmud teacher Rabbi Macy Gordon, who, in one case, allegedly penetrated a boy using a device from a medical cabinet — an eerie parallel to a previous revelation.
“I have a very strong feeling that Finkelstein should be punished even though he’s old,” Ivan Hartstein, 48 and a 1982 graduate at the school, told the…
Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk hebben in het afgelopen jaar bijna allemaal een schadevergoeding gekregen. In totaal is er voor enkele miljoenen euro’s uitgekeerd. Dat zei Wim Deetman, voorzitter van de commissie die onderzoek deed naar de misstanden, dinsdag op Radio 1.
De bedragen verschillen per slachtoffer, benadrukte Deetman. Volgens hem zijn er kleine en grote gevallen. Deetman kan geen taxatie geven waar het uiteindelijke bedrag op uitkomt. Volgens hem is nu het belangrijkste dat de kerk ‘enigszins iets goed kan maken’ en daarmee ‘in het reine kan komen’.
Audio Het is een jaar geleden dat het eindrapport van de commissie-Deetman over seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk is gepresenteerd. Hoe is het nu, met de slachtoffers en met de kerk? Daarover een gesprek met Wim Deetman.
door Pim van den Dool
Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk hebben in het afgelopen jaar bijna allemaal een schadevergoeding gekregen. In totaal is er voor enkele miljoenen euro’s uitgekeerd. Dat zei Wim Deetman, voorzitter van de commissie die onderzoek deed naar de misstanden, vanochtend op Radio 1.
De bedragen verschillen per slachtoffer, benadrukte Deetman. Volgens hem zijn er kleine en grote gevallen. Deetman kan geen taxatie geven waar het uiteindelijke bedrag op uitkomt. Volgens hem is nu het belangrijkste dat de kerk “enigszins iets goed kan maken” en daarmee “in het reine kan komen”.
Door Melvin Captein
In totaal hebben slachtoffers van misbruik in de katholieke kerk het afgelopen jaar enkele miljoenen euro’s aan schadevergoeding ontvangen. Bijna alle slachtoffers zijn daarmee vergoed.
Dat zegt voorzitter van de onderzoekscommissie Wim Deetman tegenover Radio 1. Uit het rapport dat Deetman indiende bleek dat tussen 1945 en 1981 zo’n tien- tot twinitigduizend kinderen slachtoffer zijn geworden van seksueel misbruik door geestelijken.
Een groot deel van de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk heeft een schadevergoeding ontvangen. In totaal is voor enkele miljoenen euro’s aan vergoeding uitgekeerd.
Dat zei Wim Deetman, voorzitter van de gelijknamige commissie die onderzoek deed naar misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk, op radio 1.
DEN HAAG (ANP) – Veel slachtoffers van het seksuele misbruik van kinderen in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk hebben in het afgelopen jaar een schadevergoeding gekregen. Er is in totaal enkele miljoenen euro’s betaald. Dat heeft Wim Deetman, de voorzitter van de commissie die het misbruik heeft onderzocht, dinsdag gezegd op Radio 1.
Een commissie onder leiding van een oud-rechter uit Den Bosch beslist over de schadevergoedingen. De raad kijkt onder meer naar het bewijs en naar de schade die iemand heeft geleden. Sommige mensen krijgen een klein bedrag, anderen hebben veel geld ontvangen, aldus Deetman. Hij verwacht dat de commissie eind 2013 of halverwege 2014 klaar is met haar werk.
(NECN: Mike Cronin) – On Monday, Lowe Dongor plead not guilty to charges of child pornography possession and larceny over $250.
The 36-year-old man was a priest at St. Joseph’s Parish in Fitchburg, Mass.
The state says pornographic images were found on church computers when they were sent out for regular maintenance in June 2011.
“During the course of that review, they noted images consistent with child pornography, young girls approximately 10, 11, and 12 years old on this defendant’s computer,” Courtney Sans, prosecutor, said.
State police interviewed Dongor shortly afterwards. Sans says he then admitted to possessing the pornography.
Sentinel and Enterprise
By Jack Minch, firstname.lastname@example.org
WORCESTER — A priest who fled the country after being charged with possession of child pornography and stealing from his Fitchburg church, was arraigned in Worcester Superior Court Monday.
Judge Richard Tucker ordered the Rev. Lowe Dongor held on $500,000 cash bail or $5 million surety.
If he makes bail, Dongor must stay away from St. Joseph Church and children under 16 years old. He is also forbidden from using the Internet, said Paul Jarvey, spokesman for District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
The FBI tracked Dongor to his native Philippines, where he was arrested and extradited to Los Angeles on Dec. 10, then sent back to Massachusetts.
The Diocese of Worcester offices were closed for the Christmas holiday, so nobody was available for comment Monday.
A Boston priest has been named the Vatican’s top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases.
Father Robert Oliver, who has been an assistant for canonical affairs in the Boston archdiocese, will become the “promoter of justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He replaces Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who had established a reputation for toughness in sex-abuse investigations before he was appointed an auxiliary bishop in his native Malta.
The appointment of a Boston priest drew some criticism from spokesmen for groups representing sex-abuse victims, who pointed out the Father Oliver had advised Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced to resign as Archbishop of Boston because of revelations that he had covered up evidence of sexual abuse. But Father Oliver began advising the cardinal only after those offenses had been brought to light.
“We don’t have evidence that Father Oliver helped conceal clergy sex crimes…