ABUSE TRACKER

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

March 26, 2013

Former Bible Baptist School teacher pleads guilty to sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Sentinel

Former Bible Baptist School music minister William Jackson Tuesday pleaded guilty in court to the sexual abuse of seven students.

Jackson did not say anything during the guilty plea, and the families of the victims declined to comment.

Jackson was scheduled to make the plea last week, but it was rescheduled so families could be present.

He will undergo evaluation on whether or not he will be deemed a sexually violent predator, and he will be sentenced in July.

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.

APNewsBreak: Suspended priest accused of dealing meth plans to plead guilty to drug charge

CONNECTICUT
The Republic

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN Associated Press
March 26, 2013

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — A court filing shows a suspended Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut accused of taking in more than $300,000 from sales of methamphetamines plans to plead guilty to one of the charges against him.

Kevin Wallin is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Hartford next week for a hearing in which he would plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Tuesday’s filing was obtained by The Associated Press.

A message left with his attorney was not immediately returned.

Authorities say the 61-year-old Wallin had methamphetamine mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and made more than $300,000 in drugs sales out of his apartment in Waterbury 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.

Episcopal priest gets 45 days for smuggling drugs into jail

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

Posted March 26, 2013

An Episcopal priest from Augusta pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to misdemeanor possession of Suboxone and will serve 45 days in jail followed by one year of probation.

The Rev. Stephen Foote, 70, of Bremen, was sentenced to 364 days of incarceration, with all but 45 days suspended, and one year of probation, in an agreement with the office of the Maine Attorney General, according to Bill Stokes, deputy attorney general and chief of the office’s criminal division.

“We don’t see priests smuggling drugs into jails — that’s pretty uncommon,” Stokes said Tuesday. “And we understand Rev. Foote has no prior criminal record, but we really insisted that he do some jail time because we were more concerned that we send the message that you’re going to do jail time if you do this, even if you’re a priest.”

Stokes said Tuesday that the attorney general’s office agreed to the plea on the condition that the sentence include “a significant amount of community service” to include Foote spending time “talking about the error of his ways.”

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.

U.S. women religious trust in Pope Francis’ mercy

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The U.S. Catholic Church hopes for a positive solution to the controversy

Maria Teresa Pontara Pederiva
Rome

The recurring theme of Bergoglio’s papacy, mercy, has not just sparked hope among the laity, but also within the Church, of this subject being given a greater focus. The list is long: from remarried divorcees – one of the Pope’s sisters falls into this category – to gays (who are eagerly waiting for the civil unions which Bergoglio declared himself in favour of in Buenos Aires), from theologians who were “reproached” to “rebel” priests, to the women religious of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) whom the Vatican placed under the administration of an external commissioner last year.
The organisation was accused of devoting too much time to social justice and assistance to the poor (particularly women and children), to the detriment of the promotion of a pro-life culture, intended as a fight against abortion and euthanasia. According to the LCWR, this was too limiting. Pope Francis’ arrival, which promises a “poor Church for the poor”, gives us reason to hope for a downscaling of the disciplinary clash.

What really could make the difference is Pope Francis’ Jesuit background. Two women religious believe that the fact Bergoglio comes from a religious order is important. Sister Nancy Sylvester of the Sisters of the Immaculate heart of Mary in Monroe, Michigan, feels encouraged by the emphasis Bergoglio has placed on the poor: “I am really trying to be hopeful,” she said, adding that were signs in Francis’ public comments as Pope and his track record “that he would be much more sympathetic to women religious.” Sister Simone Campbell who is known for her speech at the last Democratic Convention, said that the world is thirsty for a real spiritual leader and that she hoped the new Pope would be precisely this and not get caught up in internal politics. Referring explicitly to Italian methods, she added that the LCWR issue is all to do with internal politics and nothing to do with faith.

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Pope Francis’ record on Dirty War, sex abuse cases under scrutiny

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts | Mar. 26, 2013

Within days of the election of Pope Francis, stories began to surface about his conduct as the former Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, head of the Jesuit order in Argentina during that country’s “Dirty War,” as well as his handling of the sex abuse crisis later as head of the Buenos Aires archdiocese.

The stories revisit two of the most difficult crises that have confronted the modern church — the role of its leaders in countries split by violent dictatorships and in dealing with clerics accused of sexual crimes against children. In both instances involving Bergoglio, the reporting has included liberal use of such terms as “cloudy” and “murky.”

Bergoglio was appointed Jesuit provincial when he was 37, a position he held from 1973-79, a time of civil and religious turmoil. Religious orders were losing members at a significant rate at the time; additionally, in many countries in Latin America, orders were torn between their traditional ministries and a new sense of obligation to marginalized and oppressed.

The period during which Bergoglio headed the order in Argentina coincided with the rule of a vicious military junta that killed as many as 30,000 in what was billed as a fight against communism and was officially called the Process of National Reorganization. The purge of “enemies” of the regime, which included thousands who resisted the dictatorship, was carried out in some instances with the cooperation of religious authorities.

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Pope Francis to live in Vatican guesthouse, not papal apartments

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by Cindy Wooden,Catholic News Service | Mar. 26, 2013

Vatican City —
Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

“He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple,” but allows him “to live in community with others,” both the permanent residents — priests and bishops who work at the Vatican — as well as guests coming to the Vatican for meetings and conferences, Lombardi said Tuesday.

The spokesman said Pope Francis has moved out of the room he drew by lot before the conclave and into Suite 201, a room that has slightly more elegant furnishings and a larger living room where he can receive guests.

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“Mahnender Mühlstein” als Stolperstein gegen Gewalt an Kindern – VIDEO

DEUTSCHLAND
Osthessen News

26.03.13 – FULDA – „Wer aber einem von diesen Kleinen, die an mich glauben, Ärgernis gibt, dem wäre es besser, wenn ihm ein Mühlstein an den Hals gehängt und er in die Tiefe des Meeres versenkt würde.” Dieses Bibelzitat aus dem Matthäusevangelium ist in Stein gemeiselt – in einen, über den man in den nächsten Wochen in Fulda stolpern soll – und zwar gedanklich. Denn seit heute Vormittag liegt der 1,40 m hohe „Mahnende Mühlstein” vor der alten Stadtwache gegenüber dem Stadtschloss in Fulda. Schon seit 2008 reist der Koloss quer durch Deutschland, um ein Zeichen gegen Gewalt an Kindern zu setzen und Erwachsene an ihre große Verantwortung gegenüber Heranwachsenden zu erinnern.

Der Stein ist ein Projekt der Initiative gegen Gewalt und sexuellen Missbrauch an Kindern und Jugendlichen e.V. und wurde 2007 vom Diplompädagoge und Initiativenvorsitzendem Johannes Heibel initiiert. Nachdem sich in Regensburg ein Priester wiederholt sexuell an Kindern vergriffen hatte, wollte er auf die Ohnmacht der Opfer aufmerksam machen und beauftragte zwei Bildhauer mit der Arbeit am Stein. Auch Oberbürgermeister Gerhard Möller und Weihbischof Dr. Karlheinz Dietz waren am Vormittag dabei, als der Stein durch die Steinmetzwerkstatt Hartmann & Sohn aus Künzell-Bachrain auf dem Bürgersteig abgelegt wurde.

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Kirchenmusiker wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern vor Gericht

DEUTSCHLAND
Tageblatt

Oldenburg/Nordenham (dpa/lni) – Ein ehemaliger Kirchenmusiker muss sich wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern ab kommender Woche vor dem Landgericht Oldenburg verantworten. Der 47-Jährige soll sich von Anfang 2011 bis März 2012 in 23 Fällen an mehreren Kindern vergangen haben. Der frühere ehrenamtliche Mitarbeiter der evangelischen Kirche in Nordenham habe die Vorwürfe gestanden, sagte ein Gerichtssprecher am Dienstag.

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Erstmals will Missbrauchsopfer Entschädigung von Kirche in Polen

POLEN
Markifche Oderzeitung

Warschau/Kolobrzeg (dpa) Erstmals in Polen will ein Missbrauchsopfer eines katholischen Priesters eine Entschädigung von der Kirche einklagen. Ein heute 25 Jahre alter Mann, der als Zwölfjähriger im nordwestpolnischen Kolobrzeg von einem Priester sexuell missbraucht wurde, will vom Bistum 100 000 Zloty (25 000 Euro) Entschädigung für die erlittenen seelischen Schäden verlangen. “Mein Leben wurde zerstört” sagte er dem Rundfunksender TOK FM. “Ich bin entschlossen, zu kämpfen.”

Der Priester, der ihn vor mehr als zehn Jahren missbrauchte, wurde in zwei Instanzen zu zwei Jahren Haft verurteilt. Der 25-jährige ist überzeugt, dass die Vorgesetzten des Pfarrers, der auch noch andere Jungen missbrauchte, die pädophilen Neigungen des Priesters kannten, aber nichts unternahmen.

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Das Opfer hat lebenslang

DEUTSCHLAND
Explizit

Seitdem Ende Januar 2010 Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin bekannt wurden, lässt die Debatte über dieses Thema die Öffentlichkeit nicht mehr los. Im Dezember 2012 veröffentliche die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz eine forensisch-psychiatrische Studie zur Analyse der sexuellen Übergriffe durch katholische Geistliche in Deutschland und zuletzt berichteten die Medien Anfang März über die Veröffentlichung der Missbrauchsstudie des Klosters Ettal. Bei all diesen Studien, so könnte man den Eindruck haben, gehe es nur darum, wie in Zukunft Übergriffe verhindert werden können. Eigentlich sind die Kirche, die Sportverbände und andere Einrichtungen aber auch dazu verpflichtet, den Opfern zu helfen. Von keiner der Institutionen ist zu erfahren, was wirkliche Hilfe für Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch wäre und ob sie entschieden genug umgesetzt werde. Über diese Problematik sprach explizit.net mit Veit Schiemann vom „WEISSEN RING“, einer bundesweit agierenden Hilfsorganisation für Kriminalitätsopfer und ihre Familien.

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„… der Missbrauch war katholisch…“

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

Sprecher:
Benedicamus Domino

Sprecherin:
Deo gratias!

Sprecher:
Es ist 6.15: Wecken in einem katholischen Internat, Ende der 1960er/Anfang der 1970er
Jahre.

O-Ton 1: Winfried Ponsens
Das war meine Kindheit. Diese Vorstellung, in der Kirche ist alles gut. Und
wenn du glaubst, wird alles gut.

Sprecher:
6.45 Uhr: Werktags: Heilige Messe.
O-Ton 2: Winfried Ponsens
Ich war schon naiv in diesem Kinderglauben und habe natürlich irgendwie
gehofft, ich würde der Welt auch das große Heil bringen können, indem ich
Missionar in Indonesien werde.
Erzählerin:

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Katholisch erzogen und im Internat missbraucht

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR 5

Die Opfer sexualisierter Gewalt und ihr Verhältnis zu Kirche und Glauben

Sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein – das bedeutet für die Opfer Depressionen, Suizidversuche, Aufenthalte in psychiatrischen Kliniken und teure Psychotherapie. Opfer sexueller Gewalt eines Geistlichen zu sein, das bedeutet darüber hinaus auch, spirituell und religiös orientierungslos zu werden. Die Zöglinge in katholischen Internaten kamen aus sehr religiösen Familien und hatten vielfach selbst den Wunsch, Priester zu werden. Ihre Missbraucher hatten sich als von Gott Berufene bezeichnet. Doch sie prügelten, demütigten und zerstörten das Selbstbewusstsein ihrer Opfer, erwarteten gleichzeitig, dass diese ihren Missbrauch als Form der Zuwendung und Liebe empfinden sollten

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Church used ‘blackmail, secrecy’

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

March 27, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church gets covered up through a system of blackmail and ”sacred silence”, according to the founder of the Broken Rites advocacy group, Chris Wilding.

She said sexual activity by priests and bishops set up a pattern of institutional secrecy and a system of blackmail that reached the highest corridors of the Vatican.

Ms Wilding told the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled sex abuse that celibacy was a myth, and that when a priest was promoted his sexual partners could also advance.

”It is this system of blackmail that is central to the response of bishops, locally and around the world, relocating paedophile priests. If the bishop is compromised because he is known to be sexually active, the predatory cleric resorts to blackmail,” she said.

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Chetham’s choirmaster Michael Brewer jailed for sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former choirmaster at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester has been jailed for indecently assaulting a former pupil from the age of 14.

Michael Brewer from Birmingham was convicted of sexually abusing Frances Andrade, who killed herself during the trial, between 1978 and 1982.

Brewer, 68, was sentenced to six years imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court.

His ex-wife Hilary Brewer, also 68, was sentenced to 21 months for indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade.

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Choirmaster jailed for six years for pupil abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

A choirmaster who sexually abused a pupil who went on to take her own life during his trial has been jailed for six years.

Michael Brewer, 68, of Swarthmore Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting 48-year-old Frances Andrade when she was an underage student at the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

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Child protection task force a must, say activists

INDONESIA
The Jakarta Post

Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post

The city administration will cooperate with a number of institutions to set up child protection task forces (Satgas PA) in neighborhood and community units to curb the rising number of child abuse cases.

Among the child right defenders are government-sanctioned body Indonesian Commission on Child Protection (KPAI) and the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas Anak).

Komnas Anak chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said that the Jakarta administration was the first province to respond to the call to set up a child protection system in subdistricts. He said he had spoken with Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo about the children protection system pilot project.

“We will launch a pilot project in three subdistricts in the coming weeks. The subdistricts are Kampung Tengah in Kramat Jati, Ciracas and Cakung, all in East Jakarta,” he told The Jakarta Post.

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Did Pope Benedict ‘do a Bishop Hegarty’?

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The recent history of Church resignations in Ireland may help to explain the departure of Pope Francis’ predecessor, says Patrick McCafferty

26 March 2013

The inauguration of Pope Francis brought a refreshing air of optimism to a Catholic Church that lay moribund in recent decades.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI should, perhaps, be credited with remarkable prescience: his resignation now seems like a remarkable act of sacrifice by a selfless pope in the best interests of the Church.

And yet, there is something not quite right about this picture of Benedict.

His resignation was not just a break with papal tradition; it is at odds with everything that he practised. Benedict was remarkably unwilling to allow anyone to resign – even when that would have been for the good of the Church.

One could almost feel sorry for Cardinal Sean Brady in Armagh. Almost three years ago, when revelations in relation to preventing further children being abused were questioned, he asked to retire.

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Catholic Church Hiding Child Predators

PENNSYLVANIA
The A.I.R. Network

by Greg Banks on March 25th, 2013

Monsignor Anthony Little, pastor at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Newry, Blair County has become the latest area priest to be accused of molesting an area boy in the 1990s. The allegations against Little surfaced last week when the Bishop,The Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak notified Blair County District Attorney Rich Consiglio of the accusations against the area priest. The Altoona Johnstown Diocese in press statements has released that no further action has been taken against Little, while the Blair County DA has yet to make a statement. Diocese officials have however stated that Little has been sent to an unknown location where he has no access to children while the investigation continues.

Monday morning Steve Austin spoke with Judy Block Jones of the The Survivor’s Ntework of Those Abused By Priest or SNAP to get her reaction to the recent allegations that have risen in the region including Brother Steve Baker who was accused of molesting children at Bishop McCort High School in the 90s along with the latest allegations against Monsignor Anthony Little.

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La misión del jesuita

CHILE
Lamula

Tomado de la revista Velaverde.- Columna El ojo de Mordor, por Pedro Salinas.- A ver si logro que me lean con atención. James Hamilton Sánchez tiene casi cincuenta años, es chileno y cirujano gástrico. Quienes le conocen, comentan que jamás se desprende de su notebook que suele llevar en una pequeña mochila roja. Y siempre está atento a su blackberry. Pero sin duda uno de los rasgos más saltantes de su biografía es su condición de víctima sexual (siendo menor de edad) del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, un líder religioso de la Pía Unión del Sagrado Corazón, que es una suerte de red religiosa a la que adhieren medio centenar de curas y cinco obispos, y opera desde la iglesia El Bosque, en la comuna de Providencia, en Santiago.

La Pía Unión es un movimiento conservador, como los Legionarios de Cristo o el Opus Dei o el Sodalicio, por citar apenas tres ejemplos, porque hay más. Y Karadima, con fama de orador persuasivo y predicador de una moral rígida, era su jefe máximo, al que sus seguidores le daban trato de “santo” y lo presentaban como discípulo del jesuita Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, quien, como sabrán algunos, es el segundo santo chileno, canonizado por el papa Benedicto XVI en el 2005.

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Survivor guide published for Magdalene women applying to Commission

IRELAND
Journal

ONE OF THE groups representing survivors of the Magdalene Laundries has published a guide to help the women navigate their way through the Magdalene Commission.

Justice For Magdalenes (JFM) prepared the guide for the survivors ahead of a report by a former High Court judge into how the State can best provide redress and support for the women.

Survivors have been asked to register the fact that they were in one of the laundries before the decision is made on exactly how the fund for survivors will operate.

JFM said the guide to intended as an aid to survivors to create a checklist of their current needs and to help them to prepare to engage with the official process.

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Judge declines to hear insurance companies’ complaints …

MONTANA
Independent Record

Judge declines to hear insurance companies’ complaints about defending Helena diocese in sex abuse scandal

By EVE BYRON Independent Record

A federal judge in Helena has refused to hear a case brought by three insurance companies against the Helena Diocese, saying the matter already is being handled in Lewis and Clark District Court.

Three Travelers Insurance Companies – Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company — filed the federal court lawsuit last year, arguing that they weren’t obligated to defend the Bishop in pending state litigation because they weren’t given timely notice of alleged sex abuse by priests and nuns.

The insurance companies also wanted to add a claim based on the recent discovery of a 1994 settlement agreement that allegedly released St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company from any obligation to indemnify the Diocese for future sexual abuse claims and allegedly promised that the Diocese would pay the costs of any future claims.

But Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles Lovell wrote in a ruling released late Friday that the latter claim would first require determinations of state law, which can be raised in the state proceedings, and that venue also is the proper place for the entire lawsuit — at this point.

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Melbourne’s Xavier College mentioned in child abuse Inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC – AM

[with audio]

A former student at Melbourne’s prestigious Xavier College wants the State and Federal Governments to sue the Catholic Church for 6 billion dollars to pay victims for ongoing counseling and support. Speaking at Victoria’s Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Chris Whelan said a high profile Jesuit teacher at Xavier College sexually abused young boys repeatedly more than 30 years ago.

Transcript

TONY EASTLEY: A former student at Melbourne’s prestigious Xavier College wants the State and Federal Governments to sue the Catholic Church for six billion dollars and use the money to pay for counselling and support of sexual abuse victims.

Speaking at Victoria’s Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Chris Whelan said a high profile Jesuit teacher at Xavier College sexually abused young boys repeatedly more than 30 years ago.

It’s only the second time someone has spoken publicly about sexual abuse by Jesuits in Australia.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Xavier College in Kew in Melbourne’s East has been described as the city’s best connected school and counts among its alumni former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, Federal Minister Bill Shorten and the current Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart.

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Let victims sue church, rights group leader Chris Wilding urges inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

PIA AKERMAN
From:The Australian
March 26, 2013

THE founder of a leading victims’ rights group has called for legislative change to allow lawsuits against the Catholic church and retrospective charges for clergy who helped pedophile priests avoid exposure.

Chris Wilding, who began the Broken Rites group, today told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry that compensation and legal change were the priorities for victims.

“They have to be able to sue the church,” she told the committee which is examining how religious and non-state organisations have handled child sexual abuse claims.

“Most victims would want the hierarchy, the clergy to be prosecuted for protecting them (pedophiles), for shielding them, for moving them on for being accessories to a crime.

“It’s essential that is recognised by our state laws.

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Abuse victim calls for church clean-out

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

March 26, 2013

Patrick Caruana
AAP

A man who was abused for years at a Catholic orphanage has urged a Victorian parliamentary inquiry to turn the church “upside down” to take the rot out.

Gordon Hill was physically, mentally and sexually abused at the hands of nuns and priests at a Ballarat orphanage more than 50 years ago.

He was repeatedly assaulted and forced to do manual labour, he told the inquiry into sexual abuse within religious organisations.

When inquiry chair Georgie Crozier asked what he now wanted from the church, Mr Hill was unequivocal.

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Dublin city councillor: Pope Francis won’t change the church’s path

IRELAND
Alaska Dispatch

Paresh Dave

March 26, 2013
DUBLIN — In his first week at the Vatican, Pope Francis called for a leaner, no-frills church rooted in Christ’s original mission of serving the most needy. Many heralded his vision for the future, but not everyone is convinced that Francis can reposition the diverse global institution.

Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn is among the naysayers. A victim of sexual abuse while at a church-run industrial school in Ireland, Flynn said he believes the church will continue down a perilous course.

“You get people projecting onto the person that he’s a very simple man, that he’s a humble man, that he’s broken with precedent, that he’s doing everything differently. But it’s the same make, same shape — only different color,” Flynn said of the pope during a recent interview.

“The idea that a man from Barcelona, or from Argentina or from Berlin is going to change the dynamics of what’s been around for a long time is completely crazy,” continued Flynn, a 56-year-old Independent who represents the posh southeast section of Dublin’s inner-city.

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Irish Catholics continue to flee the church

IRELAND
GlobalPost

Diane Winston
March 26, 2013

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Malachi O’Doherty says his nieces and nephews are helpless at funerals.

Raised without religion, they are flummoxed by the practices and customs that accompany a Catholic ritual. Though he himself left the church as a teenager in the 1960s, he’s ambivalent about the loss of a binding and, at times, beautiful religious culture.

“People are rejecting something they don’t even remember,” said O’Doherty, whose 2008 book “Empty Pulpits: Ireland’s Retreat from Religion” chronicled the impact of secularization on Ireland. “We may have only a sterile, secular culture that looks at the Catholic Church as an army of priests raping children.”

As Pope Francis takes over the global church, O’Doherty, like many church-watchers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, ascribe the religion’s current troubles to secularization. In 1946, Pope Paul VI called Ireland “the most Catholic country,” but starting in the mid-1960s, a growing number of the Irish — like many in Western Europe and the United States — began questioning the authority of religious institutions. Today, the percentage of Irish practitioners remains high compared with most of the rest of Europe.

But attendance at weekly Mass continues to decline, also reflecting fallout from two decades of revelations about clergy sexual abuse. William Crawley, a BBC journalist who covers religion in Belfast, agreed that secularization and the sex abuse crisis have dealt a one-two punch to the faithful.

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Ex-Pastor Faces Life Sentence After Federal Jury Convicts Him in Teen Sex Case

FLORIDA
News Chief

By Matthew Pleasant
THE LEDGER

LAKELAND | A former pastor faces mandatory life in prison after a federal jury found him guilty Friday of sexually assaulting a teenage boy and trying to groom two others for abuse.

Arnold Mathis, 41, was arrested in December 2011 after spending a late night at a casino and returning home to find Polk County deputies waiting.

Detectives began investigating Mathis a day before when the victim, now in his 20s, accused the former Higher Praise Ministries assistant pastor of sexually abusing him.

When the abuse began, Mathis served as senior pastor of Saint City Power and Praise Ministries in Winter Haven, Polk County deputies said at the time of his arrest.

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Holy Hell – one family’s story of sexual abuse by their priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

By Carol Duncan (ABC Local Radio)

When senior NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox told ABC TV’s Lateline programme that the Catholic Church had covered up crimes by paedophile priests, silenced investigations and destroyed evidence to avoid prosecution – the public outrage triggered a Royal Commission into institutional child abuse. One of the stories that led to this is that of Patricia Feenan’s son, Daniel, a 14-year-old altar boy when first raped by a priest in the Newcastle/Maitland diocese.

Patricia Feenan is a warm and generous woman, a loving mother telling an unimaginably terrible story of the sexual abuse of her son, Daniel, by a Catholic priest trusted by the family. The details are graphic, shocking and are revealed in her book about her son and her family’s experience.

Patricia says she thought long and hard about writing the book, Holy Hell, but felt there was a need to tell the story.

“I was encouraged by interested people to tell it and see what I could make of it, of explaining the impact on a family of clergy sexual abuse. In initially wrote it to try to get it out of my head after my son went through a criminal trial in 2004. I could write it, put it on a shelf and it would be there as a record for the family.”

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March 25, 2013

Runaway priest in SA

SOUTH AFRICA
The New Age

Itumeleng Mafisa

A Roman Catholic priest who is allegedly facing charges of molesting five boys while based at a Randburg parish three years ago had “run away” to South Africa after facing similar allegations in his home town in Germany.

Church authorities on Thursday failed to explain how a priest who had allegedly committed such serious crimes had managed to avoid detection and land in a Johannesburg parish.

A source close to the case told The New Age that Fr Georg Kerkhoff was subsequently moved by the church and was “operating within the archdiocese of Cape Town”.

Durban Cardinal Wilfrid Napier’s comments that paedophilia is an illness and not a crime has brought the spotlight on the soft treatment of alleged child abusers within the Catholic church.

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Priest still suspended

SOUTH AFRICA
The New Age

Itumeleng Mafisa

The Archbishop of Cape Town, Stephen Brislin, has denied that the church was protecting German Catholic priest Georg Kerkhoff, who is facing charges of sexually abusing boys in Germany and SA.

Responding to reports that Kerkhoff had moved to Cape Town after being charged with the abuse of children during a church retreat in 2008, Brislin denied that the church had moved Kerkhoff from Johannesburg to Cape Town after his arrest. He said Kerkhoff was staying in the mother city as a private citizen.

“Once the legal process in South Africa, which the church fully supports, has been completed, he will face deportation to answer the charges against him in Germany,” Brislin said.

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MAHER SAYS POPE RUNS CHILD SEX RING

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on Bill Maher’s latest attack:

The March 22nd episode of “Real Time” was one of Bill Maher’s most obscene assaults on Catholicism. He not only went on another rant against the Catholic Church, he stooped to a new low when he attacked Pope Francis. After labeling the pope a “virgin bachelor,” Maher opined, “What other business could you be in where your company gets caught running a child sex ring since forever and you still keep your customers?”

HBO seems either afraid of Maher, or the officials there like what he says. We need to know whether the parent company, Time Warner, feels the same way. That is why we are mailing a copy of Maher’s anti-Catholic remarks, dating back to 1998, to Time Warner’s executive management team and board of directors.

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Debunking three ‘urban legends’ about Pope Francis

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Mar. 24, 2013

In the early days of a papacy, absolutely everything the new pope says or does is subject to endless interpretation as a hint of things to come. At times, the frenzy produces a few instant “urban legends,” meaning words or deeds attributed to the new pope that never actually happened, or that are subjected to so much over-interpretation that they become essentially unrecognizable.

During his first ten days in office, the “Francis phenomenon” has given rise to at least three such urban legends worth debunking here, lest they take on a life of their own. …

Law’s exile

On March 14, the day after his election, Pope Francis made a visit to Rome’s basilica of St. Mary Major to pay homage to the Virgin Mary. As it happens, the basilica is also home to an apartment belonging to Cardinal Bernard Law, who offered the new pope a brief greeting upon his arrival.

Law, of course, resigned in Boston amid protests over his handling of the child sexual abuse scandal in 2002, and then served as Archpriest of St. Mary Major until his retirement in 2011 when he turned 80.

The Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported that when Francis saw Law that morning, he brusquely ordered him to stop appearing in public at the basilica. The report also said that the new pope, “as his first act of purification,” is preparing to dispatch the 81-year-old Law to a cloistered monastery.

Once again, it would be a dramatic insight into the new pope if true – and, once again, that insight turned out to be built on sand.

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Monument honours thousands affected by residential schools

CANADA
Soo Today

NEWS RELEASE
ANISHINABEK NATION

Survivors’ monument signifies resilience: Madahbee

UOI OFFICES (NIPISSING FN) March 25, 2013 – The Anishinabek Nation has created a monument to honour thousands of its citizens who have felt the impacts of Indian Residential Schools [former Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie shown].

The memorial was unveiled today at a ceremony at the head office of the Union of Ontario Indians as part of the “Honouring Our Children, Families, and Communities affected by Indian Residential Schools Project” initiated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The TRC was created following the June 11, 2008, apology by the Government of Canada for the damage caused by the network of 139 government- operated schools.

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Green Bay brothers abused by priests during childhood continue speaking out

WISCONSIN
Superior Telegram

By Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram

Two brothers who settled an abuse case with the Green Bay Catholic Diocese say there are still priests who have not been identified or prosecuted for crimes against children.

Todd and Troy Merryfield won a $700,000 settlement from the Green Bay Catholic diocese.

In the 1970s the brothers were abused by Patrick Feeney, who was then a priest with the church. Speaking outside the local cathedral, the brothers said their settlement is cold comfort.

Todd Merryfield still lives in Wisconsin; his brother Troy lives in Virginia.

“Money doesn’t cure something like this, never does. Anyone who tells you that, they’re lying.”

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Residents show support for priest

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

March 25, 2013

By Phil Ray (pray@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

When Tess Himes, a parishioner at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Newry, learned Saturday her pastor, Monsignor Anthony B. Little, had been placed on inactive status because of child abuse allegations, she cried “so hard.”

For years, she didn’t attend church, but, Himes said, it was Monsignor Little who “brought me back,” and now she attends church every day.

Himes spoke about the repercussions of Bishop Mark L. Bartchak’s decision this weekend to suspend Little from the active priesthood on Sunday as she was tucking a granddaughter into a car seat outside St. Patrick’s.

She, her mother, Miriam, and more than 150 others had just attended an impromptu rosary service in an effort to show support for the banned priest and to ask for God’s guidance.

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Victim tells of pain at boyhood abuse by priest

IRELAND
Herald

Declan Brennan– 25 March 2013

A former priest whose abuse of children in the 1970s and 1980s was featured in the Murphy Report will walk free despite receiving an 18-month jail term.

Patrick McCabe (77), formerly of Alameda, California, was extradited here in June 2011 and has spent the last 21 months in custody awaiting sentence.

Waiving his right to anonymity, one of his victims, James Moran (50), said McCabe’s sexual assault had blighted his life. Mr Moran said he went from being a happy child to contemplating suicide at 18.

McCabe pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the indecent assault of Mr Moran at a Co Kildare school between January and April 1977.

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“Ich war 14, als mich die Nonne mit aufs Zimmer nahm”

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

Das WDR-Magazin “Westpol” berichtet über Missbrauch in der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie im sauerländischen Marsberg. Opfer erzählen, wie sich Nonnen an ihnen befriedigten. Am Ende gab es Schokolade. Von Eva Marie Kogel

Die Dämonen wollen ihn nicht verlassen. Neulich erst wieder stand Karl-Heinz Großmann auf seinem Balkon und war bereit, sich über die Brüstung zu stürzen. Er stand dort eine Weile, entschied sich dann gegen den Sprung. Stattdessen ging er zum Psychologen und machte seinen unfassbaren Fall publik.

Großmann war Patient in der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie in Marsberg (Nordrhein-Westfalen), im St.-Johannis-Stift. In der Einrichtung sollen laut einer WDR-Sendung “Westpol” die Insassen bis in die 70er-Jahre furchtbarem Leid durch Offizielle der Kirche ausgesetzt gewesen sein. Kinder und Jugendliche wurden dort geschlagen, ruhig gestellt und in dunkle Zellen gesperrt.

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Amazonas-Bischof Kräutler: “Wir dürfen uns nicht in der Sakristei verstecken”

BRASILIEN
Spiegel

Er zeigt sexuellen Missbrauch an und mischt sich ein in Politik und Umweltschutz. Deshalb muss der brasilianische Bischof Erwin Kräutler nach Morddrohungen unter Polizeischutz leben. Vom neuen Papst erhofft sich der Befreiungstheologe eine kompromisslose Haltung in Sachen Sexualstraftaten.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Papst Franziskus wurde gerade ins Amt eingeführt. Sind Sie als brasilianischer Bischof froh, einen Lateinamerikaner auf dem Heiligen Stuhl zu sehen?

Kräutler: Ich bin begeistert! Mit ist es letztlich egal, wo der Pontifex herkommt, aber Franziskus ist ein offener Mensch und ein guter Seelsorger, das lässt hoffen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Sie haben Jorge Bergoglio mehrfach auf Konferenzen getroffen. Was ist er für ein Mensch?

Kräutler: Er ist genau so, wie er auch in der Öffentlichkeit wirkt: sehr zugänglich, sehr herzlich, ein Mann ohne Berührungsängste, einfach und schlicht.

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Påven Franciskus måste ta itu med sexskandalerna

SUOMI
Areena

Den katolska kyrkan behöver genomgående reformer för att få ett slut på de sexuella övergreppen mot barn. Det säger ett av de många offren i USA, som ändå tvivlar på att den nya påven kommer att göra tillräckligt för att skydda barnen.

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Jesuit priest ‘preyed on young boys’

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 26, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Molested as a 10-year-old at the Jesuit-run Burke Hall in Kew, Chris Whelan marched to the headmaster’s office to tell him what happened.

”His first reaction was immediate and physical, ” Mr Whelan recalled on Monday. ”He reaches into the drawer, pulls out his strap and tries to hit me across the face.”

Mr Whelan felt relieved when he left Burke Hall for Xavier College, but there he was again to be sexually abused by Victoria’s ”most famous Jesuit” who preyed on several vulnerable children in Mr Whelan’s class, he told the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled sex abuse.

One boy at Burke Hall was ”kicked up the arse” so hard he later had to have stitches in his sphincter, but first he had to endure a double period of torment from his attacker.

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Priest in Blair County suspended over 1990s child sex abuse allegation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

By The Associated Press
on March 25, 2013

NEWRY, Pa. — A central Pennsylvania bishop has suspended a priest and ordered him to have no contact with children because of a child-sex allegation dating to the 1990s which is being investigated by the district attorney.

Bishop Mark Bartchak, who heads the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown, suspended 58-year-old Monsignor Anthony Little on Friday after referring the allegation to Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio.

Consiglio wouldn’t detail the allegation, except to say it remains under investigation. Little has been forced to step down as pastor of St. Patrick Church in Newry, about 90 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The priest who pastored the parish before Little was the Rev. William Rosensteel. He committed suicide by jumping from a bridge following sex abuse allegations that surfaced in 2007.

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Pope Francis to consider closing Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY
CathNews

Pope Francis is to consider abolishing the Vatican Bank – which has been beset by a scandal over allegations of money-laundering – in a drive for greater transparency at the heart of the Catholic Church, according to a report by The Times in The Australian.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who has been tipped as a possible secretary of state, or “Vatican prime minister”, said Francis would weigh up appeals made by two cardinals on the eve of his election for the bank – formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) – to be scrapped.

He said the Pope would be guided by a desire for “transparency . . . and faithfulness to international laws or rules in this field”, including those on money-laundering.

“The Pope will consider some suggestions because during the general congregations (the formal meetings that preceded the conclave), some cardinals were intervening about the problems of the IOR,” Archbishop Celli said.

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Priest who went public on sexual bullying at Bearsden seminary wins support

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 25 March 2013

A PRIEST who has spoken out about a culture of sexual bullying in the Catholic Church in Scotland says he has been inundated with support since he went public with his experience.

Father Matthew Despard, 48, said he spoke out in an attempt to tackle the problems of abuse and bullying, which he claims are “rife” in the Church.

He said that “phones have been off the hook with support” after he spoke of inappropriate behaviour at Chesters College in Bearsden – later named Scotus College – during the 1980s and his attempts to raise complaints with the authorities.

One congregation member, Stephen McNaughton, posted on Twitter last night: “Much respect for the bravery & honesty of our parish priest, speaking out about the Church’s issues.”

However Fr Despart, the parish priest of St John Ogilvie church in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, last night said he did not want his story to overshadow the beginning of one of the most important times of the Catholic calendar, Holy Week.

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Whitby priest addresses letter issue online

CANADA
Durham Region

WHITBY — Parents with children at a couple of Brooklin Catholic schools are still fuming over a letter sent home from their parish priest, while the Father himself has tackled the issue on the church website.

The letter dated Lent 2013, a call to return to Catholic practices, included a two-page “examination of conscience” and invitation to reflect on sins before going to confession.

From Rev. Charles Forget, pastor of Saint Leo the Great Catholic Church in Brooklin, the letter was sent home with students at St. Bridget and St. Leo Catholic schools.

Sins included “Have I committed adultery or fornication?,” “Have I become intoxicated?” and “Have I denied my spouse his or her marriage rights?”

“It was in my youngest son’s agenda. He’s seven,” said St. Leo mother Audrey Cowie.

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Local priest placed on leave after sexual misconduct allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

By Kerri Corrado

Newry, PA. —

“It’s almost like someone dropping a bomb. I mean the people are in shock. They loved this priest very much,” Raymond Crosser said.

Words from Reverend Raymond Crosser after he was asked by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown to fill in for Monseigneur Anthony Little, a local Blair County pastor placed on leave.

The Bishop, Mark Bartchak made this decision quickly after allegations that little molested a young boy in the 1990s.

Little had been a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown for years. He was recently on active ministry at St. Patrick’s Parrish in Newry. He was forced to relocate to a location where he will have no contact with kids.

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Homeless Edmontonians speak about impact of residential schools

CANADA
CBC News

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada paid a visit to the Boyle Street Community Services in Edmonton on Saturday.

As Nicole Weisberg reports, the commission has been gathering stories about the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal Peoples across Canada — but this is the first time it has visited Edmonton’s inner city.

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Cardinal O’Brien’s accusers ‘not in gay cabal’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Published on Monday 25 March 2013

THE four men at the centre of the scandal that led to the resignation of Keith O’Brien have reportedly denied being part of a “gay cabal” which sought revenge for the cardinal’s anti-gay stance.

In a newspaper article at the weekend, the four men rejected reports quoting sources who claimed the former head of the Catholic Church in Scotland had been forced to quit by gay priests angry at the way he had spoken out on issues such as same-sex marriage.

“This isn’t about being gay. It’s about an abuse of power,” one of the men, who was referred to as “Father Peter”, said.

“Lenny”, a former priest who described how he had rebuffed the cardinal’s advances while he was a semanarian, said: “I was surprised at the suggestion that I was part of a gay cabal. And my partner of 26 years? I’d say she was quite surprised too.”

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Pope Francis considers closing scandal-riven bank

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

The Times
March 25, 2013

POPE Francis is to consider abolishing the Vatican Bank – which has been beset by a scandal over allegations of money-laundering – in a drive for greater transparency at the heart of the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who has been tipped as a possible secretary of state, or “Vatican prime minister”, said Francis would weigh up appeals made by two cardinals on the eve of his election for the bank – formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) – to be scrapped.

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Abuse victim wants Vic govt to sue church

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A victim of clerical sexual abuse has urged the Victorian government to launch legal action against the Catholic Church.

Chris Whelan, who was a victim of and a witness to abuse while a student at two Melbourne Catholic schools, has asked a parliamentary inquiry to recommend a publicly funded civil lawsuit against the church.

Mr Whelan said victims needed the state government to champion their cause.

“I want this inquiry to come out with an arrowhead for the spear,” he told the inquiry into sexual abuse within religious and other organisations on Monday.

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Diocese urges sex abuse victims to come forward

ILLINOIS
WLS

(JOLIET) The Diocese of Joliet is urging people to report if they have ever been sexually abused by a clergy member, diocese employee or volunteer.

The diocese said in a news release it’s increasing efforts to promote healing and justice for victims in the church abuse scandal.

The diocese recently agreed to release thousands of pages of documents on the scandal as part of a legal settlement with a survivor of clergy abuse. The diocese has posted online the names of 34 priests who were identified by the diocese as having faced credible or substantiated charges of sexual abuse. Nine of the names were added after the settlement this month. All of the priests on the list have been removed from ministry.

Molly Fara, the Joliet Diocese’s director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection, said the diocese has promised pastoral assistance and continued cooperation with civil authorities. Reports may be made to any pastor to by calling (815) 263-6467.

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March 24, 2013

Fr Musaala: Church must strike balance

UGANDA
The Observer

Editorial

Sunday, 24 March 2013

In a space of days, the Catholic Church in Uganda has both hit the apex of ecstasy – with the election of Pope Francis – and crashed to a nadir of controversy, with the Father Anthony Musaala dossier.

Fr Musaala, famed for his gospel music and charismatic preaching, this month wrote an open letter in which he calls for priests to be allowed to marry. He argues, with examples, that celibacy is increasingly becoming a fallacy, as priests conduct affairs and father children.

In response, the church has suspended Musaala over the dossier. But the debate rages on, sometimes taking ugly inter-faith turns. Some Catholics have backed Musaala. But many have condemned him, seeing his dossier as irresponsible washing of dirty linen in the public, to the embarrassment of the faithful.

This is a delicate subject for both the priest and his church. What is certain is that the issues Musaala raises are not new. Many Catholics know a priest, even bishop, who has affairs and children and these issues are usually talked about in hushed voices, or simply avoided.

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The future of the Church

CANADA
Macleans

by Brian Bethune on Saturday, March 23, 2013

Catholicism’s demographic shift out of the developed world and into the global south has been profound. A century ago, 75 per cent of Catholics lived in Europe or North America; now two-thirds are outside those continents. But that massive change is not fuelled entirely by the Church’s burgeoning growth in Asia and, especially, Africa. The flip side is the declining numbers in its Western heartland. Some 60 per cent of the French no longer ever attend services, and across Europe the rate of baptisms has fallen six per cent in the last six years. A tenth of American parishes have closed or merged in recent years, while six per cent is also the weekly mass attendance rate among Catholics in Quebec, once a Church bastion. In Ireland, which not long ago was a virtual priest factory for the world, not a single seminarian was ordained in 2005.

The ongoing clerical sex abuse scandals, meaning primarily the Church’s cover-up of them—which roiled Canada and Ireland in the last century, exploded in America in 2002 and again in Europe eight years later—tends, in popular opinion, to take the blame for this. But the roots of the alienation stretch back much further. Masked by the low numbers of mass-goers is the fact that on the issues that most sharply divide secular and Catholic morality, which all seem to revolve, one way or another, around sex—contraception, abortion, clerical celibacy, women priests, gay marriage—millions of cradle Catholics are effectively on the secular side. Catholic fertility rates in the West are indistinguishable from anyone else’s. Contraception, whatever it might mean to the hierarchy, is largely a dead issue for the laity. And, search their souls as they will, increasing numbers of Catholics cannot find the harm in what is currently the hottest of hot-button issues, same-sex marriage.

Poll after poll in the developed world, the latest in the March 6 issue of the New York Times, reveal a laity disquieted by a Church leadership they feel is out of touch and inconsequential, something that seems blindingly obvious to outsiders and internal dissidents, but puzzling to the hierarchy. The latter can point to a vigorously active Church—the Vatican’s militant anti-war efforts, the Church’s campaign for the global abolition of the death penalty, its criticism of global capitalism, its ecological position papers and efforts to help poor farmers in Latin America. But those disenchanted laity are correct about their bishops being out of touch with their concerns. The hierarchy is more conservative than it once was, after 35 years of episcopal appointments by Pope Benedict XVI or his predecessor John Paul II, celebrated among traditionalist Catholics as the pontiff who “stopped the drift toward the notion we have to listen to the modern world,” as Toronto’s late Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic put it after John Paul’s death in 2005. Meanwhile, large swaths of the Church, especially in the Third World but also within the most vibrant parts of northern Catholicism, don’t think the sexual morality issues are debatable or even particularly important.

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With New Pope, Spotlight Returns to a Mild but Rebellious Priest

AUSTRIA
The New York Times

By NICHOLAS KULISH
Published: March 22, 2013

VIENNA

WITH his gentle mien and deep blue eyes, the Rev. Helmut Schüller does not seem even remotely disobedient in person. He has the calm, reliable presence of the best parish priests whether in his vestments or, as on a recent afternoon, in street clothes.

But as one of the organizers behind a group of more than 400 priests and deacons who in 2011 issued an “Appeal to Disobedience,” Father Schüller, 60, has developed a reputation as one of the leading rebels within the Austrian church. That is no small feat in this small Alpine nation, which might well be the unruliest country in the Catholic world, a laboratory of liberal ideas and reform initiatives.

Among the seven points in the appeal, the group said it would “take every opportunity to speak up publicly for the admission of women and married people to the priesthood.” The group was rebuked by Pope Benedict XVI in a sermon last year, and Father Schüller was formally stripped of the honorific “monsignor” a few months later.

But unlike many priests who have found themselves in deep disagreement with the Vatican, he prefers to continue working from within the ranks of the priesthood. Once the vicar general of the archdiocese of Vienna, Father Schüller now works as a regular parish priest in Probstdorf, about half an hour’s drive east of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna’s old town.

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Missbrauch: Causa Groer läutete neue Ära ein

OSTERREICH
religion@ORF.at

Vor zehn Jahren ist der umstrittene Kardinal Hans Hermann Groer gestorben. Mit der vom Nachrichtenmagazin „profil“ losgetretenen Missbrauchsaffäre rund um seine Person wurde eine neue Ära in der österreichischen Kirchengeschichte eingeläutet.

Kardinal Groer stand von 1986 bis 1995 an der Spitze der Erzdiözese Wien. Er stürzte die katholische Kirche in Österreich in den 90er-Jahren in die schwerste Krise seit 1945, nachdem er zu den gegen ihn erhobenen Vorwürfen, minderjährige Buben sexuell missbraucht zu haben, beharrlich geschwiegen hatte.

Am 26. März 1995 berichtete der ehemalige Groer-Schüler Josef Hartmann im Nachrichtenmagazin „profil“ über seine mehr als 20 Jahre zurückliegenden Erlebnisse. Die Folge war nicht nur ein schwerer Imageverlust für die katholische Kirche – in den darauffolgenden Jahren traten auch mehrere 100.000 Katholiken aus der Kirche aus.

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St. Johannesstift in Marsberg: Kinder sollen früher in Psychiatrie sexuell missbraucht worden sein

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Das WDR-Magazin “Westpol” erhebt schwere Vorwürfe: Im nordrhein-westfälischen St. Johannesstift sollen Kinder in einer Psychiatrie in den fünfziger und sechziger Jahren geschlagen und sexuell missbraucht worden sein. Ermittlungen blieben damals ohne Folgen – die Opfer litten still weiter.

Köln – In der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie sollen Menschen in Not Hilfe finden. Doch bis in die siebziger Jahre wurden junge Patienten im St. Johannesstift im nordrhein-westfälischen Marsberg offenbar Opfer von Gewalt und Missbrauch.

Das WDR-Magazin “Westpol” berichtet von massiven sexuellen Übergriffen auf Kinder und Jugendliche und beruft sich auf die Aussagen damals Betroffener. Nach Jahrzehnten des Schweigens hätten diese von ihren Leiden erzählt: Pfleger und Nonnen hätten sich regelmäßig an ihnen vergangen.

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St. Patrick’s Priest Placed on Leave

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

NEWRY, BLAIR COUNTY – Monsignor Anthony Little, Pastor of the Saint Patrick Parish in Newry has been placed on leave, according to a release from the Altoona Johnstown Catholic Diocese. Full release can be read below.

Diocesan Priest Placed on Leave Following Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

(HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA) – The Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, has placed Monsignor Anthony B. Little, Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Newry, on leave from active ministry in the Priesthood. The action comes after accusations of sexual misconduct involving a minor that allegedly occurred in the 1990s.While on leave, Monsignor Little, 58, will not be permitted to function as a priest, and he will reside at a place where he has no contact with children.

In compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy), Bishop Bartchak has notified the Blair County District Attorney of the accusations against Monsignor Little. No further action concerning Monsignor Little will be taken by the Diocese at this time.

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Catholic Church in Scotland has covered up culture of sexual bullying among priests, claims serving Father

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

A SERVING priest has accused the Catholic Church in Scotland of covering up a culture of sexual bullying by a powerful gay mafia.

Father Matthew Despard, 48, says sexual misconduct has been rife in junior seminaries, where priests are trained, for decades.

And he claims that when he alerted Church authorities to inappropriate sexual conduct, nothing was done.

Fr Despard, the parish priest of St John Ogilvie church in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, says he fears for the future of his Church if no action is taken to end the scandal.

He has taken the difficult decision to publish a book on his experiences, Priesthood in Crisis.

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Abbott criticised for supporting priest

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

March 24, 2013

Rashida Yosufzai
AAP

A man allegedly sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager says Tony Abbott should not have vouched for the priest’s character in court.

John Gerard Nestor, 50, was a priest in the Wollongong diocese in NSW when he was charged with the indecent assault of the then-14-year-old altar boy.

In his 1997 court case, the priest admitted he had slept on mattresses on a floor with the boy and his younger brother in July 1991, but denied assaulting the boy.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, then a federal parliamentary secretary to the employment minister, told the court Mr Nestor was an upright and virtuous man whom he had known since 1984 while studying at Sydney’s St Patrick’s Seminary to become a priest.

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Vatican bank troubles await pope’s attention

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2013

VATICAN CITY — As he begins work, Pope Francis will find a pile of files in his in-tray on sex abuse and squabbling cardinals. But he will also come across a thick dossier on the Vatican’s secretive bank, which his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, tried to drag into the daylight after years of suspicion that it was a haven for money launderers.

After struggling to get the Vatican onto a coveted European “white list” for clean banks, Benedict suffered a setback last year when his top manager, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was fired by the bank’s board, officially for incompetence. Gotti Tedeschi saw things differently, contending that “an honest person [at the bank] who wants to do good is ousted!”

Then, in January, the Vatican was humbled into using a Swiss firm to process credit card payments after the Bank of Italy warned Italian banks not to do business with the Holy See, temporarily forcing visitors queuing at the Sistine Chapel to pay cash if they wanted to get in.

It was the latest in a series of mishaps at the institution that prompted Italy’s biggest-selling Catholic magazine, Famiglia Cristiana, to urge the Vatican to dump the bank altogether.

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Church will always put any victim first

SOUTH AFRICA
The Sunday Independent

March 24 2013
By Wilfrid Napier

Since my interview with Mr Stephen Nolan on BBC’s Radio 5 on March 15, and reaction hitherto, I have thought about how best to convey my sincerest and unreserved apology for remarks that came across as insensitive to children who have suffered, and continue to do so, at the hands of paedophiles.

Let me first put it on record that the Roman Catholic Church condemns the abuse of children, women and other marginalised groups of society in the strongest possible way.

The interview that came on the back of Pope Francis’s election was initially supposed to have been about the conclave, our new pope and challenges facing the Catholic Church, and I was more than happy to take part.

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Area priest placed on leave: Accused of molesting boy in 1990s

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — A longtime priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown who served parishes in Johnstown and northern Cambria County is facing allegations that he sexually molested a boy in the 1990s.

Monsignor Anthony B. Little, 58, most recently the pastor at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Newry, Blair County, has been placed on leave from active ministry and is in a location where he will have no contact with children, according to the diocese.

The allegation against Little, which apparently is limited to one victim, surfaced in recent days, said Tony DeGol, secretary for communications for the diocese.

“This all just happened in the past couple days,” DeGol said Saturday.

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Bishop Statement

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 23

Tomorrow’s Mass at St. Patrick Parish in Newry will be lead by a fill in Priest. That’s because the current Pastor Anthony Little has been placed on leave following an allegation of sexual abuse. According to the Johnstown-Altoona Diocese. A person has come forward claiming Little abused that person in the. The Diocese says Little has no contact with children. Blair County DA has also been notified. At every church in the Diocese tomorrow a letter from Bishop Mark Bartchak will be read aloud. IT reads in part: These accusations are very painful. I pledge to continue taking whatever action necessary to protect all of God’s precious children in our church.

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DA launches investigation into priest

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

March 24, 2013

By Phil Ray (pray@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The Blair County district attorney said Saturday that his office has initiated an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by a Newry priest, but he would not elaborate.

“Basically, I’ll be discussing it [the allegation] with certain entities,” said District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio.

He said that while there are certain things that must be done, he would not indicate which agency or police department would be called into the investigation of Monsignor Anthony B. Little, 58, the pastor of St. Patrick Parish.

Consiglio reported that he first became aware of the allegation that Little abused a minor in the 1990s when he met Thursday with the Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Mark L. Bartchak.

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Former Helena-area priest named in sex assault lawsuit

MONTANA
Independent Record

By SANJAY TALWANI Independent Record

A Lewis and Clark County man is suing the Roman Catholic Bishop of Helena, claiming he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a longtime priest who worked at the Cathedral of St. Helena.

The suit, filed March 13 in Helena, claims in about 1974, the Rev. Robert O’Donnell “engaged in multiple instances of unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual conduct” with the plaintiff, who was a teenager at the time.

The man bringing the lawsuit, represented by Bozeman attorney Michael Cok, says in his complaint he did not connect various injuries he suffered with the abuse until September 2011.

O’Donnell was a priest in the Helena Diocese from 1966 to 1990, according to Renée St. Martin Wizeman, a diocese spokeswoman.

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March 23, 2013

Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s accusers deny they are part of ‘gay cabal’

SCOTLAND
The Observer

Catherine Deveney
The Observer, Saturday 23 March 2013

The four men at the centre of the scandal that led to the resignation of Britain’s leading Catholic cleric have dismissed suggestions that they were part of a “gay cabal” seeking “revenge” for his publicly anti-gay stance.

Speaking about Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s resignation last month over claims of inappropriate behaviour towards several priests, the four rejected reports quoting church sources who claimed the cardinal had been forced to quit by gay priests angry at his hypocrisy about same-sex marriages.

“This isn’t about people being gay. It’s about abuse of power,” said “Father Peter”, who admitted in the Observer report which broke the story that he had been involved in an inappropriate relationship with the cardinal that led to him needing counselling. “The emotional and psychological power Keith O’Brien had over me was incredible. He was utterly manipulative.”

“Lenny”, a former priest who described how he had rebuffed the cardinal’s advances while he was a seminarian, said the newspapers were forcing parts of the jigsaw puzzle together that didn’t fit : “I was surprised at the suggestion that I was part of a gay cabal. And my partner of 26 years? I’d say she was quite surprised too.”

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O’Brien’s departure: yet another cover-up

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

Elena Curti
8 March 2013

Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s admission in his statement on 3 March following his hasty departure from office raises many more questions about his conduct than it answers. In it he wrote:

‘I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.’

Is he referring to the unwanted sexual advances he is accused of making to four priests and a seminarian that are now in the public domain? Has he made sexual advances to other young priests and seminarians? Is it habitual behaviour that has continued right up to the present day? If so how did it affect his governance of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh?

Straightforward gay relationships are one thing – though of course a violation of the vow of celibacy – but a spiritual director or archbishop making passes at a seminarian and young priests is quite another. In the context of the Church’s guidance on safeguarding, a seminarian is considered a vulnerable adult if his spiritual director behaves inappropriately towards him.

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Catholic Church soldiers on against challenges

UGANDA
Sunday Monitor

By Raymond Mpubani

Posted Sunday, March 24 2013

A priest decides to speak out about things everyone knows happens in the Catholic Church, things contrary to their so-called doctrines, and the Church reacts to his concerns by suspending him! However, if you’re familiar with that Church and the way it reacts to questioning, and if you’re also familiar with the leadership that made the decision, this hypocrisy should not shock you. What’s most worrying is that many people, Catholics and non-Catholics, support the Church’s decision!

It’s unfortunate the Church has decided to blind it’s eyes and foolishly soldier on against reality. That way, the perversity lodged in their clergy, the perversity Fr. Musaala is being punished for speaking out against, will erode away at them until they cannot hide their heads in the sand any longer.

Although, I think, they know. The Church already lost the celibacy war and the only reason they still insist on the vow for new clergy is because of their blind allegiance to “Canon Law.” Sure, some priests observe the vow religiously, but those are stained by their more normal colleagues and the perverts (the paedophiles).

What the Church is now saying is that it’d rather nurture sinners (because that’s what you become when you break the vow) than scrap the unrealistic stipulation that forces them to sin. Ah, narrow-mindedness!

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The letter that got Father Musaala into trouble

UGANDA
Sunday Monitor

In Summary

To the faithful. On Tuesday, as Pope Francis was being inaugurated in Rome, something else was happening in Uganda: A critical letter written by a Catholic priest was leaked to the media, causing his suspension from the church he has served for years. We bring you the full letter that brought trouble to Fr Anthony Musaala.

Tuesday, March, 12, 2013

An open letter to bishops, priests and laity: The failure of celibate chastity among diocesan priests
It is an open secret that many catholic priests and some bishops, in Uganda and elsewhere, no longer live celibate chastity.

From the numerous cases on the ground one might be forgiven for saying that most diocesan priests either don’t believe in celibacy anymore, or if they do, have long since given up the struggle to be chaste.

In any case it still seems important for priests to vow even a woefully imperfect celibacy, if only for the sake of the hallowed ‘priestly image’.

The church, however, still maintains the fable that most catholic priests persevere in celibate chastity fairly well, which fiction begs belief.

All is not well…

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The secret report Benedict wrote for Francis

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Ratzinger has left his successor a 300-page report to look through. And the Vatileaks file appears a bit too biased in favour of Viganò’s statements

Marco Tosatti
Vatican City

Pope Francis will have some reading to do in the next few days. And not so much the report by the three Cardinal “wise men” on Vatileaks, as a staff memorandum written by Benedict XVI, a kind of user’s manual. It was mentioned in Avvenire (the newspaper of the Italian Bishop’s Conference) by Archbishop Loris Capovilla, secretary to John XXIII, whose 98 years have not dimmed, but if anything, added to, his lucidity. Speaking with the nephew of the “Good Pope” (Roncalli), Camarillo said “anyway, and I’m not referring to the Vatileaks dossier, Benedict XVI has left on his successor’s desk something like three hundred pages written personally to his attention, that’s what they tell me in Rome”. Like a good captain, Pope Ratzinger has left a “delivery” for the one who would take over the helm of the boat.

And it is likely that it is to these travel notes, more than the report by the three Cardinals, that Pope Francis will be devoting his attention. Criticism and doubts are growing about this latter report, the more it comes to light just how the Commission went about its work. Relying primarily on the “complaints” of the current Nuncio to the United States, Carlo Maria Viganò, and above all recording statements and accusations but without, in many cases, permitting a cross-examination. Limiting itself merely to recording them. One of the most controversial points concerns the so-called “investigation”, organized by Viganò at the Governorate, of a priest, Paolo Nicolini. Mons. Nicolini, highly esteemed by Ruini, was also esteemed by Viganò, who often asked him for advice of a technical and administrative character. According to people informed, Mons. Nicolini was also consulted by the Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone. who asked him for technical information on the Governorate, of which Viganò was Secretary, and perhaps even about Viganò himself. This led Viganò to think Mons. Nicolini was playing a kind of double game, and when Bertone announced that he was not to become Cardinal, but would go off to be the Nuncio to the United States, the transparency case exploded.

A commission was created, headed by a close friend of Viganò, Mons. Egidio Turnaturi. And, as Vatican Insider wrote, they found “other accusations regarding Mons. Nicolini to be unfounded as well, although the Commission deemed it had found evidence of certain alleged character traits and suggested measures be taken”.

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WDR berichtet über sexuellen Missbrauch in Kinderpsychiatrie Marsberg

DEUTSCHLAND
epd

In der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie St. Johannesstift in Marsberg soll es dem WDR zufolge in den 1950er und 60er Jahren massive sexuelle Übergriffe durch Pfleger und Nonnen gegeben haben. Im Fernsehmagazin Westpol, das am Sonntag ausgestrahlt wird, kommen Betroffene “nach Jahrzehnten des Schweigens” zu Wort, wie der WDR am Samstag in Köln ankündigte.

Einer der Patienten beschreibe, wie ihn eine Schwester der Vincentinerinnen 1964 im Alter von 13 Jahren mehrfach in ihr Zimmer beordert habe. Dort habe er sich ausziehen müssen, die Schwester habe sexuelle Handlungen an ihm vorgenommen. Ein weiterer damaliger Patient schildere, von Nonnen immer wieder extensiv im Genitalbereich gewaschen worden zu sein.

Bereits in den vergangenen Wochen habe Westpol über massive Übergriffe berichtet, erklärte der Sender. Ehemalige Patienten aus Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrien in Marsberg, Bad Oeynhausen und Schleswiggeben geben demnach an, in den Einrichtungen bis in die 70er Jahre geschlagen und mit Medikamenten ruhiggestellt worden zu sein. Sie seien mit eiskalten Bädern gequält und in Einzelzellen gesperrt worden. In der Sendung komme auch der Sozialpädagoge und Psychotherapeut Manfred Kappeler zu Wort, der die Schilderungen für glaubwürdig halte, hieß es.

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Exorzist warnt Franziskus vor einem schnellen Tod

ROM
kath.net

Der römische Exorzist Gabriele Amorth sagte, dass Papst Franziskus eine “arme Kirche der Armen” wie Johannes Paul I. wolle. „Ich würde mir nicht wünschen, dass er so endet wie Luciani“. Johannes Paul I. war nach nur 33 Tagen im Papstamt gestorben

Rom (kath.net) Pater Gabriele Amorth, oberster Exorzist der Diözese Rom, hat den neuen Papst Franziskus vor einem schnellen Tod entsprechend dem Schicksal von Papst Johannes Paul I. gewarnt. „Die Freimaurer haben überall ihre Verzweigungen, auch im Vatikan, leider“, sagte Amorth in einem Interview mit der italienischen Zeitung „Il Giornale“, wie die Tageszeitung „Österreich“ online berichtete.

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Hushed up: cash probe into priest who made sex complaint against Keith O’Brien

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Gerry Braiden
Senior reporter

A priest at the centre of the scandal that forced the leader of Scotland’s Catholics to stand down was forced to leave his parish following an investigation into church finances.

The man is the cleric who has complained to the Vatican he was sexually assaulted by Cardinal Keith O’Brien in Rome on the night he was made cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

That complaint was made in September 2012. Now it has emerged that, in 2011 the priest, currently on leave of absence from the church, was found to have overspent parish funds by a six-figure sum.

He resigned within hours of the appointment of Hugh Gilbert as Bishop of Aberdeen in August 2011 and several days later was told to leave his presbytery.

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Sex perv gets two days in jail

IRELAND
Irish Sun

By DECLAN BRENNAN

A FORMER priest will walk free from jail this weekend despite admitting sexually abusing two young boys.

Patrick McCabe was sentenced to 18 months — but that was commuted to time served as he has spent the last 21 months in custody.

The 77-year-old had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to molesting James Moran in 1977, and another boy in 1979. Both were 13 at the time.

Waiving his right to anonymity, Mr Moran, now 50, said McCabe’s vile actions ruined his life.

He said he went from being a happy child to contemplating suicide at 18. He added: “I failed my Leaving Cert, failed attempts at relationships but most importantly, felt I had failed my family. I experienced every emotion associated with self-loathing.”

McCabe, formerly of Alameda, California, was extradited here in June 2011.

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Merryfield brothers speak out after settlement with GB Catholic Diocese

WISCONSIN
We Are Green Bay

[with video]

By: Heather Sawaski

Updated: March 22, 2013

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – After reaching a settlement in their case against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, two brothers molested by a catholic priest in 1978 are speaking out.

Todd and Troy Merryfield were sexually abused as children by former priest John Feeney while he served at their Freedom church. They said at a news conference Friday afternoon, while they’re glad their fight is over, they’re still not satisfied.

The brothers said they settled for the exact same amount a jury initially awarded them at trial last June, which was around $700,000. That verdict was overturned after a judge found one of the jurors to be impartial.

Despite the settlement, the brothers are still seeking an apology from the diocese for what they allege was a cover up of Feeney’s actions. They’re also challenging Bishop David Ricken and others to release documents they say exist with names of other priest’s who are known to have abused children.

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‘The Church has failed me’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

A young Derry man whose allegations of sexual abuse rocked the Catholic Church in the city to the core almost 20 years ago claims despite all the publicity and promises at the time by senior clergy to clean up the mess nothing has come of it.

The man, now in his 40’s, says a team leader at St Eugene’s Youth Club in the Bogside in the 1980’s seriously abused him and, at least, twenty other boys – he thinks the numbers involved are actually much higher, possibly as many as 50 – but it has all been covered up. The team leader involved has since died.

Speaking this week the man told former ‘Journal’ editor Pat McArt he felt the damage done to his psyche by the huge mental and emotional anguish he went through on going to the media and making public his claims had not been worth it.

He said: “The youth leader who abused me and the others is dead now but he’s left a trail of devastation. I, personally, told four priests about him. As far as I’m aware three of those priests are still alive and working in the diocese. I know one has since left the priesthood. What went on was certainly made known to the senior clergy in this town by me and others.

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Father Grassi’s sex abuse case: Cardinal Bergoglio – “reckless and irresponsible” – expert

UNITED STATES
The Voice of Russia

The issue of underage sex abuse in the Catholic Church is one that the new Pope, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is expected to address and deal with. How he plans to do this is something many want to know. Despite being hailed as a man who stands with the poor backing his own nation, Pope Francis, as he is now known, has had a controversial past with regards to pedophilia.

Critics are saying that even in the most famous cases that found Argentinean priests guilty and landed them in jail, Pope Francis did not do enough to ensure the protection and the elimination of this serious crimes, nor did he do enough to aid the victims after the fact, many say.

With us to discuss this is Anne Barrett Doyle of bishop-accountability.org

Thank you so much for joining me Anne. What does your organization do and how are you seeing it as it unfolds in Argentina? They’ve had some pretty serious articles about it in the Washington Post and in the New York Times that have addressed the fact that there are some things that have been left unset there?

My organization bishop-accountability.org tracks clergy sex abuse data and documents worldwide. We are the largest repository of documents that have been forced out of the Catholic Church for instance as a result of action by victims. And our concern here is simply, you know, we have not by any means thoroughly researched Pope Francis’s record in Argentina. But preliminary indications in just two priests’ cases that are recent suggest that he was very unsympathetic towards victims, and more seriously, did not take proper actions to protect children from credibly accused priests.

You said that your organization works worldwide. Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Latin America, what is that like? Is it kind of where we were in the 1950’es-1960’es?

We simply don’t have a good handle on the public record of the Catholic abuse crisis in Latin America yet. We are quickly fetching researchers to accumulate any information that is in the public domain, from court records to media accounts. But the crisis has not surfaced there to the same extent it has in the US or Europe, Australia or Canada. But we will see in the coming days what exactly exists in the public record about this crisis in Latin America and attempt to quantify how bad the problem is there.

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Mega church pastor’s children plead no contest in child sex abuse case

TULSA (OK)
KFOR

TULSA, Okla. – The son and daughter-in-a-law of a mega church pastor in Tulsa have pleaded “no contest” to charges against them.

This stems from an incident last year at Victory Christian Church in Tulsa.

A 13-year old girl reported being raped on ministry property by a church worker.

John and Charica Daugherty were charged with failing to promptly report child sexual abuse.

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Sex Abuses in Church: 1st Case for Pope Francis …

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

[with video]

Sex Abuses in Church: 1st Case for Pope Francis Involves Claims that Cardinal O’Brien Had Long-Term Physical Relationship With Priest

By Vittorio Hernandez | March 23, 2013

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s problems apparently did not end with his being sacked just before Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI retired as pontiff on Feb 28. It appears that the cardinal’s sex abuse case would be the first that new Pope Francis will have to investigate following claims by the complaining priest that he had a long-term physical relationship with Cardinal O’Brien.

When Pope Benedict quit it post, among the legacies or headaches he left for his successor was to solve a slew of sex abuses cases involving clergymen. The last case to be made public was that of Cardinal O’Brien who not only had to back out of attending the conclave in early March but had to quit days before his official retirement following complaints that he abused three priests and an ex-priest – accusations that had been made way back in the 1980s but were apparently swept then under the rug.

Reports by Scottish daily The Herald that came out on Saturday said that the abuse complaints did not involve casual sex encounters but the first priest complainant actually had a long-term physical relationship with Cardinal O’Brien. It said that the two clergymen had known each other for over three decades and were in close contact through phone calls and meetings in Edinburgh until they had a falling out in 2012.

The priest, who initially left his vocation but eventually returned and assigned in Europe in a post the cardinal helped him secure, turned against the Scottish cardinal as an act of revenge for Cardinal O’Brien being outspoken against homosexuality and gay marriage, describing it as moral degradation and harmful.

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Cloyne priest to be laicised over abuse complaints

IRELAND
Irish Times

Barry Roche

Sat, Mar 23, 2013

An elderly priest in the Diocese of Cloyne is facing laicisation after a church inquiry upheld a series of complaints by five women that they had been sexually abused by the priest while minors in 1970s and 1980s.

Yesterday the diocese confirmed its canonical court had found in favour of the women in relation to the priest, who had been the subject of complaints from the women that he abused them when they were under 18.

“A number of complaints of sexual abuse of minors against a priest of the Diocese of Cloyne have been upheld by a canonical penal trial. The priest has been dismissed from the clerical state,” said the diocese.

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March 22, 2013

Settlement or Not, Brothers still Blame Diocese for Abuse

WISCONSIN
NBC 26

By Jonathon Gregg

Green Bay– Todd and Troy Merryfield stood in front of St. Francis Cathedral Friday afternoon demanding the Green Bay Diocese come clean about covering up a history of sexual abuse. The brothers were abused by a former priest in 1978.

In 2005 John Patrick Feeney was found guilty and sentenced to 15-years in prison for abusing the men they were 12 and 13-years-old. In a civil suit the brothers accused the Diocese of knowing about Feeney’s violent past. A courtroom sided with the brothers last year but the Diocese appealed and won a second trial.

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Merryfields talk about settlement

WISCONSIN
Fox 11

Updated: Friday, 22 Mar 2013

Ben Krumholz, FOX 11 News

GREEN BAY – Two Fox Valley brothers, who say they were sexually abused by a former priest, are relieved to have their court battle complete with the Green Bay Catholic Diocese.

Three days ago, a settlement was announced with the diocese and Todd and Troy Merryfield. However, the brothers said today their fight isn’t over.

Former priest John Feeney was convicted of abusing the Merryfields while Feeney served at a Freedom church in 1978.

The brothers sued the diocese for fraud, claiming the diocese kept quiet about Feeney having an abusive history.

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Former Eureka priest accused of molesting boys sentenced to prison in Ireland

CALIFORNIA
The Times-Standard

times-standard.com
Posted: 03/22/2013

A former Catholic priest who once served in Eureka has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in his native Ireland for molesting two boys more than 30 years ago.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, who fought his extradition from the Bay Area in 2011, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

Four Humboldt County men filed lawsuits in Sonoma County Superior Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa in 2010, alleging they were repeatedly molested by McCabe when he was at St. Bernard’s Parish in the 1980s.

McCabe was transferred to St. Bernard’s Parish — which comprises St. Bernard’s and St. Joseph churches — in 1983 after molestation allegations began surfacing against him in Dublin. McCabe arrived in Eureka, reportedly just months after he was deemed a pedophile, enrolled in a treatment program and was placed on medications intended to rein in his sexual desires. He was transferred out of Eureka to a Guerneville church in 1985.

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Church Abuse Victims Speak about Settlement

WISCONSIN
WBAY

By Emily Matesic

Green Bay –
Two brothers who settled their lawsuit against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese are talking about that decision. Todd and Troy Merryfield say church officials knew of former priest John Feeney’s prior sexual misconduct when he abused the Merryfield brothers in 1978. In 2002, Feeney was convicted of sexual abuse.

Last May, the Merryfield’s won a civil trial and were awarded $700,000 in damages. That verdict was later overturned.

It’s been a long road for Todd and Troy Merryfield. The men have been fighting the Green Bay Catholic Diocese since 1978 when they were molested by now defrocked priest John Feeney. Today the brothers have ended their fight after settling their civil suit for $700.000.

“It’s a relief to be done doing this legal dance,” says Todd Merryfield. “That’s a relief for us.”

While the brothers are glad to be done with the legal wrangling, they tell us the money is meaningless and they are still looking for the diocese to take responsibility for its actions.

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Map: Exploring the Priest Abuse Scandal in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KCET

by Brian Frank

on March 22, 2013

As we revealed in an exclusive investigation, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for years responded to some of the sexual abuse allegations against priests by moving them around from one parish to another. We wanted to find out just how many churches the accused men had lived at or worked at. In other words, we wanted to know how extensive the scandal had really become in our own back yard.

We created the following map to give people another way of engaging with the records released by the archdiocese in January 2013. Where possible, we got assignment information directly from those priest files, but we also relied on information from bishop-accountability.org, a site that tracks and archives records pertaining to clergy abuse.

The numbers on the map pins indicate how many accused priests worked at that parish at one time or another. They do not mean an incident of abuse occurred there. It’s likely that some of the numbers are lower than they should be, because in some cases names and locations were redacted from the records. Consider these numbers to be estimates.

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LUXEMBURG HERZIET RELATIES TUSSEN KERK EN STAAT

LUXEMBURG
Kerknet

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/Luxemburger Wort) – In een Luxemburgse parlementaire werkgroep is consensus bereikt over de herziening van de relaties tussen Kerk en staat. De werkgroep is het eens om artikel 21 van de Luxemburgse grondwet te schrappen. Daarin staat dat het kerkelijke huwelijk aan het burgerlijke huwelijk moet vooraf gaan. Er komt ook een nieuw artikel in de grondwet dat de godsdienstvrijheid moet garanderen, overeenkomstig de internationale akkoorden. De staat moet voortaan een neutrale houding aannemen ten aanzien van de verschillende geloofsgemeenschappen. De staat engageert zich om voortaan alle erkende geloofsgemeenschappen en levensbeschouwingen op gelijke voet te behandelen.

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Former Christian Brother guilty of sexually abusing boy

IRELAND
BBC News

A former Christian Brother, originally from Belfast, has been found guilty of sexually abusing a boy at a school in County Galway in the 1960s.

Robert Doherty, 72, from Glenwood Estate, Dundalk, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault at Galway Circuit Criminal Court.

He denies committing the offences at Letterfrack Industrial School between August 1965 and April 1967.

Doherty, originally from the Falls Road, will be sentenced in May.

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Former Christian Brother found guilty of sexually abusing boy at Letterfrack

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Christian Brother has been found guilty of the sexual abuse of a boy at Letterfrack Industrial School in Co Galway in the 1960s.

Robert Doherty, 72, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault by a jury at Galway Circuit Criminal Court this morning.

He had denied the offences, which took place on dates between August 1965 and April 1967.

Doherty, originally from the Falls Road in Belfast and with an address at Glenwood Estate, Dundalk in Co Louth, was recruited to the Christian Brothers at the age of 15.

In 1965, he began teaching at Letterfrack Industrial School at the age of 24.

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JURY TO RESUME DELIBERATIONS IN ALLEGED LETTERFRACK ABUSE TRIAL

IRELAND
Galway Bay FM

A jury in the trial of a former Christian Brother charged with indecently assaulting a boy at Letterfrack Industrial School during the 1960’s, will resume its deliberations today.

The retired 72 year old primary school teacher denies six charges of indecently assaulting the boy between August 1965 and July 1967.

The jury of six men and six women retired to consider its verdict yesterday afternoon following a two- day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal court.

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St. Paul Catholic school student reports being bullied into sex act

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 03/21/2013

St. Paul police are investigating allegations that a female student at St. Thomas More Catholic School was bullied into performing a sex act on a male student. The boy then sent a photo of the encounter to a friend via text message, a court document said.

Neither child was identified in a search warrant affidavit made public Thursday, March 21, in Ramsey County District Court. The boy has not been charged. St. Paul police spokesman Howie Padilla said Thursday that they would not release the boy’s age.

The school at 1065 Summit Ave. in St. Paul serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

According to the affidavit:

The girl told someone who is mandated by law to report abuse that she had been bullied last month into performing oral sex on a boy. Police were notified, and the girl was referred to the Midwest Children’s Resource Center at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, which evaluates suspected abuse victims.

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Assignment Record – Rev. Rene Astruc, s.j.

ALASKA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A native of France, Astruc was ordained a Jesuit priest of the Oregon Province in 1954. He spent his career in Alaska, among the Yup’ik people. There have been at least two accusations against Astruc, as revealed in Fairbanks diocese’s bankruptcy documents in 2010. In 2007 three women are said to have come forward with accusations that Astruc sexually abused them as minors. Astruc died in June 2002.

Ordained: 1954
Died: June 28, 2002

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Meet a hero: one man forces a Catholic diocese to open their files

ILLINOIS
Daily Kos

Bob Johnson

There is a powerful, infuriating, moving and heartbreaking story in today’s Chicago Tribune. It is the story of one man’s quest to see justice done, not just for himself, but for at least one hundred other known victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy in the Joliet Diocese in Illinois.

Here’s the story:

Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese

What makes David Rudofski’s story — just one more story in the long and sordid history of pedophile shuffling by Catholic Church hierarchy all around the globe — so compelling is his insistence on forcing the diocese to release records related to pedophile priests going back decades. Rudofski refused numerous offers to settle out of court, to be quiet and go away, to, as he put it, “Take the money and run.”

The Joliet Diocese readily admitted that David Rudofski was sexually abused during his first confession at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. It offered him an in-person apology from the bishop and more than six times his annual salary in the hope of putting a quick, quiet end to yet another ugly incident involving a priest.
But Rudofski wanted more than money.

The south suburban electrician wanted the diocese to truly pay for its repeated and, oftentimes, willful mishandling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy — and he insisted on a currency far more precious to the church than money. He demanded that the diocese settle its debt by turning over the secret archives it maintained on abusive priests and making them available for public consumption.

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Former Northern California priest accused of molesting two boys sentenced to prison in Ireland

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

By Peter Hegarty
phegarty@bayareanewsgroup.commercurynews.com

Posted: 03/22/2013 01:27:15 PM PDT

ALAMEDA — A former Catholic priest who investigators tracked down living and working in Alameda has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in his native Ireland for molesting two boys more than 30 years ago.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, who fought his extradition in 2011 from the Bay Area, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

McCabe also received an 18-month sentence at the court last year for abusing boys.

The former priest was working as an administrator at the Water’s Edge Lodge nursing home on Island Drive when Interpol located him in September 2007 and Alameda detectives initially questioned him about the allegations.

Two Irish police officers also visited Alameda and interviewed McCabe before he was extradited to Ireland in June 2011.

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Action Alert Regarding Bishop Finn, by Kristine Ward

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Posted on March 22, 2013

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) has taken a strong stand that it is an imperative part of true healing in the Church regarding the sexual abuse crisis that criminally convicted Bishop Robert Finn who still heads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri must resign or be removed.

We admire the work that Jeff Weis, the creator of the Bishop Finn petition (www.BishopFinnPetition.com), has done. The petition currently has 111,030 signers.

Today, we ask our readers to take action and support an email campaign that Jeff has begun in connection with a provincial meeting of all of the Roman Catholic Bishops of the dioceses in Missouri this Sunday and Monday. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will preside at this meeting.

The email asks Archbishop Carlson to speak with Bishop Finn during the meeting of the Roman Catholic Bishops of the dioceses in Missouri this Sunday and Monday to “counsel Bishop Finn to make the right and just decision in helping the people of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese to start the healing process by his resignation.”

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MI – SNAP supports new abuse prevention bill in MI

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on March 22, 2013

We support Rep. Klisto and his bill to make school employees and clergy members mandated reporters of child abuse. By creating an environment where everyone from custodian to cardinal is required to report abuse, this measure will go a long way towards deterring future child sex crimes and will create a much safer world for children.

Any effort undertaken to increase accountability and responsibility for those who would ignore or minimize child abuse is a step in the right direction.

It may seem like common sense that anyone who witnesses the victimization of a child should immediately go to the police. Sadly, hundreds of cases every year, from low-profile ones to high-profile ones like the Sandusky case remind us that this common sense is all to uncommon. We hope that this measure passes quickly in order to better ensure the safety of children in Michigan.

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CA – Former Bay Area Priest jailed, SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA/IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on March 22, 2013

We are glad that Fr. Patrick McCabe has received prison time for abusing two 13-year-old boys in the 1970s. We are especially grateful that McCabe was not let off the hook because of his advanced age. Children are always safer when predators are behind bars, whether that predator is 20 or 80.

While the crimes for which Fr. McCabe was sentenced for relate to his time in Dublin, we know that he also spent time in the dioceses of Stockton, Sacramento, and Santa Rosa. We also know that he has been known to have abused children since at least 1988, when he was removed from the Diocese of Santa Rosa for making children sit on his lap during confession.

We urge church officials at each of these dioceses to reach out to their flocks and encourage anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes at the hands of Fr. McCabe to come forward immediately to police.

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Updated: Priest sex abuse victims speak out

WISCONSIN
Wausau Daily Herald

Two brothers sexually assaulted by a priest in Outagamie County in the 1970s spoke out today after receiving a $700,000 settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield met reporters outside St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in downtown Green Bay.

The diocese earlier this week agreed to pay the Merryfields a $700,000 settlement in a civil lawsuit that the brothers filed in 2008.

When they were children in the late 1970s, both brothers were assaulted by the Rev. John Feeney at St. Nicholas Church in the Outagamie town of Freedom. Feeney was convicted of sexual assault in 2004 and sent to prison for nearly eight years.

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Missbrauch bei den „Domspatzen“ unter Theobald Schrems

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg-Digital

Es war der 5. März 2010. Damals wandte sich die Diözese Regensburg erstmals an die Öffentlichkeit, um die Medien über sexuellen Missbrauch bei den Regensburger Domspatzen zu informieren. Bistumssprecher Clemens Neck präsentiere damals nur Jahrzehnte zurückliegende Fälle. Doch selbst diese wurden irreführend und falsch dargestellt. Versuch einer Aufarbeitung.

Als die anschwellen Berichterstattung über sexuellen Missbrauch im März 2010 auch Regensburg erreichte, war die Vorstandschaft der Regensburger „Domspatzen“ nicht völlig unvorbereitet. Noch bevor die erste Tageszeitung am 4. März 2010 sexuelle Übergriffe beim „Aushängeschild der Diözese Regensburg“ thematisierte hatte, wurden in einem Rundschreiben Eltern, Schüler und Mitarbeiter über das informiert, was da kommen könnte.

Man sei „bestürzt darüber, dass derart beschämende Vorkommnisse an kirchlichen Einrichtungen geschahen“, so die Unterzeichner Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner, Gymnasiums-Direktor Berthold Wahl und Domvikar Rainer Schinko (Internatsdirektor).

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Cloyne priest defrocked

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

12:07, 22 March 2013 by Kieron Wood

A priest of the Diocese of Cloyne has been defrocked after Church authorities upheld a number of complaints of sexual abuse of children.

A representative of the diocese today contacted the complainants who took part in the canonical trial to inform them of the verdict. A public relations issued a statement on behalf of the diocese saying that the complaints had been “upheld by a canonical penal trial” and the priest had been “dismissed from the clerical state”.

“The diocese will continue to offer counselling and pastoral support to all who have been abused, and wishes to expresses deep regret at the suffering that has been caused,” said the statement. The priest was not named. The public relations consultant for the diocese would give no further details.

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Public-Relations Advice for the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Taki’s Magazine

It seemed that only minutes after the College of Cardinals selected Pope Francis as their new pontiff, the popular press was accusing him of enabling the torture of Jesuit priests in Argentina’s “Dirty War” and nailing him to a cross for refusing to abandon the Church’s 2,000-year-old definition of marriage.

When his predecessor Pope Benedict was appointed, the dutiful cyber-monks of the Universal Church of Cultural Marxism sunk their teeth in his vestments and focused almost solely on his brief membership in Hitler Youth during WWII. Little mention was made of the fact that a prominent rabbi stated that during WWII, Pope Pius saved more Jews from the Holocaust than Oskar Schindler.

Hot on the heels of Benedict’s resignation last month, the Italian press was replete with allegations that he didn’t resign due to failing health as he’d stated; instead, they claimed he’d been blackmailed by a nearly 300-page red dossier allegedly detailing that a “Gay Mafia” controlled much of the Church’s upper hierarchy.

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Entschädigung für 1000 Wiener Heimkinder

OSTERREICH
Kurier

Die Stadt Wien hat missbrauchten Zöglingen 17 Millionen Euro gezahlt. Die fordern aber jetzt auch eine Bundeskompetenz.

Viele Betroffenen wüssten gar nicht, welche Rechte sie haben, und wie sie zu Entschädigungen kommen. Deshalb brachte der deutsche Anwalt Christian Sailer gemeinsam mit Claudia Kaufmann, Betroffene des Heims St. Martin in Tirol, eine parlamentarische Bürgerinitiative ein. Ziel dieser Initiative ist eine alleinige Bundeskompetenz, die die Verjährungsfrist von Schmerzensgeldansprüchen und den Verdienstentgang während der Heimzeit neu regelt.

Denn aktuell ist die Lage bei den Entschädigungen der Heimkinder eher verworren. Für die Gesetze ist der Bund zuständig. Für die Umsetzung die Länder.

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