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.

August 1, 2013

Time out for all California sexual-abuse cases?

CALIFORNIA
Get Religion

It’s time for a quick dip into tmatt’s massive file of GetReligion guilt, the cyber-place in which I stash stories that I really wanted to critique, but other things (papal visits, health issues, my own travel, etc.) jumped in the way.

In this case, we’re talking about a Los Angeles Times report about the ongoing legal wars linked to one of the most painful subjects — ever — on the religion-news beat. I am referring to the waves of scandal in the Catholic church over the past quarter century linked to the sexual abuse of children and, in the vast majority of cases, teen-agers.

This story is, on one crucial point, somewhat better than many mainstream reports (but I’m afraid that isn’t saying much).

It’s a bit better, but I still think that one very crucial piece of information needed to go much higher in the text.

The subject of this report is a familiar one for those who closely follow the scandals. Here’s the all-to-familiar opening of the story:

At the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in 2002, Catholic leaders stayed silent as California lawmakers passed a landmark bill that gave hundreds of accusers extra time to file civil lawsuits. The consequences were costly.

California dioceses paid $1.2 billion in settlements and released thousands of confidential documents that showed their leaders, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, had made plans to shield admitted molesters from law enforcement.

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.

Today in Catholic sex abuse disclosures

CALIFORNIA
Salon

[the files – Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

BY MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

The seemingly limitless book of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy – and its coverup by a doggedly self-preserving Church administration – added yet another new chapter this week. Just one month after Milwaukee released a mind-boggling 6,000 pages of documents revealing the personnel files of over 40 priests with “verified abuse claims against them” and the clever maneuvers the church went through to protect millions of dollars in its funds from lawsuits, on Wednesday five Los Angeles religious orders released 1,700 pages of documents pertaining to “a dozen priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexual misconduct.”

The move is not the first stark revelation of the massive abuses within the LA diocese. In January, the Los Angeles Times published a disturbing set of internal church documents – documents that “the Archdiocese fought for [five] years to keep secret” — detailing how Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry worked together to conceal abusers’ “past problems” from law enforcement. These new papers, released to sexual abuse survivors as part of “the first wave of a court-ordered public disclosure” in a $660 million settlement, are not quite as earth-shattering. Instead, they offer “little or no reference to abuse allegations” save for cryptic references to, for example, one priest’s “problem” and “difficulty.” They also shed no new light on the sex abuse charges toward two nuns named in the subsequent lawsuits.

The papers do however reveal 500 pages of documentation regarding Ruben Martinez, who in 2005 confessed that he had molested “as many as one hundred boys.” There’s a note from Fr. Paul Nourie about Martinez’s “alleged misbehavior with younger males,” and his assertion that he has “every reason to believe their veracity.” The note appears to have been written “shortly before he assign[ed] Martinez to another parish in the Imperial Valley… to work with children.”

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

Attorney: Priest In Rare Whitey Bulger Photo A ‘Serial Pedophile’

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – A priest shown in a rare photo with Whitey Bulger was defrocked by the Vatican for allegedly sexually abusing boys.

The photo, released late Wednesday night by Bulger’s attorney with a series of other rarely seen pictures, shows Bulger sitting on a couch with Rev. Frederick Ryan.

Ryan would eventually become a vice chancellor of the Boston archdiocese.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian confirmed to WBZ-TV Thursday that the priest in the photo is Ryan.

Garabedian has represented several victims in the Boston Archdiocese clergy abuse scandal and called Ryan a “serial pedophile.”

Ryan, according to the archdiocese, was defrocked in 2005.

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.

Bulger team releases photo of defendant with alleged sex abuser

MASSACHUSETTS
NBC News

By Andrew Rafferty, Staff Writer, NBC News

Newly released photos meant to portray the softer, human side of James “Whitey” Bulger include a picture of the Boston crime boss hanging with a priest defrocked by the Catholic Church for allegedly sexually abusing teenagers, according to an attorney who represented the accusers.

Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian confirmed to NBC News that a priest pictured with Bulger in one of the photographs released by the notorious gangster’s defense team is Frederick J. Ryan, the former chancellor of the Boston archdiocese who was accused of abusing two teens in the 1980s.

Garabedian represented the two former Catholic Memorial High School students who successfully sued Boston’s archdiocese in 2002. He said Ryan molested one of his clients in 1980 when the student was 16-years-old, and the other in 1981 when the boy was 15.

“Bulger has been painted as a villain, and this helped solidify that,” said Garabedian.

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

When lawsuits attack, Catholic edition

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Get Religion

…All this to say that we received some reader complaints about a story reporting on a lawsuit. It’s out of St. Louis and the story appears in the Post-Dispatch. Here’s the top of the story:

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson knew that a priest was a danger to children before that priest was charged last year with molesting a teenage girl, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Lincoln County.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of the girl, who told police last June that the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End, had molested her. Jiang, 30, eventually was charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. The girl had described him as a family friend.

In the lawsuit filed Friday, the girl’s parents said Carlson “knew that Father Jiang was dangerous to children” and “that allowing Father Jiang access to minors as part of his duties as a priest would result in Father Jiang harming minors.”

The suit does not provide details of how Carlson would have known Jiang was a threat to children.

According to the suit, the girl’s parents asked Carlson last year if Jiang, who was ordained in 2010, would be removed from the priesthood. Carlson responded “that he would remove Jiang if he ‘had sex’ with the child, but not for activities other than that,” according to the suit.

Among the various readers to submit the story for critiquing here, one said, “The unvalidated quote attributed to the Archbishop is particularly outrageous.” But what’s outrageous about it — journalistically speaking?

I emphasized with boldface how clearly the reporter attributes each claim. What more is expected here? Right after the section I excerpted is a paragraph from the Archdiocese spokesman denying the claims in the lawsuit.

My question about how the reporter should have handled this is not rhetorical. What, specifically, are critics saying should be done? Not to report on the lawsuit? Not to include what the lawsuit claims? Simply to lay out more clearly that one side of a story is just one side of a story?

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.

Defrocked priest says he’ll appeal to pope

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Richard Gazarik

Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A defrocked priest ordered by the Vatican to leave St. Vincent Archabbey near Latrobe and enter a treatment center said he’s not going anywhere until the pope hears his appeal.

Mark Gruber on Wednesday challenged Archabbott Douglas Nowicki’s contention that Gruber coerced a former junior monk into making false sexual allegations against Nowicki.

Under oath, the former monk later recanted stating, “Father Gruber pressured me to execute this false affidavit to discredit the archabbot. … I remain fearful of Gruber to this day.”

Gruber has been ordered to leave St. Vincent on Tuesdayand report to the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Mo. The center offers treatment for priests with drug and alcohol addictions, depression and other vocational issues. His dismissal stems from a lengthy case that began when photographs of naked men were discovered on his computer in 2009.

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.

Secret Religious Order Files Reveals Extent Of Abuse By Clergy Members In Los Angeles

CALIFORNIA
International Business Times

[the files – Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

By Charles Poladian
on August 01 2013

The unsealed files from five religious orders, totaling close to 2,000 pages, reveal decades of abuse by priests, nuns and brothers working in Los Angeles. The files were unsealed as part of a 2007 $660 million settlement agreement and more files will be unsealed later this year.

The Los Angeles Times reports the documents that were unsealed include transcripts of Rev. Ruben Martinez’s, 73, therapy sessions as well reports filed on a dozen clergy members accused of sexual abuse. The newspaper reports the documents were unsealed as part of a settlement reached by the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles as part of a class action lawsuit that included hundreds of individuals alleging sexual misconduct. An additional 45 religious orders will release their own records relating to sexual abuse allegations in the fall.

The unsealed documents contain everything from daily administrative records, vacation requests and updates on various church projects. The Los Angeles Times reports a sense of “reluctance” when it came to documenting allegations of sexual abuse, with the documents using couched or vague terms to describe allegations or problem priests. One supervisor even wrote about the allegations against Rev. Ruben Martinez in Japanese while other parts of the note are in English.

Almost a third of the unsealed documents, 500 pages, contain reports on Martinez and include his therapy sessions which revealed the extent of his sexual misconducts, reports the Associated Press. In his therapy sessions, Martinez confessed to molesting his 5-year-old brother, 100 other boys, visiting gay strip clubs and having sex with male prostitutes, reports AP. Martinez claims he stopped any sexual contact with minors in 1986 and was removed from service within parishes by 1991 and was assigned to administrative positions prior to his retirement. The documents regarding Martinez can be read here, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

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.

Arraigned in Prov. District Court Thursday

RHODE ISLAND
WPRI

By Shaun Towne

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local priest accused of molesting an elderly woman has been released on bail.

Rolando Rodriguez of the Light & Hope Methodist Church in Pawtucket appeared in Providence District Court Thursday on a charge of second-degree assault.

Rodriguez made the $25,000 surety bail and was released.

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

MO- Admitted predator priest is in St. Louis

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Fr. Ruben Martinez]

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 1

For more information: David Clohessy 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Admitted predator priest is in St. Louis
He estimates he abused “more than 100” kids
New Catholic records shows he’s been here since 2006
SNAP: When will Archbishop Carlson ‘come clean’ about pedophiles?”
Group notes that documents were released only because victims insisted

A child molesting Catholic cleric from California who admitted abusing 100 kids now lives in St. Louis, according to newly released church records. The disclosure comes because victims insisted that the documents be made public when they settled their abuse and cover up lawsuits.

[Los Angeles Times]

The priest is Fr. Ruben D. Martinez who reportedly lives at the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, according to a 2005 letter from then-Archbishop Raymond Burke that was posted yesterday on the LA Times website.

[BishopAccountability.org – assignments]

According to the LA Daily News, the files – which were made public yesterday by a lawyer for victims – include more than 500 pages about Martinez. The LA archdiocese, the newspaper says, “settled eight lawsuits accusing him of molesting boys from 1970-82” at three southern California parishes.

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.

Horror Show Sunday: Take Those Little Girls Home

NIGERIA
Bitchspot

In Nigeria, the pastor of Deeper Life Bible Church, a pentecostal church in Orhiomwon, Fidelis Eze, has admitted that he took two 11-year girls home and had sex with them, yet he denies doing anything wrong, saying they “consented”.

According to Edo State Police Commissioner, Foluso Balogun, who laments the rising incidence of child rape in Nigeria, “This (pointing at Eze) is a pastor. He defiled two young girls; it is very nauseating.”

Eze told reporters “It was sometime last year which was when the two girls (Joy and Anthonia) came to my house. It was Joy that brought Anthonia to my house. It was the same day that I had sex with them and they agreed. The father of Joy got to know and he called me and I pleaded for forgiveness and since then I have not seen them again, they even packed out of our vicinity. It was this year (July14) that the father came with policemen to arrest me.”

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.

After molestation accusations, Dutch Jewish school adopts unusual response

NETHERLANDS
JTA

By Cnaan Liphshiz
July 31, 2013

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — More than a year after his alleged molestation by a male teacher, 6-year-old Ehud (not his real name) still won’t tell everything he knows about the sex scandal rocking Amsterdam’s Cheider, the Dutch capital’s only Orthodox Jewish school.

Ehud says the teacher, identified by Dutch media only as 25-year-old Ephraim S., used to touch him in a corner of the classroom known as “the dark room,” according to written testimony obtained by JTA. The teacher’s lawyer has declined to comment on the specific allegation but has denied any wrongdoing by his client.

Last month, after the Dutch media reported on a different abuse case at Cheider allegedly involving Ephraim S., Ehud asked his father whether the police would confront the teacher about “all the dirty things he did.” Ehud would not elaborate, but a child psychiatrist later determined he had undergone non-genital molestation — and perhaps worse.

Ehud is one of at least three boys from Cheider whose parents say were molested in the past two years by Ephraim S., who left for Israel shortly after the accusations were first made. Dutch police were informed of the complaints soon after they were made and have opened an investigation.

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.

IL- Accused abusive cleric now on the job

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Accused abusive cleric now on the job
Church admits charges against him are “credible”
But they let predator work in Pope’s home diocese
And he’s been put back to work twice since accusation
Religious order recently moved its headquarters to Chicago
SNAP releases list of 14 credibly accused clerics they oversee

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that a credibly accused child molesting cleric now has a church job in the Pope’s home archdiocese.

They will also:

–reveal a list of 14 accused child molesting clerics who belong to a Catholic religious order which recently made Chicago its national headquarters,
–highlight three of the alleged sex offenders who worked in the Chicago area, and
–prod the religious order officials to house its alleged abusive employees in a treatment center.

They will also urge victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact law enforcement with any information or suspicions they have about clergy sex crimes and cover ups in this religious order.

WHEN
Thursday, Aug. 1 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the Claretians HQ, 205 W. Monroe Street (corner of Wells Street) in downtown Chicago

WHO
Three-four victims of clergy sex crimes who belong to an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including the organization’s long time president

WHY
A cleric now works for the church in Buenos Aires, despite a child sex abuse allegation against him that his Chicago Catholic superiors admit is credible. The same church supervisors oversee at least 13 other proven, admitted and credibly accused clerics, three of whom worked in Chicago.

[Claretian ministry]

their US headquarters here a year and a half ago.

Brother Richard Suttle now works for the Claretians on a “human rights project” in Buenos Aires – the archdiocese that was run by Pope Francis until just five months ago.

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.

Files on child molesting nuns made public; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Sister Agnes Santomassimo]

[Sister Mary Joseph]

For immediate release Wednesday, July 31

Statement by Steve Theisen, Iowa SNAP Director 319-231-1663

For the first time in history we believe that files on child molesting nuns have been made public. Credit for this goes to brave California victims, who wisely filed civil suits and persistently sought justice and heroically demanded the disclosure of this information,

We in SNAP have heard from hundreds of victims of nuns. Child sex crimes and cover-up by nuns remains an under reported and horrific part of the church’s continuing scandal. For many- men women and teens- it’s especially tough to report sexual assault at the hands of a woman religious. And nun officials are doing virtually nothing these days to reduce the fear shame isolation and self-blame of those hurt by sisters.

For decades Catholic nuns have had even more access to boys and girls than catholic priest have. (Most nuns work or worked in schools) no one has any idea how wide spread abuse and cover-up by nuns is. Based on our 25 years’ experience, we are convinced it is far more prevalent than anyone suspects.

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.

FL- Tampa priest caught giving hugs while falsifying community service hours

TAMPA (FL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: August 1, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director, 314-862-7688 SNAPdorris@gmail.com

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered sexual misdeeds by this priest, Charles Leigh, will come forward.

And we hope law enforcement authorities are very careful about which clergy they work with. Often, sexually troubled ministers gravitate towards positions like this in which they have access to and power over vulnerable individuals.

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.

NJ- Child molesting cleric from CA is now in NJ

CALIFORNIA/NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Fr. Joseph DiPiri]

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

Newly released church files about child molesting Catholic clerics show that a priest who sexually abused in California now lives in New Jersey.

He is Fr. DiPeri

[Daily News]

Now living in a retirement home for priests in New Jersey, the archdiocese claims that DiPeri is on a “permanent monitoring system”.

And why are Catholic officials only now releasing this information, and doing so only because they’re required to do so because of a settlement of clergy child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.

We urge NJ Catholic officials to come clean about proven, admitted and credibly accused child molester clerics who live or work in the state, regardless of where they are, where they molested and which Catholic entity signs their paychecks.

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

The Fox and his quarry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX From: The Australian August 02, 2013

DETECTIVE Chief Inspector Peter Fox looks at the 14 people sitting in the public gallery of Newcastle Supreme Court, then leans over to his wife, Penny, and whispers: “Not much of an audience today.”

It is an unusual choice of words for the man at the centre of a state government inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child abuse within the Catholic Church.

It is also a revealing choice.

After months of hearings, which have uncovered evidence that known pedophile priests were able to move freely across Australia and abroad, how will Fox’s performance be judged?

The NSW Special Commission of Inquiry yesterday held its final public hearing, after being established as a direct result of an interview the policeman gave to the ABC’s Lateline program 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.

Tears for decades of child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX From: The Australian August 02, 2013

A PEDOPHILE Catholic priest allegedly abused dozens of children across Australia and overseas over at least four decades, including after the church became aware of his crimes.

During its final day of public evidence yesterday, the NSW special commission of inquiry into church child abuse heard that a diocesan official had spoken to 28 of the priest’s victims, who were abused between 1949 and 1987.

Maureen O’Hearn, a current employee of the NSW diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, said Denis McAlinden had abused children in New Zealand and a number of Australian states.

A Catholic cleric in The Philippines, where McAlinden travelled and worked as a priest after being asked to retire from Maitland-Newcastle, told The Australian yesterday he feared the priest might have abused children there.

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

Priest sitting next to Whitey Bulger …

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

[with photo]

By Colin A. Young and John R. Ellement, Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff

A man wearing priestly vestments while sitting next to notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in a photo released by Bulger’s lawyers was identified today as the former vice chancellor of the Boston archdiocese, Frederick J. Ryan, who was defrocked by Rome for allegedly sexually abusing teenage boys at Catholic Memorial High School in the 1980s.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented two former Catholic Memorial students who successfully sued the archdiocese in 2002, confirmed today that the man is Ryan.

“Given Whitey Bulger’s lack of respect for humanity, it comes as no surprise that Whitey Bulger is associated with a serial pedophile such as Fred Ryan,’’ Garabedian said.

Ryan was defrocked by the Vatican in 2006. Ryan was accused of taking two Catholic Memorial students from West Roxbury to the chancery, then located in Brighton, and molesting them. When he was defrocked, he was the highest-ranking priest to be dismissed since the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in 2002.

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.

THIRTY YEARS: WHAT WE’VE LEARNED AND WHAT I’VE LEARNED, By Thomas Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C., July 27, 2013

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Thomas Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.

July 27, 2013

This year marks the end of the third decade of the contemporary chapter in the Catholic Church’s age-old reality of sexual violation of clerics. In 1983 Jeff Anderson filed the historic case in Minnesota that would launch him on his life-long vocation of bringing not only civil but human rights to the Church’s countless victims. That summer, the bizarre saga of Gilbert Gauthe was exposed to the light in Lafayette, Louisiana.

This nightmare did not begin in Boston in January 2002, as many erroneously believe. It did not begin in 1983 either. It has been a toxic virus in the Body of Christ since the very beginning. The Didache, a handbook for the earliest followers of Christ, written before the end of the first century, explicitly condemns men who sexually abuse boys. There were no “clerics” as such then so the “men” included the leaders or elders of the infant Church.

The Louisiana spectacle generally gets the credit for being the beginning of public awareness of the so-called “crisis.” I daresay though that had Jason Berry lived in Minneapolis and not New Orleans, things might have been different. Either way you look at it, Jeff in Minnesota and Ray Mouton in Louisiana opened a new era for the Catholic Church and in doing so, changed the course of its history.

When I first became involved with the Gauthe case in 1984 I still believed in the Church. I thought the institutional structure I was part of, and the People of God described by the Second Vatican Council, were one and the same. In spite of already having served three years on the inside at the Vatican Embassy I still had some confidence in bishops and shared the hope with my colleagues at the time, Mike Peterson and Ray Mouton, that once the bishops became aware of how terrible sexual abuse of a child could be and the potential for scandal of epic proportions, they would quickly step up to the plate and do the right thing, especially by the victims.

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.

Tampa PD: Priest traded community service hours for ‘intimate hugs’

TAMPA (fl)
WTSP

[with video]

Charles Billi

Tampa — He’s a priest who looks like Jolly old St. Nick, but cops said his actions were anything but holy.

Charles Leigh is the head of Apostolic Catholic Church in Tampa, but Tuesday night, he was in custody- busted, cops say, for trading bogus community service hours for “intimate” hugs.

“He was a little too like- gripping too hard and then he was smelling my neck, and I was like ‘no way dude,” said one young woman who performed community service at the church. “That’s why I didn’t come back because I thought he was one of those pervs, man.”

Tampa cops said they were tipped off back in June that Leigh was falsifying court probation paperwork in exchange for a quick feel, so on two separate occasions, they sent in an undercover female officer to pose as a woman on probation in need of community service hours.

“He wrote down on the official department of corrections form that she did 17 hours, which she never did, in exchange for four hugs,” said Tampa Police Cpl. Felitia Pecora.

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.

Aboriginal nutritional experiments had Ottawa’s approval

CANADA
CBC News

Nutritional experiments were carried out on malnourished aboriginal people in the 1940s and ’50s with the federal government’s knowledge, according to documents obtained by CBC News.

Minutes from a House of Commons committee show it approved a request from researchers to continue their experiments on aboriginal people in Norway House in northern Manitoba in 1944.

The experiments started when an Indian Affairs doctor, along with two others from New York and the University of Toronto, visited the reserve and linked malnutrition to a tuberculosis epidemic and cases of blindness. Instead of improving the food available to all 300 Cree in Norway House, the doctors decided to give nutritional supplements to just 125.

Two years later, researchers noted an improvement in the health of the group given the vitamins.

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.

Aboriginal children used in medical tests, commissioner says

CANADA
CBC News

Aboriginal Canadians were not only subjected to nutritional experiments by the federal government in the 1940s and 1950s but were also used as medical test subjects, says the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In an interview with CBC Radio’s All Points West on Tuesday, Justice Murray Sinclair told host Jo-Ann Roberts that commission staff has “seen the documents that relate to the experiments that were conducted in residential schools.”

Other documents related to experimentation in aboriginal communities outside of residential schools have not yet been obtained, Sinclair said.

“We do know that there were research initiatives that were conducted with regard to medicines that were used ultimately to treat the Canadian population. Some of those medicines were tested in aboriginal communities and residential schools before they were utilized publicly.”

Sinclair said some of those medicines developed were then withheld from the same aboriginal children they were originally tested on.

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.

Federal Judge Says Catholic Church Can Hide Assets From Abuse Victims, For Freedom

UNITED STATES
Wonkette

by DOKTOR ZOOM

Whoohoo! Free Parking!Seems like only the beginning of this month that we were all outraged and stuff about the terrible news that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was playing hide-the-assets in an attempt to avoid paying compensation to victims of sex abuse. And now, not only has a federal judge declined to say, “No, Archbishop, that’s arch-villainous,” the judge actually went several steps further and granted the Archdiocese ridiculously broad immunity from federal bankruptcy law, basically saying that large chunks of religious institutions’ finances are exempt from scrutiny under the First Amendment. Please summarize for us, ThinkProgress:

While the ostensible issue in this case is whether over $50 million in church funds are shielded from a bankruptcy proceeding triggered largely by a flood of clerical sex abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Judge Rudolph Randa reads the church’s constitutional and legal right to religious liberty so broadly as to render religious institutions immune from much of the law.

That’s some catch.

The shell game worked like this: In 2007, while he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan (now Archbishop of New York) transferred some $57 million from the Archdiocese’s general fund into a special trust for maintaining cemeteries. Dolan wrote a letter to the Vatican explaining that this one weird trick would result in “improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.” So the question for Judge Randa was whether as part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s bankruptcy case — brought on largely because of claims in sex abuse cases — the court could require that the hidden asserts be moved back to the general fund so they would be available to creditors, including those abuse victims.

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

Catholic Archdiocese fund-raising drive hits $107M in donations

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

Catholics in metro Detroit have raised $107 million so far as part of an ongoing fund-raising campaign, the Archbishop of Detroit announced Wednesday night in Livonia.

Speaking to hundreds after services at St. Michael the Archangel church, Archbishop Allen Vigneron said that 71,500 Catholic households across the region have contributed to the campaign, called Changing Lives Together. Catholic leaders say they hope the campaign, which started in 2011 and concludes at the end of the year, will raise $135 million total.

“Working together … we have become stronger,” Vigneron said. “The parishioners in the Archdiocese of Detroit have responded generously. … They’re giving their parishes the resources to be able to share Christ, and that is what’s important. I’m so grateful that so many people want to be a part of that.”

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

Judge: Using cemetery funds to pay for bankruptcy violates religious rights

MILWAUKEE (WI)
National Catholic Reporter

[Judge Randa’s decision]

Marie Rohde | Jul. 31, 2013

The $57 million that Cardinal Timothy Dolan transferred from the coffers of the Milwaukee archdiocese to a fund for the maintenance of cemeteries is off the table and cannot be used to pay claimants in bankruptcy proceedings, a federal judge in Milwaukee ruled Tuesday.

In a 30-page decision issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa reversed a bankruptcy judge’s decision that said the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment right of freedom of religion prevent the money from being included in a pool available to creditors in the bankruptcy proceeding.

Allowing bankruptcy claimants to appropriate funds from the cemetery trust “would substantially burden the Trustee’s free exercise of religion,” the judge ruled.

Part of the “exercise” of Catholics’ belief in the resurrection of the body is “the perpetual care of the Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries,” Randa’s ruling states.

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Reformist priest praises pope’s new tone but wants more

UNITED STATES
IBN Live

Reuters | Posted on Aug 01, 2013

Chicago: An Austrian priest who has stirred controversy in Europe with his challenge to Catholic church teachings on taboo topics suggested on Wednesday that women should be allowed to become priests and said that gays need justice, not just mercy. Father Helmut Schuller, who has been banned by American bishops from speaking in Catholic churches while on a tour of the United States that began in mid-July, welcomed recent remarks by Pope Francis on gay rights, but said discussion could go further.

Schuller, in a telephone interview, said the pope’s words were a “good opener” and gay people seem to be happy there’s a friendlier tone from the church than in the past.

Schuller, leader of an Austrian priest group known for its “Call to Disobedience” challenging church teachings on taboo topics such as the ordination of women and priests marrying, has been drawing enthusiastic crowds during a 15-city U.S. tour that began in New York in mid-July and starts its West Coast leg on Wednesday.

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Religious order files reveal decades of LA abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Kansas City Star

[Fr. Ruben Martinez]

BY GILLIAN FLACCUS
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — In therapy sessions, the priest confessed the shocking details he’d kept hidden for years: He had molested more than 100 boys, including his 5-year-old brother. He had sex with male prostitutes, and frequented gay strip clubs.

The admissions of the Rev. Ruben Martinez are included among nearly 2,000 pages of secret files unsealed Wednesday that were kept on priests, brothers and nuns who belonged to religious orders but were accused of child molestation while working within the Los Angeles archdiocese.

The papers, which were released under the terms of a $660 million settlement agreement reached in 2007, are the first glimpse at what religious orders knew about the men and women they posted in Roman Catholic schools and parishes in the Los Angeles area. The archdiocese itself released thousands of pages under court order this year for its own priests who were accused of sexual abuse, but the full picture of the problem remained elusive without the orders’ records. Several dozen more files are expected to be released by the fall.

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theRoslynNews.com Calendar

NEW YORK
Roslyn News

Wednesday, August 7

Father Schuller Lecture

The Voice of the Faithful sponsors Father Helmut Schuller on “The Catholic Tipping Point – Reform and Renewal in the Catholic church.” Father Schuller, a priest of the diocese of Vienna, Austria, is founder of the Priests’ Initiative, a European-wide organization of diocesan priests called for dialogue with the hierarchy on issues pertinent to Catholic spiritual life. Father Schuler is on a countrywide tour of the United States talking to large groups across the nation on these matters. Manhasset is the last stop on the tour before he returns to Austria. He will be speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, 48 Shelter Rock Rd., Manhasset. Meeting will begin at 6:30 pm. Following the presentation there will be open discussion and a Q&A period. Coffee and cookies will be served. All are welcome, bring a friend. A goodwill donation of $15.00 is suggested, but not necessary. For further information contact: Pat Paone at 516-627-2438.

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Pope’s pick of Caggiano shows will to modernize

CONNECTICUT
Stamford Advocate

Brittany Lyte
Published 10:09 pm, Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You can discern a lot about the style and ambitions of a pope from his bishop appointments.

Father Anthony Ciorra, a professor of theology at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, said Pope Francis’ appointment Wednesday of the Rev. Frank J. Caggiano to become the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport illustrates of the pope’s will to modernize the church by infusing it with new, crisp energies. Caggiano, he said, appears to be no small part of that plan.

Ciorra knows Caggiano personally from his time helping parishes in Brooklyn. He describes the 53-year-old auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., as a skilled listener. Smart. Enthusiastic. Forward-thinking.

They are words Ciorra also uses to describe Pope Francis.

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New claims of abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey School

SCOTLAND
BBC News

BBC Scotland has been contacted by more than a dozen former pupils of Fort Augustus Abbey School with fresh allegations of abuse.

Their calls were prompted by the programme BBC Scotland Investigates: Sins of Our Fathers, which was broadcast on Monday.

It contained testimony from former pupils, speaking openly, and for the first time, about life with the monks.

The BBC is attempting to check the new allegations.

They concerned a further three monks associated with the school, who were not featured in Monday’s programme.

Two of them are still alive.

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Revealed: Sexual predator Jimmy Savile was regular visitor to Catholic school at centre of abuse scandal

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

PREDATOR Jimmy Savile was a frequent guest of monks at the Catholic boarding school at the centre of a sex abuse scandal.

The serial sex attacker regularly drove to Fort Augustus Abbey at a time when ex-pupils claim they were being terrorised by some of the monks.

A BBC TV investigation, Sins of the Fathers, this week alleged that nine monks at the Benedictine Order school repeatedly beat, sexually assaulted and, in one case, raped boys in their care over several decades.

Victims of the abuse complained but their testimony was ignored and covered up. Police are now investigating.

Savile, who is known to have attacked scores of young girls and boys during decades of abuse, would park his Rolls-Royce, registered JS 247, at the school gates before swanning around the grounds.

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Former priest pleads guilty to child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A notorious former Hunter Valley catholic priest has pleaded guilty to multiple child sex offences.

The trial of 70-year-old John Sidney Denham was due to start in the District Court, but the former Maitland Newcastle Catholic priest has now pleaded guilty to 25 charges, including indecent assault and buggery.

The charges relate to 18 boys, aged between 11 and 14 and date back to the 1970s.

Most of the offences occurred while Denham was working at St Pius College at Adamstown.

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Inquiry: Tears in court as victims’ statements read

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD Aug. 1, 2013

THE Special Commission of Inquiry was awash with tears on Thursday afternoon as two witness statements by survivors of serial paedophile priest Denis McAlinden were read to the proceedings.

Zimmerman Services healing and support co-ordinator Mauren O’Hearn read the statements after giving evidence of her work with at least 28 of the disgraced priest’s victims.

Ms O’Hearn confirmed that McAlinden was active from as early as 1949 and as late as 1986.

She said survivors of McAlinden were still coming forward and that people had come from New Zealand and interstate.

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Priest Denis McAlinden abused children for five decades, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX From: The Australian August 01, 2013

A PEDOPHILE Catholic priest abused dozens of victims over five decades across Australia and overseas, an inquiry has heard.

The final day of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry has heard a diocese official has since spoken to 28 of those he abused as children between 1949-86 – including in New Zealand and different Australian states.

Even the Commission’s lawyers wept openly as two victim impact statements were read out during today’s hearing, describing how Denis McAlinden infiltrated trusting, Catholic families and abused their children.

His victims were often aged about 10, the inquiry heard, and continue to endure the devastation this abuse caused.

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Victims agreed not to go to police

AUSTRALIA
ABC – Lateline

[with video]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 31/07/2013
Reporter: Lucy McNally

A woman hired by the Catholic Church to clean up its approach to paedophile priests has told the inquiry into sexual abuse by clergy in the Hunter Valley that victims were asked to sign documents agreeing not to go to police.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A woman hired by the Catholic Church to clean up its approach to paedophile priests says victims of clergy abuse were asked to sign a document agreeing not to go to the police as part of the Church’s reconciliation process called Towards Healing. Helen Keevers is one of the last people to give evidence at the New South Wales Government inquiry into the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese. As part of her role, the trained social worker set up Zimmerman House, a Catholic Church-run centre for sex abuse victims. Lucy McNally reports.

LUCY MCNALLY, REPORTER: Helen Keevers is not a Catholic. She says that meant she had no problem identifying just how bad the Church was when it came to dealing with suspected paedophiles in its ranks.

HELEN KEEVERS, WITNESS: If I can be somewhat flippant, it made me able to see the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes. It made me able to question structures that – and ways of behaving that people within the Church hadn’t been able to do previously.

LUCY MCNALLY: In 2004, the then Bishop Michael Malone hired her to look at the Church’s so-called bad files, files of priests who’d been the subject of complaints. They included the records of Father Denis McAlinden, one of two paedophiles the inquiry is focused on. The social worker told the commission McAlinden’s file was three to four inches thick.

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Church Usher Charged With Sexual Abuse of Boy Parishioners

CALIFORNIA
NBC Los Angeles

By Melissa Pamer | Thursday, Aug 1, 2013

An usher at a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Sun Valley was charged Wednesday with sexually abusing four boys he met at the church.

Marcelo Lozano, 34, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at Van Nuys Superior Court with nine felony counts, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Lozano, who was an usher for the church’s Spanish congregation, allegedly abused boys who ranged from 8 to 15 years old between 2006 and 2013.

He is charged with two counts each of aggravated sexual assault of a child, continuous sexual abuse and oral copulation of a person under 14. And he faces one count each of forcible lewd act upon a child, lewd act upon a child and sodomy of a person under 14 with 10 years difference.

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Sun Valley Usher Suspected of Molesting Boys

CALIFORNIA
Patch

Posted by Arin Mikailian (Editor) , July 31, 2013

A man who was an usher at a Sun Valley church was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting four boys he met through the church.

Marcelo Lozano, 34, pleaded not guilty in Van Nuys Superior Court to two counts each of aggravated sexual assault of a child, continuous sexual abuse and oral copulation of a person under 14, along with one count each of forcible lewd act on a child, lewd act upon a child and sodomy of a person under 14 with 10 years difference.

The alleged crimes occurred between Jan. 1, 2006, and this June 30, and involved boys who were between 8 and 15 at the time who Lozano met through Jehovah’s Witness, Sun Valley Spanish Congregation, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Lozano was arrested Monday by the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Division officers.

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Woman accuses member of West Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lorain of sexual abuse

OHIO
newsnet5

Posted: 07/31/2013

By: Deb Lee, newsnet5.com By: Deb Lee, newsnet5.com

LORAIN, Ohio – A former member of the West Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lorain filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the congregation, alleging she was sexually abused by one of the church leaders.

“I want to expose how they treat children and how they do not protect them,” Elizabeth McFarland, 26, said at a news conference in Cleveland.

McFarland claims Scott Silvasy, who served as a “Ministerial Servant,” gained her trust then sexually abused her for five years, beginning when she was 9 years old. She said Silvasy committed suicide on her 16th birthday.

Her attorney, Irwin Zalkin of San Diego, said the elders of the church did nothing when they learned of the abuse.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in what is called the Biblical Two Witness Rule,” Zalkin said. “According to the Biblical Two Witness Rule, as they interpret it, unless the perpetrator confesses or alternatively there are two eyewitnesses to the abuse, they can do nothing about it.”

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Sun Valley Church Usher Charged With Sexually Abusing 4 Boys

CALIFORNIA
CBS Los Angeles

VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A 34-year-old man who was a church usher in Sun Valley was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting four boys he met through the congregation, announced the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Marcelo Lozano pleaded not guilty in Van Nuys Superior Court to two counts each of aggravated sexual assault of a child, continuous sexual abuse and oral copulation of a person under 14, along with one count each of forcible lewd act upon a child, lewd act upon a child and sodomy of a person under 14 with 10 years difference.

The alleged crimes, which included victims ranging in age from eight to 15, occurred between January 1, 2006, and June 30, 2013.

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LA church usher charged with child sex abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
U-T San Diego

By The Associated Press JULY 31, 2013

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors say an usher from a Los Angeles Jehovah’s Witness congregation has been charged with sexually abusing four boys.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office says 34-year-old Marcelo Lozano was charged Wednesday with nine felony counts, including aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Lozano pleaded not guilty to all nine counts and a judge set his bail at $1.9 million.

Prosecutors allege he abused boys who ranged from eight to 15 years old between 2006 and 2013.

Deputy District Attorney Rena Durrant said the defendant met the victims through the Sun Valley Spanish Congregation in the San Fernando Valley.

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Church abuse inquiry moved to tears after hearing victim impact statements

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

The public gallery was moved to tears today after two victim impact statements were read to the NSW inquiry into clergy sexual abuse in the Hunter Valley.

The public hearings have wrapped up after eight weeks and more than 40 witnesses.

The inquiry is investigating claims the Catholic Church covered up abuse by paedophile priests, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

Maureen O’Hearn, the Maitland-Newcastle diocese coordinator for healing and support, has given evidence saying she has dealt with around 28 victims of McAlinden since she started in the job in 2007.

She said the earliest reported abuse was in 1949.

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Sun Valley church usher charged with sexually abusing four boys

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Daily News

By Brenda Gazzar, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/31/2013

Prosecutors have charged an usher at a Jehovah’s Witness church in Sun Valley with several sex abuse counts for allegedly assaulting four boys between the ages of 8 and 15 that he met through the church, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Marcelo Alonso Lozano, 34, who lives in the Sun Valley area, was charged with nine felony counts, including two counts each of aggravated sexual assault of a child, continuous sexual abuse and oral copulation of a person under 14. He also faces one count each of a forcible lewd act upon a child, lewd act upon a child and sodomy of a person under 14 with 10 years difference, officials said. The criminal complaint includes a special allegation of multiple victims.

Prosecutors identified the church as the Jehovah’s Witness, Sun Valley Spanish Congregation, though police identified it as the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Sun Valley. The church is on the 12000 block of Wicks Street. The abuse allegedly took place between Jan. 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013.

Lozano pleaded not guilty to all counts during an arraignment Wednesday, according to Uchin Jang, a judicial assistant for Van Nuys courthouse Dept. 100.

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BREAKING, EXCLUSIVE: Paedophile priest John Denham pleads guilty

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE MCCARTHY Aug. 1, 2013

NOTORIOUS Hunter paedophile priest John Denham has pleaded guilty to multiple child sex offences, a year after the suicide of one of his victims led to the federal royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Denham, 70, pleaded guilty to crimes against 18 boys in the 1970s, only three years after pleading guilty to similar crimes against 39 victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

During a short hearing in the Sydney Downing Centre Denham repeated the word ‘guilty’ 25 times to charges including buggery, forced oral sex and indecent assault involving boys aged 11, 12 and 13.

The majority of the offences occurred at St Pius X College, Adamstown.

In agreed facts Denham admitted telling boys ‘‘this is our little secret. Don’t bother telling anyone because no one will believe you.’’

After the hearing a victim said: ‘‘That was what he always drummed into me – that I wouldn’t be believed. Now everyone knows. It happened.’’

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Abuse statements stun NSW church inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A NSW inquiry has been left in stunned silence by a social worker reading statements from two women sexually assaulted 32 years apart by the same Catholic priest.

The letters spoke of the terror, suffering and sadness that still plagued them, in one case, almost 60 years after the abuse by Hunter Valley Catholic priest Denis McAlinden began.

Maureen O’Hearn, the coordinator of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese child protection unit’s healing and support services, read the statements because the women were unable to.

She said the first letter was written by a 68-year-old woman who was abused for years, from 1954, when she was 10.

The second was written by a 38-year-old who was abused from 1986, when she was 11.
The first woman described McAlinden as “an extremely bad tempered, evil man who was a sexual predator of little girls”.

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More church abuse scandal files released by 5 Catholic religious orders

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

[the files – Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

By Barbara Jones and Susan Abram, Staff Writers

Five Catholic religious orders released the confidential personnel files of a dozen priests and nuns accused of sexually abusing children for decades as they worked as trusted religious leaders in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

The 1,700 pages pertain to the 10 priests and two nuns who were accused in civil suits of molesting children while working in the nation’s largest archdiocese. They were released under the terms of a 2007 settlement that paid $660 million to more than 500 alleged victims.

The archdiocese itself released thousands of pages in January — detailed files showing how now-retired Archbishop Roger Mahony and other church leaders handled molestation complaints by shielding suspect priests from law enforcement.

In contrast, most of the files released by the religious orders deal more with mundane personnel matters, and some don’t even mention sexual abuse at all.

The fact that the files don’t reflect the misconduct alleged in civil lawsuits doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, said victims’ attorney Ray Boucher, who posted the documents on his firm’s website.

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Federal Judge Randa Grants Catholic Church Right To Shield $57 Million From Sexual Abuse Victims

WISCONSIN
Opposing Views

By Jonathan Wolfe, Wed, July 31, 2013

U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa has ruled that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee can shield $57 million from creditors in sexual abuse settlements because the money is in a fund designated for maintaining cemeteries. Judge Randa says the money is shielded in accordance with the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedoms.

The money in the fund was in dispute because the Archdiocese of Milwaukee recently filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing was largely, if not entirely, caused by the amount of money the Archdiocese owes in settlements to victims of the church’s sexual abuse. According to Think Progress, over 45 Milwaukee priests face sexual abuse accusations. One priest has been accused of molesting over 200 deaf boys.

Ordinarily, $57 million in assets would be seized during a bankruptcy filing. But Judge Randa Ruled that the cemeteries are sacred to followers of the Catholic Church. As sacred sites, Randa says, funding for them is shielded from the government in accordance with the church’s free exercise of religion.

“The care and maintenance of Catholic cemeteries, cemetery property, and the remains of those interred is a fundamental exercise of the Catholic faith,” Randa said. “If the Trust’s funds are converted into the bankruptcy estate, there will be no funds or, at best, insufficient funds for the perpetual care of the Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries.”

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